Pandemic, riots, debates, division… I’m sorry 2020, but despite your best efforts, I had a great year.
First off, I went to Morocco. I have dreamed of going to Morocco ever since I was like twelve years old, and my ten-day trip there with my brother did not disappoint. I spoke French, Chinese, Spanish, and maybe ten words in Arabic. I ate tagine and stood beside the tomb of a king and watched the Mediterranean Sea in the moonlight. I also had some incredible pistachio gelato in Spain on the way home.
At home it was back to psychology classes and cute kids at the after-school program. My classes went online after spring break, but of course my brother and I took the drastically falling prices of airline tickets as an invitation to go traveling again. We took a short trip to Florida to see my grandparents, enjoying the fact that we had almost an entire airliner to ourselves both ways. I spent the rest of my spring break/quarantine writing, reading, hanging out with my family, and working on my language learning. I made some videos for my virtual students and handed out supply bags to them. I also got obsessed with Robin Hood and started a new book, which I subsequently worked on all summer.
In June, my sisters and I went on a girl trip to Estes Park, where we cruised around in a convertible and pretended that we were wild teenagers (maybe we were, idk!). In a decided burst of maturity, I bought my first car, a white Ford Mustang. I have since named him Rowan, after Jack Rowan, of Noughts and Crosses, which I may possibly have binge-watched with a friend one night during the summer.
I also did this ↓
It was our family’s Father’s Day celebration, where we went up to the mountains to pan for gold. Despite freezing my hands off in the river and not finding any actual gold, I experienced this moment of pure joy and elation. Yep, an empty Pringle tin is pretty much all it takes.
My summer was spent working long days with third and fourth graders at a summer day camp in town. They were spoiled rich kids, in general, and did not much appreciate me. But I appreciated being warm for a change, and teaching them how to play “Mother May I”. I was also really glad to be back at work in person, rather than on the computer as I was all spring. In July, I joined my family on a trip out east, with my wonderful dad as our personal pilot. The job of copilot, navigator, and pilot entertainment system fell to me.
Over the summer and fall, I also had a couple chances to visit my friends in York, where I had lived for two years before moving home. Although all my classes continued online in the fall, I was very happy to have in-person Bible studies on campus and to be back in the classroom. This year, I am a site lead and in charge of a classroom of thirteen wonderful kiddos, from kindergarten to second grade.
And no, I don’t spend all my time lying on the slide while the kids run wild around me. I also cut up pumpkins for them and practice being strict.
We had our first snowfall at the beginning of September, so I proclaimed a moment of silence for summer and pulled out my winter gear in resignation. In October, I was amazed by the beauty of these tiny snowflakes I captured on my windshield once morning.
I got very, very sick with all the symptoms of Covid, but according to the doctor, it was just the flu and bronchitis. That made me feel better…I guess? At least I could go back to work and circle ‘yes’ to cough, shortness of breath, and fatigue every day but not be worried about spreading anything dreadful. I did lots of statistics homework and babysat and wrote poems and a short story (which I hope to share with you). One day, I exercised. On a ski slope, with my friends. I went down a blue run for the first time and was excessively proud of myself. No successful photos were taken on the slopes because I didn’t want to die.
To tell the straight-up truth, I am incredibly grateful for 2020 in all its unpredictable variety. I am grateful for a childhood that taught me to be okay with sudden changes, a faith that reminds me there is hope amidst the raging of the nations, and a family big enough to make even quarantine feel like a small block party. Most of all, I am grateful for Jesus, who gives me so much hope. Some days I feel like my life is one unending wave of hope. “And hope does not disappoint, because of the love of God has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” (Romans 5:5). So here’s to 2021 and the wish that everyone may find this hope in the year to come.
If you made it this far, thanks for reading! Please let me know in the comments if you’d be interested in reading some of my poems and short stories from the past year! Or maybe you just want to see more pictures of me cutting up pumpkins. And that’s fine too. Until next time…