A toast for the inhabitants of 2020

Rotterdam, Netherlands

Every year I try to reflect on my year and what I accomplished and learned. But this year... I am not even sure where to start. I do not even know-how. Much of the year I spent it trying to survive my job and making the best out of each day, and learning and praying. So this year instead, I wrote a toast.


cheers new years
Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

A toast for the inhabitants of 2020


The bells ring. The glasses clink. The cheer is loud. 

A year has passed. A year is gone. A year we had a lot of hope for. It looked beautiful. 2, 0, 2, 0. 

It should be a wonderful, perfect, exciting year. Right?


Right?


...


I am not sure when it started. It was far away. Not for us. Surely not now. It's just one of those again. Today in the news, tomorrow is forgotten.


And the toilet paper began to disappear. We laughed. 


Then, we did not.


I don't even remember when it was when the chaos began. I remember what I did. I sat on the kitchen floor and cried. I cried because I was not sure what to expect. I cried because this is not the way the year was supposed to start. I cried because I did not know how to entertain a 2-year-old for days on end. I cried because I was not even sure if I would still have a job. The one I just got after working years on end to get. I cried because I did not know what would happen. The last time I experienced something like this, I was only 13 or so, and I focused on my world, and I did not notice the chaos. I only remember my father's endless hours trip to get us water and no school. 


But like always, life has its ways. We all lost something. We all felt scared at one moment or another. We held unto each other and came up with cheesy ways to keep our hope and joy alive. It was like a rollercoaster. A long, long nightmare we shared. 


And at the doors of 2021, we wonder now, will we wake up? Will we go back to how it was? Will we be able to hug again without feeling awkward? Will all those jobs recover? Will those dreams which were lost be replaced by new ones?


Here I am, writing as I often do when my mind does not think, and my heart wishes to speak. I cannot focus on anything, I can't read or think. I can only let my finger flow on the keyboard and speak. 


We will be ok. We will join hands again. We will hug. We will pray together. We will dream together. We will raise our cups and say "we did it, we made it". And cheers to me and you, who still smile, who still hope, who still look out of the window and smile at the stranger walking their dog. Cheers to those who thought they would lose their mind and found themselves cherishing every moment with their little ones. Cheers to those who lost a job and are now in pursue of new dreams, which would not have been possible otherwise. Cheers to those who pray for a better day. Cheers to those who say, we will see each other again. Cheers to those who hope, and dream, and know, we will fly again. Cheers to those who teach and those who learn, to those who heal and those who protect. To those who stand up and fight for what is right. To those who are not afraid to start over again.


The year disappeared in the blink of an eye, under uncertainties and surprises and moments of fear and hope. And yet, here we are, crossing the threshold again, to another. Another, which we look at like a child, scolded for wanting to play... will it be ok? Will it be ok to go out and play again? 


And I know, and I say, and I pray. And I repeat over and over again, we will be ok.


We will be ok.


We will.




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