We’re now 8 days away from Christmas, and in just about two weeks, the year will be officially over.
For some reason, the ending of the year is really getting to me this time. Usually, when the new year is around the corner, I sort of just accept it and go on with my life. But this time, I’m hit with a huge – wow what the hell happened to time – and I genuinely cannot wrap my head around just how fast it flew by.
The attempt of understanding this feeling of shock got me thinking a lot. About what I did this year, what happened throughout, how I’ve changed (if at all), how I feel about my life as of right now, and what I want to achieve in the near future. All big questions.
I think for me, the biggest difference between this year and the last, was this seeming lack of milestones that I could count on. Last year, there were many literal life-changing milestones that I could easily recall. I graduated from college, I moved to HK, I started my first real adult job, and I had met many new people. There were many firsts and everything was exciting to me.
But at the same time, there were also many memorable lows in 2018. I remember feeling lonely and confused like I didn’t belong here, and as a whole, it was a year filled with both sides of the extremes. I was continuously bouncing between feeling great about life and wanting to run away from it. Up and down and up again.
In comparison, 2019 had more of a steady upward trend. It started off on a low note and this feeling like I wasn’t going anywhere. But looking back, it was actually a pretty good year!
It’s interesting though, how the lack of milestones makes it feel incredibly difficult to recall what happened this year until I dug up all these pictures. I think it’s because life used to be defined by specific timelines; whether that is finishing a semester, going to the next, or graduating into the next step. But now with work, the timeline doesn’t look as clear. There’s no summer vacation to look forward to or the final push on finals week – work is sort of just one continuous cycle.
I was actually talking to a friend about this lack of milestone thing, and he mentioned a very interesting point. That once you’re working, there’s less of a milestone which means there are also fewer comparison points against your peers. There are no classmates you’re trying to beat and there are now so many more aspects to consider as success.
For example, just because you know someone is killing it at their job, it’s hard to compare to yourself to them directly since 1) you’re probably doing different a career path and 2) you have no idea how the rest of his life is like. The point is that now, the only person you can really compare with is yourself, the past and the current version of it. Which is strange, but also empowering to know.
Work aside, thinking about the year also made me realize just how much things around me have changed. I am reminded that I’m not the only one changing, everyone else is too. As a result, a lot of my relationships have also changed this past year.
There are some people that a year ago, I used to be really close with and is now no longer; and people who I wasn’t even friends with then, have now become a huge part of my life.
I think, for the most part, this is really no one’s fault. Relationships are bound to change with time, but it’s quite interesting nonetheless. This makes me wonder how much more it’ll change in the next one, two, five, ten years and who I’ll stick around with till then.
I know I mentioned the word change a lot in this post, but the question remains: what are these changes and how will this affect my future?
The biggest learning lesson of 2019 personally, is how to be more gentle with myself, especially when going through tough times. I’ve always been more of a “suck it up” kind of gal who just kind of slides through problems. But this year, I’ve learned (or be forced) to really face them. The beginning of this year was really, really rough for me (y’all know why) and it took a whole lot of effort just to slowly rebuild my life again. Which is a weird yet fascinating process.
In the attempt of taking care of myself, I’ve recently picked up cooking and trying to work out somewhat semi-regularly again (although this one is very much still work in progress). It’s interesting how much you can learn about your own needs and wants over time, even after living a whole life as the same one person.
That reminds me. It may sound silly, but I used to get so confused when people say they’re lost or in need to find themselves. It’s like – you’ve been yourself your entire life, what is there to find? Apparently, I was wrong. There’s plenty to learn now still and probably continues to forever and ever. This year had shown me a lot of this, too.
For one, I noticed my focus had shifted a lot this year.
For a while, I was really into meeting people and finding someone to date and I’d spend a lot of my free time going out and doing just that.
This year, I’ve shifted my focus more on to work (it’s been a very busy year for us) and just doing things by myself/with close friends only. And maybe, just maybe, I finally mastered the being ok spending time alone thing.
It’s so difficult for me to stay entertained just being and doing things alone, but recently, I find myself preferring that over going out and meeting people. Strange, but also nice.
Anyway, I’m very grateful for everything that has happened this year. It sure as hell has not been an easy year, but it’s been a slow growth throughout and I can honestly say it’s ending on a much higher note than I could have imagined.
And if you ask me how I’m doing, I’d say I’m feeling quite content and happy right now. I’m sure there’s more to come in 2020, and I genuinely cannot wait to see what that will be.
How would you describe this year? Was it a good, meh, or sadly bad year for you? Let us know!