I’m not going to lie, it’s not been great.
Not nasty, but not sunshine and rainbows either.
As with any year, there were ups and downs, but the difference was, the highs were so high (and few and far between) and the lows were like falling to the bottom of a deep, dark well.
It’s easy to look back on the year and think ‘what the f***’ because seriously, what the f***? I mean, 2020 threw everything it had at us. From devastating bushfires to terrifying explosions, and now, floods.
Oh, and we can’t forget the global pandemic.
It took away graduations, birthdays, jobs and travels.
We lost people close to us and watched as the world lost Chadwick Boseman, Kobe Bryant, Caroline Flack, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, to name a few.
We tuned in to press conference after press conference and awaited the daily death toll announcements.
We felt our mental health take a hit and lost countless hours of our life doomscrolling through news apps (and TikTok).
The list goes on. For so many, we are finishing the year battered and bruised, feeling like the minute we come up for air, another wave will whisk us under again. Lockdown after lockdown, the end of the road for so many businesses, a health service at its breaking point, a mental health pandemic and another recession. Seriously, what’s next?
2020 was tough – there’s no denying it. However, my new year’s resolution is to look for the positives more; I want to try and find the silver lining. It may seem hard to do that with this year, but it might not be as difficult as it appears.
In the same way we lost people, babies were born and in the same way people fell ill, others were cured. When graduations were lost, people scrambled to celebrate in their own way, and when people’s 21sts, 30ths, 50ths and so on were cancelled, Zoom parties and birthday videos came to the rescue.
At a time when the nation was forced apart, people still managed to come together. No, I’m not referring to the illegal raves and overcrowded beaches. Rather, I’m thinking about the millions of people clapping on their doorsteps every Thursday at 8pm, I’m thinking about communities doing food shops for those shielding and the elderly, I’m thinking about the endless fundraising efforts undertaken by thousands of individuals and I’m thinking about the rainbows you see almost every time you leave the house so we can all remember what really matters, and the people we have to thank for that.
Plus, major medical advancements were made as Donald Trump announced injecting bleach was the best way to beat COVID-19 and Dominic Cummings recommended driving a car to test your eyesight.
At the beginning of this piece I said my relationship with 2020 wasn’t great, but maybe I was wrong. Maybe, at face value it feels bad because 2020 took away my 21st and my summer plans. It stopped my friend from seeing her mum for months and chucked my other friend in at the deep end at the start of her nursing career. It kept grandparents away from their loved ones and caused mine, and my friends, mental health to plummet at a time when help was hard to get. But, in all of this vulnerability, there was strength. In the face of all the adversity this pandemic brought, people rose to the challenge and fought back.
Things aren’t black and white – life isn’t all bad or all good… and 2020 certainly wasn’t either, which makes things complicated. In fact, if I had to update my relationship status with 2020 on Facebook, it would say ‘it’s complicated’, because, yeah, I’m mad about a lot of things, but I’ve also learned things about myself that I’m grateful for, and I’ve beaten demons I wouldn’t have had the chance to if it wasn’t for the pandemic. I’ve made countless memories with my family – even if, at this point, we are all a bit sick of each other, and have learned to appreciate little things, because the big things weren’t able to be experienced.
So, what is my relationship with 2020?
I’m not sure I really know. But I do know what I have to say to 2020, and that is:
It’s been real but thank you, next.