10:39 AM

I think many of us find themselves in the same state of mind right now. The year really comes to an end and we wonder where time has gone. Christmas is already over and all the festivities were quicker gone than we anticipated them. It was all in all a different and new way to celebrate and gather. We might find ourselves in a winter blues, we might feel a bit different than usually, we might feel anxious, or maybe we don't feel anything at all, because this whole mess here is very confusing. 

What's important right now is not to loose your mind and just focus on yourself and your health. Disconnect if it helps, go outside for a walk, connect with nature, make yourself a fancy warm drink which will warm up your whole being, journal, dance to some music, clean or re-organize your home, or watch Pixar's new movie Soul. Gosh... no spoiler here, but omg. 

When the pandemic started, I was beyond scared that we would find ourselves in the same situation when the year ends... I mean how long does it take for us to understand that we have a problem and we need to learn from it and especially need to fix it??! Here we are, three days before the year ends. 

The only thing that changed with me is my attitude and especially my fear. I gave up hoping that our normal life would come back soon, watching my country being nuts and basically everyone doing their own thing. 

Bye bye big dreams, but my focus shifted to somewhere else. To myself. 

While I couldn't believe or trust in my people, the politics (except CuomošŸ¤), and other reasons why this pandemic is performing as it performs, I knew that the only thing I can control and trust in is myself. Of course I want to travel, of course I want to hug everyone, of course I want to work a normal shift without 795 rules - I want to be carefree again... Sag vibes to the fullest, but I need to learn patience. I am not in control of this situation and it doesn't benefit me to be frustrated about politics, presidents, or dumb people. 

Moreover, I think it's such a bittersweet taste that this pandemic is blessing us with so much time we could all use to be and do better. 

I know it's harsh to say that, but it's the truth. This year, people finally learned how to be alone. In April, people were crying about how bad it is to not be able to go to a bar, getting wasted, having plenty of social interactions.. Introverts like me were very unbothered. This situation is our lifestyle, kinda. The more we stayed at home due to lockdowns, curfews, and whatever measurements were taken, the more we got creative. We learned new hobbies, we could finally sit down and read a book we started 2 years ago, hell yeah, we were finally able to take a deep breath. Being at home alone, or spending more time with your own family and kids is a new experience that made us bond and connect closer. 

I know there was a lot of frustration and a lot of anger and being at home so much doesn't always mean that everything is better and easier. But looking back, didn't we manage it somehow? 

I can't really talk to the families out there, because I am not sharing the same experience which you are living right now, but I can definitely reach out to every individual out there. You are seen, you are heard, and you are loved. Believe me, 2020 was not the best year for so many out there, but to be honest... it is what you are making out of it. 

Don't focus on the negative or the dreams and goals you couldn't reach.... we were all a little handicapped this year. This is not the year of shame, nor guilt. You did whatever you could do.


And what else happened this year? The world was not only upside-down because of the pandemic, look how many people got active, filled streets, and built crowds to fight for what's right. Black lives matter. Social justice. Do you remember this energy? We fought for the climate and our planet - not accepting more trees and nature burning to death. And then the craziest election of our lives? Joe Biden is the president elect after 5988 confirmations and recountings. Whew. The election marathon was really a lot, right? And then we were already lost in our holiday celebrations which lead us to the final distribution of the vaccine. (Can I mention one of my highlights of the year here again: I'm sorry, but yes, Pixar's Soul came and I was crying, dancing, and feeling all the feels. This is what we needed this year!!!). 

2020. Nobody knew what craziness would come our way. There was a lot happening and many people feel happier to end this year now and start all over in 2021. I might be one of them, but I am glad to take some insights and especially vibes with me which make me remember 2020 as not the worst year ever. 

I finally connected deeper to myself. How? I know, this confuses me, too, but all the panic attacks, crying moments, and speaking about my fear gave me the perfect connection to my body, spirit, and mind. 

I journaled like crazy, I created a lot of content for you and me on OFF COLOR which could hopefully help someone out there. I was just releasing my current work "You Are What You Feel" -  a creative workbook on mental health for kids and grown-ups. I cooked like crazy, learning so many things, and I was able to enjoy some breaks with a book and movie. I am always in a rush, working, but the gift of taking a break (even if this is a break of 7 days or such) is something I cherished the most this year. Hell, I wasn't even sick. I am healthy, smiling, and practicing gratitude over everything that happened this year. Wow. That's a lot to swallow, but it's only good stuff to understand and cope with. 

Look inside yourself for a second. I bet we have made the same experiences. And can I tell you something? I am very proud of how far we have come. High five that you are still here, thriving from the inside out. What a strong human being you've become. You might not notice it right now, but oh boy, you will bloom next year. 

With all the tools and equipment that 2020 gave you, you will be unstoppable in 2021! I believe in you. I believe in us. 

Reach out to people who have suffered a lot this year and be kind with everyone and yourself. This is something we need to emphasize a little more. Kindness. Oh, and gratitude, of course. 

What will come in 2021? I don't know...it's really up to us, but I hope we will learn, grow, and make the best out of it. Again, no shame, no guilt, maybe no regrets? Yes, we are on our way to be bubbly and free. 

Happy New Year!

Happy 2021!

I don't want to end the year 2020 by just giving you all high fives. I want you to know that I am so happy and grateful to have this community here. I never thought I would write a little workbook on mental health. I was actually dreaming of me and my camera making love and creating more visual projects... but I guess one never can predict anything (and I'm not mad about it). Again, this year taught me a lot and I experienced a lot of ups and downs. Talking about mental health here on this platform is a blessing for me and I love that we can finally talk very openly about it. I don't have an issue talking about my depression and that's why I am so happy that my mental health posts this year brought many people to OFF COLOR! I welcomed many new people to the site and I am deeply happy and so freaking excited to be exchanging with you. Remember, this here is my way to tell stories and experiences. I am not a doctor and I try to bring a little fun and creativity to subjects which might be uncomfortable for many out there. In 2021 I will continue to write about mental health and I hope we can connect even closer and built on this great foundation. If you are new here, hiiii! Welcome!

I am talking more about things that create full circle on mental health such as nutrition, or let's call it food and recipes, and also interior. I personally learned that those two things play such a big part when it comes to mental health. A nice temple, the place you call home and good food create the best atmosphere for a healthy brain. Please don't be too harsh that I often post treats that are not too healthy, but I want to inspire you to be your own chef and bring joy into our sometimes too boring food world. Also, I will continue sharing more NYC content and love stories, because... I simply love NYC. Soon, I will also share some new changes I will take on #OCAiko. Soooo...whew, be ready. Join this ride and just vibe it out with me! 

Thank you for everything this year!

Feel hugged, K.