Goodbye 2020; here’s my biggest lesson

In a few hours, the curtain will be drawn up on the year 2020 and like millions of people all over the world, I can’t wait to bid it goodbye.

I remember January 2020 like it was just yesterday; big dreams, expectations, plans and projections. It was going to be an incredible year, I was certain.

Well, the year did turn out incredible. Not just in the way I thought or anticipated.

I’m not going to recount all the things that happened in my life in the year 2020; partly because I have zero interest in reliving the experiences or the memories. No I have decided to move forward by focusing on the good things that happened and be grateful for the lessons I learned.

Because good things did happen in 2020. As much as the world as we knew it turned upside down, people died, businesses crashed and relationships and friendships burned, some of those dark clouds came with a silver lining.

In 2020, I broke a major jinx in the way I handled relationships and I think I finally allowed myself to see me properly for the first time.

One of the hardest things to admit to myself was that me, a grown, educated and smart woman was the victim of emotional abuse and manipulation for 3 years and did nothing about it because I had a weakness for attachment.

Not only tough to admit, but tough to forgive myself too.

I did that this year.  I walked away from toxicity and gaslighting and started the journey of self healing.

It wasn’t fun though. It came with tears. Lots and lots of it. But at the end of the day, I learned to take a hard look at myself and ask the really tough questions I had avoided asking all these years. I looked into my own eyes and probed the dark corners of my fears.

I was honest with myself for the first time and it freed me. I forgave myself.

The year 2020, one of my biggest lessons came in one statement: “Don’t Wallow”.

My friend Nnene told me that. She said “cry all you want, but when you’re done crying, wipe your eyes and get up. Don’t let yourself wallow”.

She said that to me while I laid on her bed for three days in tears and despair; crying because my trust had been broken and my love betrayed. Crying because I was ashamed that I’d been taken for a fool.

As she walked out of the room, she probably didn’t know that she had energised me for a lifetime. “Don’t Wallow”. I said that to myself many times in the tough weeks and months that followed and it made me stronger even as I started healing.

And I’m saying it to you today if you’re going through a tough season. I know the sometimes helpless feeling where you just wanna sink into your despair, avoid life and shut out the world.  I know because I’ve been there.

And I tell you, don’t.  Don’t wallow in your pain. Cry if you must, let the hurt flow out through your tears, cry loudly but when you’re done, wipe your eyes and look forward.  It’s hard but you can do it. One day at a time.

The year 2020 came with tough but great decisions, career shift and refocus.

I chose to follow my passions this year and make a living (however meager) from doing what I actually enjoy.  That decision not only helped me move forward, it helped my journey of self love too.

I became more honest with myself about what my life is really about, who I am and what my purpose is.

So year 2020 has been incredible. And I’m very grateful for everything. 

I have greater expectations for 2021 and I wish you and I a happy new year.

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