It’s a bit late, but, Happy New Year 🙂
Well, actually I don’t know what to write for 2020 highlights and reflections. I mean, you know how 2020 has been right? But, well, since I wrote one for 2018 and 2019, I just feel like I have to write something for 2020. Maybe calling it or making it a tradition? A habit? I don’t know. But, well, let’s try…
But first of all, let me say this: 2020 has been rough for so many of us. Time flew so fast, and a lot of things happened, but we survived. I’m grateful for and to so many people for being with me and putting up with me this past year. Let’s survive 2021 too. I sincerely wish you all a better year. Hope we can all be happier. 明けまして、良いお年を. Happy New Year
Now let’s review my 2020…
Academic/Study. To be honest, this aspect of my life was the one that’s been dragging me down the most in 2020. It made me feel bad. It made me feel useless. It made me feel guilty. I always felt like I should’ve done more but I kept making almost zero progress. Well, not literally zero. Still, I feel like I could’ve done more but I just didn’t for some reason. I don’t know why or maybe I do know but just can’t accept it and hence couldn’t forgive myself. I wasted so much time doing what I shouldn’t have done while procrastinating doing what I should’ve done. I don’t know. I just didn’t feel like it. I felt like I wanted to quit. I know I shouldn’t self-diagnose but I really felt anxious and depressed about my study. I just want to get it done. I kept comparing myself to my friends who had family, had kids, still had to teach and work while doing their dissertation. They had all those excuses, but what excuse did I have? Covid? I felt like I was just using Covid as an excuse and scapegoat. The truth was probably simply that I sucked. I don’t know. But I don’t like that part of me now. But, ugh, there’s no point wasting time regretting the past, right? So I’ll give myself a chance to just make amends and work harder and make more progress now. Well, I did keep in touch with my chair. I managed to schedule daily Zoom meetings with my friend as well. But sometimes I really didn’t feel like it so I was just there, joining the meeting, turning off the video, muting my audio, and doing something else, then going back to end the meeting when it was due. Well, not always, just in some of those meetings. (Gosh, I hope that friend of mine doesn’t read this ’cause she’s been one of my support systems and I know she’s just trying to help and I really love her for that.) But, ugh, actually I was lucky. I could collect data for my research at the beginning of the year, before Covid wreck havoc in our lives, before the schools moved online, so Thank God my research wasn’t really affected. But yeah, data analysis and such wasn’t as easy as I imagined it to be. To be honest, I don’t know how to continue all of this, but I must really graduate this year, so please pray for me. Wish me luck.
Travel. Well, since Covid happened, traveling was pretty much restricted this year. We even had occasional curfews here where I live because the cases just kept increasing and the hospitals were at their capacity. But I think, it’s kinda irresponsible to travel for pleasure so that’s why I didn’t go on traveling. Well, that’s one reason and maybe my excuse. I mean, personally I felt healthy and thought that I had pretty good immune system. But if I got Covid with no symptoms and transferred it to those more vulnerable with not so good immune system, I would feel really bad, so I guess it’s safer to just stay at home. Well, initially I was hoping to be able to go to Hawaii, Canada, and Mexico, but oh, the borders were closed, and I should take a swab test too if I want to fly, and I find all of those troublesome, and again, I think it’s just best to stay at home. Well, I don’t know if I slump on my study because I am disappointed to know that I can’t travel. But maybe I’m just making another excuse to make myself feel better for not traveling and for not making better progress. I really can’t thank Covid for giving me such an excuse, can I? That would be too mean for those who have been severely affected by Covid19. And, I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to travel again this year. My dissertation is still there waiting for me to finish. But once I graduate and Covid is gone or successfully dealt with or beaten, I promise to reward myself with some travel. And by the way, I did actually travel in at the beginning of the year, before Covid struck, to collect data for my research. I went around Singapore during my transit too. So yeah, it wasn’t that bad, I guess? But I really hope this year everything will be better. Let’s pray for that together.
