Well, here we are. We’re turning the page on 2020. For good. We’ve made it through.
I cannot really describe how I’m feeling about it, honestly. I’m not really happy, and not even sad. Actually, I’m disappointed. Very disappointed.
This is how I feel about this year: we lost it. I feel like the pandemic took a full year away from me and the things I should have done this year. At my age, with the end of high school and the beginning of university, we’re supposed to have fun, spend time with our friends and make new ones, and be excited to start a new chapter of our lives. And I was looking forward to that. But just like millions of others in my generation, I could not experience it, and it’s something that I will never recover. I did meet new people -I’ll come back to this below-, but way less than other years (except online, obviously). I now have an apartment of my own and study in a school I love with classes I like. I’m happy about the choices I made for what I would do after high school. But again, I can simply not be fully happy, as I’ve only been able to attend physical classes for a month. This is not the life I was expecting at all, and it’ll stay as a disappointment.
Last year, I remember saying that 2019 had been a great year (and I meant it, I loved 2019). I said I wished we would keep the climate strikes and people-led movements momentum going into 2020. We could not. 2020 was a catastrophic year for activism, a year off in the middle of crises not giving us time to stop fighting for a single day. That being said, I have to say thank you to everyone who kept fighting, decided not to give up. It was hard. Sometimes almost impossible. But thanks.
I feel like December 31, 2019 was yesterday. I remember being with my friends, partying, celebrating the end of 2019 and the beginning of 2020. We were turning the page on a very intense year, and on the 2010s, starting the 2020s. And that new decade was giving us hopes, very big hopes. And instead, we got a fourth of the year being quarantined, not being able to see anyone other than on a screen, and the rest of the year without enough culture and social interactions. 2020 went by at the same time very slowly and very rapidly. I’m afraid I might not be able to remember this year in the future, because I have some sort of distortion in my memory, and I’m having a hard time remembering what happened.
Of course, we saw some great things this year. Just yesterday, thanks to the fight of millions of people, Argentina legalized abortion, and the biggest strike ever is happening right now in India against the measures of the government that would destroy millions of lives. This year, the Progressive International was launched, and for someone who cares about uniting Progressive fights like me, it was amazing to see, and even more to be able to join it and help it become reality and change the world. Back in November, we defeated the worst President in the history of the United States, and even if I’ll never be happy about who will replace him and the rest of the 2020 Elections, it’s a very good thing.
2020 made a lot of people realize how unsustainable our world is, and hopefully we will be able to change for the better. More people than ever realized who is really important in our societies.
And on a personal note, the best has happened to me this year. Yeah. In 2020, I found love. If you needed only one proof that even in the worst of times, even when you think everything’s lost, good can happen. I now feel like I’m fully able to be myself and know what life should be. I wish everyone could experience the level of happiness of having someone to share your life.
I don’t think I will wish you all anything for 2021. There is no point, and I’m not going to say that now everything will be better or “normal again”. Sorry. We’re far from the end of this pandemic, and it will still take a lot of courage, patience, distancing, wearing masks and not seeing our friends before we can finally turn the page on Covid.
So instead, I’ll thank you. Thank you for being here, thank you for spending that year with me. To my IRL friends, I’m sorry we couldn’t spend enough time together. I miss you. There are friends I love but could not see anymore because we moved away with the end of high school and to whom we could not properly say goodbye. This will forever hurt. To my online friends, thank you. Especially this year, your presence is critical to me. We might not know much about each other, but you make my life better. Good luck with what’s coming next. We’re all in there together.
And finally, from the bottom of my heart, thank you to everyone who made living until this point possible. Thank you to frontline health workers. Thank you to the poll workers who made the 2020 US Election possible. Thank you to small businesses owners, thank you to teachers who had to adapt to often impossible conditions but never gave up, thank you to scientists, thank you to volunteers, thank you to artists who found new ways to entertain us, thank you to journalists, thank you to activists.
You kept the world running, and the debt we have towards you will never be repayable.
I’m happy to share this world with you.
See you all in 2021,