Dear Diary

Goodbye, 2020! What Realizations Did It Give You?

December 31, 2020
Ciao means hello and goodbye. Soon, we’ll be saying goodbye, 2020! Are you ready for 2021?

Goodbye, 2020! The year gave us a lot especially with the entire world battling the deadly COVID-19 virus. The pandemic brought us different things such as anguish, joy, pain, and even a gleam of hope. Through the different beacons we look at, we feel different things. We wish for things to happen differently and sometimes, we wish we treated others differently.

Looking back, 2020 was a plot twist for me. First, the company I used to work with suddenly closed without even paying us our last salaries or even support during the pandemic. They suddenly said that it was going downhill and it was our last day. A lot of us in that company went through different kinds of anguish. When the announcement was made, it was at the peak of the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) here in our dear country. People lost their primary source of income and do not know what to do. The twist that happened to me, the universe, and the Almighty showed me another opportunity that ultimately allowed me to work while surviving this atrocity.

From then on, I realized, side hustles will save you. Sometimes, we think it’s just for extra money for games or even for our hobbies, but the silver lining will always be that side hustles save your ass!

How do I say goodbye 2020?

Saying goodbye to something that caused us a lot probably feels easy especially when we focus on the bad things. As I write this, it’s almost 3 AM of the last day of 2020. I recall how the year was to me thinking of the different kinds of things that happened. From losing work, to gaining another one, and to supporting my friends’ small businesses, it’s quite overwhelming. For an extrovert like me, I like hanging out with people and talking with them or just being with them in the same place while scrolling social media feeds. However, 2020 took that away from me.

I actually aspired to travel this year with my partner even just for a quick getaway from the city. But, all the aspirations I had turned into dust. 2020 devastated all plans that people made. Planners left blank without any entries except for “nth day of quarantine.” Moreover, this year showed us that a lot of private individuals or companies made an effort to help their fellowmen more than the people that we expect to serve them. No need to elaborate on that, if you follow me on Twitter, you’ll know.

But anyhow, I’m enduring what I think is my ulcer and anxiety while I write this. Believe it or not, I thought of writing on my blog for months but never found the energy or will to do so. I prioritized my wellness and my career in order to provide for my family and support whoever needed it. Of course, I faced the consequences of my actions.

Goodbye, 2020! Will I hate to see you go?

From that quick introduction and story, I realized that 2020 opened my eyes to how some companies attempted to help their employees but ended up blurring the boundaries of work and relaxation. Some of my friends shared that ever since they started working remotely, they work around 12 hours a day. That does not include their hygienic routine or even lunch breaks and snacks. Isn’t that cruel?

Before I blab about everything and anything under the sun, let me move onto the realizations this 2020!

Goodbye 2020 means a chance to rejuvenate

Welcoming another year means giving yourself a chance to grow and discover the things you want to do. Not only that, but it also means letting yourself feel things differently. 2020 caused us a lot of pain so let’s think of 2021 as the year of rejuvenation. Most of us prioritized self-care and self-love as we stayed indoors for the majority of the year. Others started going back to work when ECQ got lifted and changed to General Community Quarantine (GCQ).

Even people like me endure things such as getting absorbed by a dark abyss that traps you for quite a while. The monsters we dread to see or meet lurk there hence, pulling us away from the light we made. Personally, that abyss somehow made a comeback (encountered it years back) but I made sure I will claw my way out time and time again. After all, no one will defeat those but ourselves. People around us will be our rocks or our support system throughout the journey.

Fortunately, I found my rocks and I made sure I gravitated towards the beacon they gave me while clawing my way out of that abyss. Now, when I feel I’m going into that abyss once more, I just remember the boulders and rocks (my constants) who always encourage me to be the best version of myself all the time.

With that, it makes it a whole lot easier to say goodbye, 2020 and move forward to the next chapter.

Communication got weirder

Prior to the lockdown, going out or even hugging was easy as 1-2-3. But now, the pandemic scared me a lot and made me reluctant to physically join other people when they go out. Communication got weirder for me since communicating online is both a privilege and a necessity. For me, it becomes a privilege if you got the strongest and fastest connection at your disposal. A lot of us struggle finding a decent connection that will let us join various virtual meetings or hangouts whenever we wish to or need to.

A person like me whose love language consists of quality time and physical touch, struggled so much this pandemic (2020 to be exact). Even if I want to go out and be with people, I simply do not wish to. Charging my social battery became tedious that sometimes it left me in tears. Since we all struggle, I feel that sometimes I’m a nuisance when I chat or initiate conversations. Hence, at some point, I felt I might get introverted. Fortunately, Sam influenced me to play online games and I got to play with friends and meet new ones too; one of them is Greg who’s streamer page is Lemon Juice. We converse and strategize on Discord and also ask how friends currently are. Honestly, during one of our games, friends encouraged me to start my own podcast. Though, how? Plus, I know nothing about editing or even hosting. Plus side, I like to talk. So, let’s see!

