2020: So That Happened.

Global pandemic and year-long lockdown aside, I had a pretty great year so let’s get into it.

January

Me thinking the universe is sending me a sign to stay in Nigeria but lol we thank God

Only for me to hear back from the embassy that they’d received my application at the end of January, literally the day before I was supposed to start with the new company. And I was like “Of fricking course.”

Anyhoo, two weeks later, my application had been processed and I was packing my bags.

February

japa japa

I also had my best friend (who I hadn’t seen in 6 years, cause she lived on another continent) visit me for a week and what a fabulous time that was.

Me and my fave girl
Out and about

February was a really fun month for me because I got to move to a new country, enjoy living on my own for the first time and create lots of new experiences.

I was supposed to speak at a couple of conferences that I ended up missing because my flight from Nigeria was rescheduled but I thought “No biggie, there’ll be other conferences so I can just travel for those”. (Narrator voice: If only she knew.)

March

Networking and partying and partying and networking

And then the pandemic started.

In the 3rd week of March, we received a company-wide email saying we’d need to work from home for the next two weeks. And I was like “Yay, I’ll get to work remotely, that’s great!” (Narrator voice: If only she knew).

April

The conferences that weren’t cancelled or rescheduled moved to the virtual space and I spoke at five of those in April.

April was a quiet month for me, I mostly stayed in and indulged in a lot of self-care activities like reading manga, watching Netflix and laughing at quarantine memes.

Memes and chill

We’d received more emails about the quarantine being extended to the first week of April, then the middle of April, and then the end of April.

May

My hair care haul

Something I always wanted to do once I had my own apartment was getting a cat. Then, I ended up catsitting for a friend and I realized that, while I love cats and think they’re most the adorable things, I simply do not have the patience to actually live with one (for obvious reasons, I’m not a fan of something barrelling into my face at 3 am).

They’re cute af though

Towards the end of May, the lockdown in Lithuania was lifted and I got to go on a girls’ trip to another city with my friends.

Girls’ Trip

I spoke at a couple more conferences and received some more event cancellation emails.

June to August

I also travelled to different parts of Lithuania on a solo trip.

Palanga, Klaipeda, Delfinariumas

I spoke at four more online conferences from June to August and got to travel to Latvia for an on-site conference.

Trip to Riga

Something interesting I noticed was that I started applying less and getting invited more for conferences. When I first started speaking, I’d have to fill out a CFP or reach out to an organizer but now I’d be receiving emails saying they say my talk at so-and-so and they would love me to have at their event. Ngl, it was some pretty sweet validation.

September to November

Kayaking and camping

At the beginning of October, I found out I had coronavirus and I was like “Well damn.” The symptoms lasted for about a week and it was horrible. But then I got over it without any longlasting effects so that was that. After I’d gotten cleared, I got to visit my partner in the UK and stayed there for about a week.

In November, I had my contract extended at work and processed my residential permit to remain in Lithuania. I spent this month in transit between Lithuania and the UK.

I spoke at 13 online conferences from September to November.

December

I also turned 23 and had a rather festive Christmas celebration.

23 and festivities

Stats

Year in review from my apps
All the conferences I spoke at this year

And now here we are, the last day of 2020. I expected I’d have a wildly different New Year’s Eve celebration from the usual crossover service but lol plans change. I’ll spend what’s left of this year opening the rest of my Christmas presents, drinking and eating and appreciating what I have.

I’ll end this review with an excerpt from the letter I wrote to myself at the end of last year.

I think instead of predicting the year, I’ll just ask you how it went? Did we have a good year? When did we travel to Lithuania? How many other countries did we visit? How many conferences did we speak at? What hair do you have on now? What are you into now? Still reading webtoons? Have we met any interesting people this year? What’s the most surprising thing that happened this year? What’s your clothing style like these days? What song are you listening to? What was our favorite movie of the year? What was the best month for you? What was the most memorable night for you? What’s one thing you did that you never thought you would do? Did you meet anyone famous? Are you happy? Are you sad? Do we still have our streaks? Do you have any regrets? Are you happy? What’s making you happy? I hope you are. If you get anything from this year, I hope it’s happiness.

Here’s to 2021 :D

Self-taught developer, school-taught engineer, sometimes writer