It’s an age old saying that day-to-day nothing changes, but when you look back at a year, everything is different. This definitely rings true for this past year.
As March approaches, we are coming up to the one year anniversary since we were officially in lockdown in Ontario, and it’s incredibly hard to believe a year of our lives has already passed us by. That’s the unfortunate thing with time, it doesn’t stand still, it keeps moving, even if we feel like we’re stuck in one place.
For me, I’ve definitely felt stuck this past year. I’ve felt like I’m losing the most precious years of my life inside. That I’m not ceasing the day. That I’m missing critical milestones in both my friends, and families lives. Overall, I’m just not living life to its fullest, and for once, I have no control over it.
But with any year, as time passes, there is always growth, there’s always change, and there’s always a transformation. In the case of this year, we had little to no control in what that looked like for us. Our new year’s resolutions and goals at the beginning of January 2020 were quickly thrown to the sidelines, as we learned to navigate what life threw at us, and we were forced to just find our way the best we could.
This year, I’ve learned a lot about myself. Naturally, we’re stuck at home with ourselves more than ever before. I was challenged a lot, mentally, and physically, by adapting to a life in my home. As someone who thrives off being busy, having plans, seeing friends, etc., the adjustment of going from one extreme to the other was a big one. I learned pretty quickly that working from home wasn’t for me, but as days, turned to weeks, turned to months, I grew used to it. The same way I grew used to being homebody. To the point that when things did begin to reopen in the summer, it was draining and exhausting to force myself to readjust again.
Like many, my mental health went from experiencing all sorts of emotions, to in the end, becoming numb, or used to the new way of living. In those first few months I struggled hard with the fear of the unknown, the lack of stimulation that comes with isolation. There were lots of days of tears, lots I didn’t want to get out of bed, and lots where that sadness of mourning my past life turned into frustration and anger.
As the year progressed, I adapted. It’s funny how we often forget how resilient human beings really are. I replaced those things I became so used to, with new things that occupied my time. I found a newfound love for fitness, I learned to cook new things, I got over my hate for Facetime and phone calls, and I learned a lot about the importance of human connection.
I think if there is one thing we took for granted prior to this year, it was human connection.
I took for granted those moments (any moments) that I had with friends and family, and learned so much about the people that surround me and what sort of support they need. I became more compassionate, and understanding when friends were going through their own “rona-coaster”, and made sure I took time to check-in on them. Something that in busier, normal times, you may not take the time to notice.
In general, I learned just how precious life really is. That we don’t take enough damn time to smell the roses, to appreciate what, and who we have in our lives. And although the transformations we all went through this year looked different than a normal year, I think we have all taken this time to just slow down, and recalibrate. Something that I think we eventually will all be grateful for.
Although I often feel like my pre-pandemic life was just a distant memory, a dream that seems so far out of reach now. I do believe that we will come out of this, and look at our lives different than we ever would have before. We will have experienced a different level of personal growth and self renewal, the same way a snake sheds its skin and takes on an entirely new form. Although we will still be ourselves, we will have grown and evolved in the way we should be.
It seems weird that I’d want to remember this year forever. Most of us think we want to forget it. For me, I think there has been a lot of lessons we’ve learned in this year that I want to never lose sight of, and use as a way to appreciate everything life has to offer post-pandemic. One of the ways I remember important things or milestones is through mementos. The same way you buy a souvenir when you travel to a new destination.
For this time in my life, I’ve chosen to commemorate this year with a beautiful necklace from Bluboho’s Revival Collection. Not only does shopping from their store and collection support local, but I also love having something to ground me and remind myself of the growth I’ve experienced, and the growth that is still to come.
With International Women’s Day fast approaching, I want to know how you have transformed this year. What have you learned? What will you hold with you forever?
Disclaimer: My Revival Snake Necklace was gifted to me by Bluboho in exchange of writing this post on my transformation this year. However, I’ve been a huge fan of the brand for years, and would only collaborate with brands I love.