2021: How do we want to join? 

With the end of an arduous year that was 2020, we inevitably ask ourselves what the next year will be like and what pandemic reverberations it will bring with it. Transformations not only of a social and economic order, but also related to personal challenges and reformulations.

The pandemic made us unveil hidden pains, relationships that were on a tightrope fell away, and those that were on hold came out.

Globally, we started to shed light, debate and question, with deserved seriousness, topics of immense relevance: how we have lived the roles of gender and parenting, consumption and waste, family and isolation, pollution and the environment, home office and homeschooling, housing, displacement and quality of life?

In fact, we were literally forced to stop – in a deafening silence for some and comforting for others – in order to rethink life and what living represents for each one of us. Everything we knew as solid ground shook and crumbled.

As the Polish sociologist Zygmunt Bauman has tirelessly said in his books and lectures, change is the only permanent thing, and uncertainty the only certainty. The concept of liquid modernity coined by Bauman has never been as real and palpable as it is now.

Nothing is here to stay, everything is liquid. What is the lesson that sailing in this turbulent sea of 2020 will leave us? For each individual, this arid crossing took different forms and meanings, for some it meant loss, loneliness, helplessness, panic and for others it meant challenges, recreation and discoveries.

Self-help material has never been so consumed as it is now, books and lives on philosophy and mental health, as well as spaces for dialogue on themes of the human psyche, have grown exponentially.

This year it was evident how everything and everyone in our surroundings impacts us subjectively, and the way we put ourselves in relationship can also affect the other directly, contaminating or protecting them.

How we want to continue designing our own personal journey, as we are part of a constantly changing world, is still an enigma for many of us, precisely because of this the need to look inside has become unavoidable, the search for psychotherapies has grown to eyes seen in an attempt to find a lighthouse in the middle of the 2020 storm.

Giving a voice to what suffocates is the greatest proof of the courage to face what we don't know about ourselves, but which is there, waiting to be deciphered.

What of our subjectivities was being stifled and what did the pandemic unveil?

The psychoanalytic process provides this place of voice and listening, diving into its own subjective universe and, above all, it provides an interior dialogue with new possibilities of living and being. It offers the opportunity to work something inside of us so that our union with the other is more harmonious and less out of tune.

Psychoanalysis allows for questioning and a chance to formulate sincere and authentic answers to oneself and about oneself; as well as offering to those who are willing, a chance to put a stop to what hurts.

At the turn of the year, which symbolically represents a milestone between what was in the past and what we look forward to in the future; even the most skeptical make promises and keep their hopes a secret, and the most superstitious playfully announce their famous end-of-the-year resolutions coupled with rituals that bring good luck to others.

Regardless of belief, ritual or time on the calendar, we can and must continue to dream.

Because the dream is what shapes the desire, the desire to build new realities, keep on recreating ourselves and above all our own way of being happy.

Author: Andreia Hollenstein

CRP: 05/36484  

Clinical Psychologist & Psychoanalysis