Yearly Departed 2.0: What We’re Leaving Behind in 2020

by Eloise O'Loane
Eloise O'Loane

After watching the Amazon Prime special “Yearly Departed”, I did some reflecting on the past year. 2020 has nothing to do with the events that unfolded and I do not expect 2021 to be drastically different—at least for a while. However, spending a collective year indoors, largely by myself and this time not by my own discretion has led to an unhealthy amount of introspection, overthinking and getting into astrology.

Just when we thought 2020 was the cause of all our worldly troubles, we witnessed an attempted coup, D*nald T*ump being banned from literally every social media platform, Kim and Kanye getting divorced, the inauguration, Jeff Bezos stepping down as Amazon’s CEO, Reddit nerds fixing the stock market with GameStop all within the first month of the new year.

I think I speak for the majority when I say why don’t we consider February the official start of 2021?

That being said–Happy New Year! And behold: my own personal take on what needs to stay in the year 2020.

Starting Work on Time
If there is one thing this past year has proved it’s that most of our silly little jobs can be done in our silly little homes in a silly little 3 hours a day. Long gone are the days of gossiping around the water cooler and making long trips to refill your coffee mug for the 5th time in a day. And despite our commutes being shorter than ever and the majority of us rolling out of bed 5 minutes before 9 a.m. hits, there is literally nothing wrong with starting your day at 9:10…9:30 a.m. or hell I’ll even say 10 a.m. as long as you’re getting your shit done.

And no—no one gives a crap if your Microsoft Teams icon has the yellow “away” status; you’re not that important and as long as you get something done by the time it’s due. Don’t stress about virtual punctuality. Time is fake; nothing is real; this is all probably a simulation anyway. Hit the snooze button.

Stressing About How You Spend Your Free Time
Would anyone else have a borderline panic attack anytime a person uttered the question, “What do you like to do for fun?” or “Are you interesting?” After the blood rushed back into my brain, I’d usually try to come up with something that requires absolutely no proof: yoga, cooking, and spending time with friends and family were usually the safest bets.

How does one explain I have an addiction to my phone, no friends to go do things with, and mental health problems without coming across as a giant red flag? But now that the more interesting parts of many of our lives are more or less on pause, I’ve come to realize no one cares if I lie and say I spend my weekends tending to my vegetable garden and teaching blind kids to read vs. the truth which is “Hi, my name is Eloise. I spend most of my time watching TikTok, googling the JonBenét Ramsey case, hanging out with my cat, and watching the Cuomo brothers roast each other on live television.” We’re taking ownership of our guilty pleasure and living our truth in 2021.

The Dream of Meeting Your Partner Organically
Long gone are the days of romanticizing serendipitously meeting your partner by both reaching for the oat milk at Trader Joe’s. Given we are indefinitely going to be a mask-wearing society, it’s time to stop using this expectation as an excuse for why you refuse to go on a (COVID-safe) date with someone you matched with on Tinder.

And honestly, no one actually likes other people’s “how’d you two meet” stories. Frankly, the way I started dating my ex college boyfriend was really freaking cute and guess what—it didn’t work out! So don’t compromise the potential of meeting someone really great for a stupid fantasy of having an adorable story to share at your future wedding. And if it’s that important to you, you can simply lie.

A Good Haircut
Remember when the mullet was associated with rednecks? Well thanks to Rhianna and Miley Cyrus, the once staple look of the conservatives now belongs to the girls, the gays, the theys, and those particular white dudes who have no problem admitting that all men are trash. An unhinged haircut was a rite of passage in 2020 and further proved that nothing mattered and not only should you dye your hair pink and get bangs but you look really good too!

Pretending Not to Like Pop Music
While most would consider my 2020 Spotify Wrapped a crime against humanity, I have absolutely no shame in the amount of Lizzo, Bruno Mars, and Queen I listened to while dealing with a literal global health crisis. Whatever collection of notes and lyrics gets you by should not require an explanation—unless you listen to Maroon 5 unironically. At that point, I do have a few questions.

Letting Dishes Soak in the Sink
This one is more of a personal reminder.

Blaming Everything on 2020
I think as humans we have a desire to find a scapegoat in an effort to better understand what the fuck is going on. It’s only natural to want to put the blame on “poor 2020” for causing a global pandemic, wildfires, murder hornets and racism. In reality, it was simply a number that coincidentally tied all of these traumatic events and brought to light the many, many underlying issues that had been brewing for literally centuries (I will say the murder hornets were pretty “unprecedented”).

Upon finalizing this piece we had already somehow entered the second month of 2021 and it is safe to say this year has already been just as—if not more—eventful than the last. Frankly, I’m a little nervous at what else may occur from now to the time of publication but until then will leave you with this:

Please stop blaming 2020 as the cause of evil in this world when capitalism is clearly standing right there.

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