Happy New Year’s, world! Goodbye to a crappy 2020 as we reel in 2021. And it’s safe to say everyone has a different perspective of 2020. Jeff Bezos is more than happy for sure. Perhaps the next stimulus check will leave me feeling like a future trillionaire too (affirmations, people!).
But coming back down to earth, my observations of the average person is loss. The graduating Class of 2020 completely lost their senior year. People lost their jobs. Here in Los Angeles, many of the apartments are vacant because hordes of combined natives and transplants have had enough: it’s fucking expensive here and too crowded.
Most importantly, human life has been at loss. I lost someone dear to my heart, as did so many others.
Overall, this article will be kept light. You don’t need further reminder of this reality. We already know. Because of the loss, I want to address what I gained from this year instead.
What 2020 meant for me.
First off, I started January 2020 on both a rollercoaster high and low. Newly eighteen — my first legal year — I was ready! Early January, I hosted the Asians on Film Festival the same night Parasite won Best Picture at the Oscar’s: a big win for Asian American cinema. As an actor of Asian descent, I’m thrilled that door has been opened — to produce a film that can amount to that prestige.
Later that month, another event shot me down: competing for Miss California Teen USA was a terrible experience. In other words, a story to be told another time. However, the world was already foreshadowing bad omen. That weekend, reporters on TV foreshadowed the pandemic in China; I’d been passively listening while putting on makeup in the hotel room. Then, Kobe Bryant died the day of my competition finals.
(Note: COVID-19 is the proper way to not sound like an asshole. Miss Corona’s origin story is not an excuse to be racist by calling it the Chinese Virus. That’s all.)
I spent February equal parts in crying and raising hell. Somewhere in that cycle, I fit in dying my hair blonde. When you’ve been beat down, it’s a good time. Meanwhile, theaters were still open. I had weekly Musical Theater rehearsals for a production of Little Mermaid . The final month of freedom culminated in attending the Beverly Hills movie premiere for “Clown Fear”, the Lionsgate film I acted in.
March is a two part story. Pre-lockdowns and post-lockdowns. This being the first of many stay-at-home orders coming from California Governor Gavin Newsom and LA Mayor Eric Garcetti. Trump did his thing. We started stockpiling early March. Costco was a mess in not having enough toilet paper or bottled water (we opted for a Brita). It was difficult getting PPE but a family friend shipped in masks from China. My iPhone was stolen in the process of frantically buying Clorox bleach in a not-so-safe neighborhood. Friends thought we were crazy but that firsthand WeChat information doesn’t lie.
Our world stopped Mid-March. My family household voluntarily started social distancing March 16th, when LAUSD locked down for my siblings. March 20th was the day the official state mandates came in. Everybody expected this to last two weeks but my family knew better. I urged my mom to enroll my siblings in a homeschool charter before it was too late. My 4 younger siblings barely got their spots.
By April, we had too much time simply thinking. A girl can only bake bread for so long. All that reflection brought out childhood and intergenerational traumas. I thought about what my future held. April 20th, I’d taken my first morning run in the neighborhood. Still cautious about the virus, my mask came along.
Our economy was continuing to take a hit. I’m proud that my father, a CPA, was helping small businesses get their PPP Loans. At the same time, the unemployment rate was only going up. So, my mother and I resumed development of RollingPear.com — an app that will forever change the future of making money. The gig economy needs this platform.
Another movie I was in “I Am a Knife with Legs” had a virtual screening. This was nostalgic considering it was my first film credit at 5.
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I cut my own bangs. No, I was not okay. Yes, they’re still growing out.
The Black Lives Matter Protests took place end of the month. I will forever echo the sentiments. Unfortunately, I don’t support those opportunists who looted Santa Monica, DTLA and especially the Fairfax District (my childhood stomping grounds). So, all the Instagram Story Activists can cancel me but I said what I said.
“It’s just property damage!” — the girl who lives in the Valley (the hills of course), private education K-12, some kind of arts major…I bore myself here but you get the point.
I co-wrote the company BLM statement for a black owned business. She didn’t want to directly add #BlackLivesMatter out of fear of alienating her non-black clients but the energy is there.
As a big sister, my sisters’ and brothers’ education was and still is a major concern. From there I saw a gap in early education resources and that’s how our family YouTube channel was born. We started producing videos for the children of the world to grow, learn and get inspired.
We spent the 4th of July watching Hamilton on Disney+ like true patriots.
I’d started to accept the quarantine reality by educating myself. When I cleaned, there was always an expert speaking from my Bluetooth speakers. My online classes are more efficient than before and the virtual world has its appeal. My little sisters participated in a Zoomed musical theater camp; my mom and I coach them before their shows.
My phone replacement finally came in. Five months later.
I was cooking more. Thank you Google for the recipes.
My dad needed a work break for his health. We all worked in the yard with him during this time as he got better. This included mixing/pouring nine hundred pounds of concrete in one night.
I missed dancing. Fortunately, many YouTube fitness creators have great dance workouts to follow in my living room. That along with Yoga.
Spooky season! I edited a new cut of my horror film shot back from 2019— “3 Months” — and released the Director’s Cut on October 1st.
We celebrated by putting up porch decorations from Dollar Tree. Way cuter than we had expected. My family celebrated by doing our part to stay home and watching Halloween films. No trick or treating.
A conflict brought ethics to my attention. Beyond election season, I cut off some very toxic people. As I grow up, there will be people who lack integrity and good intentions. That’s okay as long as they stay far away from me.
I turned 19 and spent Thanksgiving thankful for my loved ones.
This is the first holiday season I have not needed to change diapers. My brothers were potty trained during quarantine. Bless.
So we decorated! Christmas tree, lights, stockings…all that magic. I streamed Christmas services from all the local churches online. This year, I’ve gotten more in touch with my Christian faith.
2020 wasn’t perfect.
You’ve probably heard it before and I’ll say it again. It was not the year to get what you wanted, but to be grateful for what you already have instead. I’m very fortunate that we survived this year. It’s tough to predict what 2021 will have in store for all of us.
Ultimately, let us all go in this year with an open mind and heart.