I had such hope for 2020 because 2019 sucked. Although, in retrospect, I will take 2019 back. Alas, there is no time machine, no TARDIS to transport me back to a time I unknowingly took for granted. I say “sucked” but it really was not that bad. I just wanted and needed a new chapter, and the start of a new decade seemed like a good place to begin. I know I was not alone in this thought, so many people were expecting a better tomorrow with 2020.
Needing a new chapter, for me, was like needing to come up for air after being underwater for a little bit. I was not drowning, I was doing okay. I was just going with the flow, but it was time for oxygen. Setting a date, such as 2020, set everything up for failure. I put too much pressure on a date; on an idea that is merely an expression of time. However, 2020 has been really, really bad. 2020 has not possessed the healing, and life altering power I had hoped for, instead it has thrown down some ugly punches.
Pandemic. Mic drop. Show is over. Everyone, go home.
In the early stages of quarantine, I felt uneasy. With places closing, such as theaters, museums, trails, parks… everything! I was not doing well. I needed to find something I could do within the confines of the safety parameters. Going for walks and being mindful of social distancing was an easy way to get out of the house to get exercise and fresh air. So, one early misty Saturday morning in mid-April, I took my dog for a walk. 2020…. 2020 is the year that broke me. Literally smashed me and snapped me. That, my friends, is a story for another day.
Murder. Protests. Riots… more murder… I have been quiet on this front. It is not because I do not care, it is because I care SO much. I care about equality and I care about humanity. Everyone has a voice and a right to be alive. There is a quote, believed to have originally stated by George Santayana in 1905, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” It breaks my heart and rips my soul that humanity continues to not only repeat history, but refuses to learn from it. It is not until we realize the mistakes we have made, and identify the awful injustices we continue to commit, that we will end this war on humanity. There is a need, but the need cannot be met without a want and a drive for change.
The placebo effect is exactly what I had intended to experience crossing the time line from 2019 to 2020. I am an educated adult with realistic expectations. I, personally, do not believe in magic, however I believe in the power of thought. Believing in something and wanting a specific outcome is the ground work for change. Application of an idea and manipulating the variables within ourselves makes change happen. 2020 was my placebo and I was ready for that psychosomatic high. It was going to give me the energy to swim to the surface; I was going to get the breath of oxygen I knew I deserved.
Almost eight months into this promising new decade and I am deeper under water than I was when I cheered “Happy New Year!” to 2020. The lights on this bright new beginning dim with each passing day and hope feels like a dream I am trying to remember but am slowly forgetting. There was a need to come up for air, but not an emergent need. Now, my body is starting to feel the panic for oxygen. Poetically painful. Emotionally and physically wrecking. Life unhinged and simply falling apart. 2020, what is happening and why are you doing this?
Blaming a number, a year, for everything that has happened and continues to happen is easy. 2020 does not have cognition, no abilities to maliciously want to hurt me, or the world for that matter. 2020 cannot take back or apologize for the wrong doings caused, or, may continue to cause. 2020 is life reminding me what is important. 2020 has been a train wreck that has forced me to stop. Just stop and listen. It is not what I wanted it to be, and it continues to be one of the biggest struggles I have ever endured. If I do not walk away from this seeing and hearing the messages this year (alone) has been giving, then 2020 has not failed me… I have failed me.
An assumed NASA quote by Gene Kranz is “Failure is not an option.” Not saying that life is a pass or fail mission, it definitely is not. It is that falling down means getting back up. The beauty of life is forgiveness, chances to learn and grow from mistakes, failures and struggles. 2020 has smacked me across the face, grabbed me by the shirt and spoke to me in a stern tone. “The time is now,” it said, “to alter yourself and grow.” 2020 reminded me that life is here and gone in a heartbeat. Pain and struggles are real because the journey is not easy. There should never be shame or blame for having a hard time making it through a moment. Scars are stories about struggles and perseverance. I have a lot of scars because I have a lot of stories. I am here 2020, because I am a fighter, no matter how defeating the moment may seem. I woke up in 2020, a part of me did anyhow, the part of me that needed to wake up. The part that saw I was drowning. The part that, without hesitation, dove in to save itself.
2020, you suck. There is no denying that. The world is burning and crumbling. If the people do not realize that they, each and every one of them, obtain the control to stop it… I fear this is just the beginning of an epic saga. This is not a script to a movie. Unless we do something to stop it, it is going to continue to rage on. I can only do my part and I am working on it.
2020, I hear you.