2021: The Void YearJuan Villela
Right around the start of the pandemic, I sort of lost interest in blogging. Well, it’s complicated.
I’ve been working remotely for 4 years now. So I became accustomed to what many have had a rough time getting used to recently, a few years ago. I can work for several continuous hours while sitting in the same position like a potato and call it a productive day. My partner, on the other hand, was always the type to keep constantly busy and work on her feet. So when she was forced to stay home for a couple of weeks around March of 2020, she needed all of my support to make the transition bearable.
And we all know how those “couple of weeks” turned into a couple of years. She’s still home; she never went back to work. Our lives changed. It did for everyone. But more so than that, we became different people. From the way we approach plans for the future, to even the stuff we watch on tv. We are no longer the same, for better or for worse. And so, I stop caring about sharing my thoughts online. Why would I when we were all sorta thinking the same things?
But that recently changed all of the sudden. There are things I want to share. Still about productivity and automation. But nowhere near with the same zeal I had a couple of years ago. And that’s fine. Like I’ve already said, I changed. And so did my workflow. But more on that in the future. Right now, I want to share my thoughts on this past year. A year that practically flew by. A year for which I can hardly recall anything about.
I can remember everything that we did throughout 2020. From the first moment I heard about what was happening in Asia, my paranoia exploded and I began buying masks, gloves, and hand sanitizer. I didn’t hoard these items like many others, but I did buy enough that I’m just starting to run out now. Shortly after, my partner was sent home and we were quickly forced to evaluate how we shared our lives and more so, personal space. I can confidently say we are stronger now than we were before. Still working through things, but strong. And the rest of the years was a lot more paranoia, a significant change in my career, and a big shift in our living situation. In short, all of these improved. All in all, 2020 was a good year for us, despite everything.
But then, the only significant event I can recall from 2021 (aside from the events of January 6th) is us adopting a cat. Everything else is just a blur. I know I worked a lot. We got fatter. We overhauled our whole lives to accommodate a complicated fur ball. I read a huge pile of manga. And that’s it? Events blend and I can’t pinpoint anything. There’s no linear sequence of events that I can gather to recall the whole year.
We sort of just lived and made it through without paying much attention.
But that’s why I’m writing this. I want to figure out why this year has felt devoid of substance. And as I write this very sentence, I think I know why it is. Every day was more or less the same. The news kept getting worse to the point that we stopped listening. What seemed like a light at the end of the tunnel just kept getting pushed further and further away. And any plans we made kept getting rescheduled until we gave up on making any. We stopped paying attention and simply focused on ensuring our mental health was taken care of. And one way or another, we managed to keep it together. But we ignored everything around us.
And I don’t think we’re the only ones that feel this way. But worse yet, I get the feeling this won’t be the only year we’ll feel this way. I don’t need to say it any more than what has already been constantly screamed in every corner of the Internet. Things are shit and will her shittier. We’re doing what we can. But we still need to live. So we don’t pay attention as much to what is almost out of our control and focus on what we can control.
So what did we do during 2021? Well, we found time to do the things we’ve been wanting to for a while now. My partner started writing. A lot happened to her personally that writing became a way to let out everything crowding her thoughts. And she has filled volumes with thoughts and ideas. I stopped writing and started reading more. Everything I have been wanting to read. Getting lost in other worlds brought comfort to my days and made my dreams more adventurous. I continued cataloging everything I found interesting online and finally finished many projects I had in mind but just never found the time for.
So how is it that the year felt like a void even still? Well, we barely left the house. We only watch the news when it was crucial. And we got lost in our worlds. Everything else was just thrown out the window and we stopped trying to find “the bright side” and embraced the chaos.
I don’t know if that’s the right thing to do. And frankly, I don’t care anymore. Maybe you’ll read this and find it helpful, or it might resonate with how you’re feeling. I don’t know. What I do know is that right now we’re alright. We’re mostly happy. And alive. And healthy. And that’s enough for us. And I hope that for you, what you’re doing is enough to help you through it all.