As we approach the new year on Friday it will come as a welcome sight to see 2020 fade into the distance. While 2020 held a lot of highs for me personally; it also dealt me and everyone else a lot of lows. A year that started off with so much promise turned into one we hope to soon forget ever happened.

Jan. 28 was my first day here at The Gazette Virginian. I had worked to become a sports writer for a long time and was so happy to finally be able to do what I loved. But then COVID-19 arrived less than two months after I started, and it has been almost 300 days since I covered a high school sport. But here is the thing; in those 300 days I have learned so much about myself. It has not been easy, not by any stretch of the imagination, but I feel that for me personally this stretch of time has allowed me to expand my mind and my writing.

I have written pieces I never would have if things were the same as they had always been. I would have never been able to have the time to evaluate my life and the things in it and make changes that would benefit me as I move forward. While I miss sports as most of you who read my columns do, but I try to always look for the best in a situation, and being able to do the things I have because of the situation has been a lifesaver.

Monday is approaching and although the atmosphere and everything surrounding the upcoming winter sports season will be different, it will still be high school sports. They will still have a chance to compete for a state title just like every other year.

There is a chance that by the end of spring and early summer we could all get back to our lives the way they were before all of this happened, and I am hoping for that just as much as everyone else, but until then we are going to deal with things that we have never seen or done before.

As I sit here and look back on the year that was 2020, I am also grateful for all of the things that I have seen within the community that has brought everyone closer together. I have seen all of the local businesses work hard and work together. They have all endured unimaginable loss and changes that probably set them back years. But their resilience and teamwork is something that we should all applaud. Living in a small community will always have its pros and cons, just like living in a city does, but one thing living in a small community has that nowhere else has is the sense of personally knowing so many people and everyone coming together for a common cause.

Whether it is supporting the local businesses, a family in need after a loss, a sports team or so many other things, everyone comes together to make sure that no one is left out. It is times like these that those things are shown to the fullest, and it makes me proud to be a part of this community.

I am going to go more in depth in Friday’s paper about the year that has been in the Halifax sports world, so stay tuned for that. But in the meantime, and from here on out, it is our duty to continue to look after each other and make sure that no one gets left behind.

The world is a crazy place, and sometimes we wonder why things happen the way they do, but it is our responsibility to keep moving forward no matter what life throws at us.

Johnathan Kirland is a sports writer for The Gazette-Virginian. Contact him jkirkland@gazettevirginian.com. Follow him on Twitter @JohnathanK_GV