This is the part of the year where the new year is real. I am adjusted to writing 2020 on things, it doesn’t look weird anymore, and it just is that we’ve left 2019 behind. I spent the last four months of 2019 in a very reflective and open mood. It felt clear to me that I need to read, listen and take in the world; avoid contributing to the noise.
I ran a few changes to see where it would take me. 1) I dramatically lowered my Facebook intake and output. Once per week. No app on phone. I am beyond conflicted about the platform – I see the good, I know it has helped people, brought groups together, and even brought political change. However, the damage is real. I was getting more upset every day seeing the totally inaccurate posts put up by friends – and especially parents of friends. This blind, “if it is on Facebook it must be real”, mentality.
I had two friends, which I have known and liked since grade school, post memes about “Make the world better today – take out a reporter” with a photo of a gun. When I chimed in, asking …”do you really want me dead?” The response – “oh, not you, we meant the other liberal, trash, CNN media”. Not wanting me dead, but still wishing serious harm on the rest of my profession, does not make me feel better. Another former colleague sent me a message saying they think women were never good at sportswriting and that I am a token who took a job from a man.
Less Facebook made me happier. Less Facebook made me not want to be part of the anger. So, in 2020, Facebook is going to be on the back-burner. I am better for it. I will post what I need to for work and my career, but personally, I am pretty done.
2) I read a lot of books to help me process the 1,000 emotions I have about Jen’s passing. It is possible to be sad, angry, happy, frustrated, proud and heart-broken at the same time. It still doesn’t feel like Jen is dead. It feels like she is back in the hospital, and I just can’t see her in isolation. I talk to her every day. I think of the weirdest things, telling myself I have to let her know. Well, she knows. 🙂
3) I am going to be writing more this year. I have some ideas I want to launch, and I feel ready to be an educated carrier of info. Why the book reading binge helped so much.
I am looking forward to 2020. I am happy to cover the Laureus Awards in Berlin; happy to be speaking again for the Jacobs Foundation; and excited for my students to have the Study Abroad adventure that will change their lives.
I want to bring joy and passion into the world. There is already enough anger. Not going to play that game.