One Year In The Making

It’s Been One Year Since The World Discovered The Meaning Of The World Pandemic

One year since the pandemic hit.

I don’t really know how I feel about it. George Floyd taught me the importance of standing up for Black people. Breonna Taylor taught me the importance of standing up for Black women. Neither of them died due to the pandemic.

22,394 people have died in Canada due to the virus. That doesn’t include the number of people this past year who have died due to other issues including but not limited to, health issues, drug addiction, and police violence.

It’s been a rough year for a lot of people, but for me? I hate to say it, but it’s been the best year of my life.

Prior to the pandemic, I was going to hire a publicist, I was going to push myself to becoming the Loud Mouth Brown Girl, on the big stage, because I wanted more opportunities not only to share my story but to get paid for sharing my story.

Then the world announced that no, I wouldn’t be going out into the world to spread my love letters. No, I wouldn’t be going to events to meet new people and spread the word of LMBG, I would in fact be staying home, in order to stay safe.

My wheelchair-bound mother who works in a building that provides single-room occupancy spaces for people living below the poverty line, however, would be going to work and putting her life on the line, every…single…day.

I thought this past year was going to be the best of my life. I was going to do what I had done the year before. I was going to write during the day, and take myself out on self-dates, during the evening.

I didn’t do any of that. I focused on working on my writing, trying to become a better writer because it stunted the anxiety of knowing that everyone in the world was at risk of death.

At the beginning of the year 2020, I thought that Donald Trump was going to lead the world into war to prevent himself from losing the election.

And so I did everything I could to encourage people in America to go out and vote. I used my platform to showcase the hypocrisy, the lies, the abuses of power, the bullshit, that he was feeding both America and the world. I, as a Canadian, fought against Trump’s re-election with everything that I had.

And I focused on my mental health. I ate out a lot, and I gained a lot of weight.

Last year I was called psychotic by a Doctor who would rather believe that I was insane than admit that perhaps I was telling the truth about being gang-raped over a period of more than twenty years.

A man who tried to convince me that my memories were false, and a psych nurse who although she tried, couldn’t fully be on my side.

These are the realities of victims everywhere, when we try to report, when we try to tell our truth, our truth is denied because it’s easier to deny that we might be telling the truth than to investigate the accused.

I found my strength this past year, and I discovered that the person that I wanted myself to become when I dreamt of my future as a child, is the person that I am becoming today.

I am finding myself through all of this, through the work that I am putting into the world, people are starting to recognize my name, and opportunity has knocked in a couple of different days.

I got the opportunity to write a book, start a podcast, and interview some of the most interesting people in the world, that the world hasn’t fully embraced yet.

I joined #WEOC and met a group of phenomenal amazing writers, who support me, purely because they genuinely enjoy my writing, and that feels pretty damned good.

I joined the Afro Cannada BudSista’s, and through them, I have found love, acceptance, and I have discovered that I feel worthy of being loved, but that I want to be loved on my terms.

I have also discovered that the lifelong search for true love is over. Not because I have found my person, but because I decided that the person that I was looking for is, was, and will always be myself.

That may sound arrogant, but I am just not in a place where adding another person to my life is a healthy choice right now, and I accept that willingly because I’d rather be healthy alone, than unhealthy with someone else.

We lost some truly great humans in the last year. We lost some people we know and love very well, and we lost some people that we’ve never met before, who had an untold impact on our lives.

The world has been nothing short of crazy, weird, wonderful, beautiful, scary, and upheaved, by the drama of this pandemic, but for those of us who are still here…I just want to say that I am super glad.

For all the NHS workers, the nurses, the doctors, the teachers, and the people who are putting their lives on the line to save other lives or to educate our kids, I am grateful that you exist.

I am grateful that the universe put you onto our planet at this time, so you could have the positive effect you are having on each of us.

You are the reason that I refuse to give up on my life. The pandemic, above all else, taught me how important life is, and how much we need to cherish the time that we have here so that we can have and give, the best possible experience to ourselves, and all those around us.

This has been a difficult year, and people — including myself — have struggled to figure out what it means for our lives, for our choices, and our plans. We have struggled to survive in some cases, like people in Texas.

Largely because this year has been so good for me, I have tried not to complain a lot, but y’all I am tired. I am so tired of seeing people refusing to wear masks, of people refusing not to party. I am worried that this “pandemic” is never going to go away because too many people either don’t understand or refuse to care about those around them.

We have separated the selfless from the selfish. We know now who is on our side, and who is willing to die on the dumbest hill known to mankind. Wearing a mask, a thin piece of cloth around your face is annoying, and I am starting to get mask pimples, but I do it because I don’t want to die.

I don’t want to be the reason someone else dies, because I refuse to wear a mask. So to all of you who mask up when you go out, either to save your life or someone else’s life, I thank you. I am grateful to you. It’s a small sacrifice, with huge consequences.

I know that many of you have suffered alone for twelve full months, and I know how hard it is, because I’ve spent a lot of time alone too, but I promise you, I am here.

You are not alone. We are in this together.

In the vain of our newest version of “Goodbye,” I say this to you.

Be kind, and stay safe.

Sending all my love,

Devon J Hall