Welcome to The New World.
2020 marks the beginning of a brand new decade. As we swing into the new twenties, there’s a new hope for change, growth, and prosperity on the horizon.
As we saw at the end of the 2010s, people are turning away from a society and culture driven by mass consumerism and turning towards alternative lifestyles led by social consciousness and authentic communities. In this sense, the rebellion of the Prohibition era is back!
It’s fitting that Classic Blue is the Pantone colour of the year for 2020. Invoking an infinite evening sky and classic blue jeans, the calm, elegant, and timeless blue hue represents our desire for a dependable and stable foundation and inspires us to be reflective and thought-provoking as we enter into a new era.
As such, the intention I am setting for myself for 2020 is one of endurance. To try, try, and try again, and maintain an optimistic outlook and hopeful vision no matter what I encounter.
In 2020, I resolve to…
- Make a career change (DONE. From tech to news media.)
- Travel to a new continent. (Hahahaha!)
- Declutter my space to make more room. (Doing.)
- Move into a space of my own.
Memories of 2020.
I rang in the first on January and the start of the new decade with my Vodka Joyride ladies at a ‘20s themed party at Fox Cabaret. Throughout the month, I celebrated my birthday with the annual traditions of Red Robin, Denny’s, Starbucks, Sephora… you get the picture. I enjoyed many food and drink events, including a whisky tasting, the gluten-free expo, Dine Out Vancouver, the Hot Chocolate Festival, and Science of Cocktails. I won an employee award during Rise’s annual kickoff event. And I won a free trip to Taiwan, to be taken this year! The Good Place finished its series on a good finale note. The Golden Globes, the Grammys, and The Oscars presented big accolades to entertainment and entertainers I like, including Fleabag, 1917, Parasite, Awkwafina for The Farewell, Taron Egerton for Rocketman, Lizzo, and Billie Eilish. In world news, the headlines were dominated by the Australia bushfires, Harry & Meghan leaving the Royal Family, and the coronavirus outbreak. In Vancouver, we had what I believe was the biggest snowfall in years and Uber/Lyft finally arrived in the city after MANY years of back and forth!
February was short and sweet, with Galentine’s Day, Valentine’s Day, and Family Day giving me warmth and love when appreciating all of the great people in my life. But enough of the mush! This month, my shows went back on the air (Brooklyn Nine-Nine, The Bold Type, and The Flash) and I tuned into new ones (Awkwafina is Nora from Queens and Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist). I saw a few live shows in the city, including JFL Northwest comedy fest, Tove Lo at the Vogue Theatre, and a Brooklyn Nine-Nine creator talk with Dan Goor. I made progress on my 2020 goal of reading 20 books this year. And I spent a considerable amount of time working on my professional development, including attending workshops, having coffee chats, and upgrading my wardrobe (to balance out my jeans to dress pants ratio!)
March Madness lives up to its name once again. Somehow, I went from starting off the month on a high note by attending THE BIGGEST DOG MEETUP IN VANCOUVER to ending up in the tragedy of not being able to see or pet any dogs in the foreseeable future. And why? Because on March 11, that coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19) from January was declared a global pandemic. And over the course of that week, everything in our world had changed and our entire way of life was completely disrupted. Cancel culture took on a whole new meaning. Events cancelled. Businesses and nearly all non-essential establishments and services shut down. Borders closed off. People either shifted to work from home or lost their jobs. And concepts like “social distancing”, “self isolation”, and “flatten the curve” became not just our new normal, but our collective civic responsibility. The three weeks in March that were impacted by COVID-19 felt like three years, and heading into April, we still don’t know what’s going to happen next and how long it’ll take for life to resume again. But all we know is that, like 9/11 two decades before, things will never be the same again.
Right before everything with Coronavirus went down, another more positive life change happened: after two and a half years on Rise’s marketing team, I made a career change by taking on a new role at Vancouver Is Awesome as their Content Manager for sponsored content! Starting a new job in the midst of a global pandemic presented me with a bigger learning curve and more challenges and curveballs than I had initially anticipated, but it has all been so worth it.
Coronavirus quarantine continued on in April. The stay-in-home orders remained in place for the entire month. As a result, I had to cancel a trip to Las Vegas to see Kelly Clarkson’s residency show, and all future travel plans remained up in the air (or shall I say grounded) until further notice. David Archuleta’s first concert in Vancouver was also postponed. COVID-19 impacted every sector and industry, including news media, which never rested in the midst of all the breaking news and updates. During all of my downtime at home, I documented my time in self-isolation through writing and video blogging, cooked and baked, decluttered and reorganized my space, caught up on my reading list, and finally signed up for Netflix (and binged Schitt’s Creek, That ’70s Show, and a crazy little thing called Tiger King). Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist , and The Flash wrapped for the season, which freed up a lot more television airtime (though the film industry is another one in limbo with production shutdowns). At least some of my favourite artists, including Kelly Clarkson, Adam Lambert, Dua Lipa, Kelsea Ballerini, Alicia Keys, John Legend, and Florence + The Machine are continuing to release new projects. I don’t know what we’d do without music in weird times like these.
May marked the beginning of the reckoning… I’ll get to that in a bit.
