While some may remember 2020 for all it has taken away, I will remember 2020 for all it has given me. I am thankful for the opportunities, experiences, and time I have been given to remember who I am. To every glass seen half-empty, there is a glass seen half-full.
2020 began without a hitch. I was in San Diego, California for a business Christmas party and celebrated New Year's under the bright fireworks at Disneyland. I, as we all were, was excited for the new year. Come February, I had signed up for the GRE, organized my classes for the new semester at school, and had begun to apply to Grad school. I was in my first relationship and I had a blossoming circle of friends. My 21st birthday was coming at the end of the month and I was ready to go bar hopping in Boston. Everything was going fine, until it wasn't.
Towards the end of February I came down with a cough. A cough followed by a headache, a fever, body weakness, chest pain, shortness of breath, and you guessed it, loss of taste. I worked in a clinic where I had sat in on a patient who (we didn't really know at the time) had come from Italy with shortness of breath and a fever. They were admitted to the hospital with low O2 sats and the doctors concluded that they had "viral pneumonia". COVID-19 tests were not in use at this point. So in the same way he had viral pneumonia, I was told it must be the flu (even though I tested negative). I was lucky and recovered in two weeks time. Unfortunately, it coincided with a lot of change. I was forced out of my apartment, kicked off my college campus, bought two plane tickets to go to my family's home half-way across the country, canceled my GRE, lost my job, and was put into a long-distance relationship.
The first few months went, well, not the best. I was alone most of the time. I didn't see anyone besides my mom and sister. I struggled to complete my semester online and I signed up for the GRE online. I went through a large period of depression, which then led to extreme anxiety and panic attacks (still working through today haha). At the end of it though, something changed, I changed.
In June, I traveled back up to Boston in a car with my sister. I spent the summer with my friends and did all of the things I wanted to. I got my job back and invested the rest of my time in all things "life". I started to discover my passions and what I wanted in life. I began to write, read, paint, and play the piano. I learned the Ukulele, ran a half-marathon, traveled to New York, Maine, and New Hampshire. I started hiking, went vegan, learned how to make bread, and educated myself on finance. I started a foodstagram, made a blog, and dabbled in modeling. I celebrated the Fourth of July, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and Halloween. I made sure to make the most of every day because you never know when it will be your last.
2020 gave me a lot of downs, but without it, I don't think I would have experienced as much as I did. I don't think I would have discovered as much about myself if I had just followed suit with my life. There is something to be said when all the distractions are taken away. I was able to find what I valued in life and ways in which I can be happy and for that reason, I thank 2020 for just being 2020.