2021 Recap: What Did I Even Do Last Year?

2021 ended 10 days ago, and I planned to write this 20 days ago.

But 2021 was unpredictable, and so was my life that year.

But are we surprised at anything after 2020? No.

So here I am summarizing my highlights from last year. Enjoy!

Listen to the whole article within 5 minutes!

1. Got My First Passport

The first major accomplishment of the year was getting my first-ever passport after going through the entire application process by myself! There was no option other than finally getting it this year because it is a non-negotiable pre-requisite for both IELTS and Master’s applications.

With My Precious First Passport

2. Joined UpWork

After surviving a sudden unexplained disease for over two weeks during Eid-ul Fitr, I wanted to start something new and also create a secondary income stream. So I signed up and began applying for various jobs on the popular freelancing platform UpWork.

Despite having little free time, I kept up regularly applying for different projects without caring much about the price point. When none of the jobs were coming through, I gave up in July and didn’t bother until my birthday came in August. With all the positive spirit, I thought, “why not make this happy day a little more productive?”.

Finally, the stars aligned and I got a really good client from the USA after two days! I am still working with him on the same project, which heavily contributed to me earning the Rising Talent badge and 100% Job Success Score!

Current UpWork Profile on January 10th

3. Finally Sat For IELTS

Although most of my friends had already completed IELTS or at least sat for it once, I attempted it for the first time in September. Without knowing much about what the test entails, I just signed up for it casually within the first week of August and booked the test for 4th September!

By the time I realized how hard the English proficiency test is, it also dawned on me that I have less than a month to prepare!

So dumb of me, I know.

But, fortunately, being a professional content writer for over four years came in handy this time. I only focused on the reading part primarily and managed to score an 8.0!

Official IELTS Results

4. Finally Learned Cooking

A major reason behind my sickness during Eid was ill-prepared food that didn’t suit my stomach for some reason. So, as soon as I got better and came back home, I finally attempted to learn all the regular dishes at home.

Luckily, all of them now turn out great and I have actually come to love my own cooking more than others’! Especially the chicken curry and the fried rice? I can eat them all day, every day.

Left to Right: Shemai (Vermicelli), Chicken Curry, Fried Rice 😀

5. Bought Website Domain

I started this blog wayyy back in 2015, and had no idea what I’m ever going to do with it. The only reason I started it was literally just writing, or trying to write.

After years of writing professionally, I finally bought the domain in November! In fact, it is the very first thing I did after activating my first ever *legit* debit card. [My family doesn’t approve of cards in general, so 🙃]

Seeing a proper website address for my six-year-old blog was quite emotional and joyful, to be honest!

6. Completed AI/ML Course of Srilanka

Of the many things I had not planned for the year, I managed to do something good for a change! I randomly signed up for this free 12-week course on Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning organized by the American Center of Srilanka around June.

The program began in July and there were weekly classes on Zoom. Even though I didn’t expect much, it taught me the basics of machine learning, image processing, Scratch 3 and more. Another interesting part of it was interacting with people speaking a different native language, but still looking and sounding like my people!

Official Certificate from American Center

7. Read 15 Books

Even though my Reading Challenge on Goodreads was 25 books last year, I only managed to complete reading 15 books. And that too, after quite some struggle!

Every time I sat for reading a book, the voice in my brain kept reminding me of all the more important things I need to spend time on. Eventually, I had to stop at 15 in November, since my December turned out to be way more hectic than I anticipated.

Books I Read in 2021

All in all, 2021 was quite eventful and very challenging, to say the least. However, it really added some value to my life and trained me for the future I want.

I am enjoying 2022 so far, but honestly, I am also kinda terrified. This year can make me or break me, and I don’t have an idea so far about which way it’s gonna go.

Either way, should be interesting, I guess?

Let me know how your 2021 was and what you are expecting from 2022? Is it going according to plan? Comment below!


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