Dear Future Self,
What is it like in the world? Who won the 2020 election and how did they handle Covid? Where the riots crazy after the election? Right now it is 12:18 pm on November 4th, 2020. The results of the election aren't in yet but it is looking very very close, some are even mentioning a tie.The world is watching this election and it is so so close. Social unrest has been occurring for months, starting with George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. Police brutality towards minorities has been evident but justice is only served (sometimes only partially) after riots and marches and looting and standoffs. Peaceful protesters have been shot with rubber bullets, teargassed, arrested and detained for hours on buses with not even a phone call. Reporters have been arrested on live television and human rights are being treated as a debate topic instead of an actual problem that needs to be fixed. It is heartbreaking to see a nation you were taught to be so proud of because of its united freedom be so divided and destructive over the rights of citizens.
Covid is looking like it will hit its second wave and maybe even a third. Americans are tired of quarantine and some still think the whole thing is a hoax for election year. Hoax or not, it has changed everything. Of course you remember the struggles of the year 2020, (let's be real with ourselves if you can lay awake at night thinking about having to say the word "extraterrestrial" in front of the whole school in 2nd grade with a speech impediment, you will remember the brutal year that has literally shaped you into a warrior).
Remember sitting in ecology with your lab group and thinking it was great the university gave you an extended spring break? You were all excited to see your mother and sisters in Florida and still be able to catch up on classes and hangout with your friends. Your table talked about how it wasn't going to be that big of a deal and it wasn't going to ruin spring semester, the university was just being careful.
Remember finding out you couldn't see your family, even though its been almost a year? You said "in the summer when this is all over I will be able to go". You spent spring break with friends and mostly at home not doing our traditional shenanigans. You finished your spring semester online. You moved out of your apartment and back home with your best friend. You waited all summer to be able to visit.
Remember having your hours cut at work because there was a global pandemic? You were screamed at by customers because you couldn't legally allow patrons to eat inside. You had to call the cops because a customer harassed you and others over the avocado chunk being "too big" in his guac. You made minimum wage, busted your butt everyday you were scheduled and your hours were still cut.
Remember seeing the video of George Floyd being murdered in the street during the day over a clerk mistaking a $20 bill for a fake? Remember the weeks of unrest, of stories of peaceful protesters and marchers being met with guns and people requesting tanks to come in. Remember being afraid to witness a Tienanmen Square incident on American soil. You read every article you saw about Breonna Taylor and protesters, and police brutality. You cried reading people wishing tanks to be used against their neighbors and friends, and again when they reported people getting shot with rubber bullets (not even used how they are meant to be used), and again when a protester was pepper sprayed so badly she died (they say of "asthma" but she didn't have a history of asthma).
Remember the pictures of the detention centers in America? You saw the pictures of children, innocent children who don't understand politics or racism, in cages. You read about the immigrants being basically gassed by a "disinfectant spray" that sprays directly on the people all hours of the day, causing rashes and illness. You read about the immigrant children that the government has just lost somehow. You watched and read the entire Jeffrey Epstein issue and yet after a month or so it died off... what ever happened with that? Was justice brought upon the pedophiles? Where the children found? Are the cages gone?
Remember having your car break down? You were on the side of the road and the speedometer stopped working and the car would accelerate, it was raining and it was your only way to get to and from work or anywhere. The car died and you couldn't drive it, you told your boss and he got mad at you for having to call out for the week. You had no money from having hours cut at work and then medical bills from a surgery and an ulcer caused from stress. And now your car dies and you have to go back to school in a week and now put in for extended leave at your minimum wage job.
Remember getting to college and sleeping with your bed on the floor? You stressed about getting furniture and groceries and paying bills and rent. You had to unpack by yourself as you got to watch other peoples families come help them and celebrate. You sat in your small room with your pet spider and declared it would get better.
Remember all of personal family issues from scary medical diagnosis to surgeries, from needing to help your siblings to family friend drama, from births to moving and anything in between. Remember your lowest moments of this year so you can also remember all the lessons you learned, the growth you have undergone, and the strength you have built.
This year I learned isn't just about working for money and being a slave to society. I worked on personal relationships with family and friends and strengthening my socializing with those around me, I hope I stayed on that. I hope I worked on it more and learn to maintain a healthier balance between work and interpersonal relationships.
I learned to focus on things I can change. I know I focus on fixing any issue, big or small, in my control or not; I always strive for perfection despite the reality of achieving it. But, it is unhealthy, I need to focus on it and I hope that future me knows how to let the small things go, how to not stress about things out of my control, and how to handle problems in a less "mentally chaotic" manner.
I learned how easy humans adapt, how I easy I can adapt. On an evolutionary scale, no not as simplistic.However, look at how Covid swept in and changed your life, Baylynn. Look at how it changed the grocery stores, whats considered sanitary, the idea of personal space, and think about how easy it was to get people to wear masks (when they aren't stubborn or selfish). As a society, we all adapted to changes and as a person, you adapted to overcome obstacles. Whatever comes your way, you know you are adaptable, you know you overcome anything after this year, remember that.
You will graduate. Whoever wins the election cant make that much of a change that we wont be able to adapt/fix it in the future. You will get a car and a better job. You will see your family when you can and they know you love them even though you aren't there. You made furniture, you unpacked, you survived a two-week quarantine, twice. You are surviving. You will survive and you will continue to grow and do great things just remember how bad ass of a human you are. You got this, I believe in you even when you don't.
I hope you have a car and job and good grades and can go to Florida. I hope all of your relationships are healthy and strong, I hope America is recovering from coronavirus. I hope social inequality and tension are looking better than they do these days. I hope you recognize how hard you have worked, and continue to work just as much on yourself. Remember, you may never achieve the title of being the best but, progress is progress even if its only 1% better each day.