Two days into 2020 I did something stupid: I jinxed the whole damn year.
In an article published on this very website titled "20 things to look forward to in 2020" I foolishly attempted to be positive by publicly stating that I had high hopes for 2020. My exact ill-fated words, which have aged incredibly poorly, can be read here:
A new year is upon us, and I don't want to jinx anything, but I have pretty high hopes for 2020.
You might fear that the year is going to suck, like so many years before, and I get that. We've been burned, so it's a valid concern, but consider all the exciting events 2020 has in store. I can't promise you that 2020 won't suck, but I can promise you that there are at least 20 whole things to look forward to this year.
From the Olympic games and new gaming consoles, to awards shows and a kickass Super Bowl halftime show, here are 20 things to look forward to in 2020.
In my defense, at the beginning of the year I genuinely believed that the Olympics were set in stone, movies with 2020 release dates WOULD be released in 2020, and awards shows would be held in person. I had no reason to believe otherwise! But as we know, I was very wrong. I'm sorry.
On Jan. 2, I was just so excited. I was already gearing up to pre-order tickets to see A Quiet Place II in theaters come March. (Remember theaters?!) I was excited to host my 27th birthday party in April. And I was counting down the days to my planned trip to Austin in August. As you can imagine, none of those things happened, because the coronavirus pandemic derailed the entire year in every conceivable way.
Not taking any chances with 2021
Though I can be incredibly powerful when I set my mind to something, I don't believe that I alone am to blame for this shit show of a year. However, I admit I probably didn't help matters by typing the already risky phrase "I don't want to jinx anything" and following it with the word "but."
In 2019, much like Michael Scott, I wasn't superstitious, I was only a little stitious. But in 2020, as I look back on my potential January jinx and what has been a year from hell, I'm now as superstitious as they come.
I've learned from my past mistake, and as 2020 comes to a close and we cautiously welcome another unpredictable year I'm begging everyone else to learn from it, too. Do not, under any circumstances, jinx 2021. I don't care if you believe in the power of jinxes or not, we can't take any chances this time around.
No more of that "This will be my year" bullshit
Since I started reporting at Mashable in 2016 it seems like every year has gotten progressively worse. 2016 was AWFUL, so we assumed that 2017 would be better. But 2017 was BAD, too. Having learned nothing, we thought, "Ah, better luck next year," and when 2018 had the audacity to one-up 2017 we assured ourselves things couldn't possibly get any worse. Then, 2019 was so bad that we took a firm stance and shouted to the heavens, "OK, LOOK. WE'RE TIRED. 2020 WILL, WITHOUT A DOUBT, BE A BETTER YEAR." And look what that logic got us.
In order to break our cycle of horrible years perhaps we should stop authoritatively and preemptively declaring that the next year will be better and just let the year do its thing. It's human nature to search for the bright side in bad situations and to cling to whatever hope we possibly can to get through troubling times, and that's all well and good. It's crucial to keep the faith, but let's not get overly confident about it.
You may very well believe with all of your heart that this year was the worst year of your life and no other year, including 2021, will ever be able to top it. That's fine! By all means, think that. Maybe next year will be your year, but just wait and see how things shake out before you say anything, OK?
To review: Thinking to yourself that next year will be better is totally fine! Publicly saying things like "2021 will be better" or "things can't possibly get any worse," absolutely forbidden.
Don't say the year will be better. Just this one time. Let's all try taking a vow of silence when it comes to speculating on 2021 and see how it works for us, OK? If you think someone's about to jinx the new year, feel free to pull a Frank from the 2002 cinematic masterpiece Big Fat Liar and "fake car keys in the ignition" them into silence like so.
Is this theory a little dramatic? Of course, but you know what? I'm desperate. I w*nt a g*od y*ar so badly that I'm willing to look a little dramatic, and I hope you'll join me.
As we prepare to transition from 2020 to 2021 we first need to reflect on how strong each and every one of us has been through the course of this year. 2020 fucking sucked! The past 10 months have been filled with immense tragedy, loss, and fear, and navigating them has taken a lot out of us.
Forget the New Year resolution lists this year. Don't make any plans for 2021. Definitely don't play "This Will Be Our Year" by The Zombies on a loop in the days leading up to New Year's eve like I usually do. And don't — I repeat, do not — jinx the year by saying it will be better.
When in doubt, remember this sage piece advice that Michael Scott passed down to Dwight in The Office: Don't be an idiot.