I think many of us will be happy to put 2020 behind us and the celebration of a new year will have an entirely new meaning this year.
2020… where do I even begin with this one…
The entire world has been going through COVID for most of the past year and individually, we have all dealt with the changes in our own way. All of us have been trying to protect and secure what we could.
When I think back to March when this all started, I think about how afraid I was. How uncertain everything felt. Fear isn’t something I feel very often and to be honest, I really didn’t know how to deal with it.
I worried about my family, I questioned my choices, and I felt like I was being swallowed by this uncertainty. I wanted to see my friends, I wanted to fill my days with walks and laughter and staying out too late. I craved so much more, I dreamed of things I couldn’t possibly do now.
The beginning was mentally exhausting. My entire life, just like everyone else’s, altered and I didn’t know how to keep moving. People were telling me that it would only last a few months at the most, but I knew the impact of this would last much longer.
This pandemic brought on a whole new limitation to my life and I knew if I didn’t change, it would be a very dangerous thing.
Everything that made me feel most alive – being around family, friends, going out and creating memories, gathered dust for months. And it made me feel like I was missing my whole life.
But in the same breathe; this was nothing I hadn’t gone through before. Not being able to get out of bed, not feeling like yourself, angry at the circumstances you must face with no chance of changing it – its something so many of us deal with. And when this pandemic is over, most of your lives will go back to “normal”, while some of us know that the mental and physical impact of this will take years to recover from. And I must admit, selfishly, I thought that if the whole world felt this amount of sadness, this anxiety, maybe it would build more compassion, more understanding in people.
After this year, I feel like I have a little bit more of an understanding and appreciation. Especially for my family and friends, even for the people whom I’ve never met but have created ways of overcoming and enduring these times through their stories, videos, and songs.
I’ve learned that even under a tremendous amount of darkness, even a little bit of light is enough to get you through.
Although this year was full of regret, sadness, anxiety, stress, and worry, I learned to live with all of that inside of me. I am still standing, you are still standing, and even though most days were a real nightmare, we survived, we lasted.
We are, even a little bit, stronger than we were the day before.
This is what this year has taught me – when you thought you couldn’t, you did. When you thought you knew, you didn’t. When it’s been difficult, you did anything and everything you could to feel like yourself again.
Through the worst of storms, don’t be afraid to feel the pain or go through the struggle. It may hurt you, but don’t ever fear a little bit of pain. Because there really is nothing you cannot get through. Sure, it may be hard. But believe me, you are strong enough.