Good Bye, 2020.
Back in Yogyakarta again, in a coffee shop, a year after this post is published. Yogyakarta has been raining all day today, and I’ve been staying at home these past few days because I was sick and I just took my PCR test yesterday. While waiting for my PCR result, which will come out in an hour, I decided to do this annual ritual of New Year’s reflection.
I take these 10 questions from this Medium post by Milena. Hopefully, just like how I wrote my annual birthday reflection every year, I can do this New Year’s reflection every year as well. Anyhow, let’s take a look at the good and the bad and the in-between in this one hell of a year. In January 2020, when the news about a mysterious illness appearing in China still seems like a myth, no one saw that we would live through one of the biggest tragedy-filled years. No one would even think that it’ll become a full-blown pandemic that takes millions of lives and change the way we live our life. I started this year with optimism. Ironically, the year I started feeling hopeful, I was abruptly being thrown in a damn ditch. Plans are canceled, existential dread is heightened, depressions are looming, and anxiety is worsening. There’s nothing better describe 2020 other than it is an absolute shit show. But still, I won’t be me if I don’t try scrapping even a little joy here and then remind myself how grateful I am that I continue to survive and be given the gift that is life despite all the chaos going around.
Anyhow, let’s dig into the 10 questions to end the shit show that is 2020.
1. What will you remember 2020 for?
I would never think I would live through a pandemic. It feels like a mini doomsday. When COVID-19 started to spread in Indonesia, Jakarta entered a semi-lockdown for a while (until everyone got bored and decided, ‘yeah, let people die and keep the economy rolling).’ I will remember 2020 as the year of lots of lots of existential dread — which was shit, but also compelled me to reflect on lots of things: my career, my love life, my relationship with others, the significance of my existence. I will remember 2020 as the year I realized that the government abandoned us for the sake of the economy, that greed really turns people into a heartless, corrupt, power-hungry, disgusting pile of shit. I’ve to learn how to cope with the fact that those people rule my country. I will remember 2020 as the year I would never take for granted again the time I have with my loved one.
2. What worked great this year?
My journey of self-awareness. Having all your plans canceled and your regular life being thrown into chaos really makes me think. I begin to spend most of the time with myself and although it was really comfortable to confront myself and to answer my biggest fears, wants, and needs, at the same time, I feel like I’m day by day, an inch closer to know who I am. This, in turn, makes me able to be more assured with the decisions I make and the choices I take in life.
3. What are you proud of?
Surviving and thriving, in my own standard, I am thriving. To thrive amidst a pandemic while having a daily existential crisis is something not to be taken lightly of, and I’m giving myself a big fat credit for it. I quit my job in June 2020; the amount of stress I was in and the impending doom I foresee coming gives me the courage to quit. But, surprise, surprise, in turn, less than a month later, I landed a new job. It is not just a new job, my dream job that I’ve applied for in February 2020, but I have decided to give up because I thought there wouldn’t be any chance to land that job. From then on, I entered a life of relative bliss — a steady job, healthy work hour, a chance to grow and learn, and, most importantly, create content on something that I actually care about.
4. What was your biggest challenge?
Building good habits. But also forgiving myself if I fail to build the habits. I still struggled with bits of self-hatred now and then. The constant berating of myself still doesn’t go away completely, and I am still my own biggest critic.
5. What did you learn about yourself?
I am still struggling with my acute insecurity. I still define my self-worth through a romantic relationship–getting into a romantic relationship even though I don’t need it and am not ready for it. I haven’t taken the time to work on the necessary changes in my own life, and I let myself run into the same problems as before. I am trapped in a toxic relationship pattern because I still haven’t truly seen my self-worth. Sometimes after I secured my dream job, my life became somewhat stable, and my anxious self thinks something is seriously wrong because I've nothing to worry about for the first time in my life. I began to turn my extra energy into my romantic relationship, and things turned to shit. I berated myself again for getting into the same pattern over and over again. I learned that my self-journey is far from over, and I need to spend those extra energies on nobody but myself.
6. Which word describes your last year the best?
7. How will you simplify your life in the New year?
By loving myself even more and loving others better.
8. Other than time and money, what do you want more of in the New year?
I want more uninterrupted creative time, long hours of reading and watching movies, more acceptance, forgiveness, more time for friends and family, and more devotion to things that I find meaningful, more deep work, and more good rest.
9. How will you fill in your reservoir in the New year?
Establishing a good routine, taking even better care of myself by pampering myself, save more money so I can travel more and buy things that I like, and put extra effort to show the people in my life that I care about them.
10. Stepping into the New year, what is calling you and seducing you? (What will you do about it?)
A great relationship and partner are right around the corner for me. But I keep being blocked because I keep procrastinating on my self-growth. I want to spend more time with myself to know what I like, what I don’t like, what I can and can’t compromise on, to stop my continuous searching and feeling of never be enough. I want contentment, and I am doing that, starting from now, by typing this: thank you for this life and the beautiful rains, the great coffee, the loving family and best friends, and the ability to live a good life.