There is one point we can all agree on: 2020 brought us challenges we never would have anticipated. I debated even writing this post because I don’t want to come across as trying to ‘silver-line’ the incredibly devastating world events we witnessed and endured this year. But the reality is, regarding the pandemic, we’re still in it– 2021 isn’t going to magically erase the virus and its life-threatening, social, and economic implications. I do have high hopes for this year though, and part of that optimism comes from seeing the good things that happened in one of the toughest years this millennium has seen so far.
Earning my degree
The year started with a storm unlike any other I’d seen before: Snowmaggedon. Our city was shut down for a full week. We were told to stay inside, we were placed in a state of emergency, and the military was called in. Little did we know, this was some high-level foreshadowing.
When the pandemic hit, I was at the tail end of my university career, on field placement, and excited for graduation. That all changed when social distancing and quarantine measures were implemented to fight the
spread of Covid-19. I wouldn’t finish my placement, I wouldn’t have another day of class, and I wouldn’t walk across the stage. I finished my courses online and had an anti-climactic end to six years of hard work.
In hindsight, that doesn’t matter. What matters is that I finished it. I earned my Bachelor of Social Work degree, and now it hangs, framed on the wall in my office at my first professional position which I was so fortunate to obtain within a few months of ‘graduation’.
Moving to Alberta
The job that I mentioned above was in Alberta. It was a position I applied to on a whim after chatting with Mack about how fun it would be to move out west for a few years to travel and explore. We were dreaming of adventure and when I got an interview and a job offer, I took it as a sign that the universe had that in mind for us as well. Within 4 weeks we were packed up and saying goodbye to our families. We embarked on a week-long road trip (in separate vehicles)
across Canada. There were many, many emotions attached to leaving our home and our friends and our families, but we mostly felt excitement and optimism.
Throughout the summer, we were able to experience new sights (while obeying Covid-guidelines) such as Jasper, Banff, Drumheller, and British Columbia. We settled in to a cozy home and made it our own. My sister was able to come to spend the Fall with us. Moving was worth the risk.
I am so grateful to have two major accomplishments to be able to write about given the year we’ve all had. I sincerely hope that 2021 sees the end of the pandemic and brings more peaceful times; but I have a newfound confidence in myself, my friends and family, and the global community. We can conquer anything– from severe weather and disaster, to health crises, to political upheaval. We’ll continue to keep on keepin’ on. We’ll remember those who haven’t been so fortunate and do all we can to support them and their loved ones.
Bring it on, 2021, show us what you’ve got.