2020 Reflections


~ We Made It ~

Y’all, we survived 2020 ~ Cheers!

 

Perhaps you've heard some version of this: “If all you did in 2020 was survive, you’ve succeeded.” I totally agree, and I’d like to add that “surviving” this past year wasn’t passive. It doesn’t mean that we simply sat back for the entire year, letting our hearts beat, hoping our lungs would continue exchanging CO2 & oxygen. (...Which, I think, by the way, are actually *miracles* in and of themselves - maybe we should rejoice more often in the mundane, biological functions of our bodies! But I digress.) What I mean is: “Simply surviving” in 2020 was ACTIVE and intentional. It took every fiber of our being, wouldn’t you agree? Surviving in 2020 meant embracing an entirely new way of life almost overnight, as we were all forced to conform to new ways of being. Reality itself seemed to take a new form. Surviving in 2020 meant being robbed of the things that bring us joy: family, friends, gatherings, traveling, eating out, weddings, performances, creative endeavors, etc. It meant putting on a brave face while crossing off long-awaited events on our calendars… the fabric of our daily lives unraveling before our eyes. It meant swallowing big pills like job-loss, uncertainty, death, depression, anxiety, moving back in with family, being separated from family, loss of independence, global polarization, anger, violence, and more. It meant learning and unlearning, as we could no longer unsee the societal diseases of systemic racism and injustice lurking beneath the surface, and we could no longer rest in the blind comfort of our own privilege, ignorance, and complicity.

On top of all this, 2020 forced us to pivot. Even if we were fortunate enough to keep doing what we do, we had to find a completely new way of doing it. Many of us had to pick up something entirely new in order to make ends meet. Hobbies turned into businesses. So…….. it’s no wonder we’re exhausted. A week or so ago, I was listening to an episode of Brene Brown’s podcast “Unlocking Us”. In this particular episode, Brene shared input from neuroscientist David Eagleman, who basically confirmed that our brains get tired from dealing with “FFTs” (Brene’s term which stands for Freaking First Times). I mean, I already knew this to be true in my gut, but boy, hearing it from a doctor was validating!

In essence: We are not crazy. There’s nothing wrong with us for feeling exhausted, depressed, incapable, angry, upset, lethargic, hopeless, etc etc etc. Not any year, and definitely not this year. In fact, I’d say we’re pretty bold to keep going. Go us!


Looking back, I’m proud of what I accomplished in 2020: Shifting my entire business to a virtual platform, peacefully quarantining with my boyfriend for 6 months, publishing my very first website, joining an antiracism book club, officiating my best friend’s wedding, phone-banking for three political campaigns, and mourning the loss of someone very close to me (…that was an FFT). I surely didn’t get through 2020 on my own, though. I’m extremely privileged, blessed, and grateful to God and everyone in my life for getting me here. (That means you.) THANK YOU! I hope you’re proud of yourself. I am.




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