2020: The Year None of Us Wanted But Some of Us Needed

by Emily Jarecki


Some, if not most, look back on 2020 as the worst year that has ever happened to us. When the pandemic hit, it felt like the end of the world; being laid-off or furloughed, postponing life events, and staying at home for weeks on end.


While some may have merely shifted office space without any real change to their habits, others used the shift to a small bubble to reflect and become more self-aware. With fewer distractions and interruptions, one can pause and think about the things that really matter - Who am I? What is important to me? What do I really enjoy doing?


No one could continue their previous routine, perhaps despite their efforts, and as the months piled on, we all realized that we had to adapt to the new normal. This sometimes meant a shorter workday, leaving us with more time. More leisure time revealed new interests and allowed us to create a backbone that was strengthened by our true passions.


Work no longer had to take up our entire lives. The activities we picked up are something that we will carry with us into the future when life returns to “normal.” Baking bread, painting on small canvases, beginning yoga, early morning reading and journaling, growing vegetables, and even starting a small side business are just a few of the things people have taken up after exploring beyond their office cubicle. The analytic was gone, and a more creative person took their place- someone with fresh eyes to see the important and the unnecessary in our daily lives.


Covid gave us the opportunity to release ourselves from the modern expectation. The modern idea is that our outer image is our better self; this revised version has more culture, more money, more opportunities - simply more. But this was dissolved with our new, more isolated lifestyles. Whereas there were two people before- the outer and an inner-, the inner person became the one true, reliable self.


2020 revealed many problems of the 21st century - the poverty of our lives outside work, the needs versus wants of society, the countable versus what counts - but the greatest silver lining was that we were able to assess our own existence, to put ourselves on the brink of an existential crisis to resolve these issues within us and gain a new perspective. We were given a chance to look for our bliss and our passions - with such profound progress in ourselves, how can we possibly go into 2021 ignoring this?


Perhaps all we really need in our lives is something already in our lives. Covid has indeed been a negative force globally, but it has also given us the chance to recognize ourselves and our lives for what they are - already pretty amazing.


Emily Jarecki is an editorial writer who finds importance in stories that encourage one to stand out and be themselves whether it be in fashion, ambition, or lifestyle.