The Year That Was(n’t)

So we’re just a few weeks into Spring and I think it’s safe to say that this is not how any of us had envisioned this year unfolding. 2020 – a new decade, its connotation with “vision” & clarity – I think things feel decidedly unclear right now. I get a sense from some of the articles I’m reading online and the people I interact with that when we eventually look back on this year, many would choose to simply want to forget it,

I know that each of us experiences life in our own unique way and that life is not a “contest” – no one has a monopoly on sorrow or grief or hardship or joy. I know for myself, this year has already had its share of extreme highs & lows. What makes this feel a little different now is that this is a shared experience that we’re all going through. For many of us who have been fortunate, events over our lifetimes might have felt distant – something that happened “over there”, that we would hear about or read about but be able to have some separation from. This is different now.

A generation before us lived through other huge shared experiences, like wars & conflicts. Our generation and those younger than us haven’t really had that. So it’s completely understandable that we find ourselves a bit out of sorts with everything that’s going on.

Time feels different – we are experiencing things moment by moment, but unfortunately tinged with a bit of anxiety & fear. In popular culture, we can experience a compressed timeline where in the span of a couple of hours, the heroine suffers & falls, but then gets back up and saves the day. We’re in the midst of things, and everything feels like it’s happening in slow motion and we don’t have the ability to skip ahead.

So, maybe this is a chance while the year is still young to reframe how we want to experience and remember this year. There will be grief and sadness that we will go through; there is no denying that, or worth trying to avoid it. Grief is an important process to go through, both for yourself and those around you. But alongside that, there is a chance for introspection, to listen to yourself and perhaps start to understand your values & needs better. To move beyond expectations, for yourself and those around you. A chance to take an honest look at your fears, and see how they can guide you towards growth,

I still feel pangs of uncertainty and the occasional bout of fear & doubt, but I am getting better at noticing them, and then getting curious about where they are leading me. I notice when words trigger me, and I now speak up to help those around me understand how powerful words can be, and how to see things from another perspective. I am seeing how my choices & actions in my everyday life will be positively changed by this experience – in how I relate to my family & friends, the values that I hold, and where I want to make an impact (on people – yes, but on the planet – no). I choose to make this year one to remember for the ways that I will grow, and for the changes I will make.