Let’s just say it: 2020 has been a shit year.
We’ve all been angry, frustrated, devastated. We’ve all lost family, friends, jobs, homes, money. We’ve been lonely, fearful, anxious.
First of all, I think people need to remember that it’s okay to feel all those things, and yes your feelings are valid. In fact, I remember reading somewhere that, given the circumstances, it would actually be worrisome if you didn’t feel some form of anxiety.
I have been so angry. I have been depressed, lonely, anxious. I have even felt numb, sometimes. I’ve lost my temper, wept uncontrollably.
But the pandemic, the consecutive tragedies, the isolation, all this has shed new light on what matters, on the choices we make, on how we choose to live. For these new perspectives, I am grateful.
This is the year I finally sought help for my mental health, and the year I realized I should always take care of myself first. This is the year we left a toxic home situation, and found a home where I do not have anxiety attacks almost daily.
This is the year I found a job that challenges and inspires me, that truly takes care of me, that makes use of my energy and my creativity and talent. This is the year I learned that teamwork can take many forms, that even if you use different words you could still be speaking the same language, be it in gifs or songs or laughter. This is the year I found managers and superiors who seem to be truly concerned for my well-being, who seem to truly care about where my work is going and how I can be the best at what I do.
This year, I’ve found that it doesn’t matter so much what things we have, or where we go. This year I’ve found that I feel more strongly about being with people who make me feel safe and loved. I’ve found that I care deeply about my health, my strength, my fitness, as well as that of my loved ones. It doesn’t matter so much that we can’t go anywhere, only that wherever we are, we are safe and healthy and we are with the ones we love, and the ones who care for us.
This year I’ve found pockets of strength, joy, support, laughter, in small groups of friend and family members who share loves and losses. I’ve been pleasantly surprised to find how much people love me. I have learned which people I can trust with my most wretched, most desperate, most anxious, angriest selves. I have learned that people will go to great lengths to put me at ease or make me smile, and I have learned that I am willing to do that too. I have learned that it’s okay to set limits, to hold back, to pause and take a breath, to rest and recover strength.
This year, I have learned who really matters to me, and to whom I really matter. And I have learned that there are just some people I do not want or need in my life. And that’s okay.
It has been a shit year. We have lost so many. I mourn so deeply, so angrily, so painfully, all that we have lost, but I have found some precious things, and these I can celebrate. It has been such a shit year, but there are things I am grateful for.
2021, please be kinder.