To the girl who found joy in 2020

A sweet ode to 2020 as we finally say goodbye to the never-ending year that is officially over. You may be saying to yourself, “Payton, what joy came out of 2020?”. Well, I am so happy you asked. Yes, 2020 was a year that no one saw coming and yes, it was a struggle and challenged us in ways most of us never thought we would be challenged. But, as much as we all love to gripe about all dumpster fire that was 2020, I think if you look deep enough, you will find some joy that has come from it. And if you can’t see anything good that has come out of 2020, I’ll be happy to share some of my most joyous highlights from 2020 to give you some inspiration. 

I found joy in the simplicity of life this year. As we were locked up in our houses during quarantine, we seemed to revert to our simplest selves (making whipped coffee and baking bread). We found new ways to entertain ourselves without going out and making a big deal of it. We woke up each morning and learned to be extremely grateful to just be able to breathe. We spent time with our families and read books and went on walks. We found that we can be content when we strip all the glitz and glam away.

I found joy in the people I was with this year. While life is never perfect and you cannot always be everyone’s best friends, I found people who I want in my life forever. I found the meaning of sickness and health in Arinn as she cared for me (from afar) while I had COVID and continued to love me after the fact. I found the true meaning of sisterhood in Grace as she stood by me when we would dance in parking garages or cry on my bed. I was reminded that family will never leave your side, even when it seems like you are alone. 

I found joy in the heartaches of this year. I learned that if something isn’t meant to be, you have to let it go, even if you don’t want to. I learned that although it may not seem like God is listening to your prayers, He will do exactly what He has planned in His timing. The hardest part is to trust He is working for your good. I have learned that taking time to grow on your own and knowing your worth is the most important lesson a girl in her 20’s can learn, even if it comes from heartbreak.

As it seems, I found joy in so many things in this hectic year. So as weird as it seems to think that anything good could possibly come from 2020, maybe it’s time to change your mindset. Because it is always easier to focus on the negative, but what if instead, as we march into 2021, we look for the positive in everyday?

So, to the girl who found joy in 2020, it’s sort of shocking isn’t it? That a year filled with so much despair and uncertainty could also produce so much fruit. So, thank you 2020, for everything you have brought us this year, but we must say goodbye as we welcome 2021 with fully open arms. Cheers to making it through this past year and I cannot wait to see what this next one holds.