Author’s Note: I was able to finish writing this post just February of this year. But due to unavoidable circumstances, let alone the loads of responsibilities outside of the internet, I couldn’t publish this. Many things happened in my life, still both good and bad. Although I’m thinking about just writing another year-ending post, I guess I can’t just let this writing slide down the drain. I did exerted my energy on this to be written, handwritten from my journal up to being typewritten here. Besides, this could somewhat be related to what I’m planning to write today as my official 2019 annual essay. So, I hope you enjoy reading!
January flew so fast and it’s already few days since the second month of this year came. I wonder why I haven’t written any 2018 year-ender blog as well as my dreams and aspirations for the year 2019. I honestly felt like I wasted a lot of time and opportunity to write these things despite the fact that for 21 days, I fasted from any forms of social media, except for those I need for work like Messenger, which also gave me a huge portion of this opportunity.
I could make my hectic work and my other responsibilities an excuse again for failing to write. But let’s not dwell on it.
Anyway, I did start drafting this blog on my journal first. Then started typing it on this blog with some additional writings. Despite the uncertainty of when I’ll be able to publish it, here it is.
Looking back at the year 2018, I did set some goals for myself to work on. I remember writing it on my blog. If I can recall, here they are as summarized:
- Exercise my faith
- Discover myself and recover from anxiety (and suicidal thoughts)
- Save and earn money
- Finish my thesis, graduate, and earn my Master’s Degree
- Climb mountains and more travelling
- Improve my blogging and write more content
- Take better photos
- Strengthen our marriage
- Have another kid
Trying to measure what I accomplished from these list, I honestly felt frustrated; and concluded that maybe same with the year 2017, I could say that 2018 wasn’t my year. It seemed like I haven’t accomplished anything.
- I almost doubted the existence of a “good” God. I doubted His goodness and blamed Him out of all the inconveniences I experienced in my life (and in my family).
- I’m again, occasionally anxious out of my failures and most of the time, wanted myself dead.
- Money is always an issue for me.
- My thesis progress is close to none.
- I’m so busy at the job that I really hate that I felt like I don’t have time to travel or even climb mountains.
- I felt like I’m not a good writer because either I don’t write that frequent or sometimes, my blogs are too long.
- I felt like I haven’t improved my photography skills either.
- It seemed like my wife and I were hard to get along each other.
- I felt the longing and the pressure of having our next child as couples around us were getting pregnant and we felt like we’re being withheld of it.
Of all these thoughts, well, I could say that favor had left us.
(Also read: GOODBYE 2017)
I did thought about it at first.
As I’m writing these things, I never thought that I’ll be thanking God for what went through last year. Of course, I’m not being masochistic nor promoting any form of toxic positivity. But, I decided to list down what are the things I accomplished and learned from that year. Well, there maybe some that technically, wasn’t an accomplishment or anything near it but still, I guess I could take a learning or two from these. Here they are as follows (bold and italicized):
On my own realizations, recovery, and healing
- I was able to keep in touch with God… again.
- I found myself and started my healing journey
- I learned to breathe… and take things one at a time.
- I learned to appreciate my “small” victories… and to be grateful
- I learned to admit my flaws, that I’m not good enough, and I need to make room for learning.
- I learned to accept and respect my own limits (and timeline).
- I learned to accept my emotions.
- I learned to primarily… LOVE MYSELF.
On my marriage
- My wife and I started to “properly navigate” our marriage, and were able to live in harmony past our “emotional differences” for two years. I’m not saying that we’re perfect now like some other couples out there. Far from it really. Well, I could say that a series of counseling (individual and marriage counseling) and myself going to Healing Week last year played a huge part in it. I look forward to write something about it soon.
On my travelling stint
- My wife and I were able to travel to not just ONE but surprisingly, TWO NEW COUNTRIES. I remember accepting the fact that we only had Brunei as the only country my wife and I visited last 2018 as most of the countries we’ve visited were mostly the ones we’ve already visited (Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong). But little did I know, my parents included Macao on their travel itinerary during our Christmas trip in Hong Kong. So yay, a new country for us. Although technically speaking, it’s three new countries for my wife since it’s her first time visiting Hong Kong.
- I climbed the same mountain I climbed way back 2017. Again, work made me able to visit Cebu again in the middle of January last year. I decided to ride a bus going to South of Cebu as early as 5:00 in the morning to reach the same breath taking Osmeña Peak. If given another chance, I might climb it again this year (LOL!).
