20 positive things from 2020

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I’m Pete Carr. I'm a photographer and this isn't a photography newsletter. This is a form of "Rubber Duck Debugging". Writing helps me process thoughts and work through problems. So I write to my computer about issues relating to mental health and being autistic. I then share it with you fine folk. There's nice photos too. 🖖


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hello computer

2020 review

Hello computer. Archive 2020 please and thank you. Glad that is over. On to better things. What's that? Everything is some how worse you say? Thanks 202x. 

I have already muted Trump and COVID-19 on social media. I am aware of the news from news sites. I need social media to be something else other than those 2 things right now. If I want to do some good old fashioned 2020 doom scrolling I'll visit this website

There is a light at the end of the tunnel but this week has made me think it's a train. Blergh. Is 2021 somehow a worse year despite being only 7 days old? I started to think back on 2020 with absurd fondness and while skipping through the fields of my mind I found it wasn't truly awful. So I present for your viewing pleasure 20 things from 2020.

  1. Discovered journaling and the necessity

  2. Rediscovered a love of cycling

  3. Pitched and earnt money from writing

  4. Sold prints of my photographs

  5. Lived without anxiety for a time

  6. Felt creative and that I can actually do things

  7. Freed myself from the idea that I’m “just” a photographer

  8. Connection with online communities reminisicent of the early days of the net provided me with a reminder that I can be a part of something, that I can have friends and that while the outside world often disables me there are places I can go to be enabled.

  9. Played Age of Empires 2 with my mate in Toronto like it was a LAN party in 1999.

  10. Discovered the joy of open water swimming on my doorstep rather than a beach in Croatia.

  11. Discovered the joy of cold water dipping and laughing at the absurdity of it.

  12. Connecting with a strong group of autistic creatives via Twitter.

  13. If my business collapses it isn’t the end of the world. Sure I can’t buy anything and retirement is scary af but it is good to know I won’t collapse into a dark depression. I can cope.

  14. Letting go of body image issues because there’s no one to see me these days so what does it matter? Maybe when I return to seeing people I’ll be more confident in who I am because I will have learnt to accept myself? Trying to anyway.

  15. Being a Trekkie. Being seen. Being accepted. Life long Star Trek fan and it feels like I’m only now letting go of being shamed for that as a kid. Watching the Lower Decks and Discovery was like someone wrapping a big blanket of love around me. The new show runners, writers, actors, and fans they got me. My life is valid.

  16. I baked a loaf of bread. I did it again and again and again. Totally edible bread. Amazing.

  17. I really took a good long hard at my mental health and started to make actual progress once I had nothing else to do.

  18. Painting my nails any damn colour I please without fear of being laughed at and 100% loving the looks I get when I’m outside. I draw strength from it because I am being seen for who I am rather than hiding in fear.

  19. I danced like nobody was watching. I felt silly but not embarrased. I got things wrong and it was ok.

  20. Having my wife in my life. 2020 would have happend regardless of any life choice I made. If I hadn’t met her I cannot imagine how complex last year would have been. Everything on this list has been made possible by her being part of my life.

2020 has given me time and space to really evaluate my mental health. In previous years I was trying to find patches because there’s so much going on there’s no time to take a breath. This year has given me that time. Just don't make me look at my bank balance ok? 

Journaling. It is so important to get things out your head. Whether that’s writing or talking. Get them out. It is important to take time for people. Even if you don’t have any actual advice the act of being there to listen to someone’s problems can sometimes be enough.

Feel like I’m finding my writing voice. I love to write. Always have. Outside of science and computers it was my other love at school. I nearly quit till a teacher pulled me aside and said my Year 9 creative writing story was the best in the year. As a kid I was often told off for day dreaming. I love to imagine and to write but since school I’ve never really explored writing outside of blogging. I don’t understand correct grammar or use of voice. I simply write and hope a narrative forms. Usually it does. 

2020 has shown that if my business collapses it’s not the end. It’s a flumping pain in the face but not the end.

If I had to wrap up my thoughts about 2020, and well this is the end of this post so I guess I should, it's given me confidence? Really? Confidence? Yeah confidence. I was always so afraid of being myself and having had time to truly be myself without fear has given me confidence. I know for a fact that anyone who has an issue with me is their thing to deal with. I have the knowledge and evidence that I am happier being myself than trying to fit in with others ideas of who I am. It's not a myth. I've felt that happiness so I am confident in telling others to jog on. 

I am more confident in my writing than I was a year ago. I can confidently bake a loaf. It's not the best but I have that confidence now. I even add a splash of sour cherry honey to our loafs. Get me. 

2020, wow. A truly truly **** of a year. I shouldn't need to stress how bad. You were there. We know. I don't want to make light of it with the above list. I want to find something to cling on to because 2021 is trying its darn best to poop all over 2020s parade. I need something

Have a go at making your own list and feel free to share it on the newsletter page


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Latest coronavirus advice from the National Autistic Society (UK)

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“Be bold. Be brave. Be courageous.” Christopher Pike, Captain USS Discovery.

Thank you for taking the time to read this newsletter. I’ll be back. Feel free to subscribe or send to a friend.

petes out

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