When 2020 started, I was feeling very sure of myself.
I had a clear focus for the new decade ahead and was ready to tackle the goals I’d set with a focused, steady approach.
Of course, nobody could have seen what was coming with the Covid-19 pandemic and the complete shutdown of our societies. What we took for granted as ‘normal life’ suddenly became unsafe and was taken away.
When things started to change in March of this year, I figured I would use the lockdown time constructively. I would focus on learning new skills, improving my fitness, growing my business. After all, I had the time available; it made sense to use it wisely.
But those ideals lasted about a week. I soon found myself losing focus, slacking off, and forgetting what I was supposed to be doing with this new year and the new decade.
Slowly, my life started to entropy. Instead of getting fitter, I was growing fatter. Instead of learning new skills, I spent my time binge-watching TV shows and playing video games.
By mid-year, I even started to lose the desire to grow my business. I began to tell myself that ‘2020 wasn’t a good year for ambition.’ It seemed like having the foundations of normality taken away created a sort of negative inertia. I was drifting backward and seemed somehow unwilling to stop it.
In some ways, 2020 has felt like being in a long dark tunnel. There is a light at the end, but it seems to keep extending further away from us. Yet we all keep walking slowly towards the light, ever hopeful we’ll reach it.
By far, the activity I miss the most in 2020 is speaking in public. Having been a professional speaker for a few years, I didn’t realize just how much joy and energy the activity brings to my life. For me, speaking is the ‘bliss’ that makes me feel complete.
I have done many virtual speaking events during this year, but they don’t compare to in-person speaking. Although I value the opportunities, there is just a lack of connection and energy when talking to a zoom room.
This lack of ability to speak has shown me just how essential it is for me to follow my path in life. Although I know it’s impossible to do right now, when it eventually comes back someday, I know I must pursue it even more than I did before.
The old cliche ‘you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone’ has always referred to relationships. But for me, it also holds true for my ability to speak and share ideas with audiences.
As we near the end of 2020, with the new year at least offering some hope of normality returning, I have started to reflect on the year behind me.
Have I wasted all the potential that was available to me since March this year? Yes, in some ways, I guess I have. Am I annoyed at myself for not being more vigilant with my ambitions? Yes, I am.
But it’s not all bad. This year I have developed a greater appreciation for the life I used to have. The simple ability to be with family and friends, to visit public places, and to be active in the real world are all things I am eagerly awaiting the return of.
The pandemic and the lockdown have led to a lot of negative experiences for many people. For me, they have affirmed just how much I value the ability to speak and to share my life with those people that matter.
2020, you were kind of a waste of time, but also a reminder of what matters most.