What Else To Do (New Year)

2020

How time flies, another year has gone
Yet a lot of things are still undone
What else to do but to continue
Finish what has started then pull through

Welcome the new year by moving on
Life is too short so just carry on
What else to do but to let things go
Forget the past, look forward then grow

Hoping the new year would be fruitful
Remove the worries, just be peaceful
What else to do but to ignore all fears
Smile through the pain but for now let’s cheers

Cheers to 2019!
Cheers to 2020!

– January 16, 2020

The Story Of 2019

2019

Writer’s Note: Read the bottom part for a poem about my 2019.

What’s the highlight of my year? I went back to work, let baby be independent at daycare and dealt with work while taking care of baby when she was sick. And she got sick a lot! The longest stretch that she didn’t get sick was 2.5 weeks. But this happened on the second half of the year. The first half of the year was a bliss. I enjoyed spending time with her. I loved watching her grow and seeing her reach each milestone. It was and it will always be very fulfilling to be her mom.

Having a kid really changed everything. Before, I only sum up my year based on my work and writing struggles or death of a loved one but now everything revolves around the baby. I don’t like using the word “mature” whenever one talks about parenthood. I’d say this is just totally different perspectives and priorities but not necessarily mean maturity. One can mature with or without a kid. So what’s my point? Nothing really, I just want to say that my priorities have changed over the year. I don’t know if I have matured but things have changed to the point that I couldn’t even think about what to write. I don’t even know if they are correlated but it’s ironic that in spite of all the happy vibes of having my baby in my life, I struggled so much with my writing.

Oh 2019… I was so inspired, so blessed, so happy yet I felt that I reached my peak and gradually descending. I felt like there were no more words left in my brain and I found myself constantly squeezing whatever creative juice left. I wonder if the lack of video game, books and exercise contributed to my drought. Or maybe, it was always just easier to express my thoughts if they were dark or sad. And since I was in a happy place, I ran out of ideas This phase seemed to last longer than I wished.

So for this year, I just hope I could play games, read books and do some workout again. Not because they would replenish my elixir but this is me. Somehow a part of me was lost in 2019 and I need it back to become me again. I never regret becoming a mom but I also need my pre-mom self. This year, I’m looking forward to getting back those hobbies that were lost and of course I’m so excited to see my baby grow up. I’m so excited to see the world in a brand new way with my family. I just need to learn how to adjust and juggle all things that I want to accomplish.

Anyways, to sum 2019 up in a poem…

2019 was a bliss, I was inspired
Yet I found myself stuck, drained and tired
I ran out of words, I’ve nothing to say
Hoping this year I’ll have a better way

This drought has been the longest, it seems
It is slowly diminishing my dreams
To explore what’s beyond me, to write more
Will it end this year? Will I ever soar?

But also…

I loved spending each moment with you
You gave my life a different view
The past years were just full of beauty
Excited for the next years with my baby

– January 9, 2020

The Story Of 2018

Writer’s Note: I’ve been writing about my year since 2013 but I’m not sure when I would be able to write a full narrative about my 2018. For now, here’s a short poem summarizing it.

Welcomed the birth of our baby
Looked forward to this journey
Felt a resurgence of passion
Found a new inspiration
This is my 2018 (twenty eighteen)
Bring it on, 2019 (twenty nineteen)

To explore the world with you
To write more about Him and you
To walk the path to destiny
To continue to be free
Here’s to more love, 2019
And thank you, 2018

– January 2, 2019

The Story Of 2015 (Kwentong 2015)

2015

photo credit to topcentral.top

Author’s Note: I started my yearly wrap-up at the end of 2013. I wrote 2013 and 2014 in Filipino. This is a wrap up of my 2015, first time to write this in English… scroll down to the last part for a short poem I wrote about the new year.

If my last 2 years were roller coaster rides, 2015 was the exact opposite! It actually started with full of excitement, looking forward to the change, to my new work, to a new chapter. I wished I could sum up my 2015 with this word – excitement – but this word is overrated. Instead, my 2015 is best described by this word – boredom.

Positive boredom, as I’ve said in one of my writings in 2015. I was probably just convincing myself that there is such a thing. Fortunately, this boredom led to explorations.

Story of Boredom (or Story of Stress)

If I were to graph and compare my stress level in 2014 and 2015, it would look like this:

kwentong 2015

Definitely less stress this year! It’s good, right? Well, my stress mainly come from work and since I started my new job in Dec 2014, my stress significantly decreased. I was filled with excitement when I changed job then somehow, it diminished and suddenly evaporated. I lost my fire when I didn’t get enough adrenaline rush from work then I felt bored.

It was a “positive boredom” since everything was okay. There was less stress, no issues at work, new work wasn’t that difficult, I don’t have complains about my bosses, my colleagues or the company. But that was the problem, it was just okay! Nothing special, everything’s normal, just fine, just okay! Then before I knew it, I was already trapped in a quicksand and I was gradually sinking into a vacuum where I would drown. I had to recover fast or else it’s going to be the end…

Story of Life and Death

Then, a relative who just got married, suddenly passed away at a young age of 33. The cause of death was MRSA, a bacteria that caused his organs to shut down. He was survived by a pregnant wife. Very tragic but it’s not the end of the world. We have to carry on. We have to cope with death no matter how painful it is.

