Well, 2020 has really been a fuck of a year.. so here’s some thoughts on that.
What’s crazy is that the year actually started out really well. I got to do several fun things in the first couple of months, I was making progress on all of my goals, and I had tons of vacations planned. So when COVID hit, a lot of things changed. I had to cancel trip upon trip – pretty much all of plans that I had for the spring. I started working from home, and what we thought would be two weeks to two months is now going on month number nine.
At first, the trips being canceled was the biggest downside for me. I was actually enjoying working from home and spending time with my girlfriend, and I was thankful for everything I had amidst a really tough time in the world. I was doing different projects and writing and overall had a decent experience the first several months.
After the days started to all blend together, my mental health started to take a toll. Work was slow, and I was home alone for most of the day with just myself and the dogs. My socialization had decreased in this crazy way, and the most interactions I was having regularly was literally on Animal Crossings. I often felt the weight of the walls closing in on me, and I did my best to find distractions and breaks in the day, but it was hard. I then went through a break-up, which was difficult because I thought I was going to lose the person that I was closest to on top of everything else I was battling in my head. I was mostly afraid of being more alone than I already felt. Although there was a lot to work through as we transitioned from relationship to friendship, I’m so thankful that I didn’t lose her during that time.
There was a three or four month period after that where I was on and off active with my depression. It came in waves, and sometimes I let it consume me. It didn’t take long for me to get so sick of being sad all the time, especially in contrast to how happy I was after first moving to Arizona. So basically, I decided to put in the work.
It wasn’t easy at all. There was a lot of work to do. A lot of reflection, internal dialogue, perspective shifting, and inner-demon battling. But I opened up in therapy and was honest about where I was at. I opened up to my best friend and my girlfriend-turned-roommate as best as I could. I focused on things that made me feel like myself. I set goals, and did everything I could to stick to them. I worked on setting up healthy habits in this “new normal” and getting back into a daily routine. I found ways to bring myself joy, and was able to better focus my mindset in a way that serviced me rather than hindered me.
After working on myself and feeling like I was just about back to a good and healthy mental state, I met someone new. I honestly wasn’t sure at that moment if I was ready to jump into something romantic again, feeling like the weight of my break-up and mental health struggle were not that far in my past. However, I remembered something that one of my best friend’s had told me, “Why wait to feel happiness?” This new person made me insanely happy. She’s absolutely amazing, and she is not worth missing out on. We’ve been letting things progress naturally, but I’m so thankful that I was able to put the work in on myself and keep myself open to new love. The way that she makes me feel could not have been more worth it, and I’m so happy to be the best version of myself for her (and me!).
As I go into this new year, I’m actually insanely happy and grateful. I feel so lucky and fortunate for all the friendships and love that I have harvested in my life. I feel surrounded by people who are genuine and authentic and care about me genuinely. I’m proud of myself for having the emotional intelligence to understand how to best care for myself. I’m thankful I was able to put in the work to get to where I am today. And I’m cautiously hopeful for what 2021 could bring me.
Thanks for reading.