Let’s talk about 2020 today.
I’m just going to say it: 2020 was A LOT. We all had our own issues to get through and had a rough year. With the longest year of all time finally drawing to a close, I thought it would be good to look back at the year and draw closure from it. Then I had the idea of going through the alphabet with one word for each letter to capture what it was like living in 2020 and it was kismet. So, without further ado, I present, the A-Z of 2020; the emotions of living through ‘unprecedented times’!
2020 has been a year of:
Adaptation, to the ‘new normal’, to the complete 180 that life has made, to the many challenges 2020 has thrown at us. Growing under adversity has made us all evolve and get stronger and I am so proud of us.
Being, existing and persisting in such difficult times is a big deal in and of itself. We get points for just making it through and not being ‘productive’ in the middle of a pandemic.
Change, in the way we live, communicate, socialise and celebrate important life events. Zoom has turned out to be the real hero and staying connected while physically apart from a proper skill.
Difficulty, with all of us trying to navigate this never-before-seen situation. Many lost their loved ones and their jobs, many had to make difficult decisions, quite a few let go of their dreams.
Exhaustion, from trying to stay afloat, from being separated from loved ones, from being stuck at home, from not being able to live our regular lives and from living through the longest most never-ending year of all time.
Firsts, be it your first time baking banana bread or your first Christmas alone, there are so many new experiences both good and bad, that we’ve gained this year. We are living through history and these memories build our personal stories of it.
Gratitude, for the ordinary. Personally, this has definitely been my biggest lesson and I leave this year much more thankful for the littlest of things, like being able to hug my friends or just attend a class on campus than I was when I entered it.
Hope, for better times to come, of coming out better, of learning new skills. Our humanity shines in moments like these and our seemingly indomitable hope and spirit is what makes us special.
Ingenuity, shown by everyone everywhere. This year was, unlike something that had happened in most of our lifetimes yet people came up with the most creative solutions to the unique problems they faced.
Juxtaposition, of people discovering their old selves again and people losing their old selves completely because of the hardships they are going through. Of people finding appreciation for the little things while going through a major event. Of so much more.
Kindness, for everyone. People have really come forward with compassion for their fellow beings all over the world and hearing these stories really fills my heart with joy.
Love, of all kinds. Families, relationships, friends and more, everyone understood like never before the kind and depth of love they held for the people in their lives.
Mankind, of all of us. We have gone through a collective experience like no other, and it has been a truly transformative time for all of us.
Nostalgia, for the familiar. Many of us went back to our old hobbies to deal with a difficult situation and I think I speak for all of us when I say we all yearned for aspects of our ‘normal’ life that we didn’t appreciate enough before.
Ordinary. This year is not the year of being extraordinary or doing outlandish feats. It is one where even doing the most regular things is a feat in itself, and something to be proud of.
Patience for the people in our life, for our normal lives and for ourselves too. This year has taught us to slow down and be patient, whether we like it or not and has made us all see the virtues of slow living.
Quiet. If you live in a city like me, do you remember the deafening silence the pandemic brought on initially? That haunting quiet? The silence of the kind that seemed impossible before but has characterised so much of the year. In 2020, no matter where you went, silence was golden.
Reflection, on our past, our present and even our future. Many of us were compelled to think about the kind of lives we were leading, what we envisioned for ourselves and what we had to do to get there. This kind of reflection is very rare, and while forced was something I quite learned to embrace.
Sharing; your emotions to make the load lighter, your resources if you were privileged, your gratitude to the ones really sacrificing it all for our safety and most of all, for many of us, our true selves after a long, long time.
Togetherness. We may be separated physically but every single one of us is united by the experience of living through a pandemic and at some level has been affected by it.
Uncertainty, for the future. 2020 meant a lot of us had to reassess our life goals and were suddenly thrown into a lack of clarity about what the future would bring. The future is looking brighter now, with some vaccines on the horizon but still, hugely uncertain. We can’t know for sure what a post-COVID world will look like.
Vulnerability, of opening ourselves up, of emotionally exposing ourselves and of sharing the hidden aspects of our personality with people close as well as distant.
Weirdness. Truly. It has been such an absurd year; so much has happened and all of it is so different and unrelated from each other. It has been a truly wild year.
Xenia. Yes, I had to get a little creative and look a word up for ‘X’. I found this wonderfully apt though. ‘Xenia’ is the ancient Greek custom of generosity and friendship shown to those far from home. Through blogging and my blog Instagram, I have truly felt the gift of ‘Xenia’ manifold.
Yearning, hankering, hoping, wishing for better more comfortable times, for experiences of an age past, for people that are far.
Zen. I think 2020 really bought the importance of self-care forth and I’m really hoping we take this focus on maintaining our mental peace with us into the new year.
And that’s all, everyone! The best thing is that as hard as it was, 2020 is finally ending. So, pat yourself on the back for having survived through a very gruelling year and let’s bid adieu to never having to hear the phrase, ‘New normal’, Happy new year!
THIS POST’S QUESTION: What is one word to describe your emotional journey in 2020? Comment below with what you think about it, I’d love to hear from you!