“The past year hasn’t been great for anyone, including me. I just graduated from college and was planning on bigger things for my future. I had someone I loved and had a few things on hand that kept me busy. I was full of positivity. Then the pandemic started and my life took a downward spiral. I had to wait longer than I’d intended to in order to move onto my next stage in life. I then lost the person I’d hoped to share that life with. That hit hard, because it came out of nowhere. I stayed in bed all day. I ate very little, sleeping my days away in hopes that I’d escape my unhappiness. I lost a lot of weight, my eyes were sunken. My parents were gravely worried. I had my family around me, but I felt so lonely. I felt like I’d lost my purpose in life.

But my life is just starting. And I knew deep down that I had a lot to learn and do. So after more than half a year of feeling worthless, I decided to just let go. I spent more time with my family and did what I could to help them. I started going grocery shopping with them; we ate outside, went on drives, and watched movies and shows together. We spent time sitting together just talking. It made me happy to see my parents’ eyes light up when I took an interest in their lives. It made me realise just how lucky I was. I reached out to my close friends, whom I’d refused to see for so long. They agreed to hang out with me in a heartbeat and it felt like the old days. A year and half after graduating, my big dreams are still on hold. I am still unemployed, but because I am determined to do only the things that bring me true joy. We have all lost some things to gain others. At first I thought I was losing precious time, being forced to stay home because of the pandemic. But now I know that merely losing a year is not going to take my dreams and hopes away from me. And most importantly, nothing is ever going to take away the time and laughter I’ve shared with the people I love.”

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