Here we are - the last day of 2020. A year like none other. A year that shook us, and broke us. But, there is a silver lining. From struggles, come realizations that allow you to see everything with complete clarity. You begin to value things you may have disregarded before, and forget about the things that really don’t make any real significance in your life. If you are willing, struggles can wake you up so that you have a clear comprehension of all aspects of this thing we call, life.

Sure, this year rocked us in a negative way, but it gave me the opportunity to reflect, research, learn, and discern so much. If you had told my 2019 self about my journey in 2020, I would have been completely shocked and in disbelief. And now, as the year comes to a close, I feel prepared for any storm 2021 may bring (hopefully it won’t), or any other year for that matter. So, thank you to 2020 for waking me up, and allowing me the time to reset my mind. My eyes now know how to dissect, and acknowledge things correctly.

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Some say that 2020 went by so fast. But, in my opinion I felt like I lived five years in one during 2020. I believe those that say the year sped by, just lived the year day by day, without really learning anything from it. And those that felt it was a very long year, woke up, re-evaluated everything internally and externally.

But, my now awakened-self did not come at a small price. When the pandemic began in early 2020, many of us were scared. A lack of understanding as a result of fear and confusion, left us yelling at anyone who wasn’t taking this virus seriously. Friendships and even family relationships have been tarnished due to an inability to manage fear.

Since quarantine gave us a large dosage of time, I began to read a lot, researched scientific studies, and connected with individuals who were doing the same. In time, that opened the door to a rabbit hole of knowledge. This knowledge is what put me in a more calm state.

If I could have given my 2019 self some pointers for 2020, I would have said the following:

-Question everything. Regardless of where you are getting the information.

-Trust your gut. Don’t focus on how bad the problem is. Instead spend the time searching for the silver lining to all of it. There is always a silver lining.

-Always keep an open mind. It allows for valuable lessons.

-Surround yourself with those that feed positivity into your life, and always show you their appreciation for you.

-Family has always, and will always be an essential ingredient to your happiness and well-being.

-ALWAYS, and regularly make time to disconnect completely and self-care.

Although 2020 came at us with rage, I somehow feel this year was a turning point for better days to come. We can’t see hope, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t carry it within us, and manifest it into the new year. Let’s all take what we have lived through in 2020, and use it as strength to build a better year ahead for all of us.

Here we come, 2021.

Forever Changed,

A 2020 Survivor