How I Spent My Year 2020

My 2020 was about Covid. I can't sum it up any more succinctly than that. I feel like I didn't grow at all…but of course, this is one year I will remember for the rest of my life.

For the 18th straight year, here is my annual run down of how I spent my year 2020.

1. Happier or Sadder?

Not quite sad, but definitely not as happy. (More on that later)

2. What places did you visit?

Absolutely nowhere because of Covid. There was some ideas of a bunch of the Discord fam meeting up in NYC for Friendsgiving, but deadlines came up for me and my gut said we should hold out and see how the Covid situation pans out, which turned out to be the smart decision.

3. How has your personal fashion evolved this year?

For work-at-home life, it was all about basketball jerseys, sleeping shorts, sweats, and hoodies.

For the few times I'd go out for food and groceries, I started wearing more "sport utility" things, like technical cargo pants and the new Municipal brand.

4. What was your best food discovery in 2020?

Keto has gone mainstream! It's now MUCH easier to find things like keto-friendly ketchup, sweet chili sauce, salad dressings, steak sauce, and even bread at major grocery stores!

5. What TV shows did you follow this year?

Shows I'm Loving:

  • The Walking Dead
  • Kingdom on Netflix — A zombie series based in medieval Korea.
  • See on Apple TV+
  • Community

Other shows I'm waiting to return:

  • Black Mirror
  • Jack Ryan
  • War of the Worlds on Epix — Definitely better-suited as a TV series instead of a movie.
  • Servant
  • Magic for Humans — Feel good show!
  • Love is Blind — Felt good to watch some trashy TV this year, lol.
  • Black Summer
  • Raising Dion
  • Soulmates — Fascinating premise! I was expecting more romantic drama but this turned out to have some really interesting twists.
  • For All Mankind

Loosely following:

  • Ghost Adventures and other random ghost hunter shows on Travel Channel
  • Fear The Walking Dead

6. Who were your celebrity crushes?

  • Alison Brie! — Love love LOVE her as Annie in Community. Adorable, innocent, but still sexy.
  • Megan Batoon
  • Brie Larson
  • Mary Elizabeth Winstead
  • Social Distancing memes
  • Love is Blind memes
  • Charlotte Awebry spontaneously asked to sing "Shallow"
  • "pp" is the new slang for penis, lol

Last year I wrote:

TikTok — As much as I love social media, I feel like I'm waaay too old for this.

LOL. I started using it, learned to skip over all the political stuff, and now my algorithm is SO GOOD.

But back to the original question, the mainstream trends of 2020 that I resisted were:

  • Tiger King
  • Animal Crossing
  • "Sus"

9. Did anyone close to you pass away? Any notable celebrity deaths?

  • Kobe Bryant
  • Chadwick Boseman

10. Any shout-outs to anyone in particular this year?

Stacey Abrams — She changed the world. After getting cheated out of an election, instead of giving up, she mobilized hundreds of thousands of voters to beat Trump. With Trump gone, our diplomacy with other countries and our policies for climate change will change the world for better.

11. Where did most of your money go?

  • Food — literally the only thing exciting part of my day during Covid-life is going out for food.
  • MacBook Pro — my four-year old MacBook Pro died on me suddenly and I had no choice but to by a stock version.

12. What was the best thing you bought?

  • Bidet! — Right when the stay-at-home orders started to get announced, I was waiting in a long-ass line for the groceries with my parents to stock up on toilet paper and other supplies, I ordered a bidet from Amazon. BEST IDEA EVAR.

13. What did you really want and finally get?

  • PlayStation 5! — So many weekends were wasted just fucking around aimlessly on the computer. But now I get to enjoy PlayStation's killer story-telling with their console exclusive games.

14. Who did you miss?

  • Salsa Fam — I miss going to class and having those little interactions with everyone there.

15. What's been on your mind this year?

  • How to Deal with Trump Supporters — It's been a real struggle trying to keep my cool over the political climate. I am fucking exhausted from constantly trying to work out these political arguments in my head in an effort to argue intelligently instead of emotionally on Facebook.

  • Work — Spent most of the year slaving over Rider and also a couple last-minute front-end projects.

16. What political issues really stirred you?

  • Anti-Maskers — Apparently, Trump & Fox News are more credible than Dr. Fauci, despite his 40+ years of service as a public health official, leading the nation through AIDS, Ebola, and even being rewarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom from a Republican President.

  • "All Lives Matter" — Again, the people who are anti-BLM show zero sympathy towards others, since they only care about what hits close to home. I can be a little forgiving of this though, because if their only news source was Fox News, OANN, etc, then they were only seeing clips of the rioters/looters and being censored of the peaceful protests.

Those two and countless others.

