This last year has been nothing short of a roller coaster. 2020 started out with a tremendous amount of hope for my then-boyfriend and I with our amazing engagement. After a few weeks, I seemed to have planned the perfect summer day with my family and friends to celebrate our union-to-be in our new city of Carlsbad, California and another big party in New Jersey. I tried on wedding dresses with my local friends and my Mom via FaceTime. I cried tears of joy but also a little sadness that she wasn’t with me. Little did I know, FaceTime’ing my mom on important days was foreshadowing our year.

Soon after the wedding dress was picked out, California shut down due to COVID-19. I started working from home and my job transitioned from helping physical therapy clinics purchase medical and office supplies to coordinating access to as much PPE as possible to keep the clinics going. As someone who craves control of my daily plans, the constant unknowing of each day was draining.

The anxiety I’ve had on and off for many years was creeping back to a constant. Some days I was near panic attacks and felt my heart beating so hard I’d have to stop and just breathe as best I could. Sourcing PPE and scheduling urgent electrostatic sprays included several Excel spreadsheets, tracking and planning because our essential workers depended on us. I started meditating to be able to get through the work day and it saved me and my job.

Our wedding gave me hope. It gave me something good to look forward to so I kept planning. We had plans to go to Vegas for our bachelor/bachelorette parties. Our officiant was coming from Ireland to marry us. Our families were flying in from New Jersey to witness our marriage and celebrate with us. As the summer approached, our plans fell apart.

Our friends from Ireland couldn’t travel more than 5k from their homes, Vegas was shut down and then we told our families not to come because we were too scared for them. Despite all the things working against us, we still got married and it was the most beautiful day.

That last sentence is the most important. Re-read it again. “Despite all the things working against us, we still got married and it was the most beautiful day.” There have been a million things working against us this year for everyone. We all have our 2020 stories of loss, fear, change but I am choosing to focus on the good.

Today is the day after Christmas and I want to be a better version of me. I don’t need New Years to start because everyday is a new day. I want to have more gratitude for the good, more mindfulness of how I react to things around me in a more positive way and being more confident. I have learned many things this year but the most important is that I have one life and one opportunity to be who I want to be.

I have really missed the experience of blogging: writing, sharing, encouraging. I look forward to sharing more as I evolve in this pretty cool life.

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