Dear 2020

By Alexis Zizzo

Dear 2020,

Today is truly nothing special, but honestly, none of them are. Nothing has meaning unless provided. You, for example, had no meaning until the life-shattering pandemic declared you the worst year ever. It wasn't until the world shut down that we all really learned the meaning of life. My meaning, for example, was rewritten when my childhood home was ripped away.

It was one thing to be locked in the house you know for 13 years with your parents and dog who acts like a cat just like everyone else, it's another to lose that home. And so the year that was meant to stop time led me on a journey that I never asked for.

A road trip from Dix Hills, New York, to Tonganoxie, Kansas, Is not for the faint of heart, but we handled it pretty well. Kansas taught me how to cry in silence because I didn't want to disrupt the game of cards upstairs. Kansas taught me that my mom would never judge a tear no matter the cause. Kansas taught me the meaning of family, and that the people you need, like my uncle and older cousin, will be there for you even when you push them away.

The drive home was questionable because the keyword “home” was severely lacking, which taught me resilience. Resilience that no matter the issue we faced, my parents were ready to take it on. Handling the world like a gunfight you attended with a joint and taco bell cravings box.

Senior year of high school being completely virtual from the comfort of our newly acquired house’s basement showed me myself. An image of myself I was never ready to see, the broken pieces that I didn't know how to fix, the parts of me I isolated through being a social and loud and outgoing character I created at 8 years-old were finally catching up to the whirlwind of the year, and what did I do? Pushed them further.

College, the biggest accomplishment of my life, dwindled down to a simple phrase, somehow I found myself in the biggest city and I was completely alone. The feelings I allowed myself to see in Kansas, the sensation I pushed away in the basement, the reflection I refused to see, had followed me to 55th, and it grew. I took one final journey.

The couch of a therapist's office spring of 2022, for the first time, I accepted what you did to me, what a single year of my life caused within my brain, what decades of pushing myself down did from birth to that moment. That couch was the final destination on a journey of pitiful torture for the sake of others, and the start of healing for the sake of myself.

Thank you, 2020, for breaking me down beyond my fragile form, into pure dust, a speck, a concept of who I was supposed to be. Thank you, 2020, for reminding me why I call my grandparents every day, why I hug my mom before I leave, why I watch old movies with my dad and why I let myself cry when I need it. Thank you, 2020, for ruining my life so that I could finally build a version of myself that I was proud to be. Also, 2020, one final thing, fuck you.

Sincerely never yours, Alexis Rose Zizzo, 21 years old, and finally happy.

Meet Alexis Zizzo

Alexis Zizzo is a rising senior at Marymount Manhattan College studying a dual BA in Communication Arts and English Literature and Media. She is pursuing a career in health communication and in her free time, Alexis loves to read, cook, and hike. Thrilled to be a part of another issue with this digital journal, Alexis thanks the team and her fellow authors for their hard work and enthusiasm.
Editorial Staff

Editorial Staff