Welcome to my 2020 recap. Hopefully we can agree that even though 2020 brought some interesting things, it was still a shit show. And if I am the only one who feels that way, thats okay too.
So grab a drink and here goes…
- On New Years day, there is an event in St. Lucia called assou square. Its a family event with a ton of food drinks and activities. As a kid, I loved going and looked forward to it. But as I got older, with my anxiety and fear of police I was not interested. But because my grandmother really wanted to go, I sucked it up and went to make her happy with the condition that I got a toy for my dog. So that day, being a 22 year old, I came home with a stuffed unicorn for my dog and I named her Sparkle. And the funniest thing is that I ended up keeping her for myself and took her with me back to Canada. Don’t worry, he got Wonder, which is a stuffed bear bigger than him.
- Instead of starting back school like everyone else at the beginning of the year, I spent the first week and a half of classes in the Caribbean. Instead of being on a plane, I was on the beach watching the plane (WestJet) take off back to Canada saying proudly that I should be on it. And you know what, I do not regret that decision because I got to spend some time with my doggie.
- Like usual, travelling back to Canada was hard and I was sad. For once, I wished and wished for the flight to be delayed even though it was already leaving later than usual, and instead it decided to be on time. Like how dare Air Canada!!! But its fine, I sucked it up and got on my flight for what I did not know would be my last time. I sat next to a nice couple, finished my readings for class the next day and landed in Canada around 1am. Unfortunately, I did have an issue with immigration. Turns out I was not allowed to bring in cooked meat that my grandparents prepared for me which sucked because its better than anything in Canada. Like usual any interaction with police brings out the worst of anxiety because I am terrified of police.
- Catching up with school work when you are 2 weeks behind just wasn’t fun. And it was a very stupid idea to go from landing at 1am and leaving for school around 1pm the next day. But I don’t regret it because I was able to see a lot of my friends that I had made in my classes and was able to drop the class from hell from my transcript.
- February was the month of assignments, midterms and group work. Group work was a nightmare because of the people I worked with, there was little sleep, lots of crying and anxiety.
- One of my top posts for 2020 was Anxiety Fucking Sucks. I wrote that being in a really bad mindset, trying to study for 2 midterms on one day and just not getting the information to stick. And it sucked. I remember being so low and frustrated. And making that post made me realize that I have a support and a community through my blog. People who can understand that feeling, not judge you for it and/or pretend it doesn’t exist.
I know this is a weird thing, but my Starbucks order went missing that month. Short story is that I mobile ordered on the way to school because I wanted to catch my bus, and when I went there, it wasn’t there. And one of them admitted that it was strange.
- March was supposed to be my last month of university. I was supposed to enjoy those last few days and make the most out of that time.
- I presented my research project at my school’s university fair, which was a big thing for me because it meant stepping out of my comfort zone. I had to explain my research project to strangers who had no idea what microinsurance was. My professor came and she brought alone the Undergraduate Program Director at my school. And after that happened, I got invited to present that same research project at a undergraduate conference in New Brunswick. And like everything else it got cancelled.
- Covid became serious thing with plans changing really quickly. I remember going into my exam that Wednesday afternoon and coming out with a statement from the WHO and my friend saying that his school had gone online. My Thursday class where attendance was mandatory became optional. I went and turns out that was going to be my class. Friday morning I woke up to text messages and emails that classes went online for the rest of the year. The place where I volunteered, everyone started working from home so the program stopped
- When I first heard of covid, I will admit that I was stupid. I thought that being young, I would be fine, wouldn’t get sick and was cautious. I was wrong. Thankfully I didn’t get sick but that was a stupid thought because anyone can get it and anyone can die from it
- Unlike a lot of people, I did not have zoom university. My professors either graded us on what they already taught or made us learn the information on our own.
At the beginning of lockdown, I thought I would learn how to crochet. Bought an entire kit and yarn. But I gave up after a few days. Could not figure out how to hold the needle or the tension and my mom made fun of me.
- Completed my last undergraduate finals. Definitely a bittersweet moment because it meant that school was over for me and that I was beginning a new chapter in my life. I was also trying to complete my finals while being depressed and it wasn’t easy. Looking back on my April memories, I said “We all talk about our physical health, trying to flatten the curve, social distancing. But what about our emotional health. Its just as important.” And its still true.
- The more that this pandemic kept on going, the worse my mental health became. And even though I am grateful I am to be alive and healthy, its okay to be feeling stuck. Especially with finals going on.
Since I started reading more and wanted to give myself a graduation gift, I treated myself to a kindle. It was a really good investment and is something I sleep next to and use every single day. I would love to have a library in my future home, but until then a kindle library will do.
