So 2020 happened. I don’t think any of us were expecting it to go like that, but we went with it. Not like we had much of a choice.
2020 was a weird year for a variety of reasons – on a personal level, it was surprisingly decent in some aspects, but on a general level, it was a dumpster fire. Half the world caught fire (literally), World War 3 nearly happened, British politics somehow managed to confused and frustrate me even more than it already did, the murder of George Floyd made white supremacists to explode from the woodwork and incite racial violence, and of course, Miss Rona showed up for an extended visit.
2020 was so ridiculously bad that my brain cannot comprehend that this all happened in the space of a year.
However, it wasn’t all bad – Battersea ran out of dogs and cats because they were all adopted, air pollution across the globe decreased, Trump got ousted from the White House, community began to mean something again, dolphins returned to the Venice canals, Costa put the Terry’s hot chocolate back on their Christmas menu, and a vaccine was engineered and distributed in record-breaking time.
2020 will definitely be a year to look back on for me because a lot happened. Not all good, not all bad, but all life altering to some degree.
So yeah, obviously the biggest thing about the shit show that was 2020 was the arrival of the Coronavirus. It wasn’t just shit because it’s a horrible virus capable of killing people, but it also took a massive toll on those who weren’t even infected. Families were forbidden from seeing each other, birthday parties and Christmases were cancelled, new mums had to give birth alone, holidays people saved up for and deserved were delayed, and many lost their jobs or were put on furlough.
I’ve been very luckily that my household hasn’t been directly affected, although my mum did have a scare last week (she’s ok – it was just a touch of flu). A few of my extended family members have had run-ins, but all have recovered well.
The only way Covid really affected me was just how it limited what I could do when I left the house. The job I had for a majority of the pandemic can easily be done at home, I’m a homebody anyway so going into a nationwide lockdown wasn’t something I was particularly worried about personally, and I live in a lovely area where even just a 10 minute walk around the block is pleasant enough.
If anything, the pandemic very much feels like something that has been happening to other people, not necessarily me, and it’s a privilege to be able to say that.
You may have noticed that I just wrote “the job I had for a majority of the pandemic”, with emphasis on the “had”.
Back in January, I started an internship at a creative agency in East London. The internship quickly became a full time position, but now it is a distant memory. I ended up being made redundant, and the redundancy came into effect on Christmas Eve. Also, because it was Christmas Eve, a lot of my colleagues had already put on their OOOs days before, so I didn’t really get to say goodbye to everyone. Talk about timing.
But all is not lost, and I’m not bitter. I’ve made my peace with leaving. I don’t think I could’ve asked for a better first experience in the marketing field or to have been taught by better people. Now I’ve just got to find my next opportunity and repeat exactly what happened a year ago (the exact same thing happened last December, except I wasn’t made redundant, I was just a seasonal temp). I am expanding my services as it were, as the agency I just left wants me to work with them on a freelance basis.
Freelancing was never something I’d really considered, but I do love the idea of having some financial security and having something to do while looking for another full-time position. I also love the idea of being my own boss to a degree and getting to work with many different people on a range of projects. Having a side hustle is never a bad thing.
If there was ever a year to worry about your health, it was 2020.
My health has definitely been at the forefront of my mind for most of the year, for good and bad reasons. Back in March, I finally got to see a dermatologist about my HS, and that was when I was given a positive diagnosis for it. That was great, because we finally knew exactly what it was and we could begin attempting to treat it, but it also wasn’t great because now I’m on a lot of medication that affects my daily life and that doesn’t appear to be working. It also means I really have to face the fact that I have this for life and will be “treated” for it for life. It’s a lot to digest (like my daily medication).
I also got diagnosed with asthma, which ironically is my least pressing medical concern in a time where we’re fighting a respiratory pandemic. My new inhaler actually works, and I rarely need a top up during the day, so I’m feeling positive. Also a great thing about being diagnosed with asthma now is I’ve been bumped up the line of those waiting for the Covid vaccine. I’ll be the first person in my house to get it because I’m the most at risk. It’s all about the silver lining.
When it comes to personal stuff in 2020, not much really happened, to be honest. I wasn’t up for getting into a relationship because hello, pandemic, and I didn’t have any major travel plans. The closest things I can think of to personal developments was creating this blog and my Insta, and really embracing the “just crack on” mindset.
As individuals in a pandemic, all we have control over is what we do ourselves. We can decide to plant ourselves in front of the news everyday and doomscroll to our hearts content about infections rates and the new Covid strain, or we can decide to do something else that is actually a productive use of our time, like try out a new recipe for dinner or finish that book you bought on a whim.
When they announced where I live was going into Tier 4 the week before Christmas, I was miffed, sure. But what could I do about it? I could rant at the TV or to my friends all I wanted, but what exactly was that going to achieve? Nothing. We just had to rearrange plans and buy less food, that’s it. I could still drop presents on my friends’ doorsteps and see their lovely faces, watch as many Christmas films as I wanted, drink Buck’s Fizz at 9:30am, and order in a Chinese on Christmas Eve.
Plans for 2021
Obviously, I want my 2021 better than 2020. Even just a mild improvement would be nice.
- Get myself back into full-time agency employment – I do not trust myself to be my own boss, and ya girl wants paid holiday and health insurance again.
- Grow this space – this year probably wasn’t the best year to start a blog + Insta, but I’m really glad I did anyways. Next year, I want to do more, build my following, and secure my first sponsored post!
- Take a holiday – back in Autumn, my plans for a weekend break to London were scuppered by another lockdown, and I didn’t get to go to Edinburgh for my annual Christmas trip, so if all goes well, I’ll be legging it to Scotland as soon as I get the chance.
- Make serious progress with my fitness – I know I already am making progress with my strength and commitment to working on my fitness, but I really want to push myself in 2021 and start seeing physical changes – so long, bingo wings!
I’m hoping that 2021 is a better year in general, not only for me, but also for you.
I hope more opportunities will come your way, and things you had put on hold this year happen, and that 2021 is a year where we get to catch up on all the growing and manifesting we missed out on this year.
Is 2021 gonna be the best year ever? No. Is it gonna be better than 2020? Bloody better be!
Happy new year!