How does one look back on a Year called 2020 without any irony? I don’t think it’s possible.
This time last year I fretted that I was not going get to 50 Posts for all of 2019. I never did make it. And I had really high hopes to increase my output to the blog in general for 2020. I was inspired to try a new blog idea. It never got off the ground. I’m still sitting on that idea, but I clearly need to start another run upon it.
This time last year nobody could have told me 2020 was going to be even worse than in 2019. Just across the board. Even now when I look at the entire year’s events I just want there to be a redo. However, the good things that are coming from it all might be lost so I’d rather not risk it. Let’s briefly run down the ‘negative’ bullet points and then spend most of the time focusing on the positive.
The Major Talking Points
The elephant in the room was Covid-19. We may have had other brushes with pandemic-like conditions in my lifetime. However, this particular event has shone a light on much more than the public health of the World. Our inability to coordinate in an effort to protect a greater good has had a spotlight put on it. It’s in sad shape. I hope in 2021 we as people can start working on improving this state of being.
Next was the Presidential Election. I rarely talk about politics. But in this case, it has been a term that I did not vote into. So I feel a privilege to say that I’m glad it is coming to an end. At the same time, I feel like I learned more about the United States Constitution than I ever knew before. I hate what this President has done to our world image. I truly do not feel like there is human compassion in his blood. That there was a good side economically during these last four years does not carry with it a good feeling. It feels very dirty. I am ready to move on.
On a more personal level, I have had to consider stepping away from things that once brought me personal Joy. The last few years have been a lifestyle adjustment. It has become difficult to keep up with a social life that lives during the day. The schedule I now keep affects how and when I can communicate and gather. And so my social circle has shrunken over the last few months. And with that, I will be letting go of some of those commitments. I have to accept that this is ok. This means I will miss the people I have been friends with. I wish them the best.
If 2020 did one thing positive, it was to highlight personal things I have to work on. There were a bunch of events where I began to wonder who switched the world on me while I was sleeping. I can not recall a time I have had more consecutive “wrong calls” dealing with people and the public. Again, I think living in an overnight world where there are fewer people to interface with has altered my experience. Things that I have always found to be cut and dry turn out to be quite nuanced depending on who else is being considered.
Clearly, I’ve been vague here. The only person that really needs to know what this is about is me. It doesn’t serve anyone to air any laundry or call out any actors. But in case I wasn’t clear, I made some regrettable decisions this year based on unclear communication and unvoiced fears. And the resulting mess is unfortunate. But it also feels like it was probably unavoidable. Maybe it could have been less messy, but the end result was probably going to be the same. Again, because I feel my distance due to my new lifestyle has become a major factor. Time to begin anew.
In my last blog post I reflected on why I keep this blog up. After a couple of anecdotes I concluded that it gives me a positive place to come back to and reflect on my purpose. Because I really do enjoy having the option even if I don’t avail myself to it every day. And I still do intend to get back to making those voice journals I enjoy so much.
One thing that has brought me newfound joy is I have been learning more about making music. I didn’t take up an instrument, though I think I am partial to the keyboard. Instead, I’ve been taking in a steady diet of music production videos on YouTube. Some of it is technical. A lot of it is anecdotal. I find that I really appreciate the stories of “how”. Whether it involves Music Theory or Poetic Inspiration my imagination is captured by the process of music-making.
The joy has inspired investment in a few new toys. I purchased a copy of Ableton Live to attempt to teach myself some of this new music knowledge. Still working on getting more time for that. As a companion purchase, I also acquired a Launchpad 25 MIDI controller device. It’s like a 25 key keyboard which covers a 2 octave range. It also has some Pitch and Modulation controls. And a few other kinds of control inputs for tweaking sounds. I hope to teach myself how to make some ambient sounds that I can use as music beds for when I record next. Hopefully I won’t look back on this post next year with any regrets.
Speaking of ambient sounds, I feel like I should take a moment to come back around to another new development in my lifestyle; participating in Discord.
The New Frontier of Online Communities
By no means is Discord a new thing. I believe it just celebrated its 7th year anniversary (I did not Google it). But if one thing developed into a significant portion of my time is this year it was running my own Server and then getting very involved in about a dozen others. Some of them I just check for news about my favorite Software or Creators. Others I actively participate in. What I enjoy the most about Discord is how specific the communities are curated. There is no strange invisible algorithm trying to decide what I should view.
A couple days ago I looked at how many servers I had joined. I became a little concerned. The left hand column of my view was so full of icons I had to employ the drag and drop folder creation in order to sort them all into groups. But I think that just goes to show how compelling the idea is. On my own server, its not very busy. Just a couple friends have access. But other servers are full of thousands of other members. And they are there for very specific reasons. There are no worries about being “off-topic” or running into undesired content because most of these experiences are heavily moderated. It’s so nice.
Another Trip Around The Sun
As I finish up this post I’m staring down the barrel of my 49th Birthday. Just a few hours away now. And I always take this time to reflect. It would be easy to say I am disappointed I didn’t do more with the blog and Audio Journals this year. But if you look at how crazy the year has been, I have to let myself have some slack. And another year is right around the corner.
I have to believe I’m still gathering tools and skills. One of the many memes I’ve seen all year is how it’s not too late to start something new. And I’m not a big believer in coincidences. As someone who feels on a spiritual level that things are connected at an ineffable level, this must be a message for me to keep going. Whatever I have coming up, I must still have a few things left to put together.
Wrap It Up
Well, that’s gonna do it for another year. December is upon us, so who knows. I may get something else together before the calendar year is out. But in case I don’t, I hope you have a safe and fruitful remainder of 2020. Thank you, as always, for spending some time with me and my little distraction blog. I don’t feel like I take enough time to share how much I appreciate you as a reader. Leave a comment if you would like something specifically directed at you! And if not, just know I see those reads count up in my stats. It feels real good.