For someone who abandoned this city in 2010 at the ripe age of 19, I am probably not the first person who should be putting pen to paper to talk about Melbourne pride... but if this past year and my unplanned and very immediate return to my hometown has taught me anything, it is that 2020 can and will surprise you.
My heart is full of love for the millions of strangers who have stood by my side, albeit from afar, through 200 unimaginable days.
Our hearts collectively shattered in July when it was announced we were headed back into lockdown.
We had hung on every word of those North Face Jacket press conferences and felt the swell of increasing anxiety as the numbers crept up and our hopes fell down.
Watch: The horoscopes in isolation. Post continues below.
For a city that is known as the entertainment capital of the world, suddenly the hottest ticket in town was to the 11am Dan Show, even if you didn’t want to go.
And sure, everyone went through that first lockdown and can understand it right? But the novelty of Tiger King and sourdough Sundays was all but a distant memory as we went back to life inside, watching the rest of the country, and the rest of the world embrace the outside.
There was nothing cute about lockdown two.
No catchy hashtag or fun filled photos to post. No global citizen concerts. No overwhelming feeling that "we’re all in this together".
The rest of the world was moving on, while we weren’t moving at all. We were back to the beginning, now battling the extra stressor of feeling that we were falling behind while our lives were on pause.
It was week after week of relentless, exhausting resilience. The self motivated effort day in and day out to find optimism and positivity in the prolonged gloom.