Looking back on 2020 …

Posted December 2020

What a year 2020 has been!

It’s been tumultuous, occasionally raw, but also beautiful at times!

The funny part is what I’d hoped for myself for 2020: STABILITY. Ironic right? Here I was thinking that 2019 had been unstable… HA-HA-HA. I can confidently say, and I think everyone will agree with me, that 2020 was by far the most unstable year in over a century.

2020 has been

  • The year of heartache
  • The year of resilience 
  • The year of growth

I used those three words so many times this year that I’ve lost count.

Heartache because I lost my grandfather unexpectedly this year. My heart is still broken months later and I’m now certain that a key piece will forever be missing. I lost my uncle Eamonn this year: a kind, gentle man whose achievements were extremely inspiring. My trips to Ireland will no longer be the same without him around. Heartache because my heart was broken twice by men this year. It’s hard to be vulnerable and open and sadly my findings are that you will get hurt: it’s part of the game. I’ve read every book by Brené Brown since I came across her TedTalk on Vulnerability in 2014 and I have been practicing everything she preaches. (Dr. Brené Brown is a research professor who has spent the past two decades studying courage, vulnerability, shame, and empathy.)  So I have done the work on myself. I have learned to have a Strong back, Soft front and a Wild heart and no heartache will take it away. I have learned to love wholeheartedly. Psst- It is not a weakness to have a soft front. I long for the day I meet a man that has done the work, that is vulnerable, loving, kind and strong and will stand in the storm when there is hardship instead of running away.

Resilience because everyone this year has gone through their fair share of hurdles. I lost my job. I was unemployed (and had to deal with the unemployment bureau which almost drove me into depression) and sent hundreds of resumés and applications without receiving any responses. Resilience because my heart was broken four times this year, but I am still standing strong. And of course, the fear of catching COVID19, being quarantined and then confined was challenging. But all of this did not break me: it made me stronger. I literally ran through wind storms, snow storms, and sand storms and pushed past the discomfort using it as fuel. Looking back on this year, I realize that there has been a lot going on and it’s been quite the rollercoaster.  I can also confidently say that just like a bamboo, I am RESILIENT. It’s such a powerful word that I wouldn’t have used to describe myself… until now. RESILIENCE.

“You will have bad times, but they will always wake you up to the stuff you weren’t paying attention to.” – Robin Williams

Growth because I’ve reinvented myself professionally yet again and I’ve also grown on a personal level. It may be hard to understand how this is possible: how can one grow when the whole world stops and so many people are jobless? Well, for one, I took an online course instead of just watching Netflix and drinking wine on a Tuesday ( full disclosure, I did also do that multiple times). I see now how this certificate opened doors for me: I am now working remotely with a really cool digital marketing company. Combining my aviation experience and my marketing background has been such a great experience so far and I’m so glad this opportunity came up!

“Saying no keeps the door shut, but saying yes leads to possibility – even when you don’t know what the possibility is.” – Jess Ekstrom

I said yes to becoming a private flight attendant over 6 years ago, not knowing where it would lead me. Now I’m saying yes to this new work life, in the hope that it will open as many doors at it did in the past for me. I have also done a lot of personal growth. I came back from some dark and difficult moments. I learned how to say no to things I didn’t want or have to do but felt obliged to: I learned to stand my ground. I challenged myself a lot this year: it was scary but it’s paying off. I also think that with consistency comes growth. I stayed focused and on track with everything I did. My running is the best example. I started logging more and more miles every week, and kept pushing harder. At the start of 2020 I could barely go out for two 12KM runs in a week without having lower back pain, shin splints and/or other body aches. By the end of 2020, I was running in one go, sometimes twice a week, 21-30kms. My mileage quadrupled if not sextupled! So here’s my little secret: be consistent, be resilient and just put on the running shoes.

Another great thing I want to acknowledge about 2020 is the immensity of the love and support I received from friends and family members. I am still floored at the number of people who reached out, sent flowers, trees, maple products, poems, songs, calls, texts, emails, voice messages, IG messages with crazy filters, etc. I am also grateful for the new friendships I made this year. Do not UNDERESTIMATE your friendships and MAKE TIME FOR THEM.

Which leads me to another big lesson for me in 2020: Choosing your available and letting go of the unavailable. I understand if you are confused by this sentence. It’s something I learned from Rachel Hollis earlier this year. We CHOOSE to make time for the people we care about. We CHOOSE to be available for them and them for us. Those are the people you need to be AVAILABLE FOR. Let go of the unavailable people, the *cough* heartbreakers and the players who text you three days later… or even months later. They are not deserving of your time. Life is too short, don’t waste it on them.

“We can’t control our experiences but we can write our stories.” – Jess Ekstrom

Last important lesson of 2020 is that at the end of 2019 I made a big-money move thinking it would make me happier. I checked off a big item off my personal bucket list by achieving that big fat paycheck…. but nothing more. I could see that the wealthier the people around me weren’t, most of the time, the happiest humans.  I never thought it would apply to me. Money doesn’t buy happiness they say,  but I will admit that having an income is an important factor to achieve happiness for me.

So here’s to 2020, a rollercoaster year of growth and resilience.

And cheers to 2021, which will be: 

  • The year of growth
  • The year of resilience 
  • The year of accomplishments

Watch me!

Related posts: The BEST Grand papa, How Confinement made me fitter, Definitely NOT a pause, NOT a pause.