Is it 2021?

January 12, 2021

I think everyone would agree that at the very least, 2020 has been a wild ride. 

A global pandemic changed our way of life dramatically, we can't travel, we had to limit our contact with other people, offices become virtually (get it?) obsolete, and some of us had our hours reduced, got furloughed, or worse, redundant. Worst of all, some of us either knew of someone who had lost a loved ones to Covid, lost the battle themselves, or even experience a personal loss. If you were one of them, I can only offer my condolences, and can honestly say, you're not alone. I am one of you.

I sadly lost my grandfather in early autumn to Covid. He passed away before we even knew what was happening, and due to the safety protocols, he had to be buried immediately. He had no funerals, and the only people who attended his burials were my father and one of my uncle. Not even his other children were allowed, much less his grandchildren. And with me being in another continent altogether, there was very little that I could do except pray and support my family as best as I can. It felt surreal and bizarre; I felt like we weren't able to grieve properly, because our focus has to immediately shift to ensuring my father's health, as he was in close contact with my grandfather.

However, 2020 has not just been about loss; I officially got my Bachelor's degree! But more importantly, I gain much perspective and spent a lot of time confronting my personal issues, all in effort to put my mental health in a better place. Many times I felt like I wasn't making any progress and felt like nothing is going to change for the better. But I was making progress. It took a lot to even confront my problems and recognise that things have to change. It sounds cliché, but everybody's journey is different, and that's okay.

I also took on more hours at the bakery as a next step to becoming more financially dependent; at almost 25, I should have been holding a steady entry-level job years ago as my classmates have done, but somehow I feel like my path is leading me somewhere with a different set of rules and standard. It's most definitely not where I thought I would be when I started high school 10 years ago, and really, it's almost comical how different it is from my imagination.

Although more hours at the bakery has meant that I have to be even more time-efficient regarding my uni work, somehow it really hasn't been too bad. I think lockdown definitely helped with that, since I was spending a lot of time at home and able to figure out a routine that would work. I have still quite a way to go yet, but hopefully I would get to start working on my thesis later on this year. And after that, honestly, who knows? I may finally get started on the entry-level job I'm a few years old too late for, or something else entirely.

Admittedly, I have devoted barely any time on this blog or my Youtube channel, but to put it plainly felt like I had nothing to say at the moment. I love filming my travels and writing about them, but lockdown put a stop to that. And with masks being the new must have item, I barely wore any makeup of styled my hair all year (my skin was ambivalent about this, but my hair feels kind of healthier), and so I didn't really venture into buying much beauty item at all. On this I feel rather sad, since I used to love buying makeup items, especially lip products. However, this does not mean that I've been sitting idly by and simply binged Netflix shows to pass the time. Although I most definitely did a lot of that, as well as hopping on Amazon Prime and getting Disney+ (I know, I think this is becoming a problem). But on top of this, I've been cultivating new hobbies as well.

A few years ago, I learned knitting from Youtube tutorials, so I decided it was high time I did other needlework -probably because I was not going to become a very good or fast knitter. I took up cross stitching, which drove me mad at times when I miscounted some stitches, but fulfilled my need for having a neat and ensured good result at the end, since I was following an established pattern made by others much more artistically inclined (if you missed the memo, I am not one of those fortunate people).

I also got much more serious about baking. I tried to perfect my macaron making skill, and at the end, I ended up selling some 200 macarons over the year. I learned A LOT on my macaron journey. I had to figure out how to keep the macarons from breaking to pieces when sent via post, ensuring I have a good consistent batches.. how to work with my oven and kitchen in general.. and spending way too much on baking supplies in the meantime. But it has truly been a blast. There was nothing more satisfying than having perfectly formed macarons at the end, even if I had to resort to some curse words on the way. I've still got much more to learn, I'm sure, like my next project -royal icing!

My Christmas macarons order! I've come a long way since I first started.

And so has 2020 ended. Like any other year, it has it's ups and downs. Unlike any other year, it has unequivocally left a burn mark on every single person. I applaud all the essential workers for risking their lives everyday, and I hope that the end will soon be in sight.



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