2020 Was a Mess. Let’s Clean Up.

Photo by Kaique Rocha on Pexels.com

How cliche would it be for me to say “wow, what a year, huh?” We all know 2020 has been kind of the worst. We talked so much about making it our year when it started, and then a pandemic laughed in our faces and shoved us inside our homes. It’s been more tragic for some than others, but overall, it’s affected us in ways that we’ll never forget, which is wild to think about. Like, this will be a time we remember quite vividly when we’re old and shriveling away in retirement homes. Which, again, is just wild.

Despite all this mess that’s gone on during 2020, we’re still allowed to look back on all the good that happened. In fact, I feel like it’s good for our mental health to do so.

Though 2020 set me back on some personal goals, there are so many things I accomplished that I can still look back on and feel good about. I became a Twitch partner, got to be on the front page of Twitch a few more times, started collaborating with more creators, discovered I’m non-binary, got into makeup, and overall became more confident in who I am as a person. Pandemic aside, these are still things I was able to do, and celebrating things like this is so powerful for our self-image.


And while so many of my more personal goals were inhibited by this pandemic, I’m hoping this next year can start to provide a bit more leeway to achieve them. I was so focused on getting out and being more social, going to drag shows and making more friends, hoping to work through my social anxieties. COVID really said “girl, you thought” and shot that progress down before it could even start. But with the vaccine being available for us soon, the hopes of getting out there and crushing some of these anxieties feels a little more possible.

I mean…it’s wild to think that it’s been almost a whole year since I’ve gone out to any sort of social event. Wow.


This pandemic has also been inhibiting my creative mind SO much. So much of my writing comes from real life experiences, and without being able to experience much of a life outside of being in my apartment, staying inspired to write has been incredibly tricky. However, I will say that I’ve been a bit more inspired to write horror stories recently and watching things like The Haunting of Bly Manor and classic slasher movies has been motivating me to create something along the scarier side. So while not being able to experience anything other than the grocery store has made some of my writing a little harder to implement, at least these stories have been doing a little something to keep that creative side of my brain moving.


So…yeah. 2020 has been kind of a mess, to put it at the absolute lightest. It’s impeded our quality of life by way more than we could have imagined, but it doesn’t mean we were stagnant, and it doesn’t mean we will continue to be.


We can continue to work toward our goals. We can continue to blossom. Things weren’t great, but we can persevere, one step at a time, at a pace that’s still manageable.


As far as things goals I’d like to work toward in the new year, they’re similar to the things I wanted to work on this last year, but with a slightly renewed focus.


I want to write more.


I have goals I want to achieve. I can’t achieve them if I’m not writing. I want to be writing most days out of the week, even if I have to just write down my thoughts about how the day went. Something to keep that writing brain moving. I’ve set this goal every year for the past few years, but this year, I’m going to actually figure out how to implement it. While I’ve released some writings I’m proud of, this last year, I want to be working on so much more, and I don’t want another year to go by where I say “I wish I would have written more.”

I want to initiate more collaborations with other creators.


I get so nervous to reach out to fellow streamers to do stream projects with me, or reach out to other writers who may want to help each other edit and the like, and I want to get better at looking past the negative thoughts that tell me I shouldn’t reach out to them. My brain tells me that people won’t want to work with me because they don’t think I’m cool enough, because they don’t like me for some non-specific reason I can’t actually name, or that they’re going to think I’m weird for even asking. Logically, I know all of this is baloney, but having those internal thoughts is sometimes enough to keep me from reaching out. I don’t want to let that stop me from making cool ideas happen with cool people.


I want to start being less afraid of my feelings.


I have a lot of reasons why I’m scared to express my feelings, whether it’s feelings for someone, or feeling like I’m being wronged, and I’d like to be less afraid of putting my feelings out there. Whether it’s letting friends know exactly why I value them, telling people why something they did or said slighted me, or heck, even letting people know that I’m romantically interested in them. There’s always a little bit of fear before I express my feelings about these things, like I might be wrong, or I shouldn’t be feeling this way, or like it’s going to make things incredibly awkward, but I have to get used to trusting my feelings. The feelings are real. They’re sometimes to powerful to ignore.


Though there are a lot of smaller goals I want to achieve, these are the big ones that will help me achieve the smaller ones, along the way.


I know it’s cliche to say “new year, new you” and make grandiose new year’s resolutions, but I like the idea of a new year granting some motivation to kick start some goals. People tend to make fun of new year’s resolutions, but I’m big on utilizing any reason to be motivated to start reaching for the stars. Who knows? Taking advantage of that motivation could lead to all kinds of achievements.


2020 was a mess. We can’t ignore that fact, but that doesn’t mean we can’t go into this new year with a sense of hope. Hope for things in general to get better, and hope that we can break free from some of the confines this year put on us. I heard a friend say that they think 2021 is gonna be a bit of a “clean up” year, where we work toward undoing the damage from 2020, and I wholeheartedly agree with that. While the cleaning up will be very present and very necessary, we can absolutely find some ways to achieve our goals along the way.


What are some goals you plan on working toward, this next year? I would love to hear about them in the comments!

