A Reflection on 2020
Is this thing still on?
Before we even begin, I want to first say thank you. It may not seem like much, but I've been noticing every little uptick on the view counter these past few months, and I appreciate you so much for taking the time to check in with CharliesCut.com, despite the lull in posts. I hope, regardless of the circumstances, you are happy, healthy, and staying safe.
I'm not going to lie, this post will be very different from the things I traditionally upload and discuss. There will be no films, video games, or television shows mentioned, nor will I dive into what is coming next for the website. I simply want to take a moment to reflect in order to create a deeper level of transparency with all of you. In a time like this, being open and honest is vitally important.
It goes without saying that 2020 has been a dumpster fire of a year. No need to list the reasons why. Personally, it's been a time of weak motivation, see-sawing emotions, and little appreciation for my passions and hobbies. The things that used to bring me so much happiness and contentment have become chores. And when that happens, it's only a matter of time before you begin losing your grounding, and feel as though you're floating day-to-day with no direction. What is driving you? What is your goal? Since April, I've had no answers to these questions.
But in the middle of this garbage inferno, there have also been some silver linings. Not many, but some. If anything, 2020 has been a time of internal understanding, of looking inward (yes, I understand how cheesy this all sounds but please hear me out) and discovering who I really am as a person. I'm here to share some of these discoveries with you.
Back in January, I decided that 2020 was going to be the year of redefining Charlie's Cut. I gave the website a complete design overhaul; I ditched the overly complicated scoring system and adopted a simpler, more understandable rating scale; I opened the doors to other writers and allowed new voices to be heard in order to slowly build up a team of correspondents; and I started to market my work in new fields, such as copyediting, proofreading, and web design. I set very high goals for myself because I knew that if I really set my mind to them I could accomplish them.
For the most part, there was success. Charlie's Cut saw a 300% (!) increase in viewership this year, a statistic I could've never imagined reaching. And it's all thanks to you, my readers. You, my friend, are one rad human being. The interest in my content also grew. People began reaching out to inquire how they too could get involved with the website, and what I was looking for with regard to future posts. It was surreal. It still is.
These moments, when I can see the website growing and becoming a regular resource for other cinefiles, have been wonderful. But in the midst of these moments, the broader world has snuck in and ruined all the fun. The bombardment of negative news and media, the growing human inequalities, the fear - its fallout affects a person's mental health the most. Watching and reading about these terrible things, while important and informative, can be a version of self-harm if not done in intermittent settings. I'm just one of many people who "doom scrolls," spending hours on social media in order to consume every bit of negativity that I can, as though I'm filling up an internal gas tank with anxiety fuel. And where has this habit gotten me? Nowhere. The only thing I've gained is a terrible sleep schedule and a higher data bill.
Your mentality is just as important as your physical well-being. I've struggled with anxiety my entire life, and it's no surprise nor mystery why my worrisome thoughts have only increased this year. Our brains can only take so much negativity before we become completely immobilized by it, so weighed down that simple day-to-day tasks transform into Herculean feats. And for those who may be wondering why CharliesCut.com hasn't received any new content since March, it's for this exact reason: I've felt hopeless.
I don't say any of this to gain your sympathy, but to rather share my thoughts and experiences to help anyone going through a similar situation. Times suck, it's true, but we're going to make it through. And perhaps I'm hoping to not only prove to my readers that my passions for film, video games, and television are still alive and well, but to also remind myself of this very fact. Anxiety and depression should not, and cannot, dictate how I want to express my admiration for cinema.
Being aware of these hurdles is half the battle, and I'm addressing them head-on. I've started to limit my social media footprint, and instead spend my time reading more, and working on my MFA thesis. I've also developed a love for cooking, and I try to make every meal a fun experience that will stay pinned in my memory bank. My fiancé and I will be moving soon, and the endless packing and planning has provided me with a much needed escape from technology. And all of these little changes have helped. Every day I feel just a little bit better, a little bit lighter. I have a roof over my head, food in my refrigerator, and a job that pays well. These things, which are often overlooked in our busy lives, are the sails to why I'm thankful to be in my current boat.
So, what does all of this mean? What's next? Well, I won't lie to you by saying I have a lot of new content coming soon. Truthfully, I do not. However, this post is the first step in a positive and optimistic direction. I'm not gone - I'm still here, sitting at my computer, wanting to write. I've still been watching movies, playing video games, and binging television shows whenever I can, and I want to share my thoughts on these with you more than anything. And I will. When the time is right.
More content WILL be coming to CharliesCut.com. It may not be tomorrow or next week or even next month, but I promise to continue serving this website and all of my dedicated readers. If you can stick with me during these crazy times, I will make the wait oh so worth your while.
That's all for now. Stay safe, everyone. I'll return after this brief intermission.