2020 in review

top nine from instagram

Check this out, I’m writing before the year’s even ended! I’m very impressed with myself. In fact, that’s actually the theme for 2020. I am impressed with myself, and what I achieved and what I survived. Go me! Okay, let’s get into the same questions that I answer every year.

  1. What did you do in 2020 that you’d never done before?
  • Spent over four months completely sober (I haven’t done that since I was 16?)
  • Had a six figure salary (briefly!)
  • Wrote a video script for the Prime Minister
  • Organised a camp for 32 babes
  • Took classes in Te Reo and NZSL
  • Had relationships with four different people (not at once)
  • Successfully processed my PTSD with EMDR ( Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing). Do you know how amazing it is to be able to go to the dental hygienist and not worry about having a flashback and panic attack? I hope you do.

2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

The resolutions I made for 2020?

Go on a date with Dan – well that won’t happen, and I haven’t met Mittens instead either.
Buy a new bed & couch – done! And for good measure I installed new flooring throughout my house and a brand new kitchen too.
Pay my mother back at least 3k for House of Boom – 2/3 ain’t bad
Get a new job – yes! Two of them in fact. The job I was in at the start of the year I lasted less than three months in, because there was no way for me to achieve anything in it, but I love my job now and I actually get to make a difference.
Organise a Camp Boom – YES! This happened in early November – read more about it here. It was so much hard work but I am incredibly proud of what I achieved and the space that I (and many others) created for the attendees.

So new resolutions? I don’t have any specific ones actually, beyond throwing another Camp, but I know I will have to have a very serious discussion with myself when it gets close to December about whether or not to continue doing House of Boom beyond three years.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
My old work partner Amy did.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
It was a close call, but thank fuck, no one did.

5. What countries did you visit?
Um hello, 2020! Instead, I did domestic travel. In February I went to the Fat Babe Pool Party in Auckland. I went to Martinborough for a weekend with my family after lockdown, I went on a fancy mindfulness retreat in the Hawkes Bay in September and tomorrow I am going to Taranaki for two nights.

6. What would you like to have in 2021 that you lacked in 2020?
A relationship that lasts, with Facebook status. I am fucking OVER being people’s hidden away dirty little secret.

7. What date from 2020 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
December 19 when I finally got to have my season four photoshoot, that had been planned for a year in advance, which had shifted location from R&D’s house to Anna’s sister’s house, then was cancelled due to lockdown, then was supposed to be in a fancy hotel and then ended up being in my kitchen. I don’t have the pictures back yet but it was marvellous being with my Boomettes again having spent the whole year just taking photos of myself. And I rolled with all the punches of a changing roster of Boomettes and people not showing up at the last minute and we got it DONE. Boom.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Surviving. Obviously 2020 was a fucking nightmare for everyone, but to be honest my hardest times were possibly pre-COVID. I wrote about all of that very extensively on here. There were various pop-ups of shitty stuff throughout the year to keep me on my toes, but I dealt with those too. And Camp Boom! That was my other biggest success.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Financial management. I’m gutted I haven’t paid back Mum that last of the money she lent Boom, and I know I need to take a very good look at Boom’s finances and stop propping it up out of my own pocket. I would have liked to have made money on Camp, but eight people got scholarships and had experiences they said were life-changing, and who can put a price on that?

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I had two COVID tests and my last massuese went “WOW” at the size of the knot in my shoulders, but physically things have been okay. Mentally I have continued to work on taking care of myself.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
A ticket to the mindfulness retreat I went on and my new kitchen tiles:

Green! And purple! Hurry for my gorgeous new kitchen!

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

Always the answer to this will be Jo. But also everyone who supported me when I needed it – like Elizabeth who I know on Twitter but not very well, who came over to play Bananagrams with me at the start of the year because she thought I might like to hang out with people who I didn’t normally drink with (and she was absolutely right). Sara was always at my side when I needed catsitting or Boom things done. My family who helped me through my renovation even when I was behaving like a sulky little brat.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
COVID deniers. Right wing assholes. Centerist politics.

14. Where did most of your money go?
On me. You know it’s the way of my people to throw money at our problems and I spent thousands on counselling – which I very much needed, reparations, expensive gym subscription, fitness clothes, meditation apps, mindfulness retreats. I’m incredibly fucking privileged that I was able to do that, and I don’t take that privilege lightly.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Camp Boom! Who wouldn’t get excited about being able to surround themselves with fat babes and wine tasting and yoga and belly-dancing and clothes swaps and life drawing?

