If I were to describe 2016 in a word, it would be ‘expansive’. No in-betweens, no middle ground, just extremes. The magnitude of circumstances, opportunities and companionship this year defined my character at all ends up. I didn’t realize how migrating to Malaysia will change me, at least I believe in a positive way.
If you are existing for almost three decades, one naturally aspires to be socially acceptable grown-up contributing to the GDP of your beloved country, solely responsible for your life decisions, changing wardrobe to mute color scheme, sending precise emails with less text, paying duties at home and trying your best to keep cool and be objective at all times. Kinain na ako ng sistema, mga bes! On the contrary, there is an immense desire to travel as much as I can, learn new culture from the other side of the world and see scenic landscapes. I guess this is the stereotypical adulthood where everyone wants the best of both worlds and crossroads determine your future. Living overseas, still a work in progress but I am learning how to set my priorities straight (way to go 2016! you’ve given me some lessons the hardway!).
Speaking of crossroads, I was able to watch Before Sunrise yesterday and it’s funny how the characters somehow speak for yourself, saying lines in your head. Not to sound too melodramatic (okay yes, this is me romanticizing the movie), how can you potentially read my mind Celine? If there’s a character that will personify my thoughts on independence, romance and feminism, it would be Celine from ‘Before’ trilogy. If you know the story of the film, you should know how missing a single trip to Vienna changed Celine and Jesse’s fate.
I have lost and gained a lot of friends this year. Lost – I think this is the best way to describe it as I feel I lost ‘our’ dear friendship as a whole. If you know what I mean, #collegefriends. I also survived holding my ground after conclusions about me. I was hurt, gone through pain but now I feel more invincible. Imperfections won’t define me as a person discerning I am more than all my bad decisions in life. It’s a combination of all those little successes and setbacks that makes one human. On a lighter note, I have met a lot of friends in Malaysia who are more like family now – my Philippines teammates in the office plus most of them, I met through a Catholic community where we have weekly gathering. The readings and testimonials presented direct to me as a personal one (more often than not, nakakarelate ako!). At the end of every service, I just can’t help but reflect on His grace and seek for continuous guidance.
I developed interest in various things – I fancied baking, cooking for lunch, ice-cream making and even to the point of learning how to play violin. I feel it’s important to find something interesting in your mundane weekend life (aside from binge-watching movies online or rigorously cleaning the entire household). Jack of all trades and master of none.
For six years now, at the end of every year, I try to collate and track monthly significant events. I am keeping an online journal just so I can read this to my future grandchildren. For example, “Mga apo, this is your bedtime story for tonight.” Haha