This Year

I think it's probably safe to say that 2020 is not turning out to be the year we had hoped for but with almost a half year to go, I'm willing to not write it off as a total wash just yet. These words from Leslie Dwight on Instagram really resonated with me and led me to thinking what if this year is actually a turning point? I mean things usually get worse before they get better right.  I'm not going to lie, there have been times when I found myself wishing there was a way to just cancel 2020.

Living under lockdown gave me plenty of time to reflect and process a full gamut of emotions more often than not. Constant physical pain took a real toll and I learned a lot about resilience and pain management. Even with that I didn't mind lockdown all that much with the rampant COVID-19 racism and xenophobia out there against Asian people. I was lucky that the most I got was dirty looks and some comments calling me dirty and telling me to go back where I came from while those less fortunate have been brutally attacked. This is one reason why I will not be going out much when lockdown is lifted.

As horrific and senseless the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breyona Taylor and countless other black men and women were, the global hurt, outrage and anger this time seems different. People have finally awakened to the terrible racism and racial inequity which has always existed against Black Americans and there finally seems to be a real impetus for change now. The thing about acknowledging and dealing with racism is that there is a discomfort that comes along with it particularly for those who have had the privilege of never having experienced it. In the past where they would have shied away, people are leaning into that discomfort while committing to substantive civic action to make real long term systemic and structural changes happen. We’re seeing it happening with protests across three continents and the beginning of actual reforms and legislations.

Through all this, my husband and I have had some really frank discussions about race, what it means for us to be Asian in this country and what we want for our future. I feel very blessed to be married to someone who shares the same culture and upbringing as me as it gives us a tacit understanding about  our experiences and shapes our shared values. We want our actions be purposeful and we are putting our money behind causes that are meaningful to us. We're going to take this as an opportunity to learn and grow. When I look back at 2020, I want to see it as a year that was challenging yet full of positive change. For my US people, get out there and vote!


Doctor Anne said...

I saw this post on Instagram too and felt the same way. Sometimes you need to hit rock bottom to really find the strength to change.

Emmylou said...

Thank you for sharing that IG post, chingu. TBH, I am ready for 202 to be over, but as what Leslie said, this year could be the turning point we all need. I agree with what you stated. The tragedy of what happened with George Floyd has really pushed people this time to finally take massive action, and I'm hoping that all the protests will lead to real change this time.
And yes...even after the lockdown is lifted here, I doubt my family will go back to the usual. People are nasty out there:( My in-laws think things are back to normal and I honestly don't know why they would think this:( A lot of people are in living in denial.

R.ChamberofBeauty said...

Great article Rowena, I agree with what you have written. The year 2020 has been really challenging. The tragedy of George Floyd has pushed the people to take some action. I hope this protest will not go in vain.
I hope you are safe and healthy with your family.

Have a nice day.
Kisses <3

Oh to Be a Muse said...

I feel like 2020 is doing exactly what it should be doing -- giving people true vision. Hopefully, all of us will learn a great deal from all the hardships of this year...and we're only halfway through it!

Ivana Split said...

So sorry to hear about those racist comments you had to endure. It is horrible and tragic that Asian people were attacked because of the coronavirus. I was horrified by that racist comment made by Bryan Adams directed at Chinese people. These are hard and crazy times, I hope we find a way to survive them as better people.

Eli Dou said...

I actually remember when all the COVID thing started in Spain, I was in the market buying fish and there was an old lady (in her 80s) just before me. An asian girl passed by and she was wearing a mask. The old lady said: "look at her! She's wearing the mask like we can infect her but they are actually the ones who brought the virus here." I was super shocked and the only thing that came to my mind was to tell her: "she might wear it only as a prevention and as a sign of good behavior". But she was like: "no no no, all those Chinese are more selfish than us, they only care of themselves".

I couldn't believe it!! She didn't even know if she was Chinese! It's like saying that all europeans are, let's say, french: not true, very racist and short minded! But, of course, that wasn't the point!!! How on earth would be her fault that we could be infected?? She didn't even know the poor girl! Why could she blame on her that COVID was spread all over the world?
But I didn't tell her anything else because I thought "she's an old lady who doesn't know what she says". And I went home really shocked.

Now I regret I didn't stand up for that girl who did NOTHING to receive those words (that hopefully she didn't hear). And I have promised to myself that I will not let this happen again. Because it's not right! And I don't know what I would feel if I would be in Asian or Black people shoes that receive this kind of comments constantly. This has to stop.

Thank you for your nice post!
Have a great weekend Darling!!


The Exclusive Beauty Diary said...

These are such a powerful and true words. This year is year of change.

New Post -

Heather Noire said...

Very inspiring post. I think once there is a vaccine and it is safe to give to the public. It will be a lot more of a protection against the virus. Because it is so dangerous, and there is no real protection. I think that is what makes things scarier. I hope your having an amazing weekend. :)

Shireen L. Platt said...

Honestly, 2020 is the year when the world resets itself. I am so sorry that you were at the receiving end of some disapproving and dirty looks, absolutely uncalled for. I'm facing some discrimination at work the past week and came back home in tears on Wednesday. I don't know how some people can treat others like they are beneath them.

R.ChamberofBeauty said...

Have a happy Monday, my dear Rowena:)
Kisses <3

R's Rue said...

I'm sorry. You are beautiful and blessed. Much love.

Jackie Harrison said...

I feel these reaction of how people that wanted change was in a pressure cooker, when they kill George Floyd it exploded. Me myself being brought up in a melting state NYC my family implement in me the beauty of every culture with food and history of their background. My mom was a big believer on that, she as well as myself and siblings epicurious to learn about other culture and why is so important to respect it. This is what I did not see color and embrace everyone with the same respect we all deserve. I guess my Mom had the right direction in teaching us and we thank her now when we see how many racial profile people are out there.