The Year that Could've Been
"Live your life by a compass, not a clock."
- Stephen Covey
At this point last year I was about to start some really exciting ventures and was very lucky to have some really cool opportunities coming up. Like so many others, I had an image of what the year would look like and I was so excited to embark on that journey. Now, we all know that the future and vision I created on February 5th, 2020 could not predict anything that had happened this past year. This time last year I was gearing up to start an internship at RWS Entertainment Group and I got an offer to work at the New London Barn Playhouse for the summer. I was beyond excited to begin that adventure. While I was excited to do everything I imagined, I wasn't prepared to let go of the 'what could have been'. For so much of this past year, I sat in, "I should've been doing x, y, and z". The thing is, I was not supposed to be doing that because what I am doing now is what I am supposed to be doing.
Okay, but what if the year went as planned? I would've been able to take improv classes in the city and meet new people through class. I would've been able to continue working on really cool projects at RWS that I was really excited about alongside fantastic individuals. I would've been able to have a phenomenal summer, working and learning with really cool people. I would have been growing in a way that I wanted to grow, a way I envisioned myself to grow. But, if all this would have happened, where would I be now?
If the year played out as I envisioned, I wouldn't necessarily have my website, this blog, my YouTube channel, and a project that encompasses so much about what I think and feel. I wouldn't have met some of the new friends I have or rekindle and strengthen current relationships that mean the world to me. I wouldn't have gotten to have the chance to see so much of beautiful New Jersey on all the hikes I've been on (yes, NJ is GORGEOUS). I wouldn't have grown in the way I was supposed to grow, the way I needed to grow. If things went as planned, I may have never had the chance to make connections with so many amazing people that I have now. Most importantly, this moment, the one that I am living, wouldn't exist.
I can look at all the 'what should have been's and I can mourn what could have happened. I already did a lot of mourning, crying, and wishing for things and life to be different. For so much of this past year, I sat in despair wishing for the moment to be different instead of letting the moment write itself. A lot of moments did end up writing themself, much like this one here but, I was blind to that. I didn't allow myself to see and feel what was right in front of me because I was in denial and I didn't want it. Now that I have allowed myself to feel all of that and accept where we are, I can truly experience the moment I am in.
I am beyond grateful for everything I learned, how I grew, and what I did this past year. By no means am I romanticizing this past year and will not say that this was the year that I needed. COVID is a deadly disease and altered so many people's lives in a drastic way. There were things that we could've done to prevent that but, it happened. I say all of this because I need to remember and have the reminder that plans are meant to change. Plans change for good and bad reasons but, they change nonetheless. Change is good. Things not going according to plan can be hard, frustrating, upsetting, and depressing but, knowing that I can roll with the punches and come out stronger is reassuring.
We will all come out of this moment with some scars but, those scars tell a story. They say that we survived. We persevered. We did some hard things. Looking at the year that could've been, I will always think about what would have happened. That curiosity might be small even though a piece of me will always wonder how life would look different if COVID did not happen.
Regardless, the year that happened will live deep in my memory and in my soul. The year that was sent me on the path that I am now. I am grateful that I am safe and healthy right now. I am grateful that I have the privilege to be able to work the way I am and have the opportunity to create some cool things. This last year was a lot of things and this coming year will be a lot of things. But, first, we have to live in each moment to find out what it will be like. Here is to the moment!
*Feb 2, 2020. Gearing up for the year that I didn't expect to happen.