I see a lot of social media posts about how 2020 was a shitty a year and how we should ”cancel” the year. It made me pause and ask myself “was 2020 a shitty year?” There were things about the year that were shitty for me but I think they all happened for a reason.
Those who complain about how 2020 was bad were the ones who weren’t really able to do the things they wanted. I see their complaints of “oh, I couldn’t travel” or “I couldn’t meet with friends at the bar/restaurant” or “I was in quarantine and couldn’t do anything.” If that’s what made your year shitty, then you should check your privilege. Those complaints are so trivial compared to people who work in industries affected by the pandemic- people who are soon to be evicted because the time for leniency is ending- people who had to choose between work and child care. So if your main complaint was you couldn’t travel, get over it.
The two main things in that really opened my eyes in 2020 were working my corporate finance job and my intimate relationship.
I hated my job. Most of the clients were rude, hateful, and blamed me for the stock market. They got mad because I couldn’t move their money quickly after the market closed or they couldn't get it as soon as they wanted it. As much as I hated it, I was grateful to still have a job and to be able to work from home. For whatever reason, they gave me the opportunity to work in another department which dealt with employer plans. I would answer the calls from people wanting to cash out their 401ks. They wanted to know if they qualifed for the CARES act because their hours got cut or they were furloughed/laid off. Hearing their stories really took a toll. It was heartbreaking to listen to all these stories. Some of those stories were about people trying to pay their rent so they wouldn’t get evicted. Some were trying to figure out how to just make ends meet. These people were so different from the one's in my original department. They needed their money for survival not to secure from the fluctuating market.
It made me realize that I am not fit for working a forty hour a week job in a corporate setting. The money was decent; it was the most I made at a civilian job. I didn’t like how every thing is based on metrics. I took my times with calls and wanted to do things correctly. I wanted to make sure the person on the other end was getting what they needed. I was constantly anxious about going to work- I kept calling off, I didn’t care if I was running out of days. I hated work and didn’t want to go. This job showed me that I will never fit in a corporate world and I will never have the drive to want more from a job like this. They wanted caring people with quality customer service in five minutes...I really couldn't do it.
Well, I got tired of hearing the sad stories at work and being constantly anxious about metrics so I took a leave of absence. It was nice because it really helped me focus on different aspects in my life. I focused on my health and my mental well being. I'm not sure if I’m going to go back to my job. They suprisingly approved my leave of absence even though I didn’t go through the proper procedures. Who knows if I will go back- I may request another department where I don’t have to talk to people or I may want to do other things or I just may go and find another job. There are so many options.
This year also showed me that I could be in a relationship with a nice decent guy and not be happy. I thought that maybe being with a guy who was nice and made good money would be the end of dating for me. Nope. By being with him, I realize that there has to be more to a relationship than just decency. There still needs to be a spark and there really wasn’t one. I also realize that while I still have my hang ups from previous relationships, he had some as well- some that I don’t think he really dealt with. (He had a paternity suit that he never told me about until I found some letters from the department of human services which is a story for another day.)
During quarantine I lived with him. No we did not live together, I lived with him. I never felt at home in his house. I never felt like there was a space for me. I just felt like I was there. Maybe it was my reluctance to settle with him but i just didn’t feel comfortable. I tried to insert myself with house plants and little things that I liked but it was easy to just remove every trace of me. I felt like I was just there as a transient, there to just clean, cook, and take care of him.
Leaving him opened my eyes to what I really want. So as shitty it is to end the year single, I am happier. I realize that I do not want to be confined to the status quo of relationships. I don’t want someone who expected me to take care of him like his own mother. I don’t want to be someone where there is no spark; I don’t want to settle. I know now that I would rather be single than be in all the relationships I have been in for the past twenty years.
So my 2020 was full of shitty things but I learned so much. I am grateful to discover what is important to me. I am learning to embrace the things that make me diffrent. I’m learning that single me is a happier me and I will only allow another person into my life intimately if they add to it.