2020 is a year of many lessons, and I think one of the most important is the idea that you should appreciate the things that you probably took for granted before.
Just in the summer alone, I've longed to be able to go to the theater to experience movies there again. Watching cinema in the theater has always been different from my living room because of the theater's impressive visuals and sound system, but also because of the other people you get to have a cinematic experience with.
I missed being able to meet with friends face to face. We see each other on our screens quite often through scheduled calls, but it just isn't the same. Many of us were really close, literally and figuratively, as fellow transplants to Spokane for school — until COVID forced a divergence in our paths. Inevitably, this was going to happen as friends exiting college, but COVID put us on the fast track and split everyone apart early without any closure.
I missed out on experiencing a lot that Spokane has to offer in the summertime. This is my first summer I've ever spent here. Pig Out in the Park and Hoopfest were things I was particularly looking forward to, but they will have to continue to be things that I've only heard about for now. Bloomsday was something I trained for in the months leading up to the original date in May, but I lost motivation when I couldn't be out there running with my friends or anyone else.
Of all the things I took for granted, the ability to connect with others was the biggest. I missed seeing people's faces and being able to shake their hands. As we settle into the normalcy of quarantined times, it seems odd to me now that just a few months ago I could go to the grocery store and not be leery of the distance between me and others.
While I've missed a lot, I've gained a lesson in appreciating what I have. When everything cools down, I'll be more intentional when interacting with people or doing simple things like going to a movie with friends. COVID stripped away those things, but also reminded me that they are important, not just mundane.
Hopefully, eventually, we can all look back on this year and not focus on the negatives, but rather on what we learned. The things I missed this summer made me learn that I should be fortunate and grateful for my regular life. ♦