Did you know that when a tree sheds its leaves for winter, it’s not as dead as it may look? Despite its beautiful, barren appearance, it is already full of tiny buds, breaking their way out through the branches in preparation for their blossom into spring.
Therefore, while we view winter as a time of dark voids and cold temperatures, it is actually a time of conception and gestation. It is a time of anticipation.
We might look at 2020 as a long, long winter. There has been so much loss, so much defeat, so much division. And yet, we are still here, in wait, with our plans, intentions, and hopes in tow. For 9 dark months, we have been building up to a new season in which we might finally return to our fullest selves. And with vaccines rolling out and a state of mind that’s grown to anticipate the worst in every situation, it may finally be upon us.
Now, I know that January 1, 2021 won’t feel any different than any other day in 2020. Loved ones lost will not come back; jobs and missed rent payments and that carefree feeling we once had when we walked through Target won’t magically appear, either. But there’s just something about turning the page – about starting over – that feels like an accomplishment. It feels like we made it. And now, we can move forward.
Like many others at the start of this year, I chose a word for myself: Resolve. I chose it because I wanted to be determined – I needed this resolve to stick with my writing, take care of my health, plan my wedding, and work my way into a successful new year. But amidst the chaos of the first few months of 2020, I quickly forgot about that word. I straggled along, trying to be creative, but never finding the voice or the fulfillment that I’d been seeking. I felt lifeless, without purpose. And it’s been a battle I’ve been fighting almost every day since.
But looking back, I see that resolve was a word we were all going to need this year – whether we chose it or not. Together, we have managed to develop a collective strength to make it through all the shit that’s been thrown our way and fight towards something better. And perhaps this kind of resolve holds more importance than any personal or professional success I could’ve experienced this year.
I’ve laughed. I’ve cried. I’ve taken a massive pay cut and worn my mask and sanitized my hands at every opportunity. But now, I’m ready for something different. I’m ready to take back control in 2021.
Who’s with me?