For many, myself included, the start of 2020 was a beacon of hope: a clean slate and a new decade. Now we’re six months in and it seems as though the only thing we’re certain of this year is uncertainty itself.

At the beginning of March, I headed out on a solo trip to London to visit grad schools I’d been accepted to, meet with professors, then pop over to Dublin for a best friend’s wedding. The second day of my trip, I woke up in London to 17 text messages saying that international borders were closing, the wedding was canceled, and the schools I had traveled to see had postponed admitted student days. In a mild panic, I had to scrap my entire plan for the next week and didn’t know for sure when I’d be able to return home.

The coronavirus has brought fear and uncertainty to many professions, not to mention the plans, goals, and safety of individuals and families. However, as my time at Moonshine Ink comes to a close, I reflect on an important lesson I’ve learned here: the importance of diving into the nitty gritty instead of turning away from it. Moonshine Ink is a platform for opposing views to coexist, factual information to be shared for our region’s safety and wellbeing, and community stories to be told, whether wildly hopeful or sometimes grim. We are an independent paper that faces our region’s past and present to make way for a better future.

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Ultimately, I’ve decided to attend NYU’s Magazine and Digital Journalism master’s program this fall because it will be the best opportunity for my personal goals, not to mention I won’t have to navigate being an international student during a global pandemic. The way in which I’m getting there, however, has shifted just like everyone else’s personal plans.

Last month we read how local high school seniors are dealing with the loss of celebrating milestones and how small businesses are struggling to stay afloat, and this month we’ll read about deteriorating mental health during the lockdown and financial resources for those with depleting bank accounts. Personally, upon return from Europe, I landed and stayed at my childhood home in Walnut Creek to save money for my big move to the Big Apple, yet I still don’t even know if classes will be taught in-person for the first semester.

I’ll say it again: Uncertainty abounds.

But I have to admit, the current state of unknown reminds me of how I even ended up in Truckee in the first place: I quit a stable, corporate job in San Francisco to follow my passions of well-being and writing. At the time, it felt counter-cultural and like a huge leap of faith, but it couldn’t have been a better decision. Living in Truckee has taught me about perseverance (see why resilience matters for meat and newsrooms, and rejoice in the persistence of high school seniors). Here, we preserve the nature we love to play in (p. 15), respect the land, and come together in the face of hardship as a community.

I’ve been reporting on demonstrations and civil gatherings in Truckee over the past year and a half, and the recent peaceful protest on June 2 demanding justice for the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and others is a pinnacle component of what I’ll miss most about this community: dealing with hardship together (see our reaction to the rallies around dispatching with racism).

So, as we grapple with the uncertainty of the time, with financial destruction, mental instability, and loss of some dreams, I know we are strong enough to face it side by side, but 6 feet apart.