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25.12.2020- Reflections on 2020

A post on Christmas Day! I'm not sure I've ever done this before, but this year has been anything but business as usual. On a personal note, it's been tough, but I'm acutely conscious that it has been for so many people. I've had plenty of time to stop and think, been treated terribly by somewhere I've given the last four and a half years of my life to and seen so many of my friends be placed in exactly the same situation too. It's been heartbreaking and frustrating in equal measure, but I think it's worth reflecting on this most topsy-turvy time with compassion and understanding, rather than sound and fury.

This year has made us all pause, listen and pay attention. Whether that's to the pandemic, the Black Lives Matter movement or redressing the balances in our own lives. Change is absolutely terrifying, yes. But change for the better, in the 21st Century and change which fosters greater global equality is essential. Silent compliance with the status quo isn't an option any of us have the luxury of choosing any more. And, I hope, this 2020 legacy will last long after the pandemic is consigned to the pages of history. 

I've learnt a lot this year. Not only about the world around me, but also about how I have to use my voice for the better. I've always been proud of being outspoken (or possibly, gobby), and this year I've become a lot better at articulating myself- through necessity, rather than choice to be honest. At times, it's felt so easy to become overwhelmed by events far and above beyond my control. It's felt easy to be crushed and deflated by the actions of people who are supposed to know better but do nothing to demonstrate their supposedly superior qualities. I've realised that my voice is the only thing I have and, looking back, I'm proud of myself for not simply sitting down and taking things at face value. Particularly in the workplace, I think there's an expectation that women especially should be submissive, with the 'only if it's not too much troubles' and 'no worries if nots' in emails. Newsflash: it doesn't get you anywhere. Realising your worth and what you're entitled to is essential- even if you're only seeking something as simple as an answer. 

So. Where next? Honestly...I don't know. This year has taught me more about the value of taking things one day at a time perhaps more than any other experience in my life, and the recalibration which 2020 has enforced upon all of us should perhaps be a lesson about the toxic impact of the 'me vs the world' mentality which is drilled into so many of us from such an early age. Running through life at a thousand miles an hour, without engaging with or appreciating the world around us (and indeed our impact upon it) is an inevitable road to nowhere. We can no longer afford to cast our eyes down rather than looking life directly in the face and connecting with compassion and understanding to the world and the people around us. And 2021? As I sit here and type this post looking out of the window at the sun hiding behind the clouds against the bluest winter sky, I have to believe and trust that things will get better. And they must get better for us all. 

(Image credit: Sarah Farrell, please do not reproduce without permission.)


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