I Do Declare: It’s not sweet sorrow if it’s 2020 you’re parting with

Dear 2020:

I’ve been thinking about our relationship a lot lately, looking back at all the hopes we once shared, all we’ve been through. It’s quite a bit to mull over: lots of emotions … regrets … tears … hand sanitizer. And in the end I came to a decision.

There really isn’t any easy way to say this, 2020, so I’ll just state it as clearly as I can.

After consulting a few online therapist websites, Dr. Cloud’s “Necessary Endings” book, and a couple of friends over a glass or three of wine, I realized it’s time to make a change.

You and I need to go our separate ways.

Don’t get me wrong. It wasn’t all bad. There were happy times, especially in the beginning.

I started the year with high hopes and firm plans for a productive 12 months.

I even made jokes about your name – all in good fun, nothing hurtful, of course – like how we could see our futures so clearly (playing on the “20/20” theme) and the old saw about hindsight and how history would point to this year as a moment of clarity.

It’s weird, but now it seems like more of a joke that I ever thought that way about you.

I know that sounds a bit cold, but let’s be honest, I’m not the only one who’s been cold in this relationship. Clearly your mind has been elsewhere this year. Maybe we should just accept that things have changed and both of us move on. Or if it helps, we can say it’s not you, it’s me.

Wait a minute. I take that back. It is you. All you.

I’m not trying to be cruel, but some things need to be said. And you need to hear them.

I mean, what happened? We met, we were having fun, and then your whole personality changed. Like someone flipped a switch. There we were, moving merrily along in the first few weeks, and then – wham! out of nowhere – you shut me down.

You were so controlling. I hate that. And at the same time, I had to deal with your wildly erratic mood swings. You’d set arbitrary rules over how you thought I should live my life, and then you’d change them the next day. How selfish and inconsiderate! And you never discussed any of that with me beforehand. Did it ever occur to you that I don’t want restrictions like that in my life?

Sometimes it was frightening wondering what the next day would bring. You made me fear for my life, my financial security, and even my toilet paper stock. Seriously, 2020, what kind of relationship is that?

And then you got really dysfunctional. You tried to drive a wedge between me and my family, especially during the holidays. You kept me from gathering with my friends. You barred me from restaurants. You forbid me to go to church. I could hardly go out in public, and when I did, I had to shield my face.

So yeah, I’m over this. I think it’s best to part ways before things get toxic.

And yes, before you ask, I am seeing someone new. It’s serious enough that we’re making plans and dreaming big dreams – far more than you and I did in the last few months. 2021 holds more promise, more hope, and – bonus! – 21 is drinking age. Who wouldn’t be happy with someone who can stop by the wine store on the way home?

By the way, we’re not on a break. This is a breakup. I’ve already returned all your CDs. Please don’t call me again.

Good luck.

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