The one-year anniversary of when we went into lockdown has been looming, quietly wrapping its fingers around my breath for a few weeks. It's felt heavy, sad, and tragic, a constant reminder of the lives lost and a year we'll never get back. I've allowed myself the space to process all of the feelings and frustrations and have come out on the other side with a new perspective.
I've seen a lot of memes asking how we would have lived differently had we only known what the future held. It prompted me to do the same, looking back at my photographs with an apprehensive curiosity from that week leading up to quarantine. And instead, I was overcome with joy, not only in the sweet memories captured like fireflies, fleeting and glowing bright, but at how I'd been living my life.
There, in my album, is a picture of Cristina and me, bundled together inside my too-large vintage coat, I'm now happy I'd yet to tailor. Videos of my friends dancing barefoot, yell-singing along to Mandy's beautiful voice at her album release party in her home. Drinking red wine and eating cookie dough out of the same bowl with girls on our team while watching "The Bachelor." Sloan and Marta choreographing a routine to "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" around our dining room table, our Taiwanese takeout growing cold.
It can be easy to look back at our past with regret, the fleeting moments we took for granted, blissfully unaware of what lay ahead. But they can also be what inspires us, the lessons learned, and the changes we're now ready to make. It feels like we're slowly coming out of a fog, our future still obscured and murky, but the light is breaking through. So in the meantime, in this awkward in-between space where we still remain, I'll choose gratitude, buoyed by love and the promise of dance parties with friends.
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