You stink. You’re the worst. I hate you. Fuck you. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.
All years start off with that phony, short lived hope that everything will be awesome. It will be THE YEAR all the good things happen. We all get teary eyed over the days that past and hopeful at the ones to come. I don’t always feel that way, being a bit of a cynic, but this year I did. Big things were in the works between turning 30, having my book finally published, and leaving the cold of Michigan for the sun of Florida.
Even as I celebrated my thirtieth birthday in late January with a little talk about the virus, even as I saw the train rounding the corner about to pick up speed and careen into us, I figured it would stop just in time.
That’s what happens, right? The meteor misses us. The terrorists are thwarted. The vast majority of us wake up the next day and go on with life the vast majority of the time.
Being the ultimate what if-er out there, I thought I’d covered it all. But the plague of a century that would bring life as we know it to a screeching halt was a few steps too far even for me.
And then it happened.
Not just my world, but the world came to that screeching halt. For those of you who are fans of my blog, know me personally, or perhaps just hate follow me, you probably know theoretically I was okay throughout this. Not mentally, not at all. There were not bad days, okay days, terrible days, and days that were darker than anything I’ve experienced before.
I lost dinners and lunches and outings with friends. Had the publication of my book postponed basically indefinitely. Missed out on concerts and events. I was sad, devastated, stuck in a loop of fearing the virus and then fearing the ramifications of it. But at the end of the day, I was fine … there was food on the table and a roof over my head. I could bury myself in online shopping or Netflix. We all struggled this year, but my nightmare was only a fraction of those of others.
For the people who lost jobs, worried how bills would be paid, how food would be on the table. For the people who couldn’t go to school or had kids who couldn’t, missing those pivotal moments of life. Those who missed out on life events and didn’t see family. People who died needlessly. People who didn’t see a reason to get up in the morning.
For them my heart breaks.
For them I am furious.
What happened to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness? All virtues that seem quite far away right now.
I wish I could make it better. But this impossible situation is not one to be controlled.
I do hope as we show this year the door, the next is better. But I keep hope separate from expectations. I expect little from this new year because I can’t take much more disappointment. 2020, you left a scar that cannot be repaired, much as I wish I could forget, make it all vanish from my mind and go on like nothing even happened.
I don’t really have anything positive to say about this year. I don’t think it was good or needed time to reflect or take a break. It was a wasteful bombardment of negative emotions and actions. Perhaps I learned to avoid judging others and not listen to the judgement thrust at me, to focus on me and my tiny slice of the world, but I would have learned that lesson in a different, less painful way sooner or later.
I found ways to survive and even be kind of okay this year, in spite of the chaos is created at every turn. Sure, it started with TV and puzzles, but then it turned to coffee shops and outdoor dinners and somehow moving to Florida despite the odds and challenges. I forced myself to move forward on the hardest days for me, and that’s the only reason I can write this today.
So, see you never, 2020. You hurt me, but you didn’t break me. I’ve got a chance at the future. Luckily there isn’t one for you, you rotten, no good year.
PS As for you 2021, please be gentle and kind. A lot is riding on you.