2020 was as much the same for most as it was different. For a few, nothing changed. For some, a few hiccups; for others, worlds fell apart, lives were changed, and far too many lives were lost. No matter your experience this year, nothing will ever be the same, nor should it be. It’s easy to think of the millions of terrible things that 2020 has presented us with and not easy at all to find anything good in the last year, but I tried. I made it a mission to try, and this is what I found.
Trying to find the good in 2020.
- Remaining on the Dean’s list.
I’m lucky that Covid-19 did not throw any kind of wrench into my schooling because I’m already online, but the impact this pandemic has had on my mental health certainly made it hard to focus. Yet, I stayed on course, pushed through, and kept the streak of staying on the Dean’s list alive.
- Making the switch from an Environmental Studies Major to Psychology
I made a scary switch in majors this year as well. After initially choosing psychology to be my minor, I quickly realized how much I truly loved it. While I was never able to narrow down a career path in Environmental Studies, it became evident with the idea of psychology. I loved environmental studies, but the field of psychology is where my heart is. I didn’t know if it would be possible to switch so far into my third year, but my school made it so easy, and I’m grateful for the switch. Graduation date: November of 2021!
- New used car- more money- but safer.
I’ve had one car since I was eighteen. A minivan that I got a ridiculously good deal on, and it was loaded with a million of my late teen early twenty crazy memories. I put that car through some shit, it got me through some shit, but she was nearing the end of her life. I didn’t have a car payment with this car, so the idea of losing it and having to have one, with my financial situation the way it is, was terrifying. But the van wasn’t safe anymore; I’d get into it and just hope I’d get there and back from wherever I needed to be. The van was so special, but the upgrade and extra money out of pocket were necessary.
- Creating boundaries.
I’m not one for resolutions, but this is something I’m bringing with me into 2021; but I made some progress in 2020 that is important. While the struggle with mental health continues, and plenty of work to be done, beginning to understand boundaries, why they’re necessary, and the result that comes from them started strongly in 2020. I cannot express how important they are. We have a ways to go with them, but 2020 kicked it off.
- Planners, Journaling, and taking the mornings for myself.
I suck at self-care. Even with the little good habits, I have picked up, I still suck. And that’s okay. BUT there were some important additions this year. First, planners. I know that in 2020 planning is a joke, but for me, it was incredibly important. Even if I only opened the planner twice a week, it was important. Setting up the week was important. I have Shelly at Conquest Journals to thank for that. I got the planners in March (Supernatural, of course) and never turned back. Taking the time to get out the pens, the stickers, figure out what I needed to do each day, taking note of movies I watched, books I read, or tv shows I watched in any particular month was helpful. Little quotes, song lyrics, motivational phrases all helped. Even if my week was just my work hours, my school assignments, bills that were due, and what time my favorite tv shows were on, it was something. The time to focus on that meant my brain wasn’t running ramped, and I needed that time. I’m excited to start planning for 2021! I always feel better after journaling; I just never take the time to do it. I fixed that this year. Every morning that I wasn’t working, I would make a point to get up early, like seven or eight am, id make some coffee, light a candle, during the holidays, I’d turn on the Christmas tree, and either read a book, or I’d do some journaling. This time was so vital to changing the vibe of my day and my mood. Just some quiet time, with myself, getting my thoughts out. If you’re like me and struggle with anxiety or depression or your mind is just always going a mile a minute, I cannot recommend trying journaling enough.
- Mental health.
Speaking of mental health… 2020 did a number on my mental health, and I’m not alone in that. My anxiety managed to worsen as I work in retail, and I had to be at work. I don’t have a job that could move remotely. I was grateful to have this job, as many also lost their jobs, but during a global pandemic, to be in retail was stressful and scary, and honestly, it still is. I had to take a two-week leave of absence from work, which I really couldn’t afford to do because I had to. I couldn’t get myself out of bed; I was having panic attacks and anxiety attacks all the time. That break was helpful, but it didn’t solve anything. It feels like a lonely never-ending fight, and sometimes with progress comes a setback, but I just keep telling myself that as long as I always keep fighting, I’m doing all I can do. In 2021 I simply hope to continue that fight.
