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I woke up on New Year’s Day of this year, slightly hungover from the regretful tequila shot and in my exes bed. But even as I left in the same clothes I wore the night before I had the determination in me to make this year the best one I ever had.

Well, it’s safe to say this year will surely be memorable, but I don’t think in the same way both I and others had anticipated. But I think that’s the problem there and I’ll be the first to admit that I’m guilty of doing this as well. We put so much pressure on a new year because we think it’ll solve or help clean up the problems and mistakes from the previous year. The truth is, we can’t know how anything is going to turn out.

I used to be someone who obsessed over having a plan. I bragged about knowing exactly where I wanted to be in 5 years. I thought I had everything figured out, and then life found a way to mess it up and I felt like I was back to the beginning of this game called life and now I’m watching others go past me. It sometimes feels like I’m stuck in the same spot and even when I get to move some spaces, eventually somewhere along the way I’ll get pulled back.

But I still thought this year would be different, and why wouldn’t I? I had so much planned and to look forward to there was no reason not to get excited.

And then Corona hit, and everything changed.

I went from spending weekends at bars with friends to my weekends spent drinking in my room on zoom with my friends. I went from having the same schedule of waking up, go to work, come home, repeat, to waking up at noon, trying to remember to eat, then stay up until the early mornings, and repeat. I went from being always willing to go out and go to places, to being afraid to even go to the grocery store and find some motivation to go for a walk every other day. I went from being excited for what this year had in store for me, to crying and getting upset about things I find silly now thinking about it like concerts, festivals, birthday parties, and my graduation.

To say this year has been a roller coaster of events an emotions would be a total understatement. I went through, much like everyone else, a lot. More than I think I ever have in a year. There were a lot of lows but with those lows came some highs and I’m not mad about them anymore because it’s gotten me to where I am right now.

There was a lot of struggling this year. Whether it be with my mental health, my weight, or my regular health in general, there were plenty of tears, hospital visits, questions that soon found answers, and for once genuine smiles.

If you would’ve told me that on New Year’s Eve of last year that this was how my year was going to turn out I wouldn’t believe you. I would fight you and say that that couldn’t happen. But now that it has I want to thank you for it. Because I learned a lot this year and I don’t think I would’ve or would be the person I am right now if it hadn’t turned out this way.

I found who my real friends are. How to hold onto a moment before making it into just another memory. How to finally get rid of people who don’t serve a purpose and only take up unwanted space. I learned how to adapt to change around me and take everything that comes at me with ease and grace. I learned to speak up for myself and go after the things I want.

If I could describe 2020 in one word for me it’d be this: grateful. I’m grateful for what this year brought me despite the unfortunate circumstances it came along with to happen. I think we need to learn to appreciate all that we have right now. Because it’s so easy to dwell on things from the past and only focus on making a better future. But if you don’t start doing that now in the present, will it even be worth it in the end?

2021, I don’t know what you have in store for me, but I’m ready with my arms outstretched waiting.

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