My first post in over a year. I have no apologies or excuses except...2020. To say that it was something of a shitstorm is probably the understatement of 2021. The events of the year have had a huge impact on the way we live now and we are all still dealing with the repercussions.
2020 hit hard for me. Initially, it was just very surreal and I wasn't totally adverse to the world closing down for a while. However, my dad died in the first wave of Covid-19 deaths and suddenly, everything became very real for me and my family.
While I grieved, I've always felt that I wasn't able to process it properly amid all the other events which were taking place at the same time. I still haven't grasped that he's not simply a phone call away and have found myself calling his number, wondering if it was all just a cruel prank.
I find it so much easier to delude myself into believing that my dad is still out there somewhere, going about his day. Otherwise my mind starts down the paranormal rabbit-hole and I am looking for feathers or robins and convincing myself that every double digit I see is a message from beyond the grave.
Being very much of the fake-it-til-ya-make-it school of survival, it worked for me to compartmentalise my emotions. Probably not the healthiest way to go, and I don't recommend it to anyone else, but I wasn't going to be that person who loses a handle on everything in the face of adversity. Besides which, I had several assignments with deadlines looming and I threw myself into making every one of them count. I was ruthless and again, I make no apologies. Unfortunately, there were casualties when it came to group assignments - which everyone knows are the bane of my existence - but I felt that my dad's death trumped your rabbit dying and if that was your excuse for not delivering on the work then you need to find someone else to carry you through this module.
Normally those thoughts would stay in my head, but at this point where I felt I had already been delivered a very bum hand, I wasn't wasting any time on niceties. I felt like Christina Aguilera in the Fighter video, but emerging from this chrysalis was a worn-down woman who had taken enough of everyone's bullshit.
This is how I survived 2020. That, and Animal Crossing. There's nothing so cathartic as spending all your waking hours hanging out with animated talking animals. I highly recommend.
2020 was an eyeopener. By the power of social media, we were treated to a insight of our 'friend's' true feelings when it came to race issues, with the emergence of BLM. The school dinners fiasco was the one for me. I thought I had deleted all the thick, Brexit-loving bigots from my friends list and the All Lives Matter crew who acted like a bunch of whiney little bitches when Sainsbury's featured more than one black face in a Christmas advert. When along came a new kind of dickhead, who thought it was perfectly okay for children, living in poverty, to go without food during half-term and thought it okay to spout this copy-and-pasted crap all over Facebook for all their equally dumb friends to like and gloat over. I was especially stunned that the kind of people who opposed it are the very people who are the most likely to be in the situation to need help one day. 40% of UK households are just a paycheck away from homelessness and with all the redundancies which occurred as a result of the pandemic, you'd expect a little more empathy. These people need support, not shaming. Alas, there is none so gullible as a working-class Tory.
I like to think that throughout this annus horribilis, someone was looking out for me and my little gang. I was informed that my hard work in that semester had earned me a Dean's Award. I also scored an amazing job with an equally amazing team of people, which I would never have striven for if it hadn't been for the little gang of retail Mean Girls (albeit minus the poise or wit of Gretchen and Regina), so thanks for that, bitches. My family have all equally enjoyed their own professional, academic and personal success stories and I couldn't prouder of all of them. 2020 was a very bittersweet year. I learnt how to not allow myself be anyone's doormat and that it is entirely okay to put yourself front and centre sometimes. Lockdown means loungewear, pamper afternoons and copious amounts of cherry cider. Instead of moaning that we miss going out and going on holiday, let's all just enjoy the moment and the time we spend with those who are the most important. The quiet streets, no commute to work or school, Ubereats, the lack of anything pressing to do. It's a procrastinator's dream and it's literally all we have right now because tomorrow is never guaranteed.