2020 in Review and 2021 Goals

What a hellish year.

A close-up of a sunflower with a blue sky in the background.
My beautiful sunflower that I grew from a seed this summer

So, normally, I do a new year’s wrap up and set some goals, but y’all, I am TIRED. 2020 really sucked, and it highlighted so many ways that things could be changed that would have served us all better in the first place: working from home, sick pay, universal health care and a UBI, etc. I’m scared and angry and frustrated, and even writing this seems so inconsequential and self-indulgent. 

Did I hit any goals for 2020? Sort of. In a normal year, I would have been going to zine events, pitching to indie pubs, and hopefully getting a longer zine out, but between being in a brain fog, not being able to host dinner parties, and nearly everything being cancelled, I didn’t really look into my goals as much. I did grow a sunflower from a seed, though, and that was pretty exciting. Multiple times this year I’ve felt like I forgot how to cook, and I’ve felt so uninspired and anxious about everything. 

We did do some virtual zine fairs like Exterminator City 10 and gave a talk for Under the Rainbow Story-telling about “The Time I Broke a Wine Glass at your Wedding,” the longer comic from The Corners of Their Mouth 2. I also completed my Short Run comic-zine class in March before the pandemic and printed Midwestern Transplant Presents: The Legend of Big Butter Jesus, my first illustrated solo zine. I also raised over $800 (two donations) for Washington Black Trans Task Force during the first Bakers Against Racism bake sale.

My long-haired black and white cat is sleeping in a long rectangular planter in the sun on my balcony.
Snowball sleeping in a fallow planter

CW: pet illness (skip to next section)

I’ve mentioned this on social media, but one of my two cats, Snowball, was diagnosed with a nasal carcinoma last year. With a combination of chemo, medication, and at-home care, she has survived a whole year since we first realized something was wrong. I don’t want to get into too many details here, but since my partner and I are both home, we’ve been able to adjust our schedules for vet appointments, as well as helping Snowball groom and feed herself in a way we could not if we were working at the office all day. I’m really grateful we’ve gotten to spend all this time with her. Snowball’s favorite thing this year was sleeping in the planters on our balcony and playing with her new jingle toys.

An overhead photo of two plates with homemade strawberry poptarts, yogurt and blueberries, and china teacups and saucers with coffee.
Strawberry Poptarts and homemade yogurt from the Pastry Project poptart class

I do want to focus on some things that have been keeping me together during quarantine:

  1. Getting to attend virtual events out of state at MOFAD (I attended lectures on Black farmers and tasting chocolate) and Death Rattle
  2. Virtual cooking classes with The Pastry Project (poptart class) and tea classes at Friday Afternoon Tea
  3. Joined a queer book club (and have also been trading queer books with friends)
  4. Animal Crossing 
  5. Podcasts: Teen Creeps, Extra Spicy, A Hungry Society, Home Cooking
  6. My CSA (Pacific Coast Harvest): I have become the person who is like “what do I do with all this cabbage” and you know what, I’m having a good time.
  7. Our meal train and podmate helper after my partner’s top surgery: one of the times I’ve felt the most “in community” with our queer and allied pals since quarantine started. Everyone who helped out by cooking, donating, and (distanced) helping with chores was so wonderful.
  8. I took up cross-stitching again after learning it in Queer Scouts in 2019 and have completed several patterns, including this pomegranate one that I made for my patrons:
A 3x3 inch cross-stitch of geometric pomegranates in wine and pink colors. The cross stitch is in a square wooden frame.
Pomegranate cross stitch. Pattern by Bella Frolics.

I don’t know what 2021 will look like. But here are some things I’d like to try.

  1. Get something published
  2. Get better seeds for my lettuce and argula
  3. Finish my second Midwestern Transplant Presents zine
  4. Finish The Queer Language of Flowers Volume 2
  5. Participate in a virtual art show
  6. Post my recipes I developed in 2020 for Patreon ($10+ Patreons get bonus recipes!)

In the words of Ivan Coyote, “I hope this email finds you with a freezer full of homemade soup. I hope this email finds you folding your clean laundry. I hope this email finds you eating salt and vinegar chips and watching a documentary about an [octopus]. I hope this email finds you not reading this email.”

Wear a mask, get vaccinated when you can, and don’t put essential workers at risk.

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