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2020: A year to remember or forget?

Jan 3, 2021 | Personal

Celebrating my New Year’s eve in Dubai

Happy New Year! Congratulations, you have been through a tough year. The talk of the town is that 2020 is a year to be skipped. If you have achieved nothing this year, it can be discounted because of Covid-19. Cutting yourself some slack is crucial when you are stuck at home for the most part of a year. However, it is very important to take count of what you have done this year and what you haven’t.

Taking count doesn’t mean comparing yourself to another person, not at all! It is about self-evaluation and self-improvement. You can’t disregard 30 million seconds of your life by blaming a major challenge in life. Whether you faced it alone or with the entire world, it doesn’t matter. The fact is that you went through it and you have made some right choices and wrong ones in the process. Here, I will go through a brief summary of my year, the good and the bad.

My 2020 was riddled with ups and downs. The start of the year looked bright as a recent graduate from a great university with a Masters in Renewable Energy. I began carving an entrepreneurial path with the support of some great mentors who I will never forget. I was also consulting the Saudi arm of our family business in finance, technology and strategy. I was looking forward to visiting the Eastern parts of Europe and Scandinavia this year. To complete the year, I was planning a skydiving session hence completing the bucket list before my 25th Birthday.

Then the virus hit us. It was crisis management time for the first two months, planning for the new normal in the next two and learning to live with the consequences as summer ended. My travel plans were disrupted and my focus on the start-up wavered from the lack of an incubator office to work and collaborate. The loss of my grand mother and the sense of helplessness in not being able to be there for my family through the difficult time also affected me. My otherwise happy single life felt the brunt of the lack of social life.

The last paragraph sounded quite depressing haha the only way I could have gone through it was with the support of the amazing flatmates I had at my old student flat. During the lockdown, we organised weekly family dinners that became the highlight of my lockdown life for months to come. I moved to a new flat with a great view and began running again. The daily sessions with the Leeds dock sports club became the outlet for the extrovert in me. I started to rethink my vision for the start-up, partnered with some amazing innovation managers and began networking through the innovate UK program. I began weekly blogging and investing in the stock markets resulting in new revenue streams and diversifying (proudly so) at an early age. I can also take a little credit alongside my colleagues for chartering the strategic and financial path for the Saudi branch which is the only part of the family business that registered good growth figures in 2020.

I am quite the optimist. I think 2021 is going to be another challenging yet rewarding year for me. I am fortunate to be in a position where I do not have to worry about the essentials of life right now. I thank god for putting me through the perfect dose of 2020 so that I could re-evaluate my life and work towards a better version of me. Please let me know about your challenges of the year and how you made it through!