As I think of what we’re looking back to in our past and looking towards in our future on the 1st of this year, I am – perhaps for the first time – at a loss of words. Given all that 2020 was, that seems about right. The past year was nothing short of a telenovela crossover with a dark indie movie. A striking contrast to the Hallmark Christmas movies I drowned myself in to crowd out the world around me.
I have precise memories of experiencing loss, heartbreak, grief, anxiety, uncertainty, fear and desperation more than ever before. And often I felt lonely going through these tides of emotions. But there was beauty in it all. These memories will always remain beautiful because I may have been feeling lonely, but I was never, not even for a nanosecond, alone. None of us were.
We saw in each other resilience, joy, hope and the relentless ability to keep on dreaming. I learnt to break down with the same ease I was trained to stay strong, because “Courage is not the towering oak that sees storms come and go; it is the fragile blossom that opens in the snow.” It’s said that the most precious things in life are immeasurable, and so instead of Instagramming my top moments of 2020 I want to share a list of small, seemingly inconsequential, but gloriously kind acts I witnessed. You know who you are, but I hope you will see yourself in others.
- The friend who sneaked a packet of Stroopwafels in my grocery bag as she drove me home.
- The friend who picked up my call at 1am just to patiently let me cry my eyes dry.
- The friend who home delivered homemade Scones with Jane Austen quotes to cheer me up.
- The team who surprised me on Zoom for a birthday call when I thought it would just be a quiet afternoon by myself.
- The brother who woke up at 7am and tip toed as he decorated the home with graduation banners and golden balloons.
- The friend who took an emergency walk around the river making sure I left with chocolates in hand.
- The friend who flooded my phone with memes before I woke up (many days in a row).
- The dad who sent me a pack of 100 Twinnings tea bags when he heard I was down to my last 5.
- The friend who sat with me, mask on, in the car listening to the entire Taylor Swift album in the middle of a thunderstorm.
- The professor who, unprompted, sent me a message to check in with some Fauré and Bach Cello sonatas.
- The mum who brought all her flower pots to my balcony so I could wake up to colours as we stayed indoors.
May our 2021 be sprinkled with a lot more such kindness and love. Here’s to good health, deeper connections and joy in the big and small.