goodbye 2020

on my mind

I know I’m not the only one ready to say goodbye to 2020 and set higher expectations for 2021. We spent 9 months in quarantine/lockdown, worked, organized, and attended school from home, learned to wear masks and physically distance ourselves from people we normally would have hugged, cleaned everything in sight, canceled plans, shifted plans, and generally slowed down our lives, because of the pandemic.

This felt like such a long year and yet here we are at the end of it. Remember, surviving a pandemic is a huge accomplishment. You can create new goals and intentions in the new year, but don’t be so hard on yourself if you didn’t do everything you wanted to in 2020. I wish you and your loved ones a safe and happy New Year. Thanks for being a part of this community with me. It’s meant so much to read and listen to you all year and made me feel less alone.

If you’re into journaling, check this reflection activity to help you take stock of 2020.

what i’m noting

2020 may have sucked, but I want to note some of my favorite things that brought me joy or were just general highlights from this year. Please share what you loved, learned and experienced that made your 2020 a little bit better!

  • Reading Circe, Maybe You Should Talk to Someone, and The Collected Poems of Lucille Clifton

  • Writing and sharing my first visual poem: “scattered people”

  • Spending Ramadan and Eid with my parents

  • Working on the social media strategy for the new Black Girl Freedom Fund

  • Hosting guided writing sessions on my Instagram Live (you can check out the recordings and use the writing prompts!)

  • Running the first #AtlanticPoetryChallenge

  • Watching Girlfriends, Great British Bake Off, Community, New Girl, Moesha, The Crown and Gilmore Girls as comfort TV

  • Finding great meditation and yoga videos to start and end my days

  • Taking (almost) daily morning walks around my neighborhood

  • Putting up cozy fireplace or ocean view ambience scenes on my TV

  • Eating Levain Bakery dark chocolate peanut butter chip and dulce de leche cookies

  • Cooking a whole Thanksgiving spread (spicy cranberry glazed fried chicken, mac and cheese, oven roasted potatoes, stuffing, cheesecake) with my brother by ourselves for the first time

  • Celebrating my 30th birthday over Zoom and then a weekend in the woods

Thanks for reading! If you like this newsletter, you can click the “heart” at the top of this post on Substack, share it on social media or forward to a friend — they can subscribe at

Remember, you can always hit reply to this email if you want to share what you’re noting or just say hi.

— Nesima

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