Mid-year posts have become a trend for me two years in a row, and by the title of this post you can guess I’m writing a third. I began Adventures from Elle on December 28, 2016 and I wrote end of year recaps for 2017, 2018 and 2019, slightly changing the format each year. I try to be as candid as possible without belabouring the not-so-glamorous parts of my year. Mid-year recaps, however, keep me accountable on what has been good or bad about the year so far, allow me to identify what I’d like to improve on or accomplish before the year ends and gives insight on the adventures I have my eye set on for the rest of the year so you have an idea what posts to expect from me.
The first and second halves of 2019 for me felt like two completely different years. In the first half I was a final year medical student worrying and stressing about MBBS exams. That was my sole focus; I had been a medical student at UWI for 4 1/2 years and I. Just. Wanted. To. Finish. My sleep cycle was a mess, my anxiety was through the roof and in retrospect, I do feel sorry for the persons who had to deal with me. However, like they say, this too shall pass, and pass it did. MBBS examinations came and went, and I was successful. Even before the results I had begun celebrating with two memorable day-trips, and I had another just before the start of my internship. The second half of my year was wildly different– I moved 90 kilometres away from my hometown on my own, landed my first job, started paying my own utility bills, buying appliances and silverware, the works. Internship is said to be the roughest part of one’s medical career and they weren’t joking. I barely slept and I forgot to eat– two things I didn’t know were possible for me as I love my sleep and I love my food. It was a constant war between internship and my personal life– internship frequently won, but I did make time for myself and loved ones as often as I could. I enjoyed five memorable trips in this half of my year, my most favourite being the five days I spent in Trinidad around Christmas. With such an eventful and life-changing year, I had big hopes for 2020. I was basically high on life.
Well, it’s now June 15. Not quite the middle of the year yet but close, and I don’t feel as if I’ve done anything with 2020. I went to Konoko Falls and dined at Oceans on the Ridge in January as a birthday treat for my mom and brother. I went Paint & Sip for the first time on Valentine’s Day with my boyfriend, saw a play on February 15 (I love plays!) and did the Sigma 5.5K run on February 16. I took a week off in February and barely did much with it. I would have treated it differently if I knew what was coming in March. Instead, I caught up on sleep, saw the Jamaica, Jamaica! exhibit at the National Gallery, visited the Peter Tosh Museum and went to day 2 of the Jamaica Rum Festival during that week off. In March, I had some seafood with my boyfriend for his birthday. We had to scale back on the celebrations since Jamaica recorded its first coronavirus case some days earlier and the lock-downs had begun. And well, that’s it.
That’s literally it. I’ve done nothing since. There has been a huge void in my life since March 21 till now. All the weeks blend together and every day feels like the same. I attend work everyday, work 80-100 hours per week like usual, then come home to lie down in the same spot and do nothing or sleep until it’s time to go back to work. I’ve tried to make the days more bearable by trying new wines and making new things, but that’s not really my idea of a good time. My mental health has taken a huge hit from this pandemic even though I intentionally ignore the news. The pandemic probably isn’t to take full blame, but I want to blame my low mood on something. If I’m being honest though, it’s probably the pandemic, the overwork, frustration and fatigue of my internship which is thankfully almost over, the stress of having to find somewhere to live as my year to live at the doctor’s quarters is up in another 2 weeks and the uncertainty of not knowing where I’ll be placed after internship. I’m just tired of being tired. I did internship through Jamaica’s worst dengue outbreak and now this. The limited news I take in doesn’t help either. My heart is breaking for what my fellow African descendants are experiencing in the United States, just based on the colour of their skin in the freaking 21st century! The famine in Yemen is also terrible. It’s horrible knowing that thousands of people are dying from starvation and feeling completely powerless. I feel as if I’ve lost my creativity too. I have blog post ideas and drafts, and no energy to finish them. My stats took a nosedive these past 3 months too, as nobody was researching anything travel related, but those stats are now climbing back to pre-covid views with the ease on travel restrictions. I see you guys. 🙂
On a brighter note though, I have enjoyed some lovely meals, found a new favourite wine and tea, and I dyed my hair a nice auburn shade which I like. These have been the highlights of my past three months.
Well, that’s it for my honest mid-year check-in. I hope my next post comes from a more cheerful place. These feelings probably can be cured with some sun, sand and sea… or a waterfall and some hiking. I also hope the second half of my 2020 will feel like a completely different year, just like my 2019 did.
Have a great week ahead, adventurers. Stay blessed.