Half Empty 2020 Glass
Well here we are. It's the end of a crazy year. I don't think there's really any other word I can find for it that encapsulates all. Crazy doesn't mean bad, crazy means unexpected, off, different. As someone who is on meds and finally stable I can say I have had many a crazy moments when I went a bit off.
But as we come to the end of it all I like to think about the things I've actually accomplished this year, in spite of it all. I was not at a good place at the beginning of 2020. I went in hoping for something but was drained of all my creativity by an unknown source (at the time). I had zero focus, and no drive. It's not a state I have been in many times in my life. Of course, being me, I still felt like I wanted to move so I tried doing things to make me happy.
This year started with me and my best friend visiting her mom in Portland. I'd never been to Portland, and had always said I wanted to visit. I think it was stemmed from one of Steph's 'hey I'm going to book a flight this day, come?'. I don't remember even second guessing it. We went and had a great time.
Steph, did we get any photos of us in Portland?? :P
Steph is someone I can go anywhere with, any time, and we will always get along. We know when we need to be alone, and we know when we want to do something the other person doesn't. One night we went to a basement bar and started the dance party on the floor. It was 11pm and no one was dancing and we said 'FUCK IT'. 30 seconds later it was full of bodies (before Covid times. This was what we wanted....). We danced the night away and it was actually so great to just jam out. I've always felt the pressure at bars that I need to be on the prowl, or that I'm being preyed. What fun it is being a female presenting human. There was even a point Steph noticed some people dancing near us and asked if I wanted to dance with anyone without her and I was like 'no way!' I just wanted to be in the moment with her and it was magical. I'm glad we had that moment to share before the calamity.
At the end of January my commercial aired on national television and then I was bombarded with people coming out of the woodwork to be like 'oh my god I know you'. It threw me into a loop. From friends, it was so nice 'I was at a bar and saw your face and I was like that's my friend Holly!'. From random people I hadn't spoken to in years, who we never had any sort of pleasant or memorable interactions with it felt so forced. Of course a lot of that is just me having an issue with not being noticed until it's convenient for someone. I was also mad because it's like 'oh remember all the amazing work I've done that you didn't support because to you it was just a dumb show at a theatre but no it's only when I'm on your television that you care'. And it was a commercial. I wasn't even acting, I just moved my face and looked where they told me to. I was surprised I booked the gig because they had two days of callbacks I had to miss for other gigs (I was super lucky at the end of 2019 with commercial work - this was the first time in 5 years) but then I still was offered the part. I was over the moon to shoot it, but it was because I would be able to get my Actra card (or at least apprentice) so I could film my intended short film with the other actra members. I am aware now that because of the mental state I was in I took the outreach online very negatively when there really was no harm done.
It's so weird for me to do these end of year things because I look back on my facebook and instagram to remind myself of what happened, and I don't recognize the person I was in February last year. I was calling out for help and I didn't know why. No one in my life wanted to flat out tell me what it was because I was being brainwashed. I wouldn't have believed them. But in my brain I was tearing myself down because they were tearing me down and I didn't want to see it. I'm grateful I was able to get out, but it still haunts me that others are in that place I was and I can't do anything. I've lost friends over it, friends I really cherished.
I got sick at the beginning of March. Yes. Exactly. It was just a cold. And I knew that. But of course everyone was like 'do you have covid'. I was lightheaded but forced to work because we were understaffed. I worked in two restaurants and was furious that I wasn't allowed to go home while having to handle food. Low and behold all restaurants were shut down midmarch, but that wasn't before I was fired!!! I did have some very wonderful friends who gave me care packages and warmed my heart.
I've developed a trauma response to jobs because I've been fired from the last three jobs I've had. The first being just a hipster joint of a coffee shop I 'didn't fit the vibe', the second just stopped sending me a schedule and then the latest. The lakeview. I have no problem dragging their name through the mud, frankly because it won't do anything do to the fact that I'm a single body and they've been around for like fifty years. I called out my manager on a group message, though I realize maybe not the smartest route to go, it was 8am (after working till 4am on weekends I wouldn't get out of bed before 11) on my way to an appointment and I happened to read something rude that she wrote to the group, I was a bit out of it. I asked her (politely) to not be passive aggressive with feedback because it helps no one. After waking from a nap I got a call from a coworker who was like 'yo did you read the whatsapp, you got fired'. I was so shocked at first I couldn't stop laughing. They'd rather fire me than treat their staff like people, hilarious. It took me 6 months to get termination pay, and 8 months for them to finally send my ROE into service Canada, at which point they fucked me over again because then my CERB got all screwy. So yeah, I hate that place and the owners are garbage people.
The weekend before the shut down my friend Amanda and I went dancing and I'm so glad we did. I was hankering for a club, but people scare me. Amanda was really the only person I could imagine myself going out with (I mean, aside from Steph but she was living in New York at the time). And we did. We were all 'fuck covid', lol.... yeah. But we got to spend that last night together just dancing our butts off. Wow, I'm just realizing I got to dance at a bar twice this year. That's nice.
I had a lot of mood swings from March to June, and it wasn't about the pandemic. In fact the pandemic was something that distracted me during a time that I need a distraction. I was able to reach out to people who would normally be working because no one was working. I had a lot of video chats, we had a weekly chat going with my old classmates which was really lovely. I got to really understand who my friends are. For months while all I had to talk about was this one thing and I figured I was becoming a pain. Not once did anyone tell me to shut up.
