My 2020 in pictures is filled with extraordinary hope for a new life for me, America and even the world. But it is also consumed by several layers of fear. There is a fear of the government, which sometimes seems to always put their needs above that of the people who have ensured the very existence and survival of the government. There is also a fear of the ramifications that human beings are inflicting onto the Earth. A month of lockdown showed exactly how much of a negative impact that we are having on the Earth by simply going about our daily lives. 2020 was an ever present reminder of the fragility of life, and even the world as we know it. It was a reminder that anything can happen to change the course of our lives, or even to end everything once and for all.
2020 may have shown us that endings can come swiftly, but it has also given us all the propensity of change. Change is unavoidable, we know that much, and it is how we react to change that ultimately shows who we all are. 2020 has therefore shown us all that life can — and will — change. But that doesn’t mean that life has stopped. What it does mean is that we must bring forth the courage and strength from within to continue forward. No matter what happens, we must always carry a torch of life within ourselves. This torch of life has the capacity to bring about much hope, happiness, and a heavenly need to find our safe place.
Since hope, happiness, and the need to find a sanctuary is ever present, it is ever vital that we hold on to life. We hold onto the memories in the form of pictures that shape our very existence. It is therefore even more important to show a 2020 in pictures to remember not what we lost, but what we have gained from experiencing 2020. The following is my 2020 in pictures. I would love to see yours too.
(This idea was taken from a fellow blogger Delicate and Brutal. Please do subscribe to her blog, which shows the power of love and hope in the face of chronic illness).
My 2020 in Pictures
My 2020 started out normal enough with a trip to the park and an ice cream date at our favorite ice cream shop at the mall.
And then, 2020 took a downhill spin when we were in an accident. Fortunately, it was a minor one with no injuries. We emerged unscathed, but with a renewed appreciation for life.
Light seemed to shine on us once again when this handsome little dude graced us with his presence an hour after midnight on January 28th.
After 3 days in the NICU, we were finally home again though without a car. (We had a rental).
The little man went to his first few doctor visits and was deemed as healthy and thriving. At 1 week old, eating was quickly becoming his favorite hobby.
And then, I purchased an old-new car (but newer than the first one), went grocery shopping with two kids for the first time, and slowly started to adjust to life with having two kids. And let me tell you, having two kids is a different ball game from just having one.
And then, the oldest child turned 4. I regret to say there wasn’t any pictures taken on that day. I’d like to say that we were being more present and intentional with our time, but most likely due to being busy because of #momlife and #twokids.
And then, as you know, lockdown officially started in mid-March. We were instructed to stay at home, only leaving the house to go pick up groceries and other essentials. I remember driving through the town with goosebumps on my arms, at how quiet the streets were. I remember the super low gas prices. And how toilet paper and water seemed to just fly off the shelves. It was as if the apocalypse was here. And in a way, I guess it was.
But still, life goes on. We keep trudging forward. I was blessed to have a stay-at-home job so I was mostly working at night, and then thinking about the future by day. It seemed dreary at the time, but I knew that it was going to be okay ultimately. Everything always happens for a reason. Things may seem bad, but bad always transforms into good. We just have to keep positive.
And then, I started to worry about the future more as I worked less and less hours. But, on the flipside, I mastered how to use the baby sling, which was nerve-wracking and terrifying as it felt as if baby could fall out at any moment. But thankfully never did. The trick to a successful use of a baby sling is to secure the straps tightly around your torso.
And then, just when I mastered the use of the sling, we were soon given orders to wear masks. We had to wear masks inside buildings and even outdoors if we knew that we were going to be around a crowd of people. At first, I didn’t want to wear a mask. I put one on for the first time and it felt intensely uncomfortable. I felt claustrophobic. I felt as if I literally could not breathe. I couldn’t understand how people were able to spend 8 to 9 hours wearing a mask.
But it didn’t matter. Little did I know that this would soon become our new norm. I would never have imagined that I would eventually actually like wearing a mask.
I clearly felt unsatisfied at the time at having to wear a mask. I was also unsatisfied and even frustrated at the fact that I haven’t written in so long. Because I haven’t written in so long, it was harder for the words to come out. My sentences felt choppy and inauthentic. I wanted to do something about that.
So, I did two things: one, I pulled out my big black binder which contains the remnants of a Nanowrimo novel that I once wrote four or five years ago. Two, I started blogging again! Click here to see my first few blog posts onCrispy Confessions in 2020.
Meanwhile, my baby boy celebrated his 100-day birthday with pictures and lots of cuddles. My baby may have spent most of his first 100-days in lockdown, but he was still a happy baby.
We celebrated Mother’s Day at the beach, because there really wasn’t anywhere else to go with lockdown and quarantine orders. It was our very first outing since the beginning of lockdown and thankfully the weather that day was warm though cloudy. It was a reminder that even in the chilliest and darkest of days, there is light that shines through. We just have to find it.
2020 may have been one scary heck of a year, but there is no doubt that it has tested me in ways that I never thought possible. After the long summer of 2020, I continued writing. I participated in blogtober in October, which I credit for giving me the motivation and perseverance to write everyday. Almost every writer that I have ever encountered cites writing everyday as the number one best thing you can do to improve your craft. During that month, I wrote about overcoming my top fears, started doing book reviews, and got nominated for blogging awards.
And then, the 4 year old went to school for the first time. I recounted this experience in a public letter I wrote to her. I carved my first pumpkin and ate roasted pumpkin seeds (the 4 year old hated it). I also worked on rebuilding my Instagram (follow me here!) by creating new content and connecting with people. I started to feel more confident using social media not just as a way to post things, but as a tool that I could use to promote my writing.
The last two months of 2020 went by rather quickly, aided I imagine by the holiday season. With the Christmas cheer in the air and the lights that dominated the neighborhood, it certainly felt as if we had just finished muddling through another boring college 101 class. We could finally see the end of what was otherwise a tedious and challenging year.
Despite the challenge posed by 2020, I look back now and am extremely thankful for 2020. If it wasn’t for 2020, I would never have started blogging again. If it wasn’t for 2020, I wouldn’t have the same appreciation for the simplest things in life. If it wasn’t for 2020, I don’t think I would have been the same person today.
Things happen in life. They happen so that they can change and shape us. They happen so that they can make us into better people. I firmly believe that bad things happen in order to teach us something. Bad things aren’t a result of bad luck or pure happenstance. Instead, they are there to help guide us toward the good. They help guide us through the long dark tunnel, helping us reach the light at the end of it. So, while we are meandering through this dark road that many of us call life, let us remember that there is always hope on the other side. No matter how tough things may seem, always remember that good things await. So, let’s move onward and forward onto the next brilliant adventure!
Tell me about your 2020 in six words or lessin the comments below.