Lean On Me – Post-college trial by fire


I’m only 23, but back in March I felt like it was pretty safe to believe a global pandemic is probably the craziest thing that will happen in my lifetime.
Boy, was I wrong.
At times, it feels like things have unraveled so quickly that normally shocking things don’t even warrant a double take.
Murder hornets? Sounds about right.
A squirrel that tested positive for the bubonic plague? Why not just make it a pandemic double whammy?
I admire many more experienced journalists for their toughness and ability to remain unfazed by most things.
I’ve got a long way to go before my naivety hopefully fades with experience, but 2020 has surely sped up that process.
I don’t know what exactly I expected from my first year as a post-graduate journalist, but I can safely say that almost nothing that actually happened was even in the realm of my imagination before. 
The stories that I would have thought of as wacky or unusual now feel just as expected as a city council or board of education meeting.
Remember when we thought the death of Kobe and Gianna Bryant was the biggest tragedy of the year? It seems like that was a lifetime ago.
It’s tough to believe Brexit, the impeachment and acquittal of President Trump and the postponement of the Olympics all happened this year.
I feel a little like we’re living in a reality TV show written specifically so each episode tops the insanity from the one before.
My brother recently texted me: “I was thinking that if this was a normal year, Kanye running for president and saying he wants to make our government like Wakanda would be one of the more crazy things to happen.”
He added another thought soon after: “But now I feel like no one is even talking about it anymore.”
Honestly, a rapper-entrepreneur presidency seems pretty on-brand for 2020. Even the thought of Keeping Up With the Kardashians being filmed in the White House isn’t too far off.
One thing I think we can all agree on is that 2020 has been anything but a “normal year.”
In the midst of so much uncertainty, normalcy – or the lack thereof – has become a huge part of our daily dialogue.
We hear about “the new normal” during political leaders’ press conferences and we talk with our friends and families about how to get “back to normal.”
We’ve spent a lot of time trying to come to terms with this rapidly changing world we’re living in.
I think we’re completely capable of coming together and making it through this pandemic, but I gave up long ago on trying to classify anything as “normal.”
At this rate, the idea of living in the fictional, Marvel world of Wakanda doesn’t actually seem that bad.

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