What a weird year
The weirdest thing about 2020 is that no one saw it coming. 2020 is a rebel year. It totally defied all rules and forced every human both rich and poor to go about life in different ways than normal.
For so many people, the losses incurred this year will never be paid back. People have lost their lives, sources of income, loved ones and so many other things. For some of us, we lost time.
For me especially, 2020 has been a year of lessons and growth even though it’s seems as though I didn’t really move academically. I believe I learnt so much more in this year than any year in the past.
It’s not only because I turned nineteen and the world felt weirder than it ever was. It’s mostly because at some point the only thing I had to worry about was living. Not exams, not tests, not the future. All I had to worry about was staying alive in the present.
It started with Covid.
When the Covid 19 pandemic first started, most of us didn’t know what to expect. Especially us Nigerians. We could only hope for the pandemic to not spread in our country because of the poor health care systems. Thankfully, we didn’t have it as bad as other developed countries.
Ours came and went out of sight although the damaged it caused to the already failing economy can still be felt.
I remember wanting to resume to school badly. I even wrote a blog post about it. Prior to the Covid lockdown, I was on an holiday for about 3 months. Two weeks after we resumed, we were forced to return home for the lockdown.
Maybe it has something to do with growing up or it’s just what happens when you have nowhere to go or nothing to do.
Before the lockdown, I occasionally had episodes of depression and insomnia. My mind would take over and at some point, I would feel like a prisoner in my own mind. I faced insecurities, fears, anxiousness and a lot of other baggages.
It worsened when bad news kept increasing and everywhere on social media was filled with stories of people dieing, increase in death rate. At some point I had to leave social media to keep my mental health in check.
With the lockdown there was a surge in rape cases and police brutality leaving me even more depressed. With the rape cases came gender war. There was just too much going on. Teenage girls were getting raped at home and in church. There were cases of domestic violence too.
For me, I had it worse during the End SARS protest when I watched a live video of the Nigerian army shooting live rounds at unarmed protesters. I hit a low point and my anxieties kicked off. I just wanted to leave Nigeria. It wasn’t as if there was some place else to go. But I was terrified and tired.
Life and lessons
Although I had my episodes of depression quite often, I also learnt lessons. I learnt valuable lessons about life.
Staying at home really gave me a chance to learn more about myself, the people around me and the society as a whole.
I learnt a lot from people and books on religion, freedom, oppression, love, depression, family, Feminism, patriarchy, LGBTQ and a variety of other topics.
I figured out that in so many ways, our lives are similar… That our lives are intertwined and we are daily affected by other people’s decisions weather positively or negatively.
2020 taught me that not all adults are reasonable and it is not enough to attribute wisdom to age.
I realized that the society has rules for everything. The society has expectations and they would throw anyone who doesn’t fit in under the bus. But that’s not all, it dawned on me that we as humans always want to fit in, we regularly seek approval from those around us. This approval which we seek and the need to fit in is bondage.
Freedom means not minding that we might be alone. Freedom means not seeking approval to act or think. It is understanding that we don’t always have to fit in because as much as we are similar, we are also different. Not only because of our genes but also because of our up bringing and experiences.
I also learnt about self love and love for others. About how it is impossible to love other people except we love ourselves. Our actions and inactions determine how much we love ourselves. It’s human to profess love but not act it out.
Accepting my flaws and forgiving myself
This was one of the most difficult things for me in 2020. I didn’t realize how angry I was at myself for some of the things that weren’t my fault.
I was also angry at the things I couldn’t change. It took some time for me to learn to accept myself for who I was. Life only felt better when I did.
I know I have flaws and I’m working to be better one step at a time.
There were times when I had too many goals and ended up not doing anything. There were also times when I completed my some of my goals.
I understood myself and I fried my best to not pressure myself as I used to do before.
Blogging and writing
Although I didn’t completely accomplish most of my blogging goals, I have a clearer view of what I want my blog to look like in the next 1 year. I made a lot of blogging mistakes this year and I hope to do better in 2021.
As for my writing, I find myself improving but I noticed that I had problems with my self confidence. I’m working on that next year. I worked on several articles this year and I hope to do more next year.
Self development, growth and moving forward
I must say that in this year, I have grown to be more aware of my feelings and the people around me. I have learnt to voice out my opinions and to learn as much as possible.
No doubts, 2020 has been a tough year. It has been mentally challenging. I have faced the things I called my demons. I have battled them and won. I have dealt with my insecurities and all other issues holding me back.
I am sure of what I want and the kind of life I want for myself. I understand myself better. I guess that is what is most important when it comes to growth.
2020 has been a crazy rollercoaster ride but I have learnt and unlearnt so many things. Although my academic life was at a stand still, my life still moves on.
Everyday comes with it’s lessons, it doesn’t matter if it’s in a classroom or in a moving bus.
2020 has made me more open minded, stronger and ready to face situations head on.
Expectations for 2021
While we are not sure about the Covid Vaccine or the fate of Nigeria, I hope it is nothing like 2020. Even though most things will never be back to normal, I sincerely hope that we would all have the strength to deal with the new normal.
Hopefully, 2021 will not be as broken as 2020.
What was 2020 like for you?
Did you lose anyone or anything?
Did you learn any new lessons?
Is there something you regret about 2020?
What’s your take home for 2021?
Let me Know your answers in the comment section below. I love you guys. Happy new year!!!