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Dear 2020,

We need to break up. 

Look, it’s not you. it’s me. 

No, it is you. I CAN’T STAND YOU.

When we hooked up last Jan.1, you sincerely seemed like you wanted to brighten my future. You were going to put my painful relationship with 2019 behind me.

Turns out you were my rebound, and not a good one at that. 

You made me want to go back to 2019, and that was the year that gave me cancer.

I realize I came into our relationship with baggage. What with chemo treatments in full swing, and having to undergo a bi-lateral mastectomy not long after we got together. Then radiation. I thought when we agreed to start this thing, you would ease me into it. 

Instead you made me sick. Literally. You made me sick. Because chemo wasn’t enough, you decided you needed to make me feel worse not long after we met, with some mystery illness that knocked me down for the count for several days. In fact when I saw my Oncologist, he was appalled at what my new relationship, (I’m looking at you 2020) had done to me.

But I am a forgiving person. I figured it was because it was all so ‘new’. Sure January was a red flag, but I thought we had a chance to really make something beautiful.

I asked you to take about 20-percent off, slow down and enjoy the newness of us.

Instead, you doubled-down.

Rather than support me after my mastectomy, you decided to bring a ‘third’ into our relationship. You didn’t even ask my permission! You just introduced Covid-19, aka SARS-CoV-2, aka Coronavirus into what we had going. Really? You just waltz ‘Rona into my life, thinking it would be fun to ‘spice things up’. 

Well, tickle my toes and call me a jelly doughnut, you got what you wanted. Not only did ‘Rona spice things up, we got to experience the perplexing behavior of panic shoppers hoarding loads of toilet paper, cleaning wipes, hand sanitizer and flour. Flour! Like, suddenly everyone became Martha-Freaking-Stewart and decided to try their hand at baking bread from scratch. All the toilet paper must have been put to use when people realize how bad at cooking they were and paid for it.

Thanks to you and wanting to ‘experiment’ with our relationship, I frantically wiped down my groceries, and anything else that made its way across the threshold. I keep my house tidy, but thanks to you, 2020, I became a goddam germaphobe, wiping down pens and TV remotes as if my life depended on it. Oh wait, it did.

OH! …and you didn’t want me to see certain people. Let me correct that. ALL THE PEOPLE.

Like the control freak you are, you didn’t want me going back to work or seeing any of my friends. I gotta hand it to you, you have managed to keep it that way for, what, 9 months now? You only let me leave the house if I promise not to get any closer than 6-feet to any one person. I ‘get’ to go to medical appointments as long as I go by myself.

Bet you didn’t think this one through when you introduced Coronavirus. It didn’t just affect our relationship. It has killed over 300-thousand people and counting… It also forced businesses to close and for people, who never thought they would find themselves with food and housing insecurity, to wonder in desperation when the next unemployment check will show up.

You seem to be pretty proud of yourself, there, 2020.

But, somehow you felt it just wasn’t enough. What could you possibly do to really make things explosive? 

A one-two punch seemed in order. You figured why just promote injustice and frankly, brutal DEATHS in many cases to black, indigenous, and people of color, when you could also give us the most tumultuous political year in decades. You revelled in the delight of humans at their worst.

I bet you thought by now,  I would just overlook how cruel and divisive you were. Not even close. I may be leaving you, but I certainly won’t forget you.

You challenged my relationships, and guess what? Some didn’t make it.  

As the months have worn on, I have flet my body betray me with pain as I started a post-cancer drug regimen that makes me feel achy all over, all day, every day. You also put a kink in my running regime, with your ‘foot fetish’. You messed with the fascia in my right foot because you just couldn’t help yourself.

Your foot fetish became a thing for my right hand, when you gave me Trigger-finger in not one, but THREE fingers.

You also hurt someone I love by making them endure a situation no one should ever have to deal with. I will leave it at that. You know what you did, 2020.

You drove my anxiety like it was a damn Ferrari.  In fact anxiety and depression enveloped so many people, the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention reported at least 4 in 10 Americans are struggling with mental health issues. Bet you were pretty damn proud of yourself for that one. 

Listen, I could go on and on about what a crummy partner you have been not just to me, but to all of us. 

Instead, I will do what my departed father always tried to instill me: when you owe people money, leave the country and change your name. Wait. I mean the other thing. 

Try to see the good.

And that’s what I am going to do. 

You brought Murph the Derp into my life. He is the goofiest, sweetest, derpiest German Shepherd puppy. He gets confused easily, ‘talks’ a lot, and is pure joy.

You provided countless entertaining TikTok videos from bored and surprisingly creative people trying not to lose their damn minds. Dude chilling on a skateboard with a bottle of cranberry juice while lip-synching to Fleetwood Mac? CLASSIC. 

You made the work-mullet outfit a thing. Business on top (clean shirt), Party down below (pajamas and slippers).

You brought us streaming royalty with Tiger King and Queen’s Gambit. 

You introduced me and moms everywhere to the joy of Zoom happy hour with their girlfriends.

Remember how I said you ended some relationships for me? Well guess what tough guy, you strengthened others for me. So thank you. 

You showed me how resilient and amazing our healthcare workers are.

You actually came through on your promise to deliver a vaccine.

You opened my eyes further to what systemic racism truly is, and how to listen. You introduced me to Emmanuel Acho with Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man.

You got me to spend the summer doing all the projects, which led to many, many nights sitting around a backyard fire, drink in hand, appreciating the little things.

When you cancelled vacations, you made doing puzzles and board games cool again. I even learned I am still really bad at cribbage. 

You somehow made masks fashionable and actually forced people to look more directly into each other’s eyes.

Because the pandemic forced us all to take a step back, I actually had the most relaxing Thanksgiving and Christmas in years. 

As I look back on our very rocky relationship over the past year, I realize you have taught me to truly appreciate my life and how to enjoy the good parts fully and not sink too low during the bad parts.

So, 2020, I thank you for that.

But I am still leaving your ass. Now excuse me as I swipe right on 2021.

(Click here for video version!)