• Courtney Napier

A Decade In Review

A Year In Review

I have been working on a year in review for a hot minute now. This has been one of the most transformative years of my life. And as far as the decade, well, it is as if I am on a different planet all together.


In 2009 I just started dating my husband. I was in my last year at Bible college. I was on my way to fulfilling my dream of being a worship leader in an Evangelical church.


Flash forward to 2019, I am six months into my writing career. My husband and I have been married for over 8 years, and we have a 5 year old and a 20 month old. We bought our first home. We have been a part of the Eastern Orthodox church for almost 4 years. I haven’t sung for anything besides family engagements for over 7 years.


I have spent the last decade learning about myself, and I am not sure I envisioned that. In 2009, I thought I had everything figured out. I thought I knew who I was and what I wanted. But doesn’t every 22 year old? Things are so clear, maybe because its the clearest things have ever been. And there is nothing wrong with this. The Bible is clear about not despising our youth. But, at the same time, we aren’t meant to be young forever. I learned and grew so much in the time in between. I married my best friend, and I learned how to respect and love one’s humanity. I had open heart surgery. Facing my mortality so young changed me in an unbelievable way. I learned that death is not something to fear. Then, a year later, I had my first born. That’s when I truly learned what was important in life - what we leave to the next generation, and how we prepare them to handle it. As a poor new family, I learned that my family and friends were truly there through thick and thin. When we moved back to my hometown, I learned that Raleigh has an incredible story and that I wanted to be a part of sharing it far and wide. When Trump was elected, it propelled me from political conversation to political action. And then I began to write.


Writing is everything I have always wanted to do. I’ve always wanted to share stories that matter. I have always want to encourage people to action. I have always wanted to express myself creatively as a career. I have always loved connecting with community elders and listening to them share their memories and the wisdom they have gained over the years. Journalism is such a vital part of our democracy because it records our history as it happens, as well as captures the stories that were buried under the preferred narrative. If you would have told me 10 years ago that I would be a recurring contributor to an alt-weekly newspaper, creating a publication of my own, I would have laughed in your face. But here I am, breaking new ground, and loving the new me. Here’s to 2020 and a new decade full of growth, change, and upending the singular narrative.

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