Opinion: Breaking Up With 2020

Opinion: Breaking Up With 2020

Dear 2020,

I'm not sure who broke your heart or didn't love you enough in your early days. Maybe you hung out with the wrong crowd (1547, 1520, 1942, or that mean girl 1920). I'm not sure if you saw our 2019 "Dumpster Fire" memes and decided this would be your year of protest. If so, I'm sorry that we callously disregarded all the good in 2019 and ruined them with funny memes before you existed. We all know better now and will think twice when throwing around "worst year ever" or "dumpster fire" when referring to the years before you. That was insensitive.

We have threaded years of hate, destroying our planet, wasting time, working too much and loving too little. Forcing us to wear masks to physically show us how ridiculous it is to constantly have our faces covered by a phone, our natural beauty covered with makeup, and how silly it is to wear a mask of who we wish we were was indeed a teaching moment. You made your point. It was a nice touch making it hard to breathe in the 108-degree Texas heat to teach us what nine minutes without oxygen feels like. It's a lesson many of us learned ...

We have almost been in this relationship a full year. I know I have been complacent and haven't showered you with the compliments that I did when the clock struck midnight on December 31. I made all of these promises that night to make sure our relationship was different than my past ones with other years. Remember all of those plans we made? Those were happy times. Now I feel like all we do is sit at home and watch TV. I've gained 20 pounds and stopped taking care of myself. I only speak negatively of you. But I'm not the only one to blame. You have had your hand in how things have become. There are two perpetrators and two victims in each failed relationship. If I could go back to December 2019, I would change many things. However, I would not change the hope and love I had for you for one second. Those early weeks were some of the best weeks of my life.

I know that you are concerned that I am going to leave you these last two months, but you didn't have to take both of my cats with you. They were very dear to me, and they were mine before I met you. Do me a favor, wherever you sent them, tell them I miss them.

I am writing you this letter to let you know that what we shared wasn't all bad. Every failed relationship teaches us something about ourselves that we needed to learn. I know it's hard for you to think about me and another year. I'll do my best to not post prematurely on social media when me and the new year get together. To answer your question – no, there is no new year yet. It's only been you for almost 365 days. When I held you and said I loved you on January 1 and let those paper lanterns into the sky, I meant every second of it. I should have known when one crashed down and caught fire that something was not right. I chose to not see the signs. I was blinded by the hope and lust of a new chance at a blank slate with you. That's not on you. That's on me. I put too much pressure on you to fix me when I needed to fix myself. So many previous years have left me wounded and heartbroken and I put too much pressure on us to be different. That wasn't fair of me. I see that now. What do they say: "Hindsight's 2020"? You always loved my cheesy jokes.

Take this moment as a positive. We learned so much from one another. It's going to hurt for a while. I may start 2021 with a bottle of wine and end it drunk in tears on the bathroom floor remembering you. If I wake up January 1 laying beside 2021, just know that it doesn't mean that what we had wasn't real. It was. Eventually, the newness of 2021 will wear off. Part of 2021's attractiveness is his mystery. I haven't heard him pass gas and he hasn't seen me ugly cry yet. However, I refuse to let complacency occur again.

Take with you our walks in the park, the house projects we took on together, the extra hugs with the kids, the days watching The Tiger King, the board games and long conversations. Remember when we voted in a new president? That was a good day. Those are the days I'll try to hold on to.

I love you and always will. I'm sorry we didn't work out, but know in my heart that I started "us" with the best of intentions. Hit me up sometime and we can catch up. I would like that. Just please don't expect anything from me. I've already given you all that I have. Best of luck.

Fallon Franklin is a single mother and full-time musician who resides in the Austin area.

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