• Carla Ra

My twenty twenty

Updated: Dec 2, 2020

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but this year was not one of the best, to put it mildly. And it was not only for me; the entire world shared this feeling, facing a hopefully once-in-a-lifetime experience: a deadly pandemic.

As a science-fiction lover, I have to admit that post apocalyptic is not my favorite sub genre. It always puts me in a dreadful mood. And guess what? 2020 was a super-long story in this genre.

I was confident this year would be one of the best of my life. I had few, not-too-ambitious new year’s resolutions. You know, the usual: save money, lose weight, live together with my husband, that kind of stuff.

New year 2020 started with a kiss on my then fiancé and, soon after, our first trip together. We went to Edinburgh, Scotland. I was at a conference, but my fiancé was there on vacation, so he went sightseeing, found interesting places, and took me there after working hours. It was the first time I saw a castle up close.

Me and my then fiancé at Edinburgh Castle

Mid January, my fiancé went back to Brazil and I stayed in Germany. Our plan was to get married in our home country and he would move to Berlin to live with me. He quit his job, sold all of his stuff, ended his rental contract, and got a ticket to Europe. We got married in São Paulo on March 7th. We were supposed to come to Germany right after that, but then the lockdown happened and the European borders closed.

Me and Hubby (faithful portrait)

Our honeymoon was supposed to be in Switzerland. It was instead at my mother-in-law’s. It’s ok, you can laugh.

Anyway, I had to get back to Germany eventually and my husband stayed in Brazil. It was tough. It still is. We have been separated for six months now, but we can handle it. I say this, but I do not mean it is easy. In these months apart, I had to move cities, start a new job, and get into another lockdown. It is a challenge for my mental health.

One good thing is that my career did not suffer immediately. The academic world also felt the crisis and job offers declined in numbers drastically. And, as any other area affected by the pandemic, it will take a couple of yearsbeing optimisticto recover. And thus, I am struggling to find a research position for next year. I will keep trying, but there is no guarantee it will happen.

So I had to reevaluate my priorities, both in my personal life and my career choices, to come up to a plan to survive the next year. I will not spoil it to you though. I will tell you gradually, as things happen. Mostly because my plan still feels uncertain right now. The one thing I can guarantee today is that I want to live with my husband next year. This is something I will not give up. It’s settled, so I can give you this.

(Maybe I should transfer all of last year’s new-year’s resolutions to this year. Not sure yet. Maybe I should not do a list of resolutions this year.)

In hindsight, I was in a fairly secure position this year, but the day-to-day struggle was real and painful. And the ripples of this crisis are still to hit me. I am optimistic, tho. 2021 will be better. I will share the aftermath with you next year. Stay tuned.

See you next month!


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