Blessings I'm Taking with Me in 2021

Photo by Markus Winkler from Unsplash

By the time you’re reading this, it’s already the last day of 2020. You’re shaking in excitement as you anticipate a fresh new start for your life and for everyone else’s. You’re taking a look at your 2021 planner and can’t help but feel emotional as you ready yourself for more, upgraded challenges that will cut you open.

But before you pour all your energy into bettering yourself, it’s essential you understand that just as any new year, 2021 doesn’t give you a clean slate. The new year doesn’t mean everyone goes back to zero, free from past mistakes and baggage. Your journey will go on, as it always had. Your new year’s traditions will not erase nor will it give you leverage over others. You will still be struggling, and every single day won’t feel as great as the other days. But with your perseverance and concrete goals right in your pockets, you’re one step ahead of making your dreams a reality.

Now, you have the chance to continue and finish what you started last year. You have the chance to start from scratch if last year’s plans led you to something dangerous or a waste of your time. You have the power to change your life, and you don’t have to wait for the new year to make it so. 



You have gone through so much, and so have I. 



The year 2020 has turned the world upside down, and most of us are barely hanging on to a thread. A pandemic, which happens only every 100 years, has struck us in the most unexpected way possible. So much has happened and it affected us in varying damages. A lot of people lost their loved ones, their jobs, their annual plans, and more. We had no choice but to accept the inevitability of change and adjust it to our favor. We needed to make it work; otherwise, we will all lose. For me and for many others, losing is not an option.

Some would label 2020 as their worst year, but I personally wouldn’t call it such. 2020 has been a remarkable year — it will be remembered by a lot of people and will never be forgotten. I’ve been one of the people who’s blessed enough to have a roof over my head and eat three times a day, and I couldn’t be any more grateful. Throughout the year, I’ve learned a few lessons that I’ll be taking with me in 2021. 






This year, I finally tried something I never thought I would do before. The younger version of me would be proud of myself. I overcame my fear by stepping out of my comfort zone, my safe shell. Although 2020 has been an awful year for all of us, it has certainly opened me to new opportunities. And for this, I will forever be grateful. I’ve never been so productive in my life than in 2020, and all of this bravado began when I decided to embrace my fears. I’ve always known life was short and I knew I needed to do something meaningful in my life so I can proudly say I’ve lived. Even if it sucked that I started a little too late, what matters is I did it.

I’ve been afraid of putting myself out there, allowing people to judge my confidence and criticize my work (when I started writing my novel on Wattpad, I told only one person). I’ve also been scared of wasting my time doing something that I wasn’t meant to be doing or when I’m destined to fail. But I did it anyway. I chased my passion and am determined to make it lucrative while studying. With the painstaking process of writing, I have found the purpose of this process and took advantage of it. 




Along with the numerous nightmares that 2020 has brought to us, I decided I didn’t want to be scared anymore. When I felt tired, I rested. Giving up was not an option. With everything that’s going on, I put all my faith in the Lord. I knew that my season of joy is coming and it’s coming soon, so I prepared for it in despair all throughout the year.

Every day I hear terrible news on television and it would just ruin the rest of my day. Fear and doubt of ever seeing hope for the future kicked in and it didn’t feel any good at all. Because of the horrors that this year has brought upon me, I held onto God even more. I chose not to dwell on the evil things that happened but the hope for the restoration of humanity (as people start thinking of others beside themselves).

I protected my inner peace by prayer, meditation, and good habits, and I tried my best to consistently do these every day. I stopped making myself guilty for not doing anything to directly help victims of calamities and the sick except praying for them. I know there are things that are beyond of my control and all I can do is to ask our Lord and Savior to do what He thinks is right. 




I’ve understood on a much deeper level the urgency of helping other people, especially the less fortunate. It’s sad to think that extreme circumstances such as a pandemic have to happen before we truly realize that we are responsible for one another. Holding accountability for our actions is the first step, and maintaining that duty to society is the second. I became more generous in terms of time, wisdom, and service (money isn’t a part of it yet since I have none) by babysitting my nieces and nephews while their parents work. This pandemic affects all of us, and there’s no exemption.

