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The Concerned Optimist: 2022


A new year brings a wealth of refocusing, determination, and reflection. For some, the past two years, the past seven years, and well beyond have been difficult. I share some thoughts about 2022 for you to consider.  

Midterm Elections

I am concerned about the outcome of the national midterm elections. Historically, the midterm elections have a low voter turnout. A shift was in the 2018 midterm elections with a record number of Black, brown, trans, and/or female candidates became elected officials. There are a plethora of local, state, and national offices that are electing new officials. The gubernatorial elections are happening in 2022, including Texas, Georgia, and Florida, all which desperately need new leadership. Please consider phone banking (read about Nina’s experience), donating to the campaigns if you’re able to, amplifying candidates in conversation and/or your social media accounts, and please, please vote. It is more consequential than ever if you do not exercise your right to vote. We need leaders who are progressive, intersectional, compassionate, and advocate. Organizations like Run for Something, Sister District, Higher Heights, Vote Save America, Victory Fund, and Black Voters Matter are a few resources to keep you informed on the elections.

Rest

2022 is going to be another year of hardships, despair, and heartbreak. What will always be important is how we respond to the ever roaring changes. Rest as you elevate your greatness. Be used to the unknown: We do not know what 2022 will bring. Creating your spaces is pivotal to thrive because it only opens up people or situations to deplete you. Rest your mind. You will care for anything unknown that will arrive.

Education

We are living in a world that is holding people accountable for their abhorrent actions. In those spaces, we must go beyond calling someone or labeling the situation “problematic” or “toxic,” which can be words that label, but do not end, the problem. Why is it problematic? What makes this toxic? There are people who are built to not care. It is still your responsibility to educate beyond the words. 

I wish you and your loved ones great health, abundant blessings, and wonderful books that will lead you beyond this year. 

Ashley Paul is a hopeless wanderer, baker, runner, and photographer. She is passionate about supporting high school juniors and seniors to write compelling stories for their post-secondary careers. Her favorite genres are young adult, literary fiction, and memoir.

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