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What has 2020 meant for you?

One thing 2020 has taught me is that life is too short. Too short to be unhappy. Too short to dwell on the past. Too short to chase love. Too short to accept what is not good for us. Too short to be stuck in a relationship that doesn't serve us, and too short to not live our lives how we please. In the last 7 months I have witnessed loved ones lose family members. I have been forced to adapt to a new way of living because of a pandemic that has blown out of control. I have been overloaded with work due to the backlash of the previous lockdown which has caused children to fall behind academically. I have not been able to see loved ones because they are elderly and self isolating, but in between all of the set backs, I still have my health which is a positive thing.

In March 2020 lockdown became the 'unknown' way of living. People couldn't comprehend what was going on and why it was happening. It became a time of speculation, panic, uncertainty, confusion and anger which triggered lots of miscommunication. But, most of all it became a time when we truly saw who really cared about us. I for one was very frustrated and as well as the many obstacles I had to face on a daily basis, I had to come to terms with a situation I had no control over. I was let down by people I thought would never turn their back on me. I was ignored and blocked for a reason that didn't even make sense at the time, which not only confused me, it opened my eyes to the type of people I had around me. I had to forgive those for what they did, for they did not know what they were doing. When you are faced with people who have no consideration for your well-being, the only way you can handle the situation is to leave them to it and move on. I know this has made me a stronger and better person.

During lockdown I made time to focus on myself. I learned how to love myself again. I counselled myself, read many books about self healing, living a fulfilled life and found coping mechanisms to deal with stress. I worked out, pursued my writing, gave my children unconditional love, embraced new hobbies, and removed myself from social media in order to give my mind a break from all the negativity which was circling online. Another thing I did was delete a few numbers from my phone which served me no purpose and I gave myself credit for the decision. I had to ask myself, Why do I keep making excuses for people who do not engage in my existence? Why do I have to keep chasing people who can't even send me a text to say hi? Why have I always been the one to visit them? Why am I always the one making the effort? I then decided that the best move was for me was to take a step back and observe who would notice my silence and it became apparent to me who really checked for me. That is when I knew it was time to keep it moving and I became private. For too long, I promoted my life, made myself an example to help motivate and encourage others to do better, when in fact, all I was doing was giving people a reason to judge me. It has taken me a long time to realise that the world does not need to know everything about my life. There are some things I can keep to myself. In today's society, too many people make judgement on others when their lives are not even perfect. They hate on peoples efforts to improve their lives not realising their negative energy can have an impact on others.

During the summer, I made it my priority to heal over past hurt and overcome the dark cloud I carried over my head over the years, which hindered my growth as a person. I stopped calling those who made no effort to call me. I stopped reaching out to those who were not appreciative of my support and I let God take control. For once in my life, it wasn't about anyone else. I was the most important person who needed saving. We only have a short time to live our lives and even then, we do not know when that time will come to any end. So, it's vital that we take the steps to create an amazing life story. Whilst my life has had limitations because of the government rules and restrictions, I have made the most out of the situation and continued to smile. I have encouraged my children to look on the bright side in order for them to remain happy. We still have our health, a home, food, family and friends. We have clean clothes, a car to get around in and I still have a job. Therefore, we have focused on the positives and kicked the negatives to the curb. I am not portraying a perfect life, because my life is far from perfect. I have seen some hardship this year and whilst some people would have chosen to give up, I chose to keep fighting. In these last couple of months, I have surrounded myself around positive people. I have held my head high. I have straightened my crown. I have been encouraged to be the Queen I was born to be. I have made great relationships with people I never took the chance to get to know before. I have spent valuable time with an amazing friend who has done nothing but give. My family have been my rock regardless of their distance, or the fact we are not in the same bubble, or household. I can now visualise what I want in my life and what I don't. What life has taught me this year is that my purpose is to live life, be happy, love, be grateful and make the most of every situation. Having a purpose doesn't mean we have to know our direction. Our purpose can simply be to give unto others who may be less fortunate than ourselves. I know that there are people out there who have suffered from depression in these last few months, taking mental health illness to an all new high globally. I have friends who have been so ill, that isolation has been their only option. The greatest thing is that I have been there to support them over the phone or in person, which makes me recognise that there are people in worse scenario's than myself.

When I sit and talk to friends I ask them what 2020 has meant to them, because not everyone has found it to be a bad year. It has been a time of change and with change comes new beginnings. So whilst many have seen this pandemic as a set back, others have seen it as a way forward.

When I look back on the year as a whole, it hasn't been all bad. I have had some amazing moments with some amazing people and hopefully it will continue until the end of the year, regardless of what is going on around me.

I never thought this year would pan out this way when I left 2019. In December many of us were full of hope, positive in spirit and ready to achieve the goals we had set in place for the next chapter. But, unfortunately 2020 has seen countless job loses, financial loss, disturbing housing situations, famine, earthquakes, natural disasters which many were not prepared for.

All we can do is pray, remain safe and  work together as a community to combat these troubled times we are currently in and be grateful, because it could be a lot worse.

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