Turns out Kylie was right, it has been a year of realising things
It spawned endless memes and Twitter jokes but maybe Kylie had some premonition powers because this year we’ve all been realising things.
In 2016, Kylie Jenner told us all it was going to be the year of realisations. Her exact words were: “I feel like this year is really about, like the year of realising stuff. And everyone around me, we’re all just… realising things.”
And what did we do?
We laughed at her. We made her into a Twitter GIF and mocked her from behind our computer screens.
— ??????? (@barbaraachaga) December 19, 2016
Where is Kylie now? She’s a billionaire. Kylie’s 2016 realisations brought her grandeur and money. We didn’t have any realisations of success because we spent our time laughing at her while she was rolling around on a bed of $100 bills.
Kylie’s comprehension of what 2016 would be was a chilling premonition of what was to come. In that year alone, we saw Brexit and Donald Trump’s election as President of the United States. In those two watershed moments, the world realised we are a people divided. Hatred and distrust form political opinions. And the status quo we had become accustomed to was hanging by a very frail thread.
Fast forward four years and 2020 is worse. A global pandemic, death and racial injustices, with divisions deeper and more visible than before.
In March, the way we lived our lives was upended and thrown out within days. Our lives moved quickly, but the world moved quicker. For most of this year, we have been confined and locked away. This isolation gives you more time to realise things about yourself and everything around you.
And realise things we have, just like Kylie.
We were doing life wrong
Most people have got caught up in the 9-5 rat race at least once in their lives. The rush hour madness, the stressed lunches, and the emails after 6 pm. Long commutes were seen as badges of honour and a work\life balance where work trumped life was an indicator of success.
However, the first lockdown showed us we were moving too fast. Life was hectic. We needed to reset. Working from home offered benefits we never knew even existed, like the opportunity to save or to spend more time with your kids. The internet means some office jobs really can be done on the golden sands of a Mediterranean beach. And while this might not be the most suitable option in real-life terms, it’s still nice to know you could.
Hollywood still can’t get the Irish accent right
We thought 2020 couldn’t get any worse but then Wild Mountain Thyme came along. Emily Blunt warbling “when he says dose tings” now plays on a loop in my head. The accents are atrocious. Clearly, the Irish tone is the hardest to crack, and American audiences still think leprechauns are real.
We can’t depend on the world
One of the most common questions uttered over the last year has been “did you ever think it would happen in our lifetime?” The answer is almost always “no.” Our world was always unpredictable, but 2020 has shown we can’t depend on it like we used to. Even with the technological advances at our fingertips, entire countries shut down in the face of a virus.
Pandemics are not oddities, which is why we should have been prepared. We thought the workings of the world were solid but 2020 has proven they are not.
Family and friends are important
This we always knew, but 2020 has highlighted how imperative they are to sustaining us. Separation does make the heart grow fonder but it also makes it ache. Christmas is only weeks away and for many, the dream reunion will not happen.
But someday soon, the grandmother will hug the grandchild, the mother will hug the son and the friends will see each other again.
We don’t just go to the pub for alcohol
When the pubs reopened in September, I took a visit to some of my favourite establishments. However, something wasn’t right. The drink stayed the same, but the spark was missing. Then I realised the reason you visit a pub isn’t for the gin and tonics – it’s for the unknown mystery of it all.
A night on the town always held a promise of devilment. You meet characters that stay in your memories forever. But you only meet them if you move around freely or hop from table to table.
Staying put in the corner seat for the night just isn’t as pleasurable.
I miss it.
We are all people persons
The term “people person” is used to describe someone who enjoys, or is particularly good at, interacting with others. They are called extroverts and described as vivacious and spirited. Those who aren’t are introverts seen as shy and reserved. If 2020 has taught us anything at all, it’s that we are all people persons. We need human connection, whether it be from touch or simply standing in a crowded room and knowing that there are others out there.
Being starved of these links is not healthy.
No one was washing their hands properly before 2020
Remember the fever dream that was lockdown in April? Every second day a new public service ad or video of a celebrity appeared on our feeds showing us how to wash our hands properly. And then people began to share stories of times they saw people not washing their hands or simply flicking their hands under the water and walking out of the public toilets.
How were we living and breathing before this?
People are good
Amid the horror and despair that this year has brought, the inherent goodness of people has shone. Whether it be the workers on the frontline, the GAA clubs delivering food to the most vulnerable, or a neighbour simply making a phone call to someone who needs it – people are selfless and kind.
And no matter how dark we think the world is right now, remember the light will always shine through.
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