For nearly all of us, 2020 has been overwhelming, challenging, transforming, and forever life-changing. Never could we have predicted so much loss and suffering brought on by an unprecedented pandemic never before seen in our lifetime. This year has brought about unpredictable and unmeasurable hardships for millions, and the impact will most likely stay with us for a very long time. As if the pandemic wasn’t turbulent enough, our country experienced extreme social injustice and civil unrest, taking many of us back to another tumultuous time in American history. Amid all the chaos, our experiences have taught us many life lessons along the way, both good and bad.
Take Time to Be Grateful
It’s easy to take the most basic things for granted if you’ve never had to do without them. If you’ve always had the basic necessities like food, water, and a place to live, you most likely can’t relate to someone who is less fortunate. There have always been individuals struggling without the essentials in life but 2020 has shown us how to be grateful for what we have. With so many Americans losing their jobs, their homes, and even their loved ones due to COVID-19, we’ve seen how quickly it can all be ripped away from us. Moving forward, I hope we can begin to appreciate all that we do have, instead of thinking we need more.
Respect Your Feelings
For many of us, we’ve become used to pushing our emotions aside, not allowing ourselves to be vulnerable. Our feelings, both good and bad, help alert us to something we’re experiencing in the moment, and avoiding them causes us to feel even worse. One very important lesson I’ve learned over the past nine months is that taking time for myself is crucial. If I need to remove myself from toxic relationships in order to take care of me, then so be it.
2020 has taught me to be much more resourceful and more of a problem solver than ever before. I’ve learned to ask for help when I’m feeling overwhelmed, and I have more confidence in my own coping skills. During this time of isolation, learning how to stay connected to others has become more important than ever. I look forward to 2021 being a year of healing, hope, and acceptance of one another’s differences, in an effort to bring about peace.