Family. My sister got married nearing the end of November 2020. Well, I wrote more about it in my physical notebook, so I’m not gonna write too much about it here. But what it taught me was, or maybe confirmed?, many things in this world were just ceremonial but not necessarily important. Seeing how my sister got married while I was here with almost no video calls on the D-day…well, I was a bit sad to know that my presence wasn’t really needed or wanted. But I’m glad that everything went well for her. But, anyway, my parents called me more often now, talking about more stuff. I wonder if they’re actually feeling lonely, and it made me sad. Well, I try my best to listen to their stories even though it’s just via videocall. (Thankfully now they could make Whatsapp videocalls. Yay!) I just wish my sister would call home as often. I mean, I call home regularly so my parents do not have to worry. And when they call me, they often tell me about my sister not calling them. And it made me feel sad. I don’t like to be compared even though I’m actually on the “upper” side. How my parents are happy that I always call them, how they are dismayed because my sister rarely call them. I don’t know. But I don’t want my sister to hate me, you know. ‘Cause it’s not my fault, right? I just try my best to be a good daughter, and we never know when any of us will die, so I just try to be there while I still can. But, anyway, maybe it’s a good thing that I’m not married yet. That way I can focus on making myself and my parents happy 🙂
Finance. Pretty good? I really don’t know what to say about finance. Well, I am not a spendthrift. And while many people want to shop less, I actually want to shop more but I just can’t. I mean, I find it hard to do so. It often makes me feel bad when I want to get something knowing that I actually don’t need it or knowing that I’m not really gonna use it often. And I don’t like that feeling. I wish I could just get whatever I want without feeling guilty. But again, it’s not easy. Knowing that the money I spend on something simply because I want it can actually be used to spend on something people really need makes me feel bad. Because I was there, needing something but having no money…So I hold back kinda a lot because I feel like the money will be more useful if I donate it to charity… But I want to reward myself and make myself happy too. Sigh. I’m making things complicated for myself, aren’t I? 🙁
Romance. Well, I don’t think I should talk about this? Romance is just not for me. I’m not attractive. People just don’t see me that way. Well, they do need me in some ways, but never love me in a romantic way, so I guess I’ll just have to accept that. (But, ugh, of course, I’m in love with Hey! Say! JUMP, Chinen Yuri, and my fav actors ❤)
Health. I’m physically healthy but mentally distressed almost the whole year. Well, I finally took the HPV vaccine. I got all the three shots in 2020. Now I wonder if I should take Hepatitis A n B vaccines while it’s covered by my insurance. Do you think I should take it while I’m here in the states? Well, because it can be very expensive in my country, you know 🙁
Friendship. I don’t know how to define friends anymore. There are times when I feel like that I actually don’t have friends. Well, sure there are people who come to me when they need something, need an info about scholarships, need to borrow some money, need me to help download a journal article, etc. There are always those people who make me feel either used or useful so I can confidently say that I’m not that useless. But you see, when it’s not mutual, when it’s not reciprocal, when it feels one-sided, I can’t help getting hurt. When they don’t answer my questions. When they don’t even try to cheer me up when I say I’m feeling sad or down. I guess they think I’m just pretending, don’t they? They think I’m quite strong and can deal with pretty much anything, huh? Well, thank you, but really, sometimes I just want to be weak and have people be strong for me… But, anyway, of course there are also those who always try their best to make me feel better. For and to these people, I feel really grateful and thankful.
Then my fangirling world…well I don’t really want to talk about it, so let’s save it for some other time 🙂
And by the way, I started another category for my blog. I shared some recipes for the food I cook, so maybe you can read them here. Don’t forget to read the disclaimer, though^^ 😊❤😊
Well, I think that’s all? I know it’s hard to say Happy New Year since we still have Covid, so it’s hard to start the new year “happily.” But I really hope things will be better for us this year and I hope we all can at least be happier. Let’s survive 2021 together too 🙂