December 31, 2020

No Mud, No Lotus—5 Priceless Gems I Found on My Path.

This year was nothing like anything we’ve ever experienced.

Sitting in my bed, I started recalling all the things that happened in 2020. While everyone is busy getting ready to celebrate New Year’s Eve, I contemplate on my journey and the gems I happened to find on my path, and whether I should share them or not. Since every story is unique, I decided to write this.

It is true that I cannot celebrate the most amazing year of my life amidst all the fear, pain, death, environmental crises, wars, and unemployment, to name a few. However, what I can still do is share my humble discoveries, hoping they might be of benefit.

Other than my sister’s wedding, going back to writing, quitting drinking (which is a different story for some other time), losing weight, being broken to pieces to be rebuilt into something more beautiful, and most importantly, “skyrocketing” spiritually, I learned the most five valuable lessons ever.

1. The only person we cannot live without is ourselves.

I’ve always read about self-love and self-discovery. I even said I have finally found myself countless times, but due to the pandemic and what it had entailed, it was the first time I truly experienced it and consequently believed it.

Some of us found ourselves living alone during lockdown, and we all know what they say: living with someone shows you their true colors. To be honest, I didn’t really like the colors I was seeing, and that was the first step toward working on myself. At the end of the day, when everything came crumbling down, only one person did not leave me—I’d better take good care of them.

2. What you fear and reject the most might be what you need.

There was something that kept calling me for years. Not only I feared following that voice, I even blocked it, rejected it, and fought it. Introspection was something a lot of us encountered in 2020. Fortunately, I took a leap of faith and followed my heart, which led me to a marvelous world that never ceases to amaze me every single day.

With every step I take on that path, with every little new thing I learn, I feel incredibly blessed for being found.

3. Expect nothing.

It might be funny now that plan A had to be put on hold to make way for plan B, and then plan C. Some of us had to go through the entire alphabet, unfortunately. However, back then, it was devastating. It hurt so much at one point that I didn’t know whether I will make it alive.

Luckily, we learned firsthand that expectations are the root of disappointments and heartache. I still do my best, I still give a lot, and I still hope for the best, but I finally understand that I have no control over the results. Thus, I expect nothing. And I mean it because I had a whole year to practice.

4. Patience is key, no matter how mainstream this sounds.

My grandma used to tell me all the time that patience is the key to everything, and I used to puff and huff. Well, I was too young and foolish to understand what she was trying to teach me. Years after she was gone, I realized that I was probably the most impatient person in the world.

I am hot-blooded by nature, and it is incredible to be passionate if that energy is filtered, guided, and diverted in the right direction. 2020 taught me that unless I work on that sh*tty character of mine, I am going nowhere.

5. Adjusting to new situations is powerful.

As a control freak myself, I wouldn’t have been able to survive, let alone thrive in 2020 had it not been for learning how to adjust to new situations. My stepdad lost his job, I was evicted, I found myself moving alone to a new place amidst a pandemic, my country suffered one of the worst economic crises in history, immediately followed by one of history’s largest explosions, all of this while battling depression, anxiety, and catering to a demanding job. Not to mention the “cherry on top” with the breakup and broken heart that I had to deal with.

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change,” I tell you, Mr. Darwin, I get it now.

In a nutshell, I will never be able to celebrate 2020 because I will always remain an empath whose happiness will not be complete unless it is shared collectively. However, I can always be grateful for the 2020 “lotuses” that grew in the mud.


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