- I was able to explore some parts of the Philippines (by myself due to work and vacation with my beautiful wife). With the exception to my solo fieldwork to Cebu, my wife and I drove to Antipolo for a daytrip, did a staycation at a luxury resort in her hometown in Lobo Batangas, and explored parts of the province of Negros Occidental.
- I was also able to climb to another mountain outside the Philippines although we’re not able to reach the peak. July last year, my wife and I decided to have a semi-immersion trip to Taiwan to enjoy our remaining free days before focusing on our respective careers. Given that we failed doing it during our first time, I was really determined to climb the Elephant Mountain in Taipei. I consider it an achievement despite the fact that we weren’t able to reach the summit. I do understand that my wife aren’t that fond of climbing mountains. As usual, I can always try again in the future.
- I was able to spend New Year’s eve outside the Philippines for the first time. I do remember as a child and growing up, we mostly spent New Year at home. But the most recent one were different. We did the countdown to midnight at the streets of Tsim Sha Tsui in Hong Kong. It was indeed, unforgettable. I do look forward to another one soon. Despite not knowing when will it be. I can wait though.
On my blogging, photography, and other social media stint
- My 2018 blog traffic increased dramatically (although not that much) by almost thrice more than 2017. I really can’t say that it’s a huge breakthrough in my blogging career since the number still didn’t made the cut of those popular blogger’s (even a very small fraction of their blog traffic). Also, considering that people considers blogging a “dying” form of art since they are now more fascinated with watching YouTube videos and scanning popular Instagram feeds. But I consider it an achievement especially that my blog is already being visited daily (by maybe one or two persons). No pressure intended though.
- I was able to post fewer blogs last 2018 compared to 2017 (but with more words). Again, how can consider posting fewer blogs an achievement of last year? Technically, I really can’t consider it another achievement since I first had a goal of posting more blogs last 2018. Well, I was able to post my very first blog post only during the 3rd quarter of 2017 and were able to post almost weekly, having a total of 13 posts. But I guess, I was too busy with a lot of things last year and were only able to post 12 blogs. But I did noticed that some of them reached 2000 to 3000 words. One even reached 5000+. That’s quite long eh? I don’t even know if anyone wants to read a post that long. Well, still worthy of celebrating for me? Besides, I do highly consider quality when writing.
- I upgraded my Instagram gaming by using LIGHTROOM FOR DESKTOP. I first used to edit my photos using VSCO. Then after a while, I changed my filter and used Adobe Lightroom for mobile. But November last year, I started using Lightroom for Desktop. The reason why I don’t post as frequent as the others. Editing using the desktop consumes a lot of time, considering it an addition to my busy schedule. I even can’t consider myself good with it as well. But I do give myself lot of room for learning and improvement. Hoping that time will come my “very creative” self will awaken and I’ll be able to make much more decent content (LOL!).
- I also did some upgrading on my photography equipment. I’m not saying that it’s about which camera to use. Of course, I would rather hone my creativity and visual skills. Still, I decided to switch to a mirrorless camera (from DSLR) and buy a smartphone with much better camera. I would rather not say which brand for now. But willing to answer if you’re going to ask me.
On my profession
- I got my teaching job back, a profession that I’m really fond of. Halfway of year 2014 and the whole year 2015, I worked as a full-time researcher (and part-time faculty member) at my alma mater Mapua Institute of Technology (now Mapua University). But when my wife and I got engaged, I decided to go back to the construction industry believing that I need a more sustainable occupation. Thus, losing my teaching job. It was August of last year when my former-colleague, whom happens to be the new Program Coordinator, offered me a tutorial class of only 2 students for the subject Project Management. The rest is history.
- For the first time, I was able to endure working for 3 years (and more) at the same company despite my love-hate relationship with it.
- I was able to pay my bills, save some bucks, and still eat completely.
There’s so much more…
- I got my third tattoo: A CROWN.
- Last (but never the least), ending the year 2018 with a surprise (and believing that something greater is cooking for my wife and I this 2019).
It could take forever for me to write every thing. Still, I had the confidence to say that:
“2018 is my year”
Or more accurately, since the year already passed (and it’s already the 2nd month of this year):
“2018 was my year”
Well, at least on the last minute.
Now, I don’t want to make any conclusion since I don’t want to end up regretting the year 2019. Of course, I want 2019, this year, to be better than last year; and because of my life happenings, I believe (and I claim) that it will be.
Like what most people say…
“THE BEST IS, AND WILL ALWAYS BE, YET TO COME!!!”
Now, let’s go 2019!!!
– D E X –