Thank you 2019, hello 2020
The end of the decade. 2019 has been one of the better years I’ve had in a while. I am learning to get into the habit of choosing gratefulness over complaints every day. My bilateral frozen shoulders that kept me immobile, awake every night in chronic pain for 15 months finally thawed earlier this year and I got back into the momentum of a steady workflow, and whatever a “normal” life entails.
Nothing is really normal with life after cancer, but my scans have moved from every 3 months to 6 months this year and I can finally get on with life without hospital/scans/blood work punctuating my daily routine.
This year, three friends got diagnosed with incurable stage 4 cancer and we lost the inimitable Lauren. I’m learning to stop holding my breath waiting for my other shoe to drop.
“My Life is no more of a struggle than anyone else’s. In one form or another, we’re all trying to survive until that’s no longer an option. Facing that reality requires as much bravery as it takes, every day, to endure the constellation of tragedies that make up a life.” Wise words from Lauren.
December started off with old Macao trauma drama that I walked away from, but it undeniably triggered old wounds. I realised the best thing to do is to walk away from negativity, toxicity and drama. Boundaries. I also started a surrender box – to put down thoughts and feelings over things I have no power over and letting the Universe take care of it.
I cannot control how people perceive/judge me. That’s all entirely up to them. I used to feel awful about it, wanting to be liked and accepted by everyone, but I’m slowly learning how to get less caught up in the noise and the battle of the self-righteous.
People are hurt and get emotional when they are ignored – that’s perfectly normal and I get that too. What I learnt through cancer – the magic sieve that shows you who your real friends are – it may never have been their intention to be unreliable, as we all have our own shit to deal.
It is important to respect people’s boundaries. Whatever reasons they decide to ignore/block/ cut ties/never respond, it’s their way of coping with their own baggage. Stop making everything about you.
In 2019, I nurtured a few good friendships and lost a couple to cancer. I also sadly outgrew old friendships. I don’t have the capacity to manage everyone’s feelings and expectations of me.
I learnt that arrogance and greed is a common by-product of success. How does one deal with deliberate silences of passive aggression? Even after you’ve apologised you forgot to respond to a text, or couldn’t make a milestone birthday party and didn’t indulge their self-importance.
Well, life happens. We live and let live.
Moving forward. Sending out good vibes to everyone.
2020, I’m ready for the next decade and hope to serve a purpose and be useful in the Universe for as long as I may live. It’s also the year of the Metallic Rat, a new zodiac cycle begins here, so in more ways than one, it’s a new year, new cycle, and the circle of change. I hope to grow more mindful, stay centred and practice more self-care.
Some of my happy 2019 highlights: Guo Pei’s Fabulous exhibition in Singapore, Rediscovering all the things I loved about Beijing and new things, St Moritz – I am convinced some of the most beautiful landscapes are found in Switzerland, We found the world’s best pizza near Naples at Pepe in Grani, I had an amazing time celebrating a girlfriend’s birthday on a gastronomy trip across Scandanavia and had content to pitch. I managed to dine at the magical two-Michelin starred Faviken before they closed this year. Visited Lisbon for the first time and absolutely loved it.
I am grateful I got to travel alot this year as well as spend quality time with friends – but never enough with my husband that I don’t see very often given his gruelling schedule. I hope to change that in 2020 with some compromise.
Finally, I hope Hong Kong finds resolve in its political situation and hope everyone stays safe and are getting help for their mental health. Sending love and lights to everyone.2020, boundaries, grateful, life, mindfulness, self care, surrender