Here comes my heart and soul, spilled out in countless paragraphs, about real life and all the things I didn’t say in 2020.
I got divorced in the very beginning of the year, and I fell head over heels in love, right after. A love that I had been convinced I wouldn’t find. I’d get flowers, we’d laugh until the middle of the night, we’d find ourselves playing Connect 4, ordering food, and talking about our goals and dreams. I was whispered sweet nothings, and convinced myself that this love was true and real, that I was the one, and that the rest of my life was set. I was confident in this, and there was not one person who was going to convince me otherwise. I saw red flags, and decided that it would be my future wedding decor. We had agreed that 2020-2021 would be for building, and while we weren’t spending time with other people, he didn’t want to put a title on us. I gave absolutely every single piece of my heart and soul into this human, so I would justify it, and was ready to wait 100 years to be his.
In the fall, I started noticing my gut feeling returning, and my anxiety coming back. I had the best spring and summer of my life, and I didn’t understand where this was coming from. I thought I could handle everything, from bad times at work, all the way through (non)relationship issues. I used the moments I was with this person, as my only boost of serotonin, and I’d fill my brain with them, and just let the rest of the world crumble. It became co-dependent, in the worst way, and they started pulling away… which only made me try to control the situation harder. As months progressed, the fights got bigger, the problems were more evident, and my heart was hurting because all I wanted was the happily ever after that I had been so convinced I was receiving. I surprised him with a vacation, and we still talked about children, and the future, and we were fine. January wasn’t fine. He had life to handle, and didn’t want me to be a part of it. His feelings changed, and he decided he needed to focus on himself. I panicked. I went into a full spiral, begging him to change his mind, watching my world fall apart, laying in bed crying, praying for a change, calling and texting and calling and texting, and making myself sick over this love that I wanted so badly to be returned. I didn’t do one thing, and that was listen. He needed space, and I smothered. Now, I don’t think everything is my fault, and I don’t think I could have predicted or stopped this outcome, but it hurt like hell to watch someone walk away, when all you wanted was them to stay. And I’d like to say I’m healed from this. I needed it to happen, as much as he did. And now I feel like focusing on myself, I know what I want, and I can move forward knowing that.
And this all happened in the midst of the rest of my world falling apart as well. So, let’s talk about that for a minute. Back in April, my job was closed for Covid precautions. When we came back, we were told no raises would be happening for a while. I understood, but as one of the last staff to leave, and the first to return, I wasn’t getting these $600 a week extra paychecks that others were, so I was struggling financially. Along with that, I was picking up slack for other co-workers who weren’t returning. So, I was at a point doing three people’s jobs, but being paid for one person’s. My co-workers will read this and roll their eyes, because we were all doing that. Even though we just “made it work”, it doesn’t mean it was right. So, I consistently asked for a raise, and it was always shot down. In December, I was told that it was “on the table”, and not to tell anyone, but I was quarantined with an exposure, and when I returned to work I was told that the raise wasn’t brought up because my quarantine was a “bad look”. You know, definitely shouldn’t get paid more, for staying away and slowing the spread during a fucking pandemic. I could truly write a book about my previous job. So, I started looking elsewhere.
In early January, as my world was falling apart, I was not handling my anxiety and depression well, and for the thirty seventh time, I was asked if I was sleeping with my co-worker. My boss also told me that if I was miserable, it was time to find a new job. The outcome of the situation was putting in a month’s notice. My last day at work was supposed to be this past Friday, February 5th. Immediately, work was shifted. My job duties were passed on, and I was sitting on my phone for eight hours a day. As much as I’d love to say it wasn’t noticeable, I was being approached daily about the tension.
When my world crashed down, it was a Wednesday. I was at work, the Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, very clear with everyone that I had restarted my medication, I was feeling the effects, I was getting over being sick, I had traveled back from Minnesota where I was with my mom, and I was just trying to cope with the world. I wasn’t doing okay, by any means, but I also was just trying to survive. I’d throw up at work, and sit on the bathroom floor, hiding, because I didn’t want to get sent home again. So, back to that Wednesday. I was told that the chase of getting me, was better than having me, and that space was evidently necessary. A lot of space. As in, no more seeing each other, and all of this information was through text message, while I was at work… I crumbled, and was very vocal with my co-workers that I was going through something, and always was respectful and continued to greet families, and do my job. Someone texted my boss that day, saying the opposite. On Thursday, I came to work, a shell of the person I was for most of 2020. Within an hour, I was brought into the office, told I can’t work being sad, less than 18 hours after I had lost a big part of my life. I was given an ultimatum. Either, shut the sadness off, or leave work early, in January, when I wasn’t supposed to leave until February. No goodbyes to my kids, no goodbyes to my parents, just go. In that moment, I’d needed compassion, and when it wasn’t well received, I knew I had to leave.
I came home, sent a thousand texts to a man who asked for space, told everyone I was out of a job, decided I was giving up and moving home to Minnesota, and wanted to say fuck it to everyone and everything. Friday was the same. So was Saturday. By the end of the weekend, I felt better. I didn’t cry, I kept taking my medicine, I cancelled my vacation, I started my new job. I spend my time talking to people who really fill my soul, and I’m hopeful that January was just a fluke and February and beyond will be so much better.
I learned a lot at the end of 2020, and the beginning of 2021, and in most every situation, I learned that I am strong. I learned that having emotions doesn’t mean you’re weak. I learned that needing to take medicine, because your brain is imbalanced, doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you. I learned that “if they wanted to, they would”, and I’m seeing it every single day already. At the end of the day, I’ve kinda just learned that no matter how many times I think I can control something… I can’t. My mom makes fun of me, because I’ve always been this way. I’m not good without control, and sometimes I just need to go with the flow. Maybe I need to start smoking weed or something, to calm myself down.
2020, regardless of the pandemic, the secret non-relationship, the constant work drama, and the isolation of myself away from my friends and family, was still the best year of my life. Its weird, because at this point a year ago, I was waking up happy every single day. I really hit rock bottom, and dragged myself along there for like, four months, and I’m finally feeling like maybe my life can get back to where it was. I see my friends again, I have a new job, I’m going to the gym, and whatever happens to me, I can only control my response to it.
What a dumpster fire, it all has been. But there’s sunshine and rainbows on the horizon.