Reflecting On 2020

by - January 18, 2021

If I were to describe 2020 in 1 word, that would be ‘tangled’.

I would have posted this piece up sooner if I hadn’t written a second version of it. When I first wrote the first draft, it felt personal and got super emotional before I finished it. It was a piece filled with heartfelt thoughts and emotions that I’ve been bottling up, and penning it down had helped me enough to put things in a different perspective. I’ll always have that raw piece to look back, but here’s one to keep this blog alive.

I’m pretty sure everyone’s ‘highlight’ of 2020 would be our first encounter of a ‘lockdown’ due to the pandemic. But for me, 2020 was a year I felt stuck with life (still am). There were many things that I wanted to achieve, but all I got was disappointment again and again. I was impressed with how much I persevered through it all when my younger self would have just run away from everything.

Perhentian Islands - Aug 2020
Despite all the bad that happened, there were plenty of silver linings. My trip to Shanghai and Sydney became a year I explored more of Malaysia. I finally revisited Langkawi after 21 years and had my first road trip to the east coast - Perhentian Islands in Terengganu. I found my courage to finally snorkelled, spotted a turtle, and stayed on a crystal-clear-water island for an entire week. I had to put up with my frizzy hair (because there was no hairdryer) and had everything fit into only one backpack. I thought I wouldn’t have liked it, but surprise surprise!

Penang - June 2020

I’ve heard of situations where relationships were strained when MCO happened - including one of my closest friends’. But I’m grateful that it turned out otherwise for me - I found love again in the midst of a pandemic #covidlovebirds It was something unexpected, but I’m glad it happened. I’m happy to have found someone who loves travelling as much as I do (probably even more), cooks better than I do and as nonsensical as I am.

2020 was also a year that I was overwhelmed with work. Whenever someone checks up on me, I would always answer that I was busy with work. It was a challenging period juggling so many things at once, but I’m glad that I grew through it - both professionally and personally. Full time work aside, I'm glad to have been able to model for a friend's business and have my very first ballet photoshoot.

I also found some time to read, uploaded a few piano covers on YouTube and updated this dead blog with a random piece that I thought of during quarantine and also a cafe review (sort of). Although it wasn’t much, at least there’s progress rather than none at all.

Before the year ended, I'm glad to be able to reunite with the fam. Although Christmas was a tad different last year, but it was still as meaningful as ever.

I’m pretty sure I’ve also learnt to see the good in every bad situation because it’s evident in this piece. And I guess that’s one of the things that kept me going in 2020, but now that I look back, it felt like I was self-pacifying. While it’s okay to do that, to comfort ourselves and be grateful for all that we are and have, there are things that will need to change this year.

With that, I found my word for 2021 - Courage.

I’m someone who fears change because of the uncertainty that comes with it. I would overthink and put too much focus on the bad rather than the good. Without change, my 2021 reflection piece would probably be how stuck I am with life all over again.

So, here’s to embracing change, and be courageous through everything.

Sincerely, Mels

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