To sum up this year, I have to say that I learned more about myself and have put more effort into knowing who I really am than I did the previous years. This was also the first year that I actually took a look back at the last 365 days and evaluated the things that happened, the accomplishments (and failures) I made, the people I met and let go, the passions I followed, and many other things that took place this 2015.
Read more to know how 2015 impacted my life.
Ever since I can remember, I was the only one who didn’t have her life planned out. Everyone else had a goal and I didn’t. I was simply going with the flow, hoping I could have things figured out later when I really needed to. I didn’t know that 2015 had me in for a ride. All the significant changes and foundations happened during this year, and it has taught me the fundamental lessons I know I will carry for the rest of my life.
This was the year I quit my first corporate job to follow my passion. It was a difficult process but I had to grow and to grow, I had to make a change. I was looking at things with a blind eye and I didn’t really take the time to ponder on what I really wanted to do in my life. I was simply going with the current because it was what felt proper.. but not right. Some things are hard to understand, but when you feel it, you feel it. And when you do, even despite the uncertainty, you just have to listen to your heart and follow what it tells you. With that, I quit my job and took a vacation from all the hustle and bustle of the city life. The highlight of my year was Shane’s 2-week visit here in the Philippines. It was short but sweet. We didn’t get to do everything we – or I – wanted, but on his next visit, we definitely will.
This was the year that I felt lost, and anyone who has undergone that phase in his life knows how dark, scary, and confusing it feels like. It’s like having your eyes wrapped with blinds and being dropped off to a jungle with no one and nothing but yourself and the things you have with you that time. I was in a dark pit for a while and it took every ounce of my energy to get back up and find my way to the light and find my way I did. I resorted to reading self-help books and doing research on my behavior, why I think the way I do, how to cope with my overwhelming emotions, and ultimately, how to be happier with who I am now and how to use what I have. Along my journey, I met amazing people whom I now consider as family. It doesn’t take much to really understand a person, all you really need is a heart that is willing to listen and to be there when the person needs you the most, regardless of the distance or how long or short you’ve known each other. You also don’t need to see each other, not even in the flesh, ever, to know how the other person really feels. The people who live thousands of miles away from me are the people who understand me more than the people I can reach at arm’s length. It’s sad, but true. The ones who were once strangers gave me a reason to fight, to humble myself, to go after what I really want, and to never quit despite others telling me that my dreams won’t amount to anything. To this day, I still have contact with them and I still get my strength from them.
This was the year that I also learned to fight, not physically, but mentally. I’m still striving to be my own person, but this time, it is clearer to me what I want and how to get it. Little did I know that my passion has been running in my veins all this time but I was too thick-skinned to feel it. I’ve been writing all my life, my forte was essay writing while I tried to avoid multiple choice questionnaires during my high school and college days, I am a voracious reader and any nice bookstore is like a second home to me. I turned to writing for an outlet, a hobby, a past-time, and eventually, for work.
This was the year that I also braved the outside world and finally decided to enroll in a real gym, which led me to ditch all sorts of house workout. It may be a simple act, but for an introvert like me, it’s a huge step not only to improve my social interaction but to also gain more focus on my fitness goals.
Relationship-wise, four months before 2014 ended and 2015 entered the picture, I made a bold decision to say yes to Shane’s being girlfriend. There was a lot of uncertainty on my part, but Shane proved to me that love conquers all – culture differences, time gaps, and everything else in between. As of this writing, we’ve been a couple for 1 year, 5 months, and 1 day already, 547 days to be exact.
Life is tough, but it can be lighter and easier with God’s grace. When things were not going according to my plan, I sought for His help and asked for His ways instead. I found comfort in His words; my vision became clearer and I began to understand things better. It was like seeing a mirror from both sides. Being in a relationship with God requires commitment, and to this day, I’m still trying to fulfill that promise. Entering Christianity is a lifetime of change with an abundance of love, comfort, and peace. It takes a huge leap of faith to give yourself to the Lord, and at times, it means sacrificing the big things to welcome bigger blessings. From being a lost soul to a beloved daughter, I found solace in helping others and offering what I could. On a whim, I decided to pledge to SaveTheChildren and be a monthly donor, then after some months, I made the decision to sponsor a child with the help of World Vision Philippines. I have no regrets and no matter how many times I thought of stopping my donations altogether because of financial constraints, I know that giving is more fulfilling than receiving and that with every small contribution from my part is already a big help to my donees. With this, I also learned to perform small acts of kindness when a situation calls for it or when I simply feel the need to do so. I found that with every act of generosity I do, I get one more brick for my spot in heaven.
2015 taught me how people loved me for the things I could give and how unimportant I could be for the things I can’t do or be for them. I’m the kind of person who could never care less or becomes completely clingy. I know how it feels to always be the person at the tail of a group of friends, to be the follower and never the one being followed. I had a group of people around me, but I never really felt their presence. No one was really willing to reach out his hand and walk with me. It took me a while, but now I know that you don’t really have to belong to a clique to know who you are and to have your own identity. You can be alone but still be loved by many. I prefer that than having a lot of so-called friends but not really knowing who you are. I slowly learned to distinguish the difference between acquaintanceship and relationship. This was the year that I understood how smiles do not equate to happiness and vice versa, or that the number of people equates to the number of people who know you and understand your journey. As bitter as it may seem, I am only detoxifying my life from unnecessary relationships and unrequited love. There are so many more opportunities the world has in store for me, people I can meet and build genuine relationships with, goals I can aim for, and love I can contribute to the world as a peace offering, and that means not letting myself be boxed in a pretentious world that gives me nothing by empty promises, heartaches, and meaningless conversations.
I slowly learned to distinguish the difference between acquaintanceship and relationship. This was the year that I understood how smiles do not equate to happiness or that being happy should be shown with smiles, or that the number of people equates to the number of people who know you and understand your journey. As bitter as it may seem, I am only detoxifying my life from unnecessary relationships and unrequited love. If you’re one of them you think I’m trying to avoid, then I guess it means you don’t add much value to my life or I never really saw a bond between us, so why bother sustaining what we thought we had if there was nothing at all to begin with?
There are so many more opportunities the world has in store for me, people I can meet and build genuine relationships with, goals I can aim for, and love I can contribute to the world as a peace offering, and that means not letting myself be boxed in a pretentious world that gives me nothing by empty promises, heartaches, and meaningless conversations.
This year was both tough and golden, but nevertheless, it taught me a lot. I hope your year has been equally fruitful and worthwhile. It may not have been the best, but there should be something in there that made you say, “I did it”.
Let’s build more peace together,
Bae is a 20-something passion blogger from Manila. She likes hoarding hobbies and trying out new stuff, blogging about her mundane adventures, and tweeting about random realizations and musings.