2020 was a tough year, but I believe in seeing the good in everything.
In this MY 2020 series, Youthopia writers explore everything that happened in the past year – the good, the bad, the ugly – and also share their hopes and dreams for 2021. What’s yours?
No one expected 2020 to turn out the way it did, but here we are in the blink of an eye, in the very last month of the year.
Before the year ends, here’s why I feel 2020 has been a blessing in disguise for me:
I got to work from home throughout my last semester in poly, which saved me so much travelling time.
It usually takes about 45 minutes to an hour to travel from home to school and vice versa. Not to mention the amount of time I waste lazing in bed before I finally decide to get up and get ready for school.
I also spent less on food after working from home because I didn’t have to dine outside. The best part is that I got to enjoy my grandmother’s home-cooked meals every day.
But what I really saw as a blessing was to spend more time with my family, especially my younger cousin.
In the past, we wouldn’t really talk because it was hard to find a common topic. She is also extremely introverted, making it hard for me to engage in a conversation with her.
However, after going through the circuit breaker together, I can see that she’s opened up to me significantly. She would come into my room every day after school and update me about lessons, her friends and things she found interesting.
Sometimes, she would come to me for advice as well. Knowing that she trusts me with her problems and that I can help her in one way or another makes me happy.
I used to journal when I was a child and now have many diaries from different stages of my life. I still keep them, as they hold too much sentimental value to throw, and they always give me a good laugh whenever I read them.
I was reading from one of my journals the other day and it truly brought back memories that I forgot I had.
This was when I thought I should probably start journaling again so that I can keep track of the memories I was forging. 2020 would definitely be an interesting year to look back upon!
Aside from journaling, I’ve also started to play the violin again. I’d stopped taking violin lessons in secondary three to focus on my O-Levels and since then have lost touch with it.
Holding the instrument in my hands again made me rediscover my love for music and reminded me of the comfort it used to provide.
I regret not picking it up right away after Os because I can barely read the music scores now, let alone play a complete song. But with some help from muscle memory and YouTube tutorials, I am hopeful that I’ll be able to play like how I used to in no time!
At the start of WFH season, my daily routine was fairly straightforward. I spent most of my time sitting in the same spot while I attended classes and drank bubble tea.
At some point, I realised clothes that fit me perfectly previously didn’t seem to fit me that nicely anymore. They got a little tighter and honestly, it was kind of hard for me to breathe in them.
A comment from one of my family members that I looked chubbier than before also bothered me for some time. I became concerned about my outer appearance, and decided to make a conscious effort to work out regularly.
I did arm and lower body workouts daily, and went for runs around my neighbourhood whenever I could.
But a thought hit me while I lay in bed one night, unable to fall asleep as I immersed myself in deep thoughts about life.
Who was I working out for? Why am I so bothered by what others think of me? Afterall, there’s really no one to impress but only myself to care for.
My mindset began to change. And while I continue to exercise for the sake of my health, I no longer obsess over staying in shape to look good for others.
I’ve come to accept the fact that our bodies change as we grow older and go through different stages in our lives. Whatever it is, I’ve learnt to love my body and be comfortable in my own skin.
My hopes for 2021 are relatively simple, and perhaps even cliche, but it is what I really hope for from the bottom of my heart.
In 2021, I hope that there won’t be any more COVID-19 cases around the world and that it’ll be safe to travel overseas.
I also wish for everyone to be more compassionate towards one another as we recover from the pandemic.
Last but not least, I hope that the people around me will continue to stay healthy and happy, no matter what 2021 may bring.
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