On this day last year, I was also writing an entry with a similar theme of summing up what the year meant for me. I remember being hopeful of the uncertainties that 2020 would bring, clueless of how enormously life-changing this year would be for everyone. A ton of fuck-ups have challenged us both collectively and personally, and I can't speak for everyone for sure, but as with anything I experience, I still always try to find even a tiny glimpse of grace even at the worst moments of my life.
Looking back, 2020 might haven't gone the way I thought it would be, but it certainly revealed truths that I have been unconsciously sweeping under the rug for a long time. My then-boyfriend and I weren't actually compatible to begin with. My supposed dream job isn't that ideal after all. Social media and the supposed instant connectivity brought upon by the modern Internet has made me more anxious. These truths were painful to digest because it has challenged me to rethink of the things that I was quite certain & secured of during the first few months of the year. Why worry about my ex and I back then when we weren't "toxic" with each other when we argue? What's there to question if my job pays me with an above-average salary? What's wrong with social media if you get to share to each other your lives, read the news, and entertain yourself with memes all in one app?
Just until a few days back, my ex and I kept going in cycles of messaging each other and unknowingly fading out weeks after as if nothing happened. This went on for months after our break-up, and admittedly I always liked the attention I was being given despite being aware that this is a pattern between us and how I was only being given crumbs. Maybe it was me attempting to rewrite the past, wishfully thinking that maybe this time it would be different. Maybe this time we could actually go back to where we were. But I figured I can't just rely on these chances & potential futures of us being together. They are not real. And I deserve better. Funnily enough, right after I ultimately decided for myself that I would stop this cycle, I chanced upon this TikTok video of them listing out signs that you've outgrown someone. One of the signs listed is: "interactions flow less and feel more forced," and this summed up the energy of our messages in these cycles. I took this as an affirmation that I am ready to move past this.
Career-wise I have always known that I am not someone who would devote myself into climbing the ladder of success, and would more than happily settle with being a graphic designer with a salary that helps me get by and fund my hobbies. I find myself lucky that I have a job that helped me get through the pandemic. My salary wasn't cut off and I am always thankful to have bosses who are receptive and compassionate. Lately, there have been many projects on my plate and have been deeply keeping it to myself that even I am unaware of how stressed I am. Before our Christmas break started, I finally confronted my boss about how overwhelmed I am and how I might not be a great candidate for the role I am in. It was a great relief on my part to have openly said this not only because I have communicated it to my boss, but also because it is an admission that I have my limits as well and the job I have isn't the ideal one I have in my head. I still am grappling with this but I am happy that I took a step towards being more open to my colleagues about my state.
During the Christmas break, I have also released myself from social media to see how this would affect me personally, hoping that my anxiety would alleviate. And it actually did. I deleted my main social media apps on my phone, and at first I had this urge of logging in just to check what I missed out, but it quickly faded out when I actively searched for new ways to enjoy my break. I painted using the watercolors my sister gave me for Christmas, read manhwas, watched comforting romcom series, played Horizon, and practiced tarot reading throughout. I thought that by dissociating myself from social media, I get to see how much time I have to learn and explore new ways to live if that makes sense. And so, before 2021 starts, I removed my Twitter account and my Instagram to follow suit (since they only allow you to disable your account once a week) as a commitment to myself to start anew.
By acknowledging and taking action to digest these truths, I get to breathe easier knowing that these actually point me toward a better direction for myself, thus a better direction as well for next year. I believe I am now more grounded by my reality and am the most honest to myself that I have ever been for the longest time, and I am always grateful that my family and my closest friends have been supportive throughout. Together with them, I am facing another great unknown that is 2021 but this time with my feet on ground and my heart stronger—and that I believe is the grace that I found this year.