3 Things Half of 2020 Has Taught Me

3 Things Half of 2020 Has Taught Me
I can be calm in the midst of chaos
What sometimes seems impossible can actually bloom
Hope is worth holding on to

2020 has been one unforgettable year, don’t you think?

I already see December around the corner. 2021 is that you? Many things have gone by really quickly. But of course, with different seasons, come many new lessons. Today I’ll share three.

  1. I can be calm in the midst of chaos

When the pandemic hit the whole world, there was an overwhelming surge of panic across many nations. I live in Kenya, East Africa. It’s a beautiful country with a vast array of cultures and significant innovations. However, our authenticity did not keep us from panic, just like any other country. I experienced the stages of grief.

I felt like I had lost something significant; my freedom. Staying home was fun at first, then it became increasingly frustrating. I needed an outlet. So I worked out, but that didn’t work out-pun intended. I wrote I painted, and I cried, I drove to places I’ve never been to before. Eventually, the new normal seemed reasonable. The anxiety and fear were no longer sipping at my strength. I decided to be more intentional about my daily activities, the time I woke up, when I ate, talking to friends frequently, listening to good music, praying, and without knowing it, I was in a state of calm and not overly freaking out. I took a day at a time, and I’m sure in the midst of chaos, you can also find your calm.

2. What sometimes seems impossible can actually bloom

This is still a work in progress. I am learning that anyone who is living a purposeful life right now, began somewhere. I am not crazy to think that I can live a life that is fulfilling and brings me joy. That doesn’t mean it will be devoid of pain, but that same pain will be part of my growing journey. I will be an entrepreneur one day (Yup it may not seem crazy to you, but it is to me) I am currently working on this. What’s funny is that fear is not holding me back from the taking steps I need to make for that purpose come true.

How many times have you told yourself that you wanted to start something and didn’t start it? The ideas may be there, but the practical bit may seem to take too much work, right?. I am here to encourage you, especially on the practical bit. Don’t be afraid to start; otherwise, you’ll never know what could have been if you didn’t try. Are you scared of failure? What if it told you that failure is a part of the process, would you believe me?

You are capable of doing great things in this life that serve a higher purpose. Why not start today? …Yes, like right now, this very moment. Go…wait, you’ll probably have to finish reading first.

Stop talking about what you are going to do someday and just get started . Make up an eighth day of the week if you need to and call it “start-day.”

Bob Goff

3. Hope is worth holding on to.

Now, this is what keeps me going even when days seem dark and empty. God has been my number one hope. Having a safe space to express yourself and feel loved at the same time is a glorious thing. So be hopeful and take those necessary steps no matter how small they may be. One day when you look back, you’ll understand why you held on to hope. You’ll be just fine.

Debbie Onzere

McKenna & Hailey Take A Day

My days typically start between 8:30-9:30 (admittedly, depending on how tired I am) and I prepare for classes by making a quick bagel to go and dressing in something modest and comfortable for my classes. I like to keep my beauty routine relatively simple, typically consisting of applying some tinted moisturizer, mascara, and touching up my brows. My moisturizer is from Origins, my mascara is Roller Lash from Benefit, and I combine Anastasia Beverly Hills Dip Brow and Benefit’s Gimme Brow.

A typical day in my life starts around 7:30. I force myself to get out of my incredibly comfortable bed and get ready for the day. I eat some breakfast, usually Greek yogurt, and drink some coffee while I do my morning devotional and read The Skimm. Then I wash my face and get dressed for the day.

My classes begin with my Statistics for Behavioral Science class, which lasts for an hour and fifteen minutes and then to my Ethics in Media Studies class which is a quick hustle across campus to make it in time for another hour and fifteen-minute lecture. My Ethics in Media Studies class is one of my favorites, as it presents various Ethical Dilemma in journalism, advertising, and broadcasting and we have open forum discussions on various topics with our very diverse class, and it makes for a very thought-provoking discussion.

My first class of the day is for my Honors upper-level classes—the World in the News. It’s a discussion-based class where we discuss different articles we found from around the world. Each week is a different theme; this week, the item is women. Then I have an hour and a half break before my class. I stay on campus and eat lunch that I packed, or I go to a restaurant near campus. I might work on homework, or I might watch The Bachelor.

