2020 was a year many could define using a single word: Pandemic, and it stretched us in ways that were unconceivable 12 months ago.

It was a time of isolation and introspection; grief and growth; perseverance and patience. 

One year on from New Zealand’s first ever lockdown, we’ve asked our team to share what they’ve learned and we’ll be sharing these on our Journal over the coming weeks. 

Here’s Maggie, in her own words. 



"It’s hard to believe it’s been a year since we went into our first ever COVID-19 lockdown here in New Zealand. My team and I wanted to build on our Thoughts From Home series to bring you One Year On; a kind of personal meditation on where we each find ourselves today, what these past 12 months have taught us, and all the ways we continue to learn and grow.

For me, 2020 felt like 12 months of goodbyes. I said goodbye to my first love. Goodbye to my old schedule of jumping on a long haul flight every month. Goodbye to the business I started four years ago. And goodbye to work colleagues who felt like family.

I know that we’ve all experienced some form of burnout, loss, trauma or grief over this past year, and I found comfort in a piece by Pamela Elizarras Acitores in which she explained that one of the things Aboriginal people around the world have long understood is that grief and trauma open the door to transformation. They understand that soil needs to be broken so that new seeds can be planted and new flowers can grow, and ultimately bloom. Grief and trauma are universal; and this pandemic has allowed us to realise how inextricably connected we are, and that there are great forces that affect us all, whether it’s the pandemic, climate change, racism or inequality. I was so inspired by the optimism in this philosophy of grief, and I’ve seen it play out in my own life:

2020 was the year I found strength in my own solitude; having spent the first ten years of my adult life in a relationship, to now living on my own for the first time ever. I learnt that when it comes to healing, the only way through is forward. We must run courageously towards our grief; straight to the heart of it. Every single one of the goodbyes I faced in 2020 has been a catalyst for transformation and growth. Saying goodbye to my first love allowed me to reclaim my independence. Letting go of my old travel schedule allowed me to spend more time at home with family. Closing the door on the original business model of Maggie Marilyn made me fall in love with designing again and move closer to our customer. And the departure of beloved work colleagues meant that I was able to offer a seat at the table to new creative minds. 

As Madeleine Walker, our incredibly talented communications consultant, often says to me,

“The best is yet to come.”

I believe that to be true, now more than ever."



PHOTOGRAPHY BY @jamesdouglas_



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