2021 & The New Normal

Things don’t have to go back to what it was before the pandemic if you don’t want it to. It doesn’t have to go back to what it was before 2020. Too much has happened that I think falling back into old patterns won’t do anyone good.


We can’t go back to what used to be, I think this pandemic revealed so many flaws in our systems that why would we want to go back to it? If we are at a point where we can start again why not choose that? Why not rethink things? Why not see what the new normal can be?
Because here’s the thing, we can make it better. We can care about one another, help each other succeed, believe in ourselves and just be better than we were before or during this shit show of 2020. We don’t have to go back to what was, because it’s not who we are anymore.
I know that everything that has happened to everyone has been a lot to process. Some would even say it was too much to bear – regardless of where you live, you probably know someone who got the virus, lost their job, faced financial difficulties, had trouble with their mental health, missed loved ones, or couldn’t do what makes them happy. This year has been too much for most of us, but I hope you all take away this one thing.

We don’t need to go back to what was, it quite literally will never be possible since too much has changed, and we have experienced far too many profound things in our lives. So, take that with you and look at the year ahead and decide your new normal. Not what the world thinks should be normal, but the normal you want to live. Think about the normal you crave, the actual normal. Not the habits we want to fall back on but explore what could be. This year has shown that for better or for worse anything can happen. As much as the bad has happened this year, the good can also come. You just need to be open to the idea that our version of normal needs to adapt to the changing times.

My wish and hope for you are that you have an easy transition into the new year, that you take a few deep breaths and remember that the life you want to live is up to you and that if you choose to, you can live it. But perhaps it all starts with accepting the fact that there is no going back and that we all need to collectively go forward and embrace what’s to come.

How the Pandemic Changed the Direction of my Life

As we are slowly approaching eight months of living in a pandemic, I could not help but lie awake the other night for over 2 hours thinking about just how much has changed in my life during these eight months.

The beginning of this pandemic brought a lot of anxiety and uncertainty, which forced me to rethink a lot of my habits. From filtering out the news I watched or read, to how I interacted with people or even just kept myself sane, I am sure you and I both have had to adapt in so many ways.

I find myself at a standstill because one chapter of my life is quickly coming to a close and I was not ready for it before this pandemic, but now I am truly terrified of it ending. In just two and a half months, I will graduate from university with my bachelor’s degree in political science.

Why am I so scared to graduate?

Well, for one thing, I don’t know who I am without school and by taking that part of my life away, I feel as if I am left with an empty shell and a meaningless life. I have built my entire life around grades, assignments and just academics in general because I was convinced that it would guarantee me a stable and easy future.

But instead, I am stuck in a pandemic with little to no idea of what comes next. Over the years, I have learned how to embrace the blank canvas that might be presented to us, but this one seems too large that even the thought of it becomes overwhelming.

My entire life lies ahead of me, and not having even a smidge of a plan seems reckless and dumb of me. What I try to remind myself, with a heavy dose of compassion, is that what comes next is not a death sentence – it is merely a new beginning, a new chapter. And I should remember how fortunate I am that to even get a blank slate.

I think the pandemic reminded a lot of us or is continuously reminding us, that we cannot plan everything. No matter who you are, something about your life was upended overnight and there was nothing we could do about it.

This pandemic has forced me to rethink the entire direction of my life. But it has also taught me that what we plan is not necessarily what will happen to us. We can spend our entire life planning for what comes next, but there are so many things out of our control that can deter the path we have so carefully curated for ourselves. I am also learning that this is not necessarily a bad thing, it is just something that happens.

Even though the pandemic has led me to a dead-end, I think it also presented me with a new option – one that was never fully visible to me before. Things in life have a way of changing the direction we are heading in, and maybe this pandemic did just that for me. If it has done the same for you, then please remember that things will work out the way they are supposed to work out. Hold on tight and have a bit of faith.