Reflections of 2020

To say that 2020 was a challenge is truly an understatement. Taking the pandemic out of the equation, still a pretty crazy year. Two moves, marriage and then divorce (hence the two moves), emergency surgery for retinal detachment, and activity restrictions as a result – would drive any person batshit crazy. So how I was able to maintain my sanity without the help of alcohol and anti-depressants is truly a miracle.

I once heard that most normal people can only handle about 3 major life changes within a given year. Well, whoever came up with that reasoning, would probably scratch their head if they heard what a crazy year 2020 was for me. The scientist in me did a little bit more research and found the Life Change Stress Test, published by Dartmouth University. My score, a whopping 561, which gives to about a 80% chance of illness in the near future. Geez.

So while I could dwell on all the “bad” things that happened this year, I look back with so much gratitude for what those experiences have taught me. Fairweathered friends fell by the wayside making room for those who were willing to weather the storm with me and offer support when I needed it most. The end of a marriage brought forward so many things in my eyes to include my own self worth and self preservation. Recovering from retinal detachment surgery taught me patience, perseverance, and learning to adapt to my new normal.

As if this wasn’t enough already, my company announced a few days before Christmas that we were being sold, so most likely my colleagues and I will be looking for jobs come March/April 2021. I’ll admit that I went into semi-freakout mode for about a day, but once the dust settled after the announcement I was able to sit and ponder what my next career move could be and what new adventures I could plan. So many possibilities.

On my last plane ride I was watching an inflight movie which inspired me to write this post. Maybe it’s because of the main character’s struggle resonated with parts of my life. Not so much with going undercover as a man and joining the Imperial Army, but the bits with her journey in finding her inner strength and balance, and not holding back despite the consequences. Whatever it was, it made me think about my parents and my ever evolving journey through this life.

My mother raised a fiercely independent woman, perhaps out of her own insecurities and experiences as a female who had to fight just to stay in school beyond 6th grade. Always be able to take care of yourself. Don’t ever be in a position where you have to depend on others. If someone knocks you down, get right back up. These were lessons engrained every single day for as long as I can remember. She didn’t raise a victim. She raised a fighter.

The woman my parents raised may have the strength and courage of a thousand men, but the balance of the very spirit that fuels her being sits just on the tip of a needle. Too much of any one thing jeopardizes that balance. Perhaps it is coincidence that the literal translation and meaning of her nickname in Thai (เข็ม) is “needle.”

That spirit, as fragile as it is strong, is something she holds near and dear to her heart and will protect at all costs. Anyone who tries to disrupt that balance, will be met with resistance. Anyone who tries to put out or dim her flames, and god knows they have tried, she will just build a bigger bonfire.

So with the New Year approaching, she will continue to forge on the path she continues to make for herself, absent of reservations or two shits of what others think, shedding dead weight to make room for new opportunities. Life is way too short.

To all the friends and family who have been part of my ever evolving journey, I am forever grateful for all the love and support in the good times and most especially the challenging times.

Good riddens 2020 and Happy New Year!

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