Beyond Surviving: My 2020 in Review

reaching for the light
Reaching for the light. Photo by Matteo Vistocco on Unsplash

“If I get through this year, no matter how badly, it will be the biggest victory I’ve ever done.”

— The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath, November 5, 1957

Looking back on the events of 2020 is surreal — January feels like a century ago, some months have blurred together into non-existence, and others contained a constant amalgamation of mundane stress and anxiety that bubbled through the walls of my apartment space.

I find myself asking, what did I even do this year, anyway? Does it even mean anything?

Let’s be real, 2020 came along and kicked us all in the sensitive bits — and then kept on kicking. Like many people, I’m grateful to have just survived. This year has been brutal and normal measurements of one’s accomplishments seem inadequate. It’s enough to just be standing (or sitting) here, having made it to 2021.

At the same time, I want to dig through the mushy mess of this year and pull out the good things — because there were indeed a few good things that happened.

I published Twelve with Interstellar Flight Press. Much of the actual creative writing I accomplished this year was focused around completing, editing, and publishing this book. I’m terribly proud of the work I’ve produced and have been so honored by the positive feedback that it has received. Having Twelve come out was a major highlight of my year.

I launched Once Upon the Weird, a blog and newsletter about horror and weird movies, shows, games, and lore. I’ve been wanting to have a separate home for talking about media that doesn’t quite fit into my main blog — so I took a leap and launched one. It’s been an interesting project, one that comes with its own challenges, and I’m thinking of changing things up in the new year. I’m not sure what that will look like yet, but it will be interesting nonetheless.

I turned 40, which was not met with the parties or fanfare I had hoped for (because quarantine). Nevertheless, it’s a milestone year, a new decade of life. Also, my family and friends surprised me with a quarantine safe celebration, driving by in cars and bringing me cake and gifts. I was grateful for the outpouring of love.

I traveled to Tijuana, making it the only travel I did this year. The trip (which was completed early in the year before quarantine) only lasted for a day, and my coworker and I visited an industrial plant. However, we got to experience the intense Santa Ana winds and drive past the city and countryside. Tijuana has a terrible reputation, but this trip provided a new perspective, introducing us to some wonderful people who worked in the facility and were hoping to improve things in the region.

Although this year was terrible on so many fronts, it feels good to look back and shine a light on some good moments. Here’s hoping that the new year brings with it more goodness and hope and joy. Anything better than this year would be a win. It’s a low bar really.

What good moments did you experience in 2020? What helped you through?

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