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Dear John | Four Mantras for 2021

Dear 2020,

I hate your stinking guts. You make me vomit. You’re scum between my toes!”

Little Rascals quote notwithstanding, for many, including me, you my dear 2020, have caused nothing but mayhem—like, the Allstate commercials with random acts of wanton ridiculousness type of mayhem. I mean, I can confidently say we all felt like Angela Bassett walking away from the fiery pile of burning trash that was you are. (Not that 2021 is turning out to be much better, but I digress.)

We were all done. I was done with you. Yet, in an ironic and poetic twist, hindsight has definitely turned out to be … 2020. Without rehashing the political, economic and social upheavals that continue to press upon us in the new year, I am starting to wonder if you have simply gotten a bad rap. Despite our incessant reprehension, I have begun to wonder if in fact, you are the master closet cleaner, a tactical undertaker or, possibly, the realest and truest housewife of all and queen bone collector. Instead, maybe you were sent to uncover difficult truths, or rather, the truths about ourselves we have known all along but failed to acknowledge.

On a personal note, I am struck by your duality—the losses and the gains. You have demanded the best of me in the worst of times. When my cup was bone dry, you forced me to draw water from stone. You pushed me to retreat to the deepest, darkest and forgotten parts of myself only to find love, forgiveness and self-compassion. Underneath my scars, I found music and art but let’s not get it twisted: You still suck. Yet I find myself, surprisingly, unable to truly hate you.

In the end, I am left with a few key mantras:

  1. Love hard.

  2. Every breath is a gift.

  3. Rest is essential.

  4. F*ck racism and white supremacy.

On that note, I would just like to say, don’t let the door hit ya where the good Lord split ya! Black Lives Matter!

Peace, Haile


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