I don't think I'm being dramatic when I say that 2020 was the weirdest year of my life. And I'll be honest and say that a lot of it I didn't necessarily enjoy. This year felt far too long. It's only the beginning of December and I'm ready for it to end.
Still, while being the strangest year ever, 2020 had its moments. Sure, there were really awful moments, but there were some great ones too. There was a lot I learned about the world, others, and more importantly, about myself this year that I wouldn't have had the opportunity to explore any other year. While a six month quarantine drove me half insane, I'm thankful I got the chance to grow.
So here are 20 things I'm so grateful I got the chance to learn this year.
1. Take pictures, always.
This year was full of awful moments and some really, really great ones. I always forget to take pictures, but I'm working on that. I love the pictures I have of this year because I've honestly never looked happier.
2. "Pride And Prejudice" makes everything better.
Feeling down? Watch the 2005 film "Pride and Prejudice". Want to spend quality time with friends? "Pride and Prejudice". Need a date idea? You got it: "Pride and Prejudice". Mr. Darcy is always there for you whenever you need him.
3. Keep pushing through...
As hard as it is sometimes, just keep going. Keep waking up and going through your day, however hard the day is...
4. ...because everything will be OK.
...because one day you're going to wake up and it won't be hard at all. It might not be easy, but it won't seem impossible anymore, and everything will be alright.
5. Listen to happy music.
Happy music will just make you feel happier, simple as that.
6. Drink more water.
I feel like this one is self-explanatory.
7. Look for the humor in everything.
If 2020 taught me anything, it's that knowing how to laugh at yourself and your situation will make it a lot easier to deal with. (See: me through all of quarantine)
8. Dance. A lot.
Who cares what you look like if you're having fun?
9. Moping around for months does no one any good.
I am unofficially forbidden from playing ranchera music and sad Taylor Swift songs in the house, which is totally understandable when all I listened to was "Cien Años" by Pedro Infante and "All Too Well" by Taylor Swift for about three months straight. And I wasted my summer, for what? Be sad for a bit, and then move on, babe because...
10. I am worthy of so much.
Not to toot my own horn here, but I'm pretty great. I certainly didn't feel like that for the majority of this year, but you know what? I snapped out of that. It took a long time, but I finally learned my worth and what I deserve. (Spoiler alert: you also deserve the whole world, so go get it.)
11. Don't stress so much about the little things.
Just because one little thing doesn't go your way, doesn't mean the world is going to end. Just brush and move on to the next thing.
12. Your friends will always have your back.
I think it's odd that in a semester during a global pandemic is when I've been the most social in college, but I really needed it. I learned that while making new friends is probably the most fun thing ever, it's always good to know that I've got best friends who will love and support me no matter what.
13. Get a life!
You're 21 years old, Anna! Life does not have to revolve around grades, RA duty, and "Criminal Minds"! I have never been happier than in this past semester spent with close friends as often and as safely as possible.
14. The rosary really will fix anything.
As always, you were right, Mama.
15. It's OK to eat when you're hungry.
This was a big one for me. At the beginning of the year, it took so much effort to force myself to eat, and I only did because I knew I had to. But with the help therapy and a lot of work, I feel comfortable eating again, and I eat whenever I want now.
16. You will not die if you get a B.
I mean...I will because my mom will probably kill me, but I won't? Basically, this semester was hard, online school is not for me, and the world will not come crashing down if I get a B in one (or a few) of my classes. Looking back on it, it's kind of ridiculous how much I stressed out over my grades to the point where I made myself sick. Not doing that again!
17. Burnout is very, very real, so naps are very, very helpful.
I didn't realize how physically exhausting it would be to stare at a screen all day for four months straight, but here I am ready to throw my laptop out a window. It was so easy to feel unproductive when I never left my desk, no matter how much work I did. I felt bad about taking so many naps this semester, but I'm pretty sure I didn't take enough naps. (Note to self: take naps next semester.)
18. Good things come as fast as you work for them.
I used to hate the saying of "Good things take time." But still, early in the year I had the mindset that if I just waited, a good thing will come, things will get better etc. No! The solution to your problem won't just fall on your lap if you just mope around blasting "All Too Well" by Taylor Swift nonstop. If you put the effort in, something will come from it.
19. Still, patience is key.
I am not good at being patient. However, it does have its benefits sometimes. Just because you put in the work doesn't mean your reward will magically appear in seconds. You have to wait at least a little bit.
20. I am lovable.
Now, I don't mean this in a "oh, somebody loves me!" kind of way. No, what I mean is much more important: I am lovable to myself. Who cares if someone says they love me? Who cares if they decide to leave? What matters is that I love myself, fully and completely. And this year, I learned that this whole time, that's all I had to do.
This year threw a lot at me, I'll be honest. But as awful as some of it was in the moment, I needed a wakeup call. I feel like I've truly grown so much in these past months. I've learned some important lessons I'll always carry with me, and even though I didn't handle them all with grace, they helped me grow into a better person. And I'm proud of myself.