Let’s talk a look at my 2016 and see what happened – good and bad. This is just my personal reflection on the year that has gone by and how I can make a better year this coming 2017. This reflection doesn’t necessarily involve anything that has to do with the entire world like news and celebrity gossips. I want to focus on my own 2016 and the personal things that happened therein.

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My January has been pretty uneventful as I remember. I don’t recall anything special happening during that month. If anything, my brother and I stopped talking because of a sibling miscommunication. We have our own reasons for still not talking up to this day, but I guess we’re also waiting for each other to do the first move.

Anyway, the start of my 2016 has been pretty dreadful. Shane, my ex-boyfriend, planned to visit me again here in the Philippines and just stay here for a few months, sort of like immersion, but with my entire family and me. Since it was going to be so expensive to stay in a hotel for 3-4 months, I convinced my mom to let him stay in our own home. She did, but there were a lot of problems that came with it.

My father, who is not really a talker, was apparently not sold on the idea of my American boyfriend staying under the same roof we do, when all along I thought he was okay with it. My mom only had to bear Shane being in our house because of me. Moms do sacrifice a lot.

I’m still not sure what happened next, but the next thing I know, he was breaking up with me and telling me that he’s going back to the U.S.A. that nearest Monday. I was shattered. I was really heartbroken. I even wrote an open letter hoping that it would help me rid some of the pain. It didn’t. The pain still lingers, but I’m really hoping that by 2017, I would be able to wholeheartedly forgive him. I can’t seem to find peace within me, but I hope I do soon.

As a good friend said,

“Closure doesn’t always have to be between the two people. You can get closure by yourself, through your own ways, through your own capabilities, through your own power because you are your own person.”

Thank you for that heads up, Nichie. I needed that.

Don’t get me wrong, though. I no longer have feelings for him. I am perfectly happy with my current relationship. I guess I just can’t move on from the pain because it happened abruptly. It’s not like we had a huge fight that led to the breakup. We were perfectly fine until he was no longer sure of us.

This was the year that I realized that your mom can be your best friend during your worst heartbreak. My mom and I don’t always see eye to eye, but she’s always there for me when I’m in pain. I seldom cry in front of her, much less tell her things or people that hurt me, but during that break-up, I was able to cry out my heart and soul to her.

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When Shane broke up with me, I felt devastated. I lost my faith in God because Shane was actually the one that made me rekindle my relationship with Him. I guess I was doing it the wrong way because when I lost him, I also lost Him. Which shouldn’t be the case if my faith was that strong, right? Apparently, it wasn’t. Anyway, my point is that this year’s happenings put my faith in question. I still don’t know what to do with it.

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This year, I was also able to find the true meaning of self-love through the talk I attended in February. It’s still my favorite blog post to date because it contains 3,000 words of self-love and self-affirmation. From that talk, I gained a better friendship with the “Plump Pinay” twins. We may not be as close, but I can always talk to them when I need some guidance or advice. Speaking of which, I was able to contribute some articles to their web magazine. For an aspiring writer and (basically a hobby hoarder), that’s good, right?

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This year, I also made some more friends that made me realize why some men are worthless – especially if we’re talking about fuckboys. They’re a waste of space and time. I can’t be prouder of women who remind other women of their real worth. It seems like the majority of women easily fall under infatuation and mistake lust for love. So that’s how women get victimized emotionally.

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Work-wise, working full-time as a writer is good if that’s your dream job. But you have to be realistic and consider your daily expenses. For me, I wasn’t doing well financially, and I didn’t realize it until I found myself struggling to make ends meet. I was coming close to a year working with this client, and I couldn’t feel if he was ready to give me a raise. I don’t have a lot of household expenses, but I do have my personal bills and subscriptions. I saw myself waiting for every payday because I needed more money badly. That time, I was handling two clients. One full-time and another part-time. I weighed the cons and pros and assessed where I could be more effective and efficient.

I calculated that if I let go of my full-time job, I would be able to write more articles for my part-time job, earn more money, and even get ahold of my own time. This was when I realized that sometimes it’s actually better to do project-based work instead of a 9-5. But with project-based work, you need to be more disciplined because it can be a real killer getting ahold of your own time. Sooner or later you’ll see yourself procrastinating more than you should. So I let go of that full-time job and only worked part-time. I found it more fulfilling financially, and I was also able to give more time for my blog.

During this period, I also had my first unpaid work. I was already handling two clients, but I thought I could have one more. I tried working for this client but only wrote one article. When I said I couldn’t write for him anymore because I could no longer allot time for it, he took it badly and didn’t bother paying me.

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An active effort is necessary if you want to achieve something that takes a long time of work. In the blogging industry, which is already ridiculously saturated, everybody wants to be somebody. Standing out is a mixture of being more public but keeping your personal life intact (and sane), therefore being who you are naturally.

In line with this, I braved the social media world (and tried to be more confident) by vlogging to my heart’s desire. During the first few weeks, I was on a vlogging high. I was addicted. But my insecurities got the best of me when I received negative feedback from viewers (they are most likely spam accounts). I took a pause and tried to assess what I was really doing with my YouTube channel. I guess it’s safe to say now that I’m just there for the fun of it. I shouldn’t really mind criticisms especially since I’m not trying to make a career of out vlogging. I simply enjoy it.

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That break-up earlier this year really took a toll on my everything. It made me do things I don’t and made me think of things I’m not. I held on to this grudge for so long that it ruined me from the inside. I turned rotten without meaning it.

Then Jec came to the picture.

This December, we’re already 5 months into our relationship, but he considers it 6 from when we first started talking. I fell in love so bad that I wrote a long blog post about it, typing down every small detail I could remember from our first date. It was that intense. Since we met, I also officially stopped going to the gym. I would only go when I felt a bad need to like once every 2 weeks. It was that bad. My gym sessions were replaced with trying out different restaurants, fast food chains, hawkers, and the like. Of course, I also gained weight from all that eating.

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This year, my anxiety hit me really hard. It feels like being suffocated with your thoughts every single day. It’s waking up anxious and forcing yourself to sleep at night because your brain is finally tired of thinking too much (or you want it to be tired already). When you have it, you’ll understand what I’m talking about. All my actions and thoughts are now based on my anxiety. There’s barely any room now to enjoy life because every single thing – petty or big – makes me anxious. It’s really exhausting.

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So those are the major highlights of my 2016 – good and bad. How did your year come along?

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Bae Milanes

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.
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