Another Minute, Another Day, Another Year

I can’t let the opportunity to reflect on 2012 escape me. At first, I was reluctant to expose this year’s achievements and shortcomings; I felt as if my life really wasn’t as amazing as my highlight reel. But after re-reading my 2011 recap and continuing to feel pride of that year’s events, I saw that I have continually grown from my experiences. Resolutions do not have to be a one-year commitment. 2011, 2012 and the prospects of 2013 have shown me that.

“Time flies,” as we always say. It’s amazes me to think of how much has happened this past year… some days it felt like the year was dragging on and others, I begged Father Time to slow down for just a moment so I could soak in a few more memories. I found a few great reflection questions to help me look back on the year and take from it what I can into 2013.

What am I grateful for this year?

-Family, friends, and a fiance who have loved and supported me through all of my endeavors, even when I wasn’t quite sure of myself
-Moderately good health
-The constant desire to learn
-The ability to experience new places

What went well this year?

-I graduated from college a quarter early and secured a full-time job with good pay/benefits less than 2 months after graduation. I work from home [read: SLEEP] and travel A LOT. Can you say “spoiled?”
-Ez and I built an even stronger relationship despite many obstacles.
-I became more financially independent.
-I learned more about my own motivation, goals, and what I am passionate about.
-I traveled many places, both far and near.

What three words best capture the essence of this past year?

Meandering. Developing. Supporting.

What was the best memory of the year?

Getting engaged to the love of my life on July 6th with my family and close friends there.

What was the biggest improvement in my life this past year?

Becoming more financially independent and understanding the scope of my responsibility to myself. Although I have many financial goals to reach, I can say that I have taken steps to get there and began considering how each of my action’s affects my future.

What obstacles did I overcome?

I overcame my own apathy towards many of my extra-curricular involvements at UCLA–helping the Lana&Taylor Campaign come together was quite a game-changer for me and reinforced the meaning behind my passion for development. I also realized money is not the top priority over values and maximizing my potential–I left a quite lucrative job after just 3 days because my quest for development and contributing to society is much more important. I let go of some unnecessary negativity and began focusing my energy toward productivity–I spent a lot of college talking trash and attributing it to my bold, devil may care attitude; alas, that really gets me nowhere. [But don’t fret, I’ll run my mouth if I need to!]

What would make me happier? How can I make this happen?

-Keeping a workout schedule. I never regret working out. Definitely need to capitalize on Ez’s investment in a gym pass for me! I need actually schedule working out into my calendar.
-Having stronger friendships to rely on. I need to invest more in those I want to keep close, even if I have been hurt or neglected in the past.
-Staying true to my commitments and plans (classes, grad school, exploring/traveling, personal projects). I need to draw from raw inspiration and find what will keep me accountable! Lord knows it’s certainly not my comfy bed.

What do I do well? What is my gift to the world?

-Helping people realize their potential and how many opportunities are out there.
-Having conversations that challenge people’s perspectives and facilitate development (including my own).

What would I most like to change about myself this year?

I want to take more initiative in pursuing my goals and carving the life I want for myself and my family. In other words, I gotta get my lazy butt out of bed and start doing stuff! While I don’t expect things to come easily to me, I keep on waiting for opportunities to present themselves and only take them if I know I can do well. I want to be more active and take the reigns in moving my life forward. This year, one of my major shortcomings was registering for a couple of classes that could have really challenged me, but not seeing those challenges through. Tangible goal setting is where it starts.

Am I in touch with the friends and loved ones that are important to me? How can I stay more connected with others?

I’ve found that maintaining relationships in post-grad life is exceedingly difficult. Many times throughout this year, I’ve felt alone, like no one understood me or thought to include me in their plans. To some extent, that’s my own fault and can be attributed to my seemingly endless travels and independent nature. But dang, going through this year has been quite the struggle without that support system I thought I could lean on. My friends are not mind readers though, and I want to work on being more honest, candid, and investing more in friendships in general.

If I knew I were to die in the next month or two, what would I do? What does that say about my life now?

Quit my job and spend every second with people who matter to me. I would explore, eat, chat, and just enjoy my time. That says I’m not doing the most meaningful job. I need to work on my plans to shape a better future for myself and fashion a life in which I’m not working just to make ends meet, but rather contribute to society. I’m also not spending every second enjoying life. Gotta make it count!

Am I being truly generous to others (to my family, my friends, my community) in terms of my attention, time and energy? How can I improve?

No. A lot more of my time can be spent being a support system to people in my life. But in these past few months, I haven’t connected with some folks in the ways I’ve needed to–I’ve been bitter and lonely with expectations that seemed reasonable. But I’ve learned my flavor of friendship is different that those in my “No Matter What” club and this is an issue I would also like to work on in 2013. I would love to spend my time with my friends and family helping them, especially since Ez will be deploying in just few days. It’s not so much that I’ve needed all-out attention, as it is that I’ve needed company. At this point, I want to invest in some friendships and just let others run their course. Perhaps it is my community that I should focus on most. I have gotten involved with Lakas Mentorship Program, which is a step in the right direction–I’m excited to help shape the future of our Pilipino-American youth in the IE.

Do I have any special plans for this next year? What do I need to make this happen?

Travel! This year I will be going to Miami to celebrate my birthday with some of my favorite people. I will also be going on another cruise to the Bahamas for a wedding. These adventures on top of work trips make for once exciting year and I must explore every second! This world is too big to be doing the same shit on different days. I need to budget for these trips and also get that bikini body ready!

I want to prep for grad school by taking the GRE’s and researching what schools I want to attend. My two paths are pretty different–on one hand, I would like to become a counselor or pursue therapy of some sort. On the other, I want to go into fashion studies or something related to the social, political, and cultural implications of art in today’s world. I hope this path with become more clear through my different activities (fashion history class and mentoship program participation), but that I will have the time and energy to quench both thirsts somehow.
What dreams do I have for the future?

The dream wedding first and foremost! I am also working hard to help my mom out as much as possible. Putting up with me for 23 years is enough! Contributing little by little has been nice. I dream of putting my creativity and artistry out there more, in whatever form I can manage. My dream job is an artist or performer of some type… essentially I just need to do and see more things! And let that manifest into what it will.
What legacy am I leaving behind?

I want people to express themselves and take ownership of their stories and their lives. I hope you’ve seen that through the reflections above.

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