Dear 2020,

You have been the year of bad fucking breakups and shit luck.
You have been the year of challenges and disruptions and obstacles.
You have been the year of “if it can go wrong then it will”.
You have been an endless, unstoppable bulldozer of a year.
You have been the year of anxiety, panic, and fear.
You have been the year of a loss of control on a mass scale.
You have been the year of pushing me beyond my limits over and over,
And discovering I’m a lot more resilient than I give myself credit for.

2020, you have taken and taken and taken,
And what you have given has been less obvious,
But it’s what I will carry with me into the next year.
I’ve been telling myself to let go of what I cannot control,
Not an easy feat for someone like me,
But that is what you come down to, 2020:
The stark reality of everything I cannot control.
You have wiped away illusion after illusion after illusion,
Exposing the magician that is me.

2020, I can’t keep track of my griefs anymore.
They weave, white wisps of thread, throughout my body.
Each one connected to my heart and branching out in its own unruly direction.
My mother says I need to grieve, but which hurt do I tend to first?
Which thread do I begin to weave?

2020, you have been a gift,
A terrible, smelly gift in ugly wrapping paper,
A gift I did not want nor ask for,
But a gift nonetheless.
You have shown me where my limits really are.
You have shown me reality, exposed the illusionists.
You have shown me friends and family who care about me.
You have shown me what I cannot control, yes, but also, what I can.
My flaws have been laid bare before me by you,
And the flaws of others just seem so fucking human too.

2020, you have worn me down, beaten me up, and made me cry,
But you have also prepared me to take on 2021,
And I’m a better fighter than when this year had just begun.

2020, I’m grateful for what you have given and even for what you have taken.
I’m ready to say goodbye to you and move into a new year
With bruises and bloody knuckles and a little less fear.
No, this broken and unruly heart contains hope,
Hope that this will be a better year.

Published by Sage Pantony

Sage Pantony is a writer, poet, and zinester. They write about gender, sexuality, mental health, trauma, creativity, and the best ways to cook eggs. They are the author of several zines, including a trilogy about transitioning as a non-binary person. Sage’s work has appeared in publications such as Coven Poetry, Idle Ink, and The Varsity. They currently reside in Tiohtià:ke/Montréal with their pet dinosaur, Peter.

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