“She been quarantined, now lil shawty thick”—2 Chainz
I hate January. Nothing happens.
It’s that awkward time of year when you are coming off that holiday high and suddenly hit with the sobering reality that the fun is over. After weeks of festivities, traveling, family gatherings, and more food than you can possibly stomach, it’s time to head back to the monotony and routine of life.
And to make matters even worse, there is this overwhelming pressure to decide on new year resolutions, vow for change in every aspect of your life, and start anew. Bleh.
I’ve really been struggling to settle on personal and professional goals for 2021, as everything seems so futile in the midst of a pandemic. But as [knowledgable and well-trained] speech-language pathologists, we all know you cannot create appropriate goals without an evaluation. So I would only assume the same principle applies for new year resolutions. You can’t create achievable resolutions if you don’t take the time to evaluate and reflect on the previous year.
What went well?
What would you have done differently?
What goals did you meet?
What goals need to be carried over into the following year?
In an effort to hone my 2021 goals, I’m reflecting on all that M.E.the SLP has accomplished in the last 365 days. And all I have to say after looking at this list is that quarantine was good to me!
Featured on not one but TWO Speech Uncensored podcast episodes. In my first episode, I discussed how we can change the face of our field through mentorship of pre-professionals and early career professionals. Later in the year, I returned to Speech Uncensored with a great friend, Stephanie O’Silas, founding director of Champion Rehabilitation and Support Services PLLC in Dallas, TX, for a special two-part episode candidly discussing the racial barriers in the field of SLP and steps to eradicate those barriers. You can listen to both of these Speech Uncensored episodes on all podcast streaming platforms.
Presented in conjunction with SIG 14:Cultural and Linguistic Diversity on recognizing signs of potential misdiagnosis in adult healthcare settings due to cultural differences. It was one of the largest attended web chats in SIG history and led to some amazing and thought-provoking discussion. If you missed it, you can catch it HERE.
Accepted into ASHA’s Healthcare Leadership Development Program (LDP) 2020 cohort. Unfortunately, the kickoff at ASHA’s headquarters was postponed until 2021 due to COVID, but I’m claiming it as a 2020 win!
Recipient of ASHA’s Award for Continuing Education (ACE), which recognizes professionals who have demonstrated an exceptional commitment to learning through the completion of continuing education credits (CEUs).
Awarded ASHA’s Distinguished Early Career Professional (ECP) Certificate for my impact on the field of speech-language pathology in the areas of leadership, volunteering, and advocacy at the local, state, and national level.
Appointed to the Purdue College of Health and Human Science Alumni Board as the Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences representative. I look forward to representing the future of our field and networking with SLPs-to-be. Boiler up!
Named as an influential blogger in the field of speech-language pathology in ASHA Leader’s “Standing up and Speaking Out for Racial Justice” article written by my Spelman sister, Dr. Belinda Daughrity.
Partnered with DotCom Therapy to write a three-part blog series to advocate for diversity in the field of speech-language pathology and highlight Dot Com Therapy’s platform for allyship and advocacy. You can read all three parts HERE.
Began my journey in academia as a clinical educator. As COVID derailed clinical opportunities and graduation plans for SLP students across the country, I stepped into the novel role of virtual clinical educator. It kicked me out of my comfort zone and I found it to be extremely rewarding. I see more teaching in my future for 2021.
Left a toxic and stagnant work environment…AND found a new job I absolutely love. I candidly shared my journey about finding the courage to abandon things that were no longer serving me. I went out with a bang in my last blog post of 2020, “Thank you, Next”, and I gladly closed that chapter of my life.
Quarantine was (and STILL is) an uncomfortable time for the world, but I must admit that discomfort fostered a lot of growth for me. I am reminded of one of my favorite quotes, “Mountaintop are for views and inspiration, but fruit is grown in the valleys.”
Januarys are definitely what I would consider to be a valley. But it’s in those valleys that you are forced to reflect on your past, focus on your intentions for the future, and root yourself firmly in the face of the new year. 2021, I'm coming for ya!
I'd love to hear about something you accomplished in 2020 and what goals you are planning to crush in 2021!