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20 THINGS I'VE LEARNED IN 2020

What day is it? It's the 336th day of 336 days! 2020 is almost over! How'd you feel about it? I feel like, "Wow! We've reached this far!" Imagine the series of devastating events that we've encountered along the way but here we are, we keep on going! We keep on fighting! No matter how broken we are... No matter how tired we are... So, why don't we tap our shoulders and say, "I'm proud of you, self."

And there is one more thing I want you to do. In the last day of 2020, I want you take some time to reflect on the lessons 2020 has taught you and what you've learned from it.

Here's mine,


20 THINGS I'VE LEARNED IN 2020


1. Focus on the things I can control

I'm always excited for the new year because for me, it means a brand new start. And 2020 is not just an another year, it's a mark of a new decade. 

Even before 2020 began, I have a 20/20 vision for the first six months of it already. I have set a goals on each month. And I started the first month of the year eager to achieve it. My goal for January is to get fit and hike to Mt. Maculot at the end of the month. I bought a pair of running shoes and I jogged every Saturday. 

Then Taal Volcano erupted on January 12, 2020. The eruption spewed ashes to Calabarzon, Metro Manila, some parts of Central Luzon and Pangasinan in Ilocos Region. The volcano produced volcanic lightning above its crater with ash clouds. The eruption progressed into magmatic eruption characterized by lava fountain with thunder and lightning. 

I was in Metro Manila when it happened and I thought it was just a gloomy day, little did I know that it was already the ashes that filled the sky. 

39 people died. Billions of crops were damaged. Classes, work schedules, and flights were cancelled and so my jogging and the hike to Mt. Maculot. 

Just when Taal Volcano consistently decreased volcanic activity and restaurants near it started to re-open, COVID19 hits the Philippines and a month-long lockdown was implemented and extended and extended.

And the lesson that 2020 has taught me is that things will not happen in the way I planned it. So I've learned to focus on the things I can control. This is the time to pursue my dream to be a writer. This is an opportunity to share my story. 

2. The worst time in our life is the best time to be in the presence of God

Praying has always been a part of my daily life. I usually pray for myself, my family, friends and loved one. But the lesson that 2020 has taught me through the COVID19 outbreak and the rallies that comes with it, super typhoon and flood is that I should also pray for the government, frontliners, for everyone who have been affected by the COVID19 disease, super typhoon and flood, for every family who have lost their loved ones because of it, for everyone who's livelihood have been affected by it and for the vaccine.

Prayer is a powerful weapon (James 5:16 NIV) against the invisible enemy (coronavirus). 

The coronavirus is still here but it doesn't mean that God doesn't hear our prayer but it's a sign that we should pray continually (1 Thessalonians 5:17 NIV)

And I've learned over and over again that the worst time in our life is the best time to be in the presence of God. 

3. Tick off my travel bucket list

The lesson that 2020 has taught me is that indeed we don't know what will happen tomorrow. Who would have thought that there would be a novel coronavirus that will happen this year and will change our lives in just a blink of an eye?

So, for someone like me who loves to travel, I've learned that when things get better, the virus gone, I have a stable source of income and savings for travel then I will travel. And I will make sure to tick off my travel bucket list. Sagada. Georgia to visit the places where The Vampire Diaries has been filmed and many more. 

4.  Do His will

2010 - I started to dream to be a romance-novel writer someday. 
2017 - I resigned from my 4-year job as an Operations Officer to pursue my high-school dream. 
2018 - I moved to the big city to take a step closer to that dream and there I got a chance to attend a writing workshop but it felt like I'm not yet ready to send a manuscript. 
2019 - I still dream to be a romance-novel writer someday but I'm not sure if that's what God wants me to be. 
2020 - I've become a lifestyle blogger. 

The lesson that 2020 has taught me is the will of God. And I've learned to do His will. I've become a lifestyle blogger, that writes real-life experiences with a purpose to share God's Word to others. And it's sooo fulfilling. 

I've also learned the positive impact of having a support system that continue to believes in me and encourages me.

And to every dreamer out there, align your dreams with the will of God and never give up on it no matter how long it takes, He will make it happen in the right time, in the right place and for His purpose. 

5. Keep my birthday a secret

Do you know anyone who keeps their birthdays a secret? I know some and I don't understand why do they have to keep it. 
Ask me when is my birthday and I will answer it right away. So, why can't they? 

Then my 26th birthday came. It's a little different this time because I'm not liking the idea to be the center of attention with greetings here and there and so I decided to take a 3-days vacation leave from the office to let it pass but I did celebrate my birthday with the close-knit group of people. 

The lesson that 2020 has taught me through my 26th birthday is that the older we get, the more we appreciate the value of our privacy. And I've learned to understand those people who keeps their birthday as a secret because I belong to the club now. 

6. Long distance relationship makes the couples faith to God grow stronger

The lesson that 2020 has taught me about relationships and the distance caused by the lockdown is P.P.E:

Pray
Plan
Execute

We prayed each other the night before the month-long lockdown, and we planned to read Bible together and we execute it and we also shared our takeaways. And I've learned that the long distance relationship makes the couples faith to God grow stronger.

7.  Be gracious to myself 

The lesson that 2020 has taught me is that the enemy, the devil, comes in the time least expected and he uses family and friends to tempt us to sin and once upon a time in 2020, the devil succeeded. 

