The Secret Behind The Hatred of 2020

The Secret Behind The Hatred of 2020

Full disclosure: Up until today I was just like you—I utterly hated this year. Here we are at the beginning of Level 9 (Jumanji rules), looking back at each previous month as tragic escorts into the utter gates of Hell we all feel we’re living in now….

At least that’s what I was telling people.

The reason why I hated this year had zero to do with politics, or the pandemic, or readjusted school years. My hate for this year began four years ago.

In 2016 I had officially ‘I should buy a boated’ myself. I had come up with this extraordinary plan to put on this brilliant concert that I was sure was going to rock the city that I was in. I’m a master at staging and producing live art. And because I could see how to produce this show in my head, I was convinced that this instance wouldn’t be any different. The only obstacle was filling at least fourteen hundred out of the nineteen hundred seats that filled the venue.  Piece of cake—right?

I had this in the bag, I thought. I had produced many shows with that many people in the audience. And at those shows, I had run into so many people that would sing the same types of praises to me:

“Danita, you have to charge for this!”
“Danita, I’d pay whatever I needed to if that meant getting a show like this.”
“Danita! Next time you have a show like this, let me sponsor!”
“Danita—everyone needs to know about you, girl.”

All of those phrases rang in my head as I planned this “iconic” production. With the verbal support from avid followers, I went full steam ahead and rented out a venue, red carpet VIP party, garnered deals for digital media and press, etc. I even signed on with an official ticket distribution company that was known for their merciless fees. But it was worth it! This was going to be the show that jump started everything!

And the presentation I was putting together? It was award winning! I had united the absolute pristine performers, musicians, BGVs, camera crew, professional photographers, and backstage crew.  By the time we had hit one of our final rehearsals, I knew this show should be televised. I just knew that if I allowed the audience to have cameras, it would be a viral sensation.

Feel free to insert the sound of my classic “hindsight chuckle” here.

I could probably write an award-winning dissertation on when and where everything went wrong. It wasn’t just one thing, but a myriad of tiny incidents that led to me standing backstage, in a beautiful dress, witnessing my most humiliating failure of my career. Don’t get me wrong, the show was seamless; a beautiful experience for everyone that attended…all sixty people of the fourteen-hundred I had budgeted for. Sixty.

The planned after-party was just the repast for the metaphorical funeral I had just witnessed…at least to me. And for several weeks, many “well-meaning” people chimed in to tell me what I could’ve done to change the outcome; some of whom hadn’t even bought the ticket or purchased the sponsorship they had promised they would. And each suggestion was just a bell toll that reminded me of every. single. solitary misstep that led to the tragedy that I kept playing over and over in my head. To add insult to injury, I felt like I had dragged some brilliant artists down with me; artists who had trusted me to deliver to them a full concert hall that would meet them with the standing ovation they surely deserved.

I tucked my tail in defeat after that show. I stared at the ceiling many nights over analyzing if I was truly in the right career. Even after a mildly successful ticketed production I wrote and co-produced in 2018, I kept feeling as though I was living in the behemoth of the shadow of the failure of that show.

When I hit another “backstage bump” with yet another show (that only I and a few other people know I deemed as a failure) I squared my shoulders in determination.

2020 was going to be different.

I bought the expensive planner, I chose my word for the year, I meticulously planned out every single month, which was going to lead to the redemption of my career…and would finally relieve me of the albatross of that show that had been hanging around my neck.

And the year started off slow, but that was OK—this was my year.

By March, I still had hope…
By May, I was just hoping…
By July…there I was… staring at my ceiling.

I hated 2020; with a full-unadulterated hatred that would only be reserved for something that had purposely targeted me for a heinous act—A hate that some would deem irrational.

And it was.

It wasn’t until I was pursuing my Facebook memories, and I was reminded of my monumental failure by an old post that showed my “excitement” of how epic my show in 2016 was going to be, that I realized why I hated this year so much.

2020 was supposed to redeem my career.
2020 was supposed to launch me into the stratosphere.
2020 was supposed to be my year.

You thought that too, didn’t you? 2020 was the year of the new start, the happy relationship, the new career, the exciting new job, the ridiculous birthday bash,  the epic graduation, the wedding to end all weddings. 2020 was supposed to be the year that we proved to everyone that we were here!

And all the pastors, gurus, therapists, shamans, priests and life coaches fed our aspirations. This was the year! This was the decade! We could leave all of our tragic failures and disappointments behind and march ahead into this Vision Year!

And then the year started slow….
And then it started crawling…
And then it came to a screeching halt.

And it carried with it worse disappointments…
And missed opportunities…
And casualties.

The casualties…

Sheesh! This year sucks.

At least…I thought it did.

In a moment of reflection, I realized that we might have had it wrong.

2020 has paused us… it paused me. It caused me to reflect, it forced me to relax…it has made me have to face the fact that my “monumental failures” were merely lessons. I have redefined success because of this challenging year.

2020 is the year of the pause, the year of the reset, the year of breathing.

So…take a deep breath with me…and let’s keep going.

You know I’m right.

-Danita LaShelle

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