I love spending the last few hours of the year trying to remember the highlights, the low moments, and the lessons learned from everything I’ve been through. Compared to the other years, I don’t think there were any major changes in my life this year. I kinda kept it stable and put more effort into keeping my life and myself together. If I had to list down the many lessons I’ve learned in 2015, I can narrow them down to these top 10:
1. People will have their own reasons to hate you or dislike you even when you’re not doing anything terrible to them, and that’s okay. I personally hate people at work who don’t do enough (who doesn’t?), and they dislike me for being so anal about work — because really, I like what I do. Somewhere out there, someone drops by my blog from time to time to hurl insults my way, and I don’t even know who the fuck this troll is or what I did wrong to him/her, because that person is a coward who can’t approach me and tell me what the hell is wrong. In some instances, people you’ve been nice to your whole life would suddenly hate on you for one mistake, and that’s it, friendship over. At some point, I’ve come to accept that it happens, and it’s not always your fault when it does. When you’ve realized you’ve done wrong and you apologize for your mistake and try to make up for it, then that should be enough. If they don’t accept it, then it’s time to move on and not let it weigh you down.
2. Have a little more faith in people. I don’t think I can explain this one sufficiently at the moment. :))
3. Travelling requires hard work and preparation! This is why I don’t see myself travelling anywhere out of the country, or even out of town, next year! Travelling is expensive. You tire yourself out chasing a few days of escape from work, and afterwards, you have to deal with that feeling of helplessness that you have to face the inevitable reality of daily life. Work piles up, you have to work harder to catch up on everything you missed, and it’s just a sucky feeling. Don’t get me wrong– travelling is fun! But it’s a luxury I feel I cannot afford while I slave away for corporations and clients, deadlines and projects. I did have a wonderful time in Baguio with my blogger friends, and at Singapore for the Spikes Asia last September :)
4. Pushing yourself too hard has its limits and consequences. Sometime mid-year, I took a job as a social media manager for a social media guru in London. To this day, I maintain that she’s the best boss I’ve ever had. The work was fun, and the pay was more than enough for me to pay off my debts and dues. The only issue I had? It was a full-time job on top of my day job. It got so difficult on some days, and I just spend weekends incapacitated by lack of sleep and migraine attacks to boot. The stress made me gain weight, a few pounds I’ve been struggling to shed off by eating less and eating healthier. After a few months, I’ve been able to clear my debt, and just continued working because I really liked the boss and I wanted to save a bit for 2016. It was during my sickliest times that I realized that…
5. Money isn’t everything. When work starts affecting your health, your relationships, and your life, it just isn’t worth all that. I loved the job, and I loved the pay that came with it. Because of my second job, I felt that I didn’t have to restrict myself from buying things I want! However, because I was so tired all the time, I couldn’t enjoy the money, even if I wanted to. It came to a point wherein I didn’t want money anymore– I just wanted uninterrupted sleep! If you, in the future, ever come to a point in your life similar to this, just make sure you’re not killing yourself for money. Work for passion, work for your goals in life, but don’t ever stick your neck out for the money.
6. Don’t have Thai food the night before your flight. No, really. Just don’t. (We missed our home-bound flight because of stomach upset, because — you guessed it — Thai food.)
7. If you’re an iPhone user, this one’s for you: Remember to save your IMEI number. So while I was in Singapore, I absentmindedly dropped my phone inside a taxi. It’s tough to lose something as valuable as your phone, tougher even when you lose it in a foreign country. I experienced filing a police report of the loss, only to be stuck unable to answer one question: “What’s your Iphone’s IMEI number?” Before that experience, I paid little attention to my phone’s IMEI number. Little did I know that without it, the police won’t be able to locate my phone and deactivate it, rendering it useless to whoever picked it up or stole it. After learning my lesson, I made sure to take note of my IMEI number after I got a new iPhone.
8. Perseverance and tons of grit can make dreams happen. I think the best example for this is Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach. Up to now, I’m still fascinated with her, reading articles about her victory, and just following her updates whenever I can. More than making Filipinos around the world proud, I admired her for her tenacity and grit. Can you just imagine if she stopped trying after her second Binibining Pilipinas defeat, or maybe even won during her first try? Would she have been that good if three grueling years of trying and failing, and trying again did not prepare her for the biggest competition of her life? I think not. Pia Wurtzbach is definitely one of my new heroes, because she inspires me to never give up on my dreams, no matter how many times I try and fail.
9. When things in your life is going slower than usual, take the opportunity to appreciate the good things happening to you and around you. 2015 is one of the slowest years I’ve had thus far. I just feel like I didn’t really do as much as I did in 2014 or 2013. This led me to become anxious at times, especially when I see your friends getting married, having kids, starting their own businesses, and I look at myself and see how little I’ve progressed in 2015. I feel like I’ve tired myself out working for something that won’t really help me in the future, and it makes me a bit sad. But this year was also the year when I realized I don’t need so many things to be happy. All I asked for for my birthday was a notebook and some colorful pens. For Christmas, an umbrella and some more colorful pens. =)) I think I have everything I need, and it’s comforting.
10. Choose love. If I remember correctly, this is an advice that I heard from someone who used to be my friend, and even though she didn’t stick around, this piece of advice really stayed with me. It’s been a year since Kyle and I got together, and I can’t help but feel happy (more relieved than happy) that this person has chosen to stay with me and by me, knowing everything that he knows about me. He knows what a bitch I can be, and most times to him, yet he responds to my worse days with more love than I could ever imagine I deserve. I don’t know how long I have with him, but I will make every moment count.
For 2016, my power word is HUSTLE. I will work for the right things and the right reasons. Working hard is the easy part, but working smart is next year’s challenge! I know 2016 is going to be a fantastic year, and I can’t wait!
Happy New Year to all my readers and friends reading this! I hope 2015 has been good to you, and 2016 even a better year for us all ;) – HANA