SadGirl 2020: a year in review. Part 1

Soooo… 2020… What a year… 🙁 We have decided to each write a year in review. I think everyone hears enough about the world every evening on the news, so this is more to do with what we have been up to, and what we have learned over the last twelve months.

Katie I’m not really sure where to start with this one as so much has happened with the Big Corona and what not. I flip flop between thinking I’ve done absolutely fucking nothing this year to remembering all the small (and big) victories/few losses I’ve had.

Chapter 1:
the realities of unemployment

I graduated with a degree in Graphic Design in the summer of 2019. When January rolled around I had been unemployed for not too far off a year, and was somewhat living in despair of the whole thing. I decided to have a bit of a break from applying for jobs over Christmas, but once January hit I was to have no more fun. In hindsight, this was not the best for my mental health. I basically decided that I was not going to see anyone, not spend any money and not do anything other than send applications and do interviews. I put a ridiculous amount of pressure on myself to find a job and even though it did eventually work it meant I put a lot of friendships to the side and wasn’t the happiest in myself…which probably showed in my interviews. I mean, who wants to hire an unhappy person?

“I decided I was not going to see anyone, not spend any money and not do anything other than send applications and do interviews. I put a ridiculous amount of pressure on myself to find a job, which meant I wasn’t the happiest in myself.”

I remember feeling like I was on the edge. I felt like I had a mask on that was slowly losing opacity. The fear that people would be able to see through me was constantly looming. Everyone would know I wasn’t worth shit and that I was as useless as I felt I was. I know in my heart of hearts this isn’t the case but when you’re in that “walking on the edge” state I felt wholly transparent and completely breakable, unable to complete tasks or have motivation to do anything.

I would love to say that freelancing and job hunting helped me get out of this mindset, but that wouldn’t be quite true. The number of freelance-jobs-won and interview-invitations-received were fleeting accomplishments, quickly cut down by my ever-growing self pity. It felt like whatever I achieved was just putting a fabric lid on an ever-filling jar of water. I could hold it off from spilling for a little bit, but before I knew it I was falling under, drowning under the weight of responsibility and uncertainty of the future.

One weird thing I found some comfort in was Wicca. Now hear me out, I know it’s a bit out there but I came across it from Harmony Nice’s clothes hauls. I basically had a bit of a binge of her content and ended up finding out a bit about modern day Wicca as she practices it.

I ended up buying her book secondhand and as I opened it a hand-painted bookmark fell out. On the bookmark the previous owner had written “My Darlings, Enjoy living a thousand lives.” On the reverse was a beautifully hand painted moon phase.

I had a Roman Catholic upbringing and never really saw religion or belief systems as particularly welcoming or happy things, but, hand on heart, I have never felt more accepted. Maybe that sounds stupid, but it’s how I felt. I’m now open to learning more about Wiccan ideologies. Maybe I’ll make it into a blog posts, maybe I won’t – who knows 🙂

Chapter 2:
being the new girl at work

When March came around I was still in the teetering state. I had received a job offer so 50% of the self loathing had dissipated but it had been replaced by an influx of new job anxiety, happily taking the place of its predecessor. I had also started dating someone. I’ll be honest and say the whole thing didn’t last very long; we went on about 4 dates before he ghosted me, something that I am still convincing myself is based on covid restrictions and not on my personality or my awkwardness in bed.

I started my new job around a week into March. Everyone was lovely, I literally couldn’t find a bad word to say about anyone. The job was good and the people around me were all really happy to help me gain my footing in my role. They would talk me through jobs and briefs and help me understand what I was meant to be doing, which honestly was so much more than I was expecting. Unfortunately for my training about a week into being in the office the government ordered everyone to work from home and a new house-bound normal became reality.

“Because of the social anxiety I have formed, I managed to create this internal state of forever being the new girl at work and forever existing in a place of not knowing where I stand with other people.”

Once we all started working from home the ability to turn into myself excelled and isolation became easy. I’m not a very loud person or someone who shares their opinions easily, especially in a new group. Even if I’m with two of my closest friends I will often shut down verbally. I’ll still be in the conversation and listen but I struggle to input verbally when it’s more than a one on one. On top of that, group chats are my one and only true nemesis and now, in the times of lockdown, they had become the only way to communicate.

I don’t know what it is about them but they make me feel like my brain is going to explode. I can be writing the simplest message and ponder it for hours and then eventually end up deleting the app in frustrating as I can’t make myself press enter. Because of this ridiculous social anxiety I have formed, I managed to create this internal state of forever being the new girl at work and forever existing in a place of not knowing where I stand with other people.

Although the last two chapters have had right negative-Nancy vibes, there were some good things that happened. 

  • Nikitah and I really gave this blog a good start. We designed a logo, brand, and website, started blogging, posting on social media and overall I’ve really enjoyed this new exciting creative outlet. It’s also given us something to be proud of and be in control of during this time of uncertainty.
  • My friend and myself started sending each other “vlogs.” We basically recorded 5 min video logs every week, showing what we had been up to and other bits. One time I even bought a Cameo, asking one of her fave people to make her smile. If you’re bored and your friends fancy it this is a great way to waste your time.
  • And also it was nearly summer so that always perked me up… Plus I had kinda started talking to a new boy who you will hear more about in the next chapter.

– Katie

The next chapter of Katie’s SadGirl 2020 will be out soon, so keep your eyes peeled for updates on dating and friendship.

One response to “SadGirl 2020: a year in review. Part 1”

  1. […] It’s been a year since the start of the pandemic, and with this in mind we’re looking back on the past twelve months and reflecting on what we’ve learned. This is the second part of Katie’s SadGirl 2020 – you can catch up on part 1 here. […]

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