New Year (Again)

It feels a lot different this year; the whole holiday, Christmas and New Year season. Everything was just too different from the usual because of CoVID. There weren’t any big parties or vacations, but I was still grateful for the small gatherings that we could have. I’m still telling myself to constantly count my blessings, but it was just very underwhelming and disappointing to me. I guess it’s okay to be sad about missing the way things used to be.

Here’s a little summary of how my 2020 went!

Every year of my adult life had been so eventful, and 2020 is no different. I started the year pretty much directionless, not knowing what 2020 had in store for me. I had just (finally) quit my first full-time job after much consideration and said goodbye to the great salary but also the (physically, emotionally and mentally) toxic environment that I’ve spent 1.5 years in.

Midway through January, I finally decided that I was done recovering and picked myself up, prepared my resume and portfolio and started applying for jobs. At first, I was so sure that I was going to work for a friend’s company because I was told that they were looking for a graphic designer. However, I wanted to keep my options open and after hearing nothing from them for a week, I sent my applications to other job posting sites and found myself in an interview at the company where I currently work at.

Needless to say, after two interviews, I got the job and since then it’s been nothing short of amazing. It felt surreal to work in a company where I could have a proper work-life balance and appreciated for the effort I put in. For so long, I wanted to work for a company that I was proud of. With my previous company, it started wearing me down having to give a no-answer to whenever people ask me where I work. “It’s just an office along Beach Road. You won’t know it,” I’d say. I was even embarrassed to say that the building was Golden Mile Tower. I wasn’t proud of the work that I did there. Here where I am now, I don’t feel any of that.

Shortly after that, the CoVID19 outbreak came and countries announced lockdowns and restrictions. People started losing their jobs by the thousands, my mom included. I’ll be forever grateful for God’s timing and allowing me to get the job when I did and going through Circuit Breaker feeling secure. Of course, I was still afraid of the possibility of getting retrenched and how the company would fare against the new measures and pandemic, but my amazing bosses reassured us that they would take care of us.

The whole Circuit Breaker period from March to June was truly an experience. I’ve never had such a long “break” since Primary/Secondary school during the June and December holidays. Of course I still had work to do, but staying at home for weeks on end really hit different. The only time I went outside was to do groceries or go rollerblading, and felt bummed about not being able to socialize, being the extrovert that I am.

I did appreciate it for happening, cuz i saw it as a way to reset. Being an extrovert and spending 90% of my time around people, I felt that I had lost my identity. I mean it’s normal; you switch personalities around different people and different friend groups, but I didn’t have enough alone time and I didn’t know who I was when I was alone. For the first few weeks, I really felt empty and bored. I’m the kind of person who loves to do everything with someone which is probably why my relationships are almost always back-to-back (The longest time I was single was 3 months since I was 14 years old lol). Eating alone, watching shows and movies alone, doing nothing alone was such a foreign feeling to me. I mean sure, I had my family, but it was different. We had different interests and I couldn’t have replaced all my friends with Jyle and Mom LOL.

Eventually, I learned and got used to the solitude. Looking back, I spent most of my teen years alone in my room, doing random things; making art, practicing yoga and shit. I embraced the time I had and used it productively and I came out of Circuit Breaker feeling refreshed.

It wasn’t all good though but it wasn’t too bad. I have to add that when I returned to society, I almost forgot how to talk. I would literally stutter in every other sentence I speak, and I really wished that real life had subtitles just like Netflix (yes, I watch my Netflix with subtitles).

I also felt really strange about spending time with James again. While we used to practically live with each other and sleep next to each other every night, I was no longer used to it. Sleeping next to him was something I used to need every night. I don’t care if it was my bed or his, I just wanted to sleep next to him. Yet, when he started sleeping over again after Circuit Breaker, I felt like he was a foreign object in my room. Like he was taking up space and he didn’t belong there. I did tell him this, and I think he felt the same way about spending a lot of time with me and felt a little suffocated too. Well, that was all temporary and we’re back to our usual schedule of spending every hour away from work with each other HAHA (please don’t come for my ass about this, I’m obviously exaggerating and we do have alone time and time with friends but we just like spending a lot of time with each other that’s just what’s normal in our relationship).

James and I spent his birthday apart from each other no thanks to Circuit Breaker. I was still able to send him a present and I think with that, I’ve permanently secured my spot as the best girlfriend ever. He’s recently started apprenticing as a tattooist, and to show him my support I bought him a whole setup! I couldn’t have done it without the help of my tattooist friends who recommended me on the models and brands to buy.

In July, I celebrated my birthday with James at Universal Studios Singapore! Shoutout to my company for the privilege of having birthdays off on top of the 14 days annual leave that we are granted. He also bought me a beautiful and delicious Salted Caramel cake from one of his tattoo clients who is also a baker. At the office the next day, my bosses bought me a delicious burnt cheesecake because I told them that I like cheesecakes hehe. James got me a Klipsch earpiece, and my mom got me a silver Kipling bag! Coincidentally they are both silver and the brand names start with a letter K HAHA.

I also met up with my ex-colleagues and reminisced about our toxic work days, clearing up the drama and the gossip from back then and just catching up with each others’ lives. It felt really good to see that we were all in much better places than we used to be, and it felt really good to clear the air over good food and drinks.

I think August was a rather peaceful month. We hit milestones at work and I was super productive as well! I also finally brought Jace out to the beach for the first time since CoVID19 started. I think it might even be one of the first times I brought Jace out because I was super cautious about the pandemic. I know I’d for sure feel guilty if Jace caught CoVID19 and it was my fault. I even avoided seeing him throughout the whole Circuit Breaker because I was that afraid of catching it and spreading it to him.

In September, I reunited with an old friend. It was good for a short while, but in the end I remembered and re-learned why we had parted ways in the first place. Some things are just not meant to be, but I’m glad for the experience, the lessons and the closure. I didn’t realise how much hate I carried in my heart even after so long, and I felt that the whole incident has helped me heal at least a little.

November was a month full of reflection and gratitude. Like I remembered just spending my days thinking about the things I’ve been through and where I was in my life. The beginning of the year versus then, my life was finally coming together. Before, this feeling would come accompanied with boredom, but I didn’t feel that way about my life the way it is now.

December was just wholesome, spending time with the people I love and exchanging gifts for Christmas.

Sometimes I feel like I’m not doing enough, but after reflecting on the past year, I have to give myself a pat on the back for going through all of that. Now, looking forward, I can’t wait to do more in 2021.

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