Taiwan, 2018/2019

I guess this doubles as a yearend review post, which is something I usually do in my previous blogs that I intend to still continue in this blog.

Since I have deleted the blogs containing the yearend review for 2016 and 2017, all comparisons I will make henceforth will be from memory. I remember that 2016 was a good year for me and one that will be very hard to top, since my life was in a great place then in all aspects. And there’s a stark difference between that year and 2017, which was a dark year mostly due to the “breakup”. This is not to say that 2017 has been all bad, since I got to travel a lot that year, but all I could remember that year was the dark place I was in.

And then we got to 2018. I prayed for a better me this 2018, which didn’t quite feel like it. I was diagnosed as clinically depressed this year, battled with this illness for a few more months and struggled to be okay with my relationships, with my work, and with my life. I had hoped that 2018 will be brighter than 2017 but as we got nearer to the end of the year, I couldn’t help but think how in 2018 I probably had it worse.

After the trip to Korea in October I realized that I’m still not feeling as better as I hoped I would, and I found myself bothered that 1) I don’t feel like spending the holidays in my hometown, and the usual holiday we spend there is welcoming the new year; and 2) I don’t have plans on my ex’s birthday on January 2, and I guess I’m still scared that if I’m not occupied on that date I would lose it. So I decided that I wanted to welcome the new year somewhere else, somewhere more distant to what I’m used to. I thought I should spend it outside the country, and also I wanted to spend it somewhere cold 😅

Japan and Korea were the first places I could think of, but it’s much too expensive and much of a hassle to go to since I have to apply for a visa. I almost gave up planning the trip until I remembered Taiwan, which is more accessible. So in an act of sheer impulse and rebellion, I booked my plane ticket and accommodation and decided that my parents would allow me since the flight and hotel are both in place.

What would have been my first solo trip became another kind of first: first trip with the boyfriend. Around the time when I booked my tickets, I have started going out with one of my friends from grad school. After casually mentioning the trip to Taiwan, he told me that he wanted to come with me and so it’s not a solo trip anymore.

And as cliché as it sounds, the decision to date this friend of mine was probably the biggest plot twist of 2018.

We both agreed to keep it light and chill since we feel like we’re both not ready yet to get in a relationship. But life had other plans, and soon after we have decided that we’re making things official.

It’s been going great since; it’s not perfect as we still have our issues and disagreements, but I’m the happiest I’ve been in a long time. While I still feel anxious at times because of work, I’m glad to say I’m feeling better overall. And to kick things off this 2019, I also got to talk to my ex again. Talking to him resolved a lot of my baggage, which I guess also helped, so I’m starting the year lighter because I’ve finally let go of some things.

We celebrated our first month in Taiwan 😄

So the Taiwan trip was probably the celebration of one chapter of my life ending, and a mark to signal new beginnings. All of the foreign travels I have shared here all hold a special place in my heart: Hong Kong was where I decided to leave my emotional baggage, Korea was where I discovered what’s in store for me if I don’t give up and give in to my dark thoughts, and Taiwan is where I can finally say I’m already happy again 😊 and a little bit more ready for another year.

To more meaningful (albeit highly emotional) trips this 2019! Hopefully things do get better from here. Cheers! #

Love, Lady 💛

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