The year of 2020. What a transformation, what a metamorphosis. Did I embrace everything as it came hurling itself toward me? HELL NO, but I definitely softened more than I ever have in my whole life and for that I’m deeming it a successful year.
How did you get on? Did it feel like a roller coaster? Did you take it in stride, or were there multiple meltdowns?
My opinion is that however we showed up, however we responded, it’s all okay. This was a year of unexpected surprises at every corner, and in many ways we were not prepared for this, or were we?
I definitely think some of what went down was just too much to process at first, and took some time to unpack, and I also believe there were opportunities to put our resilience into action.
I know for me, the beginning of the year started off with a bang. I felt glorious. It felt like the world had just stumbled into infinite possibility for me. 2019 had crushed me and honestly I didn’t know how I had made it through. I should have been flattened, but no, there I was, breathing in all the new for 2020. It started off with a sweet and lovely trip to the UK to celebrate my sister’s 30th birthday. I got to be with my family, and take in the joy of my nieces and my tummy also benefited from the delicious food my mom cooks for me when I visit.
The moment I landed back in Vancouver (Jan 30), at the airport (YVR), my gut knew something was brewing. There was already talk about the coronavirus and a whole bunch of people that had landed from China were masked up. It was strange. Unsettling. Odd.
I got really sick after that trip, I have no idea if it was the virus, or just a regular old head cold, but I was in bed for 3-5 days with a heavy head and a dampened heart. I missed a friend’s birthday and the weather was blah, plus I missed my family, but life goes on. Once I felt better, I was already planning for more trips across the globe.
- A trip to Miami with my work crew in March – a remote working retreat with MeetEdgar
- A dream trip to Joshua tree with some soul sisters in May
- A solo trip to Hawaii sometime in the fall
- A trip to Vegas with my partner for some r+r (who goes to Vegas for relaxing?!)
Alas, little did I know that there would be no travelling, no embarking on other lands for the rest of 2020 (at the very least). I had to completely destroy my hard work and planning for our Miami trip (goodbye Cuban food), and I started to doubt very much that we would be able to travel to Joshua Tree in May.
My friends had a different perspective. I seemed to have it dialled in that this was bigger than other people were taking it – every time I mentioned it the response around me would be that I was making it a bigger deal than it was – but I had to follow my gut. My gut said: stay safe, stay home, stay low. I admit, I was a little panicked, but my gut didn’t fail me. Soon enough everyone else was where I was and taking precautions. Our city had mostly shut down. It felt like a ghost town. Everything felt strange, scary, different, uncertain.
My panic started to set in when I started to feel out of control with my own health and that of my loved ones. I realized I couldn’t control anyone’s actions, only my own, and I desperately wanted to keep everyone and myself safe. I kept visualizing someone close to me dying, or ending up in the ICU, and honestly, I didn’t know if I would make it either. I had the biggest panic attack of my life, and I actually thought I was dying. The paramedics made a home visit to check my vitals and embarrassingly enough, I was told that I was fine and that I had had an anxiety attack. After that point, I started to meditate, create some rituals and take a day here and there from work to help ground myself. It helped. My community was there for me, there were weekly calls and check-ins and we all pulled together like the love beams we are. Let’s face it, #SchittsCreek had a lot to do with it also – that show is a LEGEND.
Fast forward through the summer and then the inevitable spike of the virus in the fall, I’m definitely standing from a different viewpoint.
- I feel stronger and more resilient
- My intimate relationship is stronger than ever
- I feel secure in myself and my being
- I trust my community to be there
- I embrace more solitude
Don’t get me wrong, I do feel mildly isolated and have trouble sometimes with not being able to travel and see my family, but I know that this too shall pass. The greatest opportunity for me has been to feel free within this pandemic. To feel limitless among these global restrictions – the truth is, my freedoms are mine and no one can take them away.
As this year comes to an end, I’m reflecting on just how grateful I am for so many things. This year has taught me on a deeper level, to never take for granted even the smallest thing. I’m so grateful for my little family and the wonderfully cozy home we’ve created together. Having Koa be with us has forced us to go outside even when the world felt scary, to step out into nature because that’s where the solace and magic lies. Without that, I know my internal world would have suffered greatly.
I’m looking to 2021 for more opportunities (will I regret that?) and another year to show up fully to embrace what is. A new year isn’t going to erase or fix anything – nothing needs to be fixed because nothing is wrong. How we show up and respond is what matters. We are a lot stronger than we think we are.
The things I’m committed to:
- Moving my body
- Saying no
- Breathing deeper and slower
We might feel lonely, isolated and alone, but the truth is we are all going through this together. Everyone has a different experience and circumstance, so we come together to support those that need it and love ourselves through it all.
Life is beautiful. Can you feel it?