Greetings, all, and happy, Happy New Year!

I think we can all agree that we’re not especially disappointed to see 2020 go. But who knows–maybe some of us are.

I know we’re all eager to put the last 365 days far behind us, but to ensure that we remember why we’re so grateful for the emergence of the new year, let’s take a quick look back.

(Or—if not, click here to jump ahead!)

2020: The Good, the Bad, the Necessary

As much as we would all like to just shut the door on 2020, turn our backs on it, and look on into a shiny, fresh new year with an absolute guarantee of hope and positivity for all–it’s not how years work. 2021 won’t just automatically be the year where everything goes back to the blindly happy status of “normal.”

That won’t happen, because that wasn’t how things were before 2020. If they were, the stresses that were/are the COVID-19 pandemic, global quarantine, and police brutality, and political unrest would not have both imploded and exploded the way that they did at the scale and longevity that it has. That being said, the turmoil and crimes brought forth against those who simply want to live in peace, are not happening in vain. It is and continues to help drive the global realization that we, the general public, have had enough.

Change is needed. Action is needed. Reaction is needed. Improvement is needed.

But you know what else is needed?

Love is needed. Understanding is needed. Empathy is absolutely needed. The more people that understand that we are all human beings living on the same planet, all simply wanting places to call our own and people to support us as we seek them out, the better.

Just because someone’s skin is darker than yours does not mean you are better, or they are worse. Just because someone weighs more or less does not make them superior or inferior. Just because someone is younger, older, universally “attractive,” homosexual, heterosexual, bisexual, pansexual, asexual, transgender, speaks a language different, or has more degrees, does not mean that anyone has to be judged, persecuted, or die. And it certainly doesn’t mean that you have to waste your time or theirs by putting them down, shaming them, shunning them, hating them, killing them.

Since when has it become a hobby to ruin someone else’s life just because you are having trouble satisfactorily fulfilling your own?

2021: A Hopeful Outlook

It was an opportunity to listen to my body…

But, I super digress.

While I did want to touch base on what was in 2020, I mainly want to focus on what will be moving forward. Most specifically, moving forward with The Mind of B.

As with nearly everyone, I’ve spent most of last year thinking about the truth of how things are–not only with the world, but with myself. As with many businesses during the pandemic, I began working from home exclusively, something I’d been longing to test out for years with any job that would allow it. The change in scenery allowed me to explore what it meant to be a super introvert and see if I truly did “walk the walk”–that is, thrive in an environment conducive to an introvert’s way of thinking, living, being.

In summary:

  • Would I truly enjoy working from home?
  • Would I thrive spending most of my time isolated with my own thoughts?
  • Did I feel like my social life and my friendships suffered due to the isolation?

Welp, let’s answer them!

Would I truly enjoy working from home?

Yeppity yep yep you bet your bottom dollar biscuit, I would. And, I did. And I do.

Would I thrive spending most of my time isolated with my own thoughts?

Believe it or not, but I enjoyed this more than even I thought I would. It wasn’t even about being alone and not having to hear others chatting around me. Rather, it was finally the extended amount of time and silence needed to finally hear what my thoughts were saying. It was an opportunity to listen to my body as the mysterious illness that had begun in 2019 had continued to linger. In fact, I sincerely believe that if I had not been working long-term from home, I might still not have an actual diagnosis from my symptoms (more on that “illness” later, I promise!).

And finally…

Did I feel like my social life and my friendships suffered due to the isolation?

Do I feel they suffered? Yes.

Was it due to the isolation? …No.

And fortunately/unfortunately, this is something that I still have to figure out on what was the true reason.

What 2021 Means for the M.o.B Blog

Which finally brings me seamlessly into the main point of this post. Good job, me!

Despite all of the negativities within 2020 trying to bring everything down, I’ve been inspired by some positive transgressions (what? positives in 2020??). Watching the fighting spirit of those striving to make a difference has left me with a renewed determination to come back and start posting regularly on the blog again.

With that motivation has come a brand new, refreshed blog design (which I hope everyone has enjoyed!), a reorganization of a few favorite classic topics (writing prompts, how you’ve pleasantly surprised me in your popularity!), and resolution to explore a couple of new areas.

