Into 2021

Published January 15, 2021, 11:59 PM

by Alex M. Eduque


Alex Eduque
Alex Eduque

After 42 weeks, I decided to junk what I had chosen to title “The Quarantine Chronicles: Week __” simply because life, has to go on – albeit with vigilance, precaution, and within the boundaries and rules set forth by our respective local government units to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. And although life must go on, we must expect it to go one more or less like it did in 2020, and not so much “back to normal” pre-pandemic days. For most, I think we have adjusted – though there may have been some initial resistance, we realized eventually that this was here to stay for some time and we were left with no choice. After all, the only constant in this world is change.

Undoubtedly, the impact that 2020 brought upon all of us, no matter what corner of the world we live in, has been profound. So much so that Netflix and numerous others have decided to make satires and parodies about the most unusual year that it was. We woke up one day to find that the everyday grind that we had been accustomed to ever since childhood just stopped existing, and for a while, we were all lost. Everything stopped, and there was no “next steps” we could turn to. All was halted, and the world went on pause. We could only rewind in our minds, there was no option to fast-forward. Slowly, the world picked up, albeit in what seemed like slow motion. At that point, we lost the invincibility to control our everyday lives that we humans once thought we had. We lost the supreme power to plan because all of that became useless. We had to learn to go with the flow.

But when the dust settled, and we accepted the situation, at least in my case, I gained a much more vivid picture of what truly matters. Clarity overcame me, and I became much more grounded with reality. The whirlwind and roller coaster ride of distractions suddenly seemed so mundane, and all of a sudden, they have been recognized as extras. The unnecessary – all gone! To an extent, we were left with the most basic of human necessities and tendencies. We became the most vulnerable creatures, and for the better of us, we chose to focus on God, on family, on the closest of friends, on helping front liners the best we could. What we had taken for granted in the past became the spotlight and focal point of our everyday lives – and rightfully so.

The shift had to take place. I have said this numerous times before, but without hesitation I will say it again: The world needed to rest, and we, humans, its biggest exploiters, suffered the brunt of it. But for those of us who chose to accept it, we were rewarded with a fundamental change in perspective, clarity, and a new vision to move forth and forward. 2020 has been described by so many negative adjectives: Tumultuous, trying, tragic, sad, worst year ever, you name it. But in the end, when we take a step back and reflect, when has life ever been crystal clear, anyway?

When I apply Charles Darwin’s theory of the survival of the fittest to 2020, I do not necessarily refer to physical health and the COVID-19 aspect in that regard. I refer to the humans with the strongest morale and mindset to overcome. Those who chose to accept weakness, gave in to their vulnerabilities, but chose to turn to strengthening faith as a means to survive. I firmly believe it was also God’s way of testing his flock – who really do turn to Him during times unknown?

As I decide to move forward in 2021, I will do so bringing along with me the best gift of enlightenment and clarity that 2020 gave me. For all the uncertainties, the tears, the joys, the headaches, the heartbreaks, the happy moments, the tragedies, the triumphs, the losses, the gains, the defeats, and the fights we want to keep on fighting. Thank you, 2020. You have made me a better person.