HELLO FRIENDS. Well, we made it. 2021 is here and I’m still wearing sweatpants. I can’t tell you how many times I tried writing this “looking back on 2020” thing. I kept asking myself what I wanted to remember and share about the past 12 months. Should I focus on the positive and write about the good things that happened? No, nobody really wants to read that. Should I write about all of the struggles? Yeah maybe, but that doesn’t seem like the best way to say goodbye to the shit storm of a year we’ve had. Then I thought I could perhaps be AN INSPIRATIONAL QUEEN and write about how 2021 would be THE BEST YEAR EVER, but that wouldn’t be sincere either...
So instead, I thought I’d focus on the random acts of kindness that made my 2020 just a little bit brighter.
A few weeks ago, I mentioned in a 15-second Instagram story (about MY RENOVATED BATHROOM) that I wasn’t feeling so great and received SO MANY messages like the ones below from strangers on the internet, encouraging me to keep going and reminding me that better days are coming. If you’re reading this, thank you.
On the only day I was able and grateful to snowboard in 2020, a kind human offered me a Spritz on the house—just to be nice— at the outdoor mountain bar. I can still feel my frozen cheeks sipping that drink in the Italian mountain air.
In November, a stranger came up to me while I was feeling small and trying to sand my front door by hand in a crestfallen state after having been yelled at by both my upstairs and next door neighbors. He helped me. Just because he wanted to be nice. Angels exist and one of them is called Niccolò.
One morning when I was struggling to walk with a bunch of boxes and bags, a tiny Italian woman who must’ve been in her 80s offered to help me carry them.
Last month, friends of friends who didn’t know me delivered my bed and mattress on top of their car for nothing in return except a smile and a tour of the new house.
One night when it was pouring rain after work, someone had left paper towels on my bike seat so I was able to dry it down before riding home.
This morning, I was sorting plastic and cardboard and a woman stopped and said “Sei una ragazza molto precisa ed educata e si vede.” She said I was precise and polite AND IT SHOWED because I was squishing my cardboard and sorting my plastic. She made me feel like a STAR.
I think I just wanted to remind you that being kind to strangers is really important, okay?
This year was messy, but I think we’ll be alright. Let’s try to be a little nicer to each other in 2021.
I hope you’re okay out there.
P.S.I know as a foreigner living in Italy, I should probably be wearing a colorful outfit or a cute flowy hat and a stylish scarf, but oversized hoodies and sweats have been my 2020 vibe and I can’t pretend like I’ve dressed up this year when this is what I’ve given the world on most days. Take me as I am. I’ll eventually go back to dressing like a “normal” human. Whatever that means.