Reflecting on 2020

Reflecting on 2020

Katie Hall

A response to Michelle vanDellen’s article Look Back Before You Look Forward:

This year I learned that gratitude is important. I don’t think I realized how much I would miss certain things until they were gone. Small things like walking through the packed halls at school or rushing with everyone to the pit on game days before 9th period. Seeing so many people around me, talking to people in class that I wouldn’t have gotten a chance to normally, being used to sitting next to them every day. Even though it was always, ugh I have to go to school, I have so much homework, I have to take a test… Even though being at school sometimes felt dreadful. There were so many things that I didn’t realize made it enjoyable. Things that I wouldn’t think twice about. Every day, even with these little things, I’ve learned I need to write down or say in my head that I am grateful for it all. Saying thank you to people, telling them I love them and that I am glad to have them in my life. Being more in the moment because we can’t predict the future, and we have no way of telling what tomorrow will bring. Once again, it may all disappear, circumstantially or in an unprecedented manner.

We were all given this life, not to dread what’s coming, but to celebrate what we have now. Being happy for the small and big wins.

I like the second moment in her article that vanDellen talks about. I have definitely experienced that feeling of being so small before and it’s incredible. When I took a trip to Iceland, everywhere I went I felt like that, the environment and landscape is so beautiful no matter where you were and I couldn’t get over it. Glaciers and volcanoes that are so impressively large. And right now I’m just thinking about the creation of them and how everything works and there is so much going on that we have no control of. So many things are happening under the Earth’s crust and in the atmosphere. These thoughts and experiences make me feel small.

I am just one dot on the Earth. A dot with friends, family, stories to tell, feelings… a whole life. We are all one of billions of dots on the Earth. But from space, you can’t even begin to see us, only the beauty of our planet with its oceans, clouds, and mountains.