Guest Post by my son, Orvik Samuel

Most people would refer to 2020 as “The Worst Year” ever, and I can understand why when you think of a never-seen before virus (possibly a manmade one) spreading all over the world and devastating human life. Add some natural disasters to the mix, like a 40-year dormant volcano suddenly erupting or two super typhoons, and you have a very good candidate for being one of the worst years of the past two decades. Not to mention the deaths of many prominent people and celebrities like Kobe Bryant, Chadwick Boseman and Kenny Rogers.

There are many good reasons as to why 2020 would be the worst year of many peoples’ lives. Praise the Lord that not a single family member from both father and mother’s side has contracted COVID-19 (at least, not yet), but there is an absurd number of deaths all around the globe and it hurts both the heart and mind to even think about the families who couldn’t be with their loved ones at their final moments. 

I guess I could call 2020 my “worst year” as well; any other year of my life was a whole lot more enjoyable than 2020, but it feels like an exaggeration to call it “the worst”. 2020 was just a strange, abnormal year for me. Normally one would be able to make many memories in a year, but the only memories I have for 2020 would be the Taal Volcano eruption, my Parents’ English seminars, Dad’s drug seminars, and when we went to Bicol for Christmas. Well, I guess it is memorable in the way that there were no memories at all. The pandemic is to blame for this, but I’m not going to complain about it now.

When the pandemic started and lockdowns took place, the homebody that I am was internally jumping for joy; I didn’t really like going outside, and there was nothing interesting to see in the outside world anyway. Ironically, my life dwindled into a boring routine where all I did was wake up, eat, program apps, watch anime, sleep, and repeat with a little variation on the order of events.  That was obviously my fault though, as there were a multitude of new things that I could have tried at home and looking back, I cringe at myself for not doing anything about that boring routine.

It’s not like I didn’t do anything new though; I improved my chess skills, started reading light novels online and learned many things concerning 3D art and programming. I also started exercising and working out, and honestly that was arguably the best decision I have ever made in my entire life. Before the pandemic my only form of exercise was swimming, and I still think swimming is the best form of exercise because the entire body is involved. However, because of the pandemic and many other reasons/excuses, we could not go swimming. As I am always sitting on my butt at home everyday, I started to get concerned over my physical condition. I started exercising just so my body wouldn’t deteriorate over the course of this who knows how long pandemic. As a result I can now do 40 pushups and proudly showed it off to my brother and my cousin who could only do 20 puny pushups.

While 2020 may not be my most memorable year, it is probably my most productive. The skills that I have learned in the previous years improved a lot in 2020, mainly programming and writing. The quarantine gave me a lot more free time than I already had. I wish I could have learned other skills, but either laziness or lack of motivation prevented me from doing so.

However, 2020 had deprived me of fellowship with my cousins and I didn’t even realize it. When I heard we were going to Bicol, I was surprised at myself for not being as excited as I would have been. I had forgotten how fun being with family was, and for the first time in 8 years I actually shed tears over leaving Bicol. All the food, the company, the fellowship and the scenery was so refreshing after months of the same old routine at home.

There isn’t really much to say about 2020; for the rest of the world, 2020 was a complete disaster but as for me, it was straight up weird. Besides, it’s not like what started in 2020 will end in 2020. Life will continue and the world will keep on spinning. As for me, I’ll just wait until the Earth does another full revolution around the sun. Maybe then, I’ll have a lot of things to talk about.