Making The Most of the Last Stretch

Featured Illustration: tubik.arts


This year has been undeniably difficult. Difficult for those who lost their inspirations, said goodbye to loved ones, stayed in toxic homes, and endured the worst of anxiety — the examples of adversity are endless. This year was despised for many reasons and as we reach its conclusion, this hatred may very well continue into the new year too.

We are a product of our time. Be it COVID-19 or political unrest, these broad standing issues affect us both individually and in our connections with others. As much as we say “we hate 2020”, that isn’t going to change the fact that we lived through it. We survived it.

When we look back at this year, how do we want to remember ourselves in the perspective of the larger world?

Do we want to remember ourselves as complacent? Despite being cooped up in our homes, there was always an opportunity to do something for ourselves and for others. Do we want to remember ourselves as angry? Yes, there was so much to be frustrated about and I will never undermine that, but joy is a possible feeling too. Do we want to remember ourselves as weak? We don’t need to be on the frontlines to exhibit courage at this time. The simple task of waking up every morning and tackling the day with a positive attitude is courageous too.

I say all this because I think of the most challenging times of the past. Be it war, slavery, economic turmoil, and much more, our grandparents’ and ancestors’ lives are filled with stories of how they endured the tragedies, remained brave, and supported their societies. This is our opportunity to be remembered just as they were.

There is still time to pick up on some of those resolutions you made this year. Maybe it’s a simple workout or writing a poem or calling an old friend — taking a small step to ease their difficulty may very well be a catalyst for change.

Haleema Ahmed

Reader | Writer

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