- Also there were some weird amazon purchases that month: a diffuser that I used once or twice and a popcorn maker that I once again used once or twice. This is what lockdown does to me.
- Also decided I wanted to try colored wax/temporary hair color on my hair. Bought it, never used it.
- Anxiety medication was increased to 100mg of Sertraline
- June marked a a year since my uncle’s death. It was definitely a hard time for me, but it was an important one because it taught me to become okay with it. I became less angry and guilty about not seeing him before he died.
This was the month that I finally got my graduation photos done. It was something I had been waiting for a while and meant a lot to me especially since I had no graduation after those 4 years. Some part of me wanted to have my hair straight for those photos because it was ingrained in me that whenever something “special” is happening, I need to have straight hair to look and feel pretty. And instead of going with that pressure to straighten my hair, I decided to have it curly which I do not regret.
- It was also the month that I sent a barrel for my family. Having to accept I was not travelling that summer was a hard realization for me. And instead my mom and I decided to send a few things for my grandparents.
- I discovered the hype with Krispy Kreme donuts. So so sooo good.
- Finally got my diploma and graduation photos back. They looked really good and it finally felt like I graduated.
- That month marked my blog turned a year old and it was a year since I last straightened my hair.
- It was also my birthday in July and I turned 23.
- I also started applying to jobs that month. Got several rejections, and 1 interview which I never heard back from.
- Bought a pair of airpods that month. Good investment that I do not want to leave the house without
- Also bought a paper shredder which is oddly satisfying to
- My 13-year old cousin/like a brother graduated primary school.
- I found and met my half-sister for the first time in 15 years. Still surreal to think about and whenever I mention that to other people, their response is that “its like movie”. Couldn’t agree more.
- Continued applying to jobs – got 2 interviews, a few rejections and lots of ghosting. Its a mentally draining process that makes me sad.
- I started my reading journal and drawing that month.
- I created a more professional-ish blog. Well I was attempting to be professional. Not sure how that worked out.
- Reach 200 followers on this on this one
- Worked a paper that I submitted to a journal. PS this ended up being the bane of my existence and I hated life so much.
- I was no longer a student
- I got a new baby cousin while my 13 year old cousin started secondary school.
- Started a “new grad” journal to document my post-student journey.
- Started thinking if I was ready to apply to grad school
- Went on a lot of rants about diversity in graduate school. And I am not sorry about that because it is true. Plus I asked it in a Q&A with a grad school I was interested in which admitted that.
- A certain grad school program, got my address and sent me an information package. Still don’t know how they got my address.
- Still made impulsive decisions because that will never end.
There were a bunch of police vehicles in front of my home one night, which scared the living shit out of me because I am terrified of police.
Turns out one of my neighbours died alone in his house.
Scary but sad.
I learned how important heating is when our furnace was not working. Those few days were very cold, with me having to wait for someone to come fix it.
- Christmas tree went up in early November because why not.
- Having to accept that I wouldn’t be spending Christmas with my grandparents this year was really hard for me. And I know that I was not the only who had to make that sacrifice.
- To cheer myself up, I got a nintendo switch and animal crossing. I love them both so much and I do not regret purchasing them even though it was a hit to my bank account and my mom did not approve.
- I officially decided to apply to graduate school.
- The paper that I was working on in September, got accepted to be published in the next volume of the journal that will be out in a few months.
- Where I live (Peel Region in Ontario), went into another lockdown with Toronto.
- It was my first white Christmas and Christmas in Canada. I survived, even though I was a bit sad. I was still able to video call my family, see my doggie and my new baby cousin.
- I baked a Caribbean fruit cake that I always do when I’m at my grandparents, here. And though there were technical difficulties and lots of bickering, it came out good. A lot of people seemed to have liked it and now want me to do one for them. Only problem is that I do not really follow a recipe, I just wing it.
- Decided to create holiday card for seniors living in long-term care homes. I enjoyed drawing it and was hoping it cheered them up this holiday season.
I did not talk about everything that happened in 2020 and I probably forgot a few things. And thats okay since this is already so long. However, I did create monthly recaps throughout the entire year, so I will list them here:
- January 2020 Memories
- February 2020 Memories
- March 2020 Memories
- April 2020 Memories
- May 2020 Memories
- June 2020 memories
- July 2020 Memories
- August 2020 Memories
- September 2020 Memories
- October 2020 memories
- November 2020 Memories
- December 2020 Memories
2020 was a hard year for me emotionally with this pandemic, staying at home, not being able to travel and see my family. Add trying to find a job, I felt like shit. I had so many bad days. And I am just hoping that the new year is nicer. Like thats all I want. And to have a better mental health.