Friday, January 1, 2021

Where We Went


I was downright surprised when I took a look at where I was a year ago when I wrote my end of year post.

A Backward Glance 

It reads like I think I may be attending a wake but then maybe I’m just in a room with a body that might wake back up. I had forgotten what a rough year that was. Woah, baby.

Despite my gloom and doom, 2020 was not, in fact, the year when Village Green/Town² died, but turned out to be the year I found out what would happen if I had unlimited time to write. Despite all the other challenges of the 2020, this has been the greatest gift to me and the biggest influence on what I have chosen to write about and how I have gone about pursuing stories.

Probably the most important post to me over the last twelve months is this one:

A Shift in Perspective 

It marks my realization that COVID-19 was going to be personal for me and that my life was now changed for the foreseeable future and beyond. I suspect many of us had moments of reckoning like this over the past year. 

A purely unscientific assessment of the top* stories of 2020 on Village Green/Town² looks like this:

  • Affordable housing 
  • Columbia Association
  • County Executive
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Gender Equality/Inequality 
  • Howard County Public Schools 
  • Merriweather Park at Symphony Woods 
  • Music and Arts Education
  • Oakland Mills
  • Politics: local, state, national 
  • Promotion of local events
  • Race, racism, equity, inclusion
  • Selfishness of affluence/privilege 
  • Support of local institutions
  • Supporting teachers during distance learning

Of greater importance to me is that 2020 marks the first year that The Cool Kids do not make an appearance on the blog. This is a good thing as they’ve honestly taken up way too much space in the past. They’ve never truly pulled their own weight and they have a great tendency to make everything about themselves. If you’re not aware, The Cool Kids are a device I’ve used to denote other, more powerful and popular local folks as a self-deprecating way of defining who I am not. 

The fact that they’ve taken leave of the blog tells me that I’m writing more from who I am. That’s got to be an improvement for my writing and for my readers.

On the other hand, 2020 may also have been the year when I gave up and used actual “bad language” on the blog for the first time ever. I wonder what that means.

Although I think I have become rightly known for “those posts of righteous indignation”, I also take pride in a kind of piece I like to think of as “a good little story”. These are the ones people sometimes refer to as “a quintessential Julia post.” In that category I offer up Remembering Bob Moon. If you haven’t read it I hope you will now. 

As excited as I get by local issues and causes I hope that I will always be on the lookout for those good little stories that give us a glimpse of who we are or make us think about what we might be if we put our minds to it.

I offer my very best wishes to you and yours for a safe and happy New Year. 

*top stories = written about the most over the course of the year.

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