Thanks in advance, 2020

This one goes deep.

It’s day 947 of 2020. How are you holding up? Is your brain’s processing center still up and running? Things are touch and go up in my noggin.

What a year of learning it’s been – learning about the world and about ourselves. There’s been ample time to turn inward and explore every corner of our existence; an opportunity to reflect on everything we see, do, and feel. It sounds heavy and daunting, but heck, these days all we know is heavy and daunting.

This year we have been repeatedly challenged to make room for new information in the spaces already filled with fear, hardship, and all that we personally hold true. We’ve heard cries to open ourselves to change. Our comfort zone has become like an over-sized pair of pants; when we hold them up we feel safe and covered, but the moment we try to move freely like usual, they drop to the floor.

What’s left then, when we’re “exposed” to the unknown? What remains when layer after layer of normal are stripped away, and we’re vulnerable to the issues of society?

The unprecedented events of this year have undoubtedly shaped our characters, so this is something important to question. Your answer is however you will complete this phrase: “In 2020 I found _______.”

I already know my answer. Grit.

Since the beginning of the year I’ve been faced with multiple chronic injuries, losing my job to COVID-19, and the return of my anxiety disorder.

I’ve been in a weird limbo of sitting around at home, unable to be active in my desired capacity because of my failure of a body, unable to see friends or family, no income, a depleted self esteem, and a barrage of frustrating current events flying at me. Through all of this, there were many, many break downs. Many moments of sinking into hopelessness and desperation. Wondering when my storm cloud will part. Sleeping 12 hours a night because my volatile emotions completely depleted my energy.

But even at my lowest points, when I’ve felt overcome with anger and sadness at the world, it passes. I realized with a little time and grace I could keep going. I could pick myself up, let a wave of confidence wash over me, and continue on.

I guess before this year I never saw the extent and power of my resiliency. Pushing forward despite life feeling like it’s on pause. Remembering that the bad times are not forever. Setting and working toward goals when obstacles were constantly thrown my way. Swallowing my pride and learning what does and does not define me. And stepping up to be a better human rather shying away behind the shield of privilege.

That is grit.

There’s not one person who hasn’t been knocked down this year, though there are no two people experiencing the same hardships. So we gotta turn out for each other, and we gotta turn out for ourselves. 

We each deserve a badge of honor for our survival and personal growth in 2020 – a year we’ll forever remember for bending our spirit, sanity, and beliefs to the point of breaking. Whatever yours says – grit, kindness, positivity, patience – wear it proudly and never lose it.

Thank you, 2020, for waking us up and making us stronger.

Just six more months til 2021.


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