It wouldn’t have been like me to beat the drum of self-improvement while a global pandemic raged. Collective traumas were there to be survived, muddled through, duvet day by duvet day. I knew that. But somewhere along the way I became one of those people: the type who decides that even a few thousand excess deaths shouldn’t keep them from upskilling, pushing the envelope, blue-sky thinking, and all the rest of it.
I had an excuse: the interminable wait for life to get going was something of a default mode for me. I spent 2019 in the first primal gasps of a gender transition, and 2020 was supposed to be the year I truly began to live. My updated passport arrived in the middle of February, and by the end of March it was useless, the borders closed to all but the most urgent traffic. The familiar, unwelcome feeling of restraint, tempered by the knowledge that others had it worse, sometimes much worse.
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