Sixteen Somethings from a Sarcastic Year // 2020 wrap-up

I recognize that no one cares, and thus I will forego the anticipated jokes about hindsight being 2020 and WWIII.

Friends, we’re alive. And despite the fact that the world’s imminent implosion is beginning to look less like a joke and more like reality, I’d just like to say that neither rain, shine, nor communism will stop me from doing my yearly wrap-up post.

‘Cause that’s how tough I am.

*commences toughness*

Something Happy

I’m just gonna leave this here and refrain from screeching about the awesomeness of cheez-its in bulk. Excuse me as I buy 50 lbs. of them.

Something Sad

I found this unidentifiable chunk of grey in my Cracker Barrel grits and the mystery of it is killing me.

What is it? Cow? Dog? Horse? Human?

The answer to this question is very important to me.

Something Significant

THIS TRAITOROUS STINKER WENT AND GOT HERSELF MARRIED.

ANNA.

MY BIG SISTER.

Step aside, pandemic. This was the craziest part of my year. I’m considering doing a post about it, if you people are at all interested in the dysfunctional romance of a slightly insane INFP weirdo trying to marry an equally insane Canadian during a time when the borders were closed and aforementioned Canadian was locked out of our country. Hiring a smuggler may or may not have been discussed.

All in favor of me writing this post, say aye.

Something Epic

I finally managed to cross the March for Life off my bucket list.

It was perhaps the most impactful and formative experience of 2020 for me and I will not soon forget the empowering feeling of unity, nor the sensation of being squished nearly to death among thousands of other human bodies.

And hey, Anna got caught yawning on national television, so that was cool.

{{ The March for Life 2020 // much aggressive walking ensues }}

Something Accomplished

A project that took me all of three months, it is to date the greatest thing I have ever done with my life.

Something Writerly

2020 started off with a bang when I entered a month-long flash-fiction contest, and not only had the time of my life, but ended up winning.

Like. The whole thing.

wide eyed Archives - Page 2 of 3 - Reaction GIFs

Life got even stranger cooler when, several months ago, they asked me if I’d like to join their judging panel this year as their first alumni winner. (To which I said a most emphatic YES.)

So yeah, I didn’t make much progress on my novel last year, but this was an unexpected bright spot. Check out their website below.

{{ The Writer Games }}

{{ Bloodstained Prayers // a flash-fiction dump + Writer Games entries }}

{{ In Defense of Pink Spray-Paint // a short story }}

Something Artistic

I started taking art-commissions! A project long in the works, it finally happened and has been keeping me busy ever since. You should check it out. Inexpensive but detailed character art. Just what every writer needs!

(Not to blow my own whistle, but that is exactly what I’m doing.)

2020 was a good year for art, in general. These are some of my favorite pieces.

{{ Commissions }}

{{ How to Be a Horrible Artist // a step-by-step guide }}

Something Family-ish

Something Glorious

I managed to visit my friends the Flournoys (who live many hours away) not once, not twice, but FOUR TIMES this year.

This included going to the full-scale Ark recreation in Kentucky, which was epic, and driving three hours together during which time many strange and slightly disturbing things were discussed (as is only fitting when writers and readers converge), my favorite among them being the mutual agreement that Kaladin getting beaten up is The Best™.

Something Horrifying

I had the highest honor (or so they call it, though I think they got the word confused with misfortune) of being an “essential infrastructure worker” earlier this year, which basically just means I had to stock shelves and simultaneously avoid being trampled by a hoard of toilet-paper obsessed psychopaths. It was fun.

I left that job in early June for a variety of personal reasons, and was subjected to a decade-old tradition this particular store has for departing employees:

I got thrown into the pond.

Literally.

And I swear to this day, my co-workers got just a little too much evil glee out of that…

{{ The Trials and Travails of an Essential Worker // stories from work }}

Something Failed

Earlier in the Spring, I decided to paint my desk drawers. I got as far as one, decided I didn’t like it, and proceeded to PAINT OVER IT like an IDIOT.

Do you want to know what I painted over, what I destroyed in my senseless whim of dissatisfaction, what I lost forever, never to reclaim?

WHY DID I PAINT OVER THAT????

Something Geeky

My book corner is expanding at an alarming rate, and I couldn’t be prouder.

Something Learned

A friend is teaching me how to sew. Did we start with pillow-cases and little dish-towels, like a normal, self-respecting beginner would? Oh no. My very first project was sewing a pair of plus-sized pajama pants with whatever random leftover material was readily at hand. The result was nothing short of — well–

As you can see, I was very proud of them. Despite the fact that I could have fit two of me in just one of the legs.

