Dear 2020,

An ode to a not-so-great-year in our lives

What will I remember of you?

The world falling apart. The threat of WWIII. Global warming and realizing that the green oasis I call home may not last forever. How about the deadly virus that threatened everyone and everything I held dear? The birth of terms like “my circle” and “my bubble” to refer to my direct family and few others I was able to see in person. The death of Kobe Bryant. The downfall of Donald Trump. A strong resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement that evoked outrage and brought the masked masses to the streets in protest. The politicization of masks. The canceled trips. 

Loneliness. Helplessness. Anxiety. 

The lost jobs and the lost lives. 

So much will be remembered of you, 2020. You’ll be the talk of history lessons to come. Recalled as the Gen Z takeover. The freeze in time. The year we thought everything would fall into place and instead fell apart. 

2020, what is there left to say to you but goodbye, good riddance, and I’m happy to see you go. You were awful. You forced me to face the worst version of myself and the worst version of my country. But I must offer you some thanks too. A friend told me they felt like they’d aged five years in quarantine and I can’t help but agree. I’m an entirely new person because of you. 

2020, because of you I learned how to be alone. I educated myself on issues of social justice. I found new people online to inspire me. I created community in the capacity I was able to. I raised my voice and uplifted others’ because you encouraged me to do so. Because of you, I may feel less comfortable in large crowds but I’m more confident in my own skin. I might feel unsure of what my life will look like tomorrow, the day after that, a month from now, or in 2025, but I know I’ll make it through. You taught me that. You taught me the definition of strength and adaptability. I didn’t know I could take on half the things you put me through, but I can, and I did. More than anything 2020, I’m proud of that. I’m proud to be here today a little battered and bruised. I’m proud of my circle for staying tight, the healthcare and essential workers for staying strong, the mask wearers, the protestors, the petitioners, donators, and the Instagram live-ers. I’m proud to say I endured you even when you tried everything you could to tear me down. 

2020, I certainly won’t cry at your absence, but thank you for reminding me what’s worth living for.

- a 2020 survivor



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© Kaeleigh James 2022

Project & Account Management