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A merry 2020 Christmas

My family celebrates Christmas as the common, commercialized cultural holiday. It’s a time of year I very much enjoy. In recent years I’ve gotten way more into giving gifts, & I find it really gratifying. This year feels out of place: no trains, buses, flights, reuniting hugs. Christmas felt like a regular day with the addition of presents.

In years prior, in high school, the period after Thanksgiving before the winter break was always the roughest for my mental health. The short days, cold mornings of sleep deprivation, stressful projects all crammed in. In 2016, the election happened, meanwhile I was trying to figure out if I really was queer, but I hadn’t told anyone.

This year has honestly been the best it could’ve been. There were some enormous opportunities that slipped through the crack of this spring, & going from living on my own in NYC back to my childhood bedroom in the woods isn’t the direction I wanted to be going in at age 19. But I’m healthy, out, my family is well, I have a wonderful relationship & friends, my mental health is in a great spot. I was able to leave my job last month for my own well-being & spend the next month working on creative & open source projects, not worrying about money. Taking a leave of absence for this whole school year was the right choice for me. I feel unbelievably grateful to not even fully know how grateful I should feel.

Looking to next year, I want to branch out. Most of my projects this year only pushed me in smaller ways I knew I could be pushed. There’s nothing wrong with that, & I wouldn’t change how I spent my year looking back. I didn’t learn significant new technologies or have significant new experiences I was nervous about, though. Looking at other potential jobs, new projects, going back to college & NYC for a second year, I want to expand my horizons. The year of branching out, with any luck.

I’ve got one project coming out in the next few days, an oddly-timed one I’ve really been pouring my heart into recently to tie a bow on this ridiculous year. I hope you’re enjoying the holidays too.