Updated: Jan 3, 2021
"Five, four, three, two, one...HAPPY NEW YEAR!"
I began 2020 sitting on my sofa, stroking my cat, and Facetiming my very "enthused" mother and sisters. I spent the night reflecting. The past year could not have been worse, for God's sake I was alone on New Year's Eve due to a 4 month long concussion. I had not pulled the grades I wanted to, lost friends like it was my job, couldn't row, and it just felt like I could not stop sinking. So, as I do in any situation I feel lost or helpless, I started to plan. I journaled about my goals and dreams for this next year. Set some truly outrageous goals but also some conservative ones; and as I wrote I felt that weight holding me down lessen. For the first time in—I do not know how many months—I finally felt in control. 2020 was going to be my year.
Well, we all know how that turned out.
2020 was nobody's year. From pandemic, to racial and societal injustice, to countless lives lost, it was a year everyone wishes they could forget but must remember for an eternity. This year can not be forgotten, nor should it be, because it was the year that shaped us. It was the year that woke us up.
I am in no way negating the struggles and hardships this year brought, because those are truly great. However, I think all those things forced us to think beyond ourselves. Humans are selfish. Regardless of what anyone says, personal gain has been so deeply ingrained into our thinking and way of life, that to think and be driven by empathy is foreign. But, when we experience the moments we did in 2020, it is impossible to still believe the world revolves around us.
I walked into 2020 feeling lost but I most definitely walked out with a purpose. For the first time in my life I know I am doing what I was put on this earth to do. Because, for the first time in my life I am not just living for myself, but for others. My central goal is no longer just my success but the success of all. I may not have achieved all the goals I had set out for myself, but I think that is okay. It is okay because the journey of 2020 brought me to where I am now—surrounded by people I love, people who inspire me, and people who make me want to love harder.