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A Letter to 2019


Joana Kosinska Unsplash

2019 felt like a long year. If the other years were rollercoasters, then this one felt like a gyro drop. I may have reached my lowest this year but I’m still here — so that’s a win.


the gyro drop
I had my first job and after multiple breakdowns, a journal on google docs, and advices from different people, I've quit. My time there made me realise how much I enjoy helping others. As much of an introvert I am, I like people, I like helping and people smile. This eventually made me realise that I do want to take medicine. After multiple years of contemplating between Law school and a new path with Med school, I opted for the latter.


time exploded
like confetti

The concept of time started to become a blur after graduating from university. The moment we walked out the arch felt like an explosion that made time fall like confetti. For the first time in my life, I genuinely felt like I was on a different timeline with the people around me. Friends were figuring out what they wanted to do, others were getting married and starting their own families, and then there’s me. For once I was not part of something greater, I was truly alone. It felt comforting, freeing and containing all at the same time. So this was adulting.


she was not kind
The year was nowhere near kind. It was the harsh reality that I was shielded away from by the institutions that took me in — university, groups of friends, the comforting pink walls of my room. The doubts and anxieties I had in college felt the moment this year rolled in. It was stupid for a while, but it was real — especially during that time. The harsh reality made me realise that nightmares are dreams too. Not everything we wished for will become ours, and those that we earned are made out of rainbows and butterflies.

I don't think I could count on my fingers and toes the number of meltdowns I had this year. During the time near my birthday, for almost a month straight, every time I'd go home from work I would bawl my eyes out because I didn't know what I was doing with my life. I questioned why I was here on this planet, taking away someone else's oxygen when I was just a mess. I am still a mess. I don't want to go into details on how harsh and negative this year was. I want to remember you for the good times, but it's hard to look back and dig through the heartaches and sadness. That's what you were. Sad.

I felt pathetic being lost. I'm 21 and in my mind, I shouldn't be lost. I should've known what I wanted to do. I graduated from university and still didn't know what to expect in life? There's a part of me wants to erase this year and just store it away for no one to remember. If I wasn't depressed or lost, I was drowning in guilt over future med school expenses and being unemployed. I have also closed myself off the outside world, nesting myself between books hoping I'd ace my exam -- which I didn't -- which fucking sucked because it meant that I couldn't go to my university for med school in 2020. My hard work did not pay off and it hurt to the point that I felt numb. Sometimes, I still feel numb.

But your harsh nature taught me numerous things that kept me going until now.
things she
taught me

You can't give anyone anything when you're running with nothing

You need to put yourself first. You need to consider yourself first because at the end of the day, that is your life. You are the one living it.
When you're being pushed out of your comfort zone, they're not taking your sword away. They're giving you a new one to fight with.
Things get better... even when it feels like it won't.
Not being on social media might sound scary, but its more refreshing and calming.
You taught me that more people care than I thought. Being off social media (mainly facebook), made me realise who my true friends are. There were friends, who I haven't talked to in years, who messaged me a few days after I deactivated -- asking me if I was alright and that they were there for me if I was going through things.



to change
& discovery
You were definitely a year of change. I can confidently say that I'm different from who I was at the start of the year. I am still lost, but at least now, I know what I want to do. I guess I hold more value to myself as well –– value that multiple counselling sessions and therapy at my previews job taught me. I discovered that life after graduation doesn't have to be tied to a certain time, to a certain career. Changing your opinions and interests is 100% okay. I wouldn't think or see the world with this much conviction and openness than I did before. Before I may have been open to new opinions but it would've surely sway my own thoughts and beliefs. Now, I know what I believe in, and would only change that if I'm in the wrong or if I had a drastic change of heart or opinion after looking at different angles of the same picture.

Cheers to self-improvement and self-love this year! As much as I burnt my days away, studying for Med School exams, I did it for myself. Cheers to chasing our dreams! Physically, I haven't given myself much self-loving. I've left my semi-healthy lifestyle of working out and being mindful of what I ate and just went with the flow. My skincare routine changed, then changed back. My wardrobe shifted to a more sustainable, comfier look -- there are times I look at it and feel like something's missing, but when I go to the shops, I can't really think of buying anything. Mentally and socially, I think I've treated myself well. I have dear, dear friends I hold very close to my heart. Through my counselling and therapy sessions, my internal monologues served as a medium for me to organise my thoughts and think things through. I still have a lot of room for improvement on these, but these baby steps I've taken are more than enough for a good start.


Like I said, you were not the kindest year,
but you've been one of the greatest teachers.
Thank you.
Another book has closed, and another decade will arise.
Cheers and good luck to 2020.


*post layout is heavily inspired by Elise's blog -- Teanenbaum