Goodbye 2020 note

3 min readJan 11, 2021

I wasn’t sure if I wanted to publish this, but 2020 was a crazy year for a lot of people and I thought I could share my experience a bit with the world. (I actually have a “Goodbye 2019 note” saved as a draft. I might publish it in the near future)

I’m going to try avoiding the virus topic for this entry. It affected me, but not as much as a lot of people in the world as I still have my job and am super healthy. Even without the pandemic, it was pretty significant year for me and I would like to share the events that changed my life in 2020.

  • Trip to Brazil: Brazil is located on the other side of the earth, but yet I learned so much about my own culture. Brazil has the second biggest Japanese population and I knew there would be a piece of Japan in Brazil, but it wasn’t just things. It really touched my soul and made me think about “what it means to be Japanese” in this trip. I had amazing conversations with Nikkei (Japanese) Brazilians, but I know this will be my forever topic from now on. (I need to write another story just about Brazil!)
  • Flexitarian: You may or may not know the word, but it’s coming from “flexible” and “vegetarian”. When I have a choice, I practice vegetarian or vegan diet, but occasionally I eat meat. I’m actually closer to a pescatarian as I’m still eating fish a lot. I started this in late 2019, but I made it “official” in 2020. It became so much easier as I started to cook more at home. I’m doing this for the environment and not for “health purpose” so if you want to ask me if I lost weight or something, the answer is “no, I gained weight because I was making way too many vegan chocolate chip cookies.”
  • Seeing a counselor: I finally started to see a counselor. I tried going to a psychiatrist once, but it didn’t work out. There was so much going on this year and I started online counseling. It did take some time to find a counselor I feel comfortable with, but it’s been helping a lot. Self-care is so important. I wish counseling was more accessible in Japan and people have different options for their self-care.
  • Adopting kittens: If you know me, you should know how much I love cats! This year, I finally adopted cats for myself, and yes, I got 2. My colleague’s family foster cats as a volunteer and when I heard that I knew I needed to adopt cats from them. So meet Orange (left, boy) and Chai (right, girl)! They are both friendly cats and they have been following me everywhere at home. For obvious reasons, I’m spending more time at home and my life is so much better with them.
  • Doing right thing: I thought about this more than ever in 2020. It is about the way I make decisions, but also understanding what “right thing” is. It seems like the world is divided more than ever. People can have different opinions, they can believe what they want, but what if they are believing “fake news” or “lie” that someone made up? They might be doing something, thinking it’s a right thing? I want to do “right thing” but what if it’s not a right thing for others? I’ve been trying to understand different sides, so I know what “right thing” is for myself, and hopefully I can go to “The Good Place” when I die. (If you haven’t watch the show, please watch!)

So that was my 2020! It was a lot and it changed my life so much. I don’t know what 2021 will bring me, but I hope things will get better for the world!