2021: Year in Review

Every year, I do a year in review, with highlights and lowlights and a summary so this is my year in review for 2021.

Highlights

-I went on a week trip to Calgary and Banff and met up with my brother and dad and we did a lot of activities together including rafting, kayaking and hiking.
-I went to the US for one month, staying in Seattle for two weeks to hang out with a friend and staying in SF Bay Area (San Mateo / Palo Alto) for two weeks to hang out with a friend. 
-I held a house party (yes, I used to do this all the time back in my SF days but now its rare enough to warrant a highlight)
-I met my good friend from Toronto and we went to Victoria, Stanley Park, Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, Grouse Mountain and Joffre Lake
-I met my gf from Korea, and we went to Victoria, Stanley Park, Lynn Canyon, Whistler
-Visited my family for Christmas
-CRA finally gave me my tax refund and corrected all the amounts
-old tenants moved out and was able to find new tenants without missing any payments

Lowlights

-The COVID-19 pandemic continues. This affected everyone but for me it meant: Unable to meet any new friends in Vancouver due to all the meetups being cancelled, unable to travel to Asia. This year might be even worse than last year because the ENTIRE year was affected by the pandemic instead of just 9 months of last year.
-Lost more of my Korean female friends due to various reasons.
-Missed out or screwed up many financial opportunities this year, and just generally had bad financial luck again.
-My grandfather passed away. First funeral I ever went to. Last time I saw him was 2019 due to the pandemic.
-Long distance relationship was/is hard. Broke up with my gf for half the year then got back together with her. Still waiting for opportunity to visit Korea again.

Summary

In terms of the years of my life that I often rank, in general 2011-2017 were all amazing years with 2012, 2014 and 2016 being standouts. 2018 was the year I lost my apartment, lost my life savings and had to leave SF and was thus the worst year of my life. 2019 started off badly with the crypto scam news, but actually ended up being the last year I could go to Korea and meet my friends there, as well as making friends in Vancouver, and going on a trip with my family as well as visiting Seattle and SF a few times that year. It was overall an eventful year that in retrospect has to rank higher because it is the last pre-pandemic year that I was actually able to travel and meet people. 

2020 I had a good start to the year going to SF and then meeting my gf and meeting my coworkers at an Arizona retreat before the pandemic started. The rest of the year pretty much sucked, as detailed in my review of 2020. I was able to travel to LA and SoCal to hang out with my friend for a month and that was probably the best highlight of the second half of 2020 and that’s pretty much it.

For 2021, it feels like more of the same. Staying at home everyday, can’t meet new people very easily, losing more of my Korean female friends – Hyemin Kim (knew since 2013), blocked me because I complimented her, Sohee Lee (knew since 2013), blocked me because I asked about her relationship with her husband too much, Minjeong Lee (knew since 2015), blocked me because I complimented her, Selena Park (knew since 2016) blocked me because I complimented her, Rosie Chung (knew since 2016), blocked me because I complimented her, Koeun Choi (knew since 2019) blocked me because I asked her to hang out in Vancouver (yes really), and I even lost a good Korean guy friend Jinwoo Jung (knew since 2017) he stopped talking to me mid year for unknown reasons…

In addition, my financial troubles continue because crypto kept going up and stocks kept going up and unfortunately I didn’t have enough money to invest in either and I didn’t have enough patience to keep my money in both. Now I haven’t touched either my crypto or stocks for at least 4 months which must be a record. However I must say at least I haven’t gotten scammed like I did last year with my previous landlord and that car rental company, and the CRA finally corrected all the amounts and gave me my tax refund back!

In addition to those things, my grandpa passed away and my relationship with my gf was very strained this year due to the long distance, and even her visiting me had a lot of hoops to jump through (she had to get permission from her manager, she had to do multiple covid tests, Canada announced a quarantine policy the day she was scheduled to arrive because of the Omicron variant, she had to quarantine in Korea 10 days after she came back because of the Omicron variant etc). It was so difficult just to get her to come visit me. But at least we got to meet before the end of the year.

So overall, I think the 3 months of last year that was pre-pandemic as well as the month I went to LA I enjoyed a bit more than the month I went back to the US this year (I had an awful time getting a place to stay at the Seattle hostel had this guy who was coughing and farting all the time and the Palo Alto Airbnb host lied about the condition and was without internet and electricity the whole time and I had to pay $300 for COVID tests both ways) puts 2020 actually above this year for me. I know, it just seems that every year seems to be worse than the last doesn’t it? 2020 I already said was the second worst year on my record, but 2021 may be even worse. It’s just more of the same awful pandemic stay locked in life, but for an entire year and even my one month break in the US wasn’t as good as my one month break last year. Last year I had a really good time with my friend Patrick as we did something almost every day like go to different fast food restaurants, went to different beaches, sat down in the park and talked about movies and directors, went to his warehouse to check out his vintage camera collection etc whereas this year I spent half the time fighting with my accommodation issues, and my friends Ethan and Tony I didnt really get to meet every day. And on top of that, I had to pay extra for COVID tests which were basically equal to the cost of the flights themselves. At least I got to see my gf and family again this year but it’s a far cry from 2019 when I actually got to visit Korea and go on a cruise with my family.

So yeah, 2021, goes down as the *new* second worst year on record (2018 is hard to top).  


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