The lessons of 2020
If only Kylie Jenner had warned us that the real year of ‘realising things’ was 2020 and not 2016, maybe we would have been prepared.
Some would describe 2020 as the year season 6 of Black Mirror played out in realtime. Unlike all the other season, one didn’t have to log into Netflix and watch an hour-long episode, all you had to do was turn on the news, scroll through your timeline, talk to a friend, or better yet, open your eyes. While this ‘gone too far’ episode might have made for interesting TV, it definitely didn’t make for ‘fun’ living.
But in the words of my problematic Queen, Kylie Jenner, it did force me to realise things. Because in all honesty, when there’s nothing else to do but transport yourself from one room to the next, your mind has a lot of time to process ‘things’.
So, in an oddly late post, here’s everything 2020 taught me.
- That all dreaded thing called ‘rest’.
When life drastically goes from jam-packed diaries and trying your hardest to find a balance between hustle culture and spending time with your loved ones, to the eerie-ness of nothingness; teaching on rest comes in a different guise.
In my pre-pandemic life, the lesson of ‘you must rest’ often came like a kick to the chest from an old friend called ‘burnout’. But when the world came to a halt; rest became synonymous of 2020 ( in the same way, loungewear did – but that’s another discussion for another time) and my body experienced rest in a way far different to pre-COVID life.
Instead of completely ignoring and overworking my body to the point of exhaustion, I came to understand what it needed and when. And more often than not, it was just 8 hours of sleep.
2. I’m not as messed up as I thought.
Now take this with a pinch of salt, because I’m still very much a walking disaster. That’s what you call, self-awareness.
But 2020 really gave me the space – sometimes too much space – to iron out some of my not so gracious flaws. Can I be dismissive? Yes. But why, and where does that come from? Am I shutting down right now, because I’m afraid? Why and what am I afraid?
When I say it got deep some nights, I really mean it got deep. Tears, laughter, moments of anger, followed by empathy, compassion and self-soothing. And while, I’m not saying the fact I was forced to be isolated from all of the land, forced me to heal, and look inwards. My time alone left to think and even to play games like We’re Not Really Strangers with friends over Facetime, encouraged the kind of growth I only thought I could obtain from therapy.
FYI: my ass still needs therapy. No amount of self-reflection or playing purpose-driven games can cure generational trauma. But I do stan a self-aware, self-soothing hunny.
3. It should be illegal to be single and this thirsty.
On reflection, thirsty might not be the correct word to use here, but my New Year’s resolution is to try oversharing a little less. And somehow using the word thirsty feels less invasive. But if you watched Bridgerton, episode 5, and considered rewinding or thought to yourself ‘when will my day as Daphne come?’, you’ll understand precisely what I mean.
For those of us who are very much single, this year-long ordeal has been one that’s caused immense thirst. And if anything is a clear sign that I’m not the only one feeling it; the internet’s desire to be the Duke’s spoon says it all.
And while I can’t say I’m jealous of a spoon, I do wonder;
When will I be wined and dined by someone’s son? When will I snog someone, who I’ll probably regret snogging in 2 months time, again?
But despite it all, the good and the painfully bad lessons of the year, I’m thankful to have made it through one of the worst years my generation has ever bared witness to. While I don’t know what 2021 will hold, my only hope for this year is that things will get better and we will continue to be happy and healthy.