2021 Is Overwhelmed by the Weight of Your Expectations

I can’t go out there.

I see how you’re looking at me, your eyes and your Twitter feeds filled with hope. 2020 was a dumpster fire, you say. 2021 has to be better, you say.

I know you mean well, but that’s a lot of pressure to put on a brand new year.

Don’t get me wrong. I’ve been working hard, and I have big plans. Right off the bat in January, I’m rolling out a new president. Pretty exciting, huh? In March the economy will get a boost from my new infrastructure initiative, and in August, supporting teachers will officially become a national priority. Kids will get to go back to school; adults will get to keep working from home. By December, you’ll even be able to hug your children without setting off a deadly multi-state super-spreader event. How great is that?

And you guys are going to just love the new panda species you’ll discover next fall. Oh my gosh, those big brown eyes.

[Foggy mountains]
No peeking. You don’t get to see the pandas until October. (Photo by Ren Ran on Unsplash)

But I’m not perfect, okay? No year is. People are already saying I don’t have enough vaccines, and they’re probably right about that. Three hundred seventeen species you’ve never heard of and two that you have will go extinct, I haven’t fixed racism yet, and don’t get me started about global warming. With just hours to go I still don’t have a plan to reverse climate change, and as you like to remind me, time is running out.

I can’t do this.

Things have been rough lately. I get that. You need to believe it’ll all get better. You need less doomscrolling, more cat pictures.

I can’t give you that. I’m sorry, but it’s true. I’m just not the year you need right now.

2020, you’ll have to fill in for me. I know an experienced year like you will be fine. See you in twelve months, okay?

Me and the pandas are going back to bed.

These kittens don’t care what year it is. Kittens are awesome that way. (Photo by The Lucky Neko on Unsplash)

Originally published at https://www.simner.com on December 31, 2020.

Author of the post-apocalyptic Bones of Faerie trilogy; Thief Eyes; more than 30 short stories; and the script for The Huntsman: Winter’s Curse video game.

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