Every year I sit down and read my New Years post from the previous year, reflect, and write a new one. I guess it’s that time again to pause and review. My initial reaction to my post on NYE 2019 was laughter. “Well at least I accomplished everything I set out to do in 2020,” as my only goal was to not set one.
But as I continued to reflect, I realized that I had accomplished more life goals in 2020 than any other year. How was that possible?
To review what I did do in 2020, I:
- Doubled the amount of books I read from the year before
- Finally learned how to shoot manual on my camera (after all this time)
- Moved into a dream apartment in downtown Edmonton
- Worked at a job I loved
- Started writing again
- Painted again
- Exercised regularly and loved it
- Stopped having major social anxiety and made the best friends
- Ate healthier and better for what my body needs
- Conquered a couple fears
- Found contentment at home without travel (2020 was the first year I didn’t travel internationally in probably 10 years)
- Became more minimalistic, and really realized that stuff doesn’t make you happy
- Worked with the clothes I had and created my personal style
- Saved more money than I ever have and became more financially responsible, even through two job lay-offs due to the pandemic
- Learned to be present in the moment
- Managed my mental health
All this to say I became a hell of a lot more happier, healthier, wiser, kinder, and loving; and a lot more of the person I’ve always aspired to be.
Making a change
While my motto for 2019 was “kill them with kindness,” my motto for 2020 had to be “what will be, will be,” and “things work out.” I said those two phrases more times than I’d like to admit. While these catchphrases might seem like they have nothing to do with anything I accomplished, they had everything to do with anything I did. They became ingrained in me.
For the first time in my life, I was a truly an optimist; I stopped worrying, I was positive and manifested goodness for my life. I made changes despite my deepest fears. I stopped making long term goals, and instead started making daily changes. I stopped waiting for others decisions and desires to effect my life, and started making my life happen by taking it into my own hands. This made all the difference.
I stopped living in the future, in someday, in what ifs, in the unknown. I started living today, in the now; in a realistic, tangible way, so that I could finally be “happy.”
An overwhelming sentiment for this last year was “fuck 2020.” This was the worst year of many people’s lives. And don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to invalidate a lot of the hardships many people went through this year. I was very fortunate to be in the position I was: living in a safe country like Canada with social systems in place to care for its people. I didn’t know anyone who was personally effected by COVID-19 in an overly negative way. I was blessed.
But perhaps my mindset had something to do with it. My mindset for the year was very much a positive one. I was thankful and gracious for all the little things in my daily life, even when I had almost nothing. There was a period this year when I slept on a mattress on the floor, my only possessions were the clothes in my suitcase, and the only meal I ate was the one provided at work. And maybe one day I’ll be ready to share about that time, but for now all I’d like to say was that was the time in my life that I found happiness. I gave myself grace and didn’t strive for perfection or even progress. I focused on only what was important: that I was loved, that I was safe, that I was healthy, and that I had hope.
This was the best year of my life.
Yes, sometimes I still worry, I still have fears, I still have moments where I freak out about the future and where I’m headed. But then I remember that you never really know what’s going to happen no matter how much you plan. No amount of worrying will change your future and make you happy or help you accomplish goals. Only you can do that by focusing on today.
I don’t know where I’m headed. I have some ideas, but there’s no way of knowing for sure. Truly, I believe things work out in some way. And I know that even if things don’t work out, I will be okay. As I always have done, I will persevere and endure. I am resilient. All I can do is be my best self today. Love more, live more. To the fullest extent that I can.
Please know that I only write this to help. The last thing I want to do is make you feel bad about how you experienced the year of 2020. My intentions are only to inspire, and to reach those who might need a glimmer of hope and a new perspective. Know that I am here for you, and I’d love to offer more help where I can if you need it.
2020 was a spark for change, one that I believe will be for the rest of my life.
Here’s to 2021,