Maybe 2020 was the year that we didn't want but what we needed…
-An open letter to my friends-
Hey All –
It was a year ago today that I was in my living room surrounded by all of my ~unmasked~ friends smiling, laughing, and having a great time. We were pregaming to go out to one of my favorite clubs in LA to see Oliver Heldens (#ConcertsWereCool). There wasn’t anything that could have made that night better. For the first time ever, I actually enjoyed New Year’s Eve. It was devoid of drama, all of my close friends were there, and I had no preconceived notions or expectations on how the night was going to go.
I was ready for 2020. 2019 was less than glamourous, an average year at best. The whole night, I was telling myself and anyone who would listen, “2020 is going to be our year!” Like a broken record, “it’s our year, it’s our year!” It is going to be the year we find ourselves, our sense of purpose, and establish ourselves in our newfound communities. In 2020, I was going to find my direction. 2020 was my year and nobody was going to tell me different…
A few short hours later, while watching the Rose Bowl, we got the news that we had lost one of our friends in an accident on New Year’s Eve. Thus, started the tailspin that was 2020. A few weeks later the pandemic hit, shortly after that George Floyd protests, and the gift that kept on giving wrapped up with the most contentious, divisive election season in our country’s history. You all know how this story goes. People lost their jobs; some lost their lives. There have been lockdowns, mask mandates, and plenty of restrictions. The social division reshaped friend groups and complicated family dynamics. The most accurate depiction of 2020 is the picture of the woman on the beach with her hands on her hips starring down the barrel of a 12-foot wave about to crash right on top of her. I think that about sums it up perfectly.
We can all agree that 2020 was a less than desirable year. However, here is my last hot take of 2020, it was our year. Ironically enough, in an indirect way, this was exactly the year that I was looking for. I was looking to find my purpose, I was looking to set a path for myself, I was looking to find out who I was. No better way to come to all of those realizations than to be slapped in the face by the adverse year that was 2020. You were forced to pick your battles, make definite decisions, and forge a path forward with the opportunities you were given. There were no more excuses, no more “I’ll wait till next year”, no more slacking. And honestly, we are all so much better for it.
I have never been prouder to see all of my friends find their own way during the pandemic. Our age group in general was hit harder than most. Whether you lost your job, had to move, or just struggled mentally. We all found a way to get through the year. Most importantly we realized some of the more important values in life. The importance of family, how to overcome life’s struggles, and the value of true friendship. When everything else was stacked against us, we managed to figure a way out of it, and honestly, that makes me so damn proud. I’ve never felt closer to family and friends. When things do open back up again, I can’t wait to share experiences with all of you. We made the most out of nothing and that will make new experiences that much more special.
For me, 2020, was a pretty good year. I was promoted twice, I ran a marathon and finished a triathlon, I reconnected with old friends and strengthen relationships with my close friends. I also got to spend time back at home with the family, an experience that I did not expect to have after I left for college. This was the first time where “life” hit that was outside of my control. I spent my free time educating myself and preparing for the future. I made strides mentally. I learned how to use my strengths to my advantage. I got the slap in the face that I needed. In the grand scheme of things, this year could have been much worse. Call it luck or call it adaptability, whatever it is, I’m grateful for it.
Believe it or not, 2020 was our year. The life lessons that we learned this year will shape us for a lifetime. This is a year that we will never forget. When shit hits the fan again, we know how to deal with it. We are stronger. We are more resilient. We will appreciate the little things going forward. While there is no denying the loss, the pain, and the suffering this year has brought, it was a much-needed wake-up call. It is my belief that we will all be better human beings because of it.
There’s something beautiful about the tragedies in life. After a rain shower, there is a rainbow. After a fire, there is new growth. The end of a being’s life paves the way for a new one. There is a light at the end of this tunnel. This light, at the end of this tunnel, burns brighter than all the rest. A new future with new possibilities is right around the corner.
So, I leave you with this — I am so proud of all of you. Our ability to overcome has given us strength for years to come. Our accelerated development in a short 12 months has made our future that much brighter. We are not out of it yet, but our time is coming. We have never been more prepared to make the most out of tomorrow. Keep working, keep going, and keep striving. Just remember that watching you all brings a smile to my face every morning. Thank you all for helping to make this forgettable year, well, unforgettable.
2020 don’t let the door hit you on the ass on the way out. Cheers to turning the page. The best is yet to come!