I think it’s safe to say that 2020 was a cluster. It started that way, and it ended that way, although one could argue that there was a glint of light at the end of the tunnel, you just had to squint to see it.
My accomplishments were far and few in between last year – I started this website and occasionally updated it, I started therapy, and I reconnected with an amazing group of people. I’ve fallen in love with Taylor Swift’s Evermore album, when previously I was pretty blasé about her in general. I’m sure there were more things that I achieved, but those were the memorable ones. Mostly though, I just felt worn down and exhausted by life. It’s far easier to recall the things I didn’t achieve, but I’m not going to do that here because frankly, it’s depressing.
The important thing is that I felt like I had lost myself – I was turning to nostalgia and things I liked from years and years ago in the hopes that I would find authentic joy, as if recreating old times would propel me into a state of contentment. I was living in a perpetual state of feeling like I should be satisfied with life but ultimately existing miserable and discontent and letting myself down. Of course, the pandemic didn’t help anything, but I realized this had been a problem for me for years, and the pandemic only forced me to face it head on.
This may sound corny, but Taylor Swift really helped me take the first steps to changing. Her new albums are honest, relatable, and there for you. So many songs on Evermore resonated with me, but it was one of the bonus tracks that opened my eyes. This line in particular made me feel seen:
That old familiar body ache
The snaps from the same little breaks in your soul
You know when it’s time to go
I realized that how I had been feeling wasn’t okay, and I decided to finally, finally do something about it. So. 2021 arrived, and I resolved to make a change. I ended a years-long relationship that I knew was largely responsible for how I was feeling. I’m faced with being single for the first time in a decade, which is not as terrifying as it sounds, and I feel okay.
For the first time in a long time, I’m happy. I have the space to breathe and the energy to live. And I’m ready to rediscover myself. What that looks like, I don’t know, but I’m prepared to let go of the nostalgia and create my own happiness. I’ve got a great support system in family and friends. And of course, I’ve got my cats to keep me company. One must never forget about the cats.