17. What was your most humbling experience this year?

In what was the most politically divisive year in my lifetime, I started seeing a little nuance to the political issues. I started seeing:

  • some Trump supporters taking Covid very seriously
  • some liberal friends heavily pushing QAnon's pedophelia conspiracy theories
  • some Republican friends voting for Biden

Conceptually, I always knew that broad generalizations like "all Trump supporters are racist" and "liberals support pedophelia" are dangerous and wrong. It was enlightening to start to see the nuance a bit more.

18. How has your love life changed in 2020?

Nope. But one thing to note is I'm no longer attracted to white girls with southern accents, LOL.

19. Describe a typical day for you in 2020

Work-from-home life! Wake up 6:20ish. Catch up on tech Twitter & RSS feeds. Work from 7:15ish to 11ish with Discord fam and plenty of breaks in between. Lunch and 20-minute nap. Work until 3:00ish. Walk Kogi, take shower, play Xbox/PlayStation for an hour-ish. Take a nap or browse some TikTok in bed for an hour, then some more work while I semi-pay attention to the TV/Netflix/HBO Max.

Play with Kogi or browse TikTok while Kogi licks my head until I fall asleep around 11ish.

20. What was the best thing you built or created?

Discord channels — After sitting on the idea for a few months, I finally pulled the trigger and created a couple Discord channels, and they've been absolutely vital for getting through this year of social distancing.

Rider University's website — By far the largest and toughest project I've ever worked on. I didn't really do any coding but it was a shit ton of planning, problem-solving, and collaborating with the client.

21. What was your most memorable moment this year?

The night I officially launched the Discord channel. So fucking good seeing so many familiar faces!

22. Who were you most proud of this year?

Marlo and Randolph for their dedication to losing weight. Amazing work!

23. What was your biggest failure?

My New Years Resolution was to lose 40 lbs. Instead, I ended the year at my absolute heaviest I've ever been in my life, LOL.

Real talk though, my cataract has gotten worse…not as blinding as it was before, but bad enough that I can't read most things with my right eye.

24. Without naming names, who disappointed you the most and what did they do?

  • Anti-Maskers on my Facebook feed who proactively diminished Covid and promoted against wearing masks. It's like trying to have a serious discussion with fucking Flat-Earthers.

To these people, sympathy only matters if it hits close to home; everyone else can go fuck themselves, apparently.

25. What was the most impactful decision you made in 2020?

Starting a couple Discord channels. It's definitely more active than what I was expecting and it's pretty clear how important it's been for a bunch of us during this year of social distancing.

26. What valuable life lessons did you learn this year?

  • Everything is fear-mongering until it actually happens.
  • When misinformation proliferates society, there is no truth. When there is no truth, there is no law. When there is no law, there is no democracy.
  • Brainwashed people don't know they've been brainwashed. There's nothing you can do to convince them otherwise.

27. How did your New Years Resolutions hold up? Any new resolutions for 2021?

Last year I wrote:

This year I'm focused on two things:

  • lose 40 lbs by June, which would bring me to 200 lbs.
  • make smarter financial decisions as I save up for Arizona.

Welp, Covid hit and literally the only thing I had to look forward to this whole year was going out to eat every day…so losing 40 lbs definitely did not happen.

I've saved up a lot of money for Arizona though!

This year I need to make my Arizona plans come true.

28. What are you looking forward to this upcoming year?

Last year I wrote:

Arizona! As I'm planning for the next big chapter of my life, visiting Arizona is giving me all sorts of nervous/anxious/excited. AZ is sounding good on paper and I'm well-versed in living in a desert…Hopefully I'll find all the other stars line up when I visit Arizona this year.

Covid and work messed up my plans this past year, so I really need to step it up. The more I think about pouring tens of thousands of dollars into moving to PHX and buying a house, the more stressed out I get...

29. If you could tell your past self something exactly one year ago, what would it be?

Hey Mel 2020,

Big changes are coming your way; it's nothing that you expect and it'll affect everyone. It's going to be a stressful year and just when you think the political climate can't get any worse, it actually does.

Don't hesitate on reaching out to old friends; they'll be important to you this year.

Work is going to be stressful. Keep grinding.

It's going to be a long year for you.

—Mel, January 2021

30. If you could ask your future self anything one year from now, what would it be?

Dear Future Mel,

How's work going? I kind of feel like I'm in a rut, yet I also feel extremely productive. I think I'm just burnt out. Are things better on your end?

How's your keto going? I feel motivated right now (as I always am around this time of year). The fact that my cataract has gotten worse really makes me reconsider if I can still go into Vacation Mode for the final three months of the year.

Most important of all…are we moving to Arizona or what?? How'd your birthday trip go?? You feeling good about moving there?? The original plan was we'd be moving there this year…but I'm so burnt out from work, I have no motivation to sit in front my computer anymore.

I'm not sure how this year will pan out. Hopefully my family can get vaccinated and it can be proven that vaccinated people don't transmit Covid, so we can get back to some sort of normalcy.

—Mel, January 2021