2020 is Our Gift

2020 has been a lot about mourning the loss of what was. It has been about letting go of the plans we once had, the people we used to see, and the offices that used to house us. It has been about mourning the end of our routines, the warm embrace of strangers, and the ease we used to feel at a grocery store. We collectively stayed home, canceled trips, and isolated from those closest to us. Our screens became our workplace, our school, and our virtual happy hour. It became our friends’ birthday parties, and wedding showers, and oftentimes, our only connection into something that felt real outside of our own homes.

A lot of us were sick this year. We either suffered through covid ourselves, or we know someone who did. The degree of separation between you and someone infected became nearly nothing.  Our healthcare system became exhausted — and so did we.

2020 closed a number of the businesses closest to us, and put a lot of the people we love out of work. Abruptly, unfairly, unfortunately. It was the end of a reality we once knew, and oftentimes the end of dreams we once had.

But it’s also a beginning. It’s a push in new directions unfathomable before this year. And it’s perhaps the greatest reminder we need to serve each other — to reignite those dreams, to engage our spirits, to lift our collective future. Call each other. Bring food. Support your neighborhood stores. Give when you can. Money, encouragement, a visit from your car. Still smile through your mask, because you can still see the light in your eyes.

Know that for as alone as 2020 has often felt, it’s also the most together we’ve ever been — collectively grieving, forgiving, and reshaping what is — side by side. This year gave us perspective. It gave us pause. It gave us empathy. And perhaps most significantly, 2020 gave us a new lens. Our world — through the eyes of ourselves and through the eyes of our society — will never be the same. And that is where we can find gratitude within all of the grievances.

2020 is our gift.