As we close this chapter called ‘2020,’ I feel like I need to say a proper goodbye.

2020, the truth is that you were a really sucky year. You took away big things… birthday celebrations, family gatherings, coffee with friends and just all-kind of gatherings. You robbed us important moments… from gathering together to mourn our loved ones to gathering to celebrate Christmas. Travel plans along with any hope of vacation and time-off. You took our normality away. No longer were we able to go to the office and leave our work once we stepped out. In a blink of an eye, our lives, our homes and our spaces were invaded. We now had to carry the burden of work within our own homes, our own space.

And you also took away the small thing—small things that now seem the biggest things. Eating chips in the supermarket while grocery shopping, eating out with friends, shopping from street vendors, browsing endlessly the supermarket aisles for hours on end and even smiling random people on the streets. Being able to leave the house without a mask or hand sanitizer. Having very dry and sore hands from disinfecting every single thing thoroughly, groceries, cellphone, pocket change or credit cards.

But I have always believed that how you react to something is more important than that which you are faced with. To be fair, you did give us something for which I am finding myself grateful for, and that is time with ourselves. Having to spend any spare time with only you, has made me come to know myself better. I have realized what it’s essential for me and what is not. I now know where my values are, what are the things that are really important to me . And for this self-knowledge I am very appreciative.

I recently read a reflection from one of my favorite authors, where she traced the good things in her life backwards, and how many of the things were the result of seeds that were unknowingly planted ‘years and months and days before.’ I think that one day we are going to be able to look back to 2020 and understand why it was important to live this year the way we did and hopefully, it will all make sense.

I am happy, even with all of the hardships and challenges that this year brought, for this year. But I am not going to lie, I am also pretty happy for the new year. Though I am certain that our reality will not change when the clock strikes midnight, I am happy for a new year. Hopefully one with more growth and appreciation.

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