I reflect on 2020 and discuss my goals for 2021!
Hello everyone! Welcome to another blog post - it has been a while! I want to start by saying a MASSIVE thank-you for all the support on my previous blog post about Xmas! I have really enjoyed reading everyone's comments on the post and Twitter! Thank you!
In this post, I'll be reflecting on 2020, the good and the bad (mostly bad, not gonna lie) and my goals for 2021. Let's get started.
If you've read my 4th blog post (you can find it here), you'll know I was on a gap year in Paris. For new year, I was surrounded by all my family in France, living my 'best life', so yeah, 2020 started pretty well. I remember waking up on the 1st of January at like 3pm, because we had gotten home so late. What a difference this year will be, seeing as we won't even be leaving the house! (I'm crying inside). Anyways, 2020 started well for me. There were only murmurs of COVID cases but nothing major, and certainly no sign of a pandemic.
My earliest memories, in January, start with me and my uncle. We spent a full day in the kitchen, practising a Fraisier cake. We messed up so many times, but at the end we managed to make such a delicious cake. This is when my baking really started to take off. Also, me and my family were all gearing up for my cousins wedding that was going to be in Pakistan, in April. It was going to be the first wedding from my generation, so we were all super excited. No day would pass where we wouldn't be discussing it and everything was about the wedding - "at the wedding I'm wearing"..."When we go to Pakistan, I'm gonna buy..."..."We need to do this before we go..."..."OMG there's not long left till April, it's so soon". Not to forget, the AMOUNT of wedding highlights me and my cousin watched. It was a LOT of fun. January and February were spent shopping, buying lots of stuff for the wedding, watching make-up tutorials, buying make-up, all that good stuff. I celebrated my 23rd birthday in France too and it was great fun. In France, schools have holidays for two weeks and I got to spend them with my wee cousins, which was amazing. We would go on long walks and they would pretend to like my cooking. Sometimes. One time, I made something and it didn't go to plan AT ALL and my wee cousin said it tasted like "armpit". Not my finest hour. But all in all, it was good fun.
At the end of February we got the news that my Grandad had terminal cancer. It was a really hard time for me and my family. It was very unexpected and nobody was prepared for the months to come. We had spent so long anticipating the wedding and getting ready for it, working on our diets and organising everything, but when we got the news about my Grandad, everything just became so irrelevant. It's definitely true what they say, life slows down and you see what's important.
We all just wanted to be with him as soon as possible. At this point, we all had our tickets booked but then COVID started to become quite big, so we all decided to go to Pakistan earlier. It was the best decision we all made. The day before we left, everything in France was closed, lockdown was starting on Monday and we left on Sunday, but even COVID was irrelevant then. We all just wanted to be with my grandad and spend as much time with him as possible. We were all trying to stay positive and keep our spirits high, but when we got there it became harder. His health had deteriorated quite badly, and was continuing to deteriorate, making it hard for everyone involved. We were just extremely grateful that we could all be there. My grandparents have 7 kids, and 20 grandkids, and we don't all live in Pakistan, so the fact we could be together meant a lot for us.
COVID had taken over at this point. The whole world was in lockdown, but honestly, it wasn't affecting us at all. The only thing was that, we had to postpone my cousins wedding, but none of us really wanted to celebrate with my grandad being so ill. He passed away on the 8th of April and it was really tough. He was a very caring person, he loved his siblings, his kids and us grandkids more than anything. He wanted everyone to get along and live peacefully and he hated conflict. When you entered our house and he was talking, you would be able to hear him - he had a thick, deep voice. He would always tell us about his childhood and how difficult it was, and I wish I had more time with him so I could have known more about it. Losing him was genuinely the worst thing that happened this year. The fact that it happened so unexpectedly was an eye-opener. One minute we were all happy and planning and excited, and the next, nothing was important apart from him. Life really is so short.
After his death, all my family and I, stayed in Pakistan. We couldn't come back anyway because of COVID and all the flights were shut. This was one of the good things about 2020. Usually when I go to Pakistan, it's after a long time and for a short time. But this time was different because there was no 'going back' date. Me and my cousins did Ramadan together, which was such a nice experience. At some points, there were 40 of us in the house and whilst it was hectic and noisy, it was such a good time. The last time we had ALL been together was over 15 years ago, so it was nice to spend time with everyone and no one was missing. During Ramadan, the lockdown also eased off and so all the shops opened back up. We were all able to go shopping and go out, which was nice after being at home for 2 months.
We also decided to have my cousins wedding at the end of May. We didn't know when we would all be together again, the lockdown had eased and it just felt right. We had the wedding at home which was honestly so amazing. The vibe and the atmosphere was just right. A week before the wedding, me and my wee cousin were practising our make-up looks. We were all getting our outfits tweaked. We were all rushing out in turns to the shops to buy last minute jewellery and shoes etc. It was just such a nice time. It was also really emotional - it was the first wedding from us grandkids, and our cousin who was getting married was literally so loved, and so it was hard to be saying goodbye to her.
