Hello, Year 2020! Hope you guys had a fantastic start to the new year. Can’t believe that it’s been two decades since Y2K. I started my morning, brushing my teeth while having my Google Home tell me about the weather and the days’ news. Then it occurred to me that I am living the very same scenes about futuristic sci-fi films about artificial intelligence I watched in amazement as a child (very telling of my age, I know). The future is here, today, and I am so appreciative of it.
I had a pretty chill holiday season, and I appreciate my friends for totally understanding why I chose to lounge in my PJs at home to count down to the New Year instead of joining them in the heart of the festivities like what I did last year. I even took time away from social media for the first half of the new year. It was so good not to have any plans, to make time for myself to start my year. Before work gets a little busier, and I begin to lose sight of self-care. I’m sure; I’m not the only one that feels this way.
Usually, for my first post of the year, I’ll be tempted to talk about resolutions. However, this year I didn’t make any. Instead of giving myself goals, I want to indulge in experiences. When we were young, we made many silly mistakes. We fail all the time; like falling off a bike, answering simple maths questions wrongly, or saying the wrong things in crazy situations or getting embarrassed over being different. But we were kids, and that’s a passage in life we go through.
Then we grew up and started feeling more confident in ourselves, our choices. We don’t make silly mistakes anymore because we know what we are good at. We excel in those areas while avoiding the ones we know we suck at. That also means we don’t learn as much. We need to experience failure and be okay with making silly mistakes to be more competent; like how we were as kids. I want to keep myself engaged and motivated through experiences and not fall into a comfy and “meh” life. It’s not exactly a resolution because I already started this mindset for a few years now. Being a part of different businesses, different environments, and even living in different countries. I’ve kept on nevolving and learning.
You can’t create or buy experiences. You have to undergo it but putting yourself in situations that are out of your comfort zone. My “out of comfort zone” inspirations must have rubbed off on some of my closest friends recently. A couple of my gal pals decided to have started to cook more at home. They are very career-driven for most of their lives and stayed out of the kitchen, so it is something they thought they would never like or excel in. After giving it a go, they fell in love with experimenting with recipes. I love seeing their excitement every time they cook something delicious they never thought they could accomplish on their own.
Since I’m currently in Australia, I cannot talk about my new year without sharing my thoughts on the bushfire. The temperatures in the county are at their highest in the last 100 years; wreaking havoc with drought and uncontrollable bushfires. I’m not going to share any scary photos here, but most of you would have seen those haunting photos. If not, google ” Australia bushfire” for nightmarish images.
Here in Melbourne, I’ve been spared from most of the danger and merely experienced intense haze on days when the strong winds blow towards the bay or city. Smelling that toxic smoky air is enough to remind you of the horrors those must be facing in the fire zones.
Who could imagine that the very same country, millions of tourist flock to for their “lung cleansing” fresh air would be in such a state of emergency. The news photos and videos are sometimes downright unbelievable. It looks as if armageddon befell on those bushfire zones. Afternoon skies were so dark that you couldn’t see the sun as the fire burned all around, trapping people in places where there was no food, water, power or even petrol to escape. All you see was soot and ashes. People died, homes ruined, and more than a million animals have perished.
After seeing this devastating scene and the raw emotions of people who have lost everything, how can we not do anything on a personal level or at a social level about climate change?
In this great adversity, I also saw both the beauty and ugliness of humanity. On the one hand, there were outpourings of volunteers, charity and donations from everywhere and everyone I knew. All of us trying to do our part in whatever way we can because our heart aches for the horrors we see. Not only in Australia but on an international level as well.
On the other hand, we have looters and arsonists making an already mad situation madder! I also miss the times when people were not only charitable but also humble. I think it’s fair to share ways to help or to get involved in the community to raise more attention to the situation and to encourage others to join in using social media. However, I cringe when I see people post selfies with their donation receipt. I’m all for donations. Money is an essential tool in times of crisis. However, helping others because you were raised well and understand fundamental community responsibility should make you feel good without having to publish proof of your donations all over the internet. It is not a competition, and it’s not about you at all.
Despite all these, I must say that there are still a lot of quiet people who put in hard work or money without asking for external gratification. Many Australians are very kind and giving, and they have commanded my respect. Those who can help, will. That is why my faith in humanity is not all lost. I can only pray for kinder weather so that lives for those caught in the bushfire will begin rebuilding them.
Thank you for reading my ramble of thoughts at the start of 2020, and I wish you and your loved ones a good year ahead.