Well, that flew by
I checked this website for the first time in months and noticed my last published post was in February of 2020. Right before I turned forty.. and right before COVID-19 wreaked havoc globally. I feel like I’ve spent these many months just doing my best to tread water so I don’t get engulfed by wave upon wave of panic and worry and anxiety over so many things I have zero control over. My parents’ health, even my dogs’ health, issues here and there at work, all on top of intense cabin fever from the initial shock of one of the longest quarantine periods in the world… right now, on this December 3rd, it feels like I’m only just coming up for air and taking my first full and calm breath.
But the truth is I’ve lived much of my adult life in this way: seemingly with horses’ blinders on, charging forward with nary a pit stop to refuel and recharge. That’s what it felt like when I decided to stop college for a minute to focus on a job that was immediately before me.. when I decided to go back because I didn’t want to be a dropout.. when I left corporate life to pursue being a radio presenter.. when I realized I didn’t want to be a DJ for life and decided to return to corporate.. in jumping into thinking I could sell art for a living.. in moving houses, buying stuff.. I tend to hone in on a goal and not stop until I get there. 2020 was all about surviving and so this singlemindedness came in handy. I just needed to focus on getting my team and I to the finish line and hopefully finishing the year strong. I am glad to say that we made it and we made it well enough so that now I can allow myself to feel the pure exhaustion of the whole year.
I. Am. Tired.
For all of my waxing optimistic that 2020 was going to “my best year yet” (especially since I was marking four decades of life on earth), my initial reaction to this whole event is sadness. So many plans postponed, canceled, hopes dashed, dreams left hanging without clarity on whether or not they could even be dreamt about again anytime soon or ever. But the truth is I’m also deeply grateful for everything I’ve been allowed to experience in these past 11 months. Every amazing, surprising, miraculous thing that I will never take credit for anyway — including the amazing results my team at work have been able to deliver despite the very real challenges that this year brought upon us all. And even every difficult, infuriating, maddening event I encountered. Even all of those that brought me to tears because I had ran out of every other kind of reaction, that caused me to need to make an emergency visit to my dentist because I bore holes through my mouthguard from clamping down from anxiety, that triggered me to call my therapist, mentor, and best friends at almost weekly intervals.
This year saw me make feeble attempts at alleviating my boredom at home by producing a YouTube channel and a podcast (which I have to update again soon — who knew creating content like this would be so nerve-wracking?), picking up cooking again and learn from a professional chef (check out Him Possible Recipes on Instagram for classes — so good!), going through a record number of K-dramas (it’s honestly come to a point where I get really bored with entertainment that comes from any other country), and even adding another puppy to our rowdy family of two other dogs (his name is Cheddar and his puppy energy sometimes makes me question why I even did it but he is cute so all gets forgiven rather quickly.) But, trite as it may be, it also made me realize important things.
One of the biggest things is how important health really is. I don’t know why I waited til I turned forty to get that but I am now finally putting money where my mouth is. I now have a professional coach, go to a gym 4x a week, drink 5 liters of water a day, count macros, and try to hit 10,000 steps daily. I also have a life-changing conviction that will make all of this stick: that I cannot possibly do anything else in my life if I didn’t take care of the one body I do have. Before I even start thinking about what kind of dreams and life plans I can revisit and restart post-COVID, I need to make sure that I am in prime health to do so.
I know this year was even more difficult for so many. For those who lost their jobs, for those who suffered from calamities and lost their homes and belongings, for anyone who lost a loved one from COVID.. I won’t even dare to compare what I’ve been through with them. But I do know that 2020 has taught all of us something important. If, at the very least, we can take these learnings with us into 2021, we can honor the experiences we all had and make sure none of it goes to waste.