16. What song will always remind you of 2020?
During lockdown I was determined to stay active to keep my brain okay, and I will always remember dancing to ‘Blinding Lights’ by the Weeknd and bawling my eyes out because the man I loved was in hospital with a brain aneurysm and no one could be with him and all I could do was keep dancing while I cried. ‘Too Much’ by Carly Rae Jepsen was also on the playlist and also made me think about myself too much.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
Fatter and so so much happier.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Dancing and swimming.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Wasting time on stupid clicky clicky Property Brothers game.

20. How will you be spending Christmas?
I spent 90 minutes or so baking my mother her beloved Spekkoek multi-layered cake, and then I went up to their house with my sisters & their partners to eat too much and just have a nice surprisingly chill evening with mountains of presents.

21. Who did you spend the most time on the phone with?
Jo of course, and Zoom counselling sessions, plus of course a million trillion Zoom work sessions.

22. Did you fall in love in 2020?
Not quite. Definitely fell for a beautiful babe, but she called it off before I could fall too hard, so I guess I’m grateful for small mercies!

23. How many one-night stands?
If we’re defining it as meeting someone and having sex with them then never seeing them again, none!

24. What was your favorite TV program?
Shrill. My tolerance for media without fat people is shrinking rapidly.

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
No. I’ve spent too much time on mindfulness to hate people!

26. What was the best book you read?
Two books – On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous which was just breathtakingly beautiful and sad and powerful, and Three Women which made me shake and ache in recognition.

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
I dunno if I discovered much, I think there was definitely a lot of reverting to old music for comfort.

28. What did you want and get?
An amazing birthday party, a kitchen renovation, to do a bunch of stuff for Boom like Camp.

29. What did you want and not get?
To hug Jo – either on my 40th birthday or hers. A lasting relationship with facebook status.

30. What was your favorite film of this year?
I actually went to the movies this year! The last movie I saw at the theatres was the second in the Hunger Games. Anna, Sara and I went to see Birds of Prey at the Embassy and I absolutely loved it.

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 40. On my actual birthday I’d already postponed family dinner since Karen was still in hospital so I was supposed to get a massage and have dinner with Anji, but instead I got a COVID test and cried at my mother from a distance when she dropped off flowers for me. So many people sent me flowers! I was so lucky!

Luckily my test came back negative so I was able to go ahead with my 40th dinner plans – I treated a bunch of people to dinner in a private room at Tinakori Bistro and it was amazing. I made this speech which I may as well reproduce here for posterity:

Thank you all for coming tonight. I’ve been planning this for a long time – since February in fact when Jo booked her flight over – though obviously that didn’t happen. And then last week when I had to go get a covid test and I was worried this wasn’t going to be able to go ahead, I was freaking out but determined to be chill about it. It’s the roadblock in the third act I have to overcome, I said, this is the part where the Spice Girls discover the bomb on the bus – but they make it to Albert Hall in the end and everyone has a wonderful time.

The reason this dinner is such a big deal is because I planned it when I had no idea what my life would be like, or if I’d even have anyone to celebrate with. I didn’t know who I was if I wasn’t the funny pervy drunkard. I didn’t know if anyone could stand to be around me when I hated myself so much. So I want to thank you all. Thank you for having soda with me when I couldn’t drink. Thank you for holding me when I couldn’t stop crying. Thank you for supporting my business when I wanted to burn it all to the ground. Thank you for loving me when I couldn’t love myself.

The first third of the year is basically just one giant blur to me and I like that because it’s unrecognisable to me now. Things are chill in my life now. Things are GOOD. And that’s because of you all. So let’s eat some good food, have a drink because it’s tasty, not to kill our anxiety, and then let’s have a kani kani. Cheers!

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
A safe tran-Tasman bubble so I could have hugged Jo more.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2020?
My name in NZSL is the sign for ‘Rainbow’ so I think that sums it up very well.

34. Who kept you sane?
So many people. It was a team effort. But I am also going to have to give special credit to me, because I did the mahi. Also my neighbour Kate was particularly supportive during lockdown because I could cry at her from two metres in our garden, and swap her wine that I wasn’t drinking for butter so I didn’t have to go the terrible anxiety-creating supermarkets.

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I don’t actually know. I was so raw for a lot of the year I don’t know if i had much of a sex drive.

36. What political issue stirred you the most?
Fat liberation (body positivity is learning to love your body – fat liberation is making sure you’re never taught to hate it in the first place)

37. Who did you miss?

38. Who was the best new person you met?
Nors. She is an utter delight and I’m sure she likes my puns more than she pretends. Also all the fat babes I met for Boom-related activities.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2019
I matter to people and I deserve to be happy too.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
All my life (hey!)
I’ve had to fight to stay
You were right, love takes time, hey, hey

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