In the words of Hezekiah Walker, “We made it, we survived.” Whew. Happy New Year!
I don’t need to tell you that 2020 was a year. Every month, every week, hell sometimes every day, was more chaotic than the last. It was the longest year. It was the shortest year. The lockdowns of March, April, and May seemed to stretch on for eternity. Yet summer was over in a blink and feels like a lifetime ago.
I can list all the wild things that happened last year, but I merely listened to an overview of 2020 on the radio the other day and had an intense emotional reaction. So I will not rehash it and do that to y’all.
The reality is, making it to 2021 is no small feat. Even if that’s the only thing you accomplished, it’s enough. You are living through a whole pandemic. You’re doing amazing. Take that stimulus check and treat yourself. Ignore those harassing you to start a business.
My theme for 2020 was, “Trust Your Gut”. And I did. But I panicked the whole time. I made some big life changes last year. I moved back to CT and went back to school. Somehow I also picked up a job as a professor. And yes I’m still working as a designer. So now you know why I haven’t been writing. A girl has been busy.
Those first few weeks in quarantine, I mourned the loss of my life as I knew it and dreamed of returning to “normal”. I missed my kickboxing classes, my commute into the city, and happy hours after work.
When I realized “normal” wasn’t coming back anytime soon- maybe not ever- everything changed. Suddenly student loans didn’t matter anymore when I stared at my acceptance letter from UCONN. The pandemic and 2020 by extension taught me to ask, “If not now, then when?”
If you want to go back to school? Do it. If you’re ready to switch careers, go right ahead. Hate your job? Quit. Are you exhausted and need a break? You have permission to binge Bridgerton on Netflix. Splurge on the expensive cut of steak. Get a good wine to go with it too (The Adventists can swap it out with dinner roast and a bottle of Martinelli’s). That new guy you’re dating who’s got you freaking out because he’s serious? Please let the man love you. Because if not now, then when?
By the way, y’all ever try dating in a pandemic? LOLOL.
My theme for 2021 is, “Live in the Moment”. I realized that I spent too much time worrying last year and missed some golden opportunities to just enjoy the moment. So here are some intensions I plan to bring into this new year. I’m gonna try new things, be more mindful and vulnerable, rest more, and honestly, just have more fun.
Even though we have started a new year, we are in the midst of transition. We stand on a strange precipice right now where it honestly seems like things may only get crazier. The pandemic is worse than it’s ever been, but many keep insisting on going to church, throwing parties, and not wearing masks (I saw your Insta stories…keep playing). America is in the middle of a cold civil war and will have a new president in just a few weeks. In many ways we are still living with the trauma of 2020. But we’re still here.
You made it through being furloughed or maybe even fired. I survived that 20% pay cut. We managed to find toilet paper and cleaning supplies. In the midst of chaos, we managed to create some type of order and normalcy for ourselves and our families.
I don’t know what this year will bring. Nobody does. I have no special insight or wisdom for you as we step into this new year. Maybe this is the year you ask, “If not now, when?” Or maybe you’ll simply sit down and rest in 2021. Perhaps this year you will finally choose yourself. After the year we had, there’s no right or wrong way to approach this new year. Whatever you decide, I’m just happy we made it. We survived.