Nobody wants to reflect on 2020
I have never felt more mentally exhausted in my life.
Starting this on January 1st, the 365th day of the year, and all I feel is worn down trying to reflect on 2020. Some of that is the rum I had last night, but that’s more my body feeling like the bean bag chair in a college dorm that not once has anyone ever considered cleaning. Okay not that gross. Let’s back up.
I had a great February and I was having a good March. My birthday fell on a Sunday which meant a perfect time to goto Detroit with friends and do all the stuff we’ve been doing throughout the 2010s, complete with drinking mimosas and a late night. The next week I ended the month in Chicago watching All Elite Wrestling’s Revolution pay per view, easily the best wrestling event I’ve ever been to. I brought back home a case of Natty Seltzer in the Aloha Beaches flavour, of which I only have a single can left for reasons I’ll get to in a moment.
By March 2 I had posted this picture from Chrono Trigger because I was already following what was happening around the world. I don’t have to say it. You know it.
In fact I’m not going to mention it once. My last week of normal consisted of going to my friend Sara’s birthday party in which you could dress as either a vicar or a tart (I was a tart) and then my friends stag and doe in Chatham where toilet paper could be won as a raffle prize. I saw an old chum from high school who asked why I deleted him off Facebook. I remember thinking I could try to make up an excuse. Instead I just told him his posts were awful so I unfriended him. We had a laugh about it over a beer. I haven’t added him back.
The next week I was working from home, with a two monitor computer set up in my living room. I mentioned around March 15 that I planned to social distance until at least April. I ended up doing it for about three months. I don’t know if I would have handled it as well if it wasn’t for Animal Crossing coming out for the Nintendo Switch around the same time.
I’m not sure if history will ever discuss how important that game was to so many people in feeling like they could communicate with friends during the isolation portion of this year. There were some things that popped up and died out quickly (I think I did Houseparty twice?) but Animal Crossing has become ritual for me. It’s the only ritual I’ve been able to keep. I wake up, I shower, I make a coffee, and then I check my island. At some point my friends who also had Animal Crossing got onto my island and we took photos and just wandered around. It was like hanging out in a videogame. It was extremely lame but also cathartic.
In May of course I had my raccoon situation which I thought were squirrels, which highlighted just how much all of this was testing my years of being able to handle being alone mentally. I’m great being alone. But I wasn’t alone. I had raccoons in my ceiling and they fell right fucking through said ceiling. So now my house was destroyed. It would be eventually cleaned up and more raccoons were captured. It’s not really a concluded situation.
Unlike some folks, I was never laid off. In fact, I had more work than I ever had before. Being in eCommerce I had to handle online purchases and for months, that was the only thing my job could do to bring in income. So calls for me were constant. So there I am with a house slowly being cleaned up after a raccoon invasion, still working, watching protests and riots, conspiracy theories and inept leadership from a provincial level. Nobody knows what to do. Also a jeep crashed into my tree in June because peace is never an option in my life this past year.
While I couldn’t see my parents on their birthdays but I could at least go to Tobermory. People were camping at an alarming rate in the summer. It was my plan to go twice in 2020 before all of this started and I even had my reservations cancelled but I still went. I wasn’t allowing anything to stop it. It helped that positive tests out in Tobermory were extremely low unlike the cities. I actually got to see my grandmother for her 91st birthday (unlike Christmas when I had to see her on a video chat) in July and in some ways things felt like they were getting back to normal. I don’t think I spent time outside on a summer more in years.
The best part about August was getting to go back to the gym. I definitely put some weight on as a lot of folks did. I struggle to explain how hard it was for me to keep up any work out regiment at home. Home didn’t feel like my home anymore, and not just due to the raccoons. Home was work, and work I just wanted to escape all of the time. I thought I would watch a thousand TV shows and play a dozen videogames. I didn’t really do that. I don’t want to compare it to prison but it certainly felt like I was stuck somewhere I didn’t really want to be and there was no way out for the time being.
Honestly October was one of the best months since pre pandemic. I made this awesome joke involving Final Fantasy IV which I’ll share again after Trump ended up infected.
I got to see family for Thanksgiving. I had been working out regularly and eating much better. I was close to 230lbs at the end of July and now I was close to 210. I felt like I had a lot of things figured out finally and I was getting used to this. I was creating new routines. Getting into a better rhythm. I was unhappy at my job but I was compelled to apply for new places and look into what I wanted to do in the future. I was doing lighting tests to do some video work again. Start of November I even did a post about all this. I even started writing again, getting three straight days of writing published before… well, everything else went backwards.
