Thank U 2020, Next

2020 has deservingly earned its reputation for being a chaotic, unpredictable year. Through the year’s many defining events and low points, it can understandably be hard to find things to be grateful for. But as Thanksgiving approaches, now is the time to dig deep. I’m feeling a little sentimental thinking about all the things this year has taught me to appreciate.

 

If you’re having a hard time getting the ball rolling, here are some thoughts on my own 2020 blessings that might spark some of yours!

 

Health - Covid is terrible in every way possible, in how it takes lives, in how it prohibits people from interacting, in how it literally leaves people afraid to go about their daily routines. Worst of all, it’s sneaky and can affect anyone. I live in a household with two nurses, plus a sister that worked in a rehabilitation center, where she contracted the virus trying to help patients that had it. While I am so grateful to not have gotten it, I take it as even more of a blessing that my sister survived it and my parents have not been infected with it, despite being on the frontlines of it every single day. I would say it’s a miracle we’ve remained healthy, and I don’t forget how blessed we are for it.

 

A Home - With all the time spent in lockdown, I am grateful to have a house that not only can I safely stay in, but also feel comfortable and happy doing so. I know that not everyone is fortunate enough to feel happy with the place they now have to spend so much more of their time in. So if you do, you’re one of the lucky ones. While I sit swaddled on my bed in a fluffy blanket, pillows, and a TV with my favorite show on in front of me, I have to remind myself not to take it for granted.

 

Technology - Technology is definitely a blessing and a curse, but during social distancing, I think everyone can agree it’s an advantage. Talking through the phone is not nearly as satisfying and meaningful as being in person with those you want to see, but it’s still such an amazing tool to stay connected and be able to communicate with people, whether it’s through FaceTime, texting, or social media. Some of my newest friends were made this semester through a group chat for my online minor class.

 

Family & Friends - You can take this year’s chaos as a symbol of how my mental health looked by the end of it all. And I know I’m not alone! Everything going on in 2020 is a serious test to people’s emotional wellbeing, and I can admit that I was affected by a lot that happened. But with that came never-ending support from my loved ones. From my sister texting me with constant check-ins all the way from Buffalo to my boyfriend listening to my every thought, breakdown, and breakthrough every time I have one, they acted as my daily reminders that I am not alone through my experiences and that I am a lot stronger than what I face. 

 

Accomplishments - Having talked about mental health, this is also the time to remember to celebrate you and your own accomplishments despite how challenging the year may have made it to achieve. For myself, I’m especially proud of the strides I’ve made with writing. I got my first job this summer, and it happens to be writing for a pet blog and lawn mowing company. This semester I also joined the amazing Her Campus Girl Gang Community and The Montclarion as a contributing writer. Seeing my work published on these platforms is one of the proudest highlights of the year, and it motivates me so much to do more. I also am so grateful for being able to maintain these writing opportunities with good grades and new friendships. I’m learning to let myself brag a bit, and I suggest you guys take Thanksgiving to do it, too!  

 

Going into the end of 2020 and venturing into 2021, these are the wins that we can keep in mind to stay motivated and hopeful for what the future has in store for us. It’s much easier said than done, but at the end of the day, “Gratitude attracts what we desire” (Noctis Enoch), meaning we attract the life we are grateful for.