Bonjour, mes chéries! I can’t believe we are here again so soon. In a year that felt like it was three years long but also only like one long month, it’s hard to believe that Thanksgiving is tomorrow and how we’re just a few weeks away from 2021. Looking back on 2020, it feels like we moved in Jeremy Bearimy time (shoutout if you know what I’m referencing). It’s easy to sit here and scoff about this year, rant about how it was a wash, rage about all the turmoil we endured, and dread the aftermath of some of these storms that will trickle into 2021. But I said it earlier and I’ll say it again: this year was something we all desperately needed.
The spine of the world had a severe case of scoliosis that the last eleven months desperately tried to realign. All the silent ugly sides of humanity we thought were extinct were publicly portrayed. All the historically socially taboo things became more normalized. For a society that had grown so much so quickly, it was evident that there were still areas we need to do more work on, and 2020 highlighted them all. The way we interact with others have changed both physically and mentally. Time has a new value to it. Dating patterns have shifted. Even the relationship between management levels in the workplace have altered. With the year coming to an end, it’s obvious that the spine is still pretty damn crooked. But, I’m glad we’re slowly fixing each vertebrae.
I started the year with a laundry list of things I wanted to accomplish by December of which only a fraction were completed. I’m not exactly where I planned to be right now, but for once I’m not actually mad at myself for it. Instead of lusting after what I don’t have, I’m beyond appreciative of what I do have (and often take for granted). Don’t get me wrong, I wish I improved more in my career and actually expanded my creatives. I wish I didn’t somehow end up “involving” myself with (this is the only word I can think of to lump all situations together) more Scorpios than I can count on a hand 🌚 (anyone else think God was punishing me?). I wish I completed my fitness and finance goals. But looking back, this year wasn’t entirely a wash for me. Other than 2016, I don’t think I’ve ever grown so much in one year and for that I’m forever grateful. I took the time to be much more in tune with myself. I invested the time I would have spent socializing back into self-reflection and analysis so I can better understand why I keep making the same mistakes and correct harmful patterns. After making some slight adjustments in my life, these are the 20 things I took away from 2020:
- Some people just aren’t worth it. Nothing like a global health crisis to weed out the ones who don’t bring value to your life! With limited energy and your own health at stake, it’s pretty easy to see who you’re willing to risk seeing and who you can rely on during hard times.
- Invest your money. I used to only put a portion of my income into my 401k and spend the rest (yikes, I know). With the threat of resource actions across major companies, I knew it was time to not only become more liquid but also grow my money. Thanks to some light experimentation with the stock market, I’m starting to see some returns! It’s never too late to start investing, mes chéries.
- Break your little bubbles and pay attention to what is going on around you. A year ago, I barely watched the news and avoided politics like the plague. Now I’m realizing that this little bubble I’ve created and lived in for so long is not only ignorant but extremely detrimental to my own growth and contribution to society. If you want a better life and live in a happier world, you need to be part of the change for it.
- You assign your value. Nobody else gets to tell you what you’re worth. Stop devaluing yourself, mes chéries! I know you do it! I do it too! You set your standards. You set your expectations. Don’t be delusional or ridiculous with it, but don’t give that power to anyone else.
- You can disagree with someone’s viewpoints and even disrespect them for having those viewpoints but you must respect their RIGHT to voice that opinion. Trust me, it kills me to say this because I’m thinking of all the racist, homophobic, xenophobic things that some people believe in because they fear what is different and/or use their religious values to defend their hateful words and actions. However, if you’re an American you have the right to your own opinion and freely voicing it. I will say though, the line is drawn when something radical and threatening that endangers lives is said. That’s when I have no problem saying shut the fuck up.
- How someone acts in times of distress shows their true colors. I’ve always said that people’s true colors show in time and in turmoil. How someone handled this year and what they did with their time is a depiction of who they actually are. You can decide how to apply this to the people around you.
