If there is one thing that 2021 taught me, it’s courage.
|Art Sector, January|
This year seemed to have a good start, so I told myself that the slump must have been over. I started waking up early, going out for the first time ever since the community quarantine was implemented to do brisk walking, writing a journal, and hydrating with pretty water. Sounds like That Girl on Tiktok, right? I even planned ahead and expected that some of my WIPs will be done before the year ends. Great! This year is gonna be amazing. Better.
Except that it wasn’t. The virus evolved and created many variants like it made it a mission to teach us the Greek alphabet.
|Saturday Afternoon with the Minas, February|
|Brisk walking through the fallen flowers, March|
But who was I to complain? I was at home, safe and sound. I was with my family. I still have a job that paid the bills and a little bit more. People are dying. Some people I know are frantically looking for a source of income. There are family friends who suffer from the loss of a loved one. I told myself to quit whining, and instead, focus more on the good things that God has given me. Be grateful. A lot of people out there would love to take your place, I heard myself say to the mirror.
|Arkana Coffee Workhshop, May|
It didn’t take very long before I realized that I was wrong in suppressing my feelings. That discontent is human, and that it’s okay to be sad and ache for companionship. Fear and anxiety were rational. The pandemic is still happening, with no signs of ever leaving despite its unwelcome. Confusion is normal, and I knew I wasn’t the only one who felt dismal. I loved my job, but I hated the fact that I was at home all the time. I loved the isolation, but I hated the fact that no one knows when it ends. I loved that I woke up each morning, with my family still complete and intact, but I hated the fact that the inevitable could still happen.
|Jung Yong Hwa Online Fan Meet, June|
|Music Wizard, June|
|1st Dose Vaccine for Covid, June|
|Pinto Art Museum, July|
My WIPs remained just that, works in progress. The pile of my unread books grew taller and taller as the year went by. Midnight Kdrama marathons became a task so difficult to work on. Was there something wrong with me? I guess I was tired, tired of keeping up ever since last year. Tired of trying to be productive. Tired of being someone I want to be.
2021 taught me to take the leap. Be ready to fall. It might hurt a little (or even a lot) but the experience is what counts. This year taught me to be brave enough to choose myself before I lose it, that needs are fueled by wants and people have different wants. Others may just want to survive, but me?
I want to live.
I want to be surrounded by the right people. Those who won’t make me feel bad and stupid for asking about things I genuinely have no idea about. Those who understand boundaries. Those who know how to value my time, my presence, and my talent. Those who would be happy to see what else I can do. Those who wouldn’t just expect me to do what I am told to.
|Lunch with Kream, July|
|Coffee Shop Hunting with Sugar, September|
The world is huge, and it opens many doors if only you have the courage to knock, present yourself in the best way possible, and show what you have done and can still do.
Friendships, I also discovered, albeit being true, come in many forms. There are those who are willing to listen and those who would tell you what you need to hear. There are those who’d tell you what needs to be done and those who’d actually do it for you. There are those who’d ask you what you need, and those who’d give it to you without you even asking for it. Never measure friendships based on what they can give you after you gave them your all. What’s important is that they were there when you were lost and almost broken.
Be thankful for all of them.
Spend time with them.
|Late Lunch with the Minas, October|
|Wagyupsal + Coffee with Sugar and Jahn, November|
|Hiraya Cafe and Restaurant with Kim and Glaiza, December|
2021 was far more challenging than 2020. It gave me many things to cry about, but it also gave me a lot of things to be thankful for. It didn’t give me the chance to pick up the pieces, but an opportunity to decide on which ones to take with me and which ones should I leave behind. It allowed me to decide for myself, and think about the next steps I should take.
So in 2022, I’ll rekindle my passion. I’ll bring back the joy I used to feel behind books. I’ll make time for the things that once gave me the strength to move forward. I’ll work on things because they’re fun, and not because I feel the need to do them. The need to get motivated every day and do my best in all the things that I do shall come from my strong desire to live a life that feels like a story.
And maybe, I’ll try to be That Girl again.
|Coffee Shop Hunting September|