I think we both saw this coming. Neither one of us has been happy for a long time. I’d love to say this isn’t your fault, but it is.
It all started in February when my uncle died, and I don’t think you were supportive enough. While I sat and cried in my room, you were out, creating more havoc in the rest of the world. You didn’t even stick around to comfort me. Then when my dog died a week later, you were off again. I don’t know what you were doing, but you weren’t helping me.
I think I made excuses for you at first. I pretended like this wasn’t the real you. If I were just patient, I thought, things would get better.
You came back a week later, and I thought things would be different. We took that trip to Georgia over spring break, and you were so attentive and kind. Remember how much fun we had? You were there for a tour of CNN, the aquarium and the hiking trips. I started to think you might be THE ONE — someone with who I could laugh and grow.
I had a good feeling about us then. I don’t anymore.
March came around, and I knew something was wrong. We fell into a pattern of isolation — not just you and I — but everyone. The world shut down because of COVID-19 and so did our relationship. I realized you weren’t the person I thought you were. All of a sudden, my plans for the year were thrown away and the world was in a state of emergency. Schools shut down, classes moved online, people grew sicker and many died. I was alone and afraid for months. In many ways, I still am.
You didn’t make online schooling easy either. You introduced me to Zoom fatigue, and now that we’re acquainted, I can’t get away from it.
So far, I’ve only told you the things you did to me and how I felt about them. But we both know you did so much more. You shocked the country with the sudden and tragic death of Kobe Bryant and his daughter in January. In May, there was the unjust death of George Floyd and the unrest that followed as millions of people came together in support of the Black community. You caused so much pain, but you still didn’t stop.
And don’t think I forget about the other problems like the wildfires in Australia, the president’s failed impeachment and the other unjust death of Breonna Taylor. Honestly, there were too many problems to name.
It wasn’t all bad, though. We had some good times. I enjoyed my nights at home, watching Netflix and connecting with friends and roommates. You encouraged me to make it through some of those books I had meant to read for months. You also gave me a chance the spend time with my family, and I picked up a new knack for puzzles.
I saw the first Black woman be elected as vice president of the United States. There was a record high for voter turn-out. Drive-in movie theaters became cool again (and I stopped having to pay for overpriced popcorn). Taylor Swift and Miley Cyrus blessed me with some amazing music.
Overall, 2020, I can appreciate you for what you were: a lesson. I learned how quickly society can deteriorate, but that while things are falling apart, new things can fall together. I learned to love myself and love others deeply because, when it comes down to it, we will miss them when they’re not around. I learned that I undervalued the joy of running errands before the pandemic and overvalued my lazy days spent at home.
So, I guess I can say thank you, 2020. Thank you for being everything that I hated so that I could remember what I loved. Thank you for the lessons and the growth, for the pain and more growth.
I’d love to say we could still be friends, but I really don’t want that. I think we should put this relationship on the shelf where it belongs. I wish you the best, just not with me.
Love (If that’s what you want to call it) Always,
P.S., please don’t call, I’m not interested in talking.