I think I’m at a loss for words. We were all so excited for the changes and the opportunity that you would bring. The start of a new decade, 2020 vision. If we only knew what awaited us, we might have been able to prepare. It seems every month you had a different surprise for us. But as I sit here and think about what this year has brought, I think maybe you did hold true to the idea of 2020 vision.
I remember sitting in a conference room at work, the Monday after Kobe Bryant, his daughter, and five other passengers died in a helicopter crash. As everyone was coming to grips with his death, one of my coworkers was one of the first people I saw online reminding everyone of his shortcomings. And as I sat in that room, trying to hold my face together, I was reminded of the differences in our worlds. I was reminded of these differences again, when the world erupted in protest over the murder of George Floyd. Sitting in morning meetings, my coworkers unable to find the words, or unwilling to discuss this sensitive topic. It was the first time during the pandemic that I thanked God that I could work from home. Not having to sit physically in a meeting as your world is on fire, was a blessing that I will forever be grateful for.
This year I lost my Grandfather. The only close Grandparent that I had left. Not being able to say goodbye to him, is a pain I still carry with me. But I know that his passing in the beginning of the pandemic was a blessing and that we were still able to have a small ceremony to honor his life. I know so many families have lost loved ones and will continue to lose loved ones, due to our inability to suffer temporary discomfort for the greater good.
As we have watched our lives change seemingly overnight, I think we have been awakened to the world as it is and the world as it should be. Conversations about racial injustice, economic inequality, lack of education, the Prison Industrial Complex, and a myriad of other conversations have highlighted the changes that we need to make for our children to have a better future. As I watched white people march against systemic racism, I stood back. This fight has never been ours to have. We didn’t start the concept of race or racism, we have not benefitted from it, and it is not up to Black people to fix it. I have been overjoyed to see Black people thrive despite the obstacles, and have been inspired by people younger than me standing up for what is right.
I hope that as painful as this year has been, we don’t let the pain that you have caused be for nothing. Growth is painful. Change is painful. And sometimes everything that you thought you knew must be stripped away for something new to grow. If we go back to what we thought we knew, then this pain and suffering will be just a blip in history.
I thank you for the countless hours I have spent binge watching TV. I thank you for reminding me of how much I love my family and my friends. I thank you for reminding me that health cannot be taken for granted. I thank you for giving me hope for a better tomorrow.
To 2021, I’ll be honest I am scared to make plans for what you might bring. But if this year has taught us anything it’s that hope is what keeps us going. It keeps us alive. So, we will hope. And pray. And wish. And be reminded of everything that 2020 taught us.
Cheers to a happier and healthier New Year!