I started to write this article on a rather ironic day, March 13th. In any year before, this would be just another day. However, living in our post pandemic world, this is a date that invokes a worldwide cringe. For me personally, March 13th, 2020 is the day that life as I knew it stopped. I was furloughed from both of my part time jobs on this day last year, with no promise of when we would return. Just a few short days later, an announcement from the California government called for a mandatory ”two week” quarantine.
I can still see the Ralph’s aisles in my mind, completely ransacked, like the scene from an apocalyptic movie. The line to the counter a mile long, no masks yet, we didn’t know any different. We were told to stock up on supplies like paper towels, hand sanitizer, and toilet paper. Our only excuse for leaving the confines of our home were for “essential” trips. But it’s okay! It’s only two weeks. We just have to do our part to flatten the curve, things will be okay by Easter Sunday!
Remember those days?
It’s funny how our early, naïve days of quarantine almost feel nostalgic now. We probably wouldn’t have been as strong if we knew the FULL year we were in for. As someone who dealt with forced unemployment, my last bit of normalcy was this blog. I took so much pride in running this site and overseeing daily content. It was my last bit of purpose in a world that had stopped turning. But as the lockdowns lingered, the possibility of any live music seemed to slip away. Every day festival cancellations came pouring in for the spring, but I held onto a glimmer of hope for the summer and fall dates ahead.
Each passing week came with a new wave of restrictions, cancellations, and dreams put on hold. Around May I realized wishing for live music in 2020 was a lost cause. My amazing team had kept incredible content flowing until this point in the pandemic, and I decided we had reached the end of our road. I was in survival mode, creatively depleted, and to be honest a bit angry at the world. This was not how things were “supposed” to go. I decided to surrender. For a long time, I didn’t know if Mic Drop would ever return.
With so many lives lost, people left jobless, and families destroyed; my little music blog seemed almost silly in comparison to the issues we were facing on a global scale. No one cares about “New Music Friday”, when civilians are being shot in the street. I couldn’t muster the energy to have an opinion on an album, when so many people are losing their loved ones to a mysterious disease. It just didn’t seem like any of the work I was once so passionate about even mattered. I was of this opinion for a long time, until some of my amazing team started to reach out to me.
Texts from my writers began to trickle in, confessing that they desperately missed having the creative outlet. A place where their ideas are not only encouraged, but published and shared. We all faced a great amount of collective trauma in 2020, and this is the year I hope we all begin to heal. Like so many others, I find art incredibly healing. Music and writing are just two art forms that have gotten me through some tough times. I hope that this platform can do just that. Provide an outlet of healing and a space for unique voices opinions to be shared, as we navigate this new world.
I feel grateful to be able to look at my work through this new lens. For many years I focused only on how many readers we were bringing in per day, how many followers we gained on our social media, what events we were given press access to. I was so pre occupied by these superficial statistics, that I didn’t see what was right in front of me all along. I (along with my staff) had created something so much more beautiful. Something that can’t be measured or analyzed. I created a place for young artists to develop their gifts and gain experience for their futures. I created a media outlet of legitimate credibility from my childhood bedroom. I created something that gives people a sense of purpose and fulfillment outside of their professional jobs. These are the only “stats” that matter to me now.
It has been a long, quiet year without music. Without the feeling of community you get in a crowd, dancing with strangers, and sharing drinks in a bar. For 365 long, quiet days, we daydreamed of music’s triumphant return. Thanks to advances in modern science, there seems to be a light at the end of this devastating tunnel. With the return of live events to be held safely, we will be there to report. Thank you for joining us on this new mission of empowerment, creativity, and collaboration. We’ve missed you too.