Articles, COVID-19, Thinking Positive

2020 End of Year Reflection

Woman reflecting on thoughts

As I reflect back on this year, it’s easy to be disappointed. Disappointed at all of the what-ifs; the things that could’ve happened if it were not for the coronavirus. I think of how our world went completely upside-down, of all the activities that had to be postponed, and of the many innocent lives that were lost. But, I am also reminded of our amazing ability to preserve and not give up in the midst of adversity. It’s absolutely okay and understandable to mourn at this current lost sense of normalcy. Yet, I want to remind myself to not be too hard on myself. I want to appreciate the obstacles and to appreciate the way I have been able to grow through them. Throughout everything that happened this year, I am most reminded of our shared gift of humanity, as we dealt with the scary changes in order to support one another and as we found new ways to meet and spend time together, whether it be through the now all too familiar zoom calls or through postcards and letters.

I’m thankful for our first responders ‒ all of the doctors, nurses, and social workers that put themselves on the frontlines, battling through this new disease to keep us safe. They taught me the importance of selflessness and dedication. I’m thankful for our teachers, who have worked harder than ever in an environment which they were never prepared to tackle. They taught me the importance of adapting to change. I’ve learned to appreciate the simple things, like being able to walk through a noisy crowd at a concert or bump arms with those in the stands of a noisy football game. These are things I never would’ve imagined missing because they were always seen as normal, everyday occurrences. For now, I’ll remain hopeful that one day they will be again.

And that brings me to another topic: hope. I’ve seen a lot of it this year. One of my favorite writers, Tabitha, wrote some amazing words on the stubbornness of hope: “Last weekend, I watched my lovely neighbors setting up their Christmas tree with their kids; that’s Hope refusing to die. Thanksgiving morning, 2 of my dearest had their 1st child; that’s Hope refusing to die. Several weeks ago, a dear childhood friend married her man in spite of it all; that’s Hope refusing to die. Baking cookies, listening to Christmas music, decorating, sending a cheery “Merry Christmas” to a stranger in the grocery store; giving the end of your semester everything you’ve got; those are sword-thrusts to the heart of darkness.”

I try to remind myself of this. I don’t know what 2021 is going to bring, but I surely know that it will bring both its own set of challenges and breakthroughs. As we move forward towards celebrating the new year (in a corona safe way of course), I hope you too are able to remind yourself of the power of hope and the beauty found in the ordinary. Give yourself a pat on the back for your accomplishments, no matter how small. And if you feel like you still haven’t made the improvements you wish to see, take heart in knowing that the next day, the next hour, the next minute, or even the next second, is always an acceptable time to make a change. You don’t have to wait until the New Year for that; you can always start now.

Hilary Batista

Hi there! I'm a rising high school senior with a passion for writing and am very excited to be helping out with GirlSpring's teen advisory board, Springboaders.

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