Reflections on 2017

This time last year I fretted what a Trump presidency would bring for 2017. It was worse than my cynical mind could imagine. More pressing was my mother’s cancer diagnosis. She had surgery a few days before Christmas 2016. Her health and recovery were paramount. In January 2017, she received a good prognosis at her post-op appointment. 

After ten years and no real vacation, I retreated to Italy in the Spring for a respite. I was focused on my mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being. I only published one article during my two months of soul searching rejuvenation. I needed to heal and find purpose for the next phase of my personal journey. Little did I know what fate had in store for me.

I returned to the States after Easter with an appreciation for la dolce vita and a new focus. 2017 was my year of no and being okay with my decision to have “me” time. An unexpected interview with the incomparable André Leon Talley gave me broader exposure and opened doors. I experienced wonderful highs only to come crashing to earth at the death of my eldest nephew. Grief and death came for a repeat visit and it nearly broke me. People call me strong. I am not strong. Life does not give me the option of giving up. I wish I knew how to be a damsel in distress because being a strong black woman is a heavy burden to bear in America. Nonetheless, one foot in front of the other. One day at a time. Grateful for family and friends being pillars of support making sure that grief did not sink me to the abyss of desolation.

I attended my first film festival, the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) and met accomplished screenwriters, producers, and directors. I recently interviewed Cameron Silver, fashion director of H Halston and H by Halston. When I asked Cameron about Halston’s brand success and longevity, he replied: “A reverence for the past and relevance for the future.”

I have no resolutions or lofty goals for 2018, just a desire to continue my personal legend and journey with “a reverence for the past and relevance for the future.” One day at a time, reminding myself to enjoy the moment and small victories. We may not always understand why the journey takes us down certain paths, but in the middle of the uncertainty find what centers you and hold fast to that. Goodbye 2017.

Ronda Lee
Founder, Editor-in-Chief
Ronda is an attorney, writer, and entrepreneur. She is a contributing writer for the Huffington Post. Originally from Chicago, she has lived in Los Angeles and New York. She loves to travel and is passionate about education equity, especially for first generation college students.