Snippets of life, Thoughts

Notes on 2020

Hi. It’s been a while since I wrote something here, and I never thought I’d ever neglected this blog for so long. I’ve been writing here regularly since 2011 (although it was becoming less frequent each year), but as you know, 2020 was a crazy year.

It’s two weeks into 2021 already, and although this is late, I still want to jot down some notes on 2020. While I usually do a month-by-month recap at the end of each year to look back on the highs and lows, there were not a lot of things happening last year. It was just about getting through the day and trying to survive. That said, I had a few important things that happened in 2020, and that’s what I’m going to write here. They make the cut as they’re either pivotal, a milestone, or just felt profound.

Turning 30

When I turned 27, I started to think a lot about becoming 30. Nevermind that I still had 3 years until I would that age, I just couldn’t help wondering. Will I have a Rachel-esque breakdown on my 30th birthday? Or will I be jaded with life then?

And then I turned 30.

In many ways, it came as expected, but also surprising. It surprised me that I didn’t feel anything about the day. No panic, no excitement. It just felt like another day. Maybe I was jaded, or maybe a workday full of meetings helped grounded the experience. I was never big on birthdays anyway, and 30 was no exception.

If I compare it to a decade ago, life feels more assuring and calmer at this time. I feel like I’m on the right track, in life and in my career. I’m not as naive as I was 10 years ago, but also not as carefree as I was back then. Sometimes I miss the curiosity and spontaneity of the early 20s me, and wonder if those wild times are well and truly gone, or if I could still capture that magic every now and again. My 20s saw me looking at life with so much zest and naivete, and now at 30, there’s a filter that tunes down everything. Whether it’s wisdom or skepticism, I have yet to find out.

There wasn’t any switch that came overnight. Any changes I felt has been gradual, and maybe that’s why turning 30 didn’t feel spectacular. I was expecting a grand turn of a chapter, but it turned out just like turning another page. Peaceful and normal, and a bit uneventful. I guess this is adulthood?

Birthday meal, made by my sister according to my wishes.

Buying a property

We were lucky that we could buy an apartment last year. We’d been saving for some time, but we actually didn’t plan on buying anything until 2021. But Corona happened, and with all travel plans canceled and no going out for drinks or food, we managed to save a lot this year. After many viewings, we found an apartment we loved in September. It was a love-at-first-sight kind of thing, and now it’s ours.

Understandably, as first-time buyers in a foreign country, we spent months doing research. From the rules, laws, what to look for, what to watch out for, and the process, you name it. It was incredibly draining and time-consuming, and I think this is the main reason this blog was a bit neglected. I was spent.

But now that it’s done, I can finally put my energy and focus on other things.

A stroll around the new neighborhood


I wasn’t sure about writing this here as it feels so personal, but I wrote about how my visit to Indonesia earlier in the year changed something in me. I had a newfound appreciation and longing for my old friends and family, and realized that I had to do something.

Adult friendships are hard. There are those who I don’t talk with anymore as we’ve grown apart so much, not because we had a fight or anything. And then there are some that I feel like slipping away. Every time, my heart breaks.

So that’s why I made it a focus for me to reconnect with my loved ones. Making time to chat, remembering little things and big things, and not taking relationships for granted. There’s not much else to say about this, other than it’s worth it. This will also still be my focus for this year.


It feels wrong to say this, but I enjoyed the time when we had to work from home and limit contact with other people. I’ve written before about my almost nonexistent social life, and about being lonely here. The thing about Coronavirus this year is that it highlighted how much of a relief it was to have a break from always putting an extra effort to make conversations and meet new people. I say extra because I feel that in Sweden, it’s ten times harder. And I was desperate to not just meet, but become friends with someone – that’s why I tried to go to meetups and gatherings. Having a break from that without the FOMO felt amazing.

Other than that, I just poured all my energy and focus into work. Things were fickle, and even before Corona, I always worried that I wasn’t good enough (and yes I’ve been told that I might have an imposter syndrome). In any case, I feel that I needed to put more effort to be invaluable. I had positive feedback in a performance review just before Christmas, so that’s a massive relief.

An escape to the lake.

Oh 2020, what a ride.

Other year-end recaps:

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  • Reply Wati

    Grattis till lägenheten, Dixie! Och till att fylla 30. Det kommer att bli bättre och bättre med åren 💕

    January 21, 2021 at 7:30 pm
    • Reply Dixiezetha

      Tack Mbak Wati, jag hoppas det! 🙂

      February 8, 2021 at 8:55 am
  • Reply Justin Larissa

    Dixie, kangen! Lama banget gak ada kabarnya di blog huhu. Btw same with you, I turned 30 last year and it felt like nothing happen. Biasa banget. Kirain bakal ada perasaan apa gitu ya, ternyata biasa saja wkwk. Happy new year for both of you. Selamat menikmati apartment baru dan merangkai cerita di sana. Semoga selalu sehat ya!

    January 24, 2021 at 1:06 pm
    • Reply Dixiezetha

      Justin, makasih yaa! Happy new year to both of you too.

      Mungkin ultah ke-30 itu banyak ekspektasi karena di film2 atau buku2 banyak yg heboh kali ya, padahal yaa biasa aja ternyata hehe. Btw baru tau kita ternyata sama umurnya! 😀

      February 8, 2021 at 8:56 am
  • Reply Messa

    Halo Dixie 🙂 happy belated birthday dan selamat menempati apartemen barunya ya 🙂 fotonya selalu cakep2 🙂

    February 4, 2021 at 6:05 am
    • Reply Dixiezetha

      Thank you Messa, and thanks for reading 🙂

      February 8, 2021 at 8:57 am
  • Reply Bama

    “I was expecting a grand turn of a chapter, but it turned out just like turning another page. Peaceful and normal, and a bit uneventful. I guess this is adulthood?” Yes, I can attest to that. 🙂

    I hope 2021 will treat us all better. Here’s to another year surviving the pandemic!

    February 8, 2021 at 7:33 am
    • Reply Dixiezetha

      Thank you Bama, hope 2021 will be good to you too 🙂

      February 8, 2021 at 8:57 am
  • Reply nyonyawhitfield

    I have been neglecting my blog forever now that I am too ashamed to write anything about 2020 since it’s March already hahaha dan ternyata kita seumuran 🙂 I too, turned 30 in 2020 and still feel just as young as I’ve been before. I used to think when I was in SD, 30 years old is the definition of ‘old’ people. Looking forward to (belated) apartment tour 🙂 yang mungkin masih pelan-pelan terisi. Take care and hopefully 2021 does us better <3

    March 1, 2021 at 8:41 am
    • Reply Dixiezetha

      Waah kita seumuran ternyata ya. I know the feeling exactly, ga nyadar kok udah 30 tahun aja padahal belum ngerasa dewasa haha. Apalagi kalo inget dulu pas kecil ngerayain ultah ortu ke-30, rasanya itu dunia dewasa bgt ya.

      Thank you ya Stella, hope 2021 goes well for you too 🙂

      March 6, 2021 at 10:30 am

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