Written by Becky Waldron
Illustrated by Prince Pretzl
The ‘roaring twenties’ this century has definitely been roaring. A bit like a massive lion that frightens you to your core and makes you sh*t yourself. We thought lockdown 1.0 was rough, then 2.0 came around. That was almost bearable as there was some sort of imagined end in sight. Then, the lockdown we never thought we’d have to see, 3.0 entered our lives. It’s safe to say that we have discovered new avenues of misery.
Nonetheless, let’s not dwell on the woes that we are all too familiar with in the current situation. Below, I have highlighted some of the things we have to look forward to in 2021 because Satan knows, we all need it. Although you may be feeling underwhelmed with the dark skies and icy temperatures, making those daily walks even less tempting, we must believe in brighter days and find solace in the small things in our day-to-day. There is light at the end of the tunnel. Even if that light currently looks about as bright as the end of a burning cigarette.
Spring is Edging Closer
Do you remember how spoiled we were last spring with that beautiful spell of warm weather, right after we all got locked down as well. It’s almost as if the Gods knew. Well, spring is really not that far away. If you think about it, by the time the UK is out of lockdown, it will basically be spring. So, we can enjoy our much-needed reunions in the park, surrounded by blooming flowers – cute, right?
The winter solstice was over a month ago, which means the days are only going to be getting longer from here. Meaning, for all you 9-5’ers it’ll still be light when you finish work, and for the furloughed/unemployed folk, you’ll have extra time to enjoy your lie-in before rushing outside for that precious outdoor time. For anyone not in that category, it’s still good news.
As much as I detest giving his name any sort of recognition or attention, this is something that will give this year a less dreadful edge. Whilst he won’t be eradicated from our media completely, he won’t have access to the nuclear football we’ve been anxious about since the initiation of his presidency back in 2016.
Considering so many of us didn’t think this would actually happen following the 2020 election, it’s definitely something to be celebrated. Here’s to Biden and Harris making better decisions for the US and ultimately our planet this year, and for the following years to come.
Valentines Won’t Be Such an Ordeal
With pubs, restaurants and shops closed for the vast majority of us over Christmas, it contributed to it feeling like it almost wasn’t happening. Fingers crossed it’ll be the same for Valentines Day!
I mean, there’s nothing wrong with Valentine’s Day, but I think we’re all a bit sick of the commercial B.S being thrown in our faces each year. If you’re in a relationship, there’ll hopefully be less pressure to spend money you don’t have on an occasion you may not care about. For single people, there’ll be less of a sickening reminder of what you miss out on just for not being in a relationship. Even when you’re happy being single, it’s almost like you’re being forced to feel sad or ‘treat yourself’ because no one else is. No thanks.
Hopefully we can be left in peace to just enjoy spending Feb 14th in our jammies, maybe watching trashy films and baking something…pink.
The Air You’re Breathing Is Fresher
With some of the planet’s largest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions dying down due to restrictions, the air is, and will continue to be, much cleaner.
For those in our twenties, we’ve only known a heavily polluted, post-industrial life. This year our bodies and lungs are getting a well-deserved break. Make the most of being able to breathe in the fresh air and hear the birds sing. It’s small but significant.
The Next Revolution
The murder of George Floyd last year was the tipping point for American citizens and sparked a massive conversation around the Black Lives Matter movement. People were rising up, not just in the US but around the world. As a collective, we became more focused on being anti-racist and educating ourselves further.
There were a lot of reasons why it happened when it did. Some say that this is our potential when we are not drained by our ‘normal’ daily duties. This year, we will continue to fight for Black lives, with the most recent BLM wave having made a significant difference. We must continue to protest for change and hold people in power, friends, relatives and ourselves accountable.
Okay, so we said about spring, but summer is definitely something we can keep in mind to help raise our spirits.
Last year a lot of us got to soak up the sun with friends, in pub gardens (remember those…ah), at the park, and even a few of us managed to squeeze a little staycation in. If that was possible last year when we knew much less about the virus, surely this year it’s going to be even better.
I can’t say that our favourite festivals will be back just yet but we all know the transmission rate is drastically lower in summer, especially due to our increased time outdoors. So, why shouldn’t we have hope that we’ll have a more ‘normal’ summer this year?
Going abroad may also be off the cards but use this an excuse to explore more of the UK. It really does have some beautiful spots.
Our Favourite Series Are Coming Back
We love a good series at the best of times but the past year has really made them quite a crucial focal point of our daily lives. When you get reeled in by a great series, there’s such a sense of excitement when you know there’s a new season coming back.
Some popular series that should be premiering this year (if everything goes to plan) are:
- Sex Education (Season 3)
- Stranger Things (Season 4)
- The Handmaid’s Tale (Season 4)
- Dear White People (Season 4)
- Lucifer (Season 6)
- Emily in Paris (Season 2)
There’s also set to be some good films out this year, including one with our fave Jodie Comer.
The Excitement of the Unknown?
These may be the words of a woman who has been driven crazy by isolation but maybe, just maybe, we could see some sort of excitement in the unpredictability of the world right now. We have had, and undoubtedly will have, a lot of monotony in our lives. So now could be the time to stop resisting how bizarre everything is and just go with it.
We never really know what is going to happen in life, that’s a given, but this year could be the year to embrace the unexpected and maybe make those moves you’ve previously been too afraid to make. As they say in Love Actually: “If you can’t say it at Christmas* (*during a pandemic), when can you?”.
To conclude, according to the United Nations, 2021 has been declared as the International Year of Peace and Trust (a joke? Who knows), but cynicism aside, this could be a better year.
A lot of us miss ‘normal’ but it might be a time to accept that normal isn’t coming back. Although that sounds daunting, it doesn’t mean a sense of structure, comfort and a more ordinary way of civilisation won’t. Now is a time to start rebuilding our lives and the world the way we want it to be, or at least try to.
Some days simply enjoying being alive is hard, especially if you occasionally have thoughts that you don’t want to be. Yet, our time here is short and time does fly. Let’s try and appreciate it and know that our freedom will return.
Becky studied at the University of Sussex and currently lives in Birmingham. She works as a traffic data journalist and freelance writer. She enjoys writing poetry and songs in her spare time.
Edited by Stephanie Kleanthous