New Year, New Blog

Hello and welcome to the new exciting world of 2021…or something like that. As of writing this, the United States is dealing with the incredibly fresh wound inflicted by a large group of armed terrorists breaking into the Capitol building with the intention of preventing the certification of the 2020 presidential election in order to overthrow the results and, potentially, overthrow the government itself. To make matters worse, these insurgents were encouraged and enticed by the current sitting president of the United States. I, like so many others, am tired. Tired from a year straight of gaslighting, a year straight of lies, a year straight of death – and that’s just in relation to COVID-19 and not including the other three years of this administration or the year of campaigning that led into it. As such, this blog is not going to be about the aforementioned debacle and attack on democracy, but it will be somewhat related. I want to talk about all the collective trauma that we have endured over that last year (at least), and what it means in relation to the new year, resolutions, and reflections on 2020.

The rest is history…

I recently did a couple “end of the year” posts on my social media where I reflected on food and media that I consumed and created – general life stuff that I like to keep track of – and kinda reflecting on what I accomplished over the year. For context, I’ll include that post below:

“I didn’t wrestle much in 2020 (hardly at all), but what I did do was:

  • Debuted in-ring for 5CC Wrestling w/ Thom Alman 
    • Entered their promo tournament
    • Did voiceover for their Holiday show
  • Appeared on WWE TV in footage they used in a WrestleMania package (blink & you’ll miss it)
  • Did 2 seminars with Ricardo Rodriguez
  • Became more civically engaged
    • VOTED FOR THE FIRST TIME
    • Got pepper sprayed & tear gassed by cops while marching for BLM
    • Joined my work’s Equity & Social Justice Committee
  • Successfully kept my cat @poutinewithbacon alive for a full calendar year & made a “cake” for her 1st birthday
  • Wrote numerous blogs
  • Wrote some poems
    • Started taking commissions
  • Wrote & read a script for ‘The Good Place’ (a show I’ve never seen) for Spec Script
  • Started a podcast (Wrestlerotica)
  • Started a video series w/ Thom & friends (Drama Club)
  • Made my own website (nickisradford.com)
  • Watched all 11 seasons & 2 movies of The X-Files in 90 days #13SeasonsIn90Days 
  • Watched 61 spooky movies in 61 days #61moviesin61days 
  • Updated and completed my Living Pokédex (again)
  • Found new ways to engage with friends/loved ones from afar or socially distanced in person
  • Consumed/created all that food/media I included in [my] spreadsheet post

This year was tough. I struggled a lot & had weeks where I accomplished nothing. I often felt like I was just going through the motions & trying to survive. We all accumulated a severe amount of trauma that we are not programmed to deal with, so please be kind to yourself. Productivity is a privilege that we all take for granted during the best of times. We all cope in different ways & I wouldn’t have accomplished what I did, or even made it through the year, without my amazing friends & support system. Thank you all.”

2020 was my first year voting (I KNOW, I KNOW)

The reason I did this post was not to be braggadocious about my accomplishments in 2020, it’s almost the opposite. I only thought about this list after seeing friends and peers discuss their accomplishments over the past one, two, or five years. I felt inadequate and maybe a little embarrassed in comparison. I made the conscious decision to sit down and determine what I had accomplished in 2020 and maybe figure out some goals for 2021 in the process by seeing what I was lacking. Like I mentioned in the post, 2020 felt mostly like a survival year for me. There were weeks where I could only muster up enough energy to just make it through the week only to crash land into the weekend and recover, and then start the process over again on Monday. I’m fully aware that not feeling that way in a capitalist society, feeling fulfilled creatively or otherwise is a big privilege, as it pretty much goes against the foundation of what the capitalist system is designed to do: pressure people to be productive in a way that makes someone money. Therefore I am even more aware of my privilege to avoid such feelings for most of my life, being able to juggle a full-time job, school, wrestling, and other life ventures was something that used to be less exhausting for me, but the weight of societal injustices and the isolation of 2020 really brought things into focus for me. So as I was compiling the above list and I set another new goal – being kinder and more forgiving to myself. 

We all experienced a lot of trauma in 2020 and it looks like 2021 is starting out to be similar, if not moreso, so I ended up sharing my list, and wrote this blog, to really exemplify why self-love and compassion can be so important, and why comparing oneself to others can set a dangerous precedent when not taking into account context. If my list looks like I accomplished a lot to you, consider the privileges I have to work with as a cisgendered straight white man from an affluent background. If you feel like you accomplished a lot, consider your own privileges and what you can do in 2021 to help others who might not be so fortunate. Acknowledging my privileges does not mean the year wasn’t hard for me, nor does it lessen the value of the things I achieved. It’s important to be proud of yourself and what you’ve been able to accomplish, especially during the last year, but it is also important to make space for considering those who are not so privileged and if possible, seek to help elevate them to where you are or even beyond. 

THE WORLD IS YOUR BURRITO

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