Tea Time with Tagwa: Talk to Tagwa

Illustration by Karly Andersen

Tagwa Shammet, Opinions Editor

Tea timers, welcome to the new year. Like most of you, I’m hoping this one’s better.

We’re already off to an exciting start — we inaugurated a new president and are waiting patiently as the promised change dawns upon us. The country is still dealing with a roaring pandemic, but vaccination rates are growing and there seems to be light at the end of this sickening tunnel. 

But the best part of the year is that Tagwa is back with some more tea.

I wanted to hear how you all were doing, so I turned to social media to find out. From politics to self-care, entertainment to cooking; you all shared an array of interests. Here are some highlights:

“How are you feeling about the new presidency?”

Whew, where do I even begin? Quite frankly, I want to trust that change is upon us. I really do. 

But I am Black in America. Disappointment is my community’s middle name. 

I am honored to see a Black woman sitting in such a high office, but I haven’t forgotten — nor forgiven — Kamala Harris for her disgusting actions when she was San Francisco’s District Attorney from 2004-2011

It almost seems like we’re in the middle of yet another celebrity presidency. Society is more focused on the fashion choices and couplings of politicians, rather than the policy plans that are meant to be put in place.

Sometimes, the reality we are living in feels more like reality TV than anything else. 

Nevertheless, it will take some more time for me to give up on this presidency. I would love to be proved wrong through an administration that finally prioritizes human rights and decency over politics.

“What are your new year goals?”

Like many of you, my 2020 was mentally and emotionally draining.

Growing up in an immigrant household, there was an undeniable stigma around taking care of our mental health. But over time, education has flooded my home and mental health has become a respectable conversation. 

This year, I hope to prioritize my mental health above all. I am striving to take the same kindness and compassion I share with others and extend it to myself. 

There’s a toxic social ideology that promotes the concept of putting yourself first as selfish. I disagree with that. Prioritizing your own health is not a negative thing; it’s a sign of positive and mature thinking.

“Based on how January has gone, how do you feel about the rest of 2021?”

I’m not sure if this question triggers manifestation or a bad case of jinxing. January was a blessed month for me. I got to celebrate the new year with my family in Sudan, then come back to the states for some time with my friends. I had a great start to the year. 

That being said, while I hope the year continues with the same beautiful caliber, I’m realistic. We are still living in a pandemic and it seems as though people have forgotten that. We still need to ensure we are socially distancing and keeping our masks on to prevent the spread of this illness.

I’m excited for the new year; I’m praying for success and happiness. However, like 2020, much is out of my control.

“What is one thing you are looking forward to this semester?”

Talking to y’all. There’s much more tea to be spilled and I need y’all to help me keep up. 

This new semester promises some change and possibilities that perhaps last semester did not. Nevertheless, we need to continue keeping each other safe.

So, keep talking and continue to send in your questions and comments to my email, opinions@commonwealthtimes.org or on our Instagram, @commonwealthtimes. 

And that’s the tea.

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