1:00 AM. The fireworks that colorfully decorated the midnight sky were gone. What’s left was that unpleasant smell of powder that made the sky bright, which, for some minutes, roused and fueled the festive feeling in everyone. I am lounging on my sofa bed, drinking that red wine that came from a bottle whose cork is now swimming with the rest of the purple liquid. Unfortunately, I failed to find my wine bottle opener so I just pushed that cork down the tight bottleneck. It is hard to sleep. I have been thinking about this scenario. For the first time in my life, I am welcoming the new year and celebrating the holiday season far from my family. I have neither wished nor imagined that I will be in this kind of situation.
But, nobody really saw it coming. How could anyone think of a year that was worse than hell? A bottomless pit of frustration, anger, sadness, loneliness, and hopelessness. We were barely breathing. We were just surviving, trying to make it day by day. A few months ago, we scrambled to get hold of our essential needs as the worst lockdowns took over our communities. We lined up in groceries and shopped online for disinfectant alcohol, face masks, multivitamins, food, and many more. In just a single night, those we loved and cared about were snatched away from us. We all lost something. And it hurt, knowing that they will never come back. Those that we took for granted, the small things, became seemingly important. Staying inside our homes for a number of months proved to be challenging, annoying, and undesirable. It was not pure heaven at all. It meant adjusting to everyone who is with you so that every one of you can get along well. For those who live alone, it meant keeping your sanity without seeing the usual community that you work or stay with every day. WFH? Learning at home? Who would have thought that those will be the new scenarios as we try to paint a semblance of normalcy? As the days rolled, we witnessed our country fall into confusion and darkness. It was not just the pandemic anymore. We had deadly typhoons and floods, with the usual political turmoil tearing the social fabric apart. Truly, this is a year that we will never forget. However, we give a massive shoutout to our family, friends, frontliners, essential workers, teachers, and everyone who made this year more bearable and safer for us, whether in person or virtually.
As we step into the first day of the new year, 2021, which we have been waiting for so long because 2020 definitely sucked, we fill our hearts with hope that things will be better. We do not know how these awful things will go away or disappear because things are still messed up. We are still in crazyland. But, we can’t let these things win. We know that we are stronger when we are together. We continue to remember that whatever we do will affect the people around us, in a good or bad way, whether directly or unintentionally. We do not stop hoping for the best. We continue to do our part so that in the coming days, weeks, and months, we can have tighter hugs, firmer handshakes, more spontaneous dancing, louder laughter, and merrier parties. We do our part so that we can get our lives back, or even just a small part of it.
Cheers to a new year!
x – Jim Tuscano