Then I remember what our Pastor said, "speak truth with grace" and I take note of it but when I was put in the situation to apply it, I failed! 

I speak truth, yes, but I didn't speak with grace that leads our relationship to be estranged. And I feel so down because of it. But I've learned to atleast apply the grace to myself and learn from that mistake and to put the whole armor of God, that I may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil the next he comes (Ephesians 6:10-21 ESV)

8. Choose the battle that is worth fighting for and let go the battle that is not worth fighting for.  

The lesson that 2020 has taught me is that life will give you so many battles. And I've learned to choose the battle that is worth fighting for and let go the battle that is not worth fighting for. 

"After all, life isn’t measured by how many times you stood up to fight. It’s not winning battles that makes you happy, but it’s how many times you turned away and chose to look into a better direction. Life is too short to spend it on warring. Fight only the most, most, most important ones, let the rest go."— C. JoyBell C.

9. Give up toxic friend to gain peace of mind 

The lesson that 2020 has taught me is the paramount importance of having a peace of mind especially in the midst of the COVID19 outbreak and I've learned that I need to give up toxic friend to gain that peace of mind. And I gave up and yes, I gain it. 

10. Repay no one evil for evil

The lesson that 2020 has taught me that there would be a time that I will get in trouble but I've learned to follow what this verse says, Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honourable to the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, "Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord." (Romans 12:17-21) 

11. Forgive myself 

The lesson that 2020 has taught me is that I made mistakes, I made decisions that I regrets and I've learned the need to forgive my own self. 

12. Understand my employer 

I once wrote in my blog #3: 26 things I've realized in 26 years that you should appreciate your job, remember the days you prayed for it. That's what I remind myself when things get tough in the office and that's something I want every employee to realized. 

And now the lesson that 2020 has taught me about job is to be grateful for it  because many have lost it the moment lockdown was implemented. I've learned to understand my employer in this time of pandemic and crisis even if it means a 2 weeks forced leave and walking 3 kilometers from my place to the office and vice versa. It's just a small thing compared to paying us in the first month of lockdown where work from home was impossible for our line of work.

13. Family is better together 

"The lone wolf dies, but the pack survives.” -Sansa Stark, Game of Thrones 

I got teary eye on that line because I remember when the COVID19 hits the Philippines and Enhance Community Quarantine was implemented, I was far away from my family. 

And the lesson the 2020 has taught me through that is to go home because I've learned that family is better together. 

14. Invest 

The lesson that 2020 has taught me is this is the perfect time to invest and I've learned to invest in pigs and will surely take the next level of investing next year. 

15. God used the dark moments of my life to bring light to others life.

The lesson that 2020 has taught me is to look for the silver lining and I've learned that the silver lining in losing my job, it's that I was able to write a blog that brings a message of hope to everyone who also lost their job. And the silver lining in being an empath and the anxiety I've experienced, it's that I was able to help others who are also suffering from anxiety, to let them feel that they are not alone in their journey and many more. To sum up, God used the dark moments of my life to bring light to others life. 

16. The comfort of having a savings

My mentor told me before that when you resign to a job, make sure you've build emergency fund with a minimum amount of P70,000.00 worth of money and that covers for 3 months of expenses. 

When I lost my job on July, I count all my money and guess what? I have P73,000.00pesos!! As per my mentor, that covers for 3 months of expenses but as for me, I'll make it for 5 months. 

And look, we're at the end of the year! And yes, I've made it!! 

The lesson that 2020 has taught me is the importance of saving money. And I've learned and experienced the comfort of having a savings for 5 months. 

17. Discern the job that is really for me 

The lesson that 2020 has taught me in finding a job is that what comes to you is not always for you. There's an HR's that found me in LinkedIn and invited me for an interview but it turned out that the job is not for me. And so I've learned to discern the job that is really for me. 

18. God is faithful 

The lesson that 2020 has taught me through my journey back into my hometown is that I have a little faith. I've experienced sleepless nights and panic attacks because my flights has been cancelled thrice that shows I doubted the power of God. But I've learned that God remains faithful! 

Read more God's faithfulness in my life here

19. Entrepreneur mindset

The lesson that 2020 has taught me is to have an entrepreneur mindset and I've learned to venture in a small business. 

20. Plant

The lesson that 2020 has taught me through the quarantine is that there is something good that happened over the course of it. People turned into planting which is good for our health. All that digging and planting burn calories, strengthen our hand and heart. It can also help reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety as it gives us a chance to focus on something and put our mind to work with a goal and a task in mind. 

Planting is also good for the environment. Plants filter pollutants, absorb carbon dioxide, release oxygen  and help fight soil erosion. 

And I see that it is also good for the community. I grew up in the province and we have blessed with space to grow flowers and vegetables but I am not into planting because I am scared of earthworms. But with the plant-parents flexing their beautiful plants in social media hype me up and now I've learned to plant. I planted a bougainvillea outside my room's window and I'm excited for the day that it will grow tall and wide like into a shrub and bloom flowers!!



And that's the 20 things I've learned in 2020 that I've learned in the hard way but that's what it makes it more unforgettable.

What's yours? 



So much love, 
Sweet♥️














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