The new year seemed like a lifetime ago, and as I write this, there is snow coming down outside. As I watch the snow flakes cascade down to the ground, I cannot help but feel it doesn’t feel like just 365 days ago was new year of 2021. This year has been a whirlwind, yet just like those snowflakes coming down outside. If 2020 me could see what I’m about to write, she would not believe it- not one bit. This year has offered up far more than many of us could have ever thought or handle. I knew we’ve all learned so many different things about ourselves this year, me included. This year challenged me. Challenged me to learn more about myself as an individual, and about what can be achieved in one year. What really truly mattered.
It would be so easy to look back at 2021 and simply call it a year of going back to normal. Yet what is normal now? After two years of living with the pandemic constantly at our doors, a lot of things have changed from the normal we use to know. As the months went by, as lock downs started to be lifted, we started to see how the normal we were use to is no longer. The whole year felt as we are rising from the ashes of the pandemic, rising from our individual challenges, stronger than before. A song came to mind when describing the feeling of 2021 for me, Here I Am by Tommee Profitt.
This past year I felt as if I did crawl out from the shade and shadows after a few years of struggle. Some of it has been blessings, while others have been hurdles I finally overcame.
First I decided to go offline with this blog after nine years of blogging for a little break. What was meant as a month or two, turned out to be a whole year of radio silence on this blog. I put it in private mode to keep certain search engines around the world from indexing it while I was away, and went on with living my life offline. Now with the snowflakes coming down outside my window, there is this sense I accomplished a lot behind the scenes and had the self care most bloggers long for. I reconnected with myself, went deeper than I though I could, and took it all in without having to see my life through a screen or typed words.
Second, getting the COVID vaccine early this year and the booster shot, brought a sense relief after spending almost a year staring into the bleakness of the pandemic. Being on the front lines of the pandemic has tested me to the point of breaking more this year then it was in 2020. Public health is not for the faint of heart, and in the craziness that followed the vaccine roll outs, we humans can get through this. I’m a supporter of getting vaccinated, vaccinated for COVID and even the flu. This has and will always be truth to me, as a scientist, public health worker and as a human.
Third, I took my career in a whole new and different direction. In 2020 I began at the public health lab in the COVID response lab and continued in this lab until middle of this past year. I took a leap of faith and transferred to another lab on a project and then a few months later became a permanent in the same lab. The biggest take away is coming out of ashes from previous wreckage of one’s career. You can always start again somewhere where doors of opportunities open more then they are slammed in one’s face.
Fourth, life moves forward not matter how much the world seems to be holding still. Watching a friend get married to her college sweetheart, just shows how much love can overcome even the obstacle that the pandemic has put on all of us. We can get through it all to welcome another life to this world in the mist of chaos. Watching two wonderful friends welcome their daughter this year is the icing on top of the cake called 2021.
There have been highs and lows this 2021. Many have given me a immense growth in many areas of my life this year, and possible have transformed me into a better person then I was coming into 2021. I am hugely grateful for so many things that have happened this year, and appreciate that this has been a tough year for so many. So I send all my good wishes and hope for everyone to have a wonderful and even better 2022!