At this time last year, I wrote my editorial column filled with a mix of emotions about the year we endured and the new year ahead—a combination of hope and optimism but still some uncertainty. One year later, I look back at 2021 with the same mix of emotions but mostly with gratitude… grateful that my family and friends stayed healthy and safe; grateful that we were able to return to a cautious but optimistic normalcy; grateful that despite a challenging year, I took some personal steps to make some much needed changes in my life. Most of all, I’m grateful for being able to reunite with family, friends and colleagues again, even if it was only with a select few individuals for the time being. These moments are the top highlights of the year for me: Getting on a plane for the first time since 2019 to meet my new baby niece in LA; going to see live music with my best friends for the first time in two years; and last but not least, reuniting with my good friend Nico Roseillier, creative director at State Optical, and meeting 20/20 March 15 cover star Maxwell in person.
Photo: Toni Dubois
That last highlight is especially momentous as it relates to my 20/20 life. Back in March when I had my initial conversation with Maxwell via a Zoom call, it was an honor to be able to share his story on the STATE X Maxwell Reunion frame collaboration in our March 15 issue. This conversation also came at a challenging time when I really missed seeing my loved ones. “Reunion is a promise, if not a guarantee, that we can come back together.” These are words shared in a personal message from Maxwell on a card packaged with the Reunion frame, words that powerfully resonated with so many of us looking forward with optimism and being reunited again with family and friends. Those moments finally arrived for many of us this year and were sweeter than we ever imagined. And needless to say, when I met Maxwell in person six months later at a special soiree honoring three recipients of the Opening Your Eyes: The Vision Council Scholarship Fund at the Times Square EDITION hotel, it was a moment I sincerely cherished. For me, it was a symbol that we have all indeed come back together. As we bid farewell to 2021, let’s raise our glasses to even more joyous reunions to come in 2022.