Volunteer writer, Leah Langley, writes their reflection of 2020. As 2020 has been a hard year for many, Leah shares the positive moments of their year.

2020 has been a tough year for all. We’ve had to completely transform the way that we are living and learn to adapt to an ever-changing society. There have been more trials and tribulations than any of us could have ever expected when that bell chimed 12 on January 1st, and I think it is safe to say that it is a year that none of us will be quick to forget no matter how much we may want to. It doesn’t seem right to sit here and dwell on everything that didn’t necessarily work out in my year when so many others were facing greater burdens that I could even imagine and so instead I want to reflect on some of the positive things that this year has enabled me to discover.

Back in April, I was fortunate enough to discover an online journaling project that was being created to help us through the first lockdown called ‘The Isolation Journals’. I wasn’t really sure what to expect but signed up anyway as (in case you couldn’t tell 😉) I love to write. The project involved receiving daily email prompts to your inbox with a different idea for what you could base your writing on, and alongside it there was an invitation to join a Facebook Group of fellow writers where you could share your submission and read others. It took me until Day 3 to gain the courage to do this and now, over 100 days later, I can’t imagine my life without it. I was able to develop my writing in so many ways without realising it and I was able to reflect on memories that I had kept hidden away for years. I was able to challenge my writing style by taking on different poems and formatting types and I discovered so many new words that I had no idea existed.

The best part of the whole experience has definitely been connecting with my Isolation Journals Family. It’s the most loving and welcoming family that anyone could ever wish for, filled with people from all over the world. We span across all ages and walks of life, but we are all connected by our love of writing. I’m pretty sure I could write a book on just how incredible it has been to develop connections, albeit virtual, with so many diverse individuals; sharing many stories about our different experiences. It’s something I hope to keep a part of my life for many years to come and one thing from this year that I never want to forget.

Friendship has been a huge focus of my 2020. I’ve learned who it is that truly matters to me and what the true meaning of friendship actually is. As cheesy as it may sound, I have the best friends that I could ever wish for and I am so lucky to be surrounded by an incredible support system. I haven’t known all of my friends for decades, and some of them I’ve known for less than a year, but they have all already played a vital part in my life. Whether they have been by my side through the highs or the lows, whether they have been wiping my tears or propping me up when I fell, there’s one thing for sure; they’ve always been there. The friends that I have now have truly shown me what it means to have important people in your life, and they have shown me that not everyone leaves. Without the trials that 2020 has thrown our way, I wouldn’t have necessarily learnt this lesson so soon and so although I may have had to go through some pretty rubbish times to get here, I’m once again grateful.

It would have been easy to sit here and reflect on the year in negatives, but I wanted to make sure that I appreciated the positives that had presented themselves too. It’s pretty clear that 2020 has forever changed life as we know it, but I’m looking forward

Header by Label’s Assistant Head of Design Christos Alamaniotis


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