As implausible as it was, I admit I was holding onto the widespread dream that 2021 would ring in a new world overnight. Alas, not surprisingly, the global pandemic didn’t notice the calendar rolling over and it doesn’t seem to care that so many people are worn down by sustained fear, loss, and stress. Yes, things are definitely looking better this year, pandemic-wise, but our lives — in terms of related health worries and restricted activities — aren’t going to change dramatically overnight.
But, as tough as it has been to give up seeing family and friends in person, and reigning so many other things I enjoy, I’ve also been leveled to have found meaning in unexpected places over the course of this year. I miss things I would never would have predicted I’d miss, and have been startled to notice how easily I’ve let go of people and patterns I hadn’t realized I was unhappily attached to.
In some ways, I’ve come to see this year as a gift. It has said ‘no’ for me where I couldn’t find a voice: no to constant social obligations clung to out of old fear that I needed to prove my value within relationships not rooted in joy; no to traveling when, in my heart of hearts, I wanted to stay home; no to rushing out to parties when what I needed was intimate conversation with a dear friend.
Likewise, this year has said ‘yes’ for me where I didn’t have the courage or awareness to: yes to pulling myself away from work for a daily walk to the playground with my young daughter; yes to putting more effort into my most cherished relationships, albeit in challenging new ways; yes to caring more about my physical space and my home. Amid the uncertainty, I’ve unwittingly cultivated more clarity and confidence that — if I can stay attuned — will keep me living closer to my true self.
Interestingly, the thing I crave most isn’t something I miss exactly, because I’d never done it much: that is, having friends over for dinner. How simple. Why didn’t we do that all the time? The thought of sharing — my table, my food, my music — I want that more than anything.
I hope this challenging time brings you closer to knowing what you love the most.
Comments will be approved before showing up.