I noticed as I searched for this week’s topic that I haven’t done one of these “Year in Review” posts since 2016. There are plenty of reasons for that. So much shit was happening during those years, squeezing it all into one blog post would have been a challenge. But, the tangerine shit demon is out of the White House, we’re learning to live with COVID, and the world is just a generally more settled place. So, maybe it’s time to revisit the format.
Damning With Faint Praise
Dave Barry points out in his most recent “Year in Review” piece for the Washington Post that 2021 was “marginally better” than last year. While he’s technically right, that is what I’d call damning with faint praise. And, saying that a year that kicked off with an attempted coup, moved on to not one, but two new COVID variants, shortages, inflation, sky-high gas prices (yes, I know that’s also inflation but it deserves mention on its own), and closes out with the possibility of our healthcare system collapsing under the weight of the Omicron variant is better than the previous one–and that assessment being correct–shows just how shitty 2020 actually was.
Something a Little Different
Rather than rehash the second shittiest year in recent memory (because none of us needs that kind of negativity in our lives right now), I thought I’d try something new. This time, I’m keeping it personal and talking about my year in review. There have been two major themes during this most recent trip around the sun. One of them, I think, we can all identify with: avoiding the ‘rona. In one way or another, it’s colored everything I’ve done. The other is a little more exclusive to my personal experience. And, that’s getting a handle on my neurodivergence. Which is something else that’s colored everything I’ve done. So, let’s see what went down in 2021.
2021 In Review
- I Got Tested for Autism. It had been coming for a while. But, this year, I realized it was something I needed to pursue . I figured it out while watching Hannah Gadsby’s special, “Douglas”, which delves into her own diagnosis of ADHD and ASD. There were so many moments of “Holy Shit, that’s me!” that it became impossible to ignore the idea that something going with me besides my already diagnosed attention issues.
- I Came out as autistic/ADHD. You all know about this one. I mean, you’re here in the place where I can’t seem to shut the fuck up about it. But, I’ve become more open (read: vocal) about it in other spaces. For instance, one Sunday, I spoke on my neurodivergence in church and how it’s affected my faith journey (I fucking hate that phrase but it works, so…). It’s too soon to say how this is going to play out but I hope the greater visibility makes a difference for somebody.
- My love life is non-existent and I’m okay with that. For most of my life, relationships have been So. Fucking. Hard. In large part because I just don’t seem to get how this social shit works. For a long time, I thought it was because I was selfish or something. I mean, I should be able to learn this shit, right? Actually, no. Well, maybe. Kind of? Over the years, I’ve learned to fake a certain level of social competence. But even when I’m pulling off that sham successfully, I still feel like I’m groping my way around a dark room, trying to figure out what the contents are. I’ve not been in a relationship since 2019 but this year, I quit trying to find a new one. And, being free of all that has felt pretty fucking sweet if you want to know the truth.
- How exercise helps with my weirdness. Originally, this one was just going to be about exercise, but exercise in and of itself isn’t new for this year. But, the realization of how going for a run or a walk is like a reset button when I’m on the verge of meltdown is. And, the way getting in a workout is as much like scratching an itch as any of my rituals? The same. I’m not sure whether it’s this or the physical health shit that’s the major benefit to exercise for me.
- Avoided COVID for another year. This is mostly because I got vaxxed and boosted and wore a mask. Religiously. Also, it didn’t hurt that because I’m socially awkward, I avoid people as much as possible. But, because of this Omicron shit, any continued avoidance is up in air. And, it didn’t have to be that way, god damn it.
- Coming to grips with the fact that a significant portion of Americans are either idiots or insane. Possibly both. It wouldn’t have been that way if a huge swath of the U.S. population weren’t fucking morons who think they know more than the goddamn scientists who’ve studied this shit for years. Oh, there’s also the morons who still worship a neo-fascist grifter who wouldn’t piss in their face if it was on fire. And, let’s not forget the QAnuts who, even the face of repeated failures of their prophets’ divinations to pan out in any significant manner, still hold onto their whack job fantasies. Fucking idiots, all of them.
It’s Finally Ending, Thank God
So, that’s about it. For this post and 2021. For a year that was “marginally better”, it still kind of sucked. But, only “kind of” and that’s better than “flat out”. Even so, I’m cautiously looking forward to 2022. And, 2021? Don’t let the door hit you where the good Lord split you.