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January 5, 2021

A Love Letter to Survivors of 2020

Often when I write, I do so from a place of self-realization. I write of my experiences and the lessons I’ve learned. But today, I want to write to you.

These last twelve months has been some of the hardest we’ve ever experienced. And when I say hardest, I mean that this period has challenged every cell in our bodies, tested us to see how we respond under pressure, and forced us to confront the reality that we truly are not in control.

There has been grief, certainly, but let’s not forget the celebrations. Don’t forget to give thanks for the ways in which we’ve been given repeated opportunities to get closer to ourselves.

It may not have always been pretty, but we’ve all seen something of our character with greater clarity than ever before.

And do you remember the immense and immediate response of the natural world when we all stopped for a hot minute? I myself was blown away by the difference in air quality, the quiet nights, the stories of wildlife appearing in suddenly-vacant cities.

Even still, these were not the greatest thing to come of last year: you were.

Yes, you.

You made it through, even if you find yourself a bit jaded, a bit bruised, and a bit tired.

But I’m guessing that as you stand in this month of reflection, ambition, darkness, cold and promise, that you hold in your core a bit of hope and a bit of confidence.

Not only did you survive 2020, you are standing on the other side of it better prepared for a rapidly changing, modern world.

Yes, if there is one lesson we can take from last year, it’s that no future is ever certain, no outcome guaranteed. But more than that, we have learned that we can befriend the chaos and thrive within it. That our happiness can bloom independent of the external circumstances of our world.

You are more resilient, more self-assured and more in touch with your shadow. It was inevitable; challenges like those we’ve faced of late tend to have that effect on people.

And that, my dear friend, is why this year will be better. Because you know, and have known, that even as you celebrate the end of ‘the worst year ever’ that nothing, really, will change; that 2021 will in all likelihood not be any easier than 2020.

I don’t say this to bring you down. In fact, I say this because we both know that behind those shining eyes of yours lies a mental fortitude, a renewed commitment to self, and a hard-won maturity. We both know that you are more capable today than ever before of adapting to the world that meets you at your front door; of navigating it with grace and poise, regardless of the challenges you face.

This year will be better than the last because you are better, more prepared, and stronger than ever.

So here is my wish for you:

May you rise this year to a greatness you’ve only dreamed of. May you stand with me at the threshold of 2021, disheveled and worn, but nonetheless with a fire in your eyes and a song of hope in your heart. May you stare down the battles before you with unflinching bravery. And may you draw your courage, compassion and solace from the immense challenges you have already overcome.

In love and admiration,


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