For better or worse: 2021

By the end of 2020, things felt like a blur. This reminds me of 2007-2008. As much as I’m proud of my achievements during 2007-2008 (I got my master degree in Management, thanks to Research Assistant program on my campus), it was one of the most challenging years for me. I didn’t have clear recollection of what happened during that year because it felt like an auto-pilot mode.

It feels like I’m facing 2021 with pots and pans as my armor, and an electric mosquito racket as my backup weapon — so should 2021 decided to be weird, I can bzzzzt-ing it to oblivion.

2021 is not a new year. It’s more like a continuation of cliffhangers from 2020. And just like many cliffhangers, there are times we wish we could scream. Just to let things all out.

Just today, I lost an uncle. He faced an illness, and things went worse really fast. And because we are in the middle of a pandemic, the funeral conducted with Covid-prevention method.

There were no goodbyes, no prayers except from far away. Nothing. Those who attended the funeral only able to watch from a distance, as the crew with protective gears and suits buried the departed.

Innalillahi wa innailaihi roji’un. “Verily we belong to Allah, and verily to Him do we return” (QS Al-Baqarah: 156)

“Grief,” they said. What we feel is grief. We are grieving of lost lives, taken too soon. It’s always too soon. We are grieving of things taken away from us. We are grieving of lost connections and frayed memories.

And here we are: 2021. For better or worse.

And I hope, I pray, and I wish, it will be for the better for all of us. For all of you.

Stay safe and stay healthy, wherever you are.


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