Year 2020 was crazy. I’m glad that you’re reading this because that means we both made it out alive that crazy year. If you’ve been a long time reader of the blog (thanks, btw), you know that every start of the year since 2011, I dedicate a blog post for my favorite people of the previous 12 months. In case you’re new to the blog (welcome), I call the said post “The People of My Year”. This is my way of expressing my gratitude to these amazing individuals who have either inspired or massively helped me survive the year that was.
The People of My Year posts are normally published at the start of January, but due to some undesirable incidents, including me testing positive for Covid-19 in December, this was published late. But not bad, right? Like how I’m back working at the frontlines after getting infected, this blog’s tardiness doesn’t change the purpose it was created for: to be grateful of the lives of the people of my 2020…
AMC PRINCESS ANA
Yes, sometimes I list people here whom I don’t personally know. Anastasia or AMC Princess Ana is a 5-year old girl I found on Facebook. She and her grandmother post videos documenting her bubbly and smart personality. Ana is born with Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita (or AMC, thus her social media name). It is a condition involving multiple joint contractures/stiffness which causes limitations in mobility. At 5 years old, she had undergone a handful of surgeries to loosen some of these contractures thus improving her movement as well as her quality of life.
Yet, she is one happy and confident girl. Watching her videos remind me how I take some things for granted just because I was used to doing them: like moving my arms up to brush my hair, bringing food to my mouth, those kind of stuff. Ana struggles to do that. She has to look for other ways to accomplish tasks at a young age of five and for the rest of her life. So really, who am I to complain?
You are an inspiration dear Ana, thank you for being you.
Kurt and I arrived here in Germany at the same time in June 2018. He is the fashionista and artist of our group. Despite our differences, we hit it off and became friends. I admire Kurt’s creativity and grit to showcase his art. He always shows up dressed flamboyantly with zero care in the world of what other people say. He expresses himself through fashion and that’s what makes him happy. And I totally agree: others’ opinions are nothing but bullshit.
Times can be tough, being thrown in an industry very far from your interests, Kurt. But don’t cease being creative, the world needs more people like you <3
P.S. I’m proud of you for starting out being wise with your money. Super!
‘Tropa’ is a Filipino term which can be loosely translated to ‘group of friends’. I met mine in my second year in nursing school when our school administration saw potential in us and threw us together in a class (BSN section 19) as a ‘star section’ (BIG WORDS). I remember expecting boring nerds as classmates (I wasn’t disappointed, actually LOL) , but then I befriended the above people who are as mischievous as they are bright: just like what Hanna Montana said, “best of both worlds”.
Almost 15 years later, some of us got married, got kids, and relocated across the globe. One group chat connects us all despite being scattered in the Philippines, Singapore, US, New Zealand, UK, and Germany. Of course we’ve stayed connected through the years, but I felt that we communicated more in 2020. Since most of us are still in the medical field, our risk for contacting COVID-19 is very high. Last year in fact, three got infected (I and two friends in the UK). Thanks to the Internet, we were able to support, cheer up, and make each other feel as if we were in college again: inseparable.
But I love how we can now carry deep conversations, throw life advices and still keep our childish sides. It’s funny how our group chat is filled with photos of our growing families, stock recommendations, and food we cooked for the day. Who could have thought that not so long ago, we knew absolutely nothing, and now, we are leading adult lives while helping battle out a pandemic.
I’m very vocal that I’m not really into my job or my degree. I even wrote a viral blog post entitled “Top 8 Things I Hate about being a Nurse”. But honestly, if not for Nursing, I wouldn’t be able to meet my tropa. They are indeed one of the best takeaways I got from Nursing. I may leave the profession again, sooner or later; who knows, but our history remains.
I love you, mga tol! Thank you for more than a decade of friendship! I wouldn’t do it any other way.
Disclaimer: The next two entries include German translations as many of my colleagues can’t read or speak English.
