Personal entry – Reviewing my life in 2020

I know it’s unnecessary to add the word “personal” to the title, considering this is a blog, and everything I write here is personal, but this post is more focused on my emotional wellbeing and it might be too personal for some readers.

I could write a sob-story, a sad recap of this bizarre year and how boring my life has been. But I’m trying to write this post without sounding like an angry and depressed teenager, so instead, I’ll focus on the things I’ve done and forget the ones I haven’t.
I had big plans for 2020, and of all the things I thought would happen this year, a global pandemic never crossed my mind.

A september walk by the river

Things I did this year

I turned 26. And for the first time ever, I actually feel older. It’s weird to say this without sounding ridiculous, but I also feel wiser, and I think I know myself better. I finally know what I want, what I like and what type of person I want to be. And honestly, I’m excited about getting older. I think that the farther I get from the teenage brain, the better I feel.

I found a new hobby, which feels more like a cult. I am an embroiderer. I embroider things. Lots of things. Anything that can fit in a hoop and that it’s light enough for my needle, I will embroider. I’ve joined an embroidery subscription box, and I subscribed to an embroidery magazine that I get every month. I follow a select number of craft shops on Etsy. Being into embroidery is my personality now.

I started a blog, and if you made it this far, then you’re reading said blog. I started Willow In Winter in August, when I realised I had to do something with my time or I’d go insane. And even if I don’t post as much as I’d like, writing on this blog makes me feel better.

I discovered so many new writers that I love, and I read way too many books. I mean they weren’t that many. I read an average of 50 books a year, and in 2020 I read 57. It’s not an impressionable amount, at least not on Goodreads, but for me, it’s a good number.

I’ve started painting again. And then I stopped. And then I started again because this year has been extremely long and I’ve had time to stop hobbies and start them again.

I rewatched Gilmore Girls this year. Gilmore Girls is my favourite ultimate feel-good series. I have watched it so many times I know every dialogue and scene. The thing is, I keep this show as a last resource for when everything in my head is dark, and I need something to pick me up. I know exactly where I was every time I’ve started this show because my mental health was terrible, and nothing else worked. I’ve watched Gilmore Girls after a messy breakup, when I was broke and lonely living in London, when I had a mental breakdown in uni… And it works, it makes me feel better, I usually watch the whole seven seasons in a month, I breathe it in, and I’m okay again. So it’s no surprise that in the middle of the extended lockdown this summer, I needed to watch it again, and it helped.

I’ve learned so many new recipes. I can finally, genuinely say, I love cooking. I’ve baked banana bread like every person in the UK, I’ve tried new vegan recipes and baked too many cookies.

I had fun this year and I cried a lot due to important cancelled plans. Still, when I look back on 2020, I’ve had a lot of fun doing everyday small things, like walking around the river the morning of my birthday, carving a pumpkin and baking Halloween treats, playing video games with my boyfriend while getting drunk on cheap beer… And writing, just writing about whatever I want.

I have zero expectations for 2021. I know what things I’d like to do, but I don’t expect to do them next year, and I think that’s okay.