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2020 has been a f*cking ride.
I sat down and tried to feel what was happening within myself, what emotion I was feeling about this year that I just couldn’t put my finger on…and then it hit me. Grief. I was feeling grief.
In 2020 we said goodbye.
We said goodbye to the “normal” that we all knew, and left everything behind.
We said goodbye to sweaty dance floors and crowded bars and the feeling of music filling a stadium and radiating throughout a crowd. We said goodbye to long nights and small apartments with way too many friends jam-packed onto one tiny couch. We said goodbye to breathing each other in without the fear of getting too close. We said goodbye to freely exploring wherever we wanted to roam.
And what I was feeling was the grief of it all, every little thing that we had to leave behind with no notice and no preparation for the year ahead.
Life this year changed over and over and over again. As soon as we would adjust to a new normal, it was gone again and it was time to readjust without time to catch a breath. We lost loved ones. We felt weak and resilient. Terrified and brave. Anxious and grounded. Dark and light.
We were faced with one of life’s greatest lessons: how to release the attachment to all that we love and know. The pain we felt was deep. It often felt insurmountable. We felt the pain of grieving the world around us, of living in the time of a pandemic. We often felt the weight of our own pain at the same time as so many others. We saw the way that pain can unite us, and bring bonds that are deep and thicker than blood. It also showed us that some bonds are meant to break. It showed us strengthened friendships and connections made deeper no matter how far apart we actually were. We felt a closeness to all that we hold dear, and we bonded through our pain and our ability to make light come out of the dark.
We were forced to sit with our feelings in a way we hadn’t been faced with—without a way to run away or a different direction to turn. We felt a thick and indescribable heaviness, and so many long nights and flowing tears.
But we also felt gratitude. We felt the gratitude of what it means to be in love, what it means to have a home or a job or a roof over our heads. What it means to have a community and room to roam. And what it means to be alive.
As a new year begins, there are some things I pray to leave behind. I pray I can say goodbye to the heartache and the loss. That I don’t have to bring the grief or the trauma. That I can walk away from the struggle and the pain and the loneliness and the fear, at least for just a little while. I want to put it down now—and walk away.
What I do want to bring is the closeness. I want to bring the bonds, the pure love, the strength of the relationships that have endured what felt like the end of the world. I want to bring the appreciation for this wild and precious life and just how fragile it can be because we never really know when it will be time to say goodbye. I want to bring the celebration of what it means to be a human being—raw, vibrant, and alive.
So 2020, it’s time. We’re putting you down now. We’re saying goodbye. Thank you for everything you’ve taught us.
We promise not to take it for granted.