Towards the end of the year we usually use this time to reflect on a lot of things, and this year is no different. 2020 was a whack year, like if you could describe it, it would be “what the actual fuck”.
It’s been a whirlwind of a year and I decided to write 20 things I have learned (or am still learning) this year.
1. There’s no way you will get along with everyone.
This one seems obvious, but as someone who prides themselves on being a relatively easy to talk to person, I came to realize communication styles that are different can often clash. So, don’t force things that just don’t work. Square peg, round hole. When someone continues to make me feel uncomfortable (and vice versa, I am sure not everyone is comfortable talking to me), I have to just accept the facts. Also people grow apart, it’s fine. Move on. And maybe hold off on some of the subtext… or subtweeting. LOL.
2. I still have much to learn about the racial injustices that plague the country (and world).
I will continue to do the work, educate myself and be an ally to the Black community including working on dissolving the model minority myth people that I know still hold on to.
3. Instagram is not my job, so don’t act like it is.
I think I really complained a lot about my engagement in the past year to the point where posting a photo would give me huge anxiety, I’d do the math in my head to see how many likes in an hour I’d be getting in order to hit over 100. It was DUMB as a bag of wet hair now that I think about it. Now, I’d rather have a handful of followers who enjoy my content than a ton who don’t care what I have to say. And also, I wear clothes for fun it’s not my day job. So who the fuck cares how much engagement I get? My mom? I don’t want to be a pedantic person peddling sustainable education reels on Instagram just to gain clout. What I do love is connecting with accounts who share the same love for fashion that I do.
4. You can pretty much do anything in an Instant Pot.
I’ve been using it exclusively to feed my hot pot addiction in the winter. Fish balls with fish roe, wow, game changer I tell you. It is always worth the painful consequences of eating spicy Haidilao hot pot soup base.
5. Speak up even if you feel like your voice is small.
This accounts for a lot of things; advocating for yourself at work, emphasizing problems or issues that cause you stress, or even small things as trivial as hating the bad transitions in Instagram clothes changing reels… but more of the former, lol.
6. We should normalize therapy.
I actively talk to my therapist about the anxieties, stresses and general issues that plague me. And she helps me work through them with things like thought records and feeling exercises.
7. Find someone who will stay with you through the hard shit, not the easy stuff.
Relationships are work. People who tell you it’s rainbows and glitter and unicorns are clearly the luckiest SOBs in the world or they are lying. Relationships require communication, understanding, support, mindfulness and most of all sticking together through thick and thin. There are days when I find it reallllllly hard to love Austin but I still do. That’s how I know he’s my person.
8. Radish and pork dumplings are actually a winning combination.
I have nothing to add about this. It’s just delicious.
9. It took me 31 years to finally get to a good place with my parents.
The holidays used to stress me out a lot because I would come home from school and it was a never ending lecture about how I wasn’t good enough or how I wasn’t going to succeed if I wasn’t a doctor or if I didn’t fulfill x, y or z. Surprise, I’m not a doctor but I still landed pretty well 🤷🏻♀️. They are much more relaxed about my life now.
10. Be true to yourself.
The only expectations you need to live up to are yours. I know I could never be a doctor, I’m not smart enough (nor do I want to read a medical textbook…it’s just not for me). That’s fine, we always say average is a bad word. It’s not. I’m ok being just average, I have enough to get by.
11. Know your strengths, and use them.
I’m an average scientist at best but I am a quick thinker, and a problem solver, which makes me a great lab mentor. I am also an artist, which allows me to use this skill to do graphic design as well as make hair clips and other fun art crafts. I am proud of the things I can do, and I accept the things I cannot.
12. You can rekindle friendships in the most unlikely of places.
You can also get to know people better though being pen pals!
13. Living and existing are two different things.
Several months ago I had an acquaintance tell me about ending his/her life. They eventually saw the light and are alive today. Life sucks, I know, but there’s also so much to do and to see. I used to be so heartbroken that I didn’t want to live because it was so painful just to be alive. I’m glad I made it through. I wouldn’t be here in a house I bought with my fiance if I wasn’t alive. Time can heal a lot of wounds.
14. Weddings are overrated.
I know it’s customary for people to ask engaged people when they will be getting married but for me, I don’t know when that will be. And I don’t really care right now, Austin and I are content where we are. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it right? I love to go to one, I just don’t have a desire to plan my own, ever.
15. Tires lose air over time.
It’s nothing to panic about and it’s not always a flat tire situation. Though I can’t seem to convince my electric baby, Blueberry, not to collect nails.
16. It’s ok if you don’t want to have children.
It’s not a law that all married women need to procreate. I will be the best Aunt to your child. Don’t worry I will only take them to like a couple R rated movies.
17. Don’t panic first, think first then react.
This one is so hard for me, I have a huge adrenaline response to pretty much anything that causes me stress. Sometimes things are not that big of a deal and I don’t need to act urgently on it.
18. Apparently I can spend over 600 hours on a video game.
Yes, it is Animal Crossing.
19. Keep an open mind.
It’s so easy to get caught on a negative emotion and continue to hold onto it, leaving you with only one impression of a situation or person. Give people, places, things time. If it continues to suck then yeah, fuck that. But sometimes you’d be surprised, it just might not be that bad or scary.
20. Wear a mask.
For the love of lemons, masks are important!!!