December 31, 2021
Like most people who survived the epic disaster film that was 2020, I had high hopes for 2021. I kept singing that Who song from Tommy; “I got a feeling ’21 is gonna be a good year.” Trump was defeated, the COVID vaccine was coming, and things seemed to be great on the home front. Man, I was wrong on all counts.
January 6 was the first day of winter classes at PCC, Andi’s 31st birthday, and the day Donald Trump staged a coup to flush American democracy down the toilet. As I Zoomed with my sociology students, we split screened in realtime the assault on the capitol, while my wife realized that the folks who have their birthdays on September 11 now had some fellow travelers.
Then the Delta variant busted through the vaccine barricades destroying any hope of kicking off the new Roaring 20s. It took me down in August, as I spent ten days flat on my back, hoping I wouldn’t cough a lung out. I survived thanks to Andi and Cozy dropping food and medicine into the basement. And that wasn’t even my worst moment of 2021.
Much of this early part of this year, this blog was dedicated to thoughtful policy pieces responding to the January 6th insurrection but then it turned personal. Over the summer my bad habits hit a low point, leading to the realization of the impact of a sexual assault that happened to me when I was just four years old. I tried to make sense of how that explained my narcissistic tendencies but it just made things more unstable in my relationship. In October, Andi moved out to rescue her sense of self. It was exactly what I needed to put the pieces together and leave that 4-year-old boy back in 1968. The time we spend together now is more meaningful than ever. You can’t say you love someone and take them for granted year after year. The personal growth the last third of this year has been so exciting, thanks to good reading, great therapists, and a loving wife who lives just down the street.
There were plenty of great moments this year, including our cross country, Atlanta to Portland, road trip. The meandering journey took us to the Arizona-Mexico border where Andi crossed when she was 8, and leading to one of my favorite blog posts of the year. This year I also joined the faculty at the University of Oregon, returning to the physical classroom to discuss racism twice a week with 150 students in Eugene. I read a lot of self-help books, listened to newly released Beatles songs, watched Cozy turn 7, sweeping into second grade (after over a year in remote), and had a hundred amazing dates with Andi. My meditation and mindfulness practices help me navigate even the hardest of moments.
I also managed to get out 28 blogposts in 2021, the most popular being The Barbarians at the Gate: Confronting MAGA Terrorists Post Trump, followed by Freedom Morons: What am I supposed to think about people who refuse get vaccinated? But it was my piece on my sexual abuse that received the most feedback, including many people sharing their own stories of sexual trauma and psychological fall out. I hope that post helped some folks. It’s never too late to heal.
I’m not going to make any predictions about 2022. It could go either way. Andi and I have tickets for a much-needed trip to Paris in March (as spouses, lovers, or just friends, we’ll see) so I hope the Omicron variant doesn’t lead to a global shutdown this spring. I do know I will continue to work on the hard issues and the hardest issue of all is myself.
2021 WTW Posts
The Barbarians at the Gate: Confronting MAGA Terrorists Post Trump – January 12, 2021
There Is A Way To Interrupt Domestic Extremism – January 23, 2021
Two Robots Meet on Mars – A Valentines Poem for My Wife – February 14, 2021
Talking to Your Kid About Black History Month: First Grade Edition – February 18, 2021
Envisioning Our Renaissance at Home: Life After the Pandemic – March 8, 2021
I’m Vaccinated! Am I proud or am I ashamed of it? – March 24, 2021
Pandemic Nostalgia: Save a Mask, It’s Coming! – June 4, 2021
If You’re Hiring, Just Be Decent to Applicants, OK? – June 11, 2021
The Black Strawman: In Defense of Critical Race Theory – June 18, 2021
Mindful Meditation: Save me, Ringo! – July 15, 2021
The Delta Variant Got Me: Hubris Amid a Pandemic – August 1, 2021
Death By a Thousand 9/11s – September 11, 2021
2028: A Letter to My 14-year-old Daughter at the Half-way Mark – September 27, 2021
I am the victim of child sexual abuse and it made me toxic. – October 22, 2021
Follow Up: Fixing What’s Broken – November 8, 2021
Confronting Misogyny in Family Feud America – November 13, 2021
Taking You Lumps: Remote Gender Work – November 19, 2021
Learning How to Let it Be from The Beatles’ Get Back Film – November 28, 2021
How to not be an anti-racist asshole: Mindfulness and Racial Progress – December 21, 2021
Dad’s Top 20 Discs of 2021 – December 27, 2021
I had a feeling ’21 was gonna be a good year: Psych! – December 31, 2021