A look back on 2020...
For many of us, 2020 came in fiercely, with determination and hope of a new and brighter year than the year before. When we were juuuuust far enough into the New Year for things to start to fall into place, 2020 had other plans. A mysterious virus was discovered overseas. Then, the virus made its way to our shores. Then, we ran out of toilet paper. After that, the whole world seemed to stand still.
For me, my professional life was upended. As the Account Administrator for a successful event rental company, my livelihood depended on large gatherings. Slowly but surely, the calls started to come in. Events postponed. Events cancelled. Finally, I received the call from Corporate to go home - my position was causing more financial harm, and I was furloughed. One week later, the first Stay At Home Order was announced, and my fiancé joined me in our apartment (though he, thankfully, was able to keep his position). This story only is one of hundreds of thousands that we've heard since Aunt Rona decided to visit, but in a crazy way, I feel grateful for all that this year has brought.
First and foremost, I'm grateful for the opportunity to grow even more as a person this year. That may sound cliché, but I 100% believe that we learn the most about ourselves when faced with a challenge. In my case, that challenge was navigating a possible career change during a time when nobody's futures were certain. In the best of times, that sounds like a lot - taking years of practice and training and pivoting to something hopefully related but still different and hoping to make it work to your advantage. In 2020? That sounds like a one way ticket to Funemployment for the foreseeable future. In my case, I decided to rely on what I knew I could do, and that was to help. I started to look for positions that allowed me to be helpful. Because nearly everyone was working remotely OR working with a skeleton crew, things looked very different. To add to that, in April we still didn't know much about the virus and the impact it would have on everything. Because cases varied from person to person, the thought of working in a retail position scared me. Several questions raced through my mind for weeks on end. How long would my job search be? If I do receive an offer but it's not something I know I would love doing, do I take it and hope to switch to something more on my radar in the future? What if that simply wasn't an option?
Lucky for me, I stumbled upon a job listing for an office administrator for a boutique financial firm for immediate hire. Finance wasn't something that was in my wheelhouse, but office admin most definitely was. What I thought would be a long-term office admin position quickly turned into one of the best learning experiences I've had. It's rare to find and opportunity that lends itself so well to growth and collaboration, all while still allowing you to stick to your guns when it comes to your career and life goals. I'm lucky to have found Mahalene and the VDM Family - and that's an understatement.
At first, Safer At Home felt like some kind of weird vacation. We thought, hey, we'll stay in for a few weeks, wash our hands a lot, use a bandana as a face covering any time we went to the store, and that would be the end of it. The weeks started to add up, and it was pretty apparent that nothing would be the same - not for a while anyhow. Here's my short list of things I've learned in the process:
1. Spending some time quarantined with your thoughts is not as bad as it sounds.
2. You are in control of how your day goes.
3. Hugs are unbelievable underrated.
4. Most things work related CAN wait until the next day to complete.
5. Moving your body at least once a day makes a world of difference.
6. Sunshine is sometimes the best medicine.
7. Quarantine hobbies may come and go, but trying new things will NEVER go out of style.
8. Creativity is at its most heightened when entertaining children is involved.
9. There are only so many different ways to make cauliflower "taste" like something else.
10. These times may be unprecedented, but YOUR time doesn't have to be.
If you're still with me this far, thank you. Hopefully, as we head into a new year of uncertainty, you can take some of my "food for thought" with you.
Here's to 2021- whatever it may bring!