Reflecting on 2020

(IPSCO Zoom Holiday Party)
(IPSCO Zoom Holiday Party)

Reflecting on 2020

By Kayla Berry (Program Coordinator)

Wow, it’s almost the end of 2020! It doesn’t quite seem possible to me. It has been quite the year. I’m overwhelmed looking back at all that has happened (pandemic, protests, presidential election, etc), and yet, I have barely left my apartment. So much has happened with IMPACT Colorado as well. We, like everyone, had to take a step back. We’ve shifted to teaching online, and if you have taken any of our online classes, you have been a bright spot in all of our instructor’s lives. However, we have mostly been building. We’ve been building infrastructure, partnerships, knowledge, curriculum… presence. I could go on for ages about all of the announcements IMPACT Colorado has, but that will happen at a later time (stay tuned). Right now, I want to reflect.

Reflection is an important process. It allows us to slow down and take stock. We ask what has happened, and how we feel about it. We get in tune with our bodies, our emotions, and our reactions. As the New Year rapidly (or maybe not so rapidly for some) approaches and we look towards 2021, and begin thinking about our resolutions, there is also space to reflect upon 2020 and think about what this year has brought up. I’ve been thinking a lot about just how many things were forced into their “pain points” in 2020. Whether I didn’t realize, or chose not to realize due to my own ignorance and privilege, or whether they had been able to survive under the surface, so many issues showed their faces this year.

At IMPACT Colorado, we are all about giving people choices. We want to provide people with tools for their tool belt, so that in any situation, they can choose which tool they want to use, and change them as they see fit. For me, 2020 felt like it removed a lot of my choices. We have been restricted in ways that feel scary and new. However, we have choices about what we want to bring into 2021, and part of our reflections should be focused not just on what we want to leave behind, but what we want to take with us. 

I have been with IMPACT Colorado for one year now, and much of what I want to take into 2021 with me, I’ve learned from my time here during this particularly challenging year. I can sum up these desires into three main areas: Community, Care, Action. We teach that safety is a right and a responsibility. I hope that in 2021, we internalize that we have a responsibility to each other, to our community, and that our liberation is bound to one another. One of the beautiful things about our work is that it allows us to build connections, to care deeply. When we can trust in our ability to protect ourselves, we can move away from fear, paranoia, simply surviving, and begin to connect and care for ourselves and others in deep and long-lasting ways. Now, I know some days (or years), we just survive, and if that is all that you have been able to do, that is more than enough. But my dream for 2021 is that we can slowly emerge from surviving, and start opening ourselves into the radical act of caring–caring for ourselves, for our loved ones, and even for strangers.  We also believe in taking action, any action. We saw people take to the streets this year in protest of injustices; we saw people work hard to support our communities in lockdown; we saw people make hard decisions to keep everyone safe. In 2021, I hope that we see that we all can take action (big or small) to stand up against injustice, to support our communities, and to make a better world.   

These are my hopes for 2021. When the New Year arrives, I know we will still be carrying the weight of 2020 with us. It will take some time and effort to shed that. It will take us deciding what we want to see and then taking the actions needed to get there. But we will get there. I hope that we are all able to take the time to reflect and breathe as this wild year comes to a close and imagine what we want to see next year and the years to come.