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  • Writer's pictureMarKei Photo & Video

2020: Highlights & Challenges

Updated: Dec 27, 2020

At the end of every year, I browse through all the images I took and share my favorite highlights of the year. However, it’s important to not focus exclusively on “highlights” due to the a) the highlight reel effect and b) the global/national hell that was 2020. It was actually pretty helpful for me to look through everything and understand that, despite 2020 feeling like a dystopian Groundhogs Day, there was a lot of beauty and growth. I don't want to forget that because this is the only 2020 I had and ever will have.


  • got our first renter to help us survive my adventure in entrepreneurship; we've enjoyed having Matt live with us

  • had the honor of meeting Dr. Marlene Winell and presenting a workshop on autonomy & boundaries at her annual retreat in San Francisco


  • spent two months caring for my friend Caleb who broke his ankle

  • a beautiful moment on the Florida coast where I was so satisfied that I didn't care if I lived another moment again.

  • spent the first two months of the year supporting Dave Warnock of Dying Out Loud, traveling with him to California and Florida; the travel had been a continued growth opportunity for my travel anxiety

  • Finally got to meet Ryan Bell and Luke King


  • the COVID-19 pandemic was given birth on this planet; everything I had planned for 2020 was canceled including more travel with Dave Warnock, the CORT conference in Vancouver, and building up my photo/video company

  • began playing with my lens ball in my photographic work as a means to express how the world was feeling upside down


  • began the FrontStep project in my city; got to meet a lot of my amazing neighbors and help our community connect

  • did a photo scavenger hunt via biking for Recovery Bike Shop

  • installed a bidet accessory on our toilets; best thing ever.


  • explored the Cities, documenting all the beautiful things humanity was doing to show their love and solidarity from a distance


  • experienced another layer of awakening to racial/social injustices in the light of George Floyd's murder in Minneapolis; attended dozens of protests, gifting the images I took to the organizers for their use; learned a lot, humbled even more, got to meet amazing social justice organizers and activists; as the pandemic got worse, weather got colder, and I got a job, I wasn't able to spend as much time on this in the same way



  • began weekly recipe selection and grocery shopping on a weekly basis for the household (the other 3 were the cooks); also facilitated a shift into more of a vegetarian diet

  • got to spend a lot more time with my dear friend Joel when he moved in with us after losing his job as a result of the pandemic

  • got to meet Ilhan Omar as well as a number of other local politicians


  • spent the first ten months of 2020 hustling my entrepreneurial efforts HARD (with little success), seven of those months being during a pandemic

  • partook of plant medicine for the first time which has woken me up to so much, even now, three months later; helping me find parts of my humanity that I had severed


  • got a new, part-time, forever-remote job with a fantastic culture & highly flexible schedule which pays enough to help our family meet our financial needs

  • started a (mostly) daily practice of meditation, yoga, breathwork, journaling, & exercise

  • began backing up the cooks in the house, allowing me to practice cooking without any ongoing obligation

  • all the plants I planted in the spring, I never harvested & they all died


  • said goodbye to my dear friend Caleb who moved from Minneapolis to Seattle

  • my friend Amada was elected mayor of our city!

  • bought an Oculus! SO FUN.

  • got to vote Trump out of the office


  • recorded & published 30 podcast interviews on my show

  • dramatically reduced my obsession/compulsion with social media & screens

  • my life/relationship coaching business was successful despite the pandemic

  • began cooking for the household once a week

  • spent all year trying to figure out my passions and my income and my day-to-day balance, all while financially unsure and living in a global pandemic; in the end, I've found a lot of clarity after wading around in chaos

  • rediscovering a type of "spirituality" that is more art than dogma or the metaphysical; presently compiling my dream team of personal educators on spirituality, including, Alan Watts, Britt Frank, Brene Brown, and Dr. LePera; this discovery has also facilitated an experiential knowledge of humanity as a whole being messy, hurt, raw, gritty, and beautiful; I've begun to explore ritual, internal family systems, and shadow work

  • my 99 year old grandma survived COVID (asymptomatic)

  • sprinkled consistently across all these highlights and high quality images were ever-present depression, fear, anxiety, catastrophizing, imposter syndrome, confidence, peace, self-hatred, and chaos; oh and eating a lot of junk food. oh and I look older in my eyes and have a handful of gray hairs.

  • 10 months into the pandemic, I never really felt lonely since we already had a little bubble at our house and with our partners

  • no Zumba after the pandemic started; never really got into the Zoom thing

2021 is around the corner and I have plans:

  • Become a part-time digital nomad once the pandemic is more contained and travel is safe. I have so much I want to see & explore around this planet.

  • More exploration of Jungian psychology and internal family systems

  • More exploration of meditation/zen/tao/non-metaphysical artful ways of understanding the universe and myself and expressing that un/knowing

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