What the 2020?

I definitely think 2020’s reputation precedes it at this point in the year. If bad things are supposed to come in threes, someone must explain to me how we’ve accumulated 798 of them since just mid-March. And yet, somehow we’ve miraculously made it what, in my humble opinion, is the best part of the year…the magical two months from Halloween to New Year’s Eve.

This has been the theme of 2020 for me. Nothing feels fine in any sense of the word – and yet, if I look closely at my life, everything really is completely fine. I don’t know if any of you can relate to this, so let me explain.

Most days of late, I feel unsettled. Work continues to decimate any hope of the work/life balance I’d hoped to achieve by accepting the position. I pulled an actual all-nighter about a week ago. An all-nighter – as in, I worked one day, the entire night, and then the next day without stopping, much less sleeping – something I don’t think I’ve done since school. And it’s not something I recommend for anyone over school age. My sleep patterns are still completely out of whack.

And I don’t know about you, but when I feel stressed over and behind in my work, it makes it pretty much impossible for me to enjoy anything outside of work. Especially since right now work and everything else is happening in the same space. So should I even attempt to watch Netflix for a while, my stack of unfinished work is literally staring me down from across the room.

Not being able to go about my daily business as usual has also added a new level of weirdness. The pandemic changed the world as we all knew it with pretty much no warning…and part of me is still, I think, in a state of mourning the old way of life. Instead of the scarf obsession I’ve held for so long, now I’m looking for a cute mask to wear on my big outing to the grocery store.

And y’all, I miss my friends. It’s been way too long since I’ve seen my friends who live a flight away. And it’s worrisome to even try and get together with local friends, since no one wants to risk the health of anyone they care about unnecessarily. Not to mention, my friends all have a lot going on right now too. I’m excited and grateful to be able to squeeze in a socially distanced catch-up session as often as possible.

Right now, I could in theory work from anywhere…And yet, I don’t know that I can safely travel anywhere that I can’t drive. What a cruel joke, universe.   

All of this has really been exhausting and can bring me down if I think about it for too long. And then sometimes I feel guilty for even feeling this way, seeing as nothing bad is actually happening to me personally right now.

I left NYC late last year, before I ended up spending the pandemic alone stuck in my itty-bitty apartment all day, every day. Even though I’ve been feeling super nostalgic for NYC lately and have found myself scrolling through apartments online reminiscing, I have to keep reminding myself that even if I were there, it’s just not the same right now. The lights of Broadway are dimmed until at least June 2021.  

And the job that kept me up all night, I started in the middle of the pandemic. It’s been really, really hard to learn a new job and team completely remotely, but I definitely count myself lucky as I’ve seen so many talented and hard-working people lose their jobs since March. And who wouldn’t be thrilled to get health insurance during a pandemic?

The best part is that the job is in Austin, the city where Jason Bateman and I basically became besties. The city has always been like a Texas version of NYC in my mind. It’s home to some of the same allure of the Big Apple, with its music scene, festivals, theater, culture and arts – but it also has the Southern charm that I definitely missed being up North.

Now I have a beautiful apartment in downtown Austin that I seriously love. It’s got to be at least 4 times the size of my Manhattan apartment, with laundry, kitchen appliances and even a bedroom wall. It’s also a drive away from my family, which is literally the best of both worlds especially right now. Fingers crossed that in the not-so-distant future Austin will once again host all of the events, shows, concerts and everything else that made it where I want to be.

Throughout the pandemic, my family and I have avoided the virus, which is obviously the most important of all.  

Even with all of these positives, I think such a huge part of what keeps me feeling so off my game is that so much of the future is still just one huge unknown. With no light at the end of the tunnel, my motivation for basically any and everything has been like a roller coaster, with the lows being a real struggle to fight. There’s no way to know how long until I’ll feel safe to fly or even go to the movies again, or when events will be able to be held in-person again.

Until then, it’s easy to feel alone – which is a really strange sensation, seeing as literally the entire country is dealing with the same concerns right now. It’s also way too easy to forget that everyone else is also feeling these effects. Try and be kinder than you may feel like being to others out there. To steal a line from the Internet that I feel pretty much perfectly sums up the current situation, we’re all just trying desperately to “stay positive and test negative.” 

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