2022 Highlights and Reflections

One of my fav pics from Ha Long Bay! 😉

Hello! Well, I know it’s already February, but I haven’t officially said it here, so please allow me: Happy New Year 2023! 明けまして、おめでとう ございます. 良いお年を. 

Well, some of you might think it’s too late. I took a look at the previous reflection post, and found it’s posted in January and updated in March. But, well, it’s better late than never, right? So… 🤪😆✌

Anyway, I’m not sure what to write, but I’ve made this obligatory to write such posts here, just for the record, especially because now I’ve stopped updating my physical diary 🙈💔✌

But maybe this time I’ll try to keep it short. Hopefully. ‘Cause usually I said I’d keep it short, but then I’d end up writing a long-ass nonsense. But I don’t know, I just don’t have the motivation to write anymore? Maybe I don’t find it as rewarding? (Reward me, people! LoL) Sometimes I’m not sure if I’ve just got too comfortable with how things are, or if I’ve been growing numb. I mean, I might have made peace with everything, but maybe I just don’t care anymore. So, well… but here I am exposing myself when actually nobody will know if I’m not posting this. What a clown, me. But that’s okay, clowns entertain people, so clowns are good people, so if I’m a clown, then maybe I’m a good person. Jeez, I’m trying too hard to appear good. But to be honest, sometimes I don’t really like trying to show people that I’m good only for them to think that I’m not as good. I’d rather them find I’m not as bad.

Well, okay, I’m going astray as always, so before I get lost further, let’s just get into it: the highlights and reflections of my 2022:

Academic/Study: Now that I’m done with my Ph.D., I think I can skip this one. But if it’s any consolation, at least to let you know that I still keep in touch with academia, I’m actually trying to get an article I co-authored with a friend published. It’s not published yet ’cause we keep getting rejected, but it gives me a sense of academic life. So, please wish me luck^^

My new postcards!

Travel: Man, 2022 was awesome! It’s been a very very very long time since I travelled far, right? And I worked from home too, not so many chances to travel out of town (though it was partly because, damn, I love staying home!) My friend and I actually planned to go to Türkiye in the summer. We met, we talked, we made this map, arranged the itinerary, etc. But alas, the closer it got to the day, we just didn’t manage to secure any tickets, and it got way too expensive so we decided to cancel. But thankfully, nearing the end of 2022, we finalized our trip to Vietnam. Yay! I got my 23rd country to visit! I was so happy. I got to transit in Malaysia too and got myself a postcard. And thank God it arrived! Back then when I visited Malaysia, I had not had any idea to send myself a postcard, so I had not had a Malaysian postcard, but now I got it, so I was happy. I also got a Thai postcard, thanks to my friend who travelled there and sent me one. Now my from-the-country-I-visited postcard collection has almost been complete. Almost, because the one I sent from Prague, Czech Republic, was missing, and I got no one to send me one, so, yeah… But gosh, I can talk on and on about my Vietnam trip, but it’ll make this post too long, so maybe I should write about it for another post. But for a highlight: I visited one of the seven wonders of nature: Ha Long Bay! Right at the very end of 2022: 31 December 2022. It was amazing!!! 💖🔥👍

Family: Like I’ve always said, my nuclear family is great. I’m so thankful for having such parents who do not demand too much. Well, yes, I do the monthly or fortnightly grocery shopping, I buy them stuff, etc. But that’s because they don’t really ask me for things. Whatever I give them, they’re happy with it, so it makes me feel blessed. I’m saying this because I know there are some parents out there who never feel enough with what their kids do or give, and I can imagine how painful it will be for me. So yes, I think that having grateful parents who do not demand too much is a blessing. But of course, like any other kinds of relationship, it goes both ways: just because my parents are okay with whatever I do, it doesn’t mean I can do as I please. I, of course, watch what I do and say too, be careful to not hurt them and such. And by the way, my niece can now walk and talk. She’s so gorgeous! My cutest niece in the whole universe!!! 😍💖🥰

Finance: Thank God finance is never really a problem for me. No, it’s not because I am rich, but it’s because when I receive more money, I don’t excuse myself to spend lavishly. I keep things moderate, so when I receive less, I don’t have to struggle too much. I was born and grew up poor so I’ve learnt to save and live a frugal life. No matter how little money I have, I will always be able to survive ’cause I always save for tomorrow. I’ve been used to thinking and living with “just in case” scenarios, so I always consider the possibility of “not having any income” and so I save for that. I mean, our income is not certain, right? Since I was a child, it has never been certain. My parents were peasants, little farmers. We had to wait for 4 months to harvest the crops and there was no guarantee that we’d get enough to live for the next 4 months. So when the harvest was good, Mom saved it for when it was bad. So when it was bad we could still survive without having to take some loans. Well, yeah I didn’t get to enjoy luxurious stuff (couldn’t even afford ice cream. LoL), but at least we could fulfil the basic needs, so…yeah that’s the kind of mindset I have. I’ve always saved, so while I don’t have much money, I can say I have stable finance, at least enough to support myself and my family, and I don’t have to end up borrowing money from others as well. And considering how very poor I was in my childhood and teenage years, I think I can say that I’m financially much better now. I’ve got enough, and maybe a little more than enough. And I’m thankful. (Well, as long as you don’t compare me to those who have cars and wear expensive pieces of jewellery and luxurious brands. LoL)

