• Dian Loh

The Yearly Cleanse

A little message from staff writer Dian Loh to usher in the new year.

I never thought I’d be able to truly experience the metaphorical equivalent of a cleansing rainfall, but I think the end of this year might just be it. It’s only a slight drizzle at the moment, but I’m expecting much heavier showers when we hit midnight & 2021 finally arrives.

2020 has felt like a full-length marathon despite all the stagnancy. There was this self-destructive need to try & show up for everybody, be there for everyone. Propagated to no end was the idea of a support system that needed its presence constantly announced & made aware of. The physical boundaries put in place translated into incredibly lax virtual boundaries. It’s hilarious, really, for me to have felt so socially & emotionally drained during a time when human interaction was extremely limited and sometimes even illegal. I was doing so much & feeling so tired & it was all for nothing. They were efforts made in vain. Nothing concrete or material manifested from my actions and honestly, I’m exhausted. I need a break. I need the self-investment our lockdowns & stay-at-home practices had promised us. And the past couple of months have only served to strengthen my case. From realising the toxicity of approval-seeking tendencies, to being shown the bitter reality about reciprocation, the remnants of my 2020 have been cruel but clarifying. However, as we know, it isn’t a true purge without pain, and so I’ve been welcoming these revelations, biting as they may be. They’ve made me ponder my current situation & plan actions I’ll be taking in response to all that I now know. I’ve come to a conclusion — one necessary for the sake of my sanity & in the name of self-care. 2021 will be a year of my own. No take-backs. No compromises. No more one-sided sacrifices. No more goodwill left to rot. I’m going to be selfish this year — with my time, with my money, with all my love. I’ve been seeing everyone take care of themselves so well. This will be the year that I do the same.

I’m grateful for the little blessings 2020 has brought — new lessons, old friends, my first chapbook — but I’m well ready to turn the pages and start afresh. Let there be downpour, let there be healing, let there be rain. 2021 is about to begin.