2020 Has Been Easy, and I’m Not Sure What that Says about Me

But I do know what it says about the world around me.

Nicole M. Luongo


Photo Credit: Kelly Sikkema via Unsplash

2020 has sucked.

I needn’t reiterate the toll taken by the pandemic (and with it, isolation, income loss, conspiracy theories, and astronomical death rates in ostensibly “advanced” nations), nor need I review the extent to which police brutality, racial uprisings, state neglect, and an attempted coup in the U.S. have taxed an already — overburdened western populous.

Screenshot via Instagram.

It’s been kind of hard to miss.

Groups marginalized on the bases of race, socioeconomic status, and ability, among other identity categories, have been impacted more than others. And as someone who regularly navigates concurrent oppression (I’m neurodivergent, Mad, disabled, sometimes homeless, sometimes addicted to alcohol and crack, etc.) and advantage (Whiteness has always ameliorated the stigma associated with the former), 2020 has been strange.

Strangely quiet, that is.

This is not to say that I’ve enjoyed the year; I have not. However, amid mass job loss, evictions, overdose deaths, and, less horrifically but still inconvenient, new working, living, and socializing conditions, I have been…stable (or, given the relativity of this term, at least stable enough).

And I’m not sure how to feel about that.

When lockdown began, I was living in northern Alberta. I had arrived at the beginning of the school year to teach at the local college, and I was exceptionally alone. On my days off I worked, engaged in eating disorder behaviour, worked more, and, irrespective of date or time, fantasized about being elsewhere.

The thing was, though, I had nowhere else to go. For years my social network has been limited, and after several lifetimes worth of trauma, relationships don’t come easy. “Home” is a concept that has multiple meanings, but I don’t associate it with a place. So I was lonely, yes, but I was no more lonely than I have been before or anticipate being again. When I was told that my classes would be…