Last updated on September 23rd, 2022 at 07:11 am
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This year is coming to an end, which means it’s time for some annual reflection.
Is it just me or did 2021 go by super quickly?
I still can’t believe I’ve moved back to Hong Kong for a full year already.
As much as I am excited for the upcoming year, a lot has happened this year. I wanted to write an annual reflection post to properly close the chapter.
2021 Annual Reflection List
1) Long Distance Changes How Often You’ll Chat with Your Friends
I’ve moved around enough times to know how strong a long-distance friendship is often dependent on two things. The first is the time difference and the second is how much effort both of you are willing to put into it.
Let’s use me and my best friend as an example.
She spends most of her time in London and the time difference between the two cities sucks.
Hong Kong is 7 hours ahead. When I finish work, she wakes up. When I’m about to go to bed, that’s when she’s free for a chat.
I’m pretty tired by then but I still make an effort. I do want to chat, even if it’s only for a brief time.
As you can imagine, it’s hard to talk on the phone a lot with that time difference.
It’s not too bad though because she did come to Hong Kong for a couple of weeks in September. We had fun going to Tai O Fishing Village, eating at Yat Tung Heen and doing a couple of other things.
My other best friend, Michelle lives in Toronto.
The time difference between Hong Kong and Toronto is 12 – 13 hours (13 hours if there are daylight savings over there).
The time difference works out much better because I usually talk to her during my commute to work while she’s eating dinner or on her way home.
Although the time difference between HK and Toronto is better than HK and London, it’s still not going to be the same compared to living in the same city.
You have less time to chat with your friends that don’t live in the same time zone as you but that’s okay.
2) Your Old Friends VS. New Friends
I appreciate Hong Kong for many reasons especially shopping for clothes and eating at restaurants.
I also have a lot of family members here so I spent a lot of time with them in 2021.
Although I love my family greatly, I miss hanging out with my friends back in Toronto.
I have made an effort to meet some nice people but when most of your circle consists of people you’ve known for more than a decade, trying to make new friends can be awkward.
You’re not sure what to talk about and there have been moments where they ask me uncomfortable questions.
You don’t have that sense of familiarity and all those memories that tie you guys together.
It truly does make you appreciate the friendships you do have.
3) Your Circle Becomes Smaller
They said that as you get older, your circle of people gets smaller.
Everyone is busy with their own lives and you’ll realize that you don’t have as much time to spend with them as you used to.
There’s certainly a lot of annual reflection when it comes to friendships this year but I find that I no longer talk to some of my close friends as often as I used to.
It could be the time difference, us growing apart, or we’re just busy with our own lives.
I would get frustrated because some of my friends took too long to respond.
Some forgot to respond at all.
You have to accept the fact that people do grow apart.
Your circle does become smaller sometimes even when it’s not your choice.
4) Loving Pre-Loved Designer Goods
2021 was the year I got obsessed with pre-loved brand-name things.
Learning about Vestiaire Collective was hands down one of the best things that happened to me.
I bought quite a few things from there and I love them!
It’s a great platform for those who want to find a good deal.
For example, I found my Gucci Soho Disco Bag for more than 50% off.
It was in such good condition that I couldn’t even tell that it wasn’t new.
You should always take care of your designer bags.
You paid a premium price for them so you want them to last! But if you ever change your mind, there’s always the option of selling on Vestiaire Collective.
I bought AND sold from Vestiaire this year.
Selling something on the platform was a particularly exciting moment. I listed several items online but it took months before I made my first sale (I get it. I would be hesitant to buy from a first-time seller as well).
Vestiaire Collective has an authentication process so I sent the item directly to the Hong Kong office. They verified the item was real and sent it to the buyer.
The delivery process was very smooth.
I thought I would have to pay for the local shipping fee but I didn’t have to pay a single cent. That was nice.
I have quite a few readers from the U.S. and Canada. If you’re into stores under the company TJX (Winners, Marshalls, TJ Maxx, TK Maxx) because of the scavenger hunting process, you’re going to love Vestiaire.
The website adds thousands of items every day. You won’t know what you’ll find so go check it out!
5) Getting LASIK Surgery
I got LASIK surgery in November 2021.
It happened later this year but it still happened in 2021 so I’m including this in my annual reflection post.
The LASIK process did not hurt, it only irritated my eyes.
I know, I was surprised too.
The aftereffects aren’t fun. I experienced dryness and halo effects but it was bearable.
For many years, I was too scared to get LASIK but I’m happy I took that step.
I can gladly share I have zero regrets about my decision.
I can SEE now. Life is also way more convenient without glasses.
No more fogged-up glasses (anyone who wears glasses will know what I mean).
There was a bit of an adjustment period because I wore glasses for more than half my life.
I would catch myself pushing up my glasses sometimes just to find that there was nothing there.
People are like ‘why are you pushing your skin up your face?’ Haha.
6) Working on My Blog
I did work on my blog quite a bit this year (pursuing my dreams and all).
My goal for 2021 was to consistently publish a post every week and I can proudly say I have accomplished this.
Something major this year was also working on SEO.
I’ve been putting off working on SEO because I thought it was one of the toughest things about being a blogger.
There are a lot of factors to consider but it’s doable.
I wish I told my younger self that there’s nothing to be afraid of and to face the situation head-on.
My blog would have gotten more views if I started writing SEO-friendly articles when I first started my blog.
I try not to go down that route because I can’t turn back time. There is nothing I can do about it now.
Even though I did a lot already on my blog this year, I still feel like I could have done more. It does bother me a little but I don’t want to be too hard on myself.
If I pushed myself more, I could have had blogger burnout.
I’m sure others can relate. It’s important to focus on the things you HAVE done rather than haven’t done sometimes.
So that’s what I’m doing for this annual reflection post.
7) People Close to You Can Push Your Buttons
I’ve talked about living with my parents a lot this year.
It’s a huge change from how my living situation was for years.
When you live with someone, you see them a lot. Maybe even too much so you’re bound to get annoyed with each other.
When you’re living with someone who has a close relationship with you, it can be even harder.
You know how to push each other’s buttons because you know each other too well.
If anything, moving back home showed me how important personal space is.
I’m someone that needs a lot of alone time to recharge. When that doesn’t happen, I can get really moody.
When I start to get triggered by little things, there’s an alarm bell in the back of my head that it’s too much time with people.
I was in reflection after this one time. Why am I being snappy?
Whatever the reason was, I remember it not even being a big deal. After thinking about it carefully, I realized that I needed some alone time.
2021 was when I became really aware of this.
Final Notes on 2021 Annual Reflection
December is one of my favourite months of the year because it’s Christmas! It’s one of the best holidays because of the vibe, the weather, and Christmas presents!
But it also means that January is coming soon which means another year, another chapter.
I’m looking forward to 2022.
I can’t put my finger on it but for some reason, I think that next year will be a special year.
Now to You – 2021 Annual Reflection
Prepare for 2022 by planning your year. Sign up for this annual planner and it’s yours!