2020 – year in review – pt. 1

La Fuerza by Paula Duró

Hi friends,

2020 brought me from Taipei to Florida to California to a new country, Mexico, then back to my oldest country of Taiwan, again… where I have been ever since, with no signs of flying out and away anytime soon.

The biggest internal growth this year came from staying in one place and coming home. Well, the growth came first from the big shakeup of the world in the spring–the disruption of the illusion of stability we had fallen under as a collective–followed by the long periods of being stationary that followed. Think: snowglobe, abruptly shaken, then settling.

This expansion came from living in Taipei again after so many years, as I mended the deep rift that had formed from trying to make other places home along the way. It was my first birthday in my place of birth since I was one or two years old. This year, instead of being far away elsewhere, I was swimming and snorkeling in clear waters off the North coast, then celebrating with natural wine at a bar in Da-an, as the sun returned to the spot in the sky it finds every Fourth of July.

The sun returns every year, and this time, at twenty-five, I had returned, too.

By staying in place, we are funneled to dedicate to a place. To go deeper. To not run away onto the next experience, the other group of friends, the foreign country. In this sense, post-pandemic 2020 was all about healing the vivaxis–our life axis, our so-called energetic umbilical cord tethering us to the planet. It’s an interesting experience for those of us who come from mixed backgrounds, multicultural upbringings, or just got used to life in a globalized world where we (once) felt like we could live anywhere and make it home.

And still, I do feel like I could make many places my home. And still, I get the urges, when it rains, when it gets hard, to move elsewhere. It’s a pattern, a habit, a response that is still unraveling itself. But for now, and for a long while, I am dedicated to making my home my home again.

The biggest growth for me in a more external manner was teaching yoga in Chinese–this was a big step in my career, and just awesome to do because it was something I had never considered doing. I also taught several lovely yoga classes online, connecting with friends and family from all over to flow together.

Let’s celebrate it all–the ways we expanded, internally and externally, the ways we dedicated and went deeper, the things we cleared, the connections made. Aren’t we amazing in the ways we grow and what we achieve when life throws us curveballs?

It was a good year for this little blog too, and especially want to say thank you if you have followed and read along this whole time. This blog is honestly how I remember life and what it means to me. Each post is like a bookmark or a signpost along the way–and each contains its own wisdom and reflection representative of that point in the journey, and as I meander along, in return, it gives me the gift of continuance.

At the beginning of the year, I wrote about moving away from Melbourne without knowing where my next home would be, about heartbreak and the heat in the high desert atmosphere, and about all the beautiful things to do, see, and most importantly, eat in Oaxaca City.

Like so many others, March found me re-routing from the original plans of many months more in Mexico, America, and Europe, to come back to Taipei early instead–ah, plans from a past life! In the spring and summer, I wrote about sustaining the soul while in quarantine, about the sticky nature of time when the world changes, and how my brain grew new connections and nourished old ones as I came back to the Chinese-speaking wold.

In the second half of the year, it became more and more clear that nothing was going back to normal anytime soon–I wrote about writing and wholeness and brokenness, on the themes of the new world we were birthing, as well as what winter means to me.

We finished the year with the Great Conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter in Aquarius, on the Winter Solstice… and find ourselves entering this year with a fresh energy, on the cusp of more unknowns. Throughout the world–less so in this bubble of Taiwan, but everywhere, still–there is a whole lot of pain and suffering from systems that are not just failing now because of the virus, but have long failed, have already fallen into intentional/unintentional disrepair, and have always perpetuated injustices, instead of our highest expression of what is possible as human race, as civilization, as a form-of-consciousness existing.

So what do we do, but believe in a better future?

This is what the Great Conjunction gifts us–a new beginning, that could be a breath of fresh air or a failure to launch. As always, it is up to us to shape possibility into reality. Before us, we see the Aquarian future, which could be expressed in a terrifying obliteration, of Brave-New-World-esque ‘techno-authoritarianism’, as the conglomerates bloat further and surveillance capitalism grows opaque-er and our devices satiate us deeper–and we see, too, the Aquarian future, which could be expressed in a great progressive outburst, of hyperspeed and free information, as old binaries and systems tear down and up towards singularity, in which technology is an interwoven fabric, more like a mycology, of the planet, that brings all-and-one into humane interconnectivity…. like a Dr. Bronner’s bottle, come to life.

Or is my binary thinking here, in itself, a remnant of the old world? Will it be something in-between that we will find, as we do now, as the pendulum sways back and forth? Or something else entirely?

What do we do but play our roles, in tearing down the old, or creating the new?

What is your role? What is mine? What is ours?

No matter how your year looked–hard and trudgey or floaty and cuddly around the edges, expansive growth or contractive reflection, mind-blowing or earth-shattering or life-affirming or something in-between–I hope that we can find and weave the threads of continuance and remembrance, however they present for you, into something that looks like hope, for all of us, together, now.

~ pt. 2 of this post found here ~

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