University of Life

The dress that didn’t get to dance

But it sure did sparkle.

2020, the year of fantastical changes, grand parties full of sparkles and beauty, the year that was to be significantly awesome. We were to dance, party and grow as we entered the next decade, the one where we were to get our robot maids named Rosie! What we did get, which we quickly learnt we did not necessarily want was talking through laptops for work, just like George, and learning in our bedrooms, just like Elroy.

I bought this dress, and two others, for the year of the party. I was knowingly attending two galas this year and had in the plan’s attendance to several other events. I was looking forward to the dressing up, the fancy table settings and the dancing, oh how I love to dance. Turns out, I have never been so isolated from others in my life than I have this year.

My dress was replaced with yoga pants, hiking boots and bikinis. And as it turned out, that is exactly what I think my inners needed. They needed to rest, to re-evaluate, to return to nature. This does not mean that I will not be attending grand events in the future (I hope!) however it does mean that I have remembered how much I needed to be in the woods, to be at the lake, to just be home with no plans, enjoying my family and our beautiful home.

I am 100 percent convinced that my healing and keeping my head above the water was accelerated by the amount of time we spend outdoors. Every weekend we tried to hike, have beach time, or just chill outdoors. I found myself again, the part of me that thrived in the outdoors, that relaxed enough that I could hear my insides and gave time to listen to them.

I do not have a story of overcoming a huge bout of depression, but I do have a story of grief, overwhelming at times. Days where I sat and did nothing but scroll on my phone and days where I cried many times. I also had days of pure joy, extreme motivation, and huge productivity. Many of us have had our ups and downs over this year, some more downs than others. I was open about my struggles; I did not try to fix them or ignore them. I also did not hold anyone accountable for my struggles, they were purely situational. My heart and mind held no expectation of anyone to fix it, remove my pain or to individually make me happier. I just let the emotions come and go and they still come and go.

Not everyone will feel comfortable wearing that sparkly dress to the beach, but if you can, try it! Go with someone from your bubble, get sparkly, and then go and relax. Pack some food, play some music, and feel good, on the outside and the inside. Cause what really matters is that your insides are sparkling.