Before you guys start reading this, take a breath. Trust me, I did so myself before writing this piece. It’s been an eventful year so far to say the least, and for all the wrong reasons too, mind you. I know y’all are physically, mentally, and emotionally tired as I am. I’ve got some good news though. We’re right smack in the midyear checkpoint of the year, as the title suggests. Simply put, 2020 is far from over. Therefore, it’s only fitting I give everyone a much needed heart-check, myself included. Allow me to recap some personal notable experiences that took place during the 1st half of 2020, as well as some of our expectations for the rest of the year. Don’t worry, I won’t list down a litany of accomplishments because I don’t have a lot to begin with.
JANUARY – FEBRUARY: The Raw Painting on the Canvas
I stayed up for the first midnight of 2020 in our AirBnB at Rome, feeling ecstatic for what the New Year, heck, the new decade would bring to the table. As soon as I got back from the trip, I made my “dreamboard”, a yearly family tradition of ours, which included all my goals and aspirations for the coming year. Indeed, the giant canvas was starting to take shape. Little did I know that a giant mess was about to ruin this work-in-progress. The first two months alone featured a series of unfortunate events (get the reference?): a potential world war, a forest on fire down under, a volcanic eruption in the Southern part of my home country, the death of a global basketball icon, and of course, the plague.
All these events I listed pretty much set the tone for how the year would go. Catastrophe has struck whenever the opportunities present themselves. Tragedy came knocking at the window without any warning whatsoever. I stayed hopeful, though. After all, the year is still young, and we were only a few months in at that time. The canvas may have had irreparable damage and smudges, but I know deep down time heals wounds. I could pick up my bearings and make up for all the c*** that happened in both January and February. Little did I know things were about to be at a massive standstill.
MARCH – MAY: The Insanity of My Anxiety
DISCLAIMER: This segment contains offensive language and self-harm references that may be triggering to readers.
No introductions. I’ll get straight to the point. Ever since I started getting cooped up at home since March, I would often have emotional breakdowns which almost led to anxiety attacks for at least once-a-month. It felt like I was fulfilling a quota of anger and sadness after getting turned down from job applications and girls I’ve tried to pursue even before all this took place. All of a sudden, I was referring myself to that guy that felt out of place. My sense of belonging, or lack thereof, got the best of me on certain occasions. I would experience this erratic behavior at random moments during the said months. It was random in that sense that I could not prepare for such disruptive tension to happen within myself. It’s difficult to explain because they just happened then and there. With so many restrictions, rejections, flashbacks and burdens I carried with me before and during this undesirable season, I had myself constantly asking “Will this be my f***ing Life from now on? Will this insanity and never-ending loop of sh**ty circumstances keep repeating itself from here on out?” I’m not trying to sound overly dramatic and I’m not begging for sympathy, but my mental health was slowly starting to deteriorate before my very eyes. Honestly, I nearly lost all hope when it came to repairing the external and self-inflicted damage that came towards my way. I was at war with myself during this hellish part of the year, believe it or not.
JUNE: A Breath of Fresh Air
June was a different story, and thank goodness it was. In terms of what actually happened during this past month, nothing changed if I’m keeping it real with y’all. But if I may humble brag just for a little bit, I survived the entire month of June by not going ballistic in front of my imaginary friends and real-life family members from the 1st to the 30th. I know, this is a “minor achievement” for many, but this was such a big deal to me. Believe it or not, I didn’t need nor even seek medical attention from experts. Those “experts” were already at my doorstep, aka my first and only support system, aka my family and a few friends.
I needed June as much as June needed me. June reminded me that I signed my first paycheck last March, while I reminded June that our country celebrates its Independence Day (June 12) on this particular month. June gave me new crushes. More importantly, it provided me with a more mature approach on how to deal with them and treat them as casual friends, in order for me not to repeat the same mistakes anymore. What does June get in return? A whole month dedicated to all my LGBTQ friends, whom I love dearly. As the month suggests, y’all should have some pride in yourselves, for the right reasons of course. Who gives a damn with what society tells you to become or what to do?
So to cut to long story short, June was an awesome month. Sure, it was eventful, just like the other months, but it was the breath of fresh air I needed after trying to keep my head above rough waters during the early stages of 2020. At the end of the day, it was all about a change in mindset and approach with regards to how I want to live my life every single day. Sure, days like these seem repetitive and mundane, but there was a sense of gratefulness, hope and a positive outlook that I plan on carrying over for the remainder of the year.
JULY – DECEMBER: New Empty Canvas, New Mindset
Honestly, July 1st to December 31st can be a whole different year in itself given how unpredictably absurd 2020 has been so far. If anything, the 2nd half of the year is another empty giant canvas in itself. A lot can happen within the next 183 days. As mentioned in one of the many webinars I’ve attended, “2020 is the best time to be alive”. Don’t let the bad news, trendy topics and cancel culture fool y’all into thinking this year is a hopeless case.
New days call for new opportunities. Past rejections result in future breakthroughs. Many doors may have closed on you back then, but I’m confident that there’s one door out there waiting for you to open it. That guy/girl who said no to you yesterday is actually leading you to the one who will give his/her sweet yes tomorrow. As for me, I absolutely have no idea how the 2nd half will turn out. But I do know one thing, I will strive to continue protecting my mental health. Before I can start betting on myself with my new set of goals and aspirations, it’s equally, if not, more important, to establish self-love for myself and those around me. Yes, it will be a continuous struggle trying to prevent my anxiety from happening. If anything, there will be those days of self-doubt and my self-worth being questioned. But I do know one thing, God’s got my back and He knows I’m trying.
In a never changing world on the ropes, she needs to see us thrive not only for ourselves, but for others who both want and need to see us thrive. There will be days where you and I will feel anxious, unproductive and even depressed. That’s totally fine and naturally human to feel those things. It’s okay to rest for a bit, but not to quit for good. Take those breaks if you have to. If anything, these breathers, along with that new positive mindset, is all we need to get ourselves eager and motivated to make July 1 – December 31, 2020 much better than January 1 – June 30, 2020.
If you or someone you know is struggling from depression or other mental-health related issues, please contact the following agencies and hotlines
US & Worldwide:
- #SuicideAwareness: 1-800-273-8255
- HOPELINE, a national suicide prevention and emotional crisis intervention hotline developed by the Natasha Goulbourn Foundation: (02) 804-HOPE (4673); 0917 558 HOPE (4673), or 2919 (toll-free number for all GLOBE and TM subscribers)
- National Center for Mental Health (NCMH): 0917 899 USAP (8727) or (02) 989 8727