2020 Is A Beast, But Not A Waste.
At the beginning of this year, I was in the middle of shooting season 3 of The Orville, my film aTypical Wednesday had just sold, and I was starting to think about what I was going to wear to the premiere (I mean, this was my first theatrically distributed film in which I wrote, starred, directed, produced, executive produced... I may have even hung a light or two), my production company was expanding, I was practicing 3-4 hours a day and had just selected the piano I was going to use for my upcoming concert from the Steinway warehouse, I was looking forward to celebrating my birthday, and the Lakers were rolling with the KING GOAT LeBron James surging to win his 5th MVP. 2020 was shaping up to literally be one of the most amazing years I could imagine.
2020 then stood up, knocked over a lamp, flipped the table over and said, "hold my beer."
An imperfect storm of unbelievable tragedies ensued. Kobe dies in a horrific helicopter crash on the way to his daughter's game, Karen's are re-born in a park while bird-watching, a jog leads to a lynching, a knee to the neck leads to public execution, a pandemic crashes in, a no-knock warrant leads to stray bullets killing Breonna Taylor, a social justice movement hits, a social justice movement gets hi-jacked, the world shuts down while political warfare opens up. Toilet paper and common sense are almost impossible to find. Decency self-quarantines while Hatefulness runs the streets without a mask, infecting other people. Fires and hurricanes decide to get in on the action. Vitriol and maliciousness see the fire and fan the flames, completely distracting us from the fact there might be possible life in the clouds of Venus. Empathy jumps in trying to save Apathy without knowing Apathy is fire-proof so Empathy slowly burns away while Apathy watches without any sort of reaction. To make it worse, this is when our heroes are supposed to come in and save us but Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) and Ruth Bader Ginsberg aren't here anymore to do that. So we're on our own. Meanwhile, more death, more pain, more division, more injustice, more rhetoric. More MOre MORe MORE MORE...
Get out of the fire.
A quote I love to remind myself of is, "Stop. Breathe. Repair your universe. Repeat." When the cacophony of chaos becomes too loud, that's when it's best to take a step back and repair your universe.
It's now October 1. There are 3 months left in this year and we all still have a choice on how we want to use them. How we choose to "repair our universe." We are gaining speed towards an election in which, no matter the outcome, there will be a lot of continued turmoil, division, cyber hate, distractions, and disruptions. A lot of folk's time has been used online, searching for like-minded individuals and fighting with those who aren't no matter the cost. And the costs are huge. Bots are undefeated while decent, sound, whole-hearted people are still entering the ring with no headgear.
Fix your universe and change your perspective.
'They say your attitude determines your latitude. I'm high as a muthaf***a, fly as a muthaf***a/
And still the muthaf***a you love to hate, but can't, because you love what I make."
Oh yeah... he ran for president, too.
2020 definitely had a 50-gallon pitcher of beer he was trying to get us all to hold.
BTW, think of the concept of, "hold my beer" for a quick second. The more I think of this phrase, it occurs to me that we have a choice. We don't have to hold the beer. When a person comes up to you at a bar and tells you to hold their beer, it's so they can free themselves up to do something (probably) stupid. Something unproductive. By holding the beer, you become a participant in this person's unnecessary actions. And people only ask people who seem to be coherent and trustworthy to hold that beer because they know when they finish doing their dumb s**t, you'll have their beer ready for them when they come back. You've been chosen beer-holder for a reason. Because you're strong enough to hold it and protect it. But now it's time to be smart enough to put it down and tell 2020 to hold its own f*****g beer.
In my completely correct opinion ;-) if you're reading this, you have the option to put down the beer. Think of how you want the rest of this year to look and then take actions towards that and spend less time doing the things that distract you from your vision. It will be difficult because there are still countless things and people asking you to hold their beer so they can jump in the fire.
But you won't.
You will stop. You will breathe. You will not encourage whatever behavior that is or is about to be. You will actively repair your world and universe and you will repeat. You will be the one to provide the positive energy we need to keep going as a collective. And if you need someone to hold your beer, it better be because you need your hands freed up to do something positive. Something necessary.
You have 3 months left of this eye-opening year. If you are just waiting for 2021 so you can say, "Whew! I'm so happy 2020 is over! I hope 2021 is better!" you've misunderstood what 2020 was. This was an enlightening year. The rug was pulled up and the critters in the dark are scattering everywhere. You can ignore them and put the rug back down, hoping they go away (they won't) or you can stand there and face what has been unearthed and clean your house (you should.)
The energy we finish 2020 with will directly impact how 2021 will start. So don't wait. Start now. Because you'll be saying, "Whew, I'm glad 2021 is over, hopefully 2022 will be better!" before you know it. Regardless of how 2020 ends or 2021 begins, I'm here for it. I'm ready for it. I appreciate it all. And if 2021 decides to carry on with the nonsense 2020 started, I'll be ready for that, too. Because I understand how the highs and lows and lessons learned during 2020's complete meltdown are the storms that are going to water the land, tend the soil for new growth, wash away the gunk we failed to do for ourselves, and make the sunshine feel that much better.
I see you, two thousand and twenty. You wanted me to give up on you. But I ain't. #DoBetter