A few notable highlights:

  • I’m jumping back into the “dating game,” so much as this pandemic will let me, which means I’m jumping back into a few of my favorite romantic discussions: the love languages, dealing with crushes, finding love in the time of COVID, dating as a woman just on the higher side of her 30s. These were some of my most popular posts last year, and I look forward to writing on more related topics in a way that no one else is discussing them.
  • As a super introvert, one of my biggest focuses is my creativity. Heck, put introversion aside—I just love being creative. So, it goes without saying that not being creative literally destroys me from the inside out. Not only will I be exploring my creativity more, but I’ll also be discussing it more here. I also want to gain more feedback on how others maintain their own creative levels.
  • I’ve struggled with a sense of identity since I was aware that I had my own (which occurred a lot later in life than it should have). We all struggle with who we are and often use labels to help us. From my own part, I still wonder about many parts of myself. And I also have a basic fascination with psychology so boy oh boy, here we go.
  • Finally, as a curly-haired girl, I’m still all about helping those who who have tried literally everything to get their hair to grow thicker, healthier, longer. Does that mean I’ve un-given up on growing long hair? We’ll just have to see, shan’t we?

New Post Spotlight: The Greatest Thing EVER

(and introducing the E-RISE test)

The last blog highlight I would like to address deserves its own section. I’ve been thinking about this for the last six months, because I wanted to create a blog series that gave appreciation to others in the world not only performing acts of kindness and charity to the rest of us, but also demonstrating elements of positivity, fun, understanding, learnings, and just overall goodness that can benefit us all. This can range from a person, to a group, to a brand, to even an invention. Regardless, it will be things that I’m happy to share with you, namely because of the moments of happiness they have brought into my own life.

What do I call this spotlight?

Well, I’m glad you asked.

I am calling this….THE GREATEST THING EVER!

* blows fanfare *

I will not be sponsored nor affiliated by anything I display as THE GREATEST THING EVER. Everything I share will be simply things that I love, so never feel pressured to buy or watch. For now, I’ll be showcasing the GREATEST THING EVER once a month. We shall see if we need to increase the frequency.

To give the GTEs some credence and measurability, I’ve noted five requirements that each one must meet. Then, I gave it a catchy acronym—cuz durn it if we don’t all love a catchy acronym! After much deliberation (and several Google searches to ensure I wasn’t unintentionally infringing on anyone else’s use of it), I finally settled upon the E-RISE Test:

  • E = Entertaining
  • R = Real
  • I = Inspiring
  • S = Selfless
  • E = Educational

Again, it’s all in good fun—plus, I needed a way not to ramble on and on each GTE–cuz goodness knows I have a tendency for that!

Here’s to a Year of Creativity, Connection, Deep Thought, Understanding, and Love

At the end of the day, the main reason I wanted to return to this blog is because 2020 was a year of awakening. While a multitude of unfortunate events occurred, it is important to ensure that these events did not occur for no reason. People did not die for no reason. People did not—are not—fighting for equal rights and their voices to be heard for no reason. We all have our way of wanting to help, to speak, to reach out to those feeling helpless and uncertain on what to do.

It’s perfectly okay if we don’t all see the same side of the coin.

I’m not going to pretend that this blog will become an end-all, be-all super savior to all the world’s problems. But I would like to be one of the voices giving thought and hope to the way that we look at things. Even if the thought is on something like how we approach falling in love, or how to finally break through writer’s block or the fear of getting back into voice acting.

My main goal of this blog has never changed: I know that I tend to think about many topics differently than most, and this blog is my way of reaching out to those who can empathize with that. If not with my actual opinion, than at least with the blog’s essence itself.

It’s perfectly okay if we don’t all agree on the same thing. It’s perfectly okay if we don’t all see the same side of the coin. When looking at a crystal blue lake, some of us will merely appreciate the reflection on the surface, while others will count the fish under the waves, while others still will admire the stones in the soil, or the way the cool water laps across their toes. None of those perspectives are wrong.

At the very least, we can value that we can all enjoy the beauty of the lake, together.