It seems that 2021 isn’t the new year we were all looking forward to. And though that statement might sound discouraging, the question we have never asked is why—why must every year be a fresh start? Why are we so quick to disregard the year before when perhaps… a new year isn’t meant to be new, but a continuation of our story?
After an arduous and uncertain 2020, many of us hoped for a better 2021. We wished for a semblance of the life we once had, where the cares and struggles we used to face now somehow seem trivial. We yearn for some form of normalcy without the face masks and the lockdowns—a time when we had some control over our lives. Alas, life has reached a level of unpredictability that attempting to plan, hope, or even survive is a daily challenge. So what do we do when 2021 isn’t a new year?
Many would like to pretend 2020 and 2021 didn’t exist—that we have skipped two years in this lifetime. Unfortunately, these two years are as real as they can be. And maybe… just maybe… these are the years where we learn to appreciate life. Instead of constantly chasing a new beginning every year, in hopes of forgetting what we deem as horrors of the past, we now embrace the continuity of life. Because life… doesn’t restart at every January 1st.
Life is continuous. And a new year is a façade. We believe in better things to come every new year, forgetting that better things do come at different stages of our lives. We shun the obstacles and the troubles of the past, forgetting that those challenges made us who we are. So perhaps, a new year isn’t the answer to hope. The answer to hope is in life itself, where the memories of the years before remind us of our storms and rainbows—both the bad times… and the good times, too. Simply put, it is our experiences in life that give us hope.
So yes, 2020 was bad and we may not know where 2021 will lead us. But if there’s any consolation, the uncertainty includes a brighter and better possibility in the entirety of our continuous journey. After all, if we take some time to look back, we will realise… we’ve experienced it before.