Dear 2020 - The Blog

Dec 3, 2020    Trey McGuire
If you could say anything to the year 2020, what would it be? That's a loaded question, I know. Here are a couple responses I bet I would get if I asked that publicly:

Dear 2020...
You sucked!
You took from me.
You isolated me even more.
You need to calm down.
Go home, you're drunk.
Or any number of expletive laden responses that need not be written here.

Yes, for many of us, me included, this year has been a challenge. Yet here we are on the final stretch before we ring in a hopefully less relentless 2021...but that reality remains to be seen.

Looking back over this year I have to say that it's been a rollercoaster of highs and lows, and at times I was ready to just jump out of the moving car as it zoomed down the tracks.

One of our team members had the idea of writing letters to 2020 as a way of bringing closure to the year. Which got me to thinking...what would I say if I could say anything to this year? Well, here goes...

Dear 2020,
I have said it before and I will say it till the day I die...I will not say that you have been a "bad" year. The reason for that is simply because my little girl was born. Our miracle made her grand entrance two and a half months early, and while you tried hard to make that as difficult as possible, you didn't succeed. Actually, your attempt backfired...

That was not your only attempt to break, besides her being born, a lot of the rest of it was not too great. You tried derailing our rebrand of our organization from the beginning while at the same time trying to make an outgoing person sit behind closed doors in his house praying that his pregnant wife would not catch this new and unknown and seemingly scary Covid-19 disease. You tried to get me with fear and worry, yet that backfired...

You took my grandmother and my dad two months apart ,and right when I'm on the high of becoming a dad myself. You gut punched us at the same time bringing us to a low that was hard to comprehend while being on such a high. And while that went up and down and up and down again, you failed again...

You tried injecting isolation and loneliness into my heart and the hearts of many of my friends, yet technology and a little creativity with a whole lot of intentionality proved once again to make you fail...

You stripped away much of what we had become accustomed to when it came to the Network. Events were canceled and the very Warriors we serve could not gather or even go inside stores for a while and still can't go in restaurants...but, that too, backfired...

You threw the net wide when you tried to get everyone to hate each other and attack each other based on fundamental beliefs, politics, and everything else that is divisive...and while you may have seemed to succeed in some peoples viewpoint, to me, you failed miserably.

I don't want to boast about your failures, because I know all to well it's probably not over and that "the fat lady may just be clearing her throat", but, I want to educate you on why you failed with me.

You made me realize that I was not alone. You made me realize that I already had people around me who loved us. And those people showed up in force when our world was challenged through Ad's birth and the loss of our family members.

We learned that a face to face conversation CAN actually be replaced with phone calls and text messages if need be. Yet, we now crave that face to face conversation even more and I personally value it more than I ever did before. The hugs, handshakes, fist bumps, man...those are VALUABLE.

You brought me to rock bottom and I learned, through the help of family, friends, and counsel, that I could fight back, get pissed off, and fight for growth that needed to start happening. Yep, your attempts to beat me down backfired and are now making me stronger.

You rocked the world with isolation and fear and depression and confusion, yet your "bad" brought with it a fighting for togetherness, friends that help friends stay calm, closer relationships than I've ever had, and a peace that this is just the beginning of learning many valuable lessons. Your pandemics, viruses, lockdowns, and everything else were and still are good attempts on your behalf, but still, the people you are messing with are a tough bunch, and they are even tougher when united. And even though you are still trying to divide, I'm going to fight you every step of the way and with everything I have in me. Yes, I'm going to fight to the death to unite.

Family, you attacked family, and well, quite frankly, family is what I thought I fought for. Because you attacked it, you made me realize that I needed to not neglect fighting for it even more and taking it for granted. And by family I mean my wife and kid, my extended family, my friends that are like family, our EW family, and my church family.

Yes, you may have came in like a wrecking ball in an attempt to wreck shop, but what you did was make me pay attention. You made me dig deep and find the courage to grow and heal. By stripping away all the fluffy stuff we did with the Network, you forced me even deeper into my purpose and made me face my insecurities and fear, and because of you, I am writing this letter as a stronger man, husband, daddy, friend, and brother. You made me realize that those five titles are worth having, even more valuable than any title that I could gain through work or position.

You helped me see that people matter...period. You helped me see that it's okay to get help. You helped me grow. You pressed me deeper into my faith. You made me see even more that I can love people who don't necessarily agree or believe like I do...and that these people can be great friends of mine. You taught me that I can be honest, be seen, be vulnerable, and be transparent, and still be loved and that inside that love resides no judgement.

So, 2020, thank you for being a great teacher. Even though the lessons seemed backwards and relentless, thank you for helping me see that I can grow. I am better today than I was on January 1, and that is because each gut punch pushed me closer to the people God had put around me, who were ready and willing to pick me up, dust me off, and help me stand back up stronger.

I don't want to antagonize you, but rather I want to thank you. And yes, I want to be a constant reminder to you and to anyone else who sees me that you failed to accomplish your mission to break me, my family, my friends, and this world down, no, your greatest attempts backfired, and we stand here today...stronger, healthier, better.


So yes, we want to read your letters as well. Click the links above to learn more about our Dear 2020 campaign and how you can submit your own letter.