After I get back to my garage and car, I stopped by HyVee to pick up a few items to hold me over through the weekend. Today I decided to make some steak and rice, with some extra to have for lunch tomorrow. After I make myself a quick meal, I sit down and begin my homework and make a list of what I need to get done through the night.

My biggest lull of the night is where I sit and finish and sort through multiple readings and videos for my Introduction to Art Theory and Criticism and push through essays while watching TV. This class I take to gain credit towards my Fashion Merchandising Minor, and I’ve very much enjoyed discovering new artists I’ve never heard of before.

Then at 12:30 I have a class for my writing minor called Digital Textual Problems, where we consider how we can use computational tools to understand more about literature. It’s one of those classes that you have no idea what you’re signing up for, but it’s been a very thought-provoking class.

Right after my writing class, I have Research, which is part of my Strategic Communication major. It’s learning all about how to research my major. The exact opposite of the kind of Strat Comm I want to do—I want to be creative—but we’re working on a semester-long oral history project, which is writing-based research, so I can’t complain.

Right after Research, I head to my car and drive to work. I work as a teacher and office manager at a local dance studio. Tuesdays, I’m at the desk, so I help answer calls and emails, as well as process payments and answer any questions parents have. This time of year, I’m focused on helping my boss get ready for competitions and our spring recital.


After some tedious hours, I decided to stretch out and do a little yoga to combat the stiffness of sitting in front of my laptop for too long. This is what I try to do (try being the key word here) if I’m feeling unmotivated to go to the gym. I usually look up a 15-30 minute video on YouTube as a Yoga Membership in Lincoln isn’t really in my budget. It relaxes me and prepares me to get ready for bed and take on the next day.

I stick around the studio for an hour and eat dinner, which is either a wrap from Pak-A-Pocket, our neighbors next door, or I heat a frozen meal from Trader Joe’s. Then I help people sign in for our adult dance classes that we offer every Tuesday. I usually join the class for a good (free) workout, and then help my boss close up the studio. I’m out by 9:00.

Then I head home to work on any homework I have due for Thursday. Since I have three classes worth of homework, it can be a lot, and sometimes I push it back until Wednesday. Sometimes I have things to do for my sorority or a non-profit I’m involved in, but I try to be in bed between 10:00 and 11:00. I’ll watch an episode of Brooklyn 99 and then read a little bit—right now it’s Daring Greatly—before I head happily to bed. Then I get up the next day and do it again!

McKenna and Hailey have known each other since the flood and decided to share a glimpse of what a day in their lives looks like. One half in Nebraska, the other in Texas, reconnection comes in the most beautiful of ways.

This collaboration honors that friendship.

I am available for future collaborations in the areas of photography, content writing, and advertising/branding. Follow me on IG: mckennaarthur and Twitter: @mckennaarthur




ART X Lagos is West Africa’s premier international art fair, designed to showcase the best and most innovative contemporary art from the African continent and its Diaspora.

Launched in 2016, it has since become a cornerstone of the Lagos art calendar, drawing local patrons and a host of international collectors, curators, and critics annually. Since its debut, ART X Lagos has welcomed over 15,000 visitors to see the works of Africa’s leading established and emerging artists, including representatives of institutions such as the Tate Modern, Zeitz MOCAA, the National Museum of African Art at the Smithsonian, the Art Institute of Chicago and Centre Pompidou. These attendees and the satellite exhibitions that have emerged in response to the fair are undoubtedly indicators of Lagos’ position as a fast-emerging and exciting cultural hub.

In 2018, the fair relaunched the ART X Prize with Access, a prize created to support emerging talent and to contribute to the burgeoning contemporary art sector in Nigeria. The award provides funding and mentoring support for compelling projects by developing artists with the potential to propel them beyond the threshold of the local art sector and onto the international stage.

The 3rd annual ART x Lagos exhibit at The Civic Center, Victoria Island, Lagos took place between November 2-4, 2018


The event started with the usual effervescence, preparations for the Art x Live was in session, (which I did not attend). The venue took place at the Civic Center, Victoria Island, Lagos. Continue reading “ARTXLAGOS; THE UNCONVENTIONAL EXPOSÉ”