2020 Was a Crazy Year, but It Brought Me Many Blessings

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by Kellie McRae |

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farewell, loss, 2020, positivity, perspective, self-esteem, judgmental thoughts, religious, compromise

Historic and challenging events happened last year. There was never a dull moment, and if your coping skills were rusty, 2020 made you get out the polish. 

I was admitted to the hospital just after the year started and was in a medical facility until March. I was severely malnourished, with medical staff from seven different departments assigned to care for my tiny body. There was a lot of concern. 

I arrived back home in March, just in time for the world to lock down because of the pandemic. I’d already spent the greater part of 2019 locked down, because pretty much anytime I put food in my mouth, it would exit the same way a short time later. 

(Courtesy of Kellie McRae)

Quarantine was an old hat for me. The difference was that I was angry throughout much of 2019 because doctors couldn’t seem to stop the regurgitating that caused me to become severely malnourished. I wondered if that would be my life going forward. By 2020, I was already accustomed to being home alone.

I gained a different level of appreciation for my alone time. I dug deeper into the things that brought me joy. I started creating adult coloring books, learned to make jewelry, expanded on my sewing, and deepened relationships with friends whom I allowed into my space physically. 

As things slowly started to open, I would get annoyed if I had to leave home — a stark difference from the way I felt in 2019 when I was locked away. I hired a staff that allowed me to stay home. I now have a personal assistant who runs my errands, and I only go along if I’m bored or looking for something I think he will have difficulty understanding the nuances of. 

I moved into a home that I absolutely adore. I was previously in a two-story home, but because of my mobility issues, my loved ones and I were increasingly concerned about the potential for falling (which I have done twice since moving into my one-story home, ironically). 

The icing on the cake of my 2020 was that my friends conducted a fundraiser so I could buy comfortable furniture. Since I left my country of origin in 2016, I have rented furnished homes. The furniture was never comfortable, especially when I am so thin I can feel my bones. 

Kellie’s friends contribute more than $10,000 to her fundraiser. (Screenshot via Kellie McRae)

I have become known for carrying around a pillow to sit on. I tease and tell people I’m dragging my a**, and depending on where I’m going, others know to tell me to bring it with me. I already suffer from insomnia due to lupus, so sleeping on mattresses that were too firm not only caused me pain but also prevented me from sleeping.

When my friends decided to do this fundraiser on my behalf, I was surprised, but told them I would be grateful if they raised $500. They raised over $4,000 within the first few hours, and when the fundraiser ended, I had enough to buy comfortable furniture. I am in love with my Tempur-Pedic mattress on the adjustable base. I also had a custom sofa and chair made that are extra cushy.

I know that 2020 was hard for a lot of people, and many didn’t make it. I send my sympathies to those who were negatively impacted, but I must be honest: 2019 was my 2020. For me, 2020 was a year of growth and blessings. I hope that 2021 will be good for all of us, and if 2020 was particularly difficult for you, I hope that 2021 will blow your mind in the most positive way. 


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