2020 – Pheww! What a year! :D

Hi lovely souls!

Long time no see! How are you? and how has your 2020 been?

Ooooff what a year it’s been. This year has been nothing short of surprises to put it lightly. I felt an urge to reconnect with everyone on here today and so decided I would do a good ol’ yearly recap post for 2020. After all, this year needs to be documented haha.

I must warn you – THIS IS GOING TO BE A LONG POST. So grab a drink and cozy up! πŸ™‚

So here I am, now logged in to the blog’s backend – but not before I realised I couldn’t remember my password – seriously how long has it been? Then I finally do log in successfully and see that my last blog post was published on the 16th Jan 2020. Ooooppppssssy daiiiiiisssyyyy…

Gosh a whole year (well 11 months) has passed since I last dropped in with an update. Obviously, my last post was just into the new year, fresh eyes and fresh goals ready to take on the year that was going to be 2020 – with no idea what was to come πŸ˜‰ . I had such high hopes for this year, to achieve many things, to cultivate many new friendships and relationships, to find love, to buy my first home and what not.

Haha – none of it panned out obviously.

Thanks to our common new friend – Coronavirus. πŸ˜‰

Before I give you a more private update, here’s what panned out in Australia and particularly Melbourne (where I live!) on a grand scale.

SITUATION IN MELBOURNE / Australia

Straight into Feb 2020, first of the few covid-19 cases were starting to hit many other countries and news were starting to spread. By late Feb / March – it was fairly clear covid-19 was spreading rapidly and by late March – Australia had declared a state of emergency and declared it a Pandemic (this was even before WHO declared it a Pandemic!) – and closed all the international borders. Many businesses started shutting down and millions of people lost their jobs and/or were rapidly stood down from their jobs in a matter of a few days to a week. This was the most surreal week of the pandemic when reality hit hard, a time of so much uncertainty, it was scary and 2020’s favourite word – UNPRECEDENTED.

The Australian Government very quickly rolled out the JobSeeker and JobKeeper schemes that went some way in helping some businesses stay afloat but a lot of damage had already been done. After a few weeks of lockdowns, around early June 2020, things started to pick up again. Restaurants and supermarkets were back brimming with customers again. Some parts of Australia were hardly affected and the lockdowns further guarded them from being affected at all. Fair to say, Sydney and Melbourne took on most of the grunt work with bringing back citizens from other countries and managing hotel quarantines with incoming special international flights etc. And to a great degree, Australia had successfully avoided the onset of the first big wave of the pandemic taking a toll on its citizens and were looking like were in a good position unlike the rest of the northern hemisphere that was really struggling.

But then Melbourne was hit with a second wave around July-Aug-September. Our Premier Daniel Andrews took a hard stance and locked down everything, rolling out lockdown rules in stages and phases. At one point for a duration of 6 weeks from Aug to mid September, we were only allowed to go out to shop within 5kms, only allowed exercise of 1 hour per day, no visitors, every business was closed unless it was food-related or an essential service, curfews every night from 8pm – 5am. Many supermarkets had restrictions on quantities for bread, meat, pasta and toilet paper. Oh and TOILET PAPERRRRRRRR! Who knew that when apocalypses happen, toilet paper would be first thing people would rush to get and fight each other over. Some of these scenes will remain in my head forever HAHAHA. Apparently Aussies love toilet paper but vegemite was pretty much untouched! Who knew! πŸ˜€

Anyhooo, Melbourne got over it. We did the hard yards and got our cases down to zero. As I type up this post, Melbourne has maintained 0 to very low internationally acquired cases since the strict lockdown rules were lifted. We are managing the pandemic really well in Australia and things are back to normal. Well mostly, as we are not back to working from offices yet.

