2051 Words and Still Can’t Sum Up 2016

Okay. Fourth draft for this post. Let’s get this over with, shall we?

Note: This is not so much a year-end-post as what I intended it to be. My impulsive mind took it upon herself to make this as a “sort-of” thank you letter and because I feel like not closing this chapter rather, continuing it on to 2017.

Dearest Lord God,

Well, hello! It seems just weeks ago – when it was only the beginning of 2016 – I even posted my first timelapse video of a “happy new year” calligraphy. I remember that time when I don’t even know what will happen in 2016 and here I am – facing the same situation. Today is the beginning of a new year, of 2017, of January 1st and I don’t know what I am going to do with it. New year always sends me a wave of bittersweet emotions – I am happy to face another year and yet I am terrified that I won’t make good use of it – of what You gave me, of what You gave to us.

New years are like a blank canvass to me – I don’t know what’s going to happen this year – which is both a scary and exciting thing.

I remember last January when I had my first mountain climbing experience – (I had only two items in my bucket list last year: to climb a mountain and to join a funrun, and yeah, wasn’t able to do the latter because I got sick!) and I joined the first one who invited me – and that was my elder sister in Mt. Gulugod Baboy – which was followed by Mt. Pinatubo (by March with my former team, Tax Admin) and then Mt. Kupapey in the mountaineous Mt. Province – which is my favorite region by the way. 🙂

Dear Lord, who knew that I would surprise myself countless times last year? I guess – that was my title for last year, “surprising myself”. I had that first mountain climbing experience – of which I don’t even know everyone except for my sister. I mean, this introverted me – the one who’s so afraid of people – I can’t even! And then me – who’s so so hesitant to walk away from my comfort zone- I changed teams at work. Yes, up until now I cannot fathom how I was able to come up with that decision. (Background – it took me a long long while to get comfortable in my first team at Shell, coming from an outside source, and then when I really, really loved being in that team – I suddenly switched) I don’t know what I was thinking at that time – it just felt like it was flowing into place and I don’t want to cross that pace. So yeah, even if I don’t really know on what team will I be headed I jumped in head first. Tinopak lang ba ako kaya naisip kong lumipat? Ewan – siguro nasanay lang ako sa madaming reorganisation at feeling ko kulang pa ‘nung time na un. Haha. Ewan. (Okay informal na to Lord.) Or maybe I was looking for a change – and change they did gave to me. Haha.

And then the challenge of korean skin care and korean foods – which in turn naging full-blown cooking challenge for me. Before, I cannot cook. I really don’t. Sobrang achievement na un hindi ko masunog un kanin or that minsan magpprito lang ng hotdog sunog pa. At ayoko sa kusina. Mainit kasi. (Arte lang eh) At eto yata ang pinakamabuting naidulot sa akin ng “peer pressure”. Kasi un mga dati kong dinnermates (from previous team) is iba-iba na kami ng area/sched/team, so naging kasabay ko na ung bago kong ka-team and nagbabaon sila ng food. At sakto – hindi masarap un food sa Cafeteria so ang nangyari – I started to cook. At home. Para may baon. Peer-pressure. Haha. In fairness naman kinakain ng younger sister kong magaling magluto un food ko so “katanggap-tanggap” pala un food na ginagawa ko. The good effect of peer pressure. Or maybe, no matter how much I wanted to deviate from my original design, I’ll always find myself fulfilling my purpose. Chos! I guess part of adulting is to know how to cook your own food – I cannot rely on fastfoods anymore. 🙂 Yeah, achievement unlocked for that – Adulting 2.0.

What else – the travel thing – of which I was in SG travelling to MY on my birthday. It was humbling – because that day is not about me anymore. It’s about how little I am compared to the world and to think how much of an impact can I echo into the void? I’ve grown a year older and I hope a year wiser also – because I just realised it is hard to be an adult. Maybe this is the reason why Peter Pan doesn’t want to grow up. I would like that too, except that I cannot pass up the chance to take on this challenge. Lels – siguro in the future magsisisi din ako but for now – challenge accepted.

But dear Lord, if I will think about it – I went to a lot of places last year: Anilao, Batangas (Mt. Gulugod), Bataan (Las Casas), Pampanga (Mt. Pinatubo and Hot Air Balloon), SG + MY (birthday trip), Zambales (Nagsasa and Capones), Boracay, Mt. Province (Mt. Kupapey), La Union and lastly Coron, Palawan. Meron pa sana un huli kaso ‘di natuloy.

And that La Union trip where I first tried surfing – na sobrang natakot ako sa alon and sa current ng Tangadan Falls. But it was good. All of those places are actually wonderful to be in. I am in love with Coron as much I am in love with Mt. Province. Beautiful destinations that made me escape Makati (Makati whom I have a love and hate relationship with) a constant reminder that no matter how far away I go, I will always come back, “we always come back to Makati” – excerpt from what I’ve written back in 2014 back-to-back trip to Ilocos (Sur and Norte). And yes, I want to complete the CAR region. Kalahati pa lang napupuntahan ko Lord.

