If 2020 could be described in a single gif, it would be this one.
Without a doubt, 2020 has been the worst year of my existence. I emphasize “my existence” because it would be a drastic overstatement to say it has been the worst year of all time. With the way American history is set up, the year of 2020 is just another tragic experience added to an already long list of tragic and traumatic experiences.
But this won’t be a post dedicated to recapping all the negatives of this past year. Instead, I want to focus on the good things that happened because yes, there was actually some good. I also think that not recapping and dwelling on all the bad things is a way to leave most, if not all, of the bad juju that settled over 2020 behind. It happened. Some of it is still happening. But I choose to move forward.
So, what are some of the good things that happened to me in 2020? Let’s recap.
I wrote a story. Was it my own made up canon from a pre-existing tv series, i.e. fanfiction? Yes. Yes it was. But I wrote 100,000 words of it and nothing and nobody can take that away from me.
A goal of mine is to write more. I love writing and it’s a dream of mine to be a published author. I used to write all the time, but as I’ve grown older and actual adulting became a thing, my writing has increasingly been pushed farther and farther away. So, writing 100,000 words even if I didn’t create the characters from scratch is a step in the right direction.
Don’t worry though. The story will never see the light of day, lol.
I got to spend more time with my family. I am extremely blessed to have great relationships with my family members and to live in a non-toxic home environment.
As someone who has always been “the traveling family member”, it’s nice to just be home. To be available to hang out with my sister. Play with my nephew and watch him grow up. Watch my granny grow old. Just walk into my mother’s room to chat whenever I want to. And talk to my dad and brother on the phone without having to worry about time zone differences from living on the opposite end of the world.
My family is important to me and this has been the most time I’ve gotten to spend with them ever since I entered college (which was a long time ago, if you’re wondering).
I celebrated my 4-year anniversary over on my book blog (thecloudrunner.wordpress.com). And by celebrate, I just mean getting the notification from WordPress then happily saying “yay!”.
I initially started my book blog back in 2016 and it was a place where I could gush about books and tv series I was enjoying, write book reviews, communicate with other people in the book blogging community, and generally just word vomit any thoughts in my mind.
Over time I have gained a little more focus in my blog posts and have moved on to also sharing my own writing pieces. While my follower/subscriber count doesn’t grow quickly, I’m still grateful each and every time I get the notification telling me that someone new has decided to follow my blog.
I surpassed my reading goals. In addition to my love of writing, I love to read. I have been reading since the age of three. And while I read every year regardless of anything, after I graduated from college, I made a point to make reading goals for myself.
My reasoning for doing so was because I noticed that I was reading less and less as I got older. Where I used to read multiple books in a month, I was barely getting through a single book over months at a time. Of course, I don’t have to read, but I want to because I actually love reading and I didn’t like how I was moving away from precious hobbies as I aged.
For 2020, I made a goal of reading 25 books. I am happy to report that I was able to read 32 books.
I made a point to get back into old hobbies that I used to love. It took me until basically the end of the year to realize it, but I finally did realize that the reason I have found certain aspects of my life to be unfulfilling is because I wasn’t doing the things that I loved doing.
I was reading less, I was writing less, I haven’t drawn anything in years, and many other creative hobbies I had as a kid and teenager went completely ignored. I had no hobbies anymore and the shift happened after I entered college. My life became nothing more than class, homework, and competition (I was a scholarship athlete).
After that, my life became about graduate school. And after that, my life revolved around finding a job. When I couldn’t find one right away, I up and moved to South Korea with my reason being, “well, I’ve always wanted to travel”. Which was true, but still. It took me even farther away from my beloved hobbies.
2020 has allowed me to slow down completely and find my center again. My roots. I started writing again. Stories, poems, random scenes in my head, song lyrics. Whatever drops into my mind, I’ve been writing it. I’ve read more books in 2020 than I’ve read in the past five years. I purchased the first sketchbook that I’ve had in years and have already started filling the pages.
More than anything, I am excited to continue exploring my hobbies and growing as an artist.
I started a garden from scratch for the first time in my life! Now this is something that I am so proud of I can’t even put it into words. My mom and I dug up an old bush that was in our backyard, dug out all the dead roots and old sandy dirt, and we created a small garden bed. Everything I planted was from seed: Tomatoes, green peppers, and gladiolas.
I wouldn’t go so far as to say that I have a green thumb or anything, but I’m sure getting there. I love plants and nature and being able to see the fruit of my labor was so fulfilling. I will absolutely try gardening again 🙂
I set goals for myself again. When I came back from South Korea, I had absolutely no other goal for myself other than find a job. So I found one. But then I lost it due to a worldwide pandemic. After I lost my job in the first quarter of 2020, I just…wandered. I’m sure many people felt like they were wandering aimlessly with everything going on, but it was a feeling that I was not used to or mentally prepared for.
All our lives we are told that we need to finish school, go to college afterwards, get a job after that and make money money money because that’s the only way anyone can survive and be happy in this world. 2020 let us all know that that’s not true. Jobs and money mean nothing when the economy completely shuts down. And if you’re someone like me where all of your work experience (counseling, teaching, coaching) would place them in a school or university, well…we can all see how that has panned out.
2020 helped me answer the questions, if the world were to end today, would you be proud of the things you have accomplished? Did you achieve the goals you set for yourself? Did you live what you personally feel is a fulfilling life? And my answer to all of those questions was a resounding N-O.
That’s not to say that I’m not happy with absolutely everything in my life. I just know that there is so much more that I want to do and there is a lifestyle that I aim to live. I have no control over when my time on this earth will end and I don’t want to live it stressing over jobs I don’t like and thinking about all the money that’s not in my bank account.
So, it took me until the end of December to do it, but I finally sat down again and wrote out the things that I want from myself. I designed my first ever vision board and it’s an amalgamation of all the goals I want to accomplish within the next five years. Are they lofty? Of course they are, lol. But the goals are mine and that’s all that matters.
Cheers to 2021!
In 2020, I felt lost and unhappy. No matter what is happening outside in the world, that’s not the type of energy I plan on bringing into 2021 with me. Last month, I was able to mentally return to the name of this blog, Chase The Skies. Chasing the sky is a journey of many things but more than anything, it’s a journey of self-discovery.
Find your sky, whatever it is for you, and go after it. The sky has no limits.