Winter Recap

by Yeama Bangura 

If you’re reading this, it means you’ve made it to another spring.

Take a moment to count your blessings.

This December, January, and February were particularly treacherous for me and, arguably, the world at large.

I’ve learned several lessons this past season that I believe could be valuable for others (hopefully yourself included).

I’m an avid journalkeeper, so I’ll be pulling from entries, breaking down my findings by month. Join me and let’s recap, shall we?


As my birth month, December will always be a hard hitter for me. For any astrology subscribers,

I’m a double Sagittarius with a Leo moon, as you’ll soon be able to tell. Every holiday season,

though, I am confronted with the demand for self-introspection. It's a laborious task given the

cheerful circumstances, but one I undergo nonetheless. That leads us to Lesson One: Do It

Scared. Don’t shy away from hard tasks or difficult conversations because you are afraid. Fear

holds us back from doing so many things that would increase our quality of life.

So yes, 

1. Do it scared, mortified if you have to. But do it.

And yes, the outcome

may be temporarily uncomfortable or upsetting, but in the grand scheme, you will be so grateful

you lived your truth regardless of the circumstances. On the topic of being grateful, here's

Lesson Two:

2. Drink in Moderation and Eat Bountifully.

To be transparent, the spirits in alcohol truly do possess me every time a drop enters my system. My friends, know your limits. This has been a tough one for me to adjust to, but a real reality check coming off of my

university's campus. And as a reminder-- the goal is not to black out. In turn, eating a good meal

will never steer you wrong. In fact, proper nourishment is not hyped up enough. A body is

nothing without fuel. Revel in each meal you have, as you are privileged enough to have it. Just

acknowledge that fact and make every meal count for something special. And don’t black out to


3. Have the Conversation!

I am begging you to have the conversations you need to. No more maintaining a delicate balance or teetering on a fine line. Let your feelings be known! Get clarity! Get confrontational! Don’t go hitting anyone, but seriously, everyone deserves clear and transparent communication. It's a standard we should personally hold

ourselves to. Lack of communication will always lead to confusion; however, that isn’t always

accidental. People benefit from that confusion, my dears, so it must be nipped in the bud. Other

people may just need a reality check, so don’t hate to be the bearer of bad news. The world will

heed this warning: You will take no more!



If you’re anything like me, you can’t let a holiday pass you by without some sort of celebration.

So naturally, on the first of the month, I found myself at a New Year party. In a house full of

people I’ve known for years from university or at least have met in passing, I felt everyone was a

total stranger. To me, people's behavior seemed spooky. Maybe an odd usage of the word, but in

the sense that it was unfamiliar, odd, and prompted concern. Let's get into it for January with

Lesson Four:

4. You Don’t Need to Go Out Every Time.

There is a lot of potential for validation in attending social events. You can post about it; you’re curating an image for yourself online and in reality, and hey-- it’s good to get out! But are you having fun? And is it possible you are taking away from another area of your life by frequently having nights out? Some people aren’t ready for that conversation yet, so I will just leave you with that food for thought. On a similar

note, here’s Lesson Five:

5.  Are They Interesting or Are You Bored?

This lesson may be posed as a question, but it's almost rhetorical when you have to even ask yourself. There is also the distinction between an interesting person and someone who makes your life more interesting

because they give you a lot to talk about. My friend stopped me mid-gossip session when she

asked me if I actually found my crush interesting. Would I be excited to hear his opinions on

topics? Does he mentally stimulate me? And hell, do I even find him funny? I won’t reveal the

answer to the question, but what I can say is that he and I are no longer in contact. Which leads

us to Lesson Six:

6. Cut Them Off with the Sharpest Knife You Own.

There are people in our lives who cross the line, making decisions or saying things they can’t come back from. That line is dictated by you. Set boundaries and be serious about them. Please don’t confuse this with

simple disagreements. This applies to blatant forms of disrespect. My advice ends there, but I’ll

let you in on what I do in practice: Say something so egregious that there's no chance that

person would ever want to come back into my life. The bottom line is that when you say you’re

done, be done.



In this month, I crawled out of the earth like Mr. Groundhog himself. The light finally appeared

at the end of my silly little tunnel. So many twists and turns occurred in every aspect of my life

in the previous months, and still, the light prevailed. So, Lesson Seven:

7. Find Faith.

One day I came across Galatians 6:7-8, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked; for whatsoever a man soweth,

that he shall also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall reap the flesh of corruption," and at a

crucial time of needing strength (for currently undisclosed reasons), I found myself reading the

Bible daily. This isn’t taking the turn you think it is, I promise. While I’m not necessarily ready

3 to return to my childhood church, perhaps I am ready for some moral guidance. That looks

different for everyone, and that's completely okay. What I’m saying is this: find something to be

strong for, put your faith in it, and begin to trust again. Even if it's just in yourself.

8. Being Single isn’t the End of the World.

You will be far better off entering the dating scene with a strong sense of self. Society feeds us romantic delusions constantly, so naturally we feel as though we are missing out. It’s me here to promise you’re not. As a society, we’re not dying at 50 anymore, so you do not have to find a life partner in your 20s, especially in your early 20s. We have the room to have fun and experiment, and I suggest you do. For my sanity, I’ve

been reminding myself of this daily. Sitting with myself has taught me, lastly, Lesson Nine:

9. Boredom is a Privilege.

As my schedule steadily gets busier, I become more grateful for each chance I get to return to myself. I wouldn’t trade the current opportunities in my life for the world, but oh, how I miss reading, napping, and doomscrolling. It’s a luxury to learn yourself, even in this mundane way. Boredom can expose your values in a funny way. Do you try to quell your boredom with social interaction or social media, or do you lean into solitary activities? Do you tune in by learning or tune out by fully relaxing? Are you consuming media or avoiding it at

all costs? There are no right or wrong answers, no optimal combination that’ll make everyone

like you. Learn yourself and live authentically with your knowledge.

Okay, so maybe that wasn’t the last lesson. Just one more! I feel this comes closer to a

realization, but it is nonetheless an important one to share. Lesson Ten:

10. Time Will Pass All the Same.

Whether you do or don’t take action to better yourself won’t affect the world around you.

There’s no way to turn the clock back, either. This spring, I will actively take every opportunity

to better myself because, well, there’s no better time than now. It’s a constant and ongoing

effort, one that has to be consciously made daily. Honestly, my decisions waver, so my overall

success rate right now—I can’t say. But I invite you to join me in trying.