Also, I became more aware that my self-interests matter less in these trying times, so entitlement has no place to fit in. I missed a lot of people, especially my boyfriend. We haven’t been seeing each other very much this year, and I’m looking forward to spending more time with him next year. But no matter how much I yearn for his physical presence, this isn’t a reason to violate health and safety protocols. 




Covid-19 has taken away jobs, businesses, properties, and lives among all. It has destroyed people’s source of livelihood and disrupted their long-term plans. Hearing this and much more terrible news happening around the globe increased not only unpredictability but also the urge to become more prepared with what’s to come.

This year, I’ve been investing my talents and hobbies into a lucrative avenue where I can meet opportunities. As of this day, I’ve produced 30 high-quality, relevant blog posts related to my niche and have promoted every single one of them as many social media platforms as I could to get more traffic. I wanted to invest the majority of my time in my blog to hopefully monetizing it soon enough. I’m also open to doing a podcast of the same content, but I’m not quite sure how to start with this yet (since I have no concrete plans as of the moment).

This year, I’ve been experimenting and trying a lot of side hustles while studying in my online classes. My goal is to keep myself busy with querying my YA fiction novel and monetizing my blog while maintaining a relationship with my family and my boyfriend. They’re the most important things in my life right now and they’ve been keeping me safe and sound. 




I’ve never been so grateful for anything before until this year. 2020 has tested my mental health and my decision-making skills for almost everything. It led me to discern what really matters and what doesn’t, and until you realize and accept this, you’ll always be a bitch to lures. This year, I’ve been grateful for my family, for good health and safety, for my boyfriend, for my friends, for the everyday opportunity of life. I’ve been grateful for complete and working human body parts, music, compassion, talents, and hobbies.

I’ve been grateful for the things I didn’t know affected me and for that, I’ve been including these in my prayers even if I can’t mention them. I’ve been praying for the less fortunate, the victims, the sick, and the lost. On the flip side, I’ve also been asking that guidance and mercy fall unto the hearts of the arrogant and powerful, the troublemakers, the selfish, and the hypocrites.

This year has transformed mine and many others’ lives extraordinarily through battles we never thought we could handle. We’ve lost so much, and because of that, we realized we had so much but appreciated only so little. People have been taken, but people have also returned. Every day, we get sucked into this massive abyss of fear and depression because all we see are the ugliness of life. But every day, we continue to see beyond the bad and continue living, because that’s all we can do. 



Farewell, 2020. You have been great. 

How was your 2020? What’s something you’ve done this year that you’re proud of? What are your plans for 2021?

Tell me in the comments below! 



“Life’s not about expecting, hoping and wishing, it’s about doing, being and becoming.”

Mike Dooley

Published by Monique Renegado

Monique started Life Begins At Twenty as a 20-year-old college student from the Philippines. In her lifestyle and wellness blog, she shares first-hand experiences and soulful advice about student life, relationships, mental health, adulting, and self-growth. Monique is passionate about literature, music, public speaking, and family. Besides studying and blogging full-time, she strives hard to become a published author with her first YA fiction novel and poems. Monique is the older sister you wish you had to help you navigate your twenties successfully. If you want a constant drive for motivation and pep talks, be a part of her journey.

14 thoughts on “Blessings I'm Taking with Me in 2021

  1. Happy New Year!! Congratulations on all of the things you've accomplished in 2020. It is great that you went out of your comfort zone and pursued what you wanted. Sometimes, people give negative comments, not because of your work but because they're haters lol. Keep doing you and keep on writing! It is great that you've started praying more and developed better faith. It's always great to be aware of your surroundings, not just about you but those around you too. 2020 taught us to be grateful for even the smallest things! Hope 2021 will treat you well! Nancy ✨


  2. I'm happy to see you're satisfied with the achievements you've made in 2020. As hard as this year has been I think I've grown as a person and changed for the better. I'm trying to be more aware of my mental health and make choices that are positive for myself and my family. Happy New Year!Julie from


  3. Happy new Year Monique! I am so glad to read so many positive things you found during this challenging year! I hope that this new year will bring you more opportunities and joys x


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