Two years later. What do we have to show for ourselves? Quite a lot, it seems. #wecallitacomeback
I was recently interviewed by a journalist about the anniversary of the start of the pandemic. He was asking people from all walks of life about what lessons they'd learned the past two years. "The one thing I haven't heard anyone say is that they've learned nothing at all," he commented.
Time has a way of teaching us - even when we're not in the mood to learn. As do challenges.
Whether the past two years have felt like an eternity or "time" has lost all meaning to you, you've been changed by the experience. What we've all been through - the collective trauma we've experienced and the individual trials we've faced - has left most of us feeling depleted and burnt out.
But it's also surfaced in some of us greater insights into who we spend our "time" with, how we love and care for each other and ultimately how we choose to lead our lives. Acknowledging what we've come to learn the past two years does not negate the real hardships and losses many of us have experienced. Rather, I believe it offers us a way through - so that our anxieties and heartaches become more purposeful - to make each of us stronger. Braver. And kinder.
Many of us have been confronted with what the world would be like were we to live in it alone. It is not a future we hope to hold onto. The moments when a young neighbor left a homemade sign on our porch, a friend called just to say hi or we saw loved ones halfway around the world on Zoom because someone took the time to get everyone together. The drive-by birthday parties and graduation celebrations, the wishing trees and rainbows. Those are the moments that make up our lives. They're what we carry with us.
If you're reading this, you've weathered the past two years, "come hell or high water," as my grandmother would say. However you've managed it, whatever you've done, you've made it to this point. That, in itself, is a feat worth commemorating. Maybe the pandemic hasn't changed you or your world (if that's the case, you're exceptionally lucky). But if someone had asked you two years ago today if you thought you could live through 730 days (!) of a pandemic, what would you have said? I know I wouldn't have said I'd write a book. Or spent more time with my family. Or managed as well as I have, even in the darkest days.
Give yourself the chance today to acknowledge what you've been through. Find a few things you've done or ways you've grown that you want to honor. Then give yourself the space to let those thoughts sink in.
Afterwards, if you're up for it, share what you've learned - ways you've been braver than you ever thought possible - with our comeback kids community. It's what we're here for. And in the face of all we face today, we could use some positivity and hope. We could use your story. It'll remind us of ours.
We're launching a mini-campaign today: #wecallitacomeback. Share a line, a video, a poem - whatever captures how you've weathered through it all.
Two years later. Two years older, yes...and also two years wiser.
Think about it: Given what you've come to know of yourself these past two years, "what is it you plan to do with your one and precious life?"
Quote by Mary Oliver