It’s the little things that fuel my motives


Sophie Young

A picture of my kayak in the flooded woods behind my house

I will be blunt. 2020 has been the worst year of my life. 

I have watched my friends and family test positive for COVID-19 and suffer through their days, sometimes weeks, of agony. I have lost every past time I am passionate about. I have lost contact with almost all of my now mere acquaintances. I have never, not once in my life, experienced as much pain as I have in the course of the past eight months. 

Yet I couldn’t have asked for a better outcome. 

My ears are constantly flooded with the sounds of complaints of the world around me. I have met very few people who have genuinely found joy in this year. Perhaps it is what made this year so unique. 

I’ve always been the type of person to let a negative moment consume me; however, this year left me unusually calm. I’ve reached a point where I am numb to the feeling of pain that reaches my mind—it makes all of the happy memories from the past eight months that much more prominent. 

Almost two months after quarantine first started, I remember days of rain. It was the first time that spending time outside wasn’t easily possible. However, when the rain ceased, it gave me something I had missed for weeks: joy. 

The pond in my backyard flooded to an extensive amount. The trail leading through the woods was completely engulfed in the clouds’ tears. The land between bodies of water disappeared and left an experience like no other. 

But I remembered something that I had asked my parents years ago. 

I asked them if we could take our kayaks and travel through the maze formed by the trees peeking out from the water. I was too young all those years ago, but I wasn’t too young anymore. So, for almost a week straight, I took my yellow kayak out on the pond and spent as much time in it as I could. 

It was a small victory during a dark time, but it reminded me that, as Albus Dumbledore once said, “happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if only one remembers to turn on the light.” 

I never thought a couple of hours on a kayak could show me the true beauty of life, but it did. 

Those days on the kayak passed, and the pessimistic side of my thoughts drifted away. I stopped focusing on everything I lost and started focusing on everything I gained. 

Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”

— Albus Dumbledore

I stopped hiding away and started talking to people I ignored for so long. I stopped sitting in my room every hour of every day and started putting time aside to sit outside. I watched the sky transform from a blinding filter to a dark enchantment. 

I pushed aside the negative moments and started focusing on the little things. The things that brought me even the slightest of joy. 

This year has not been easy—I know this. But this year has helped me grow more than I could’ve possibly hoped. I don’t want to forget this year; I don’t want to forget this happiness. 

I want to remember the pain I felt in 2020 to remind myself of the strength I hold to overcome any barriers.