What 2020 taught me.

I sternly believe it can be unanimously agreed that 2020 was a life altering year for EVERYONE. We all experienced the unexpected and had varying responses and reactions to the change.

This blog is a summary of some of my key lessons that came from the year (in no particular order).

  1. What doesn’t kill you … gives you unhealthy coping mechanisms if not addressed.

I know most times “what doesn’t kill you” is followed by a hope-filled, matter-of-factly-delivered: “MAKES YOU STRONGER!!!”. It’s almost as if any other outcome of surviving “what doesn’t kill you” save for being made stronger would be unthinkable.

Whereas the optimist in me believes in the sun shining again and flowers blooming after the rain, the realist in me is alive to the fact that there is a process between when the rain falls and when the flowers begin to grow. The muddy process, the one that messes up bright clothes and in worst cases even causes floods (if you’re from Lusaka you know this ALL TO WELL).

It is in that space that 2020 handed me this first lesson. Teaching me the importance of buying rain coats, protective boots and avoiding certain flood prone areas as I waited for the sun to shine (of course, metaphorically speaking). I learnt that it is okay at worst and EXTREMELY IMPORTANT at best to be deliberate about discovering and adhering to healthy coping mechanisms. I learnt that, in as much as hope is the rope we use to hold on to life when we cannot cope (barrrrrrrs!! lol), it is vital to do something about our situations in the present as we hope for a better tomorrow.

2. Change is inevitable, change is… GOOD.

With the coming in of the unexpected Corona Virus *DEEP SIGH*, the entire world was forced into a phase of change. The previously unheard of and almost abominable social distancing became the life saving order of the day. Face masks became a norm and most of reality took a sudden virtual shift.

As is expected of every change, it was not easy to completely adapt my personal way of life to fit this “new normal”. Those who know me well enough, know that I am a… Chronic Hugger (if there’s such a thing lol) and physical touch is one of my primary love languages. As such, being limited in this light… absolutely sucked.

However, there were a number of positives that I would regard as a good that came from the change. For instance, remote working was a change that I fully embraced, the ability to deliver regardless of my physical location was the flexibility I never knew I needed. Additionally, spending most times in doors with limited in-person interactions allowed me to introspect more and get to know myself better, I count that as another good.

3. The volatility of life.

2020 was a year of so much loss in my personal space, in the lives of my loved ones and in the world at large. The brevity of life and closeness of death became more apparent last year than it has ever been in the years past. It forced me to learn to love better and to live each day like it was my last.

To any reader grieving the loss of a loved one- I send you love and light. Please accept my sincere condolences. May the souls of all our departed loved ones, continue resting in Eternal Peace.

4. Dreams come true!!! No matter how seemingly trivial they may be.

The final lesson from 2020 was that, my dreams are VALID no matter how small they may seem. One of my trivial yet life long dream came true in 2020. This sparked an inexpressible joy in me and reminded me that all dreams come true- some just take longer than others.

Closing remarks: Like the picture attached to this writing, 2020, as seen from the lessons I’ve shared was a blend of “colours”. Some brighter than others. A month into 2021 and most of the struggles faced in 2020 still exist, I don’t know what lessons I’ll share about 2021 but I do hope it has more highs than lows.

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