Not to be captain obvious, but 2020 was such a year of change for most of us. Small and large, temporary and permanent. If nothing else, I learned so much about myself the past year. It’s my mission to take that knowledge and apply it to my life moving forward, especially as things reopen and life moves on.
Lessons from the Pandemic, One Year Later
“Stop dimming your shine for others.”
Change can be good. Often times, change can mean a reckoning. A cleansing of sorts for the bullshit we no longer need in our lives but so often don’t take care of ourselves. Change can bring us to where we need to be.
Re-thinking your normal can be liberating. Like most of us, I’ve rearranged what normal looks like to me this past year. I don’t want to lose that moving forward.
You don’t have to be everything to everyone all the time. Piggybacking on the previous lesson, it’s okay to say “no.” You don’t have to go to every event or function. Take care of yourself first.
It’s okay to set boundaries. This past year was really trying for me at times. There were a few people in my life whose pandemic comfort was a little too comfortable for me, and I had to set clear boundaries on what I was willing to do and what I wasn’t. It was hard, but you know what? Those are my boundaries, plain and simple. And that’s okay, even when we’re not in a pandemic.
The best version of yourself you can be is you. Stop dimming your shine for others. Not being around others much has made it easier for me to just be me. Here’s an oversimplified example: I LOVE dressing cute. And I LOVE dressing casual. It just depends on my mood. But often I found myself pre-pandemic tailoring a look to what I thought was acceptable or maybe not adding my “extra” to it for fear of being too much. You know what? F* that. And F* those who made me feel that way in the first place.
I don’t need much to be happy. I really don’t. Some good food, wine, and a comfortable place to live. I’m quite adept at entertaining myself.
I don’t need to be around a lot of people to be happy. But the people I do want in my life, I want them here because I love them, they’re real, and they’re necessary.
I don’t want certain people in my life anymore. A year without having to be around certain people or do certain things has made it extremely clear that I don’t HAVE to do anything in this lifetime, including be around toxic people.
I love takeout WAY more than I like cooking these days. It used to be the opposite, 100%. Now, I freely admit takeout just makes me happy.
I can’t live without a handful of good walks each week. Walking has always felt essential in my life, but never more so than this past year. Walking has kept me sane and makes me feel as if I can conquer the world.
Instagram knows me better than most people in my life. At least, Instagram knows what I like to buy more than most. If you ever need a gift idea for me, ask me what’s in my Instagram ads. It’s a little scary.
I love to learn. I embraced learning again in 2020 and hardcore in 2021. I’ve been studying Spanish and piano, reading a ton, and diving into documentaries. Anything that’s interesting to me, I’m in.
I’m easily annoyed. Perhaps to those who know me well, this isn’t a news flash. I have my quirks, and one of them is that I have very little patience. Some days are better than others, but I’ve realized that 2020 only served to enhance this nasty trait of mine. So, I’m working on it.
Stock up on your household items. I’m pretty good at this, but if the pandemic taught us anything, it’s that a certain amount of preparedness, resourcefulness, and patience can go a long way.
Don’t take anything for granted. You never know when your world will be dumped upside down.
What lessons have you learned about yourself from the pandemic? I’d love to hear your revelations in the comments.
Photo by Richard Burlton on Unsplash