Remembering 2020: Lessons and Realizations of A Tumultuous Year

2020 is no ordinary year by any means. 2020 made an impact on everyone’s lives. It brought a lot of chaos from the first month and even to this final month. For many of us, this year is incredibly life-changing. At some point, pieces of our quotidian life remained intact and unharmed despite the challenges that we encountered. If someone were to write the events of 2020 for future generations, it would take a whole book, no a library even, just to explain the sheer impact of this year to many facets of human life around the world.

For many of us, it did rock our lives 360 degrees due to several reasons and phenomena which are new and extraordinary. A year begins and we all pray for a better and fruitful one ahead of us, yet 2020 gave us the opposite. It was like an awakening that we were unconsciously waiting to pass by and knock us from the realities of the world. The realm of emotions was deeply found inside the core of every human in the entire universe.

An entire rollercoaster of realizations unleashed from Pandora’s box filled our world.  Wildfires, earthquakes, typhoons, war, and the COVID-19 pandemic are only a few of the several catastrophes unleashed from the box. Individual battles were also fought and are continuously faced by each of us.

However, amidst all of these, we remained resilient and steadfast. Unwavering despite the bubble of emotions wanting to explode because of holding on to some things which keep us grounded. The realizations and lessons that come with it rooted us more to become brave and ready for whatever adversity that could come and destroy our way to progress once again.

Lessons from 2020


Personally, 2020 taught me several unforeseen transformative things. Looking back to how the entire 12 months changed our lives are lessons that come with it. Here are some integral life lessons that living through 2020 made me realize. And it’s possible that these lessons would also resonate with many.

Make the most of what we have

Painter, Artist, Man, Work, Painting

The year 2020 began quite harsh to most of us. Reports about the famous basketball star, Kobe Bryant, and his daughter’s fatal crash made it through the headlines. News about the Australian wildfire, eruption of volcanoes in the Philippines, and most tragically, the Coronavirus Outbreak. These are just some of the harsh realities that 2020 brought to us.

When lockdown started, all of us got agitated and anxious. Most are not used to the setup of staying at home 24/7 because of some restrictions implemented by the community, in order to contain the virus. Even some introverted individuals had a hard time with their freedom to choose when to go out was curtailed.

It has been a norm to check news updates regarding the condition of the pandemic. Personally, my heart broke during the first two months as the cases were going up and many physical activities got cancelled due to the situation. I honestly thought that it would only take a couple of months, two to three maybe, for the eradication of the virus and recoveries of those affected. But boy I was wrong! All our plans for 2020 was disrupted.

More than anything else, 2020 taught me that we can’t plan for everything. So the best we can do is to make the most of what we have in life.

Sometimes the best things in life cannot be found from the outside world. Most of it can be found at home if only we look closely and search rigorously. And times like this is one of the best time to save money since our time outside is limited.

For example, instead of buying clothes online for a birthday celebration in the house, you can always look into your closet and redesign clothes to make them appear new again. Upcycling and DIY is the name of the game.

Another example, since taking care of plants started to become a trending hobby for most of us during the quarantine, get creative. Instead of buying expensive plants online, why not replant what you have at home? Or instead of buying pots online, upcycle plastic soda bottles or old containers and turn them into a pot. With that, you did not have to spend too much in buying gardening stuff because you already have maximized what you need inside of your house.

Another key example that I would like to highlight is when you seek ways how to avoid boredom. If you are an outdoor person, you can always look for a way how to make outdoor activities happen inside of your homes such as building a DIY pool and whatnot. And there are several other fun activities that we can recreate inside our homes.

By making most of what we have, we can also discover hidden talents that we did not realize we have in the first place. There is no need for us to always look for fun from the outside when we can always find ways how to make the most of what we have.

Know your worth

Know your worth | Etsy

Generally, knowing our worth does not necessarily concern being in a romantic relationship with someone. Sometimes, even in random situations, we may question our worth. For instance, failing to recite well during an online class. We tend to feel bad about ourselves for not studying enough or for not being smart enough to be able to provide an accurate answer.

Personally, with everything that we have been through individually, it molded and nurtured us slowly. A close friend related how the pandemic revealed the break in her romantic relationship.

She said, “For my experience, with all the constant fights and arguments that we had, I started questioning my worth in his world and in this world. What made it harder was the fact that we cannot talk in person because we are apart from each other. Due to the pandemic, we were not able to spend time together personally for nine months now, and having huge arguments over the phone is quite hard to fix. As I was questioning my worth and what I did to deserve the pain I felt, slowly I came to realize that once I am done crying, I should always learn how to stand up and love myself.”

