MELBOURNE – This year has so far been one of the hardest years for me. I lost several people to terminal illnesses I never knew were in my family genes.
I travelled to Turkey, stayed in my hometown – truly a magical experience – and unfortunately drowned myself in the sorrows of end-of-year exams when I got back.
This year was one of the most emotionally stressful times I have ever experienced. I lost friends and I gained some. My social circle got smaller but that’s okay – quality over quantity.
Though 2019 was a big challenge for me, if it’s taught me one thing, it’s to always stay as independent and stubborn as you can. Don’t take any crap from anyone.
Also: do whatever makes you happy as long as you are not harming other people and yourself. It’s okay to be selfish once in a while and put yourself before others for a change.
There were many ways I could relieve stress from school, peer pressure, family incidents and anxiety. The way that I found most helpful for me was by daily training for mixed martial arts. Hitting a punching bag really helped me release anger.
Another thing I did was draw. As long as I had my sketch pad, my charcoal pencils, and my blenders, I was a happy girl. I would draw my heart out and put all my emotions into my artwork. This was an amazing way for me to express myself without feeling as if I’m being judged by people around me.
The artwork above is one drawing that allowed me to express myself.
My plans for 2020 are big, maybe too big for some people, but still not big enough for me.
I know I have dreams and goals bigger than myself, but there’s nothing I can’t achieve.
In 2020, I want to raise awareness for about the Chinese internment camps that hold innocent Uighur Muslims. I’ve heard about the torture, sexual abuse and separation of families in these camps, and I want more people to know about it.
Other than politics, I want to ensure my school grades are always good. It is important for me to improve my grades more and more each year.
I also want to spend more quality time with my family and friends in the coming year. I lacked social communication with people around me in 2019 and I am hoping to improve that.
One more thing I hope to improve is my confidence, self-love and self-respect. I need to start taking care of myself and my health and wellbeing, instead of focusing on other people’s problems. In 2020, it’s going to be me before you.
Ece Cayli is a Junior Reporter with Youth Journalism International.