My Break-Up Letter to 2020

Look, we both knew this was coming. It just isn’t working out.

2020, you’re a bad girlfriend.

2020, it started off fine. I envisioned our relationship as some form of the 1920s. I was especially looking forward to flappers, fashion, and speakeasies. The Roaring 2020’s sounded cool and I was ready to Jay Gatsby myself into the future. I was excited to party into our relationship and break free from the Teens.

2020, oh, how I was wrong. My passion and excitement at a two-week Spring Break from school quickly turned to horror when it became clear that we would not be returning to school. Our relationship really started hitting the skids when it became clear I wouldn’t be returning anywhere except my living room.

Quarantine was rough — every relationship has a flashpoint and this was it. At least I learned a lot about myself, which will help as I move past our unnatural relationship. I learned that if I stay home for two months and listen to you bitch, I will go crazy.

2020, you control me so much, I couldn’t even go to a bar and get a beer! That’s a dysfunctional relationship! You didn’t even trust me enough to go to a restaurant with my friends. I’m tired of your constant worry and fear-mongering. I just want to eat a hamburger, drink a beer, and bullshit with my friends in public! You never let me do anything!

2020, you won’t leave me alone! Just when I thought I could do something else, or write about something else, or involve anything other than you — oh, no! — you come and smother me again. You are stifling me.

At times, I can’t even sleep because you refuse to let anything else into my brain except your codependent thoughts. My therapist says our relationship is not healthy and if I’m not proactive, I could end up in an unhealthy place.

2020, it will be hard, but I will move on. As I have gotten used to wearing a mask and seeing people in masks, I won’t miss it. Some people are better looking with a mask, even if it looks like everybody I know robbed a bank lately.

I’m sure someday I will find a leftover mask in a drawer somewhere and it will make me feel a little nostalgic for our broken relationship, but nothing lasts forever. It’s time to break free from the smothering mask of our relationship and breath deeply while at work, not worrying about your feelings.

2020, you ruined a lot of my other relationships. That’s how I know I have to move on. Football season was horrible. Are we playing, are we not playing, this week, that week.

You have impacted my relationships in the classroom. It is difficult to get to know my students over a computer screen. And yet you expect me to keep working the same as I always have, even while you manipulate me behind the scenes. I just can’t do it anymore!

2020, you keep changing the rules of our relationship. It is exhausting. Wear a mask, don’t wear a mask. Stay home. Go to the store. Don’t go to the store, order your groceries. Wear a face shield. Wait, face shields don’t work. Use this cleaner. No, this cleaner.

Weekly — even daily — a new email shows up, updating our policies and procedures. You make it so hard to just be normal, to just be together, because I am constantly on my toes, trying to guess and judge your new moods and needs.

2020, you are a money-hungry bitch. You’re a gold-digger. I’m sorry to be so blunt, but you need to hear this. You have taken people’s savings, their businesses, and their financial hopes and dreams.

You promised so many things in return, but ultimately, you have stolen my money. And my friends’ and family’s money. 2020, you’re a horrible girlfriend.

Our song, 2020, if I was making you a mixed tape, is Poison, “Every Rose Has Its Thorns.” Except the rose is dead. And wilted. Maybe I will put Stone Temple Pilots, “Dead and Bloated” right after, to really drive the point home.

To be really honest, I’m not completely sure you deserve a mixed tape. I don’t want to give you any hope of hanging on and continuing this relationship into 2021. We only dated for nine months and honestly, they were terrible.

We are over. Don’t call. Or Text. Or Snap. Or smoke signals. Ever.

Written by: Nathan White