AFRO News Editor Jessica Dortch poses with her fluffy friend Sadie. (Courtesy Photo)

By Jessica Dortch
AFRO News Editor

It is rare that I share the details of my personal life. Unfortunately, certain experiences have taught me to quietly celebrate my victories and move on. This year, however, I joined the millions of Americans who have been painfully reminded to count their blessings daily. Although completely the opposite of what I expected, this year has been one of personal and professional growth for me, all of which I am thankful for.  

Sure, this time last year I had resolutions to travel more, workout and so on but this year has shown me that what you want isn’t always what you need. 

The weight of all that happened this year caused me to have a rude awakening about the importance of self care. Stress, anxiety and depression were reportedly at an all time high this year and sometimes I just had to unplug to keep my sanity. 

My faith grew this year. I’ve fasted more times than I can remember and constantly prayed for our country and the world, and even in the midst of the pandemic, the Lord gave us hope. 

Professionally, I became a better team member and writer. The editorial team and the AFRO in general faced a few challenges in transitioning to remote work, but we all came together to make sure that we provided our community with the very best news and information. This process has helped to bond our team in a way that helped us all get through the year. As a news editor, I typically write an article here and there, but this year I found myself covering topics that were outside of my comfort zone, but proved to be critical for our readers. I’m also thankful for my recent promotion at the AFRO. It is such a privilege to work with people who truly believe in you. 

The mere fact that I have survived this pandemic long enough to see victories this year is a blessing. I am thankful for all that I’m still standing, and I’m looking forward to another great year in 2021.