2020: A Year of Growth & Blessings

Hong Kong, 1 Jan 2021 After off-boarded from my project last week, I finally have a proper down time. When I say proper, it means taking few days of annual leave for the first time after the pandemic while not thinking about work. And so, I did a lot of reflections to what happened in 2020..

Despite all the hardships 2020 had, I’m blessed that the year turns out to be a year of change and full of blessings. First and foremost, I’m healthy and employed — the two basic things that some people might be struggling with these days. I’m also fortunate to live in one of the most safest city with adequate health facilities and protocols, and surrounded by sweetest people around me.

Is this quarter life crisis?

I spent the first half of the year being so restless and thinking what do I have to do next. I wasn’t particularly satisfied with my work while life outside work wasn’t too exciting either. Is this what people say a quarter life crisis?

The quarter-life crisis: not if, but when? – Lindenlink

Then corona happened which gave me sort of an excuse to stop thinking because we can’t go anywhere. To keep me occupied, I was thinking about little things that make me excited, from hunting for good food, doing tiktok with my flatmate and investing in a good living room in our new apartment. But these are all short-term satisfaction, yet what I’m longing for is a long term commitment; to do something meaningful that the heart wants. 

That drives the beginning of a podcast & gift shop

One evening after work, that aha moment to start a podcast came. The selfish goal is to get to know more people and learn from their stories to inspire me but of course, I hope the listeners also get something out of it. Turned out, it wasn’t easy at all. There were a lot of preparation work required before publishing one episode. There were always things we didn’t know in every recording — be it how to ask a good question, setting the mood, or engaging the listeners better. Regardless, I really enjoy the process of launching and growing MTR Talks and I hope it can reach out to more people in 2021

Ep. 2 with Michelle – Building Resilience as a Startup Founder

As we couldn’t travel anywhere, I finally had the time and courage to start my small gift box shop with my flatmate at the end of the year. Giving and packaging gifts in the most extra ways have always been my personal interests and some friends told me why not start selling it for others. Now, amid pandemic, sending gift becomes more important than ever as we couldn’t do big gatherings. Besides, I’ve always been jealous of my friends in Indonesia (thanks to social media) who are able to start their own business. I always put it’s-hard-to-do-the-same-in-Hong Kong” as an excuse. This year, we finally took the first steps, ordered the raw materials from a Chinese app without translation, and came up with the marketing materials. We didn’t sell much in the first season and barely made profit but the experience we gained throughout the process was most valuable.

Those few good people, keep them

At work, two years later, I’m still struggling to get along with my colleagues. As an extrovert, this cultural/language barrier make me extremely frustrated so, I tell myself just do my best and find the right people. The last few months, I was thankful for being able to engage well with my clients and eventually able to perform. I finally realised how it feels to “connect” with your clients, not only about work but also non-work related stuffs. The year ended with an offer by a Partner in my company to join her team — a career move that was fully supported by my mentors. I may not be able to fit in the majority but I’m thankful for the few good people who believed in me and gave me opportunities..

And of course, how could I survive the year without amazing friends and boyfriend that make Hong Kong feels like home.

The key theme of this year is constant change..

For me, change is never easy but that’s the only constant — from wearing mask, travel ban, work & exercise from home, new title, new side hustle, to all new things we have to get used to. I’m thankful for human’s ability to ADAPT, to continuously explore life hacks, and to be creative to complete the same old tasks. This post will serve as a reminder of all the efforts I put to adapt and survive 2020’s weirdness.

Happy New Year to you! Here’s to a brighter covid-free 2021 because we will better adapt to whatever is coming. Have a joyful, healthy, lovely, and blessed year!

Survived the year we all won’t forget,

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