There’s nothing new under the sun, but everyday is new. As we say goodbye to 2018 and welcome 2019, I keep this saying in front me. I’ve had some good years and I’ve had some bad years. The two worst years of my life were 2006 and 2011. In 2006 my mother died after a battle with colon cancer. In 2011 my father died suddenly of a heart attack.

One of the main reasons I have kept and continue to keep a journal is so I can reflect on my life. See what was happening then and assess how far I’ve come and how far I’ve got to go. My last journal entry of 2006 was a list of people who died in 2006 with my mom: her sister Bertha, James Brown, Lou Rawls, Ed Bradley, Coretta Scott King, Octavia Butler, Gordon Parks, Gerald Levert, and others. I then write:

There were some good deaths this year. Or should I say some good people died this year, well, and bad too. Sadaam was hanged yesterday and General Pinochet was no prince by any means. This year was the hardest one of my life. Much pain, many tears—but from all of that joy. Ma is healed now. I’m happy she’s not in pain anymore. I saw a part of myself that I didn’t know existed. It’s amazing what the human spirit can endure. We truly don’t know our strength until it is put to the test. 2007 is a new year. With new hope. Not a fresh start, but a chance for something new.

 I share this because not every year is going to be great. I share this because although I’ve had some terrible years in my life (not just the years my parents died, but the subsequent years following their deaths as well), this year was one full of wonder and joy.

For example, these are some of my moments from 2018:

  • Accepted a marriage proposal on Christmas Day
  • Named 2019-20 Teacher of the Year of Spring Valley High School
  • Sent/Sending my poetry book back out into the world (for the second time) for book publication contests
  • Published a story on Ed Surge about my students
  • Created this website…finally!

I appreciate this year even more so because I know what it’s like to struggle and be hopeless. This year my good outweighed my bad. And I am so thankful! I have much to look forward to in 2019. And no matter how your 2018 went, I want you to remember: Tomorrow is a new day.

Photo Credit: Evonne Washington

Caption: I am hugging my cousin shortly after being named Teacher of the Year on November 30th, 2018.



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