Something Quotable

Anna: “Sarah, having watched your writing journey, I have determined that even if I was creative and could write, I wouldn’t do it.”

Same, girl. Same.

Me, to Anna: “I consider you an invasive species.”

Anna: “You consider humanity an invasive species.”

She’s not wrong.

Mom, having forgotten the Mandalorian’s name: “You know that guy with the little trident thingy, who goes like THIS–” *wildly jabs at the air while driving and nearly crashes into a tree* “–and makes people disintegrate? That guy?”

She has her priorities in line.

Anna, on the phone with her fiance, discussing their upcoming wedding: “You know what’s sad? Pretty soon I won’t be able to hang up on you any more!”

She proceeded to cackle like an evil witch for the next ten minutes.

Me: “What goal should I set for myself next year?”

Anna: “Paint a Rembrandt style pogo-stick.”

All in favor, say aye.

Mom, going through a teenage girl phase: “I am very dissatisfied with the world. And I don’t like anyone either.”

Same, girl. Same.

Anna: “Life is a journey! And sometimes, the journey doesn’t give you very many strawberries.”

And we must not forget this running string of texts between me and my brother-in-law.

As well as his continual efforts to marry me off by 2022. Good luck, honey. Good luck.


Something Traveled

With Anna getting married in the fall, it was our last summer together as a family before she flew the coop. Thus, we set out to make it the busiest, most eventful summer we could possibly manage, and travel the world. (Or at least, a very small sliver of it.)

We went to Sleeping Bear Dunes, and the wind photo-bombed what would have been a lovely picture.

We visited historic Williamsburg. Being a historian of extensive knowledge, (look, I read the Felicity books like 72 times) I was thrilled. We’d gone once before quite a while ago, though it doesn’t really count since I was so young that the only experience I remember was my utter disappointment when a drink called “chocolate” tasted like nothing of the sort.

Also, I didn’t understand that in the 1700s an ‘s’ looked like an ‘f’. I was very confused about the poft office.

Fun Fact: It happened to be the hottest day of the summer and we forgot to bring water. I almost fainted from dehydration. And then Anna incited the wrath of one of the employees by entering a garden through a way clearly marked “Do Not Enter.”

“Oh, it doesn’t really mean that,” she said.

(It did, in fact, mean that.)

(We got yelled at.)

(“My sister did try to warn me,” she had the grace to admit.)

(“Your sister is the smart one in the family,” the employee said.)

(I agreed.)

Then we went to an art museum, where Anna was far more invested than I was.

This was how I amused myself.

In September we went to a church camp in Iowa, where I quite unexpectedly ran into Daeus, one of my writing friends, which was accidentally epic. And then we headed back down to Maryland, our previous home-state, to visit family and enlist their aid in planning Anna’s wedding.

*deep breath*

It was a busy summer.

Something Eternal

Am I betraying mankind by saying I enjoyed 2020? The Year of the Introvert? Where we were allowed – actually, commended – for barricading ourselves at home and hissing like feral cats at the mere mention of human contact? Is it really too much to say I found that fun?

No?

It’s funny, because January 1st, 2020, I had the strongest impression I knew what God was going to teach me that year: Courage. With the possibility of Anna’s imminent marriage looming over us, my life was going to change in so many unknown ways, not just because she would be leaving us and moving to Canada with her husband, but because I – the quiet, timid one of the family – would be thrust into a world where I couldn’t hide behind her confidence.

Of course, I didn’t predict the *cough* other things that would happen last year. But despite world events, despite family upheaval and so many changes my head hurts thinking about them, God did exactly what I knew He would. Here, at the beginning of a new year, I feel like I’ve been through spiritual bootcamp and came out victorious. I’m beginning to know myself, and the smallest sliver of the God I serve. I am stronger, braver, fiercer than I was before.

(“Fiercer,” she says, as she wakes her dad up at 1:30 A.M. to kill the spider in her room.)

Regardless, I know that the coming year promises nothing safe and everything different, and I know that I’m not in the slightest bit ready for the challenges we’re about to face. But God is good, and He is with us. Pithy as it is to say, I know that whatever comes, He’s still working through it to bring us closer to Him.

So what’s next? I’m not in the habit of making New Year’s resolutions, because I never keep them and they’re a little bit stupid. Actually, mostly stupid. But this year, I’ve made a concession to my strict policy.

  • Resolution #1: Stay alive.
  • Resolution #2: Embrace the probability of my imminent death.
  • Resolution #3: Keep the odds ever in my favor.
  • Resolution #4: Learn archery.
  • Resolution #5: Find two hot and useless romantic love-interests to fight over me.
  • Resolution #6: Pattern my life after a bird.

