2020: Year of reckoning…

Warning: Not just another piece on the year that was or the year to come or the year of Trump…mostly…

Young Apprentice AKA PB
5 min readJan 1, 2020


Starting a new decade (let’s not have the “new decade begins in 2021” argument…yawn…) makes a lot of folk look back on forecasts and prophecies and the likes, while also looking forward and wondering what will come next.

French prophet Nostradamus is often dragged out because he has come up with the goods on a few very pertinent occasions: the French Revolution; the bombing of Hiroshima; the Apollo moon landing; the Space Shuttle Challenger tragedy; and even the death of Princess Diana.

We live in hope of fulfilled expectation

In reality, he has a hit-to-miss ratio that doesn’t stack up as much as true believers would hope for, although given so many of his prophecies are open to interpretation, it’s hard to provide hard data on this.

What essentially lies behind our curiousity and fascination with old Nostro and also other futurists predictions is our fear of the unknown, the future, the what-ifs of a tomorrow still to come.

We humans crave certainty: we build lives around it, gamble on it, insure for it, living in thehope of fulfilled expectations.

Of course, life isn’t like that, right?

Sure, the sun comes up when we expect it (generally)…coffee tastes like coffee (not always sadly)…our parents are going to tell us on the phone about their latest ailment as soon as we start chatting to them (usually)…Trump will tweet another porkie (or 12) this week (dead certainty).

But cold hard reality dictates that life is filled with curveballs, and just when you think you have a handle on something or are certain you know the outcome, ZINGGGGGGGGGGGG the ball curves and you’re left shaking your head, picking up the pieces of your shattered plans or hopes and either trying to plaster them back together or starting over.

There is a third way.


In other words, learn to be agile. This is the very reason for uncertainty. It gives us the chance to learn resilience, to become more adept at managing unpredictability and, maybe in some twisted sounding-way, to remain hopeful.


Yes, hopeful.

Imagine a world where EVERYTHING turned out the way we thought it would or a life where every plan worked out 100% the way we predicted it would. Not only would this be, at least from my perspective, completely boring, it would mean there was no innovation…no real challenges…no surprises…and no chance to GROW.

And there would be no reason to HOPE.

NOT ON MY WATCH…or…over to you B —

I’m a fatalist, so I believe that most things ultimately go the way they’re meant to, but I also believe in agency, so I straddle this interesting position where I do everything in a highly hopefuly way to build the life I want, while going with the flow when it takes a direction I’m not sure of, even if admittedly I swim against that same flow sometimes out of pure obstinance or ego.

And so we come to 2020.

One hundred years ago, in the aftermath of a terrible war and with the exhuberant hope of better times on the horizon, they named this decade “The Roaring Twenties”. People became more carefree, liberated, alive to possibility…until the stockmarket crashed and times got rough for so many, leading to us slowly jackbooting back towards another World War.



I’m not making any similar predictions for the next year or decade for the reasons I’ve written above, but I am in the habit of giving my year “a title”. I find this really useful as a reminder of how I started the year and as a way to refocus on my goals, hopes, aspirations. Given we are about to spring into a new ten-year period, a similar title for the decade ahead is also appropriate.

My year’s title?

Last year, 2019, was #2019YearofAspiration because I was aspiring to certain things (mostly turned out OK, so happy with that). This year, 2020, has taken on the title #2020YearofAscension. It’s a year I hope to ascend…to rise…to become more than I currently am. Sounds a little generic, I know, but if you knew more of the details of my life (how long ya got?), it would make sense. I know it’s not going to be a smooth ride — there’ll be bumps and occasional backward flips and levelling outs and the like.

But for the most, my eyes are on the horizon, eager and ready to dive into the possibilities of what can be.

And my title for the decade?

Again, a little generic maybe, but…


Over the last ten years we saw a continuing winding apart of humanity rather than a continuation of striving to work together to make everyone’s lives the best they can be.

It was a decade of rising populism and partisan politics and nationalism and “them vs us” and building walls and closing borders and #Brex(sh)it (sigh).

So, my challenge to everyone is to be more mindful that this can’t work. That whether we like it or not, we humans are all in this together. We don’t have to agree about everything or even most things — let’s keep thrashing out ideas so we end up with better ways of thinking and approaching the complexities of life.

It was a decade of rising populism and partisan politics and nationalism and “them vs us” and building walls and closing borders and #Brex(sh)it (sigh).

We don’t have to (or hopefully want to be) all “the same” but rather should look to preserve our own uniqueness around culture, nationality, ethnicity, sexuality, gender — and whatever else you want to throw in the label mix — while coexisting alongside others in a way that respects their individuality even as they respect ours.

But, maybe most importantly, we must be mindful that we only have one planet…and we all know that despite the excitement of heading back to the Moon and maybe onto Mars, they just aren’t gonna cut it as “Plan(et) B’s” if we screw Earth up due to greed, lack of care and poor vision.

Sure, where lines are drawn into what we know as nations, some caution around that territoriality needs to be heeded. This does not mean, however, that we can’t act in unison to try and share the planet in a way that respects each other AND respects the planet itself.

We are the guardians of Earth, fellow humans (don’t start on that hokey “dominion over all” nonsense).

We are the guardians of now and of the future.

And to protect our legacy and the hopes of those who will live beyond us, we must set aside our differences and get on with sharing what we have so that in one hundred or one-thousand years, our ancestors look back and praise us for our unity rather than curse us for our lack of it.



Young Apprentice AKA PB

Writer, editor, content dude, digital disruptor. Politics. Arts. Tech. Travel. Food. Film. The Force. Digital Nomad. Citizen of the universe. Coffee. Always.