- My brother took his GED and did so well they gave him a diploma instead.
Due to many issues not even relating to school, my brother dropped out in his sophomore year. It’s weird to say that he was better off, but he was. He changed after he dropped out, and he changed for the better. I know it doesn’t seem like it makes sense, but just trust me. This year, he went for his GED test, and he did so well that they ended up presenting him with a high school diploma instead. I cried, oh I cried so hard. I was so proud of him. He is quite honestly one of the smartest, wittiest, funniest kids I know, and he’s had a rough go of it. It might just be a piece of paper, but for him to say he has a diploma and not just a GED after everything was so wonderful. It was definitely a 2020 highlight.
- The community that was found in with The Regulars Podcast
One of the most important parts of 2020 was The Regulars Podcast. It is so much more than just a podcast. Not only did the episodes give me a sense of relaxation, a time actually to laugh, and a time to wind down, but it also gave me a sense of community. This podcast started as audio, then with the pandemic, they went live every day on youtube, and now continue to go live Monday, Wednesday, and Friday with a host of other special activities. With the live youtube shows came the youtube chat, and with that came finding some lovely people on the internet. Sometimes the internet sucks, but this little corner of it is one of my favorite places to be. I’m forever grateful for the hosts Stacey and Jason for adding this extra layer to their podcast. For spending their time going live on youtube, planning so many wonderful extra things, and giving the people who love this pod a special place come together, have some real conversations, some silly conversations, laugh so hard you cry, and have a damn good time. I cannot stress enough that I would have been a far bigger mess this year without this community.
- Biden and Kamala were elected President and Vice president.
The night that Biden and Kamala were officially called President and Vice President-elect, I cried. It meant the absolute world to me to see Biden win because it meant that Trump was getting the fuck out. I cried harder for Kamala, however. As a woman, to see another woman standing there on stage, having been elected Vice President of the United States, was almost unreal for me. I have zero aspirations to ever be in any political office, but I also never thought I’d see the day where a woman would hold such a high office. I adore Kamala Harris. I love listening to her command a room; I love listening to her speak. I love her knowledge and her passion. In the shit show that has been 2020, in the shit show that has been the last four years under this Trump administration, this was a little bit of hope. While the fight is not over, while the world is still fucked, where changed needs to happen, where other political office areas still need to be flipped, Biden and Kamala winning this election was a bright spot we all desperately needed.
- The greatness that is Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki, and Misha Collins.
From the show and community of Supernatural to their energies, to Jared’s campaigns, to Jensen’s music, to their work, especially Misha’s (Whom I swear never stops trying to find ways to shine even brighter) in educating, listening, and creating platforms for politics and social issues, I was happy to have these three continually popping up in my 2020 in various ways. These three not only played three of my absolute favorite characters on TV, but they’re also three of my favorite human beings. I cannot wait to see the amazing things they accomplish and bring into the world in 2021.
I had a lot of anxiety, took a two-week break at work, and had many bouts of depression and panic attacks. I spent hours scrolling tik toks for laughs, drank my share of wine and tequila, had so many ups and downs with my diet, work was hard to go to and hard to get through, and goodness, I had so many family issues. I had many health issues, still have many health issues, and while working to figure out what those are, the answers are scarier than I would like them to be. I have hunkered down in my motto of always keep fighting harder than I think I ever have before, and I’ve been doing everything I can be to kind to myself and take care of myself. 2020 sucked in unimaginable ways, and when the clock strikes midnight tonight, that won’t magically go away. All the shitty things from 2020 will still be there, they’ll still be happening, but it is still a time to make things better. A new year can be a reset, take all the shit and be better. As I said, I’m not much for resolutions, but I think striving to be a better human being is so much more than a resolution. Whether you have a long list of resolutions or none at all, just know you made it through this fuck of a year. YOU’RE ALIVE, and in a year like this, that is worth everything.
Always keep fighting.