And then I also worked with a lot of amazing people this year. A lot. I guess un reorganisation is a blessing-in-disguise na din for our department. I encountered a lot of people this year from different teams and clusters. From me and some of my former teammates changing teams – sobrang naexpand un network ko – and iadd pa ‘yung other activities like ‘yung pagtulong sa Cluster 1 teambuilding – na “automatic volunteer” pala ‘yun – I didn’t expect na mag-eenjoy ako dun – lalo na ung pagprepare the night before – masaya din pala un feeling na nagcacamping sa office? And then the year end party of which nag-join forces kami ni Miggie. 🙂 I have a lot of people to be thankful for, this year, especially in terms of work – because they all made the work feel like not work at all – they made the workplace be a home instead of an office – those people that you encounter on a daily basis and yet if you sum it all in one year – madami na pala kayong jokes na pinagtawanan or help na kinailangan or just simple hellos na minsan nakakauplift ng bad days (okay too emotional here na). I guess that was why I made them those gifts, Lord – because it won’t be possible without them. Remember – the one thing that made me stay in Isla Lipana is the people – the friendship that was built within a busy season – that was the one great thing that kept me alive and kicking in that dooms-worthy load of work. And I guess now, this is also the reason why I am not in a hurry to find another work – that made the nightshift tolerable. =) And also a lot of those people helped me/ taught me things I need to develop my intellectual competence. Because let’s face it – I am here to work and to learn and if I cannot do both of those things – I’ll be complacent and I wouldn’t want that for myself. So yeah.

Lastly, artistic productivity. I learned and even enjoyed writing calligraphies. And it gave me a sense of awe that it gives the same effect to other people. I guess on that last workday this year – I discovered the purpose of being a calligraphist – not to boast of your beautiful handwriting but to send happiness through that art – the way my heroes made me feel the little light burn inside of me.

I had also failed projects this year. That digital illustration classes that I didn’t get to finish. Haha. Lord, I’ll face it this year, I promise. A lot of books still unread, especially Sophie’s World. A lot of thoughts and travels that I didn’t get to write. Dear Lord, remember I even wanted to take Philosophy classes? From out of the overflow of my heart – I blurted it out in front of my PwC friends and then them thinking that I should just go and study Law instead of that or EY asking me if I want to become a nun. Haha. My weird mind in all its weirdness glory.

I might have forgotten a lot of things. Heck, I didn’t even include those sad moments of my life or the part where I am so impatient or confused or just plain overthinking. It’s between us naman. I just want to write this for me to remember that even if there are sad days – there are also better days and that life is balanced. I’ve forgotten to include all my artistic pursuits this year – of spoken word poetry, of Brian Vee, of indie films at UP, going to watch theatre, 10a Alabama exhibits, failed attempt to attend at gigs, projects at home, etc. Too many – I guess a LOT happened last year – and the election and etc. I don’t know. I cannot sump up pala lahat ng nangyari this 2016 and this is a futile attempt to do so.

But just this: I just want to say thank you – because I didn’t even have a tiny inkling that this year could turn out so well. I just gone on and tried to do different things – some worked out and some not. I am still so far from what I want to be but who am I kidding? Who I wanted to be are many different persons and they always change so I don’t know still. I don’t know if I will ever get to be the person that I wanted to be. Haha. That is going to be a serious challenge because at one moment I want to be like that and then the next, not so much. Darn this fickle-minded me.

I am thankful that even though I don’t encounter You on a daily basis (as I did when I was younger), You gave me this purposes: to create, inspire, shiawase and then to serve. Still. Doulos. I guess I realised that service is the highest form of giving. Even my calligraphy now has a purpose. 🙂

2017 had already started. Looking back ten years ago – to 2007 – that was the most emo part of my life – to Paramore songs while raining up to countless entries on my journal. I didn’t even think back then that after ten years, I will be sitting here typing a year away.

This is what I remember back in 2007: “God will never leave you empty-handed. He will replace everything you’ve lost. If He asks you to put something down, it’s because He wants you to pick up something greater.” A prelude to a big change, to a sudden turn in my life, to a moment never in my wildest dreams I thought would happen to my life – that birthed a lot of different learnings to life. I guess what I wanted most in life is to be proven wrong. So that I’ll always know that there is something greater than me who holds the world, who controls my life, who pulls the strings because I don’t know how to do it. Darn. Because no matter how much I deviate from my original path, I know in the end, I’ll always come back – no matter how long it takes – like what happened in early 2016.

As always,
Jennicelle

Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.

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