2019 has been a weird year for me. It wasn't the best, it wasn't the worst either. But I know in my heart that it could have been so much better. This year was so challenging. It made me believe that I could somehow get my life together and then, everything was taken away from me. The struggles were real and they forced me to learn a lot about who I am.
Looking back, I had more sad days than happy ones but this is not what I want to remember. For the good days actually were great this year. I feel like I have accomplished cool things in 2019 so let us stay positive and speak about our blessings.
1. I launched "That Mood Swing"
My website, my beloved website was launched earlier this year, on May 1st. I had already created its social media pages the year before, but I couldn't wait any longer to publish my articles online. I had a vision and content to back it up so I took the big leap. I created That Mood Swing in order to share my stories, my testimonies and help others going through what i went or amgoing through. I was waiting for the right time to do it but I figured that the right time would never come, as I always found excuses not to publish my blog. So I did it, I took a leap of faith and decided it was time for me to move forward and to do what I was supposed to do : encourage, inspire and empower others.
I was happily surprised by the feedback I have received from people, especially from my former classmates. They have been there to share the articles, the instagram posts and to show me love overall. They have been a huge support for me, to keep me going.
It was funny for me to see that these were not the people I used to be the closest to, who were the first ones to show up when That Mood Swing came up. God bless my girls Lorène, Nathalie & Vicky. Thank you for the outburst of love. I also am thankful for my Twitter girls Kacy & Marian, for always sharing my content.
I am just getting started so bear with me ladies. And gentlemen, get on board, don't miss out on that vibe.
2. I became a basketball writer
If you personally know me or follow me on social media, you are aware of my love for sports, notably basketball. I am a sports person. I don't practice much as for now - even though I take dance classes here and there - but I really enjoy watching, commenting and debating about the games.
I kind of was boycotting Twitter at that time - it's important to disconnect from social media sometimes - and I saw this offer. A brand new French media was looking for writers for its website, focusing on the NBA culture and lifestyle. I applied, doubting myself but this was one of my dreams. I mean, writing is my thing and writing about a thing that I like and know a lot about made total sense. By the grace of God, I ended up joined the Dunkiin team with a couple of other writers.
The adventure started in June and it has been a fun ride thus far. About 10 articles of mine have been published and the readers seem to have appreciated them. I am the NBA culture specialist by the way. I write about all things NBA such as book reviews, documentaries recaps, NBA side hustles... I am versatile and even happened to help with public relations and overall communication. I represent the media to the basketball-related events in Paris. This sounds a lot but honestly, I am blessed and can’t complain.
3. I interviewed a TV personality
As a writer for Dunkiin, the article that I am the most proud of is the interview that I got to do with Rémi Reverchon, a French NBA Journalist. He actually works for beIN Sports, the official and unique broadcaster of the NBA in France.
We battled to get this interview and I got the chance to go to the channel's headquarters this past November. This was a long but fun interview, where we talked about sneakers, jerseys and culture. Honestly, this is an experience I would like to reiterate because the readers liked it so much.
Remi was super cool and chill and I really felt like a journalist, which is kind of a dream. I wasn't expecting to do the interview at first, as we have writers who are specialized in this category. It actually was a reward for my involvement in the process of getting this interview. I wrote the mails, wrote the questions, just thinking about assisting others. My team agreed to let me do the interview due to all the work I had done. A heart of service. The Lord loves and rewards that obviously.
4. I travelled to Latinoamérica
This year I got the chance to travel to two amazing countries located in the Caribbean. First, I went to the Dominican Republic. I didn't want to go there in the beginning for I wasn't sure there was anything to do there. I ended up going on a girls trip on the island and it was incredible. Just the country itself is beautiful but the people… I don't think I have met people who were that kind ever in my life. Dominicans are sweethearts. Just seeing their smiles and their kindness puts you in a good mood. I have honestly spent a lovely time there as I danced my way to Saona Island on a boat, got a glimpse of the deep country by visiting Bayahibe, I went horse-riding, jumped in a speed boat… I should write a full article about it. I also found love there too by the way, which definitely made the trip unforgettable.
If you get the chance to do so, visit the Dominican Republic, a country that actually has the Bible and a verse on its flag, which obviously is the coolest thing ever.
Then later this year, I went to Cuba. I know. The country is a little controversial due to History. However, Cuba is so beautiful to visit. I really had fun there and met great people, ate good food, visited incredible places in five different cities (Varadero, La Habana, Santa Clara, Trinidad, Cienfuegos). Honestly, this was a wonderful trip. I wished I stayed there longer. Plus, if you were raised with the African culture just like me, you won't be lost at all there, since the African heritage is huge in the Caribbean countries.
So yeah, thank you Lord for allowing me to travel, have fun and come back safe and sound.
5. I became fluent in Spanish
As a result from those trips and from me using Spanish at work sometimes, my knowledge of the language has dramatically improved. This was my goal. I told myself that by the end of the year, I should be bilingual in Spanish - or more like polyglot since I can speak 3 other languages. Therefore, I started to watch more shows and to listen to music in that language. I also made sure to write and speak Spanish all the time.
Besides, I had a Dominican boyfriend so it pushed me to master his language. In this way, I got to learn dominican slang. I love it. I found out that every Spanish-speaking country has its own way of talking and I love those from the Caribbean (dominican, portorican and cuban). I kind of learned all of their slang words, just because I love how they sound and because I love to learn. It was pretty useful when I travelled and could engage with people in their own slang. I got inspired by this quote from Nelson Mandela : "If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart."
2019 has been a year full of ups and downs, full of struggles, mentally and spiritually but at the end of the day or shall I say, at the end of the year, I can look back and say: I got a lot of wins in 2019.
"Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done." - 1 Chronicles 16:8