2021 is here! We have made it through many deaths, a global pandemic, and the blatant racism that is America. And while none of these things are going anywhere, one thing is for certain, and two things for sure: We survived. Of course, naturally the motto is “New Year, New Me”. But as you see from the title, I am proclaiming New Year, Back to Me.

Here me out. March 2020 marked the change of my world as I knew it. My job immediately stopped and went to remote learning. I was thrown off of my meal prepping and workout routines. I stopped taking care of myself and just simply ate for survival. My summer was even stressful. There I was in June 2020, taking graduate courses at two different universities to attempt to receive my teaching certification and continue my studies towards my MSW. In August 2020, the turmoil continued. Here I was at a new job with new stress. Balancing graduate classes, internship, full time work, and a long distance drive.

I totally lost myself. I gave up on my weight loss journey. I truly gave up on me. I stopped enjoying life. Anxiety attacks on Sundays became a regular occurrence. Faking happiness and health became a regular occurrence. Slowly, but surely I started to see the damage I was doing. Honestly at that point, I was in too deep, so I continued on that path until I could finish the semesters out. Until I could just simply breathe. Now, I am at the end of my winter break and I have been experiencing nothing but anxiousness day in and day out regarding how I will handle another year with the same responsibilities.

And don’t get me wrong. Some good things came out of this year too. I secured a new teaching role during a pandemic. I achieved a 4.0 in my teaching certification courses and in my MSW program so far. Alongside my sorority, I hosted a Thanksgiving Holiday Drive for my internship and with the help of family and friends, I was able to sponsor a family for Christmas. Still, all of these things honestly gave me no fulfillment. I was pouring from an empty cup and I had knew it all along.

This is why I am declaring my motto for 2021, “New Year, Back to Me”. What does this mean? This means that I have set some goals for myself that have and will always be apart of me; I am just going to get back to it. Here are my 2021 goals:

  1. Read 12 books by the end of 2021
  2. Continue good standing in my MSW program
  3. Improve my teaching abilities through learning trauma-informed practices
  4. Attend career building seminars for social work or teaching practice
  5. Save $2,400 by January 2022
  6. Attend a pole dancing class
  7. Take a solo trip
  8. Pass the PLT K-6 and apply for Professional Teaching Certification in the state of South Carolina
  9. Lose 28 more pounds!
  10. Remembering to take care of myself first!
  11. And… blogging at least ONCE a month!

In writing this, my hope is to hold myself accountable to these goals that I absolutely KNOW are attainable. And of course as I type this, Shine by Tobe Nwigwe is playing. Reminding me that yes, this world may be toxic especially for people that look like me. But despite that fact, continue to shine my light and shine on all of them. Whomever “them” may entail, I plan to do just that! Watch me work.

With Love,


Published by This is Tatyana

I am a new blogger, current MSW student, and a special educator. I am also someone who is battling mental health. Through this blog, my hope is to engage others in discussions regarding mental health, systemic racism, Black women and children, and the intersections of social justice and education.

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