• Samantha Dawn

Adventures of a Twentysomething: 1-year into a Global Pandemic

If you had asked me at the beginning of 2020, my goals would have been to make a good curry and lose weight. I never thought 2020 would end up the way it ended, nobody did.


A global pandemic will really show you who is similar to you and who is not. You see everyone’s values and it can really test your patience. I spent a lot of time at the beginning muting people who kept fear mongering online and spouting information from un-reliable sources. I wondered if I made a grocery list, would I get the chicken I ordered or would I have to go to the store because they didn’t have enough of the kind I wanted. I spent days of my life figuring out the most quiet times to go grocery shopping. I walked a lot. I found projects around the house to distract myself from the world. I cherished the moments I had with people, even if it meant sitting outside of my parents house in the cold. I learnt to work from home, for a year. I spent a whole year taking care of myself and dealing with grief I wasn’t anticipating (Do we ever anticipate grief?)


I feel like I rolled with the punches really well this year. There’s a line in almost all the messaging that the government has shared along the lines of “please keep monitoring the rules as they will change as things progress”. I never looked past that, so when things changed, it was about adjusting as best I could. Sometimes it meant ordering carrot cake through Skip the Dishes and sometimes it meant an “anti-depression walk”. I spent a lot of my time adjusting to new changes and when I wasn’t, I spent my time bettering myself. 2020 was the year of personal growth and I am happy to say I really love myself. I actually love myself more now than I ever have and that’s from all the work I’ve done.


Being a twentysomething during a pandemic is much more of a different experience from my peers. I didn’t have a boyfriend I needed to see, I didn’t have kids to take care of, and I didn’t really have to worry about anyone but myself. I found anger, sadness, and eventually found joy again. It took a toll on me that not a lot of people understood, so I spent a lot of time feeling alone. All that being said, there are a number of things that got me through the last year and I wanted to share that with you!


 

1) People in France renovating chateaux and Garden Answer

I found a YouTube account about a family renovating a chateau in France, which lead to more accounts and now I am subscribed to multiple and love them all. Seeing how people live in France made me want to live a little more like them. Joie de vivre, watching them garden, and renovating their old houses is interesting to me. I found Garden Answer when looking up how to grow strawberries in a planter and fell in love with their yard and videos. It’s so nice seeing them transform their space.


2) Gardening



When my parents said I could tear up the front yard, I took full advantage. I transformed my garden into a little oasis and yes, it’s a potager themed to gardens I saw in France and Italy. This occupied so much time and I needed that.


3) Walking

I was never a walker, in fact, the first walk-run we took, took almost two hours and I thought I was going to die. I now can do that walk in 45 minutes and the idea of walking to feel better isn’t stupid to me any more.


4) My parents backyard



When my parents decided to get living room furniture for their backyard, it changed the comfort level of spending so much time outside. It made things a little better. Also, now they have a puppy and getting a new pool.


5) Baked goods and online shopping

I learnt how to make raspberry scones, but more importantly, I ate my way through baked goods, which were delicious. This was before finally coming to terms with my diet, but for a brief moment, it helped. I also spent a long time shopping online and consider myself a pro at it. Having packages roll in every few days, is the best.


6) The Clean Fork



A new business in Saint John that has brought me to where I wanted to be. I always considered myself an active person who ate well and now that is true. This company is run by Danielle Knox, who has changed how I look at food and is one of the only programs where I am actually seeing progress. I have spent the last six months enjoying weight loss and falling in love with myself.


7) Tiktok

Countless hours of entertainment and new ideas on how to live my life.


8) My friends



To my work friends, my personal friends, and to the new friends this year. Thank you for all your love and compassion.


9) My parents

Did you think I would make a list without including them? My mom and dad were there for me for everything! They helped with all my projects, they spent hours listening to me, and honestly, they are the best parents I can ask for. They helped me immensely get through this year.


10) My sister



My sister is my roommate, best friend, and the person who saw it all. The good, the bad, and the ugly she was there. I can’t thank her enough.

 

It’s been a weird year, but it hasn’t all been bad. In the mids’t of chaos and anger, there has been love, compassion, and acceptance. Year two of a pandemic will look similar, but will also be different and provide opportunity for change. I’m taking everything I have learnt and bringing it with me.


Thanks for reading, I am sending all my love,

Samantha



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