Knowing her worth was the key in surviving her crumbling relationship. Resentment never helped her get pass through that. She learned how to walk away, not because I gave up on the relationship, but because she saw her value and letting herself drown in pain will not help her grow.

On the brighter side, there will be times where our trust in ourselves will be tested. There will be times where we will find ourselves in situations which will make us choose ourselves over others and it is not inherently wrong. We should know our worth and learn when to walk away before we lose ourselves in the process.

Let Go and Let God

There will be personal battles that may come as an awakening which will make us realize that not everything is our battle. With all the global and national issues that have been constantly occurring in the world today, I realized that every battle at present should not be fought at all times.

I learned how to lay down my sword and let God guide me as I come face to face with my personal problems. Violence, aggressiveness, and inflection of fear are not the key factors to survive ongoing adversity. It dawned to me that we should lay our burdens to Him and trust the process because fighting our problems with violence will only make things worse and will not solve anything peacefully.

As I did that, myself, it came out very serene and calm. The heavy baggage that I was carrying with me felt light and it made me appreciate more the silence and calmness. As 2020 showcased several adversities that shook the world, it also whispered important lessons that most of us failed to notice because we focus too much on our pain and what we will do to avenge that emotion.

Learn how to let go and let God, because in Him everything will be put in its rightful place with ease and peace. We choose our battles and we fight not with violence, but with the right weapons that will surely reign victory that can change our entire lives.

Appreciate what we have

Envy and jealousy are just a few of the bad attitudes that we must remove from our system. Staying in for nine months showed us a clearer view of the life that we have, especially when online classes began and students need gadgets to use to attend their online classes. However, not everyone is blessed to have enough budget to purchase such things. I have seen a few reports on social media where parents were seen selling stuff inside their house to buy their children enough resources they need for the online setup.

Although it is heartwarming to see their efforts, it is also heartbreaking seeing other kids forcing their parents. It is sad in the sense that some are still ungrateful despite their parent’s effort to provide them something to use just because they wish to have the latest gadget that everyone uses. For almost an entire year spending my days at home, I learned how to appreciate what we have and be grateful that despite all the difficulties, my mother gave all of her efforts just to provide us what we need.

We do not need to have the most expensive item to use for our work or classes. We do not need to purchase the latest cellphone because it is not what matters. What matters is that we can work from this setup and do the tasks efficiently. Besides, we can have what we want by the time that we actually deserve it.

Consequently, I learned to appreciate that despite not consuming expensive food for supper at all times at least we have something to eat because there are people out there who have nothing and are fighting for their lives every day in order to survive. Hence, the first key to success is to appreciate what we have and work hard in order to get the things that we want the most.

Have a healthy relationship with yourself

Watermelon, Woman, Fruit, Food, Girl

Finding the positives (not COVID-19 positive) within ourselves is highly essential. As the pandemic tested us mentally, physically, and emotionally, we must stand right up and do not settle on just being scared. The lockdown was not only intended for containing the virus.

I believe that it was a manifestation that having a healthy relationship with ourselves plays a vital role to live a healthier and peaceful life. And that is why, as soon as I have my free time I take that opportunity to do some exercises for at least 20 minutes to keep my body fit and help boost my system. It felt like freedom to me when I started taking care of myself and being cautious of what I eat, who I interact with online, and also what I read and watch online. It helps me improve my relationship with myself and also helps me get rid of the unnecessary habits and routines which ruined my intrapersonal relationship.

Also, despite the pandemic still going on, I listed down a few activities that I plan to push through once the pandemic is over and we can all finally go back to the normal setting. Organizing things such as my work table and time table helped me become more focused. It eased my stress and I believe that despite the threat of the virus, still, 2020 taught me lessons that helped me grow and shape me into a better individual.


The year 2020 may have impacted our lives differently. Perhaps, we encountered several lessons and realizations different from others. Nonetheless, every adversity brings in different lessons and these are not necessarily the same for everyone and it is okay. Whether or not you have encountered the aforementioned lessons, it is alright. It is different for every people anyway. Because the most important thing is that we are slowly nurtured and gradually growing and learning from all of these.

Despite the chaotic year of 2020, I am certain that it was not only sadness and grief which revolved around the world. At some point, there are still a few moments that made us happy and ecstatic. They say the beauty is in the eye of the beholder, hence it is up to us to see the beauty in every adversity.

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