I believe that most of us were eagerly anticipating the turn of the page leading into 2021. While New Year’s Day is a great benchmark to leave the past behind and reconstitute ourselves as better people with specific goals and drivers, it is important to acknowledge that life is a collection of events, and we remain a product of our past experiences as individuals. It goes beyond words that seeking some level of normalcy in regards to COVID-19 and associated responses within our cities has left room for significant improvement.
Eagerly rushing into 2021, we put forth resolutions and commitments to oblige by in the new year. Looking back, it is easy to see the highlights of the past year filled with distasteful memories of uncertainty, restlessness, loss and loneliness. The year 2020 came with its fair share of challenges to overcome, and an uphill battle remains to stabilize our communities and homes.
When reflecting on this past year and learning to adjust to the new normal, many of us took on a new hobby or sport that we heavily relied on during quarantine. As the year progressed, it felt that we were constantly bombarded with a continuous stream of bad news. These newfound activities helped us fill the void of the pastimes we frequently enjoyed and did socially. We were able to keep our minds positively occupied, all while taking a break from what was going on around the world. When we move into the new year, do not lose sight of the pursuits that kept us engaged and satisfied during this difficult year.
We are now beginning to get back into a rhythm, forming new routines and focusing on our resolutions that we committed to for 2021. As this happens, let us not fall into the trap of measuring our success and happiness by singular accomplishments but to keep perspective and take time to recharge when necessary.
As we anxiously move forward, my hope is that the long pause we recently took may provide an ease of mind and better clarity while setting out to achieve our 2021 goals, no matter how large or small. From all the hardships endured this year, it is obvious that our spirits are more resilient and versatile than ever before. I saw many examples of this throughout 2020: the pandemic, the fight for social injustices, working on wounded relationships with ourselves and those around us, family health or a friendship. The inspiration gained from many of these significant events have helped soften the impact of each new challenge.
Right now, we are dealing with the aftermath of the issues faced a few months ago, while more developments come in almost daily. We were abruptly pushed and had to quickly adjust our perspectives and expectations while experiencing a nationwide transition period moving into the year. Working together through the challenges and adjusting our mindsets allowed us to reevaluate what truly drives our personal happiness.
Last year continues to be a reminder that although we live in a world that often strives for perfection, life itself is not perfect and does not always turn out the way one wants it to. With a new year and new beginning, we can use resilience and perseverance as motivation and determination to move forward in 2021.
~ Faith Botana, Georgia ’22