2020 Year in Review

Marissa Goldberg
4 min readDec 31, 2020


Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

This year was utterly insane. If you would have told me last year that the world would shut down due to a global pandemic and cause a total disruption to normal way of life, I would have never believed you. Yet, here we are. All things considered, I had a good year.

Big Life Events

Survived 6 weeks of COVID

The week before the world came to a screeching holt, I celebrated my birthday. I went out for a fancy meal, went to all of my favorite stores, and had a spa day. It would have been the perfect last hurrah before shutdown if I didn’t contract COVID from it.

I am only 26 years old, but that didn’t matter. For the next 6 weeks, I was on a roller coaster journey of being the sickest I’ve ever been. Initially, doctors claimed that it wasn’t in the area at the time and it was impossible that I had it. Then they said that I didn’t have it because I tested negative for the normal flu. I was told a lot of misinformation. It wasn’t until 4 weeks in, when I went to the doctor yet again due to having a stabbing pain in my ribs with every breath I took, that they finally admitted they were wrong.

This period was especially difficult because my remote work side business was exploding and I was running for local office while sick. I had to pause everything in my life for a time before I finally recovered. I still have lasting symptoms, but I’m so grateful for surviving the experience.

My business exploded

I started working remotely in 2015. When I went to look for a new job a few years later, I was severely disappointed in the remote work options at the time. So in 2018, I started my side business, Remote Work Prep, with the goal of bringing out the best parts of remote work through tools, experiences, and knowledge. I figured if I could help a few companies successfully transition to remote work, it could lead to larger adoption. Then 2020 happened.

I’m so grateful for the shift in thinking this year has brought. Way more companies are open to remote work options and the traditional work experience will never be the same again. I wish I could have been active in the first 6 weeks to help drive a positive direction, but it is what it is. There’s still a lot of work to be done.

Elected to local office

This was completely unexpected. I was much newer to my community and less “popular” than others who were running. The election period was while I was sick and everything was shut down. I didn’t expect to win, then I did. Plus won an extra district elected seat. Switching from a start-up position in the morning to government meetings in the afternoon has been a rough adjustment to say the least. However, I’m grateful to everyone that trusted me in this role and I’m committed to bettering the community.

Adopted a puppy

Above anything else, this ended up being my biggest struggle in 2020. Adopting a puppy was something I had waited years for, yet when it finally happened, it turned my world upside-down. I had spent years optimizing my living environment and schedule to be perfect for productivity. The puppy erased all of that during my busiest time. We also aimed to get a calm dog with a chill lifestyle and ended up with a wild dog with endless energy. Puppy blues hit me hard early on. However, she’s also incredibly intelligent, beautiful, and loveable. She’s ended up helping me reframe what’s important to me and I love her so much.

Paid off my student loans

Despite not finishing my degree, I had the student loans to remind me of the wasted time. I finally had the opportunity to close them out this year and I’m so happy to no longer have them looming over my head.

Started sharing publicly on Twitter

Last year I made my 2020 goal to stop being such a hermit and go create new experiences with others. Then the world shutdown. Instead of abandoning this goal, I took it online. I’m introverted and have always been pretty quiet on social media. That changed this year. I started sharing my stories, tips, and experiences, and it ended up resonating with people. I took my Twitter following from 150 to 3,000 since April by sharing things like how I gained back my focus after a concussion, what GPT-3 is and why you shouldn’t be scared of it, and what I’ve learned from tracking daily emotions and memories for 1,230 days. I still feel like I have no idea what I’m doing, but the positive comments and DMs I’ve received keeps me going.

Some Random Favorite Memories

  • Building the Lego Disney castle
  • My husband making the best grilled cheese I’ve ever had
  • My team member making me cry with a sweet birthday message
  • Working with my dream client
  • Shreyas, my favorite product person, recommending my Twitter account
  • Getting accepted into the On Deck Fellowship
  • Installing holiday lights on our house for the first time

Best of the Year

  • Book: Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb
  • Newsletter: Wellness Wisdom by Patricia Mou
  • Podcast: Fake Doctors, Real Friends
  • Movie: Soul
  • Tv show: Ted Lasso
  • Restaurants: Latke Love, Gabriel’s, and Moontime Crepe Truck
  • New find: Workwear Pajamas
  • Lesson: Stepping out of your comfort zone is worth it

My introverted tendencies and remote work expertise saved the day for me this year. 2020 is a year that I will remember forever. I am so grateful to everyone who made a dark year a little brighter. I have big plans for 2021, and you can follow along with them here. Hope you have the loveliest new year!