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Wait, 2020's already ending?

Kenzo Castañeda
December 31st, 2020 · 3 min read · ...

Well, 2020 sucked

2020 was really bad. And 2021 doesn’t seem any better.

“Cheers to a new decade!” Lol what a joke that turned out to be 🤡

Plans disintegrated. Dreams shattered. Virtual became king. Some have gone through intense pain and sudden losses (yes, multiple) that I cannot even imagine. On the other hand, a bunch of soulless people had the gall to steal billions of pesos in times of crisis and totally mishandle a pandemic for selfish purposes. Life as we know it has been derailed and turned upside down.

I’m still trying to process the bad and the painful, and the lessons that can be learned from them (if any), so let’s just talk about the good. I’ve been putting off a lot of things due to “lack of time”, but a lot of time [stuck at home] is what we’ve had this year, so might as well distract myself from the darkness of the world with productivity.

Personally, here are some good things that came out of 2020, kept me busy, and provided me with a bit of sanity:

  • 🚀 Launched Keepsake, a more meaningful way to send letters. Learned a LOT in the process, and got overwhelming support from friends (love u guys 🥺)
  • 🚀 Finally created a personal website (this one!) and will try to make it a habit to write posts regularly.
  • 🏋️‍♂️ Consistently exercised every week since the start of the year. Surprisingly was never able to do this before! I use Jefit to track my workouts, pretty useful!
  • 🕺 Made my first ‘legit’ dance video
  • 🏠 Completed my smart room + cinema setup (will make a video on this soon!)
  • 📺 Will officially be starting a tech YouTube channel! Filmed my first [albeit cringey] video and will post it in the near future 😅
  • 💼 Got regularized at work and celebrated my first work anniversary!
  • 💵 Learned a lot more about managing my finances! Opened a high-interest savings account, a Pag-ibig MP2 account, applied for NAFFL credit cards, and started investing in the US market. Thanks r/phinvest for the knowledge!
  • 📱 Completed a beta test of an app I’ve been working on with amazing friends since 2017! (iykyk). Plans got delayed, but hopefully, we’ll be able to launch it in 2021 🤞
  • 🐶 Not really a personal achievement, but a new doggo entered our lives!
Say hi to Covi!
Say hi to Covi!

Don’t get me wrong. With everything that’s happening now, I feel anger, frustration, hopelessness, disappointment, and a ton of other negative feelings, but focusing on just those feelings would definitely lead me to a deep, deep hole.

So let me focus on something else - gratitude.
The resolution I posted last year is a good reminder of that, and I’ll be sharing it with you below.

But hey, I’m sure you’ve achieved a lot this year in your own big or little ways, so look back and be grateful even for the smallest of achievements. Making it to the end of 2020 is already an achievement in itself. If you haven’t heard it from anyone else yet, well here it is, I’m proud of you. Keep going. ✨

My 2018 Takeaway

I originally posted this in 2019 as a Facebook Note, but apparently Facebook took down the notes service, so it’s being reposted here. Anyway, I believe the message is even more relevant during these trying times.

My takeaway of 2018 was:

Which still is true for me, but in the pursuit of happiness, I’ve come to realize that achievements, material possessions, wealth, romance, or even being at the top of a mountain are merely gateways to this elusive feeling.

So, what truly brings happiness you ask?


It’s not happiness that brings us gratitude; it’s the other way around.

No matter how successful you are, if you do not acknowledge the blessings you’ve received, if you do not exhibit gratitude or appreciation even at least within yourself, being happy will be difficult.

So, I want to start 2020 2021 by being thankful:

  • To my family – even though I don’t say it as much – thank you for the unconditional love and care.
  • To my friends, old and new, thank you for keeping up with me at every moment – the good and the bad.
  • To the people I’ve crossed paths with one way or another, thank you for being part of my journey.

But, how can we somehow force ourselves to always be grateful?

Treat every moment, every experience as if it’s a once in a lifetime occurrence.

Live in the moment. Be grateful for what you have and what you’ve been through, and be excited for what’s to come.

That’s how even the poorest of the poor can be happier than those who have everything but can never seem to find contentment.

Happy New Year and may everyone have a more grateful decade post-pandemic life ahead! 😊

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