#23 What If We Can’t Right Now?

On the spectre of 2020 and charting a path forward

Wow. 2020.

It’s okay. I know. Things are hard. But, as Glennon Doyle says, we can do hard things. We did 2020. As we grit our teeth and clench our fists and hurtle toward the end of this year, I want to remind you that you’re here and you survived and that tomorrow’s another day. And on that day your stories will still matter. In fact they’ll be even more essential in helping us understand ourselves and each other, especially as we begin to examine the fallout of what has undeniably been a hard year.

But I don’t like to blame a year for what some people say is simply a culmination of a lot of bad human habits (one brilliant friend described it as simply the effects of late stage capitalism). I’m not an expert and, quite frankly, I’m tired of efforts to diagnose the year. Whatever it is that made 2020 the year it was, I think we as storytellers need to be on our A-game moving forward because as we gain distance from it, we may be able to start to make sense of it. Once we move beyond the PTSD that is.

As a born pessimist, I am strangely optimistic about what 2021 has in store for us. I’ve spent most of 2020 in a state of existential crisis and anxiety. I remain in that state, but a part of me knows I’ll land somewhere on the other side of this with new perspectives and new stories to tell. And storytelling gives me purpose and hope.

So why am I pontificating on a year that still has two more weeks and some days left to it? Because this is going to be my last missive (outside of short treats) for 2020. I’m going to take the next few weeks to do some planning for this newsletter. I have a lot of great ideas on how to bring you more value and share more of my skills and knowledge with you all and I want to take the time to make it great.

It’s also been an overwhelming few weeks for me. Overfull in great, but also challenging ways. So I’m making space for myself in my life right now (because who else will?) to do the thing that matters most for me; that includes making the time to make this thing I love to do so much even better—for you (I want to put a smile emoji here, but this is not the forum for it).

Also, for those who don’t know me personally, Christmas is by far my favourite holiday. I am obsessive about it. I love the scents in the air and the connection to each other that seems to be reinforced when the snow is on the ground, the air is crisp and the world is lit up by magic. It’s not the presents or the decorations (though those are fun), it’s the feeling. And because 2020 has been such a hard year, I’m going to take the time to bask in that good good Christmas feeling and hope you will too.

One of my first posts in the new year is going to be about resumes (because, new year new job, right?) and in February I hope to be able to announce some new ways that I hope to share my tips and tools of storytelling with you. In the meantime, I’d LOVE for you to share with me any feedback you have for me (because it truly is a gift) and any topics you’re hoping to see me cover in future letters. If you have time and space, please fill out this quick survey. I write this newsletter every week to help storytellers (you) craft their best tales so please share what you need so I can happily and joyfully help. Be kind to yourself and bask in the feeling of having made it from January 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020 more or less intact. We’re here. Together.

Until 2021, be well, take in the joy where you can and keep telling your stories. The world needs them now more than ever.

Thanks for reading and I’ll “see” you next year. Whatever the world may bring, there will always be important stories that need you to tell them. I’ll be here to help.

If you know someone who has a story to tell and may need some help, please share this newsletter with them and encourage them to subscribe.

Also, if you’re enjoying this or if there’s something you’d like me to cover in a future letter—an element of your storytelling you may be struggling with, please let me know by leaving a comment below. I’m here to help.

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