Twenty-nine.

I never imagined by twenty-ninth birthday would be spent in the middle of a global pandemic, and yet here we are. 😆 What a milestone, eh?

As is tradition, I usually write a blog post on my birthday to reflect on me getting older — but this year I don’t really feel like doing that so much; and yes, it’s definitely because of the pandemic. This entire year has felt a bit like a non-year so far. Even so, I want to write something positive; so here’s a list of things I’ve learned and am grateful for, even in 2020. ❤️

I am extremely grateful for my supportive friendships and relationship. So many lovely friends have wished me a happy birthday and it’s hit me recently just how truly supportive they all are. My discord friends, in particular, have been phenomenally supportive during lockdown and in regards to all my creative projects. We had our little anime club going on, we streamed movies for each other and we kept each other company every day. Whenever I got an idea for a video or a film they were super encouraging, when I uploaded my quarantine video they celebrated with me and when I was having a bad day they were ready to let me vent and sent digital hugs. I honestly think I lucked out on galactic levels, because I really do have the best friends I could ever hope for. 💖

And of course, let’s not forget Peter, my partner. This year marks our sixth-year anniversary and I truly have found in him a companion for life. Lockdown has made me realise how incredibily lucky I am to have him. He’s always there when my mental health is low, he’s extremely supportive of all of my creative endeavours, and he’s always ready to counter-balance my self-hate bouts with endless love. Seeing all the numbers of couples breaking up during quarantine and falling out of love/realising they weren’t good for each other made me all even more aware of just how much I love him and lucked out in finding him. I cannot imagine my life without him at this point. ❤️

I became more aware of how strong I can be. This is going to sound super cheesy, but it’s true: lockdown really tested me, both in my physical and mental health — as you can read here — and I still came out strong, passing my second year of college with an A, making a video out of it, and learning lessons about myself, my internal behaviours and how to combat them. It may sound weird to say, since the whole world had basically come to a halt, but it was a really valuable time for me. (And honestly, if the country goes into another lockdown, I won’t be dreading it as much, since I now know what tools to use to get through it.)

I am grateful that I have the chance to stay at uni this year. Originally, way back in November, the plan for this year was to network really hard and try to land a job by June of this year. Obviously that was impossible with the pandemic in the picture, and so I decided to stay at uni for another year, which kinda ended up being a gift from above. Being at uni this year means I can still receive my student loan, and at the end of this year I’ll finally have a degree! That’ll be crazy and new. Can’t believe two years have already flown by so fast.

I got through summer and spent it more positively than my last summer. This year’s goal, really, was to have a better summer than last year’s summer; and I believe I succeeded! I had fewer bouts of anxiety and depression, I put out a video about quarantine, I learned a ton of new editing skills, I made new connections, I still worked on videos behind the scenes. Yes, at points it felt like last year’s summer, and I was very afraid of falling into that self-destructive routine again, but I didn’t. I was better. That’s worth celebrating!

And that’s it — these are the things I wanted to focus on, especially on my birthday. All in all, I had a fantastic day, which was made all the more special by everyone’s wishes. I didn’t mind that I had to spend it inside due the pandemic (honestly, I really don’t go out much at all) — I invited two friends over and we had a lovely evening with pizza and video games. Peter basically dedicated the whole day to me and spending it with me, he is just so amazing. It was actually one of the loveliest birthdays I’ve had. I feel happy. 🌻

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