When I think of what to say about 2020, I'm overwhelmed with feeling but paralyzed with words. How do you adequately surmise such a tumultuous, unprecedented year? Thankfully the internet never seems to be short on thought or opinion. So, here is a list of words (in no particular order) pulled from across the web by theme:
“2020 is like an automatic filter. It filtered out the people who didn’t want to be in my life. It made me appreciate people more but it also made me despise some of them. It showed me the difference between the kind of love that weathers the storm and the frail love that breaks at the first sign of trouble.”
“Fallow rang the loudest for me. It describes both the stillness of waiting and hopefulness of renewed growth. A fallow field is not dead but regenerating. And the following year it will spring forth with new life and new growth.”
Saudade: "‘a feeling of longing, melancholy, desire, and nostalgia that describes a deep emotional state; a yearning for a happiness that has passed, or perhaps never even existed' ...I have more time on my hands, and that means I’m longing for the past, with nostalgia being heavy this year. I’m also longing for those who’ve died, those I broken up with, and those I used to know a lot more this year. I believe longing comes from a place of aloneness, and I’ve never felt quite as alone as I have this year.”
"Times of transition are strenuous, but I love them. They are an opportunity to purge, rethink priorities, and be intentional about new habits. We can make our new normal any way we want."
- Kristen Armstrong
“The reason resilience is my word of the year is because, unlike quarantine and coronavirus and social distancing, resilience is the only one that’s going to be just as relevant when the pandemic is over. Resilience is the quality that was summoned in us by all the challenges of 2020. And it’s also the quality that’s going to carry us forward into 2021.”
If 2020 could be a feeling, it would encompass a wide range of emotion. I miss being around other people, but I'm also grateful for the opportunity to do things slower, more measured. I have gotten out into nature much more than last year and it has always been restorative when things start to feel stifling.
“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature - the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.”
- Rachel Carson, Silent Spring
We have all had to navigate through hardship and change this year. Do any of the words above resonate with you? How would you describe 2020 and what are you most hopeful for in 2021?