Remember this time a year ago when everyone was geeked about beginning a fresh, new decade? There was excitement, hope, goal-setting, and no one being judged for celebrating in large groups. What a time! The reality we’re living now is a stark contrast. We’re urged not to mix households, news headlines are full of doom, and the coming days and weeks are unpredictable. To imagine our collective sorrows and losses of the past months will dissipate with the ticking hands of a clock moving us into a new year is unreasonable. Something we can count on, however, is our innate human ability to continuously adapt.
When shit hit the fan in March we were all forced to pause. We didn’t know what was ahead of us or how exactly we’d make our next moves. We struggled with everything from career disruptions, to breakups, to finding toilet paper and cleaning products. In the beginning, some people welcomed the unexpected break. Others grappled with giving up their autonomy. Regardless of what emotional and mental states we started in, all of us who are still here have managed to adjust to our changing circumstances for better or worse. We’ve demonstrated our resilience again and again, taking each day as it comes, using whatever resources we have to forge ahead. That’s powerful.
In retrospect it’s truly remarkable how far we’ve come in the relatively short span of time between March and January. Allow me to highlight some of our shared achievements: the internet has exploded with entrepreneurs taking leaps of faith with their small businesses—and the genuine support has been inspiring to witness. Creatives have tapped into their gifts and given us art that reflects the times. People have gathered for the greater good, pooling their means to support those in need. 2020 has taught us to be bold, inventive, and compassionate.
While it’s painful to acknowledge all that’s been taken away from us, I find comfort in knowing nothing lasts forever. This uniquely hellish time in our life will pass. There will be brighter days. We will bounce back and when we do, we’ll be better. Our “normal” as we knew it has been torn down, forcing us to rebuild a more fitting one. Life is indeed balanced, though it’s not always easy to see the bigger picture when we’re standing in the thick of our plight.
A lot of 2020 was simply ugly. But there was beauty too. Part of coping with the terrible things that happen to us is finding appreciation in the small wins. Even in our bleakest times, there are still moments to be grateful for. 2021 will undoubtedly come with its challenges. But I know from having endured the hardships of the past year that we have the tools we need to overcome whatever is thrown our way. The human spirit is tough. So bring on the trying times, the triumphant times, the lessons, and the love. I truly believe we can handle it all.