We are just a few hours away from formally concluding all 365 and 1/4 days of 2012. And like every close of a year, lately, I will blog and share about what I’ve learned and encountered all year long. I will try to keep this as short as possible.
I closed 2011 a little bit sad knowing two of my close friends from high school ended their relationships with their boyfriends. I was sad because I was somehow friends with their, now, exes. The great thing about this was that this led my friendship with these two girls and the rest of our barkada to be much better. We hung around every week, drinking, crying, drinking, recollecting, drinking, crying and drinking some more. It was very expensive, but definitely worth each penny we spent. We’re rich anyways! :) We also got to travel to a far away place just to have fun and to experience a fresh environment. Fitting as it is, we witnessed a fireworks display during our trip to Thunderbird. It was just a reminder to us how beautiful life is regardless of who left you, but more importantly because of the people you are with in the present.
At this very same time, I faced the dilemma of leaving my employer to seek better opportunities and a bigger salary to support my ridiculous lifestyle. I did get what I wanted in my employer and did not have to leave at all. But then, I found out that money isn’t every thing. For a few months more, I was incredibly bored and generally out-of-sync and hating my decision. This was only changed when the real challenges came in at work. I received a really tough account and had to work through it on a dual-role. Although in months later, I helped to shape a support team which was well-oiled that was capable of shaping exceptional employees. In this designation, I formed myself to be a better employee and to actually form a working principle and adhere to it. It was a hellish experience for a few months but all is better now, thanks to the resilience of our team and to the support of all the people I worked with. Because of this, our team was awarded as the best within our department, which just confirms how well we have become in the past 10 months. All this is thanks to our functional lead and to our consultants who worked tirelessly and patiently even under exceptional scrutiny.
Getting a fatter pay check also gave its perks. This year was a spending year for me. I spent a whole loads of money on clothes, travel, food and liquor. I also threw some money away on a gym membership which I stopped going to after 4 months due to my lack of focus. It was mainly because I lost my trusted iPhone while on commute. I don’t like to think of it as a trade-off for my pay check. Rather a learning lesson for me to be extra careful. So I bought a new cheaper slower phone and am stuck with it until today. And it’s kind of broken because I lost it’s back cover 2 days ago. I can’t get any consistent reception. Perhaps, because that back cover pressed some mumbo-jumbo on my phone. Probably, not my best year gadget-wise this year, right? Anyway, I’m looking forward to becoming an iPhone user again the coming year. Just a little more wait for me.
My work frustration during the middle of the year led me to a trip to Thailand with one close female friend from college. It is an unforgettable experience because I traveled with only one person to a different country. Also, because I got to ride an elephant, touch and walk with a tiger. And I got to live a short-lived simpler life abroad because we only ate extremely cheap food beside the street with cockroaches crawling in the area. It was a great experience though because I never imagined myself eating that kind of food. Plus, I got to shop more abroad in non-existent shops here in the Philippines plus other goodies I can’t find locally. Every travel creates a new experience for us, definitely.
A good distraction I had from work was when I joined our company’s volleyball team. I actually hesitated from joining because I knew absolutely no one outside my team. To my surprise, I managed to make more friends! Friends that I had fun with during our nights in training and some meals after training. Also, inside the work area, I had a bit of fun with these people. I guess I managed to overcome my shyness with my love of the sport. And ended up knowing more fun people who I somehow stay connected with until now, off-season.
Love-wise, I can’t say it’s been a really good year for me. But it was better this year because I got to go out on a few dates, especially early on in the year when I had time-off from my friends. I got to meet several people and actually felt really good about myself. I also had the chance to go out with someone I really like. But it isn’t all well. I’m almost no longer talking to that guy. Or rather, he is the one not talking to me anymore? Anyway, lesson learned, I don’t need anyone else’s help to feel good about myself. No one has to believe it but me, as Rachel Berry would put it.
Towards the last quarter of the year, I got to take a very long overdue beach vacation with my high school barkada. I say this with all happiness because we traveled as a huge group of 11 people! I never thought we could have pulled it off given our huge headcount, but we definitely managed. This gave me some time to relax, laugh and laugh every minute, and to drink some more without regard to the next day. I also got to smoke again and watch an amazing poi dance beach-side. It was such an experience because I also got my ear pierced. I always wanted to get it pierced but never had the courage to do so until that trip. It was definitely fun because I was with all of my close friends and had tons of laughter with them.
Also during this year, a good friend who has lived in the US for a long time now came to visit us as a surprise. It was definitely fun because I got to be with all of my close barkada from our HS varsity team. Although it was a brief visit, it got us all together to sit down together to eat, chika and rampa for a whole day. And just this month, I got to go out with 2 people from the same barkada a whole lot. I think we’ve been seeing each other every week since the start of December. We always go out to rampa and never lose topics and people to talk about. Being with these people means a lot to me because I get to be extremely balaj!
I would say the biggest game changer of 2012 is when a quarter of our house was submerged in water for 3 long days. It definitely opened a lot fear in me. My fear of leaving the world, my parents leaving me and actually losing a lot of material things because of a natural disaster. It also created a minor phobia in me. Now, when it rains hard, I can’t sleep so much worrying that I might wake up again with rain water actually inside our house. Because of this disaster and also with the loss of my iPhone I thought that life here in the Philippines would not be very fruitful for me.
And on October, my Visa was approved. I got a job offer in the US for a permanent position. An opportunity for a new life, an actual fresh start. And now, I am just counting my days here in the Philippines. It is very painful to think that I’m leaving a lot behind but also excited to look forward to a whole lot more experiences in a different land and culture.
Now, as I am writing this, I feel very thankful for this year, like any other year. But this year is very special to me because I actually got to spend a lot of days with special people in my life. New experiences and new learning that I will take with me my incoming challenges and obstacles. This year has opened a whole lot of fear inside of me but I will not let it overcome me and my pursuit to turning my dreams into reality.
I thank my family and friends for an amazing year. For sticking with me throughout the year. For making each day mean a lot and for creating special memories with me. I will do my best to never forget all of these, especially when I move to a new country to start a life, seek new friends and create more experiences.
2012, thank you for giving me a challenge and giving me a lot to think about. 2013, I look forward to battling each day with the same resilience, if not more, I have each and every day I live.
If you manage to read until these words, I can only impart this as my biggest learning this year: Live each day as if it were the start of a new year. Make each day count and create special memories with the people you go come across with daily.
To my family and friends who I will be leaving behind, remember that I love all of you and there is not one day I will spend abroad when I won’t miss each and every one of you.