What comes to mind when you think of 2020?
For me, I think back to January 1 at 12:01 am when I posed with my husband for a selfie on our couch. The caption was: “2020. We are ready for you!”
I cackle a bit at that now. We thought we were ready, but we definitely were not.
As I went through training to become an OrangeTheory Fitness coach and also prepared to go TDY for my Air Force job, I kept hearing reports of a virus in China. I didn’t think much about it, until it was here.
I was sent home early from said TDY in March and immediately went into a quarantine until June. I’d watch the news, keeping track of the counts in south Florida. Especially when they skyrocketed in July, and our mayor threatened to shut everyone and everything down again.
For the past nine months or so, I have felt like I’m living in the game called Plague, Inc. A game I have played so many times for fun. Now I felt like one of those numbers. I never understood why the news ticker on that game would talk about economies falling. Why would a pandemic ruin an economy?
Hey, I never said I was smart about these things. I know the answer to that question now.
2020 made my vision… well, 2020, like I mentioned in my very first post after relaunching this blog. I have learned so much this year. I see the bigger picture. I still look at what 2020 has been and I am honestly just… baffled. That is the best way to put it.
A face mask is a fashion statement and sometimes a political statement; but always a testament to what kind of human being you are.
Science is now a hoax; conspiracy theories are now facts. Everyone starts to believe that the pandemic is actually a PLANdemic because of a poor-quality documentary posted on YouTube that I could have done better with when I was a pre-teen making home movies.
Many people behind keyboards determine whether or not someone deserved to die based on their beliefs, opinions, past record, race, socioeconomic status, and mental health status.
It’s been a year of sharing misinformation and many people making excuses for their loved ones behavior, fully knowing that what they are doing is not okay and is not helping us be UNITED.
Women’s and LGBTQ+ rights are up for debate… mostly by straight, white men.
2020 is the year where we need to be right or left; black or white; hot or cold; never, ever in-between.
It’s the year when we finally elect a WOMAN to the White House, and many people make jokes about how no one knew who she was until “she dropped to her knees.”
It’s the year when we elect a Democratic president, and many Republicans show what hypocrites they are by denying the fact that he is President; when four years ago, they were telling people who voted for Clinton to “get over it and accept it because he IS your President.”
It’s the year where a grown man who is expected to be the leader of our nation admits that he doesn’t like losing and then refuses to concede, breaking with American tradition. He files lawsuits in multiple places in hopes of swaying the results in his favor. Throughout all of this, I realized: so often we watch the results of other countries’ elections and we look down on leaders who do this because… well, most of those leaders are dictators. Now we are that country that everyone is watching, shaking their head in disapproval at the behavior of our leader… a position we haven’t been in before.
It’s the year where instead of being the bigger or more mature person, we just want to get the last word; and a lot of the time, we are not respectfully debating facts- we are hurling insults back and forth.
I could go on and on about this year and all the bad things that have happened; and about how so many people have shown their true colors.
For me personally, 2020 has been quite the balancing act. I’ve gone back and forth between seeing one side of things, and then seeing the other side; being content and then being angry; loving people and then hating them; being disappointed by people I love and then realizing that I can’t change them and being disappointed with myself.
The lessons I have learned this year are some that I will keep with me for the rest of my life and teach to my children.
You cannot change the past, but you can change the future.
Little things add up to big things.
You can hate certain things about someone, and still love them at the same time.
You may not be able to influence the entire world… but you can influence the space and people around you.
It is okay to change your opinion based on new information. An opinion does not need to be set in stone.
Sometimes, we need to slow down and spend time with the people we love, and do things we love. The only guarantee about life is that we are born and then we die. We’ve lost some great people this year, including Kobe Bryant, Chadwick Boseman, RBG, Sean Connery, Eddie Van Halen, Naya Rivera, and so many more. Life is too short to be so busy and I know I personally LOVED spending time with my husband when we were quarantined at home.
And last, but certainly not least, I think the entire country – or world – learned and agreed upon one thing this year: that Carole Baskin killed her husband.
I think that 2020 was definitely not the year we expected; but perhaps it was the year that we needed. When the clock strikes midnight and 2021 begins, don’t expect all of our problems from 2020 to magically go away; they won’t. However, maybe 2020 was the wake up call we needed to make 2021 an amazing year for everyone… and I do mean EVERYONE. Men, women, the BIPOC community, the LGBTQ+ community, immigrants, small business owners, people from all religious backgrounds… literally everyone.
We must realize that we have the ability to make our country great and we can heal from the rough 2020 that most of us endured.
So as we go into 2021, I plan to remember the lessons of 2020 and that no matter what happens, to keep going and standing up for what I believe in.