I had so many plans for 2020.
A birthday trip to Bali, another to Jamaica. This was the year I was going to do ALL the things.
I had been eyeing Toronto's Caribana (a Caribbean cultural festival) for years, and guess what? This was the year your girl was going regardless of who was coming with or not.
2020 was the year I became tired of waiting on people to do things, and decided I didn't care if my friends didn't want to come with me, I was going either way. I even bought a ticket to go to the Broccoli City Festival (a music festival in Washington D.C.) alone after my friends said they weren't interested in fawning over Burna Boy (hey, boo 😉) and twerking to Megan Thee Stallion. Yes, 2020 was the year Rasha was going to a music festival by herself because...Growth.
I'm sure you all had plans too. For some, this was the year you were finally going to take that trip to Italy now that the kids are all grown up. The year you were going to start that business because the timing was finally perfect.
We were about two and a half months into the new year, fresh with motivation and ready to tackle 2020, when our entire world was turned upside down by a new virus.
Concerts, festivals, movies, birthdays and so much more were canceled. Outside closed indefinitely. We're ordered to stay at least 6 feet away from our loved ones and don't even think about getting on a plane unless it's an emergency.
That international trip you and your friends were getting ready to take? Not happening. The Yves Saint Laurent bag you were waiting to buy and show off at brunches? Looks like you'll be wearing it around your living room.
After spending a couple weeks mourning all my amazing plans, I learned a bitter-but-necessary lesson: I need to stop waiting for a right time or special occasion to do something.
The cliché "tomorrow is not promised" has never rang truer than during the coronavirus pandemic. One day I'm finalizing flight details for my Jamaica trip, promising mama I'd visit her in a few weeks and telling my friends I'd see them for brunch, and the next day I'm wondering if it's safe to go to a grocery store.
No, it's not a good idea to text your ex:during the coronavirus pandemic
Sitting at home, physically separated from those I love, unsure of when I'll see them again makes me think of all the times I didn't hug my friend because "we see each other like every other day, we don't hug, it's weird."
Putting off visiting my parents because the timing wasn't right or because it was too much of an inconvenience to be on a six hour plane ride for a few days with them, now seems... stupid.
I'm obviously not going to Broccoli City festival, fete-ing it up at Caribana or living out my years long dream of spending lazy afternoons on a Jamaican beach any time soon. And all that makes me think of is the time I didn't go see Burna Boy in concert because no one wanted to come with me and I didn't want to go alone. It reminds me of the time I so desperately wanted to take a trip to Jamaica, but "maybe next year because I have x, y and z going on." I don't even remember what "x, y and z" were, but I do remember not living my best life on a Caribbean beach.
Time waits for no one and it took an entire pandemic to make me realize that.
I'm not saying go out and propose to your partner of three weeks because it's a pandemic or blow your life savings on a Chanel bag, but we do need to stop waiting for that "perfect time" to jump.
Speaking of perfect times, quarantine is the most opportune time to practice living our best lives. Have you been waiting for the "right time" to start your blog? No time like today. Know you love your partner, but wanted to wait for a special day to tell them? Tell them today.
Have a dress or outfit that's been hanging in your closet for months because you were waiting for a special occasion to wear it? Put it on now and set up your own photo shoot.
The reality is that pandemic or not, none of us ever know what tomorrow holds... coronavirus has forced us to face that.
Staying Apart, Together:A newsletter about how to cope with the coronavirus pandemic