Now this is what had happened in the city and country that I call home. My ‘original home’ India has had it’s own challenges and things there have been horrible. The added stress of being away from my ageing parents but not being able to travel there was tough. My sister who also lives in USA had her own series of challenges with the dire series of political, racial and health tensions that America faced in 2020. At one point, both USA and India were consistently ranking as 1st or 2nd highest daily cases in the world and having family in both of these countries was very stress inducing.

So now that I have sort of rehashed what the overall situation had been in my city and country, some personal updates that took place in my life during this time.

PERSONAL LIFE UPDATE 2020

Around 3 days before Christmas day 2019, I was happily living in my previous apartment of 7 years when I was given a 4 week notice to vacate as my landlord sold the place to someone who wanted to occupy it. It was an absolute shock to my system, I was happy and settled and secure. I had accumulated so much stuff too over the 7 years I lived there, as this was my first serious apartment after getting into a stable job – so moving was not going to be ‘convenient’. I used to live in a shoe box before this apartment, so when I moved to this 2 bedroom, I was mesmerized by all the space and ended up accumulating a lot over 7 years. Anyway I digress!

So considering it was the holiday period, I was essentially going to have 2 and 1/2 weeks of office time during the 4 week notice period that I would have had to find a new place and get everything packed up and ready to move. Fortunately I was able to find an agent who really wanted to get my current apartment rented out before Christmas day and so I was able to secure it straight away.

To my biggest surprise, this apartment turned out to be my dream apartment. It was actually the same complex and same apartment type I had tried to purchase back in 2018 on my 30th birthday off-the-plan but had chickened out last minute. So now I was living and renting the same apartment that probably would have been my apartment if I had ended up buying it. How does the Universe plan these things? What a game!

Once I moved in, things felt great. I was living in a great apartment with views to kill. 180 degrees pano, from mountains in the east, to CBD to the bay area, to the spectacular sunsets in the West. I mean, the bad luck of being pushed out of my old place wasnt feeling that crappy any longer.

Some pictures for your enjoyment! Very happy I got to spend all of my 2020 enjoying these views from home rather than being stuck in my office for 8 hours a day. πŸ™‚

Ok so now at the same time around Feb 2020 at work, projects I had been working on for 18 months had come to an end so I was stuck in limbo – no idea if I would have a job anymore. Obviously this turned out fine and I was retained in the team, but in a different capacity. However, I was also passed up for a promotion, which sort of broke my heart as I had worked so freakin’ hard over the last years. Anyway, this was all before Corona hit and I just accepted my fate, “Hell, at least I have a job!” I told myself and moved forward.

Life was okay to this point, I had already conquered the big challenge of moving houses by Feb 2020, retained my job and then Covid hit. As the businesses were shutting down, I was stood down for a month (April 2020). The company I worked for continued to stay open but stood most employees down as a precautionary measure. When they couldn’t satisfy JobKeeper requirements as the profits hadn’t been hit too hard, most of the employees were paid nothing for April 2020. This was a bit of a blow for many employees and was probably the toughest time I have had at this workplace in 10 years. For May and June I was brought back for PT hours (50%), July-Aug-Sep (80%) and finally back full time (100%) in October 2020. Around Aug 2020, I completed 10 years at this workplace which was a nice milestone to get to – as you know what that means πŸ˜‰ – I am going to be getting a good long service leave at some point in future, whether that is in time or money, we will have to see.

THE FINANCIAL IMPACTS / MOVING AGAIN:

So the loss of income during these months did throw off some of my financial goals, but I was able to get through on much less as the outgoing expenses were pretty low due to everything being closed and lack of any socialization. Around this time, my current landlords went into financial distress and have sold my apartment, meaning I’m yet again MOVING to another apartment in Jan 2021 – in a couple of weeks. That’s right, moving twice in a year. At least I’m decluttering from 2020 and all the shit that came with it, with a fresh start in 2021 in a new place! HAHA. I mean 2021 is going to be better right? At least that’s what I’m telling myself.

