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Part 1 The Valley: 2021 in Review

The world needed a date that didn’t end with 2020, and so did I. The word to describe my feeling going into 2021 was hopeful. As Jesus says “ye of little faith” that would have been the best way to describe my “hopefulness.” I needed something to go my way sooner rather than later because I was running on empty. My soul was the kind of empty that your gas tank is after the needle passes below “E” and you’re literally rolling to the gas pump. Even writing this post almost a year later I can’t fully open up about the events of 2020. Some day you can read about it in my book… so for today we will focus on the beginning of 2021.

The year started with a stressed, jobless, somewhat homeless, and a whole lot anxious Ellie. My much anticipated thesis defense loomed at the beginning of January as did a lot of question marks that followed after for *when* I passed.

Graduating with my master’s degree in January was an accomplishment and one that I will forever be proud of. My research process was long and when the pandemic hit in March 2020 it was the first thing I wanted to give up on. I didn’t walk across a stage or have a formal celebration but it was one of my biggest accomplishments thus far.

I was living with friends in Durham who had a lease end date in May. At any given moment I was working no less than 3 and as many as 4 jobs. I was a teacher assistant at NC State, freelanced for an E-Sports company doing broadcasting, taught cycle classes at the YMCA and worked for the incredible Jocelyn Burks. I basically scraped to pay rent, supply my over-priced gluten-free groceries while reading self-help books and praying a vaccine would come soon.

As I look back on the year, I would happily scratch the first three months but I fully believe you have to go through valleys to enjoy the view on mountain tops. I’d prefer to tell you only the good moments of the year (which are to come). Thanks for being along for the ride and reading to this point.

Hey ye of little faith, hang in there. It gets better. Promise.



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