“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.” – Charles Dickens

We are a few weeks away from a much-needed fresh start. The dumpster fire that is 2020 has been a highly charged year politically, mentally, physically and personally for everyone. COVID-19 started as a slow burn but then quickly ignited into a global pandemic, bringing all of us to our knees. The virus has taken countless lives, shuttered businesses, and disrupted our daily lives more than we could have imagined. Society had no choice but to bend to its will. Coupled with the pandemic, we reached the tipping point of racial inequality and social injustice after the death of George Floyd, which caused a greater chasm within our country. We heard and watched the pain and frustrations of individuals from both sides of the table. Overall, this year has been exhausting and depressing, and I, for one, cannot wait to turn to a new page.

I can go on and on about how much of a buzzkill 2020 has been and continues to be. This year, it was far too often that I read about tragedies involving the loss of loved ones due to COVID-19, violence or an unforeseeable accident. However, I have a lot to be thankful for despite all the negatives. First, I am grateful my family and friends are safe and healthy. Second, my wife and I planned and got married during a pandemic. It was not the wedding we intended, but it still turned out to be the most fantastic day of my life. The whole experience taught us a lot about ourselves and the people around us. It not only made our relationship stronger, but it also put our bonds with friends and family into perspective. I am grateful for the relationships I gained and solidified, but I am just as grateful for the ones that I lost. Life has a funny way of showing you when it is time to move on and let go of long-standing relationships regardless of how difficult it may be. Third, one of the biggest takeaways from this year has been my own personal growth. The constant attacks on one another because of religious, political, and/or personal beliefs made me more compassionate and understanding of what is going on around me. My awareness of how I should treat others became even more of a focal point after seeing how we have treated each other in this strange time. Lastly, right before 2020 took a nosedive, I was fortunate to land an opportunity with Griesing Law in late January. It has been a privilege to work along-side such an amazing and thoughtful group of people. Despite the challenges the Firm has faced, the support for their employees has never wavered, and I could not be any luckier for the current position I am in.

We are all anxiously waiting to ring in the New Year and to start with a clean slate, but until then, sit back and list the positives. According to Buddha, “No matter how hard the past is, you can always begin again.”

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