The new year is coming. For some of us, the new year brings us anticipation. For some of us, the new year brings us dread. Some of us resolutely believe the new year will change us. Some of us know there’s no use sitting down and writing things — if change comes, it’ll come.
The year 2020 for everyone, undoubtedly, was difficult. For some of us, it would even be more. Surviving a pandemic is not something we’re used to and perhaps, a first-time occurrence for many of us. The year brought us something none of us had truly ever experienced before.
It’s not surprising that for many of us, the year brought us anxiety, fear, or just dread. At the beginning of the year, none of us truly understood the extent of the virus and now, we’re beginning to question why some of us ever underestimated it.
The future looks a little bleary, maybe even dark. We might be unsure, distressed, worried even.
And that is perfectly alright.
Few of us have actually struggled to truly comprehend the unimaginable amount of trauma our bodies have been put through this year. On top of the ever lying and pre-existing anxiety we all feel (and some of us even a little more), few of us have truly failed to understand the extent of what we’ve all gone through.
And to make things even a little more difficult, the pressure to achieve, to be successful, to conquer, to do exists too. And the voice is so loud. For so many of us, this year has been anything but predictable. In less than twelve months, our bodies and our minds had to learn how to survive in a pandemic, without our families and the people we love, with our dreams halted and human connection cut off almost entirely.
The idea that we still had to achieve something when everything, as we knew it wasn’t the same, seems a little ridiculous, maybe — but that’s capitalism for you. Your dreams are not impossible and your work will pay off but the idea you must work under every unimaginable condition and constantly achieve is exhausting.
The idea that we must move on with our lives seems ridiculous. The idea that it’s a simple act to switch off our brains and accept this as our new normal is ridiculous. This is terrifying. It is scary. We should be able to admit that out loud and say it. The future seems a little unclear, we can say that too.
And you’re not alone. If anything, this year was proof of how the world has been able to connect to each other in wonderful ways and we’ll never truly be alone.
This year has been so difficult for so many of us. The number of lives lost, livelihoods lost, futures stolen, dreams held in pause, friends, and families we haven’t been able to meet — these are things we must be allowed to mourn for and wish things were different. You are allowed to feel that way. You are allowed to wish things were better. You are allowed to feel.
It’s okay if you think you didn’t achieve anything this year. The fact that you are here is enough. You are allowed to wish things were different and you are allowed to mourn for the things you couldn’t do. But you did what you had to and survived.
And that is an extraordinary feat of itself.