December 30, 2020

All the Things Twenty Twenty Taught Me

Twenty twenty has been a lot of things, but as I reflect back, teacher feels like the most appropriate title. The past twelve months have taught me more about myself, this world, and all the people in it than any other year to date. Maybe even more than a lot of years combined. 

It is often the hardest years that have the most to offer us in terms of personal growth & learning. Twenty twenty takes the cake here. I know I am not the only one who has grown & evolved as a person. To be honest, I think we have collectively grown as humanity. I can't help but think that all this year taught us, has changed us for the better. This gives me immense hope. 

I of course cannot speak for all of humanity, but I can speak for myself. So without further ado, here are some of the biggest lessons from this past year. 

 Sometimes it is enough to merely get by. 

To just put one foot in front of the other & make it through.. the hour, the day, the night, the month, the year ... 

The hard moments, days, and months were countless this year. Hard doesn’t even begin to explain it. Sometimes I have to pinch myself because it still doesn’t all feel real. So many times just getting through another day felt like an accomplishment.  

It was an accomplishment - and that's the most important takeaway here. Sometimes you need to give yourself the grace to just make it through the day. That is enough. 

Tell people how you feel. 

If there’s nothing else we learned this year, it’s that life is fleeting, and you & those you love are never guaranteed time. 

Tell your family & friends you love them, that they matter, that you’re thankful for them. 

If you’re in love with someone, tell them. Don’t hesitate, don’t wait. Tell them how you feel no matter how scary it feels. Tell them even when it feels like it’s too late. 

p.s. It’s never too late. 

Human beings can be incredible. 

Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in life & forget to see the good in people. The bad in people seems overwhelming at times. 

However, if there is something that has been clarified and amplified this year, it’s that people are inherently good

During the worst of COVID, the love I felt from friends, family, & even strangers was overwhelming. I felt it everyday for months. New Yorkers clapped out their windows every night for months .. people sent food, kind words, and positive vibes. Everyone was routing for each other, for our city. 

The goodness POURED out of people. It's something I never want to forget.

New York is the greatest place on earth. 

This was never a doubt in my mind, but the past 365 days have confirmed this for a lifetime. 

There will never, ever be another place like it. It is magic & it is the center of my universe. 

Running can save you in more ways than one. 

Over the course of my adult years, running has become my go to. It is my therapy, my happy place, & this year it was my saving grace.

It’s always been there to cheer me up, clear my head, make me feel strong, give me clarity, calm an anxious mind, heal a broken heart, give me both physical & mental strength, remind me what I’m grateful for, make me feel a part of something bigger than myself, and of course give me a good ass kicking every so often. 

I have run more this year than ever before, and I have never felt more like a runner than I did this year. Thank you for that 2020.  

Never underestimate the power of a good walk. 

I never understood until now, how important it is sometimes to just get up, walk out the door, and go. Many times this year, this was literally all there was to do - the only way to escape the walls of our apartments, to get some fresh air. 

There are few times I am more grateful than when I am out walking the streets of the city. It is often during these walks that I am hit with overwhelming gratitude for this city, my life, these opportunities- for everything really. 

Never underestimate the power of a good walk, fresh air, and a chance to clear your head. A good walk around the block can really change your mood, your day, and your outlook - let it.

Central park is the heart of NYC. 

I fell in love with Central Park this year. 

It was a respite amongst the chaos, an escape for cooped up New Yorkers, a literal breath of fresh air, and, like running, a saving grace.

I am forever grateful for all that the park provided me with this year, especially at the peak of covid. I am grateful for every stroll, picnic, run, and discovery made. During a time of such isolation and alone time, it provided me with a quiet community. Strolling around with hundreds of other New Yorkers, made me feel like I was part of something. We might not know each other but the love we have for the park is something we share. It made me feel so at home.

It is embarrassing to admit that it took me this long to realize Central Park's magic, but I am grateful I know now. I think it is safe to say that I have made up for it this year and will continue to for the all the rest of my New York days. That is a promise.

Being a good person, doing the right thing, and fighting for what is right matters. 

Could this be an overarching theme for twenty-twenty? Now that I think about it, yes, yes it could. Being selfless, putting others first, and fighting for others & for what is right, was something twenty twenty forced us to confront head on. It forced us to rise to the occasion, time & time again this year.

Was it always easy? Absolutely not. 

Was it easy sitting inside for months, and giving up the lives we once knew? No it was not. But we did it for the greater, common good. We did it to protect each other. To protect strangers. To protect our loved ones. 

Was it easy speaking up and having hard conversations? Was it easy calling out your loved ones when they were wrong? Was it easy fighting for other people, at the risk of harming your own personal relationships?

No. None of this was easy. But it was the right thing to do and it was 100% worth it. 


It matters more than we know. 

I am fiercely independent, strong, and resilient. 

This one is a little bit more personal, but in actuality I'm sure we are all a lot stronger than we give ourselves credit for.

My independence and mental toughness are qualities I have always admired within myself, but this year still challenged those things. Twenty twenty, you sure put me to the test.

But in that test, I learned that those qualities remained & grew even stronger. I am fiercely independent, strong, resilient, and more than capable of taking on what life throws at me. Not fearless, but willing to keep on going despite the fear. If I ever have doubts about this in the future, I just need to think back to this year. 

xo. G

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