By the end of November it was clear the numbers were rising and the government wasn’t going to do anything until Christmas shopping was over. I saw an increase of social media activity of people complaining about the response and realized that anyone who was conservative refused to say what government was making the decisions. It wasn’t hard to realize that they wanted people to be frustrated with the responses but they also didn’t want it blamed on their political party. It was easier to just be nebulous about it.
On December 4 I watched Mank. I enjoyed it.
Aside from that, December was the toughest month of the year for me. I thought the raccoons falling out of my ceiling was hard. Now I heard them again. There’s still noises in my ceiling (my property manager was let go and replaced by a new guy who actually came to my house to inspect) but I’m hoping 2021 is the end of that. Even with vaccine talk I knew we were still months away and things were getting worse. Christmas was nice but tough. I barely saw my dad. Just 30 minutes was all I got since we’re both in red zones. Maybe a couple more minutes on video chat but it wasn’t the same. It was nice to spend time with my mom.
Christmas night I’m back in Windsor because Boxing Day I always have to work. And I worked for the next six straight days. I mentioned how tough the month was for me and the reason it was tough was how fragile I had become emotionally and mentally. I get seasonal affective disorder every winter and I went a week without my ADHD medication. Couple that with a fractured Christmas and the worry in my mind that something bad was going to happen and I just didn’t know what. I tried to prepare myself for it and instead I left myself exposed. I thought it would be personal. Instead it was the death of Brodie Lee, a professional wrestler, that absolutely broke me down.
And yet I still had to work. I had to work up to New Years Eve, and on New Years Eve I at least got to spend it with my friends since I was in their isolation bubble. I got to watch inflatable tube men dance in Times Square because barely anyone else was there. I had the new years countdown on Animal Crossing because in some weird way I wanted to celebrate with those videogame animals too. I drank overproof rum mixed with strawberry banana whatever with pineapple mulch who fucking cares it tasted great and I ate enough Chinese food to make my stomach bloat more than it already had. I got to feel normal for the first time that month, after all the crying and exhaustion I’ve had to deal with from working straight to Christmas, spending Christmas, then going straight back to work. I haven’t had much time to sit and relax until now.
My ADHD brain which tries to pay attention to too much at once but now I’m getting to the point where my brain is just constantly asking to take a break. To do nothing. Just stare at the phone and flip through apps. Watch some old YouTube videos. It wants the slightest stimulation. I haven’t worked on much in terms of projects aside from a few months before the new restrictions came in. And now I’m in a new year, day 365 (it’s now day 364 since I wrote this at the end of the night), and while everyone thinks that a new year can change everything, I just wonder how I can get myself to no longer be so exhausted without quitting my job and running away from the world.
There is so much I want to work on, now more than ever seeing a beloved pro wrestler be unable to continue having the best year of his life due to an unexpected death, and yet I’m absolutely burned out. Even writing this was a struggle. I have a few days off but I wonder what will happen when I go back. Am I really going to be refreshed? It’s too cold to go anywhere. Too restricted to do anything. I have time but I’m spending so much of it recovering.
I’ll turning 36 soon. I don’t know if I feel it yet. I feel like there’s so much I still need to start and I don’t know how I’m going to do it in my current situation. And to make matters worse, everyone is in a situation, because being alive today means we’re all in a situation.
Reflecting on 2020 sucked. Nobody wants to reflect on 2020 and that’s why. My favourite New Years song will always be “Blueprint” by the Arkells, where Max talks about he could wish time could stop so he could make a blueprint of what to do. It ends with the refrain to not fear the new year. Well I don’t fear the new year. A lot of people say all 2021 has to do is be better than 2020. I don’t know. I don’t want 2021 to simply be better than 2020. I want 2021 to be the best year of my life. And it won’t be if I don’t figure things out.
Honestly, I am just tired of complaining about how bad things are but I don’t want to be ignorant of the experiences people are having. I just don’t want to talk about it. You can’t force happy feelings and you can’t force happy days, but maybe it’s okay if I let go of the bad ones immediately instead of dwelling on them or talking them out. Do we hold onto our pain too much? Do I? I don’t know. I just don’t want to feel awful all of the time anymore. Wish I had answers.
Also I only have one can of Natty Seltzer left because I can’t goto Detroit to get more when it’s literally a river away from me. I know I said I would get to that.
What can I say? I’m exhausted.