So yes, anyway, my New Year’s resolution is to become Katniss Everdeen.

What of it?

~Sarah

26 thoughts on “Sixteen Somethings from a Sarcastic Year // 2020 wrap-up

  1. AYE. *slams gavel* I want to hear that story about Anna’s marriage. I literally squealed and clapped my hands when I saw that picture. The two of them look so cute! 😀 And your texts with “That Guy” 😂😂😂

    What an awesome post! I’m so glad you had such a wonderful year, despite the insanity. It’s like how God tests us in the fiery furnace, and we come out all strong and shiny. But I’m glad I’m not the only one who goes shrieking to her father to save her from the giant evil spiders lurking in my chambers. 😂

    However. I can’t STAND cheez-its. *dashes away*

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  2. WHAT ANNA GOT MARRIED THAT’S AWESOME
    *mind implodes*
    I actually entered the Writer Games this year! I definitely am not going to win but it’s still fun to do :/)
    that desk drawer was so awesommeeeee
    W…what….your amount of amazing books….*drools*
    I’m not going to comment on everything here because that would take too long and I would get carried away but great post!! 😋

    Like

  3. YESSSSS!!!!! GIVE US THE STORY OF ANNA’S WEDDING!!!!!
    I can’t wait to hear how that went, in the middle of 2020 too! Maybe it’s because I’m getting sentimental in my prestigious old age of 21, (maybe it’s because two of my friends’ sisters got married this year as well) but I love hearing about weddings. And I can only imagine Anna’s will be crazy! Because she’s Anna 😜
    I’d comment on the rest of this post as well but that’d probably take forever. I’m glad to hear you think 2020 wasn’t a COMPLETELY bad year (because it wasn’t). Looking back on all the little things really helps to remind us of that.
    Here’s to hoping and praying that 2021 will be at least a LITTLE bit good as well!

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  4. OH MY GOSH ANNA GOT MARRIED???? CONGRATULATIONS!!!
    *waves hand wildly* Ayeayeaye! Aye wanna hear about Anna’s marriage, YES PLEASE.
    And oh my gosh…so many books…it’s beautifulness 😍 I loved just spotting out a lot of books I actually own, so that was awesome 😆
    Love this post!!

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  5. YESSSSS!!!!! GIVE US THE STORY OF ANNA’S WEDDING!!!!!
    I’m glad you think 2020 wasn’t a COMPLETELY bad year, because it wasn’t. Looking back on the little things really helps us to remember that. And your bookshelf is hardly worthy of being classed among the little things 😍
    Here’s to hoping and praying that 2021 is at least a LITTLE bit good!

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  6. Aye! I want to hear about Ana getting married! I was shocked. Also, cheese-its are pretty great and your bookshelf is beautiful.

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  7. A side note, I was wondering if you changed your Instagram or something? I can’t seem to find you had the link on the blog isn’t working.

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  8. EPIC POST. SO MUCH FUN AND HILARITY. The quotes were incredible. Also, your resolutions are amazing. 😀 Yes, please do a post on Anna’s wedding story!

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  9. Also, that’s awesome you went to Williamsburg!! We went in November 2019 (clearr across the country, but it was really cool). I’m so glad we went before all the covid nonsense began.

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  10. I love these posts. 😂

    Do write up a post for Anna’s wedding. That would be epic. And please do paint a Rembrandt-style pogo stick. 😂

    This whole post was epic but I’m just in awe at the epicness of having a brother-in-law like that, and seeing your actual communications. WoW.

    And YEAH! Why on earth did you paint over that drawer? THAT WAS BEAUTIFUL!!! HOW COULDST THOU.

    Like

  11. OH MY GOODNESS I NEED THOSE CHEEZ-ITS.

    “I’m considering doing a post about it, if you people are at all interested in the dysfunctional romance of a slightly insane INFP weirdo trying to marry an equally insane Canadian during a time when the borders were closed and aforementioned Canadian was locked out of our country.”
    AYE!
    You MUST do a post chronicling this! YOU MUST SARAH.

    Your fan is SO beautiful!!!! (how much will it cost to smuggle you down here to do the same thing for me? XP).

    “my favorite among them being the mutual agreement that Kaladin getting beaten up is The Best”
    I DIED.
    I. DiEd.
    halp.
    nO.
    tHe pAiN iS aLL cOmInG bAcK.
    (I mean you aren’t wrong. But also WHY SANDERSON WHY)
    (spare my poor Kal).

    “Anna, on the phone with her fiance, discussing their upcoming wedding: “You know what’s sad? Pretty soon I won’t be able to hang up on you any more!”
    *cackles with her* I’m going to have to remember that line X’D

    ALL OF YOUR RESOLUTIONS ARE GOLDEN. And I shall steal them as mine XD (except #5. just… no. no no way X’D).

