Like a deep breath, 2011 took a drag then exhaled its days. It felt like merely a few blinks passed, a few seconds ticked. Despite the speed of sound trying to outrun the speed of light with every blast, 2012 took over rather quietly. Like it happened when everyone was asleep, when it was least expected to. The days just passed so fast I often lost track of them. But in that seemingly short course of time, so many things happened.
2011 was, simply and impossibly, Change. It was also such a painstaking jumble of things: joy, loss, love, friendship, faith, confidence, cups of coffee, caramel bars, cheese rolls, words, crossroads, milk teas, Yakult, pain, books, screams, tears, talks, laughter… The list is so long. Truth is, I’m having a hard time writing about it (see, it’s already January 1, 2012, and this was supposed to be a year-ender), because it was such an emotionally difficult year for me. But unlike 2010, which had December Depression, I think I’m psychologically better this year. I really did learn a lot from 2011, especially from the emotional turmoil that went alongside my seventeen-ish hormones and—of course it wouldn’t be missing in action—unreliable amygdala.
I learned that letting go is not equal to giving up, that some things have to stop simply because they no longer fit into your life, that love is the problem and love is the answer, that prayer is the best weapon, that happiness depends upon the tides of the mind, that we are all bound to mess up at some point, that confidence is important, that we have to take the bad with the good, that loneliness is inevitable, that you have to love yourself, that even the most important people in our lives could leave us, that it’s the little things that make life worth it, that we have countless blessings, that God has a different, even surprising, way for everything, and that He has better plans for us.
I’m a little worried that my 2011 wasn’t as awesome as many are claiming theirs to be, but I figured, it really doesn’t matter anymore. It’s over. I have 2012 and the rest of my years to worry about.
And here’s one thing I want to say to the future me: You will make mistakes, but you’ll get it right. It may seem overwhelming at first (as I feel right this very moment), believe that you can do it (as I believe right now). As Yoda would say: “Do or do not. There is no try.” As Nike would put it: “Just do it.” You’ve learned the hard way that escaping from your problems would never make things better. This time, face them head-on. And by the way, I got your back so don’t bother to look here anymore. Be there at your present. You’ll be okay.
I couldn’t imagine how I survived 2011, with all its heartbreaks. Truly God’s unending grace. He works wonders.
How I spent my New Year’s Eve 2012:
Just an extra-loud night with my family. We had chicken & mushroom carbonara, grilled marinated pork, some red wine and champagne. (I love the champagne, by the way.) We caught Lilo & Stitch on Fox family movies, and I really loved it. Then my siblings went to sleep early, and Dad and I drove my uncle’s girlfriend home. Clouds of smoke hung low in the streets. When we got back, we watched year-ender shows on the television. David Beckham clips were shown, and I screamed because, duh, it’s Becks (and also because everybody has the right to make some noise in the Philippines when it’s NYE). I began writing this around 11pm, but was at a loss for words then, so I headed out and lit firecrackers with Mom. Then Mom and Dad blew the trumpets on every vehicle that passed by our street. It was kind of endearing. Our neighbors pulled off another great show of fireworks (they never fail)—tried to catch some of that with the camera. Then, 3-2-1: HAPPY NEW YEAR! And, jump, jump, jump.
And did I mention the sky lanterns? There were so many of them. I dubbed them “new stars” in my head.
I know, it was a really simple night but beautiful, nonetheless. (And, boy did I jump!) But honestly, I miss spending Christmas Eve & New Year’s Eve with so many people. We used to be like that in the province. I loved being with my relatives because they’re an amazing bunch of people. Hopefully, soon, I’ll be able to coax my grandfather and my grandmother into having a reunion of sorts. I miss being a kid and being the boss over my younger cousins. I miss the hubbub of men drinking and women chatting and us children prancing about.
Ohana means family. Family means nobody gets left behind, or forgotten. Lilo & Stitch
Highlights of my 2011:
- I went to my first ever concert (not a Barney Musical this time) in Araneta Coliseum: Bruno Mars’ Doo-Wops & Hooligans Tour. Loved every bit of it. He will make you swoon to the moon and back.
- Isa Garcia, one of my favorite writers, sent me a message of gratitude. I can’t say I’ve known her since but I did get the privilege to interact with her a little in the cyberworld. She’s a real sunshine, and I still get star-struck whenever I think of her. (How I learned of her blog: she’s a cousin of Riki Flores—former UP courtside reporter, girl crush.) She writes from the soul, and inspires greatly. She is one of those people you shouldn’t allow to just pass by in your lifetime. If ever you read this, Isa, I’d like to say thank you for being a constant source of beautiful stories and everyday thoughts for the youth. I get by with help from your words. Many people have said this already but, really, you are wonderful, even though I haven’t met you in person (yet). May you have a great 2012!
- I went to an overnight and out-of-town trip to Pampanga, which I already wrote about in the previous entry, which happens to be my 2011 year-ender here. It was legendary, people.
- I attended UPM’s Lantern Parade (first time, and I’m in my second year now). It was a thrilling experience to cheer for my college: College of Dentistry. Truth be told, I fell in love with my course. And I know I’m going to stay. Especially since I survived NYE 2012 and still have my fingers intact.
- I bonded with Imma, a longtime friend of mine, in Eastwood. (Should I mention that this was my first time to actually set foot there?) I’ve known her since second year high school, and it amazes me how we’ve managed to sustain our friendship, amidst distance and busy schedules. I love her to pieces.
- Hit my first time in Subic when we went to Ocean Adventure. It’s such a lovely place—not just Ocean Adventure per se but Subic. The rain forest is real, thick, and swarming with organisms. There were fruit bats circling the sky when we arrived. Monkeys were emerging from the trees and heading into the parking lot. It was a new experience, being surrounded by wild & marine life. Also, I married the sea that day, December 27, 2011.
I wish you a very Happy New Year, reader! May your 2012 be filled with the new, because “new is better.” May you stumble upon Change, and as much as it is a stranger to you, embrace it. May you tell your pains: You can pass by, but you can’t stay here. May you dream, and dream more. May you believe in impossible things. May you go ahead and take risks (like cut your long hair, for example, as I am telling myself—to no avail). May you learn to stand up, with renewed conviction, whenever you fall facedown. May you find faith, hope, and love, but if you already have, then may you rediscover them. May 2012 be your year.Credits All pictures (except the NYE 2010 & the screenshot of my tweet) are from Tumblr. There are a lot of great things there.