ONE YEAR OF COVID: TRANSFORMATION (RE)DEFINED

Written by on March 31, 2021

By Syreeta Martin | The Philadelphia Citizen

A WURD radio host and entrepreneur reflects on the four “Fs” that have come to the forefront this year: family, finances, fitness and faith

The past year was a transformative force. Anytime transformation occurs there is disruption in its onset, disorientation in its presence and, oftentimes, destruction, in its wake.

An immediate Google search of the word “transformation” delivers this top definition: a thorough or dramatic change in form or appearance.

  1. Does the world look and feel like it used to?
  2. Does your life look and feel like it used to?
  3. Was there anything truly left untouched in your life’s radius?

I wouldn’t ask you this without first asking myself and so:

  1. No.
  2. HELLLLL no.
  3. Not really.

At some point during the pandemic, I realized that nothing would likely ever be quite the same again. I lamented that thought just as much as I was intrigued by it. We’ve simultaneously experienced the disruption of systems, institutions, and ideologies; and the destruction of lives, human rights, and health. All of it, in ways both blatant and nuanced, have been disorienting.

This is why I believe transformation that results in positive progression can be traumatic (i.e. an emotional upset). More recent conversations that I’ve engaged in have focused on life post-pandemic: whether the generations who lived through it will ever feel comfortable again to be in large crowds, to live life as carefree as possible, to keep our homes stocked with a reasonable amount of toilet tissue, and to go maskless. Of course some folks will and already have, but the conversations that were held focused on the macro impact of a global traumatic event.

Despite the trauma that can come with transformation, many of us have also experienced good fortune in ways we did not anticipate. More time at home, a new work schedule or environment, an increase in income or opportunities, quality time, improved health or wellness routines, and deeper internal reflection.

I’ve personally experienced the birthing of new projects and practices. And I’m almost certain that us having to stay in doors for a sustained amount of time provided mother nature with a break—a chance to breathe and heal. (Because let’s be honest, humans are messy and harmful AF to her.)

When originally approached about this piece, I was asked to essentially reflect on 365 days in 500 words or less. Here are four takeaways from my life over the past year.

  1. Family: There’s more than one way to get something done; learn folks’ strengths and delegate accordingly as you manage YOUR expectations and triggers.
  2. Finances: Don’t feel guilty about having abundance during widespread lack. Instead, use that energy to practice gratitude and seize the opportunity to help as much as you can.
  3. Fitness: As Big Sean would say, work harder than your demons. I would add that you should anticipate the very real likelihood that they’ll work harder too. Don’t go it alone if you don’t have to and don’t be ashamed of anything.
  4. Faith: While life may be bigger than you, don’t underestimate or minimize the role of your life in the bigger picture (YOU MATTER).

I wrote this piece to say: This year was indeed a transformative force…and so are you. So are we. How we come out of this year—this pandemic—is equally, if not more, important as how we went into it.

The question is: When we emerge from this pandemic, how will we have transformed ourselves and our world…for the better?

Originally published at thephiladelphiacitizen.com

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