Letter to 2020

Dear 2020,

I hope you know you sucked — really, truly sucked. 

You allowed Earth to burn while we watched helplessly. You almost brought World War III to nations across the world. You allowed so many of the role models we loved to die, leaving us saddened and wondering what is next. You brought a deadly pandemic, circling the globe in less than two months, sending us into isolation, killing so many we loved and pushing our healthcare system to the brink of collapse.

Yet somehow, in some mysterious way, you gave us so much too.

Suddenly, while Australia burned, we realized climate change is no joke. There is action that needs to be taken and it needs to be taken now.

So, the countdown clock went up in New York and people went to work. Informing, educating and fundraising to put a spotlight on arguably one of the most important world issues. You brought us all together with one crisis to work towards a common goal in an age of political division and mistrust.

Next, you killed Kobe Bryant and his young daughter Gianna. We were mourning the loss of a legend along with his daughter who was so young and had so much potential.

But you taught us that legends never die. Their spirit lives on in their memory every day. You showed us that sports are more than competition, they are a family where for an instant we can all come together with a common love.

We all hoped you were done, 2020, but alas that would soon be a fleeting wish. You brought a deadly pandemic to the world, circling the globe in less than two months.

You sent the world into a complete shutdown, leaving us stranded from the things we love most — family, friends, sports and so much more. You left us stuck at home wondering what was next, missing all the things we loved so dearly. Yet in some way — a way that I don’t think was ever intended in your merciless fire of destruction — you gave us more than we ever thought possible.

As the weeks and months at home became a continuous blur of time, we realized something. Family and friendship is more than seeing each other for lunch or spending the weekend together. It is about the connection we have, something that never is stopped by distance.

So, we jumped on our devices and connected in new ways. From virtual baking to game nights and online gaming we found new and different ways to come together that made us closer than ever before.

You took away sports, art lessons and music classes, the things that brought us joy even on our darkest days. But when we lost so much we learned how much it mattered. We picked up our instrument, paintbrush or cleats in a new way. We practiced day and night on our own, sharpening our skills and building on our weaknesses and we came together online sharing our experiences and practicing together like a family.

When we return to the studio, the stage or the field we will be warriors after a hard fought battle, ready to fight and show all our scars were worth it.

2020, you took away the things that kept us so busy — school, extracurriculars, competitions and so much more. We felt stranded by you without anything to do or anywhere to go.

Little did we know you gave us the gift of time. Time to slow down and take a breath from the busy life we lived, time to destress from the downpour of assignments and tests, time to find new passions that allowed us to study and learn. During this time we learned so much about ourselves and found new hobbies that made us unique.

And during this time you gave us chaos and anger as Black Lives Matter took the United States by storm. We were angry and saddened as so many injustices came to light.

The anger so gave way to activism. Even if we couldn’t come together in person, we found ways to support and educate the community. We learned that it is always possible to come together and fight for what is right even if we cannot see each other.

As COVID–19 continued, you gifted us more deaths, all wrapped up like Christmas gifts adorned with a little bow. First it was Chadwick Boseman, then Ruth Bader Ginsburg and finally Diego Maradona.

Each death was harder than the last as we mourned the passing of role models, fighters and idols. But their memory lives in what they did best from the screens to the courtroom to the pitch. They will always be honored as the greats that they were and their memory will be a blessing to all who remember.

We hoped you were done but you had one last surprise, this time with bonuses of fear and uncertainty. From the day of RBG’s death to the day the presidential election results were announced we watched and waited for any sign of hope.

Our hope was found in how we showed up. We educated, protested and most importantly voted. The turnout was the largest yet and the commitment to action was empowering.
You gave us all the setbacks you could, but we still found ways to rise.

Please know 2020, that we still hate you for everything you did and 2021, you better be much, much better.

Insincerely,

Alyssa

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