2021 Reflections – Part 1

2021 had its fair share of surprises.

Here in London, we came out of lockdown.

What would that mean for me?

I had no idea…there was a lot of uncertainty too.

As I close out 2021, I realise it’s been almost 5 years since I ended my marriage and stepped out of my comfort zone and decided to get to know myself better. Away from the scripts imposed on me by family, culture, religion AND myself…Yes. I have to won what happened to me prior to 2017 too…Anyways, let me reign in my ADHD and stay on topic…

2021…I started the year in a really anxious place.

I’d just had Covid and was already experiencing symptoms of long covid back then. And I started off 2021 reflecting hard on 2020 too, sadly I never really documented my thoughts on here…not explicitly at least. 2020 had been an instructive time.

I won’t go into the loss and grief I experienced in 2020…but I got to spend time away from the poetry scene that I’d been a part of 2017-2019. I had no choice. We were “locked down”.

I attended writing workshops, wrote and shared my work. It was cool.

Come 2021, I had no idea how to react as the world re-opened.

I kept to myself for the first 6 months. Then I got a call from Abdullah, aka SoftSpoken who runs a poetry night called BYOB (Bring Your Own Bars).

“Haroon, we’re firing our DJ. We need someone new and your name came up.”

I actually kind of said no initially. I had imposter syndrome.

I was convinced by my friend Dan to say yes! Dan even invited me around to his home to teach me to DJ to reduce my anxiety around saying yes to Abdullah at BYOB and to get ready for my first gig!

June 2021, I DJ’d and it was incredible!

DJing…It’s been beautiful…It’s made my heart sing, I’ve met some beautiful people…I’m very socially awkward..But I can connect with people over music. I get to make people with my ability to curate music. The whole thing is just infused with so much love.

And after 6 months of being BYOB’s DJ I have been asked to join the team at Pen-Ting.

Pen-Ting is a poetry night I first started going to several years ago. It’s always felt like home. To be asked to join their team as their DJ is an honour.

I’ve been a fan of Repeat Beat Poet and Omari aka SKY GOD. To become collaborators and colleagues with people you’re a fan of…it’s a beautiful thing…

It’s insanely late and I can’t hold my pen much longer. This is just some musings and reflections from 2021…part 1. I’ll put the rest of my thoughts into a part 2 and share that in a couple of days.

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