December 31st, 2020
It is fair to say that this year sucked.
It is damn fair.
And it is a truth that we will have wasted our time if we decide to learn nothing from it.
So, with that in mind, here is some of what I learned.
– I learned not only is tomorrow not promised, but the promise we thought we were given is more complex in its wording. Many of us lost something we were never in fear of losing or didn’t even know we could lose in the first place. Loss itself became a more abstract concept in 2020.
– I learned that in serious times, of darkness and grief, compassion and humor are more important than just about anything.
– I learned that faith is fluid — it can move from here to there, it can overwhelm you, it can dry entirely up — and I learned where faith comes from. How that has affected me as a person can not be overstated.
– I learned that a large amount of people will put what they personally believe over actual, objective truth, and this makes human beings a uniquely dangerous species.
– I learned that I will always be, somewhere, the “new guy,” no matter how long I have been on this planet.
– I learned that we affect others much more than we know, and far more often than we are told. There are people out there who have barely spoken to a word to you who think about you in a way that positively affects their life every day.
– I learned that some people will absolutely put money, politics, the race they believe they are, and the faith they believe to be right before other humans, and that realization will never break my heart softly or less deeply.
– I learned that some people will always put humans first, and that is the definition of hope.
– I learned that the long game (2+ years with The Weirdos) and brief moments (a week with Theia) both have their important lessons to teach, and that a successful life is built on both. We cannot be indefinitely, infinitely working on a thing, because then it won’t ever be a thing; but taking your time on something reaps its own kind of rewards.
– I learned that the internet is a brilliant wonder and a desolate death pit, most often simultaneously.
– I learned that spending more time with a dog will diminish your love for them zero percent and will, in fact, grow it to a size that is unrecognizable numerically.
And, finally, I learned that even remembering one lesson from this year opens a link to a list of more lessons, which becomes a web that, like Charlotte’s, is an intricate portrait of everything we were and were not this year, often, paradoxically, at the same time.
I love you all, and I sincerely hope only the best for you. Not for 2021. But for today.