    Like

  12. Umm, AYE, I want to hear about the wedding!

    Your ceiling fan is ridiculously beautiful. Unbelievable.

    That Eowyn picture! *makes heart eyes and resolves to learn to draw that well*

    THOSE QUOTES I AM DYING.

    Like

  13. AYE!! Speak of Anna’s wedding. Knowing your posts, it will be extremely entertaining but also deep 😉

    I think we all need to be Katniss this year. I have the added advantage of being in what I consider the District 12 of the US (or maybe we’re 13?!? Gotta love the west coast… XD).

    Anyway, great post, as always. It’s funny, because “courage” was my word for 2020 too, and it was very cool to hear how that played out in your life and then reflect on how it did in mine. God always gives us what we need.

    Like

  14. AYE!! Speak of Anna’s wedding. Knowing your posts, it will be extremely entertaining but also deep 😉

    I think we all need to be Katniss this year. I have the added advantage of being in what I consider the District 12 of the US (or maybe we’re 13?!? Gotta love the west coast… XD).

    Anyway, great post, as always. It’s funny, because “courage” was my word for 2020 too, and it was very cool to hear how that played out in your life and then reflect how it did in mine. God always gives us what we need.

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  15. AYE. AYE AYE AYE. (a.k.a. Anna’s wedding yes please because WHAT I didn’t even know she was engaged or anything! Oops!) Anyway.
    I would be more pleased about the Cheez-Its if I was more pleased about Cheez-Its in general. *hides* However, it reminded me of another bulk store where they had huge bags of Lucky Charms marshmallows. Dehydrated styrofoam sugary goodness. Yum.
    The Cracker Barrel grits are disturbing. I’m fairly certain you could cross “human” off the list… unless they have an even more violent tradition for departing employees than your coworkers did. (Wow that was dark. Apologies.)
    The March for Life sounds like such an incredible experience, ahh!
    I STILL LOVE YOUR FAN ART (hehe) SO MUCH HELP.
    AS WELL AS ALL THE REST OF YOUR ART.
    Eeep, how wonderful that you won and judged a writing competition! Has the aforementioned judging finished yet? How did it go?
    For some reason I found the picture of Anna in her wedding dress with the lamp behind her so beautiful and lovely. 🙂
    That picture in front of the ark makes me happy, hehe.
    SARAH, NOOOOO. How could you destroy the desk drawer artwork? 😥 😥
    *sees bookshelf photo* *zooms in* Jane Austen! MBS! The Hobbit! Narnia! The Secret Garden! The Little Princess! That writer’s block is the best ever!
    Those pajama pants are… wow. Masterpiece.
    Okay I need to write those quotes down in my quote book or something. Epic.
    Yes, those poft offices are always confusing, I agree. Also you should consider turn those art museum photos into a gallery and selling them back to the museum. *nods*
    And the last one… oof, I feel you on multiple levels. (Also wait Anna’s moving to Canada?? Actually one of my aunts/uncles/three cousins live in Canada too!) But yeah. I feel like I could use a lesson in courage this year. Or, you know, your Katniss Everdeen resolutions might be helpful too. (Best wishes for completing your goals, by the way. I expect a full review at the end of 2021.)
    Best year-in-review post I’ve read from 2020. Thank you for blessing us with it.

    Like

  16. Everything looks great. And humorous…
    I enjoyed this style of reflecting upon 2020. It seems that you had some good and bad times in the year, but I’m glad you can put a nice spin on everything.

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  17. *BANGS FIST ON TABLE* AYE for the wedding post! *BANGS FIST ON TABLE AGAIN* AYE for the Rembrandt style pogo stick!
    Looks like you had an awesome year, m’lady.
    I definitely think you should become Katniss for 2021. Just make sure you pick the Peeta out of your love interest, m’kay? 😉

    Like

  18. 2020 was a good year for me too!
    The Canadian got locked out of the country glad you guys worked it out.
    Your art is stunning, I especially love the fan!

    Like

  19. I’m so glad you’re posting again! There was a notable lack of a certain sense of humour in my life for a while there.

    You met a lot of KeePers for it being a locked-down year. That’s great, though. Especially running into people /accidentally/. I sort of fell out of all my writing groups. . . oops.

    I’m so glad you wrote about Anna’s wedding shenanigan’s — I can’t wait to read all about it. What is it with people wanting to marry *other* people off, though? They’re doing it to me and my response is about the same.

    The truly fierce person doesn’t kill their own spiders. Nor do they get other people to do it for them. Truly fierce people make /friends/ with their spiders.

    Like

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