What We’re Taking With Us From This Very Strange Year


2020 has been a year like no other many of us have ever known—if that’s not stating the obvious, we don’t know what is. While all of us here at Indy Maven are very happy to say goodbye to this terrible, horrible, no good, very bad moment in history and look to the (hopefully) brighter days ahead in 2021, we had to adapt and change over the course of the past 12 months in ways we could have never imagined—and we’re not ready to leave them all behind. 

As we long for the days when we can safely gather with friends and family, go to concerts, or even just the office, we won’t soon forget the lessons we learned in 2020 and how they just might make 2021 even better. 

The Indy Maven team shares what they’re hanging onto and we can’t wait to hear what you have to share on our social media channels.

Leslie Bailey, Co-founder and Editor-in-Chief

Where to begin? I feel fortunate to have learned so much about myself this year—the good, the bad, and the stuff I didn’t even know was there.

I want to keep… 

  • Perspective 
  • Quality time at home with my family 
  • Friendships that were able to weather a pandemic 
  • What I’ve learned about racism, white privilege, and the role I play as a white woman in America
  • The confidence I gained as a business owner 
  • Being more present 
  • This amazing community that is Indy Maven 

Abby Gardner, Executive Editor

In a way, I think 2020 peeled back the layers of “affect” that many of us put on to move throughout the world. But when laid bare, I discovered so much more about who I really am and what I want the rest of my life to look like. There will be a lot less bullshit and suffering fools (not that I was great at that to begin with ) and more focus on the creative pursuits I’ve been too afraid or too self-doubting to truly immerse myself in. I will try to keep the same sense of joy I felt in 2020 over things that once seemed mundane, knowing that they truly can all be taken away in a moment’s notice. 

I will remember the power of a weekly phone call or FaceTime with a close friend who lives far away and the cleansing beauty of a long walk outside. Seriously, why weren’t these a part of my life before now? 

We cannot always know how painful this year has been for the person six feet away from us in line at the store or that co-worker who still can’t remember to mute when they’re not talking on the video call, so I will try to keep extending grace and compassion to those around me—and myself. Because we’ve all been through it in 2020 and I know that I’m one of the lucky ones who suffered far less than so many. 

I will keep telling people how I feel and that I love them and I miss them and what they mean to my life. Let the emotions flow! 

And I will never, ever take a f*cking hug for granted again. 

Amanda Kingsbury, Co-founder and Contributing Editor

“The shortest prayer in the world” as a guiding life principle, which I learned about in an Interview magazine conversation between Anthony Hopkins and Brad Pitt about mortality and mistakes. Hopkins: “I once asked a Jesuit priest, ‘What is the shortest prayer in the world?’ He said, ‘F*** it.’ It’s the prayer of release. Just say, ‘F*** it.’ None of it is important. The important thing is to enjoy life as it is. Your life today, it’s fantastic.”

P.S. If a cursing priest offends you, then you might like this more elegant but similar Ralph Waldo Emerson quote: “Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.” 

Rachel Hickey, Social Media Manager

Since the start of the pandemic, my work life has consisted of being glued to a screen and more Zooms than I can count each week. After a few months I realized I needed to make a conscious effort to disconnect and recharge. I started doing a “digital detox” each weekend – no email, no work, no screen time. Once things “go back to normal,” I want to continue to disconnect on the weekends from the virtual world and reconnect to experiences, activities, and being present in the moment. 

Amy Bartner, Contributing Editor

I’m keeping the overwhelming pandemic-produced urge to tell people I love them and that I miss them, and also the one that causes me to reach out to friends I haven’t spoken to in years. I’m the worst at keeping in touch, but this year (combined with juuuust a hint of constant impending doom) left me with no other option.

I’m, however, leaving social Zoom calls behind. Might be counterintuitive to the above, but I am sooooo Zooooooooooomed out. It’s nothing personal toward anyone I’ve had happy hours, reunions, or game nights with, I swear. I’m just very, very done with sitting in front of a laptop.

Meghan Stratton, Editorial Intern

Oh, 2020. Among many things, you’ve taught me that I can’t control everything—as much as I’d love to. One big thing I’m keeping from 2020 is the idea that I can’t worry about things that are outside of my control, because worrying won’t change a thing! 2020 has certainly challenged me to let go of my love of control and just live. And that includes control over myself! As the great Glennon Doyle said in her 2020 novel Untamed, (something I can’t encourage you to read enough): “We can either control ourselves or love ourselves, but we can’t do both. Love is the opposite of control. Love demands trust…What the world needs is masses of women who are entirely out of control.”

Kylie Stine, Marketing Intern

This year taught me to stop being hesitant. I was so used to making excuses about why I wouldn’t take a weekend road trip or go out on a date or make it to the gym. I always thought, “I’ll have all the time in the world to do that after I take care of what’s urgent right now.” Next year (and when it’s safe again), I’m vowing that when given the chance to do something, I’m going to go for it — because those opportunities may not be around forever. 

What are *YOU* Leaving behind? 

We love to hear it! Let us know by tagging us in a post on social using #IndyMaven.