If not, this is "Joy to the World" as performed by the Pentatonix, just in Russian.
Revival Worship is a Bishkek-based band that organizes worship nights, records music, and plays different festivals around Central Asia.
If I were to go back in time to when 2020 had just started…
Actually, no, I would not really want to do that. I would be losing so much. I can remember the struggle of that time: working nonstop, never-ending tiredness. I was also emotionally stuck in one place: never-ending heartbreak. I struggled to understand why God would let me get that stuck and depressed again. It is not the nicest thing to admit and it hurts my ego a little bit even now, but it made me feel like I am not in control, helpless.
Fast forward few months and we had Covid-19, and the world became a mess. But surprisingly I felt calm and I did not freak out, although people around me were spinning in fear.
The best thing of 2020 was that I finally I started attending the University of Vilnius. I always knew that I wanted to study; I have always craved knowledge and wanted to know everything but I could never have imagined that I would be studying something I could only dream of: law. Although it is stressful and it’s online…I enjoy it so much. I like communicating with my professors, and of course, with my Uni colleagues (Yes, that’s what we call each other). I finally feel like I am doing something with my life. But then I had another issue: Finances. But God also took care of it so I can have an easier year. My friend insisted on me becoming ‘officially unemployed’ to get student unemployment benefits. Amusingly, I did not get those. But now I was officially unemployed, and having worked 9 months full-time previously, I still got benefits for that. I realised then that God never stops taking care of me, and although I struggle keeping the right relationships with Him, He does not let me go.
This year made feel alive again. I understand it is such a cliché thing to say, but I have learned a lot. I got out of my depressive mood that, tied to memories and hurtful words, had been holding me back. I want fight for my own happiness. I want to trust God and renew my relationship with Him, find time to clean out my mind, my heart and move forward and… To let go. 2021 is here, and I will be doing my best.
Luknė Šeferytė is a writer and a law student in Vilnius, Lithuania. She likes literature, rap music, and gummi worms.
Nora is a mother of an adorable 3 year old and a teacher for kids with special needs. She enjoys painting and making music in her free time. See more of her work on Instagram @Merdeka.Nora or follow her on Youtube @Nora Greijus.
Where do I even start with you? 2020 has been a year and a half. It's been a long year is what I'm trying to say.
Now, I don't want to prejudge things. As I write this, the year is not technically over. So maybe New Year's Eve in the Howland and Baker Islands* will be amazing af and totally redeem everything that came before it, but that seems doubtful. And to be fair, statistically speaking, somebody somewhere must have had a good time, right? I do know two couples that got married this year, so that's gotta be good for at least one spouse per couple.
This year saw a novel coronavirus that killed a bunch of (mostly old) people, and forced the rest of us to stay home and do nothing. We totally tried seeing what would happen if all our young and healthy people went about their daily lives pretending everything was normal, and it . . . super did not go well. Hospitals filled up. It got rough out there in those streets. Sometimes we like to act like it don't really be like that, but it do.
I guess some things never change though. Like, my computer keeps asking me if I want to let Skype update its software, and I keep saying yes. Despite the fact that Skype already works. (At least, I assume it works. Does anyone still use Skype anymore in the age of Zoom and FaceTime? Probably, right? I don't know.
from COVID-19, which is to say, aside from most things, I guess the
year was mostly normal though? Hard to say to be honest. There was this
one weird time in the fall where every sport seemed to be happening at
once. (Three teams from Tampa and Miami, Florida and two from Los
Angeles, California competed for titles, while the other 48 states
pretended to stay home but snuck out to see their friends.) Somebody started a
trend of rewriting modern pop songs to sound medieval. Bardcore, they
call it. And we voted out Donald Trump. Some other stuff happened too,
probably. I didn't do any research for this note.**
I pray that 2021 ushers in peace, love, and an army of ice cream trucks bringing COVID medicine to all the good little boys and girls who need a shot in the arm. The Lord knows I need one.
*the uninhabited wildlife
refuges which occupy the latest, westernmost time zone in the world,
i.e., the last place to enter 2021.
** Not true. I researched the previous footnote. But I'm not here to let facts get in the way of a good story.
Tim Graf is a serial procrastinator and human. He does not enjoy law school but does enjoy Tuvan throat-singing, trying new foods, and complicated board games. He sometimes enjoys hypotheticals, but it really depends on the situation.
Rano Asanbekova is a concert violinist in the President's Orchestra in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. She loves music, films, crying, and food. Check out more of her violin-playing on Youtube.
Baktiyar Doranov is a student and plays in the orchestra in Bishkek. He enjoys music and photography.