I will always associate the word “bittersweet” with the year 2020.
Let’s start with bitter. So much bitter, everywhere. Illness and death. Anger and frustration. Sadness and tears. Lost jobs, lost opportunities, shattered hopes and dreams. Fear, permeating our lives and decisions, affecting our plans, stealing our confidence, influencing whether we trust and believe.
And now, the sweet. It, too, is everywhere. It’s in the big and the little moments. Families reconnecting. People learning, gaining new appreciation for ideas and information, having new experiences. Lifetime milestones celebrated differently but celebrated nonetheless; birthdays, graduations, marriages. Interactions between friends and neighbors and coworkers, some quiet, some loud; gestures of kindness, of solidarity, of the fierce knowledge that together isn’t everything but it is way more than nothing.
Bittersweet. To use the word, we must acknowledge the separate elements woven together, sometimes first one, then the other; sometimes simultaneous and overlapping.
It is just as the year has been and will likely continue to be – shifts and turns, laughter and tears, heartbreak and glory. All part of this journey through time, the moments destined to be our memories and to shape our perspective on some future day, in a future world.
All part of this tale of 2020.