Dear 2020

January 01, 2020

I started 2019 on a slightly anxious note of anticipation, with a lot of things to look forward and potentially stress over to, but also proud of what I've done in 2018, especially when it concerns this blog and Youtube. I had hoped to keep it up, or at the very least, be consistent even if it's on a smaller scale. But those hopes didn't necessarily came true.

To say that I struggled in 2019 will be an understatement, and thus I really had agonized over how transparent I am going to be in writing this year's recap, especially when it concerns my personal life. I think it's important for me to be honest, but I am also aware of the dangers of opening yourself up on the internet, so I hope that you can understand my hesitation and accept the version I am comfortable writing and publishing about.

I started off the year well enough; and by April, I was coming to terms with my new responsibilities, and ready to tackle what should have been my last semester in my bachelor's studies. Notice how I wrote 'should have been'? That's because I still haven't gotten my degree yet. I went in full speed in doing my lab work for my thesis, a grueling, long-winded process to get some results you don't quite understand and literally nobody cares about (let's not discuss the politics of why bachelor's thesis is as unimportant as toilet paper in the academia world). Most days, I went into the lab at 7 or 7.30 am every morning, and left at 5 pm, often without lunch. A lot of the times I was running 2 or 3 experiments at the same time, or prepping for the next ones, because there's genuinely a lot of experiments to do, with a lot of variables. On top of that, I still had to work on my part-time job, so after a while I managed to fit in a couple of hours of work before coming in at 9 am the lab, waking up at 5 am to do so. And let's not forget about lectures I had to attend and exams to sit for; long story short, I was burning the candle on both ends, and the fuse was getting shorter by the day.

In July, I finally finished my lab work, and I had 2 exams to sit for. I failed one of them, and it devastated me. It was supposed to be my last hurdle, and I failed with a single mark to go. However, there's not much I can do about it, and I can retake it in October, so I went home to Indonesia for my summer vacation in August and returned to Germany two months later.

During my time at home, I was supposed to be writing up my thesis; and I did - the whole 10 pages of it. I had also gone home with every intention to film a lot of videos -especially about food; but I can't seem to bring myself to sit down and write or to go out with my camera. Somehow meeting my friends and spending time with my family, as well as just laying around the house with no real responsibility was far more appealing. The only times I sat down and wrote was a couple of midnights and when I went to a cafe on work 'dates' with one of my best friends, and I filmed a single video that I have yet to edit even after my return to Germany.

It was during these times that I began to notice that something is wrong. I'm supposed to feel happy to be back home, but instead I felt dull and lifeless. I was going through the motions without a real purpose or sense of self -I was drifting. I was also panicking, my thesis submission date is getting nearer, and so is my exam, and yet I can't seem to bring myself to do anything about them- or even to care. By the time I had retook the exam, I knew I had failed even before the scores are announced. I realised that my mental health is suffering, and I went to seek help. I can only say that I'm progressing, but I also know there's a long way for me to go yet. In December, I submitted my thesis, and I've yet to heard back, but I was proud of my 67-pages baby.

Truth be told, I would not want to repeat 2019 ever again. I know that in comparison, my struggles may be trivial to the ever growing list of crisis happening in the world today, or the struggle of any other person, but I still would not want to relive it. So dear 2020, please be kind to me.

No comments:

Powered by Blogger.