Romance: Should I keep this section here, like, really? Is it worth writing it at all? I mean, I’m sure my romantic real life is boring to most people. It’s flat. I’m such a hopeless romantic but some people might think my standards are too high or I’m too picky. I don’t know, but, nobody is romantically interested in me anyway. I’m not physically attractive and I’m not sexually appealing, and I’m sort of too nonchalant to bother about such things. So I’m not really trying to get one to like me either. So I know I have no right to complain, and no, I’m not complaining. I mean, yeah sure sometimes I feel jealous when I see those romantic happy couples, it makes me wish I had one myself. But, when I see those in abusive or toxic relationships, gosh, I thank God for making me stay single. But, well, we shouldn’t keep comparing ourselves to others, right? But in all seriousness, I’m fine with my life. I feel like I’m always surrounded by good people. Near or far. And I take it as a blessing. So maybe it’s only fair that my romantic life is vacant because God has already poured the blessing into other aspects of my life. Well, I’m joking, God, I want my own prince charming too, please!

Friendship: Alright. Maybe this is actually the part that should be skipped. No new friends, just colleagues and acquaintances. I always try to be nice and good to everyone and be there when people need me, I still do, and will try to keep doing so, but it doesn’t automatically make them my friends. I mean, if they’re my friends, then I want them to care for me. But at this age, people are already busy with their own life, so I don’t really expect them to care for me. I don’t want to be hurt and disappointed any more. If I have tried to reach out to them, and I feel like they give me cold shoulders, then ok, I can act cool and brush it off. Fine, but I wish they knew that I don’t hold them special in my heart anymore. I can keep acting nice and all, but that’s not because I love you any more, it’s more because I love myself and I want to be a good person, for myself, not for you, no matter how disappointed I am in you. Otherwise, just cut ties, no big deal. At this age, I want to value and appreciate those who keep reaching out to me and showing me that they care. I think it’s only fair to love those who make us feel loved and appreciated and start ignoring those who make us feel worthless and abandoned. (This section was actually originally written at the end of this post when I was drafting it, but I realized it sounded bitter and I didn’t want to end my post in a bitter way, so I moved it here).

Travelling with my babies! 💖💗💗💖

Health: I’m healthy. I’ve been growing my own veggies, you see? And I get to eat them fresh. But yeah, I feel like I need to exercise more. Maybe go biking? I need to fix the bicycle we’ve got at home first, though. LoL But another reason is: I love singing and I hate getting out of breath when singing, so maybe I can try to improve it by exercising. But anyway, I don’t really have serious symptoms that might lead to a threatening disease. Though I don’t know why I often get mouth ulcers despite brushing my teeth regularly and using mouthwash to gargle. I hate it because when I get mouth ulcers, eating becomes so inconvenient. You know I love eating. I love food! So yeah, I hope this year I get them less often 🙏

Work: Gosh, it’s actually great. I started new jobs too. The pay is also better than my teaching job back then. And what’s more: I get to work from home. I just need my laptop and my internet connection. And my brain. I feel like God really planned this for me. It’s just awesome, you know. The work I’m doing now allows me to enjoy myself and my life more. I get to do gardening, I get to play with my cat, I get to be with family, I get to watch anime and drama, and I get paid quite decently too. And I can travel at the end of the year! Well, maybe it’s partly because I don’t have to pay rent since I live with my parents. But I think it’s great that way. My parents are also happy ’cause I pay the bills and shop for them 😆 I don’t mind not having a prestigious job or position at work either. As long as I do what becomes my responsibility well and get appreciated for that, I think there’s nothing wrong with it. Though I admit that sometimes a pang of guilt jabs my heart, like, what is my PhD for? Wouldn’t I be more useful if I taught at a local university? Didn’t I get the scholarship so I could stay in academia? But again, I’m tired of getting poorly paid masked with the so-called pengabdian. If I have to live out of town, rent a place to live, pay the bills, etc. just so I can do my work, but then my salary is enough to cover only that and I can’t save enough, then won’t it be the same as wasting my life away? I know some people have to do it to survive, I did too, so no judging, but for myself, for now, I always question: Why would I exhaust myself just so people can see that I have a great job? And also, what’s the use of having a good salary if I can’t get enough time to enjoy it? We don’t live to impress people, right? So yeah, for now, I’m happy with how things are.

Ok, it’s already more than 2k words, so maybe I should stop. But, ugh, I realize I spent less time fangirling with others now. I spent more time fangirling by myself ’cause sometimes it feels more peaceful. I kinda miss my online fan friends in the fandom, though. I love them, well, at least those who are kind and nice to me^^

Ok, now I really have to go. I wrote this last night, but the blog was acting up and I couldn’t attach any pics and it kept failing to publish. But thankfully, it’s fine now. Hopefully, it won’t have any trouble any more moving forward. Bye, and see you in the next post 😉

PS: You can find my contact info in the contact tab. I don’t know why people don’t get notified when I reply to their comments. Sigh. My apologies for that 🙏

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