Did I really live in China? Like, did that actually happen or did I dream it all up?
I think about this on a regular basis, more so the past few days as I realised it has now been 11 months since I first arrived in Guangzhou to start my teacher training. To kickstart a year of teaching, learning, travelling and living it up abroad.
I know some people are probably bored of me going on about China, but it was a huge step for me (as I’m sure it would be for anyone!) and the disappointment I have felt in crushing waves since I returned to the UK has been so significant that I can’t just bury it all and never speak of it again.
The fact is, I am SO GRATEFUL and SO BLOODY PROUD of myself for making that huge leap – and making possibly an even bigger leap in deciding to come home when I felt that it was for the best.
I’m pretty sure no one’s lining up to say how amazing 2020 has been for them. We’ve all lost something, or someone, we cared about. We have all mourned in some way for the shitshow that has been this year.
But I feel that we will all have come out stronger for it. When the UK was first plunged into lockdown back in March, everyone was saying “I can’t possibly work from home! What do you mean we can only go out for essentials? But I have to see my friends and family every day!”. Well, we now know that actually, we can cope with these things, if a little reluctantly. So many businesses have remained operating from home, people have discovered that FaceTime and Zoom quizzes are a great way of catching up with their loved ones remotely, and with so many shops, restaurants and bars being shut, we have all been forced to reconsider the concept of what is truly ‘essential’.
For the last couple of years I have chosen a nice shiny new journal to write down my achievements from the year, and then the goals I have for the New Year. My achievements this year have been a little different to last year’s, but they shouldn’t be forgotten. I urge you all to take a few moments to have a think and write down a few things you’ve done this year which you are proud of. You’ll soon find that maybe 2020 did have some highlights after all. Here’s a few of mine for inspiration:
- I moved abroad on my own
- Came off my anxiety medication
- Moved in with my boyfriend
- Saved for future travels
- Took a job I hated but grew in confidence
- Started an apprenticeship alongside my dream job
The one key thing I have personally learnt from 2020 has been to not plan so much. Be prepared for disappointment. Have a Plan B, C, D…. Not everything will always go our way. And that is totally OK!
Look out for my next post on how to set goals for 2021 – sign up to receive email notifications here:
Don’t forget to follow along on Instagram @wheresliv_ for more adventures in 2021!