What a year. Oh, my!
A couple years back, I remember thiking to myself that I felt left behind in life due to the comfort that I felt in my life at that time. I thought, isn’t life supposed to be more difficult than this? Shouldn’t I have more problems just like how everybody else seem to be?
2021 gave me the answer to my wonder. And boy, oh boy.. Do I get what I wish for.
Mentally drained and physically exhausted is a perfect summary of my 2021. There were numerous times where I don’t feel like to reply to chats or messages, or interacting with the outside world at all. Not because I’m busy, but because I just don’t have the mental capacity for interaction. I was so fixated and absorbed in my own spiral of dark thoughts that it was so difficult for me to find just a bit of light.
Nevertheles, I’m still grateful for a few beautiful souls that being there with me when I was going through the darkest phase of my life. It was an awful experience, but would be worse otherwise without them by my side.
And on a slightly brigther note, there are a few good things as well in 2021. My second floor is fully finished in August, just in time for my birthday. The construction process gave me a lot of lesson learned this time since I was deeply involved in the process unlike when I built the first floor. It was a rewarding feeling to see the final result to the point that I decided to stay there to enjoy it. So yeah, I’ve been mostly staying at my hometown for the most part of 2021 (waving goodbye to Jakarta).
I also managed to read 40 books, listened to more diverse artists (I have my own private playlist for each month), and able to reach my financial goal that I set in 2021.
And to be fair, I generally feel braver than ever now after going through all of those personal turmoils in 2021. So, if I can summarize, these are probably the most important lessons I learned this year:
1. My feeling is valid no matter how ridiculous it sounds for other people.
There are a few times when some people made me think if I was over-reacted over something. But now that I think about it, I have all the rights and reasons to feel the way I feel. Just because other people don’t validate my feeling, it doesn’t mean it’s not true or if I was too sensitive. And just because it wasn’t their intention to make me feel that way, doesn’t mean that my feeling is invalid. But this also doesn’t mean that the other person is responsible for our feeling. They’re entitled for their action, for sure. And ofcourse, it’s great if the other person is willing to take responsibility of how they made us feel. But, our feeling is ours to control. And we should never depend our sanity on how they react to our feeling.
2. Changes are hard, especially in a direction that you don’t desire.
Intentional changes are difficult in itself, not to mention unitentional ones. This is probably obvious for most people, but realizing this just at the end of this year feels like getting a crucial epiphany for me.
3. Being ashamed of living is the worst feeling ever.
I remember started to feel uninterested towards life in 2020. But it became even worse this year when it manifested into a darker feeling of not belong. I’m not particularly talking about suicidal tendency since I could never think of killing myself. But there was a point this year that I feel like I was ashamed of being alive. And it was the worst feeling ever and I swear to myself that I never want to feel that way anymore. Luckily, things are getting better now. And I feel a bit hopeful to reinstate my life next year.
4. We can’t make other people to believe what they don’t believe in.
On contrary to my first point, if we ever find ourselves in the opposide side, it’s important to explain our train of thought to demonstrate our real intention. I still naively believe that most people don’t mean harm to other people most of the time. Assuming that, I would say that most of human conflicts are just messages that are lost in translation. With that, the messanger should make the effort to correct their real intention when a miscommunication arise. However, it’s not the responsibility of the messanger to change the believe of the other party, because obviously, they have their own consience. We could never be able to scare other people with ghost story if they don’t believe in spirit. Or, as Astrid mentioned in Crazy Rich Asians: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/140456082118465448/.
5. Life is great with art.
Painting with my watercolor and singing with my guitar is probably the only things that keep me sane this in 2021. Period.
Thanks to 2021, I realized how important keeping my sanity is. So in 2022, this will be my first priority.
I’ve been taking my health easily for the most part of my life since I’m not the kind who will get sick easily. But, I’m almost 30 now, so I think it’s just about time for me to give more attention to this.
3. Intentional relationship
The darkness of 2021 has kept me from interacting with more people. Next year, I’d like to connect, collaborate, and generally interact with more people. And in parallel to that, I’d also like to be able to let go of existing connection that doesn’t feel good anymore.
Another thing that I’d like to cultivate this year is bravery. 2021 has crushed my confidence to the point that I feel worthless. So yeah, bravery will be key if I want 2022 to be different.
5. Build more
I’ve started 2021 by writing more, but then I get lost somehow. I’ve also been abandoning my podcast, which I feel guilty about. In 2022, I don’t know what I’m gonna create, but one thing for sure, I’d like to build more stuff, whatever that is.
A new year is probably just a symbolic milestone, but nevertheless, I feel a bit excited to leave the darkness of 2021 and to experience more spectrum of life from another point of view in 2022. I’m no longer brooding about how my life is too easy because well, 2021 just proved otherwise. So hell yeah 2022, bring it on!