The Three Lessons of 2014.

Dear 2014,

Here we are! The hours closing in on your last day are making me feel both ecstatic and nostalgic about your leaving. Ecstatic about the promise of 2015, and nostalgic because then I’d have to classify your movies such as Begin Again or Gone Girl as ‘so last year’. Sorry. That happened also to 2013. Your time has come.

But let me spend your last few hours commemorating you. You were a roller coaster!

When your year started, I was months in a new position at work. Boy did that make me feel a little responsible for a lot of things. Yet I was dissatisfied. It wasn’t so much about the responsibility. It was just that the position failed to evoke passion from me and as days went on, it was like a relationship that will not work. Nike’s ‘Just Do It’ didn’t exactly mean to soldier on. It meant to pack up and go.

It was LITERALLY an overnight change of jobs. One day, I was saying goodbye to friends in my old job and on the next, I was saying hello to new faces in my new job. I remember because on the night of my first day at my new work, I ran in my 3-inch stilettos towards CCP as we were a few minutes late for the musical Wicked. I never wear stilettos on ordinary days at work, I usually wear them on the first day. If it was any other day, I would have made my life easier and ran in ballet flats.

11 months and a couple of pounds heavier, I’m convinced I made the right decision. The team I so lovingly belong in has opened three new stores and has helped jumpstart our company’s catering services. Sure, the work is not free of its own challenges (as with any kind of work). But we had fun and because of that, time flew.

In retrospect, I learned and will keep learning this: If you want something done, don’t wait. Do it. Not tomorrow. Today.

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You did not leave our family unscathed though, 2014. In the second quarter of the year, you took from us and left us with unanswered questions. In the Christmas celebrations we had last week, under every laughter was a deep sense of loss for those who were supposed to have been with us.

The man in an apron on top of his t-shirt and shorts, knives in hand in front of the lechon, was not there this year. He’d made sure to hand out wine in glasses and beer in uncapped bottles to keep the merriment going. This year though, he didn’t. His absence evoked the same feeling I had in 2012’s Christmas celebration where there was that empty chair, the old man who napped through the grandchildren’s music and loud chatter no longer seated there.

There is a lesson though that we keep learning together and my aunt of strong and straightforward faith reminds me of it everyday: Always choose hope, love and charity to honor and remember the lost. Not sadness.

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Thanks to all the books I’d read, all the movies I’d watched, and all the songs I’d listened to, my concept of ‘the one’ was rock solid. Too solid, no man could make the cut. Needless to say (but I’m saying it anyway), blunt frustration concluded every relationship I had. I kept falling for the story, not the person.

Although you couldn’t have made it better, at the same time challenging, 2014. This year, I have learned to love a man for who he is, what he is, and what he dreams to become. He isn’t a character from a book I’d read or movie I’d seen. He is his own person, with characteristics I admire and try to imbibe, flaws I accept and constantly forgive, and aspirations that are bigger than the two of us that I continue to support.

Yes, he will always be thinking of other people, whole communities even, but we made a deal. This will be our way of affecting change in ‘the little bit around us’ and apart as we are on most days, we’re a team and we’re in it together.

This man has taught me that love is true in its simplest form. Where faith in each other is enough to sustain us no matter where we may be in this world.

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Three lessons! One lesson for every constant in my life this year. I’d like to believe that these lessons will give me enough gumption to welcome 2015 with hope and courage.

Thank you!
Aix

The big 25.

Here comes the big 25. Phew!

To be honest, I am trying not to freak out. For some reason, the number is such a huge jump from 24 just because it signifies a quarter of my life (sure, I’d be the type to live to a hundred). 25 just really demands a higher level of maturity and accomplishment, and quite frankly, I’m not sure I’m already there.

Since I woke up this morning, I feel no different. I’m still very much the carefree woman I know who tries to keep the real worries of life at bay. And I’m wondering how I’m going to get through this day without going berserk on making the “right” life plans just because I turned 25. Just because.

I better hang on to my seat because I don’t think life will be generous enough to slow down from this point.