12 Replies to “2020 Was a Mess. Let’s Clean Up.”

  1. 2020 has brought me many things, my goals of getting out and doing more drag in the Twin Cities was HALTED in February… but in March, I found a little thing called Twitch. Where I’ve met a lot of talented cuties, such as yourself, Jeff. And it has allowed me to continue doing drag often, and make a new family that I don’t have to worry about not seeing because we’re all online! The Drag community on Twitch is so amazing, and so is the greater LGBTQIA+ family, of which I’ve only just barely dipped my toe in to!

    In 2021, I’d like to read more. This wasn’t a thing that 2020 did to me, but I blame my pause on reading on my career in Theatre professionally dating back to 2013. The only thing I read were online things(not even articles or blog posts,) anything longer than a tweet or a conversation with a friend was too much! Through out elementary school and middle school, I used reading as an escape from my real life of having little to no friends, and being able to go on adventures or read about other people going on adventures that were anywhere from realistic to completely downright whackjob whimsical. Now, scripts are the only longform thing I can bring myself to read, which has been true for a long time, with this blog post, I actually had to calm my speed racer of a brain to sit here and read it. And it was worth it! You’re inspiring me to want to read again, so please keep writing! And maybe we can help each other out with those goals.

    I want to tell more stories in the Safire E. Glamour universe, I’m taking BOUNDS into telling my first preliminary story with my film I’m premiering on Twitch in early January, which is a start. But I have so many more stories to tell that I’ve been working hard on, and am excited for the future of those.

    I also want to dive into Twitch more. I feel like I’ve only been dipping a toe into all the possibilities of twitch, and it can get overwhelming sometimes. But, I love the community I’m building, and I’ve already made some really great friends.

    I have no idea what 2021 holds, and I’m not going to pretend I expect a lot out of it. All I can say is I’m an optimist, and I believe in us.

    Saf

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  2. So happy to see you grow and flourish despite the challenges that we’ve collectively faced this year. Love, more than ever, that you are approaching things you want for yourself with more fearlessness and conviction. Being you, for you. I love that and cheer you on, Jeff! It’s inspiring and important. Here’s to more Jeff!

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  3. I just recently found you as a streamer and love the content and community you have built up over on twitch. This is one of the first posts I have gotten to read of yours and I am blown away with how much personality your writing style is able to convey. I am very excited to see your future written content. As for myself this year I really want to try and reign in self-doubt and embark on some creative writing projects of my own.

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  4. I personally had mix feelings through 2020. On one hand it was an absolutely scary time, on the other it felt weirdly therapeutic. Looking back it was clear before everything went down that I was running with an injured leg. Everything slowing down actually let me realized something. I still had a lot of deep routed trauma that I need to sort through. I still had feelings that I needed to be at peace with. I still had to heal. While hindsight is 2020(budum tisk), i was taken aback by the amount signs that I had completely missed or perhaps ignored. While I’m no way grateful for the reason I healed I am thankful of the privilege to be able to heal in these times.

    It’s also in tough times like this that we truly see people for who they are. Vails are lifted and rose colored glasses are shattered. A much needed conversation about preform active activism finally picked up. Thanks in no part to how various celebrities and politician’s massive steps. I’m specifically looking at the imagine video and kneeling in African clothing during BLM. While I don’t think this will stop any of this nonsense any time soon, I remain perhaps naively hopeful this is the start of getting more then the bare minimum.

    On not so great spectrum I think this was the most demotivate I’ve ever been in my entire life. My ADHD was in full force and it sucked; a Greek tragedy. What so tragic about it? My grades. I joke but being in my mid twenties and still trying to get a degree has become an insecurity of mine. This didn’t make it any better. Sorry about being weirdly personal all of a sudden I just needed to get that off my chest.

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  5. Hiiii Jeff! It’s Chanzlyn 🙂

    I just wanted to say I adored this blog post of yours. A lot of this resonated with me and it’s comforting to be able to see and know when someone has the same struggles/feelings.

    I look forward to seeing you explore your adventure with writing. Just reading this post alone was a lovely insight into your mind and so I hope you do get to explore it more. Especially with your stories, I love horror!

    Your feelings about second guessing yourself, asking the awful questions of “Will they even want to work with me?” “will they even like me?” “do they think I’m annoying?” etc just really hit me as well. I’ve tried to be better about that this year and while it’s better it’s definitely not…the best. I hope that both of us will be able to put ourselves out there more for collabs and discussions without doubting ourselves too much in the process. I know you got this and I’m absolutely supporting you along the way!

    Your final note about using the New Year to motivate you also hit me. I get tired of people shitting on New Year’s resolutions when you’re right, everyone should be able to use anything as a source of inspiration and motivation and it being the new year is more than a good enough reason. Let people have their confidence and motivation where they can find them!

    Sending all the good energy and vibes your way! Happy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Jeff! Thank you so much for sharing your reflections from the past year and your goals for the next. So much of this resonates with me, and I’ve always liked the idea of naming goals vs. resolutions for the new year. The latter seem so fixed and inflexible, while goals feel more promising, motivating, and forgiving.

    Like you, I want to write more this year, and I want to share what I write with others – something I haven’t done in many years. That means holding more time for myself to be creative and pushing past some insecurities about visibility and perfection.

    2020 was a mess, but I’m so glad it included finding your community. Looking forward to seeing how it grows and shines in 2021!

    Liked by 1 person

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