It’s hard to believe that it’s already November as we head into our eighth month of the global pandemic while simultaneously witnessing a battle over ballots . This month, I had planned on going into a few different things that I’m truly grateful for, but there is a weight that comes from celebrating when so many are continuing to struggle. 2020 has been an incredibly trying year for families as we face unemployment, sickness, and injustice. 2020, from a personal standpoint, has brought on feelings of frustration, grief, and defeat.
When I initially began sharing my blog, it was not because I felt that I had amazing things to tell everyone, but because I wanted anyone who took the time to read what I wrote to simply know who I was. If you know me, and I mean truly know me, you know that my life has been full of trials and tribulations. My intention was to be an open book. I wanted other people to know that they’re not alone. I wanted those who see my posts on social media to know that social media is not necessarily my reality. I use Facebook and Instagram to share some of my most treasured memories with friends and family, but those are merely brief moments in my life. I don’t post about the feelings of anxiety, abandonment, or loneliness. I don’t post about how I cry anytime I hear about someone’s loved one or pet passing, or about how I sometimes sit in my closet to let those tears roll down my face. I don’t post about my experiences on going without food, electricity, or gas; I’m working on sharing those parts of my life through this blog, but ultimately, I want empower others by standing in solidarity.
My hardships are personal, but they’ve made me stronger. I am a survivor. Looking through my photos on Facebook, no one would ever guess what I’ve endured. 2020 seems a lot like that, except on the surface we see the deaths, protests, and growing division. The deeper we dig, the more we uncover. We are all survivors in our own way, merely just doing the best we can with what we have.
This year, despite these ongoing struggles, I am incredibly grateful. I am grateful for my husband and daughter, for the family and friends that continue to stand by us, for our stable lifestyle that so strongly contrasts my past, and for God. I am also trying to be grateful for my personal growth, but it doesn’t come easily. I’ve learned to detach myself from toxic people, leaving them where they belong. I lost a lot of people in the last year, deaths included, and I am still trying to come to terms with it all. So, this Thanksgiving, I will sit at the table with a few less people than what we are used to. This Thanksgiving, I will sit at the table wishing that Aria will know a better world than the one I see. This Thanksgiving, I will be grateful because I know without the darkness, there would be no light.
Thank you, 2020, next.