my year of (no) rest and relaxation

Hey. It’s been a while. Funny, right? I jumped out the gate on this blog, bored out my mind during quarantine, then got busy, and gave up. That’s a bummer. I haven’t posted on youtube, nor have I written a post in almost a year (it’s much more than that on how long I’ve gone without a blog post, but not too much on me now.) I’ve barely been reading. Hence, my decision that this was my year of rest and relaxation (i love you and your titles, ottessa moshfegh) or lack thereof. I’ve been able to chill out for some parts of this year, while some parts of this year scrambled my brain like I’ve never felt before.

I easily consider 2022 one of the best years of my life. That’s a hefty thing for me to say, because thankfully, I’ve had a lot of great years in my 20 on Earth. My friend Grace introduced me to the concept of giving “a rose, a bud, and a thorn” of situations, whether that be of an event, a day, or your year. I made my family do this with me on Christmas day, because who am I if I’m not making the dinner table a think piece.

My Roses of 2022

me and my dads pros/lbs. squaaaaad

One rose of the year was membership in my beloved Sorority, Delta Sigma Theta. I’m not sure if I can explain the level of love and trust that has bloomed in me since I met my 44 sisters. Not only did I gain an entire network of Sorors, specifically in Eta Kappa (Heyyyy HK <3,) but I was gifted 44 people who love me and trust me and push me to be the very best version of myself, every day.

been staring at this jacket since i was little, dream come true

I’m already a sister by blood, and believe me, I milk baby sister privileges to the fullest extent. But in this year, I have learned what it truly means to be there for someone, and have them be there for you. It’s not to say that didn’t exist before I put that pretty pin across my heart, but I feel as though I’m challenged now to remain engaged, and remain intentional with being present. Claire, who hates, HATES communicating and being on the phone, now texts and calls people. Just to say hi, and chit-chat about nothing. (like seriously It’s really crazy tbh i’ll never get over this. gosh i hate being on the phone.)

So yes! To my sisters, you make me a better me! But you knew that, didn’t you. White House Down loves you very very much.

Another rose of the year would have to be Jeopardy, of course. Hey guys, did you know I was on a game show?

I made a lifelong dream come true. It’s really still surreal to me, honestly. I’ve watched the show for as long as I can remember, joked with my dad since then too. I joked that I’d be on the stage, doing my best to make Alex Trebek laugh during my fun fact. (I really, really love Alex. I miss him a lot, it feels like I really knew him. Parasocial relationships and such.)

There’s a group of contestants I still talk with relatively frequently, and it’s quite funny to me to think of our nexus. We’re all a little too trivia savvy for our own good, and had no shame in showing that on TV. Silly stuff, when you really get down to it, but those are the connections I value deeply. I’m forever grateful I took that test on a whim, because it gave me one of the proudest moments of my life.

Not to mention, the love I got from the Spelman community. It’s no surprise Spelman Alumna go hard for Spelmanites, and that Spelmanites go hard for each other, but wow. People I have never met before, or people who knew my mom and dad, or literally just anyone from all over, rooting for me and sending me positive messages and support. It makes me tear up, knowing that I was being uplifted by Black women, and that my appearance in the tournament may uplift the next generation of Black women. They see me in my Spelman sweatshirt on the TV next to big name PWI schools, proof that it can happen. That we can hang with the big dogs, because we are the aforementioned big dogs. And they can be the ones that make it happen. I love that a lot, and I am so excited about the future. Not only my own, but the future of Black girls everywhere.

Not to mention I was on the news in atlanta AND oakland like whaaaaaat my favorite news anchor said my name AHHHH i love you ama daetz !!!!!!!!!!!!

My Thorns of 2022

Boo, this category is inherently a downer.

My largest thorn, is that my aunt died.

Suzan Jackson was so incredible to me. A woman who showed the world her strength, her tenacity, courage, kindness, and humor. There’s truly no one that will ever be like her.

Aunt Suzan lived in Louisiana for most of my life, and whenever she would visit, I would be front and center wherever she was. Because I loved to hear her stories, and watch her interact with my dad and their other sisters. You were going to laugh if you were around Aunt Suzan, that’s a guarantee. You just might also be the butt of her joke.

When she passed, I understood the meaning of an Andrew Garfield quote. It reads,

“This is all the unexpressed love, the grief that will remain with us until we pass because we never get enough time with each other, no matter if someone lives till 60, 15, or 99. So I hope this grief stays with me because it’s all the unexpressed love that I didn’t get to tell her.”

I didn’t get enough time with her, nor did I get enough time with any loved one I’ve lost. But it’s the memories that keep me going, the knowledge that I’ve got angels. I gained a beautiful angel this year.

Another thorn is that, in a way, I feel like I lost a sense of direction. I’m a person that thrives off of stress, in some weird sick way, and the closer a deadline is, the better my work ethic is. Yeah, this is just procrastination in its finest form, but it was really taking a toll on me throughout this fall semester. I stopped doing things that I enjoy or found comfort in, like journaling, reading, and youtube, and rather, had horrible time management, putting my free time into things that were fulfulling, and weren’t even worthwhile.

I would end this semester getting a good grade in all my classes, which is great, but the journey getting there was less than ideal. Yes, every minute of the day doesn’t need to be monetized and constructive, but shoot, sleeping until 3? Every day? I’m dissatisfied with myself. Nothing has been written in my journal in almost a year, and the reading habits are abysmal. This is a thorn for me, because during quarantine especially, reading and reflecting through my writing is what kept me grounded, and probably sane. To know that I have a lack of written reflection of this year, with such highlights like being on national television, is really unfortunate to me, and makes me really sad. I want to change that, so I am going to.

My Buds for 2023

As I’ve said previously in posts, I don’t like new years resolutions. I don’t even really celebrate new years, it’s not fun to me for personal reasons. As for resolutions, I’m like, why don’t you just change your behavior now, don’t wait for the clock to reset! But I kinda get it this year. Writing 1/1/23 in my journal, the first of a new regimen, might feel superb for me. Starting a new calendar with the habits and routines I’m prouder of, maybe cleaning my room or something too. Maybe my resolution is just, be better than you were before.

I’m studying abroad in Spain for a little while, yay! Going to be a senior in college, yay! That’s kinda it for right now. Maybe I’m drawing a brain fart, but I think that my overall excitement is coming from the fact that I don’t really know. Pretty open canvas, a blank slate. My only job is to be a better me than I have been, and keep striving for greatness in and out of the classroom. Make some good memories, be good to others, learn something I didn’t know before. period

I hope everyone has a great 2023. No year is going to be perfect, as seen by the highs and lows I mentioned here. But I like reflecting on both the highs and lows, because I know that I grew from each of them. Each low reminded me what I’m grateful for, and the value that is apparent in a loss, and each high reminds me that the sky is truly never even the limit. Surprise yourself with everything you do, impress yourself with outcomes. I hope that I never stop growing, and that I am always learning something new. And I hope that more roses bloom.

Published by Claire Jackson

20 year old college student who likes to read and overthinks the smallest aspects in any social setting

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