2021: Let’s Try This Again

2020 has been a genuine clusterfuck of a year, so let’s take the passage of another year and claim this as a chance for a fresh-ish start.

I never did quit blogging, I just stayed away from it due to several reasons. An increased workload was one of them, having transitioned to online work during the height of COVID-19 (and therefore experiencing screen fatigue) and then transitioning back to offline teaching with reduced staff members has left me a little slightly burnt out.

The second reason was that, quite frankly, I had nothing to talk about. I wanted to fill this blog with my trips abroad and the wonderful new experiences I’m seeking out and yet… 2020 crushed all those dreams into fine dust. I’ve only very recently started reading books again – and by this, I do mean listening to audiobook because, as I’ve said, screen fatigue is real and I value my eyes.

The third reason, and the very reason why I did most of the things I did in 2020, was because I wanted to build closer relationships with my family and friends. I’ve set up weekly Skype sessions with my immediate family, monthly catch-ups with friends from Sixth Form, college, and university, and a virtual book club consisting of friends from the UK and the US – all of whom have not met each other but have me as a mutual friend as well as a love for fantasy fiction.

But now that things are slowly and steadily gaining traction again, I’ve made the executive decision to log back into WordPress. I’ve found joy in my life once more and I want to share this… not quite happiness, but contentment… beyond my immediate social circle. And to be honest, I’ve missed the friends I’ve made here online. I hope you’re all doing well!

LiberaTarts is Back… Late and with Starbucks

I hate to be That Basic Bitch™ but with no other coffee shops in this city providing non-dairy milk options other than this cursed coffee franchise, I’ve turned myself into a Starbucks-only gal. Not that this would be a surprise to all my friends, since they all seem to think that I think Starbucks is the be-all-end-all, but I like having options. And I like not giving money to tax-avoiding megacorporations or whatever.

Anyway, here’s a quick rundown of what’s happened to me these last few months.

I moved apartment!

moving boxes in my studio apartment
Or 我搬家了, as they say in Chinese.

I downgraded from my one-bedroom apartment with a kitchen and a little study area to a studio apartment that boasts no kitchen at all. But LT, you may ask, you like cooking – why on earth did you do this?! The reason is this: I like cooking, but I don’t like cleaning. I got myself a hotplate and kept my trusty toaster oven and I’ve been living my best life ever since.

I got promoted!

The story on how I got promoted has a lot of self-effacing dialogue such as, “Oh no, I’m not ready for this” and “I like my current job role; I’m not looking for anything more” while my immediate supperiors were like, “LT, you’re good enough for this. I’m strong-arming you to apply for this [job vacancy].”

And somehow, through some hoops and a brief probationary period later… I’m now middle-management, y’all. The pay-rise is negligible and the workload is much, much more so my burntout little tuchus is working harder than ever before, which is why I’m looking forward to this year’s Spring Festival holidays… not that I want to jinx it or anything, because last year’s Spring Festival led straight into COVID-19 quarantine.

I’ve hosted a Christmas dinner!

Let’s be honest, my dear readers, I am a child at heart. I try my best at this Adulting Malarkey; and while some of my middle and high school classmates are busy getting married, buying houses, and having babies… I’m somehow shifting my life from country to country, a little too fast to make any lasting social ties.

Which is why hosting a Christmas dinner for my coworkers is such a huge deal for me. It’s such an Adult-y thing to do, cooking a roast dinner and having colleagues and their significant others over for chit-chat and wine. I don’t like chit-chat and I detest wine, but by golly was I a good host. I even pre-heated the serving plates before I handed them out and told the guests to dig in!

2020 Christmas dinner preparations
I’m too lazy minimalist for a proper Christmas tree.

BONUS: I’ve started travelling again.

resting on a park bench at Xiling Snow Mountain

It doesn’t snow this heavily in Chengdu – or at all, really. The one time it did snow two weeks ago was but a small flurry and the little flakes didn’t even rest on the ground. So when someone suggested we could visit a nearby snowy mountain, I was all gung-ho and eager to go. I unpacked my winter coat, my heavy-duty winter scarf, and prepared myself to spend a good chunk of the day trip building a snowman. But more on that on a later post!

Over to you, my readers: How has 2020 treated you? Share in the comments below or even tag me in a post of your own. I’d like to hear from you!

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