Written By Aspen, – Official Contributor of The Crowned Series

As it seems, 2021 has rolled into the world without a single hesitation in sight. Basically two weeks in and the chaos that we hoped would be left behind has instead re-upped and metaphorically asked us to hold its beer. Despite the 2020 Remix that 2021 is giving so far, I’ve been looking to find small pieces of joy through my consumption of creative media.

Being the introspective Scorpio that I am, I’ve been thinking alot about how I spent 2020. In hindsight, I feel like I didn’t experience enough — which given the circumstances makes complete sense. But I don’t want that to be the case in 2021 and given that we are still living in a hellscape currently I will have to get creative. So I’m bringing back a modified version of a past resolution. In 2018 I decided that each week I would do something that I never done before, particularly because I was afraid to do it. Some things were very small like standing on something very far from the ground just to shake up my acrophobia or going out in a wig that I impulsively bought at the beauty supply store. Other things were more significant but all led to the same point of trying something new to go out of my comfort zone. This time around I don’t have as much of a need to stray out of my comfort zone but I hope to continue the trend of doing something new and exciting — this time in the comfort of my own home. 

I’ve begun this small personal challenge by watching Bridgerton. I am usually not a fan of period pieces at all so starting it was my biggest challenge. On top of that, I am a very stubborn person who likes what I like when it comes to content that I engage with in my free time so watching just because of the popularity seemed unlikely. But my best friend was absolutely swooning over it for days so I finally decided to indulge just to humor her. As it turns out, I was sold by the second episode and here I am now wishing for the Duke of Hastings to burn for me as he does the female protagonist. And the bookworm that lives in my brain is itching to read the eight book series just to tie me over before the next season. Plus, once some of the hype dies down I hope to share my thoughts on the show’s color-blind casting, which I really enjoyed from a viewing standpoint but question from a plot development standpoint.

The second piece of media that I’ve intentionally checked out was Jazmine Sullivan’s new album Heaux Tales. Now I have not listened to Jazmine Sullivan since the “Lions, Tigers, & Bears” era but Twitter was swarming with commentary so I decided to try it. Well, I did it and I would just like to say that she gave me more than I deserved. The candidness and authenticity that comes through the lyrics gets me excited every time, making every listen just as exciting as the first. The album feels like it was literally written for girls like me — girls in their late 20s and early 30s who are really just trying to figure their stuff out and learn how to put themselves first when it comes to navigating relationships. I’m officially a Jazmine Sullivan stan and very much hoping that the collaboration conversation between her and Issa Rae means a visual interpretation of the album is coming to a screen near me.

Next up, the bookworms of Tik Tok have led me to start reading a steamy romance novel. My newly purchased iPad means that I’ll be moving into this century and giving eBooks a try. But nothing beats the smell and sound of opening a new book so even though I’m giving it my best effort, I might cave on that part and have to check out the curbside offerings of Barnes & Noble. After that, I’ll give Tenet a try. And seeing that I never finished Inception after multiple pieced together attempts, I hope that my appreciation for David Washington will allow me to finish it in its entirety. 

In all honesty, I imagine that little goals like this seem silly in the grand scheme of things. But with so much uncertainty lying ahead I’ve found solace in knowing that I am only capable of acting on things within my own locus of control. Spending so much time at home doesn’t have to be all bad. So with that, I theoretically invite you all into my home by asking for suggestions of things that I should explore this year. Drop your favorite shows, blogs, movies, music, books, or even recipes in the comments!

– Aspen, Official Contributor of The Crowned Series

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