It’s been wild.
You’ve certainly presented us all with some challenges, and some particularly demanding arduous ones at that, but for this I do not hate you, in fact this year has been more of a journey than a punishment, for me at least. As painful and as difficult as you have been, you have blessed me with many opportunities to learn and grow, unlike any other year has, and with any luck unlike any year to come for a while at least.
2020, you have taught me patience in abundance, a virtue I must admit I was severely lacking, with the endless days of waiting and unknowing, with nothing that needed to be done, you helped me learn that sometimes being is better than doing. Just being is a joy in and of itself. The long and endless days taught me the truth in Allen Saunders’ famous line “Life is What Happens To You While You’re Busy Making Other Plans”, as I waited and wished for the post-GCSE summer that never was, my plans were thrown out the window, as were the rest of the world’s, yet life was still very much happening and enjoyable nonetheless.
You also taught me to realise my priorities, a priceless lesson, especially for someone as young as I am. The one thing my world revolved around was suddenly taken away when my exams were cancelled and Lockdown 1 officially started. For a whole 6 months there was no school work being forced on me, no deadlines, no pressure, no stress, no more revision or homework, no more tests and flashcards, no more school at all. The 12 week long summer I was expecting seemed endless enough nevermind 6 whole months! But alas, I could not spend the time as I would’ve liked, all the parties, festivals and holidays I had planned were cancelled, a nothingness lay ahead. I finally had an opportunity to discover what was truly important to me, not just the grades I’d been brainwashed into thinking were the be-all and end-all.
I treasured the time you allowed me to spend with my lovely family, it really allowed me to build closer relationships with them that will hopefully last a lifetime. You helped me to understand what I enjoyed and missed about school: I realised what subjects I actually had a passion for and wanted to continue, and how much I loved and missed my friends.
Most importantly, I was able to begin to understand myself: the relationship I have with myself, and with others, my relationship with my body, and my spirituality. I finally had more time for yoga and meditation, to read, to journal and talk with like minded people. I was able to throw myself into developing myself, I was able to learn about the world, if only from the comfort of my bedroom, the injustice and brutality as well as the beauty and kindness, I was able to read, not just for school but for pleasure and to expand my mind, and to spend time with myself, getting to learn what makes me tick.
By extension of my personal spiritual development, I was able to work on and expand my business and my teaching. Despite the many difficulties you presented me with, I am so proud of how far I have developed my business, my outreach, my teaching and my understanding of yoga. I started this blog, wrote courses, planned classes, produced projects and taught online classes, as well as realising what sort of teacher I want to be, what I hope to ‘achieve’ by teaching yoga. You gave me an opportunity to learn and develop like no other year has.
I wanted to say thank you 2020, you gave me a chance to step out of the ever flowing river of my life and reflect upon the journey and the destination. You gave me a chance to learn who I am and what I want, and to recognise that my health and happiness is far more important than my accomplishments and grades. You gave me a chance to rest and to be, for which I am truly grateful.
The world, I’m afraid to say, doesn’t hold you in high regard, some going so far as to call you a write-off and a disaster, but to me you have given many gifts, you have been a blessing in disguise. I don’t wish to undermine the great pain and loss you have caused others, and at times me, but you have certainly had a rather thick and juicy silver lining in my eyes.
Thank you 2020 for being a year we will never forget, and for shaking things up a bit, in my opinion it was about time someone pressed pause and gave us all a chance to reflect and change.
Although you’ll be memorable, I do hope 2021 will be a little… easier...