2018, A Retrospective

2018 is coming to a close. It has been one hell of a year, with amazing highs and some pretty deep lows. This year has also a been of discovery, which opened me up to a lot of personal breakthroughs. Speaking of breakthroughs, I remember talking to a former colleague of mine in the Human Resources department at my old employer, where she told me about how our individual struggles build us and make us stronger over time. She was right. Over the past year,  I’ve learned how to reframe these struggles as building blocks for growth. Here is a long, detailed account of my 2018, in case you are interested.

2018 started out quite negatively. It was negative, in a sense that a lot of self-loathing and unpleasant self-talk has manifested in my work life. After almost five months in public relations, I got reassigned to our agency’s digital team. When I first learned that I was going to join the digital team, I was close to losing it. Not to mention, the new assignment reopened work-related traumas from my first job, to the extent that I could feel my demon of an ex-boss hurling invectives at me in my head whenever I commit mistakes at work. These apprehensions and fears heightened the performance anxiety that I have due to my ADHD. This left me feeling lonely and distrustful towards people, because I was anxious of screwing up and being treated like I was incompetent. I wanted to prove to myself (and to others) that I can get regularized. I can keep a job. I can stay in one.  I did what I could to stay afloat and grow into the role, even if it had some trade-offs on my social and emotional health. I was that way for a couple of months, and now, I’ve been doing my best to untangle and unlearn the habits that I’ve developed from this experience.

Fast forward to the last week of May, and I got some pleasant work-related news: I got regularized! This was a HUGE deal for me. When I received my regularization letter, a huge weight was taken off my shoulders. It meant that I wasn’t as bad as I thought I was, and that I could unleash my potential. Since then, I’ve learned how to ask for help and believe in the people who have helped me a lot with work. Not to mention, the office environment has been a lot less hostile, which made it easier for me to let my guard down.

I’ve said at least close to 500 words about my work life here, but to sum it up, it has been quite a journey. I still have a long way to go in terms of fully embracing and loving what I do for work, but I’m grateful that my job is an intersection of what I like to do and what the job market needs. More so, I am grateful for my boss, my teammates, and several other colleagues who have cheered me on and encouraged me to be better at what I do. Their support has helped me move forward and work through the past traumas and apprehensions that I had towards digital work, among many other things.

Now that the work stuff is out of the way, this year has also been a huge one for me as a K-pop fangirl. In January, I started getting into NCT, and things have snowballed from there. I’ve grown to love NCT (and K-pop) so much that it opened me up to new friends and a shared love for the group. (Also: I have accumulated a boatload of NCT merch this year)

Aside from getting into NCT, I also watched two K-pop concerts this year, which are Super Show 7 and the Eyes on You tour. These two concerts were spur-of-the-moment decisions, and they were really fun shows! I’ve already shared some bits about them here, so I don’t need to say much.

Beyond work and fangirling, this year has also a been a year of self-discovery and lessons. I’ve learned (and I’m still learning) a lot of things about myself this year. The first personal truth that I have come to terms with is that I’ve been struggling with thoughts on self-harm and self-loathing. I’ve denied it for years, and now that I’ve acknowledged it, I’m working on taking better care of myself. I still find it ironic that I wrote this bit with an injured knee (but it’s getting better, so yay!).

The second thing that I discovered about myself is that I’m actually more open to dating anyone. Although I’m still attracted to men, I’ve become more receptive towards liking other genders. I may not have any experience with dating right now, but I’m sure that I will love whoever I want to love if the opportunity comes.

The third thing that I’ve accepted about myself is that I am quite introverted and weird, and that’s perfectly okay. I’ve always been the weird, awkward girl in my friend groups, and socializing has been quite a struggle for me. Before, I would usually try my best to fit in and flex my personality to be liked by everyone, but now, I’ve come to terms that I’m not for everybody. However, this also means that I shouldn’t be a judgmental asshole, and that I have to exercise kindness and patience to everyone.

On top of these lessons and discoveries, there were other amazing things that have happened this year: there’s the New York trip, I saw Taylor Swift live, I got more ear piercings, wore more cozy pants and striped shirts, bought more makeup, met new people, and drank good coffee.

Overall, 2018 has been really good to me. I’m grateful for the people, the opportunities, and the experiences that came my way, and I will treasure them forever. I honestly believe that this was the year where I started getting things going for me, and I hope that momentum goes on in 2019. I hope 2019 is a lot better and a lot more exciting for everyone. I wish everyone the best.



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