Can you believe we're in the last month of what feels like the longest year? It honestly felt like we were in a live simulation of a sci-fi thriller and we were in the season finale, where everything was just happening all at once. Between the disinfecting, the social distancing, the quarantine, the food discoveries, the existential crisis, fighting social injustices, suddenly becoming a plant parent, and having to suddenly construct a make-shift work-from-home set up from scratch, and many, many other things, this year was just a lot.
But as horrible as this year has been to everyone, the importance of community and taking a stand was truly highlighted. And not just that, we also had a lot of time to think and slow down. And for a lot of us, it's the first time in a really long time that we're able to do so. We got to reconnect with our inner selves and take a good hard look at what's really important in our lives. It, in a way, forced us to confront whatever it is we've been trying hard to bury in the Tartarus of our beings and we learned to take in both the light and shadows of life.
With the many juxtapositions and extremes we've had to face this year, it's hard to make sense of it all. But we've asked our SHEeos to try and pen their biggest lessons and realizations this year. From recognizing privilege and extending help to those in need, to the different forms of self-love, and the vitality of rest, here's what they had to say:
"Don’t let other people’s worries worry you. Don’t let their insecurities affect you. It’s theirs to carry not yours. The more you let go of the uncontrollable things in life. The more control you’re in control of your life. You can always change your mind. You can always change your direction." - SHEeo Renee Ngo
"These are the things I learned: Success and productivity differs from person to person. You can diversify if you want to; it’s all in the mind. 'Thank you' is just as powerful as 'I love you' and 'I am whole' . Perspective is key. And finally, my journey is sacred, precious, unique and completely my own." - SHEeo Bea Dominguez
"To say 2020 has been challenging would be an understatement. But one thing I learned this year is that taking time for yourself can be productive. Before, I measured success through achievements in the outside world but this year made me realize that genuine happiness is the 'new success'. I learned that both hardwork and downtime are essential in achieving your goals and taking some time off should never be a bad thing. Whenever life gets too tough, I keep reminding myself that even a minute of stepping back can go a long way." - SHEeo Kristine Lawas
"In 2020, I learned that investing in yourself is the best thing you’ll ever do. Might be some painful changes along the way but you’ll thank yourself later. You create the life you live." - SHEeo Shane Velasco
"Basically, I really learned the power of showing up and the value of being present, that even if you don't feel like doing something or you’re afraid, showing up is already half the battle. And that we have different cycles and timelines. No one's rushing you." - SHEeo Lea Cruz
"First, not shortchanging my dreams and goals. Believing that I am capable. Second, the magic of daily affirmations is real and impressive. And third, you lose people once you start working towards your dreams, but no need to worry you'll meet new people along the way with the same aspirations." - SHEeo Tish Loraine
"This 2020, I learned that people who are privileged like me should not take for granted the blessings that we have, and we should also not forget to help out those who are in need." - SHEeo Jc Contreras
"I’ve learned to accept change and be ready to pivot anytime. And that surviving is already enough." - SHEeo Ina Estrada
"My learning this year is definitely to leave toxicity behind — that it’s okay to cut off people who give you nothing but anxiety and the feeling of not being enough. The same goes for toxic behaviors that I normally do. When I cut out those negativity in my life, I felt more confident in myself and felt more at peace." - SHEeo Tiarra De Soto
"I realised that access to my energy is a privilege and that I must learn to protect my peace." - SHEeo Theola Destura
"You don't need all the answers to start moving forward; be the energy you want to attract; wherever life plants you, bloom with grace; move different if you want different — old keys will never open new doors; and visualize your highest self and show up as her every day, are my biggest learnings this year." - SHEeo Lia Nuñez
"The things that I learned this year are the following:
- No matter what happens, you should protect your peace.
- Appreciate yourself more. No one will love you as much as you love yourself.
- Always be better than the past you.
- Do not forget to celebrate small victories.
- Be kinder to yourself and to the people around you." - SHEeo Sophia Rose Garcia
"This 2020, I learned to slow down. Before the pandemic, I was all over Metro Manila due to the fact that I had several jobs. Not because I needed it, but because I was 24 and wanted to explore. I was a business owner, event designer, freelance graphic designer, marketing manager, and a part-timer in Decathlon and the UFC gym. It was a lot of challenges, traveling, and sleepless nights. I would party 'til 4 am at our bar in Alabang then wake up at 8am to go to Makati for an event meeting. It was an exciting time for me and I loved working and being busy. However, this lifestyle was neither mentally nor physically healthy.
When the pandemic hit, I re-evaluated my work life and thought about what I wanted to pursue. I had to ask myself tough questions that I had been avoiding for years. I thought my work defined me, but it doesn’t. Dabbling in different jobs and industries can be a good thing, but it is important to be content with yourself. You have to learn to be OK with being alone. When you avoid mental issues, they tend to bite you back eventually.
To me, 2020 is the year of re-evaluating and restarting. This means learning to be comfortable with being uncomfortable. When you start anything new, it won’t always be right the first time. I learned to adopt the beginner’s mindset and be OK with making mistakes.
As the year comes to an end, I started a creative service that helps small businesses grow their social media. This is what I want to do and I am lucky to be able to do it at my own pace. So thank you 2020 for letting me pause, breathe, and restart." - SHEeo Bianca Francisco
"Letting go is my biggest 2020 lesson. Because of the pandemic, I had to let go of two businesses. This year also taught me to let go of toxic relationships - be it friends or family. These decisions were not easy to make but it was an essential decision for me to continue to grow. I can say that I am in a better mental and physical state now because I was able to let go of things and people that weighed me down. Now, I can channel and focus my energy on things that can impact my life positively." - SHEeo Chase Lynn Galvez
Written by Chin Ann Obiedo