A Year of Firsts

2020 was a year we all spent thinking about the last time we did something that we had taken for granted in our day-to-day lives. When was the last time we travelled? The last time we went to a restaurant? The last time we threw a party? The last time we breathed fresh air with no mask between us and nature? The list goes on and on.

2021 though for me and probably for most of us was a year of firsts.

The first dose of vaccination

The first party after over two years of online catch-ups

The first day physically back to work and getting used to other human beings around you

The first time we saw a plane fly in the sky

The first time we went shopping to a mall

The first time a child saw a real school and interacted with real students and teachers, not moving heads on a screen

The first time we took a flight and saw our loved ones again

The first time we planned dinner at a restaurant

The first time we went to the beach

It has been humbling to see how things that were a given, that were a part of life that we never gave a second thought to, became precious milestones of humanity’s progress back to normalcy.

This journey between lasts and firsts has not been easy. In fact, it has come at a great cost. A cost that some of us don’t even realize we’re paying. The solitude of lockdown followed by assimilating back with humanity brings with it anxiety, social awkwardness, fear, terror and a lot of negative emotions. We’re all carrying an emotional baggage from nearly a couple of years that we don’t even acknowledge, process or relieve from our souls.

It is a litany of losses that humanity has suffered, be it family, friends, co-workers, jobs, a roof over our heads, our support systems, our reason to live life itself.

Before we move into yet another challenging year, let’s pause and recognize that loss, and the whirlpool of emotions that it brings with it. Let us look at what makes us uneasy, afraid, unhappy, uncomfortable in the face and accept it.

So let’s go ahead and give ourselves a break. Be kind to ourselves. Be reasonable about what we expect from ourselves. Be empathetic to that part of your soul which is still healing from the trauma of the last two years.

Hopefully, just by doing that, we can make it a happy new year.

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