As the clock struck midnight on the 31st December 2019, I was in a buzzing bar trying to locate all of my friends among masses of sweaty strangers. Being able to come together, drink, dance and celebrate with all of my friends in this way now feels like a distant dream. This year, I'll be watching the TV in my lounge as this year merges into the next; a strange end to a very strange year! When we entered the new decade, I remember enthusiastically declaring, "this is going to be the best year of my life!" I'm not quite sure that 2020 lived up to this, but it has certainly been a year that I'm grateful for. It can be easy during times like this to become fixated on the negatives, so in this post I want to thank 2020 for all of the good times and for all that is has taught me.
THANK YOU 2020...
For giving me the travel bug. The first three months of my 2020 were spent in Australia, and getting to have a taste of the travelling life before the world turned upside down is something that I'm immensely grateful for. Travelling taught me so much about myself and about the world, and it is something I will definitely do more of when I can.
For a new start. Becoming a fresher in the middle of a pandemic definitely wasn't ideal and, so far, my university journey has been full of ups and downs. However, I'm so thankful that I was even able to make this move during such a turbulent year. I've met some amazing people and made some amazing memories so far, with many more still to come.
For family. The constant flitting in and out of lockdowns meant that I was able to spend so much more time with my sister and parents this year, and these are times that I'll always cherish.
For Zoom. Online quizzes and catch ups with friends and family literally kept so many of us sane during some of the most uncertain months of the year. Thank god for technology!
For allowing me to spend time on my hobbies. Starting this blog is something I've always considered doing, but I'd often put it off. This year, though, I had nothing else to do so thought I might as well give it a go... I'm so happy I did! Now, not only have I spent this year growing this blog, but I've also had the opportunity to contribute to lots of other amazing online magazines and websites.
For the sunshine and the sea. At the start of the first lockdown we were blessed with some insanely good weather, which definitely kept my sprits high and made the uncertainty of the whole situation more bearable. Having the seafront on my doorstep was something I took for granted before, but now it's like a sanctuary for me!
For community spirit. This year has been particularly horrible at times, but acts of kindness have often emerged from these tough moments. From hanging bunting in the street, to providing food for those who need it, my local community really pulled out the stops this year to try and spread some kindness and remind everyone that we're in this together.
For music. I wrote a blog post way back in April about how music was helping me through lockdown and the sentiment still stands. Music has been such a release for so many this year and has made me so much more excited for the day that I'll finally be able to experience live music again.
For showing us the real heroes. I dread to think where we would be if it wasn't for the sacrifices made by NHS staff and frontline workers. This year was tough but they kept going to make sure we still had access to essential shops and services. I'm thankful that these amazing people were finally recognised and thanked for all of their hard work.
For the down days. This year has been full of ups and downs, and I think it's important to appreciate the down times just as much as you appreciate the better days. In May, I wrote about how I was struggling with 'lockdown fatigue.' Since then, I've been trying to embrace the days where I'm feeling low and I've learnt that giving yourself time to rest during these times is vital.
Weird but wonderful, ridiculous but refreshing, thank you 2020 for all that you taught us and brought us. It's safe to say that we will never forget you!