2013 didn’t go as well as I planned. There were a lot of loss and confusion. I didn’t take a lot of pictures because as a distraction from all unwanted emotions, I buried myself in work. And on days I didn’t have work, I still accepted projects. It was so bad that I could count my best moments from January to October with one hand. So instead of the usual year-ender albums that I always post, I decided to do something different.
I will sum up my year with this picture which I found in the middle of 2013:
It seemed like a really solid plan at the moment so I saved it. What I never expected though was that I would take it so seriously that I actually ended up doing everything it said.
And even if right now, some people feel like I’m floating aimlessly, I have never been more sure of what I’m doing. After step 1, I started to turn my year around. I started being happy.
Quit your job (October)
To be fair, my job was okay. I was a design consultant of a showroom in Manila for premium furniture brands. I learned a lot and met some really cool people I know I would end up being friends with for life. It was anything but glamorous but it taught me humility (most of all).
But it reached a point where I knew for a fact that okay was not going to cut it. All I did was complain which was something I never did before in my life. I was bored, cranky, and tired all the time. I don’t think it was the company’s fault either. It was me and I needed to change.
I risked stability, my corporate attire, and a steady and decent income for a world of inconsistent budgeting, paint fumes, saw dust, heat, and sneakers. And I have learned that freelancing has been a much more valuable experience to me than anything else in my career.
Buy a ticket
This idea seemed so appealing that I bought 2. One with friends and the other with family. It is always great to be on an adventure. The uncertainty always thrills me and seeing something new and beautiful (natural or man-made) never fails to lift my heart.
What I saved from my job, I pretty much spent on these places. I lost myself in these trips and for the first time in months, I did not think about deadlines and worst case scenarios. I just simply absorbed the views and thanked God that I had the chance to do this. I met new people and became socially awkward but in a way that made me laugh.
These trips had to happen to make me realize that I could do things for myself and that I could indulge myself once in a while with a great meal and an expensive cocktail. That it was ok to move on from 2013’s nightmares and actually enjoy whenever I wanted to.
Get a tan
I did but I could only prove this by getting naked as my exposed parts are still as white as your typical bond paper. But since this is not possible online, you will just have to take my word for it.
I went to the beach for the first time this year around mid-December. When I saw the shore, I was so overwhelmed that I almost wanted to cry. Why did I wait so long?
I spent a day sitting down alone with no care for freckles or sunburn and just stared at some foreigners who were staring back at me. I think they were pitying me because I had nobody to talk to but they got the wrong idea. There with my feet buried in the sand, catching the sunlight which I deprived myself of for months, and listening to music was my kind of happy.
Fall in love
Needless to say, this happened too. And not with somebody new. I fell in love with my life again. I was bored and indifferent with everything happening – like how some old married couples would see really significant moments that would have caused them to jump up and down if they were younger. “Oh, look a job. Oh, look a raise. Oh, look I made this happen. Meh.” And I would just nod and give myself no more than a pat on the back. “Good job, now back to work.”
I had to actually be shaken out of it by a friend who for some reason had a lot of faith in me and gave me the hugs that were unsolicited but highly needed. When I realized how little I saw my accomplishments, I was ashamed. I am thankful for everything – the good, the bad, and the strange. And I am happy to make it through this year’s cray cray days.
This will be a continuous effort for 2014. I could say this could be my new year’s resolution but I always forget that kind of thing. Let’s just say that this will be my way of thinking for the new year onwards. Learn new things, love new things. See the world, see myself.
With that, I wish you (and me) more love, lightness, and laughter for 2014.
Happy New Year! Thank you to the beautiful people in my life who never failed to make me smile and throw (yes, throw) love my way.
And because I can’t help it, here are the most loved memories of the year:
Here’s to more memories for 2014. 🙂