New Year day 2021. I sit looking back at 2020 very fondly. The kind of fondness a year arguably sent from hell does not seem to be getting as its sent packing. Yet I hold its twists and turns dearly, it’s many challenges warmly, thankful for them all.
It was a year I began fully submerged in my own crisis and used the same dip to bounce back even higher into new heights I never before imagined I could reach.
I was broken open in 2020, I would not have it any other way and no the pandemic had nothing to do with it.
Sentiments everywhere are that of relief at this eventful year having run its course and given way to another year. Leaning into all hope that its successor will redeem the misfortune 2020 dished out to the world.
Yet I sit and bless this very same year. Not because I was shielded from it's wrath and unaffected by its chaotic nature but because my life has taught me that crises is how stagnation gets the potential to give way to growth.
The year began with my own personal trial in mental health. A depressive episode that had began in the winter of 2019 sank its teeth even deeper in the early weeks of 2020. Below is a selfie I took after long sleepless nights of unexplained hopelessness and feelings of doom.
I remained under this dark cloud until I made a series of moves to stop battling depression on my own and seek help, and did it with the focus and intention I never mustered during previous episodes.
I took drastic measures that helped me prioritize my mental health. Took a few weeks away from my loved ones and received the treatment and recovery I desperately needed.
I followed that with an 8 week long out patient program that was monumental in solidifying my recovery and giving me practical tools to prevent relapsing and worsening in the future. That program was a game changer.
February then came with physical afflictions. An emergency appendectomy-gone-wrong followed by complications and three hospitalizations stretched me and my family to the limits. Soon after my discharge came news of a global pandemic. The rest is history.
This is when 2020 felt friendly. Quarantine hit me differently. Many weeks of my life had been spent with me self isolating with only my troubling thoughts to keep me company. Analyzing my journey, relationships, mistakes and next moves in solitude, secluded from others is a familiar state. I watched as the world was forced to an unfamiliar corner of discomfort and solitude as quarantine became the unescapable reality. While many struggled and complained, it felt like homecoming to me. A seclusion I am used to , a sweeter version since this time, I was at peace with myself and had clarity about how to use it to my advantage.
This time, it wasn’t me curled up into a fetal position feeling sorry for myself. It was a time of pondering how to shift my pain to purpose, how to equip myself to best be of service to others through meticulously planning my next steps. Pondering was not the end goal. The world had slowed down enough for me to clearly see where I fit and make moves. In the months that followed, I would turn my 2020 story around from that of illness to wellness, seeking help to offering and providing help, from lack to surplus, from hopelessness to thriving.
2020 is a year I kickstarted my career as a life coach, launched and expanded my podcast, grew my Instagram and Youtube channels, trademarked my business name and put out a merchandise line. I enriched relationships that sustain me and set unequivocal boundaries in those that do not. I connected more with my kids, carried and gave birth to a brand new life. I accomplished all of this through the unwavering support of my dear husband and the encouragement of many who believe alongside me that I was put on this earth to yield my story in the service of others, to do the work of helping others unchain.
My hope is that 2020 has left us understanding the need for discomfort, chaos, challenge and dare I say crisis to nudge refocusing our being on who and what matters most in life. In the midst of all the comedic and honest sentiments of being glad the year has come to pass, I hope we do not forget just how much we all needed this mandatory reset.
I hope it helps us break open instead of breaking down in the trials that await us. Then this one-of-a-kind year would've served it's purpose.