My year in review

2020 has been a memorable year for everyone I think, and not always for the best reasons. COVID-19 and the social and economic damage it has wrought will likely have a lasting impact well into 2021, but (hopefully) we will think of 2020 as the year most defined by the disease.

While SA was spared the worst of the disease, and out stay-at-home period was mercifully short and relatively lenient compared to domestic and international comparisons, COVID also still put a number of things in perspective. Let me run through some key themes or thoughts about my year:

I learnt how to live with a partner. At the very end of 2019 I moved in with my boyfriend of just over two years (at the time). I was quite apprehensive: I have loved living with housemates who happened to be my closest friends, and while I was certainly excited about our new adventure, I was scared I was giving up on the ‘fun’ or ‘Friends’ (the TV show) part of life too soon. After a rocky first few weeks, I came to appreciate not only the convenience but also the added strength that grew in our relationship from sharing a home. While we’ve had our share of disagreements, I haven’t regretted it for a minute.

I have also established myself both within my PhD (which I started in February) and at work, where I now feel like a valued member of the team. I am lucky enough to be pursuing a cause I am passionate about in both roles, and I often find myself reflecting on the frustration I felt in a previous job where I didn’t feel valued and didn’t really care much about the work. I am hoping to keep this run going into next year and beyond, with new challenges looming as to how to manage the different pressures and opportunities that each my bring.

There have been some definite low-lights: from the shock of a close friend’s brother falling seriously ill to the day-to-day frustrations of everyday life, some exacerbated by COVID, but all in all, for me – and I admit, I have been very lucky – it has been a good year. As such, I look to 2021 with optimism and enthusiasm.

Tagged in reflection, What messes with your head