2020 reflection: things I was grateful for

Happy new year!! I think everyone enthusiastically joins with me in waving a huge fat GOODBYE to 2020. 😛

I spent new year’s eve with my family playing mahjong, watching a movie, and Facetiming Joe. It was perfection and I’m grateful my family was all together for the first NYE in many years. ❤

I usually like to write a reflection post at the end of each year (see my 2019 and 2018 posts), but as I sat down to write one for 2020, I found it a bit difficult and felt an urge to dump a bunch of complaints/struggles from this year’s pandemic. And so, for this pickle of a year, I instead want to shift my usual end-of-year reflection style and talk about the things I was grateful for. This blog has always helped me focus on the positive things in life and what better way to start the new year on that note. 🙂

Things I was grateful for in 2020

San Francisco parks. Golden Gate Park, Alta Plaza, Alamo Square, Dolores Park…all became my new neighborhood bars! I can’t count how many “social distance picnics” I’ve had with friends and Joe. Not gonna lie, it did get a little old after a few months, but looking back I’m super grateful I lived in a beautiful city with tons of greenery and parks during the pandemic. These really kept me sane and provided a safe place to meet up with friends.

San Francisco parks

Joe. Joe and I passed our one-year anniversary recently, and what a year it’s been for our relationship! Joe is the number one person I am most grateful for as he was truly my rock and best friend this year. One major thing I struggled with was mourning the loss of a “normal” first year for our relationship. We had so many items on our bucket list and it all came to a screeching halt right when we were hitting our stride. But looking back, I feel major gratitude for the adventure we went through while quarantined in SF. It was simply a blessing to have a partner to spend time with during a very isolated year (I am a major extravert). From weekend hikes, to cooking dinner, to many hours of Netflix…I know I will look back and treasure all the quality time together (which will probably be harder to have once things go back to normal). Joe and I are not perfect, and just like any couple we had to work on our communication/codependency/etc, but I’ve learned SO much about relationships and what love really means (if you’re a long-time reader, you know I was single for many years before meeting Joe!). I’m so excited for another year together. ❤

relationships reflection

California. This year was the longest I’ve ever stayed in California (basically staying here since March). Before that, I was traveling a lot for work + fun so it was quite the adjustment going from racking up lots of airline points to nothing! Despite this, Joe and I were able to scratch our itch for adventure by roadtripping thousands of miles around our home state of California (we didn’t feel comfortable flying, so we limited ourselves to places we could drive). We surfed the waves in San Diego, hiked through rock formations and waterfalls in Yosemite National Park, we took a ski trip and chilled in a cabin in Lake Tahoe, watched the sunset in Joshua Tree, explored the shopping/food scene in Los Angeles, and rented a house w/ some friends in Clearlake. We also took many day trips around the Bay like floating down the Russian River, hiking Sonoma Coast and Bass Lake, and more! Joe and I joked that we are SO sick of California which I realize sounds ridiculous because California is such a beautiful state and I’m grateful to call it my home during the pandemic. Of course, we would have loved to go on some international trips in 2020 since that’s where I feel I learn/grow/experience more, but I’m hopeful for leaving the U.S. this year and I’m glad we got to cross a lot of items off our California bucket list.

California travel

Pre-pandemic travel. On a similar note, I’m super happy Joe and I squeezed in a quick trip to Sayulita, Mexico right before the panny. This trip was such an amazing memory for us and I found myself looking back at pictures a lot during the beginning of the pandemic to get me through the difficult time of uncertainty.

Sayulita Mexico

My girlfriends. Even though I saw my girlfriends less than usual this year since most of us were staying indoors, I’m super happy for the time we did spend together at outdoor picnics, wine nights, even some weekend trips away. These girls have helped me feel connected and a sense of solidarity that I so desperately needed during this very disconnected year.

San Francisco young profressionals

My family. My family on the east coast and I were apart for the entire year, and I sure missed them like crazy! I’m grateful we have been together the last 3 weeks in my hometown, and being apart this year has made me treasure this time more than ever. I’m thankful for everyone staying healthy and for WeChat keeping us in touch virtually.


My job. I know this was a difficult year for many people struggling with unemployment. I’m very grateful for keeping a job that allows me to work remotely and for the way my company handled difficult decisions as it was not immune to the challenging economic environment. It’s been a struggle to not see my work friends and work/live in the same tiny apartment everyday (which sometimes felt like being a rat in a cage), but work has been a motivator to get up in the morning each day and I don’t take this opportunity for granted.

Joe’s garden. Joe’s backyard garden has been a project of ours (mostly Joe) this year and it’s been so gratifying to see it change from overgrown weeds to an urban garden paradise. It’s been a constant reminder that the beauty and life always find a way to grow, despite whatever hardships we’re going through.

urban garden

Last but not least, I want to thank this BLOG and everyone who has followed my journey this year! This blog has always been one my favorite things and I genuinely look forward to sitting down and oversharing my life on the internet each week. It’s been a healthy way to process things, document life events, and stay connected. For those who continue to stop by, I really want to say how much it means to me.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and AMAZING start to 2021!!! ❤

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