• Sam Chizanga

The Year of Triumph

I've read hundreds of posts about the achievements of 2019.

My achievement was that I made it out of 2019 alive because, in every sense, it was fucked.

At the top of 2019, I was flying high, running lead on a huge project for my department. It was amazing, I worked with some of the smartest people I have ever worked with. You can read all about it on LinkedIn. 2019 was a year of shooting first, asking later and we were shooting. I had stellar managers who cultivated my strengths. That project and the projects that followed subsequently taught me an insurmountable amount about people, and managing my time, the time of others, and balancing expectations of everyone else. I would do it again.

At the top of 2019, I was creating and excited about the possibility of dreaming and of owning something that was mine. I was flying.

At the bottom of 2019, I was at my lowest point. I was burnt out and tired. Again, running lead for a project for my department. It was difficult, I worked with some of the smartest people I have ever worked with. You can read all about in my therapist's notes. I felt out of place, unneeded, didn't have the support I needed, and it showed in my work, in my personal and professional relationships. 'Twas super dusty. I had a manager who didn't know what to do with me and a performance rating that put me at the bottom of the pile of my peers. I wouldn't do it again.

At the bottom of 2019, I was stuck, stagnant, stuck. My creative network depleted and the only thing I cared about was making my mine again was my life. I had crashed.

Insert all the stories of being a young, black, woman in the corporate world here. What's understood doesn't need to be said and that's not why I'm writing this but if you don't understand you can read literally everything else I have ever written.

I took a break after hitting rock bottom. I was hurting, in a bad place and but most of all, I was tiiirrrrred. Mentally I was drained, physically I was falling apart, and emotionally... I cried more than I laughed and I laugh a lot. I couldn't make rational decisions, I was irate you know how the ole' tale goes.

Time is a vessel for the events that make up our lives and every year, you get a new shiny one to fill.

It's fucking wild how you can go through a million and one motions in 365 days. It's super-duper wild that you can get off track and look back and 3 months, 6 months, 12 months have passed you by. So much can happen, so little can happen. Sometimes it's calm waters, and if you're me, it's a tornado. Reflecting back, I realize my individual life was in a complete state of bedlam and instead of embracing it and leaning into it, I tried to control it and it backfired. This year I plan to let chaos take up the space it deserves.

2019 was The Year of Forgiveness, it accidentally became The Year of Chaos. It taught me things about myself that I can never hide from. It showed me that life is not linear, it's a twisted lattice. It forced me to confront demons and the things I've ignored for so long. It was great, it was bad, it was happy, it was sad. It was everything in between the rainbow and the stars. It made me question myself, answer to my values. I'm a bit smarter, a bit stronger, and I'm ready for 2020.

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