Signs for a More Positive 2021


By the end of 2020, I couldn’t go online without seeing something about how dreadful 2020 was. To quote my mother’s Facebook status, posted January 1 at 12:00 a.m., “Well, thank goodness that’s over!” 2020 has been quite a year. 

I have heard many people discuss their own experiences; there were many new recipes tried, trends partaken in, and movies watched. Personally, I picked up French, knitting, baking, Spanish, crocheting, painting, writing, singing, playing the piano, yoga, and embroidery.  Sadly, I was not very successful in many of my endeavors. 

This past year was truly the epitome of duality. I, like many people, lost loved ones this year. I, like many people, struggled at times with mental health and fear of the unknown. I cannot think of a single person who was not a little lost in the confusion of 2020. Personally, it was a great exercise in faith, a glaring reminder that I am not the captain of the ship that I call my life. 

Amidst the dark fog of confusion, I experienced some of the most meaningful moments of my life this year. I worked this summer at a job I really enjoyed. For years, I struggled with low self-esteem and insecurity in my own intelligence. Somehow, everything changed. I finally had time to really pray and reflect. I ventured out of the world that I’ve built for myself, a world built with fears, limitations, and harshness. 

There is so much duality in the world, so many things that have good and bad crammed in next to each other so close that it’s hard to ever feel the difference. Bad things happen. A total cliche, but it rings true.

So what happens when you wake up in the morning, and that bad thing that seems to have grown overnight, starts looming over you. And it starts eating all those small things that shouldn’t matter: an ink stain in the middle of your aesthetic notes, not being able to find your car keys, an unkind side comment from someone.

And of course, it eats the big things too. It eats up the fact that you stare at your grandfather’s door every day in quarantine, knowing that he won’t be coming back. It eats up the fact that opening that door will only lead to a perfectly made, unused bed and lifeless, smothering air. That big thing feeds and feeds on everything until it seems to be a part of you, and you pray and plead for it to leave you alone but it’s there all the time. And you can’t talk to your friends because you feel like no one really cares what you feel like, no one cares about how alone you are. But guess what? You are never alone. There are people who love you. God loves you. My experience is unique to me, but that doesn’t mean that no one will ever care about or understand it. 

This past year may have felt like we were stuck on our own individual islands scattered across the water like the world started at Pangea and swung like a pendulum all the way until we only got a square inch of sand to ourselves. But we weren’t really alone because being human means that we can’t ever truly be alone. As one of my favorite poems, Max Ehrmann says, “With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams. It is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.” Cheers, and let’s hope for a wonderful 2021!