Where does one even start to explain a year that needs no explanation for anyone? There’s nothing I could say that might evoke pity in a time when everyone is suffering needlessly. I feel for all of you and I hope that like myself you have found some speck of joy in our turbulent times.
Still, I would like to reflect on the year with all of its ups and downs and maybe you can relate to some of it. Perhaps if you’re feeling down you can even find a little bit of hope for yourself or learn the smallest of lessons.
At the onset of 2020 I was living in beautiful Bozeman, Montana located in Gallatin County. I was single and living with a good friend from high school who had happened upon my signature in a shared registry. He then decided to reach out and reconnect which I was very grateful for. I had just lost a very good friendship and was not in high spirits so for him to come out of the blue when I needed someone was truly a blessing I hadn’t looked to find.
January was largely uneventful for me. I was working as a delivery driver for several gig companies and making very decent money. I was after all in an affluent college town. So, money was not my issue but I certainly wasn’t doing the kind of work that I had hoped. And I was not established in that city. I had no roots. It felt to me that I was constantly on a knife’s edge. One slip up and I would be stranded and alone with nowhere to go.
That’s when it happened. February came and a friend of mine was driving my car through the town of Livingston. We differ greatly on what happened next but she became distracted and didn’t notice the car in front of us had stopped. Of course, it was winter so the roads were icy and we slammed into the rear of the forward car. Let me tell you that even 25 mph feels like you hit a brick wall (because you essentially did).
My car was totaled and honestly all I could do was shake my head. My biggest fear had come true. I now had no transportation or a way to earn my living. It was all going to be downhill from there.
However, this friend was decent enough to front me the down payment for a new car! All was well, right?
March arrives and I had a falling out with my roommate and friend because of differences between myself and his spouse. Irreconcilable differences. So, now I was homeless. And alone.
I spent exactly one night in my car in a random parking lot in the freezing cold before I decided I made more than enough money to rent a hotel room. So that’s what I did the next night. And the next. And that turned into 40 days in a hotel.
I was truly drifting at this point. I was making money but I had no joy in my life.
And then I learned about the coronavirus. Maybe I’m a little slow but it didn’t seem like a big deal at first.
Work became tighter as businesses began to shut down. We were all feeling the strain.
My health began to decline from stress and eventually I felt like I was having problems even walking.
Needless to say, this scared me and come April I made the decision to move back home until I could sort things out.
Being a 21st century American it seemed I couldn’t come to terms with my anxiety and the work I had was no longer available to me in my small town. I lost that car. And quite frankly, I think I lost my mind a little. My anxiety bred more anxiety. And the pandemic went on (this needs no explanation).
I had to make that decision to turn myself around. Stress was killing me and that was unacceptable. With a lot of patience and I dare say a fair bit of complaining I slowly learned to cope with my stress levels and the things that triggered my frequent panic attacks.
I feel like I levelled out then. Life got easier and I was blessed to be with family. However, clearly something was still missing. I’ll fast forward here to November. An unlikely gift. I was approached for a gig as a writer that I just could not pass up! I had waited for 4 years to hear from this company and it finally paid off. And then another job came up. And another.
Things were definitely looking up in this dismal year.
I’ll tell you the best part. I met someone. I won’t presume to say what will become of us (largely because that’s up to her) but I will say that I’ve never been happier to know someone in all my years. She is a Godsend through and through. This lady has an absolute heart of gold, the strongest of characters, the most admirable faith and a smile and laugh that I won’t attempt to describe to you here. Have you ever found that perfect person? Not that they’re perfectly perfect but they’re imperfectly perfect! And that’s perfect.
Now, with all the talk of the horror of 2020 (and certainly there has been some) I do believe there is still much to be thankful for.
I lost my friends and connections. I lost my car. I lost my work. I lost my home. I almost lost my sanity.
But I found a home. I have transportation. I have better work and I love doing it. My sanity is intact. And I found a person that makes me happy. That makes me want to wake up. That gives me massive amounts of motivation. A person I would do anything for if she asked (but why wait till she asks?)
Friends, I feel for you. Especially those who have lost someone to death. It is my hope though that you can heal and see the future as bright. Blessings.
Until next time.