I said it in this week’s earlier post: 2021 Goals | Life Update, 2020 was a wild one.
As I think back to the year that was 2020, something that resonated with me and kept me pushing through was the following mantra: “It’s not the year I wanted, however, it is the year I needed“. The whole year felt bittersweet, as with the rest of the world – there were some less than ideal moments, however there were a lot of valuable lessons learned.
The year started off rather odd, perhaps it should have been a sign of the year to come. I counted the 2021 year in at a music festival, alone. Odd choice of words to say alone granted that I was surrounded and squished up with what was thousands of strangers. It was no hard feelings to the people I had chosen to take the trip with, everyone needs to make decisions for themselves and what brings them happiness. There was a strong sense of sadness, however, it did provide a sense of feeling empowered – that 2020 could be the year for me, the year that I priortise myself and my needs, because I am strong enough – on my own. (Hint, I’m not, no one is – I need to learn to speak up and ask for help).
So I took that stance for the year, to make 2020 an ambitious one, full of everything I wanted to do: I booked music gigs, overseas holidays to Thailand were booked, I was online dating and I had planned to be a boss accountant and do my CPA (finally). Fast forward to March, oh wow, what an oblivious, or optimistic, idiot I had been. The global pandemic was starting to show presence in Australia, I had dealt with a loss of a family member, medical issues arose and cracks in my new found relationship were starting to show quick.
As the pandemic worsened, I had to make some calls on my mental health – taking the plunge to ask my employer if I could work from my home town to ensure I wouldn’t be left alone in a lock down, and they said yes. Still to this day, it will be one of the greatest career highlights of my working life, to have such support given at a time of need for myself, will never be forgotten (if my previous bosses ever read this – thank you, thank you, thank you, a life time of thank you). I packed my place up, packed up the car and took the 12 hour drive back home.
I spent two months back home. It was with this time that I began to question where I was happy and what brought me happiness. I began to question if maybe a capital city wasn’t the right fit for me and that maybe psychology was a field I wanted to look further into. I priortised spending majority of my time ‘nursing’ a really close friend, someone I care for dearly, which in hindsight, they probably didn’t need or even appreciate looking back – however, I have no regrets. I did what I thought was right in my heart at the time.
I went back to Brisbane late June with Covid-19 starting to subside substantially in Queensland. I knew I had a lot to think about being back, however, I new that I needed to give Brisbane more of a chance that I previously had. I through myself into improving my life again, trying to make life less stressful and spend more time with friends. September hit, and I was becoming less and less okay. My cousin’s engagement party back home was approaching and I knew it was time to really assess where I needed to be.
The weekend passed me by, and I had a decision and a plan. I went into work the week I returned, told my employer and so the planning begin of how to get me back home. Admittedly, the time between October and when I arrived back home mid-December, I had not felt that low in a long time. I was really struggling. Everything had me angry, crying or making bad decisions. I just wanted to be home and curl up for a few weeks. This pretty much leads me to where I am now, a planned break, taking a new direction in life with the help of professionals.
So why am I calling 2020 the year I needed? It proved to me that I am so much stronger than I ever gave myself credit for. It showed me that family is the most important thing to me and no amount of ‘life plan’ or needing to get me out of my comfort zone can change that.
Here are the things I did achieve:
- I stopped a life time habit of biting my nails!
- I read 6 books – as insignificant as that sounds, I am a terrible reader – so that really was an achievement for me!
- I made the tough decision to come back home for good, knowing that I was giving up on an incredible career opportunity and moving away from my best friend.
- I paid out all personal debt (ZipPay, Credit Cards & Personal Loans). I had the opportunity to sell my car and go car-less for a few months.
- I went two months without alcohol and raised $1,000 for Dry July – this was donated to Black Dog Institute.
- At one very short period, I did get down to my goal weight, thanks to the no drinking.
I know 2020 was a rough year for a lot of people and that many people really did suffer in many ways that I can not even begin to comprehend. I am no way trying to cry poor me or even brag about the good that I did find in the year, I am merely trying to share my experiences with people, let them know how I am navigating through my own life experiences as someone that is often anxious and in their own head.
How did your 2020 go? I’d love to hear about it! Drop a comment, contact me or connect with me if you know me personally.
Baby Sloth xx