As I sit down to pour my thoughts out on the penultimate midnight of the year, I realize how fortunate I have been to go through 2020, as challenging as a year could be, with no real troubles. A few discomforts here and there, who hasn’t faced those this year?

I remember sitting over dinner with colleagues in January where someone mentioned a virus. Little had I known that that would be the hottest topic for the rest of the year too. Post that first mention, several weeks surely went by before it all became real for me as it travelled closer and closer to home, leaving no destination out from its world tour.

And that was that. One after the other, in a very short span of time, most everyday activities were either adjusted to suit the circumstances or eliminated. It was hardly possible to ignore the ‘traveler of the year’ and many times even crucial. Trying not to make my little reflection about this topic, I find it very difficult to drift away from it; but let me try harder. Something I’m happy about is that I have managed to stay quite positive amidst the chaos, unwavering in a storm. An optimistic and proactive mindset got me through my goals for the year. I was able to share a smile now and then, mostly in front of a screen. I believe I handled my transformation from academics to professional life quite well too. I experienced working in various settings and with various teams during my graduation at KLM, freelance projects, at the university, and now what seems like a full circle – at MMID. Working at MMID provides me with extreme joy and fulfilment and that is certainly the greatest highlight of my year.

All in all, if I have to describe my feelings in one word, it has to be ‘grateful’. I am grateful for the people around me, to have a happy healthy lifestyle, wake up to exciting work each morning, be connected to those close to me yet physically distant, and this list can easily become very elaborate.

I must say that there are elements of the changes that I have secretly liked. Meeting fewer people let me form deeper relationships with the limited set of people with whom I interact most frequently. Working from home sometimes allowed me to be more efficient and get more things done. More time at hand instead of outdoor activities let me reconnect with friends and family in different time zones.

Does it mean I would like the ‘new normal’ to stay? I think the ideal path forward would be a mix of the old ways while adopting new ways that we like, find productive, practical, and truly beneficial. Anyway, it is not going to be an instant reversion so let’s say a hybrid of the before and after is here to stay for a while.

In 2021, there is so much to do, new habits to form, a lot I want to learn, and I’m very eager to have a clean slate of a year to do so. This outflow of thoughts has been quite personal and centered on my experience. I find writing such things down essential rather than carrying them around in my mind.

Looking outside, I have sincere hope for better circumstances for those who’ve had a rough 2020. A more positive, exciting, and much needed 2021. With that, I wish you a pleasant end of the year and the very best for the new year. Have a good one.

Aman

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