Going back, this year taught me a lot about introspection. Sometimes, I fail to communicate back clearly as my mind continues to wander somewhere else. Therefore, I reply with “huh” or “please repeat that again.” I guess, my mind virtually travels as if my physical body travels too.

Never feel bad about taking days off

Honestly, I learned this the hard way. With my anxiety lurking around from time to time, giving me occasional breakdowns and life puzzles, I opted to keep my side hustles with the fear of anything may happen during this tough period. Hearing about people enduring retrenchment or pursuing other things in order to survive put me in a different mindset. My mind kept thinking about losing and getting replaced. It sucked my energy and made me feel a lot worse.

I would sacrifice sleep to work so I earn more. As almost everything cost, even more, this pandemic, it gave a struggle of working harder (take note: not smarter) than ever before. In the end, my body suffered. I always feel tired and lack energy. At one point, I almost gave up entirely. Then, I remember that life need not be put to waste. We give ourselves time off, recharge, and get back on the saddle again.

However, a med friend of mine told me to have myself checked for mental health, and 2020 marks that! Yes, I told myself and braved it. Good thing, everything went online. Else, I’d be too scared of the germs or chances of getting exposed to the outside world.

But anyway, take that break. You deserve it after all that we went through!

Continue fueling your passions in life

People say a lot of things and that includes their passions in life. When we try something new for the very first time and actually like it and sustain it, it transforms into something deeper. Hence, it turns into your passion. However, with all things getting derailed this year, I know if not all, some of your passion projects got derailed too. Right?

Then after that devastating news of plans getting canceled or moved, you lose a certain amount of spark or ignition in your body which ultimately affects your drive for your passion. Little by little, the fire you feel dies out. Then you feel stuck or even perpetually thinking of what went wrong or what did you do that led to this point?

What I realized from that, we ultimately find our way in life. Priorities shift and we need to survive, for now. If we don’t survive, how do we move forward? But of course, you’ll tell yourself that this is the break you need. I agree to that but never let an idea related to your passion just pass by. If you read Big Magic, you’ll know what I mean.

Get that handy journal or notebook from your shelf. Bring it with you or put it in your workspace. If you use digital tools, put a shortcut for your notes so you take note of things easily. Remember, when you let an idea pass by without even thinking about it or writing it down, it disappears from your mind forever or transcends into another being.

Go on your own pace

This practically pays homage to the time when I was still in law school. I always remind myself that law school is never a race to begin with. It was a battle of wit and perseverance and also of mental health.

With everything going on, 2020 made some people feel different. Some gained yet some lost. But, remember that life will never be a race. I realized that we go through different roads toward our goals. Sometimes, we forget the people who have been cheering for us since day one. Then, we feel reluctant to acknowledge their support and concern after quite some time. If you feel you’re missing out, there’s a silver lining to that.

Look at it from a different perspective.

Life is not a race.

In turn, appreciate the joy of missing out. People always think about feeling left behind but they fail to realize or see that you get to think about your decisions with more insight. We get to learn from what they did or did not and seemingly apply it on our own. Therefore, don’t fret about getting delayed in your graduation. It means that you gained another chance to improve yourself and your performance.

Normalizing being brutally honest

It always comes to this. Some people despise the hard truth and would go stabbing people behind their backs. Uhm, this is the 21st century, right? When will we ever tell it to their face? Do we learn to take or swallow the hard pill?

The truth hurts. Yet, I fail to fathom why people feel taken aback when confronted about something that makes them feel uncomfortable. Personally, I met people who still apologize for being brutally honest even if we just met. But in all honesty, I’m eternally grateful for people like that. Not being able to take the hard pill will leave you vulnerable to almost anything. It feels like you walk on eggshells when you converse with other people who are like that. Your friends, your partner, your family, need to understand that when you utter your truth, they need to listen to it without interrupting you at all. Communication is a two-way street and if one does not listen, how will it work?

Also, never expect people to read your mind. Not every one is gifted with that. Personally, I easily sense people’s moods (I’m an empath) or even some of their thoughts but not entirely. So I still ask and talk to them. What hurts is if they shrug me off then realize it on their own after a while. Of course, there’s the powerful moment where I could say, “I told you so.” Right?

Which is why, I love Sheldon Cooper. Even if it was tough for him to connect socially and be intimate, he spoke the truth even if it hurt other people around him. His friends understood that it’s how he’s wired (or made). Now, I wish there’d be more Sheldon Cooper in the world.

What happens next?

We now say goodbye to 2020. Even if the year gave us heartbreaks, losses, let us remember the things it gave us too. Let’s not end the year remembering how bad it was but let’s think about the good it gave us too.

But of course, let this year be an eye-opener for most Filipinos out there. Remember how the government treated us. Never forget to register for the upcoming elections in 2022! Let’s elect more responsible and compassionate officials that will truly take care of us.

So now, are you ready to say goodbye to 2020?


Goodbye 2020, for real!
What were your realizations this 2020?

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