After the wedding, we all got COVID. I KNOW. THANKFULLY, we were all okay and none of us were seriously ill, but it was still scary because of all of the cases we had seen and heard about. I remember waking up 1 day after the wedding and my whole body was sore. I also had a fever which just felt really weird seeing as it was 45 degrees outside. One by one, all my cousins were experiencing the same symptoms and we were convinced we had it. All the grown-ups thought we were overreacting but on the 4th day we started losing our taste and smell, so we knew it was definitely COVID. I didn't have any other symptoms except loss of taste and smell and it lasted for around 12 days. It started to come back gradually (thank god) and after that I was fine.
I spent 4.5 months in Pakistan and it really was such a valuable time for me. I don't think I'll ever get the opportunity to spend such a long time with my gran or the rest of my family and it really was one (or the only) of the best parts of 2020. I'm so grateful to have made so many memories with all the people I care about during lockdown.
I came home at the end of July but the rest of the year wasn't so plain sailing. To be fair, this whole year, it has just been one thing after the other. Literally. And I can't even blame it on the pandemic because not everything was related to COVID. All I can say is that despite some really good times, this has been the worst year of my life. I don't think I'll be forgetting it any time soon, and I just hope 2021 is better.
I really really really really hope that when I look back on 2021, I won't have the same dread as I do when writing about 2020. There's some things I've learnt in 2020, that I want to take into 2021 with me:
Life is so very short. Today, I'm worrying about how 2021 is going to be when I don't even know if I'll be here to write about it. Life can be unexpected, so make the most of the time you do have.
Be grateful. When things don't go our way, we tend to be sad and unhappy. But always look around and be grateful for the things or people who you do have.
There's also some things that I want to try and change about myself in 2021:
Stop judging others. Last year, someone close to me told me I was judgemental. At the time, I was in denial and just brushed it off. But the truth is, I am. And I hate that about myself. The thing is if you tell me something, I'll immediately judge you for it, and then after half an hour I'll come round to the idea. But the initial damage has already been done. I want to stop judging people's decisions, their mistakes and their flaws - just stop judging altogether. I know it's gonna be hard because it's habits of a lifetime, but I want to work on them.
Stop gossiping. If you know me, you'll know I love some gossip. I recognise not all gossip is 'negative' like for example you could say 'oh did you see her hair, it looked amazing'. But the gossip where I pass judgement on others or make unnecessary or negative comments, I really want to stop.
Stop being my own worst enemy. By this, I just mean, I'm the only one who stops me from achieving things I want to achieve. If I want to achieve something, I'll know exactly what I have to do and when I have to do it. But I procrastinate, I become lazy and then I've done nothing. I really need to change my mindset.
MY GOALS AND PLANS FOR 2021
Well the biggest change in my life is gonna be the fact I'm starting a full-time job in January. Now, of course I've had jobs before, and I've worked but never full time and never with no end in sight. After I finished school, I went straight to university and getting my degree was my priority for 4 years. I would have 4 months off for Summer and during this time, I would work part-time but always stop as soon as university started again. After I graduated, I went on a gap-year where I worked for 6 months but again it was only 12 hours per week. All the jobs I've had before, I knew I would eventually be going back to studying or they had an end date. But now, it's sadly, finally, time for me to be a grown-up and work a proper job. I say sadly because I am a homebody, even before the lockdown. But I'm grateful I have a job and I can finally start earning some money.
I also want to work on my diet and exercise.(Doesn't everyone?). I have a very unhealthy relationship with food and its something I've been trying to fix since I was 13 years old. Sometimes its worked and then I go back to my old ways but I really want to tick it off my list. I'm not really a gym person, I prefer going on walks and that is something which always works for me. I just need to build it into my routine.
I also want to develop a better understanding of my religion and understand the reasons behind certain rules. I want to work on being consistent with my prayers - no matter how tired I am.
I also really want to work on my cake business. I want to expand my baking knowledge by trying things I haven't, like bread, pastry from scratch and other technical bakes.
I also want to continue my writing, both blogs and my WIP. I've always been drawn to writing, especially after reading a good book. This is something I really want to progress in, and continue doing because I absolutely love it!
I think that's all I want to talk about in this post. If I can manage to do all the things I've written in this post, I'll be super proud of myself and anything extra I do, will just be a bonus. I've just reached the point where I'm sick of all the years just passing and when I look back, I've not really achieved much. So I really hope 2021 can be the year where I just put my head down and achieve everything I want too.
I would love to know what you guys want to achieve in 2021! Please let me know in the comments below or on twitter/instagram! I hope you all have a great year and I hope its better than 2020 was for all of us! If you liked this post, you can subscribe to my blog by leaving your email in the box below. You can also check out my other posts here. Thanks for reading!
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