Lucy’s 2020

By Lucy Helena, December 16, 2020

Read time: 4 Mins

Lucy’s 2020 Image

Entered the year

seeing The Strokes at Barclays Centre, Brooklyn, NY. A little disappointing, which set the tone for 2020. New York winter was a mild one, our first since moving from LA.

We got through it. We started to venture out and enjoy the city again, regardless of the weather. The news got a bit weird. A virus. Working with China and Europe, I was hearing about it directly. Walked to Koreatown on my lunch break and bought the last two washable nano filter fabric masks. I had worn masks previously travelling in Asia. They didn’t bother me. Then we all know what happened in March. I can’t really focus on any other topic for the year. Here we go…

Take your computer home “in case you need to WFH”… 9 months later and I never went back to the office… friends calling saying there could be a lockdown. Rushing to the supermarket to buy enough, without being greedy. Next minute, we stayed inside our apartment building for 66 days. Our choice. A privileged choice. A difficult choice. A lucky choice to be able to make.

Tiger King. Zoom. FaceTime. Phone calls. Zoom drinks. Forced video team building. Try and meditate. No. Rearrange the furniture. Buy more plants. Make cocktails. Watercolour paints. Yes. That’ll help. Look through the peephole at neighbours in the hallway taking their trash out. “I can’t believe they’re not wearing a mask!” Craving IRL human interaction. Missing Reformer Pilates class. Putting our marriage to the test. One of us nocturnal. That helped give us alone time. Too many TV shows to mention. Didn’t bake bread. Did cook a lot. Ate a lot. It couldn’t be helped. Nothing else soothed the way sourdough did. So thankful for farm to people grocery delivery. Resisted cutting my hair. Cut Alex’s hair twice. Donating to healthcare workers felt like the least I could do. Doing whatever we could to help.

New York in the spotlight. The US in the spotlight. We were in the thick of it. No one I spoke to from Australia understood how it felt. Watched the numbers go up, up, up, peak, decline and plateau. That’s when we went outside. To the park to drink wine with a friend for my birthday. June already. Summer. We’d spend it all inside.

Black Lives Matter. They do. Surrounded by protests in Brooklyn. Watching them on social media. Supporting remotely. Posting whatever I could to help keep the message top of mind. Nothing else mattered, apart from the virus.

We could hear protests and sirens outside constantly. Fireworks going off nightly from 11pm-2am. Not the good kind. Watched some conspiracy theory videos about it. Took melatonin a lot. Eye mask. Ear plugs. Sleep sounds. In our tiny apartment.

A few more months and the numbers went up again. We had to make a decision. It was time to move back to Australia after nearly 5 years in America. It was locked in. Flights booked. Movers booked. All the annoying logistical and operational tasks planned. Would our flight be cancelled? Would we make it home? Which hotel would we quarantine in?

July – we escaped to Vermont with a friend. First east coast road trip. And also a final farewell to the US. Nature. Fresh air. Wide open spaces. A lake. We needed this.

August, the move approaching. Quick! Sell and give away most of our belongings! Stress layered upon stress. But we got it done.

Finally met some internet friends who lived 5 mins down the road. We were an awesome foursome for a few short weeks. Bonding over different styles of comedy, travel memories and wine. Planned to rendezvous somewhere in Southeast Asia “when this is all over”.

September, many sad goodbyes. Careful, distanced. One outdoor meal in Brooklyn just for the thrill of it. Never went on the subway again. Never got to experience half of what we had planned to do in New York City. We will go back for a long holiday eventually and finish what we started.

Movers came and went. Apartment left empty. A 33 hour masked journey door to door via LA but we didn’t get to see our old neighbourhoods or friends. Only the empty United terminal. Sydney. Hotel quarantine for 15 days.

Home. Family. Friends. Australia. Feels weird. Feels normal. But still not 100% safe. No regrets. Just calm. Adjusting to continuing my job remotely in a different time zone. Adjusting to remembering where I am. Sometimes I’m mentally still in America. It’s hard to disconnect. I don’t want to. Watched the election madness unfold. Watched the world news every night with my family. Feeling lucky to be in Australia. But I can’t be ignorant. I’ve seen too much first hand. I know too many people who’ve lost someone this year.

Now it’s December and we’re back in Sydney, Australia. With a puppy called Snowy. It feels familiar, but different. We had a meal indoors at a restaurant for Alex’s birthday. How wild. I’m hopeful that 2021 will be better. Just focusing on the positives. A do-over of Summer is step 1. A new routine and personal priority list. 2020 put things into perspective. I know what’s important now.

Return to issues