I Don’t Trust This Year Yet

Thoughts on the recent past and present future

Aabye-Gayle F.

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A white drawstring bag with a tag that has “2022” printed on it.
What does this new year have planned? (Photo by Isabela Kronemberger on Unsplash.)

I have lost my perception of time. A month feels like a year and a day feels like an hour. I can’t place anything that’s happened to me lately. 2020 is the last year that had roots or felt rooted in time for me. 2021 may well have just been a dream (sometimes a nightmare). And now we’re near the halfway point of this year’s first month. I don’t know what to do with (or hope for) 2022. Can I have hopes for 2022? Is it safe to dream during a pandemic? Or does this time call for more practical and sensible things — like N95 masks and social distancing?

I really am not sure how to proceed. I do not have confidence in the ground beneath my feet. If I race forward in excitement and find myself out of breath, is the air safe to breathe? Will this be a year of satisfaction and opportunities or cancelations and disappointment? How long should I hold my breath waiting for things to get better? I don’t trust this year yet, but I also know I can’t let myself go stagnant. That would be death.

Right now, there seems to be a magnifying glass amplifying the uncertainty of life, and it’s making it harder for me to see (or imagine) the future. This pandemic is a looming cloud making everything a bit darker and forcing us to carry an emotional umbrella in case of a downpour. Can I spend another year worried I’ll get sick — or worse, give it to someone who won’t easily recover? When will I get to host a game night that isn’t virtual? When will I need to use my passport?

That’s not to say there aren’t good things I’m grateful for. It’s just that joy is a bit more complicated now. It feels like a revolutionary act, but it also feels somewhat reckless and insensitive. This is a time when we must set the table for many emotions and sometimes see happiness and sadness receive equal portions.

2020 started with so much promise, and then so many of those promises were broken. Events (both personal and public) changed how I saw the world in earth-shattering ways. I was caught off guard and had to put my guard up so that I’d be ready for the next hit, but I still didn’t see 2021 coming. What it was plotting around the bend, I couldn’t predict.

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