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I contemplated on my experiences of the year 2019, and certain choices as well as hardships stood out. For instance, I pursued my academic and professional aspirations with varying success. By exposing myself to somewhat uncomfortable situations I succeeded in meeting certain goals I had set up for myself. Above all, I worked abroad in an international environment and took pleasure in multicultural and multilingual encounters. Meanwhile, I also took part in intriguing projects and developed my understanding of themes relevant to my future.

By the same token, I spent an enormous amount of time on my studies. Writing a thesis is an all-consuming and comprehensive process, which I both embraced and resented throughout the year. Undoubtedly, I could have been more efficient and organized in terms of processing information. Similarly, I could have been more thoughtful and eloquent as a writer. Nevertheless, I managed to make progress under distressing circumstances, which took diligence and tenacity. I prefer to believe that I at least gained more self-confidence with respect to writing.

When it comes to relationships, people come and go. This rang particularly true last year, which was rich in inspiring new encounters as well as bittersweet departures. More or less ambiguous goodbyes are only unsettling because the time spent with someone was precious. The disappointments I faced are thus a refreshing reminder of the potential of unlikely and unexpected human interaction. I saw my life as precarious yet invigorating, for certain letdowns elicited strong emotions in me, which fortunately rendered my world more nuanced. I’m actually grateful for my fair share of melancholy, which urged me to seek comfort in various forms of art.

When pondering over last year, I feel both content and heavyhearted, which speaks volumes about its impact on me. Although my memories tend to be vague and fragmented, especially the instances of joy have left their mark on me. Despite the thrill and dismay, however, the year primarily consisted of mundane daily actions unworthy of mentioning. Naturally, the year 2020 will also be filled with seemingly insignificant moments, the value of which I may only later acknowledge.

Helsinki Contributor
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