This Is It - 2021
2021-01-01 00:00:00 (UTC)

What This Is

When I was younger, I named my journal and addressed each entry to that name, almost as if they were letters. I guess I thought it felt more personal that way. Let's do that again. But this time, I think I'll name them...Diem.

Hello Diem,

While perusing the books tucked away in the campus library (something I often found myself doing pre-COVID), I came across a diary written by "Jeb Alexander," a gay man in the first half of the 20th century. I didn't check the book out at the time, I already had another overdue library book waiting back in my home, but it stuck with me. How familiar some of the feelings might be, even though we lived in what are essentially two different worlds.

And now, stuck in a global pandemic that has changed everything in an impermanent way, the world is different again. I wonder how different now will feel then - in a future that has somewhat returned to "normal." How will I look back on these days?

The only true way to capture how one feels in the moment is then. In the moment. Hindsight is 20/20, reflection distorts memory. The best chance to try and capture something is the present.

All of this to say: I'm trying to collect my own thoughts and feelings in a rather turbulent (and rather significant) time. My plan here is to write an entry in this online journal each day so that - if all goes accordingly - there will be 365 entries to skim through and use as a sort of...time capsule, I suppose. Memories of a past time, taken in the moment.

In one of his entries, Jeb wrote, "It occurred to me today with something of a shock how horrible it would be for this diary of mine to be pawed over and read unsympathetically after I am dead, by those incapable of understanding... And then the thought of the one thing even more dreadful and terrible than that - for my diary never to be read by the one person who would or could understand. For I do want it to be read - there is no use concealing the fact - by somebody who is like me, who would understand."

Will anyone else end up reading these entries of mine? Will I in any way be immortalized by my words? Will anyone relate to what I say? Or care? Will I say anything of value at all?

I suppose getting caught up in the "what ifs" does me no good, especially not on day one. Let's reframe.

If, somehow, someone does find this far enough down the line they don't remember 2020, I'll sum it up simply: It was bad. Starting the new year, some of the difficult things are still present, but I do truly hope 2021 brings forth better times. We followed our New Year luck traditions - celebration the moment the clock ticks over, lucky food to eat on the first day... I hope they do us well this year.

Beginning optimistic