MY COLLEAGUES AT STATION M3A6
I really hate to brag, but I believe I work in the best COVID station on the planet, HAHAHA
I don’t give a damn to be tagged bias and I sure hope we don’t stay as COVID station for long. But I’ve proven time and time again that any job will be bearable provided you work with the right people. Our team is now working 10 months into the pandemic and I can’t imagine surviving this long not being in my home station or without my colleagues. It’s true that there are frustrating times but we look after each other and always end up with decisions for the welfare of many.
I think that’s the magic formula: to look after each other.
Thank you, thank you, thank you all. It was a crazy year but I can’t wait to work again while seeing your smiles and bare faces. I’m positive that’ll happen very soon.
Ich hasse es wirklich zu prahlen, aber ich glaube, ich arbeite in der besten COVID Station der Welt, HAHAHA
Es ist mir egal, ob ich als voreingenommen eingestuft werde, und ich hoffe, dass wir nicht lange als COVID-Station bleiben. Aber ich habe immer wieder bewiesen, dass jeder Job erträglich ist, wenn man mit den richtigen Leuten arbeitet. Unser Team arbeitet jetzt 10 Monate in der Pandemie und ich kann mir nicht vorstellen, so lange zu überleben, wenn ich nicht in meiner Heimatstation oder ohne meine Kollegen bin. Es ist wahr, dass es frustrierende Zeiten gibt, aber wir kümmern uns umeinander und treffen immer Entscheidungen zum Wohl vieler.
Ich denke, das ist die Zauberformel: umeinander zu kümmern.
Danke, danke, danke euch allen. Es war echt ein verrücktes Jahr aber ich kann es kaum erwarten, wieder zu arbeiten, gegenseitig eure Lächeln und ganze Gesichter zu sehen. Ich bin mir sicher, dass das sehr bald passieren wird.
P.S. Und COVID-Frontlinern, Sie haben mein voller Respekt.
Ekrema is my Bosnian colleague and the mother I don’t have in Germany. When I was just starting out and super scared to work alone in the night shift, she gave me her phone number and instructed me to call her should I need help. When I got infected with COVID-19 and felt I couldn’t breathe properly, she came to my apartment and rushed me to the hospital. I know I’ve just written that my colleagues and I look after each other, but she does it on a different level. And for that, I am forever in debt.
She’s always considerate to new foreigners trying their luck in this country because she understands their struggles as she went through the same path more than 2 decades ago. Try walking with Ekrema in the hospital corridors (outside our COVID station, of course) and you’ll be surprised how many people know her and talk to her.
You are liked by many, thank you so much for your kindness, Ekrema!
Ekrema ist meine Bosnische Kollegin und die Mutter, die ich in Deutschland nicht habe. Als ich anfing und große Angst hatte, in der Nachtschicht alleine zu arbeiten, gab sie mir ihre Telefonnummer und wies mich an, sie anzurufen, falls ich Hilfe brauche. Als ich mich mit COVID-19 infizierte und das Gefühl hatte, nicht richtig atmen zu können, kam sie in meiner Wohnung und brachte mich ins Krankenhaus. Ich weiß, ich habe gerade geschrieben, dass meine Kollegen und ich uns umeinander kümmern, aber sie tut es auf einer anderen Ebene. Und dafür bin ich für immer verschuldet.
Sie ist immer rücksichtsvoll gegenüber neuen Ausländern, die ihr Glück in diesem Land versuchen, weil sie ihre Kämpfe versteht, als sie vor mehr als zwei Jahrzehnten denselben Weg gegangen ist. Wenn man mit Ekrema in den Korridoren des Krankenhauses spazieren geht (natürlich außerhalb unserer COVID-Station), wird man überrascht sein, wie viele Leute sie kennen und mit ihr sprechen.
Du bist von vielen gemocht, vielen Dank für Ihre Freundlichkeit, Ekrema!
There you have it; a short but sweet list of the people of my 2020. Thank you so much for dropping by my blog, I appreciate it. I hope you are safe wherever you are. Also, in case no one told you, I’m proud of you for surviving 2020 *wink
Cheers to a better year ahead! <3