20 Things I’ve Learned In 2020

Obviously 2020 hasn’t turned out the way any of us expected. While it may have been the most turbulent while simultaneously the most stagnant feeling year of my life (everyone’s life?), I’d be remiss to say it wasn’t one full of lessons. Some of these aren’t necessarily learned but lessons reiterated this year. 

  1. I won’t combust if I’m not productive for many, many days in a row. 
  2. But that will make me sad.
  3. An emergency fund is non-negotiable.
  4. TV is more entertaining with friends. At the beginning of the year, Lauren and I watched ~everything~ from Love is Blind to Game of Thrones. When I went back home over the summer, my parents and I watched most of the Marvel movies and Schitt’s Creek. Now that it’s just me and Beezy, TV isn’t as fun. 
  5. Driving through the Holland Tunnel from New Jersey to New York costs $13.75. 
  6. Hobbies are more important than I thought. Now I guess we all have an answer to the question, “What do you do in your free time?” I haven’t become a chef or an incredible artist, but I did learn a couple different ways to make chicken and broke out my watercolors for the first time in a long time. 
  7. Art is everything — I’m forever in debt to my favorite authors, the creators of Game of Thrones, Dan Levy, Vogue Youtube and every tik toker that makes videos my sister sends me. These have kept me sane and, at times, blissfully disconnected from the dark world around us. 
  8. Eating outside is better. I love feeling European during a meal and hope outdoor dining is here to stay. 
  9. People at dog parks are so nice. 
  10. Nothing is certain. I had a whole ~foolproof~ plan of what this year was supposed to look like with very tangible goals planned out for each month. I can say that after February absolutely none of those have been accomplished. I’ve come to terms with that and have further accepted that I need to be better at going with the flow. 
  11. Patience is key, especially with the highs and lows we’ve experienced. Knowing that tomorrow might be better is always helpful. 
  12. Speaking up only during the news cycle is not a way to create lasting change. We saw this clearly with the murder of George Floyd and Black Lives Matter. We have to make real changes in our everyday lives (where we buy, what we read, who we follow on social media) to alter our minds and behaviors. 
  13. Celebration is more fun with people (and strangers popping champagne) — aka Biden/Harris winning the election. My aunt texted our family group chat that NBC confirmed the nomination and I kid you not, 30 seconds later I heard the streets around me erupt. I quickly put Beezy’s leash on her and we ran outside to join the festivities. Like Meggie said, it was as if the hometown team won the World Series. People were banging pots and pans on their balconies, truck drivers laid on their horns as they passed by, everyone was cheering. In a corner apartment building, a guy brought speakers out to his balcony and started blasting music. There was dancing in the streets and pure relief radiating from everyone.I have goosebumps thinking about it now. A guy nearby popped a huge bottle of champagne and started handing out paper cups to everyone, pouring the celebration into a drinkable feeling. Chrissy Teigen said it best when she tweeted, “I feel like I just took off a weighted blanket, unhooked my bra and took out my extensions all at once.” Literally.
  14. Going outside is a game changer. I went for super long walks most days in the middle of quarantine and they completely changed my mood and mindset. 
  15. Soft slippers are so important. Quality loungewear in general is so important. I’m very lucky that I grew up in a house that values being cozy, but that has taken on a whole new meaning this year. I’m here for it. 
  16. Virtual happy hours are ~almost~ as good as real happy hours. They usually last much longer because you don’t get kicked out of the restaurant because they closed so that’s a positive.
  17. If you buy something at Zara and carry it in their paper bag and walk to the subway in the rain, the bag will rip and all of your belongings will spill onto the gross ground. 
  18. Face masks are great for keeping warm in the windy cold winter months. I wish I thought of using them in Minnesota. 
  19. I have everything I need, and I am so grateful. Letting go of the need to make a huge plan for next year and doing my best to find peace with whatever comes my way.

Leaving #20 blank because we have a whole month to go, and I’m sure I’ll learn more than one thing in that time. Would love to know what you feel are the biggest things you’ve learned this year!

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