inner game · millennial · psychology · self-improvement

Observations and lessons from 2020.

A year for the ages and one for the history books, one you may never forget. The scary part is, we do not even know how much wilder 2021 is going to get. I start to write this as we are a little less than half an hour away on the east coast (USA) of it becoming 2021. Some of you in Australia and those of you who are international are more than happy to see a situation where you are already into 2021. By the time this gets posted, we may already be into 2021.

2020 started off as any normal year with the exception of us entering a new decade so that comes with its excitement. I remember my life as 2019 neared and 2020 came, it was a fun one. Weekdays were all work, which back then meant actually getting up early and going to the office. As Friday night came, we pre-gamed and headed out to the many fine bars in one of the most fun cities in the world (NYC for those of you who are not normal readers).

The cycle became almost the same, we would head out on weekends and get wasted on both Fridays and Saturdays. Saturdays were the days we went the hardest and then Sundays were meant for recovery. Then we heard news of the virus and quite frankly, we didn’t think much of it at the time. I remember sitting near a friend who ordered us all Coronas to joke at how insignificant it was when the year began.

Meanwhile, I was months into my lease at one of the most exciting parts of Manhattan and it was a hell of a situation. I had a roommate, we lived in an area with a lot of bars and clubs, there were tons of beautiful women all around, everything was open, things were lively, and we lived for those fun weekends. Occasionally, I’d bring a girl home and we’d have ourselves a time. We were living in bliss, then the lockdowns hit and the economy started degrading.

As we moved more into the year, my life had changed and it had changed for good. As lockdowns hit, the bars and clubs had to close. The closing of the bars and clubs led to the rich fleeing Manhattan, this also meaning the young tenants who lived in its overpriced apartments for the location itself. Apartment buildings started to empty out as one of the liveliest cities on the planet turned into a ghost town. I then moved out myself to a more peaceful part of the northeast to escape it all and what was my definition of a weekend changed.

After all that has happened, I thought of some random observations and lessons I’ve learned.

There was long deep-seated resentment between different kinds of people and it might not calm down anytime soon.

Alt Right versus The Radical Left, we are so divided as a country. When I talk to my friends internationally, there is a similar divide taking place. 2016 signaled how people felt about the elite and 2020 further threw more fuel to the fire. I fear for what is likely to happen in the next four years as neither side will see the other’s views. Instead of a calm debate, things like violence, cancelling, and attacking the individual has become the norm. I live in NYC where anything right of Far Left may as well make you a Nazi.

My god, people are so fucking phony, this year more than any other.

How many of these preppy suburban white kids throwing up their support for Black lives would actually make a lot of black friends and go to a black neighborhood? How many of these self-righteous types would actually stick up for the underdog or the bullied if they were actually put into that situation? I saw it on all social media platforms (even fucking LinkedIn) where these virtue signaling types just flooded their profiles to show you how much they care. 2020 was the year that all of the virtue signaling and self-righteous types showed themselves to the world for social media likes.

As bad as it sounds, you can’t get too mad at them either, I almost fell for it myself.

Maybe they did it out of fear, to protect themselves. We live in a society right now, at least in heavily blue states, where if you are not an outspoken bleeding heart social justice warrior then people just try to label you as a bigot. The emotions can run pretty high here and I cannot blame people for being worried and trying to protect themselves. At one point, I even fell for it and got all morally self-righteous on this blog, it can be a powerful pull.

The value of work-life balance!

Things got really bad for me towards the end of 2020, hence me not writing as much. My work-life balance was so bad that I ignored about 20 matches on Hinge and let 12 on Bumble expire, 5 of the ones on Bumble were cute girls who were my type. I was so committed to my work to the point where I was partnered with three female coworkers on a couple projects. To make things embarrassing, I actually started to develop feelings for one of them due to how much time we spent together. Now I get why despite how bad it can mess up your life and paycheck, why office romance is so common despite men having so many options out there. Thank god my job went remote due to Zoom.

Tough times test how solid your plans are.

Before the lockdowns hit, so many of my friends had plans on being in the city for the next five to ten years. For me, the plan was that I am in NYC until my mid-thirties and then after that I maybe look for a more peaceful part of the country to be in. Once the bars and clubs closed, the lockdowns hit, and crime went up; you saw one of the greatest cities in the world degrade. Then the Governor implemented the 14 day mandatory quarantine if you were to go outside the state for any reason whatsoever. The year tested my loyalty to the city and what it offers, it was a far cry from what I had seen from the city in 2019. Glad to say that even now, I am going to stick out in what is the best city in the US in my opinion.

We may never have a “normal” of the old again.

Remote work has proven effective and companies are all too used to it. Bars and restaurants are struggling, who knows what alternatives people have found to them with the lockdowns. Millennials are moving back home in record numbers and young people are no longer moving out to big cities again, who knows what the nightlife scene of the future is going to look like. I romanticize my times in 2019, going out to drink with friends and meeting a girl only to take her back home and have yourself a time. Now I live with the reality that those days are still far away or that kind of normal might just not come back for a while, if ever.

But the party animals still found a way to happen.

I still found plenty of good house parties to go to as a result of the lockdowns. In going to these parties, I noticed how many of them had party animals who I would run into a lot at the bars and how that whole scene in a way is interconnected. Did not see too many of the pickup artist types that rely on nightlife to meet women and there is a separate article I will do on that down the road. It shocked me how the whole scene shifted to house parties when it came to meeting women and having a good time. People cared little of the lockdowns and some of the familiar faces you saw out always found a way to make the party happen.

Online dating didn’t exactly take off like you would think.

One would think that with the lockdowns, the dating apps would be on fire. I did not notice any difference in the amount of matches I got before lockdowns versus after lockdowns, things just remained even-keeled. If I was to hedge my bet on how women were now meeting men, it all seemed to come down to social circles. For a long-time, I predicted that the pickup artist relying exclusively on cold approach would not be ready for this and all of the ones I knew were not. The options for cold approaching, whether day or night, were wiped out.

Don’t get too excited for 2021 just yet.

We still have significant anger on both sides when it comes to politics and who knows how that plays out in 2021. The virus is developing new strains and we do not know what might come of that or how local governments will handle it. In NYC, indoor dining closed again back in December as there was the push for a second round of lockdowns in the city. Yeah 2020 sucked as a year but we still do not know what 2021 will bring yet, so best to be cautiously optimistic.

I wish I could share more trends and observations but this article was long as is. Look forward to sharing more good content with you guys in 2021!

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