2020

What a year this was.

It went by quick and it went by slow. It was purgatory. It was the best, worst year. It was a lot of things; but we can say that we lived through a pandemic, or survived it at least. I’m not sure you can consider what we went through this year, as a society, as living. We’re at the end of the year, another end to a chapter of our lives.

I don’t think anyone back in January thought that the world would end up like this. Global shutdowns, people furloughed, millions dead, it’s been tragic. I still remember sitting in class back in January and reading about the first cases here in Arizona. I asked the people next to me what they thought of it and there was concern, but nothing could have prepared us for what was coming.

Economically, this was one of the worst years ever for some people. I remember saying that everyone’s bleeding in an earlier blog post and a lot of people still are. People are still on unemployment. People are still without jobs. People are dependent on relief bills to be passed and checks to be distributed. Businesses have been, and are still being forced to, close. It’s sad. We lived through the end of the world this year. I’m lucky enough to be in a position where I haven’t had it as bad as others but I feel for them.

This year put a spotlight on the little things; at least it did for me. Every “thank you”, every smile, every text, every call, every touch, every embrace, every song recommendation, all of it. All of the little things that make up a day, make up a night out, make up a walk, or a talk, all of the little things that no one thinks about, I think about them often now. All of these minor gestures make me smile just thinking about them. Each one is a spectacle and no one notices until they’re gone. But I notice.

2020 was a year that put things into perspective, not just for me but for a lot of people. Some people took on a new hobby, some had to find a new career, others picked up stock trading, adversity creates change and change is one thing that’s certain, no matter the year.

Some good did come from the ugliness of the year. This year was ideal for reflection, self-help, and most of all bettering oneself. I spent more time writing, reading, and learning; as I do often. 2020 was different though, this wave of isolation either made you or broke you. I’m happy to say that I came out better than how I started this year. I’m a little wiser, a little older, I know what I need to work on to better myself.

One of the things I worked on this year was on being a better conversationalist. I’m pretty good at it already, at least I think so, but I’m like a politician, I say everything right and it’s always exactly what you want to hear. It’s not that I lie, but I might not share my whole truth. That’s one of the things that this year I tried to work. Just saying what I want to say. Sometimes I’m not that brave, but with each time I muster the courage to say exactly what I want to it gets easier. I had a good friend of mine tell me it was my Moon in Scorpio, but I’m trying to change that. I’m ready for someone to pull the curtain back like in the Wizard of Oz.

Let’s talk about the good. The highlight of every year, and maybe my life, is the memories I make with the people I care the most about. This year I got to spend time with some of my favorite people. Not as much as I’d like to but that’s only because of me and this being a COVID year. Time moves on and we’re still young, there will be many more chances for us to get together.

One of the things that COVID put a stop to for me was a trip that I was planning to go on with my best friends. It was during March, right when the Pandemic was gaining momentum and cases were rising. We were planning a small, short weekend trip to California, we wanted to go to Universal, and we hadn’t done anything like that in a while. We were looking forward to it. The Airbnb was paid for and the tickets were bought, the only thing left was to go. It was near my birthday and all I wanted was a nice birthday dinner out there. But those plans were cut short. Everything closed. It’s a bit selfish of me, a lot of people lost a lot more, but it happened.

One of my favorite things to do is go to new eateries, and this year I went to Postinos in Tempe, for the first time. I went with a real good friend of mine, it was her idea. She’s known me a long time and it’s always a pleasure being with her. We don’t get together too often, but when we do, we pick up right where we left off. Postinos is a cute little spot, the food is fantastic, the vibe is chill and laid back, it’s homey. I haven’t gone again since then, but I know that if I ever invite her to go it’s certain we’ll be there. This was a bright spot for me in the year.

Another one of my favorite memories was going to Zoolights this year. I went last year, and again this year, and if I’m lucky enough I’ll be able to go next year. I like it. It’s fun and a great way to get into the holiday spirit. I always like the awkward little picture they took of you before you go in. It’s like they try their best to take a really bad photo of you, I think it’s hilarious. Maybe someday they’ll take a picture I like.

Some of the other great memories I had this year include: late nights out with my boys, listening to music around a charcuterie board, having some beers with the homies, discovering my favorite coffee shop (Lux), sharing song recommendations, all of these and more. I wouldn’t trade them for anything. They’re pieces of me now.

I always feel like I could have done more or did better, but that’s with anything. Like I’ve said before I’m never satisfied and I always want more. One of my struggles this year was taking a step back and breathing. We live in a world where if you’re not two steps ahead you’re behind, and sometimes that can be overwhelming. There were several times where I felt like garbage and insufficient but taking a step back and realizing the work I was doing, where I was at, and how much more I have yet to accomplish, it grounds me and brings me back.

I like to think that I’m a positive person, as difficult as that was with COVID, I did a good job of it. I’m a positive realist, I see what’s there, the facts and numbers, but I try and see the best of it. That’s what got me through this year; staying positive and always expecting better things to come.

Despite all the bad that COVID brought to 2020 I have some gems that I was able to dig out of it. I’m happy. It was a good year, and it can only get better in 2021. I love everyone I saw, talked to, laughed with, spent time with, I appreciate all of it. Although 2020 seemed like the worst year in people’s lives, I think it could have been worse.

Thank you for one more year.

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