2020 has been challenging to say the least. It has not been all bad but those lows have been dramatic. It’s as if the emotions and events of an average year have all occurred within only the first three months of 2020.
It’s impossible to write about the setbacks of 2020 without discussing the coronavirus pandemic currently gripping the world. People are dying and others are in dire need of medical assistance from overwhelmed medical systems. Economies are possibly on the brink of collapse and nations are closing off borders and attempting to sequester citizens to slow the spread of the disease.
We have two kids. The oldest, a high school senior, is doing limited coursework provided by her school to keep the semester moving. Our four-year-old lost her pi-day birthday celebration and is now also at home all day. Screens have become her caretakers: Sesame Street, Umizumi, and the Noggin app. It’s not perfect but it’s at least somewhat educational.
My wife is still working but she moves from our house to the job and back home. Thankfully, she’s not in a situation that calls for excessive interaction with strangers. As for me, I’m one of the lucky few who can work from home and not a day goes by that I’m not thankful for that. There are many who have lost their work due to COVID-19. The state of California saw 1,000,000 new unemployment applications in the last two weeks. My parents and my in-laws are among those not currently working.
It’s easy to think coronavirus kicked off the year but it wasn’t the case for me. It feels like it happened long ago but Kobe Bryant’s fatal helicopter crash was two months prior to the writing of this post. For at least that day, life stopped. I had followed Kobe’s career as if he was one of my cousins because in a way, he was. So many events, conversations, and memories of family here and gone included Kobe Bryant. He was always there with my family and connected us through our various trials and tribulations.
I was at work the day of Kobe and Giana Bryant’s public service. I streamed it while hopelessly trying to get some work done. Losing Kobe was similar to losing my older brother a decade earlier. Of course, my feeling of loss is nothing compared to those who actually knew him, those directly connected to the people in the helicopter. To them, that service was only another painful step in a life that will never again feel whole. And now, they are forced to stay at home with their grief.
Loss of a Side Hustle
I had been writing for a blog writing company for about two years. It never really made much money but it was a way to improve my writing chops writing about topics I would otherwise not write about on my own. I stopped submitting work for a few months toward the end of 2019 due to higher career priorities but I always figured I would be able to get back to it in February or March as things at work normalized a bit after the busy NAMM January.
It was a Friday evening in February when I sat down to submit a new post. The process was simple: Find a customer and write the post they’ve requested. Once submitted, the customer would review it and if they picked it up, you get paid. Instead of this normal process, I received an email the next morning alerting me that not only was the post not going to the intended customer, but that I was no longer to submit work due to my time of inactivity.
And just like that quickly, that chapter came to an end. I anonymously wrote for several blogs for two years and now, it was over. I lost a secondary source of income and a writing outlet in one shot.
On The Bright Side
It is perhaps more important now to find the silver lining. The year is young and so much can change in the remaining nine months of 2020. The coronavirus has mostly run its course through China. There, the workforce is back up and the economy is in recovery mode. They serve as the proof there is a future after COVID-19.
My extended family is scheduled to grow by two later this year—I get to be an uncle again. My daughter will embark on a new chapter in her young life and start college in September. Our munchkin’s vocabulary grows daily. Like her older sister, she is intrigued by words and language.
As for me, working from home full time has shown me it is possible to get work done in a busy house. I hope to use some evenings and weekends to update Los Angeles Noise more often and find additional writing opportunities for extra funds.
Yes, 2020 has been chaotic and disruptive. But energy cannot be destroyed, only changed. This chaos can only bring evolution. Our world will change; in many ways it already has. There will be pain ahead but we must work to remain calm and do what we can to stay healthy and keep others healthy. There will be a new day beyond this turmoil when we can begin anew.