THE BAD:

This period in my life – will remain etched in my memory forever. I live alone and have always been quite comfortable with my own company but this was loneliness felt like never before. All of my spiritual and personal development tools I had cultivated over the last 7 years, had to be taken out and used to the max. I stopped meditating frequently, ate junk mostly, my binge eating appeared back and all I did was watch Netflix and Youtube. During this time, one thing I really regret is having spent so much time on topics of politics, conspiracy theories, vaccinations and watching mainstream and alternative news more than necessary. It took a toll on my mental health, I couldnt work out right from wrong, left from right and I got sucked into rabbit holes that I didn’t need to go down into. On social media, no matter what you said, you got attacked for it – it was draining and unnecessary and in hindsight, I probably should have switched off more often. However, I also must say, this year revealed where some of my closest friends and family stood on certain topics and it has been interesting to see it all out in the open. I lost respect for some people who I used to look up to as “leaders” and no longer put them up on the pedestal but at the same time, found new leaders who stood out and shone a light in these dark times.

THE GOOD:

On a positive note, and to be perfectly honest, I think I secretly really enjoyed the downtime from having to go to work everyday and be amongst people all day. As a natural empath and an introvert, that shit drains me to the core and sucks the life out of it. After this year, I am feeling so rested and my cup is full to the brim now, thanks to the downtime and slow living during 2020. Its taught me so much about myself and how little I really need to live a happy fulfilled life. When push comes to shove, I only really care about the loved ones in my life and everything else can be replaced. I learnt to cook many new recipes, I truly enjoyed being in the kitchen a whole lot more. I learnt about new arenas, like astrology, human design and gene keys. I delved deeper into investing and learnt more about the financial markets. I spent some time streamlining my side hustle The Witch of Oils (find me on instagram using @thewitchofoils ) that is all about sharing my passion about aromatherapy, essential oils using creative photography. I also delved deeper into learning more about Green Witchcraft and what would working and living in harmony with this Earth looks like. Funny enough though, I didnt read a single book in 2020 and meditating was so ad-hoc I am embarrassed to even mention it.

LOVE LIFE:

Despite the lockdowns, I manage to go on 3 dates (from online apps) during the brief period lockdowns were lifted. I’m happy to have met these men and actually came really close to committing to a relationship, however it didn’t pan out that way. I am proud that I put myself out there again and again despite the heart breaks but needless to say, I’m still single and to be honest, no longer looking. At one point, my parents also started to look for ‘matches’ (read as: arranged marriage!) and although I had reluctantly agreed for a bit, I soon went back to my original stance of letting it happen naturally if it will. After almost 8-9 years of dating, it had gotten a little repetitive and frustrating so around early Dec 2020, I ended up deleting all my profiles and am no longer on any of the dating apps. I figured I might as well push all my energy into things like career, health and fitness, travel and adventures, rather than going on endless dates that go nowhere and who knows, I might find him out there doing the same things I love too. πŸ™‚

On a different but more serious note, I also went through a bit of existential crisis and pondered on topics such as marriage and children in future and came to some interesting conclusions which will no doubt impact how and who I date, going forward.

But I like cats now, so a single cat lady life isn’t too unattractive at this point. HAHAHAH.

Currently obsessed with British Shorthair cats – I can’t get enough of these chonks πŸ˜€


This year really threw me off from who I thought I was and what I thought I wanted from my life but all in all, made me realize where I was wasting a lot of time that I shouldn’t have and what was really worth my time.

Life has a funny way to teaching you things and when we shall all look back, 2020 is going to be no doubt one of the biggest “turning point” year I will have in my life and I’m sure you will too.

So that was my year! If I still have you reading so far, THANK YOU! I appreciate you so much.

What did you resonate with the most from my reflections on 2020? How was your year? What was your biggest lesson from 2020? I would love to know in the comments.

And I promise, I will try to drop in here more often. πŸ˜‰

Until next time,

Lots of love!

Upsi x