The next 10 months was a whirlwind of activity: cutting Sheets 2-9, scanning squares, rebuilding sheets in Photoshop, creating digital files for printing, filling in the majority of Sheets 10-25, building this website, finding a company to produce custom archival QR Code + RFID labels, and working with a web developer to build the functionality behind this website. I worked at a frenetic pace with my mind set on launching LLLinked on May 18, 2020.
But my plans would soon come to a screeching halt. I am not sure what happened on Feb 2, 2020. But in my universe, something cracked. I remember that day not only because I was watching the Super Bowl at a favorite neighborhood bar, but because the date is a universal palindrome. Out of nowhere, I had a panic attack. I have no idea what caused it. Maybe it was work burnout. But this panic attack created a profound feeling of dread, loneliness, and hopelessness within me that I had never felt before in my life. It started the year of anxiety.
Over the next twelve months, anxiety was relentless. From the disarray of the Iowa caucuses; to my complete loss of creative drive and unexplained weight loss, insomnia, and vertigo; to a global pandemic and social distancing; to nationwide unrest and demonstrations demanding equality, liberty, and justice for all; to health issues with loved ones; to a derecho ravaging Iowa; to both my dogs dying; to the US presidential election; to the death of my 100 year old grandmother; to the attack on the US Capitol. Although my suffering was minor compared to most, February 2020–January 2021 was, nonetheless, a life marker year for me.
My primary achievement with LLLinked during that time was that I printed, labeled, cut, and signed the 1,188 square prints of Sheet 1.