I found ways to create. Though I felt like I wasn't doing enough, as many people felt with social media making us only see the things people are doing instead of not doing. I made a couple dumb sketch videos and dusted off Henry who was hanging in my closet for years. I miss that fucker, I hope he returns soon. I got the opportunity to create a one hour radio show once a month. They disband (is that the right word??) in October but it was so fun. I was given an hour to do whatever I wanted and to throw some music in. I've never really paired things with music so that was new, and I got to talk about being asexual, which you know I love. From that I had a few people message me on Instagram saying they were thankful for putting the content out there. I knew that even though covid shut down us making our short film, it was not going to stop us from making it eventually. I'm writing a show with an ace character. The show will be made. And it needs to be seen. I felt so grateful to be able to have people that felt heard and touched by my words, where I felt oh so lost for such a long time.
Though we didn't film anything, we were able to make up a pitch package and send it into Netflix, which was pretty cool. Despite 30K+ people applying I'm still convinced our application was given to some 19 yr old intern who doesn't even know what his sexuality is and tossed it in the garbage bin. I haven't felt this passionate about a show since.... well I guess Drink of Choice, which was the catapult to the film so, here we are. December 2020 with full intent to make it happen. We have a great team of rockstars and I have no doubt of it being successful.
I got a Nintendo switch and allowed myself to just vege out with a video game for hours. It was not something I've done in years, being too afraid of wasting time. Well this year was about too much time and I am happy I spent it relaxing. Mostly. Within that, and following a few other people I admire, I started streaming just recently. I have no idea what I'm doing. But I enjoy just talking to the void while playing games. Otherwise the words stay inside and I'll IMPLODE! Jokes.
I got super into crochet, needing something to do with my hands while re-binging old shows (30 rock, parks and rec, community, bobs burgers, the mindy project [which oh my god did not hold up...]). I started with a sweater, because why start small? I'm currently wearing said sweater now 1/2 the size because I put it in the washer and drier without thinking 'it's made of wool, it will for sure shrink'. Luckily it was large to begin with so it still fits, just more snug. I'll have to get more of that yarn and make another because it's super cute.
With my crochet I began making little animals and opened up an Etsy shop. Though my sales are few and far between online I received many commissions through personal messages for various things that I'm proud of. Not only do I knit whatever animal someone wants but I also learned a bit about digital art. It's been fun. I love animation and maybe one day I'll take my still drawing into movement. So many fun options available!
These two cuties are still available!
The distance from my boyfriend was already there since he lives three hours away, and the pandemic weirdly made our relationship stronger. Despite the fact that I was still trying to date (during a pandemic... yes okay I'm not very smart sometimes), and had one lovely date with a human who was very not ready to date and then maybe realized I'm not his type after the fact, I really only wanted to spend time with Alan. We got to a point early on where we would always (unless one of us had a previous commitment) video hang every night. Sometimes it was games together but a lot of the time we would play separate games but exist in the same digital space. I think it was something I really needed. To feel like I existed, after I fell in a small hole, then it just became something I wanted to do. We have grown so close and I love him very much. I think about decades from now where we sit with a blanket on his porch watching the sun set and it's so nice to have a solid relationship. I'm not afraid of him deciding to no longer exist in my life. And if there was a chance that we had to change our situation I know that he will still always be a part of my life. There are only a few rare people I feel that way with. And since he's my first real boyfriend, I feel very blessed.
We didn't get to see each other from Februrary until August, which was hard, but I never worried too much. I knew when it was safe for both of us, and we felt comfortable, we would make time work. Which is funny because I am not a patient person usually. He now has his own house which I'm so very proud of, and I've been able to spend the holidays with him. It has been a beautiful way to end the year.
In September I was in a bad financial spot. I maybe over spent what I was getting from the government, and well as mentioned above the Lakeview fucked me over with service canada so I was no longer getting anything for two months. Then, luck was in my favour (being a Sagittarius), I landed a random job. I was called on the phone after a friend referred me to a Production Coordinator and offered a PA gig on set. It was funny because a week prior I had mentioned to my therapist this was something I wanted to do. Manifest destiny?? From there I continued on with the Coordinator, who took a liking to me, with the next show. I was originally contracted for three weeks on set, then the day we were wrapping the PC was like 'oh you're coming with me, we have you for the rest of the week right?', and here's to four full months as a PA. I've transitioned to the office and am just realizing that I really only want to be working on set, but I'm curious to see where the rest of this journey takes me. We only have one more month of filming in January then I'll be out of a job again, but I'm hopeful something will come up when I need it.
It's hard to come to a place of content while others are suffering. I only hope that I can be an anchor to those who need it. This year was surprisingly very good for me, but I know it's not for everyone. I'm happy to be in a place where my meds are stable, my therapist I only see once a month, and the people I have chosen to be around are only those who lift me up instead of pulling me under.
I got to do so many lovely things. I got to take time on things I've never bothered to pause on. I've got to really love people. Of course I had bad days. We all have them. I'm not trying to parade around saying 'look how awesome I am' because that's not the case. But rather than saying all the terrible things, and spending time without oxygen, as I did so many times the last half of last year, I want to hold onto the small accomplishments.
I never got to do my musical as I said I would in last years note, but I think I'll give myself a pass, considering I did audition for as many as I could before everything shut down.
This next year I have plans to make my show happen. We are taking it in strides because it's not something I want to rush, as I am known to have done before. But with that the small steps forward will get us to where we eventually want to be.
Thank you for being you. Thank you for being in my life. We survived this year. That in itself is an accomplishment. I am so very lucky and blessed. Happy 2021.