Like sis in the infamous staircase meme, I stepped into 2020 with bigger dreams, higher hopes and a much clearer -- "20/20" -- vision. I was sure this new year and decade would be greater than the last, and had all the plans to prove it, including:
Throwing myself an epic soirée for my 30th birthday on April 24.
Flying out the next day to take my first-ever solo trip to Europe (which, if you know me, is a HUGE step outside of my comfort zone).
Planning my sister's bachelorette weekend in Napa, which is scheduled to take place in June.
Then 2020 came with a vengeance, kicking ass and taking folks out left and right. Starting with Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna, who died with seven other victims in a tragic helicopter crash back in January. A little over a month later, the entire world was struck with the COVID-19 coronavirus, a lethal pandemic that has garnered nearly 1.8 million infections and killed more than 109K people worldwide (and counting).
I can't lie. When word of COVID-19 first got out, I didn't take it seriously. I figured it was just another random virus that the media often sensationalizes to scare people into getting some new vaccination. So I brushed it off and continued on with my regularly scheduled programming. Invitations were sent, bday lewk was ready, and Europe trip was booked. In less than a week, all that ish got cancelled due to the coronavirus.
Now, the entire world is on pause. Schools are closed. Businesses are shut down. Every sports season has been cancelled. Life has turned upside down and no one knows if or when things will ever go back to normal. Neither my nor my parents' generation has ever experienced anything like this in our lifetimes.
It's crazy to think how much has changed in just a little over a month. Wearing a mask and gloves to the grocery store has become the new norm. Medical workers have become our "armed forces", risking their lives daily to save ours. There are folks who haven't seen or embraced a loved one in what probably feels like decades. People who have lost their livelihood or worse, their lives, due to this pandemic.
I've felt just about every emotion over the past 37 days:
The days all run together now. Some are a little more stir-crazy than others. And yet, there's something strangely calming about the world being at a complete standstill. About knowing that although everyone is "social distancing" and quarantined in our homes, we're all going through this thing together. About having nothing but time to really sit with myself and get some things in order.
Over the last 37 days, my plans have changed. My perspective has shifted. Stuff that used to matter doesn't matter so much anymore and things I used to take for granted suddenly mean the world. Like going for a walk to get some fresh air. Or spending quality time with family. Or catching up with an old friend over drinks. Or embracing a loved one in a time of need.
But as unusual and tumultuous as these times are, I am learning to rest fully in my uncertainty. To be present and intentional in every moment. To focus on the things I can control and trust God with the things that I can't. To live by blind faith rather than fear.
This is not a period of survival, but revival. Now is the time for us to quiet and humble ourselves before God. A time to thoroughly assess our hearts, our priorities and our actions. A time for decluttering and reorganizing our homes, both physically and spiritually. A time of reflection and revelation.
A time for us to take the "mask" off and really face ourselves. No filters. No plans. No distractions. Just our raw, ugly, beautiful, human selves.