- Character matters. For the longest time, I cared about new shoes and the resumés of potential boyfriends more than the quality of the things and humans I surrounded myself with. But as Van Jones said, “Character matters.”
- People’s actions are often a reflection of themselves, not a reflection of you. I found myself in few friend fights this year where I was dumbfounded at how I was being treated. It took some seriously long conversations to realize that sometimes people act in a way because they project their own inner demons and not because you are actually a bad person who deserved something harsh.
- Know when to be selfish. Wear a mask. Don’t hoard all the toilet paper so your neighbors can’t buy any. Think about how your actions can gravely impact others. Give that extra dollar to your DoorDash delivery guy or waitress. Be considerate because you’re not the only human on this earth. The only time you should be “selfish” is when it comes to taking care of yourself and your mental health which if done genuinely should NOT gravely impact anyone else.
- Being a good employee is also knowing when to clock out. If we glue ourselves to our jobs 24/7, we will burn out. Know when to turn it all of and recharge because you won’t be performing at your best if you’re exhausted.
- It took a pandemic for men to be upfront about what they’re looking for. This one is for the gays and the girls. If anyone started quarantine single and were browsing their apps, you know exactly what I’m talking about.
- People who need to buy time will do so by wasting yours. I think I’ll plead the fifth on this one. 🌚
- Don’t be mad. Just be less interested. You know that trend that went viral on TikTok? I was preaching it for weeks prior and am SO glad others out there reached the same discovery I did. Let the idiots do their thing and go do your own thing, far far away from them. You’ll be a lot more at peace disassociating than wasting energy obsessively hating.
- You don’t need to let everything run its course if you already know it will lead to a dead end. I used to always wait to get dumped because I want to make sure I did everything I could to try and make a relationship work even when I knew it wasn’t right. For the first time in my life, I actually cut almost all the strings this year once I knew it was not fruitful for me to stay in the situation. I’m not wasting my best years on bullshit anymore and neither should any of you!
- Just because you don’t know about it or don’t see it firsthand doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. @ everything discussed in the news this year, especially when it comes to social injustices and racial inequality. We all have the internet available at our fingertips to learn from reputable sources with minimal bias.
- All minorities need to support each other instead of competing against each other. See my IGTV “To My Fellow Asian Americans…” for this one.
- Resolving conflicts is all about understanding perspectives. The only way to maintain respect and resolve a conflict is to really try and understand the other person’s perspective. Instead of yelling at them for not getting it, try to frame your argument in a language that they will understand and relate to.
- Moms of all types are under appreciated. Appreciate your mother figures more. I think it’s safe to say mothers in general don’t get the hype they deserve. But you ever think motherhood is not that hard, try taking care of a dog. It’s like having both a child and senior citizen who can’t verbalize what it needs at all times for over a decade.
- There is no such thing as right person wrong time. The right person is timeless. If it is meant to work out, it will work out at its own pace. If someone seemingly “right” came into your life at the seemingly “wrong” time and leaves your life, they are just the wrong person.
- You did not lose anything if someone walks out of your life. If someone decides to leave after seeing what you could offer them, they are the ones who lost out on someone who would care and love them. You just lost someone who would never reciprocate or give you what you need and deserve. That sounds more like a gain to me, right?
There are still so many memories my petri dish families and I made throughout quarantine. Below are just a few, many unfiltered and straight from my phone. But on the flipside, there were also plenty of experiences this year (that I’ll happily leave offline) I wish to never repeat. It wasn’t the easiest time, but growth and comfort don’t coexist. The only thing we can expect in our lives is change, so why not embrace it and make welcoming growth a routine?
Overall, I am more thankful and humbled by this year than any other. I’m thankful to still be employed, to have my own beautiful tiny apartment, to have an unwavering support system, to have spent extra time with my very old dog who I grew up with, to be healthy, and much more. I hope that no matter what 2020 dealt you, you too can look back this week and find something to be thankful for.
Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving break, mes chéries. Until next time, bisou bisou…