Goodbye 2020, Hello 2021
There have only been a few times in my memory that I can remember being truly happy that the year was ending but 2020 was definitely one of them. The year just seemed to suck the life out of everything. This will forever be known as the year of the Pandemic, Comprehensive Distance Learning, mask-wearing, and social distancing. It is the year that the death of George Floyd launched protests around the world for Black Lives Matter. It was the year when we, as white Americans, had to look deep within ourselves and ask how White Supremacy had been and currently was running our lives. It was a time where recognizing White Privilege was and is painful and feels raw when considering the harm caused to others simply because of the color of their skin. It was a year where the presidential election brought so much stress and anxiety that its conclusion, which wasn't declared for weeks, seemed almost anti-climatic. The deaths of John Lewis and Ruth Bader Ginsberg cut deep for so many that were holding out hope for change.
The clock has now rolled over into 2021 and where does that leave us? Although I believe that things aren't going to change at the speed we think it should, 2021 brings HOPE. Hope that we making steps in the right direction. Hope that White Supremacy can be challenged and we can move to a place where Black Lives genuinely matter and that our Black friends finally feel that this is a country where "all men (and women) are indeed equal."
I look at my part in this year and there have been some bright spots in a year that was covered by so many dark clouds. The pandemic made a big change for Javad. In the house where nurses are in and out, everyone, including his dad and I, began wearing masks. This past nine months he has been the healthiest he has ever been. I have been grateful on so many levels that he has been healthy since this virus could run havoc with his body. I have moved to a house where Javad can finally come stay. After almost three years, I will have some mornings where I can go downstairs to kiss his sweet sleeping face. I am grateful that the relationship I am in has survived the pandemic. Being together 24/7 can be rough for anyone so I happily say that we survived.
Teaching? Well, that has been the hardest. The job I love has been a struggle. Last Spring was a bit of a shitshow (sorry there is nothing else that describes it) but this year has been better. I do feel helpless to reach out to those who are electing not to participate in their education but am relishing those who attend regularly. Sure, I wish they would turn on their cameras so I could see their faces but that is something I don't have control of. It definitely will be a year that I won't forget and hope that the structure of education can change to adapt to all learners rather than putting everyone in the same box. This is truly a time to look and restructure the largest institution we have for children.
I am ready for 2021. I am not expecting miracles, but I do believe, sometime this year, I will be able to hug my family and friends again, that we will be able to sit on my deck and talk and laugh, maybe even without masks, that we will begin to heal our emotional wounds from this year. I believe it can happen. I am patient, after all, right now I have nowhere else to go!