As we carried along during the second full month of COVID-19 quarantine, restrictions began to ease by mid-month when the province moved into Phase 2 of their Restart Plan. We began to see some businesses re-open their doors with soft openings (with an emphasis on sanitization and physical distancing) and small gatherings permitted in outdoor spaces (fewer faces, bigger spaces). I must say, I’m looking forward to seeing people in real life as opposed to virtual hangouts soon. But although B.C. is doing well with flattening the curve, but we must still remain vigilant with social distancing. The show went on with virtual American Idol at hyper speed, which resulted in Just Sam as the winner, and the show’s first Afro-Latina champion! David Archuleta, Carly Rae Jepsen, and Lady Gaga dropped stellar albums. I got back into watching Old Hollywood films starring legends such as Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor. I completed my 2020 Reading Challenge very early in the year too!
And by the month’s end, the reckoning began when the brutal killing of George Floyd at the knee of white supremacy and police brutality shook not just America by its core, but the entire world. Everyone woke up to the reality of the presence of systemic racism in their societies, and within themselves too through their complacency (silence = complicity). Suddenly, the masses were awakened to check their privileges, speak out for Black Lives Matter, and take action as anti-racists. The protests that erupted across the United States demonstrated how much work we all have to do to dismantle these oppressive systems designed against BIPOC. Much like what we’ve been grappling with throughout this whole pandemic, this moments feels like the start of a brand new world…
The pandemic and the unrest continued into June. What can I say that was positive about this month? I finally got a haircut after four months! I went out for brunch on the patio with friends and got the eggs benedict I had been craving for months! Queer Eye Season 5 came out! Jason Mraz, John Mayer, and David Cook released new music! And I finally got replaced my obsolete laptop with a MacBook Air! And that’s all she wrote.
Music in 2020.
- Dua Lipa – Don’t Start Now
- Haley Reinhart – Change
- Alicia Keys – Underdog
- John Legend – Conversations in the Dark
- Demi Lovato – Anyone
- Demi Lovato – I Love Me
- Taylor Swift – Only The Young
- Billie Eilish – No Time To Die
- Sam Smith – To Die For
- Janelle Arthur – White Horse
- Kree Harrison – Chosen Family Tree
- Lauren Alaina – Getting Good
- Mandy Moore – Silver Landings
- Niall Horan – Nice To Meet Ya
- Kelly Clarkson – Born To Die
- John Legend – Actions
- Kelsea Ballerini – Club
- Adam Lambert – Roses
- Tove Lo – I’m Coming
- Brooke White – Dreams
- David Archuleta – OK, All Right
- Kelly Clarkson – I Dare You
- Florence + The Machine – Light Of Love
- Jason Mraz – Look For The Good
- Sam Smith & Demi Lovato – I’m Ready
- Just Sam – Rise Up
- Carly Rae Jepsen – Solo
- Lady Gaga & Ariana Grande – Rain On Me
- Gone West – Tides
- Maren Morris – Just For Now
- Sara Bareilles – Little Voice
- Chloe x Halle – Ungodly Hour
- H.E.R. – I Can’t Breathe
- Beyonce – Black Parade
- David Cook – Reds Turn Blue
- Ellie Goulding – Power
Television in 2020.
- Saturday Night Live
- Breaking Bad
- The Good Place
- Brooklyn Nine-Nine
- The Bold Type
- The Flash
- Awkwafina is Nora from Queens
- Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist
- Tiger King
- Schitt’s Creek
- That 70s Show
- Never Have I Ever
- Queer Eye
Films in 2020.
- National Treasure
- The World is Burning (Ilana Glazer)
- Marriage Story
- Jojo Rabbit
- Ford V Ferrari
- The Irishman
- Miss Americana (Taylor Swift)
- The Traitor
- Sonic the Hedgehog
- The Call of the Wild
- Emma (2020)
- Birds of Prey
- Hooking Up
- Homecoming (Beyonce)
- The Crimson Wing
- Wings Of Life
- Dolphin Reef
- Two For The Road
- River Of No Return
- There’s No Business Like Show Business
- Bus Stop
- The Prince and the Showgirl
- Let’s Make Love
- The Misfits
- The Half Of It
- Becoming (Michelle Obama)
- War & Peace (1956)
- Father of the Bride (1950)
- Father’s Little Dividend (1951)
- When They See Us
- American Son
- Love, Antosha
- Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga
Books in 2020.
- Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning
- Amanda Lovelace, The Princess Saves Herself in This One
- Ed Sheeran: A Visual Journey
- Georgie Crawley, Henry the Queen’s Corgi
- Jenny Han, To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before
- Jenny Han, P.S. I Still Love You
- Jenny Han, Always And Forever Lara Jean
- Abigail Hing Wen, Loveboat Taipei
- Carrie Underwood, Find Your Path
- Marie Kondo, Joy at Work: Organizing Your Professional Life
- Simon Sinek, The Infinite Game
- Jodi Kantor & Megan Twohey – She Said
- Tahereh Mafi, Imagine Me
- Caroline Criado-Perez, Invisible Women
- Alicia Keys, More Myself
- Jia Tolentino, Trick Mirror
- Kiley Reid, Such A Fun Age
- Delia Owens, Where The Crawdads Sing
- Celeste Ng, Little Fires Everywhere
- Gail Honeyman, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine
- Jasmine Guillory, The Wedding Date
- Jasmine Guillory, The Proposal
- Jasmine Guillory, The Wedding Party
- Jasmine Guillory, Royal Holiday
- Ibram C. Kendi, How To Be An Antiracist
- Ijeoma Oluo, So You Want To Talk About Race
- Layla F. Saad, Me And White Supremacy
- Taylor Jenkins Reid, Forever Interrupted
- Taylor Jenkins Reid, One True Loves
- Josie Silver, The Two Lives of Lydia Bird