2017 in Review

Well, 2017 didn’t turn out quite how I expected it to be.

I think I cried more times last year than any other year of my life. Even now, as I’m recalling the high and low points of my year, I can’t help but cry and be sad for all the things I lost. Thinking about 2017 brings so much pain and sadness. There really aren’t a lot of good things that happened last year to write about, so I’m just going to talk about the things that I learned from all my failures.

5. Having a hobby is important. In 2017, I learned how to cook. I mean, before last year, the idea of me cooking was unimaginable. But I did, thanks to all the great cooking apps like Tasty and Yummly, and friends who supported my cooking obsession. Cooking kept my mind off things. It made me feel like I was doing everything I can to save something that I was not quite ready to give up yet. It was then that I realized the importance of having a hobby. It keeps you busy and distracted, and it doesn’t hurt that it gives you something to look forward to at the end of a long day at work.

4. You want people to be happy for you when you succeed, so try to make more friends than enemies. Succeeding at some things didn’t feel as good when I know that there are people out there who aren’t happy for me. So I had to work hard to repair relationships last year. It made me realize that repairing broken relationships is much, much harder than maintaining good ones.

3. You can’t do it alone. You’ll need friends in life. I learned this during my lowest point. I didn’t want to bother my friends with my troubles, knowing that they also have stressful lives of their own. But I also didn’t have anyone to talk with, and it was difficult keeping everything bottled in. Most of my friends are from work, but I didn’t feel like talking with them about it. At some point, I even started looking for support groups in Manila, only to find out that we don’t have support groups here. So I mustered up the courage to ask help from my best friends. I found it to be extremely helpful, especially because they are so much wiser than me, and they made me realize plenty of things that I wouldn’t have come to terms with on my own.

2. Focus on what you can control. This one’s care of my best friend, Lynette. I opened up to her about my fears, and everything that’s making me sad, and she told me that the best I can really do is to move on from being sad and focusing on what I can control. All my life, I’ve always believed that it’s my bullheaded persistence that has gotten me results. My singular focus on the things that I want to achieve and not entertaining thoughts of failure have never failed me. But this year, I’ve failed plenty of times, and my obsession with my failures drove me to become sad and reclusive.

1. Nothing in life is sure. This one’s from my other best friend, Justine. I was so obsessed this year about guarantees and having something sure in my life, that I failed to understand that nothing in life is sure. I was telling her how lucky she is to be married and to have something sure and true in her life, but she told me that “Nothing is sure. Marriage is not a guarantee of anything. Marriages fail.” I guess I just have to accept this truth, and continue working hard at what I want.

In 2018, all I want to be is HAPPY, even if it means being happy on my own. No lofty ambitions, no big plans, no expectations. Just plain and simple happiness in 2018.-HANA

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