2020 is definitely going to be a year that people remember more vividly than any other years for better or for worse. Each of us have our own personal version of 2020 with different beliefs, goals, and forecasts. As we’re ending the most turbulent year I’ve ever lived in, here are another set of personal reminders that 2020 has left me with.
1.) On Happiness
We are notoriously bad at predicting our own happiness. If you were to tell me that all my plans are going to be canceled and I’ll be spending majority of my interactions through a 16’’ screen in a confined room, I would have rated that as a 2/10 experience. Living through it, it was actually surprisingly much better. The opposite is true as well, especially if it fits in the following sentence, it never last.

“If only I get _____, I will be happy”.

Knowing this, it’s a reminder to live myself in the only time I have — the here and now this moment out of the series of moments that is life. 
2.) On Courage
“Being brave doesn’t mean you are scared. Being brave means you are scared, really scared, badly scared and you do the thing anyway”
Neil Gaiman, Coraline.
I am never a fan at how my home country, Thailand, is run. What happened this year in Thailand taught me about courage. Even when the odds and power are stacked against them, I saw students, people holding hands and challenging the status-quo that we and our friends deserve better. I’m inspired to be brave, and to be the person that stands for the right thing even when it’s scary. I will remember the 16th of October seeing students holding hands with their school emblems taped over walking to Pathumwan junction to be the change they want to see in their world. 
3.) On Running
I usually learned from books, stories, podcasts, but this year the best lesson is a metaphorical 42.195km that taught me about life. I set out to finish a marathon this year because I want to proof to myself that hard things can be done, so I won’t have too many excuses in doing other hard things in life.
3.1) To take on hard things – do it incrementally.
The practices toward the race day started early on in the year. The first 10km was hard, and it probably didn’t get easier, but we as runners got better. The non-secret is to do it in a way that Yoyo-Ma learned cello “Like yesterday, but a little different.”
3.2) People will be running at different paces, and that’s OK.
At 15km on the race day, I passed another runner who made it through passed the turning point and probably at his 29th kms. I was amazed by how fast they can be, but I also know that behind this run there were thousands of kilometres that came before it. He reminded me of a quote from a writer who inspired me to run.
“In long-distance running the only opponent you have to beat is yourself, the way you used to be.”
Haruki Murakami, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running
Other runners are my comrades, on their journey to be better than what they used to be as well.
3.3) “The serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.”
I love this quote from the prayer of serenity. After the first 7km on the race day, I started to feel a sharp pain on my right knee. I tried to stop and stretched, the pain went away for a while then came back at each of the water stops. I was afraid that all of the practices was going to be for nothing, that I wouldn’t finish.  At 23km the the pain intensifies to a point where it was painful for me to go back from the walk to a run. I can’t control the knee pain, and I know from the previous stops that it intensified whenever I transitioned from the walking posture to a running posture, what I can control was simple – whether or not to stop and walk at the next stop. So I decided from 27km onwards that I will not stop until the finish line, each stop will be a run-and-grab, keeping my knees bent. “Just don’t stop”, I thought to myself, after that decision, I watched the number goes by slowly. 
The 42.195 km was painful, but it was what I chose.
“pain is inevitable but suffering is a choice”
Haruki Murakami, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running

I’m glad I get to run, I’m glad I get to live, and I hope I will be able to pass this feeling forward. And as my year end approaches, here are 20 of my favourite images for 2020. 
Sunrise at Park Guel | Barcelona, Spain
Kushiro Swans’ Leap | Hokkaido, Japan
Winter Landscape | Eastern Hokkaido, Japan
Frozen | Eastern Hokkaido, Japan
Night at the Farm | Eastern Hokkaido, Japan
Rising Sun above the Frozen Sea of Oskotch | Eastern Hokkaido Japan
Singapore’s Blue Year | Singapore
Andaman’s Blue | Above Phuket, Thailand
Panorama: Samed Nangshi after a Rainy Night | Pang Nga, Thailand
Caught between Twilight | Koh Yao Noi, Thailand
Upon a Neighbourhood Walk | Bangkok, Thailand
Sunset over Gulf of Thialand | Koh Chang, Thailand
Evening Life in Mehkong River | Chiang Khan, Thailand
Mystic Morning | Phu Tok, Chiang Khan, Thailand
Dawn over the City | Phu Kradung National Park, Thailand
Everything that the Sun Touches | Phu Kradung National Park, Thailand
Sun kissing the Pine Good Night | Phu Kradung National Park, Thailand
Night at the Palace | Bangkok, Thailand
Morning Fog in Lampang | Lampang, Thailand
Falling Endlessly | Mae Ya Falls, Chiang Mai, Thailandv

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