Things that were good in 2019


Hi friends! So this has become a little
bit of an annual tradition here: as long as the world feels sad and scary. And as
long as I personally feel a little weak and small. I’m gonna dig deep into this
shivery brain of mine that tends to only remember the things that went wrong and
try, once a year, to remember what didn’t. I feel very small sometimes, like five four
small, like self-esteem small, like vanity metrics small, like postage stamps small,
like why can’t I just fix all the problems, why are they all so goddamn big?
small. You know this I keep hecking talking about it. I often feel
frustration because I can’t, on my own, solve these complex problems like
getting people to care about my work or getting people to care about each other.
My dark depression brain would say, “this year was about my power and my
possibility shrinking and shrinking and shrinking.” But last weekend wee small me
woke up on a Sunday morning to a 6:00 a.m. alarm and braided back my bed head
and scrambled to find post-its and Sharpie markers and make a pot of tea. I
opened up my laptop and I gathered a couple of friends to host some early
morning hours of the Project for Awesome livestream. I participated in my first
Project for Awesome YouTube charity livestream in 2012
making a shaky handheld phone video — and that’s a 2012 phone video — about my local
rapid rehousing program which 93 people watched. But since then it’s become my
annual reminder that people are good and the Internet is mostly a vile cesspit but
it’s not only a vile sauce pit, because up to our knees and filth and battery
acid so many of us are still trying. So with Miriam and Darcy and Taha, on the
other side of the screen this time, I drew my favorite recent doodle bats for
each donor as their gifts poured in and in and in. We raised five thousand dollars and I
scribbled bats across our faces in Fenty eyeliner and at ten thousand Taha
drew a little bat that was only face and wings and the teeth on his cheek in
sharpie marker. And it was silly and insignificant, but at the end the wall
was covered in colorful post-its and a bunch of Internet strangers have raised
ten thousand dollars in two hours for a handful of nonprofits. A small slice of
the one-point million the project managed to raise overall. Now 1.3 million
kind of feels like fake numbers and lines in an internet chat kind of feel
like fake people, but all the bats on the wall the next day and the pictures that
the bat people shared with me and the good that they did, every one of those
things were real. In 2019 I started the year on vacation with my best friends,
picking each other up out of strong salty water. In 2019 a dozen or so
friends encouraged me through the writing of the first draft of a novel. In
2019 I started taking Sundays off and logging out of Twitter and walking
around the city, getting on a first-name basis with my bodega guy and the
librarians at the returns desk and people who sell me bread. The New York
creator community of 368 respected my creative differences but
invited me to hang anyway. The New York State Legislature passed early voting
for the first time which makes it easier for more people to vote at the times
that work best for them. And Run for Something, an organization that I
volunteer for, helped to elect 300 progressives under 40 to state and local
office, making more people who represent us look like us. In 2019 I went back to
Seattle and it didn’t hurt me like I worried it would. I wasn’t the sad scared
sick and deeply hurting person I was when I last lived there. I walked along
the mossy sidewalk, past my old apartment and I
realized, I’m bigger now, and stronger. Well, not me so much, me and my friends. me, and my communities, me, and my people. And hell, trying to be all big and powerful on
your own isn’t that what makes the world so bad and scary in the first place? That
thinking that you’re somehow more special or good or deserving of things
then all the other people around you? We may be small. but we are not
insignificant, like a school of fish, like a camp of bats, and I’m grateful to know
that we’re making this world together. Tell me in comments what was good in
your 2019. If you like this video you can share it with someone else who you think might
like it or you can also join the community on Patreon that helps me make
more of these videos. I’ll see you next year bye

9 thoughts on “Things that were good in 2019

  1. I love this! I relate to that feeling of going back to an old home with mixed memories, only to realize how much better you feel now.

  2. "Trying to be all big and powerful on your own isn't that what makes the world so bad and scary in the first place" Whew. That…that really hit me. I'm going to be thinking about that for a long time. So much pushes us to isolate, to go it alone, to look out only for ourselves and reaching outside that for real community, real solidarity, real friendship, real love and care, can seem so hard and so scary and so impossible but it's also the best way, maybe the only way, to get to fix these problems and build something better.

  3. after a breakup at the start of the year things looked quite bad but i’ve met so many new friends this year travelling to concerts in different cities around europe and we’re keeping in touch on twitter. that part has been great. i’m so thankful for all of my newly found friends. 😊

  4. Another lovely video, Taylor. This one made me emotional because i started watching you in 2019. In fact, the first video i watched was the one where you described the vacation wth your friends.
    A lot can happen in a year. This year I finally took a big step in my mental health. I got into caring about myself. I got back into reading. I met one of my best friends. I cried and I laughed in ways that i haven't ever before. I became an adult. Granted it's been less than a week for that last one but it's a new chapter in the story of me and I know it won't be easy but I'm excited for it. I hope that your 2020 is amazing as you come into that power of being bigger than you used to be.

  5. my best thing of 2019 is probably also somehow my worst. I've spent a lot of this year pretty worried about the climate, and it has been a Time. there was a period in late spring/early summer where I felt completely powerless and the panic was overwhelming most of the time. but then I got involved in some youth climate activism local to me, and even though some of it has fallen through, and I'm not as involved as I would like to be, I feel like I have a purpose. I've made new friends that feel the same way, and so even though 2019 has not necessarily been a pleasant year for me, as it hasn't been for many people, somehow, among that I've found myself a way to fight that sense of insignificance.

    also being a post-it bat was pretty cool.

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