He was also a doctor and was in the process of completing his specialization. His demise served as a reminder and a reaffirmation on how short life is. One day, I may be practicing my chosen day job or writing or worse – just spending my days being bored then next day, I might be gone. Why waste my life to boredom and/or to something that doesn’t make me better, like being stuck? I must recover from these blues now! Whatever it takes, I need to pull myself from this quicksand. And so…

Story of Exploration

First exploration – I need to lose weight! Not only that I gained several pounds because of stress eating in my roller coaster years, I also need to prove to myself once again that I am disciplined and determined. Since I have more time now because of better work-life, why not devote some of my hours to working out? Hurray! After 1 yr, I lost 20lbs! (I worked hard to earn this bragging right so let me brag now while I still can.) Though now, I’m feeling the pressure of maintaining this weight and lifestyle. Hmmm, let’s see how this goes. Maybe by end of 2016, I will gain 50lbs! Uh oh, I wish not!

Second exploration – I need to network and build relationships! Network has an important role in my day job and since I also want to improve myself, why not meet new people? For an introvert like me, this was very difficult. I am socially awkward and I have social anxiety whenever I meet people from finance or even going out with my officemates. I just can’t handle small talks but I have to be out of my comfort zone. I’m still working on this but I’m getting by very slowly! I met a couple of new people this year. I’m happy that I am maintaining contacts with my previous co-workers too. I’m hoping this will continue in 2016 so this is another let’s-see. Finally, my third exploration…

Story of Passion (a.k.a. “Kwentong Heto na Kaya” or in English Story of Is this It)

It’s been my tradition to have an update to this story. This is my third exploration – my passion, my writing! Stop asking questions, stop being confused, THIS IS IT! Pursuing passion will always be an ongoing journey, always an exploration, a learning process that will never end unless I quit.

Thankfully, before the year ended, I finally managed (and hopefully succeeded) to write something different, something that is not about my rant and less personal. But I want more! I want to be more inspired, I want to see all the possibilities and explore what I am capable of. Who knows, I might finish my short story this year.

A new year, a new beginning
A hope to continue living
A start to mend the broken heart
A plan to finally play the part
To dream while pursuing passion
To find any inspiration
To smile and laugh in bad days
In this new year, this new chapter
I’m committed to be better

I’m looking forward to what 2016 will bring despite not knowing about the future. As is the ending of my yearly wrap-ups, here I am still singing and dancing, Bollywood style*:

All izz well
Woot woot woot
Hey bro, all izz well…

*This is a song from my favorite movie, an Indian film about passion and excellence, 3 Idiots.

– January 6, 2016

First Working Day Struggle

jan 4 2016

Author’s Note: Happy 2016! I hope 2016 will be great and awesome for all of us! I was planning to start my year by posting a wrap-up of my 2015, a very personal blog, but I haven’t finished it yet. I ended up writing a poem about my struggle today, to be back at work after the holidays. Here goes…

Brrr… It is minus fifteen today
I still want to slumber and snooze
But it’s the first working day
Must start my year right or I’ll lose

Coming from a week vacation
It’s hard to tell my brain to work
I’m rusty, in hibernation
I’m so lazy, I’m such a dork

Need to psych myself to be fine
Must take the high road; see the light
It’s back to work, stop all the whine
Back to reality, go win this fight!

– January 4, 2016

Kwentong 2014 (Heto Na Kaya Part III)

Sa tuwing matatapos ang isang taon, lagi kong naiisip ang mga salitang binanggit ni John Cage sa palabas na Ally Mcbeal: “If you think back and replay your year, if it doesn’t bring you tears either of joy or sadness, consider it wasted.”

Madami nga akong nailuha ngayong taon, karamihan dito ay dahil sa matinding frustrations ko sa trabaho at ang iba naman ay dahil sa mga taong maiiwaan ko sa aking trabaho. Nakakamiss pero ganoon talaga ang buhay, hindi naman ito ang kauna-unahang pagkakataon na ako ay lilisan…

Roller coaster at crossroad. Iyan ang nagdulot ng luha ng kalungkutan at kasiyahan sa aking 2014. Iyan ang pagbubuod ko sa taong ito.

Kwentong Bago:

Maraming bago ngayong taon at isa na rito ay ang bagong trabaho sa bagong taon. Nakakatuwang isipin na ang daming pagbabago ngayong taon at tila umikot na ang gulong ng palad at nakaangat na ako sa aking pagkakabaon.

Nais kong lasap-lasapin ang magagandang pagbabagong ito sa aking buhay. Mahigit dalawang taon na ang nakaraan nang nagkwento rin ako tungkol sa pagbabago kaso nga lang noong mga panahon na iyon ay mga sandali ng kalungkutan ang naidulot nito. Ngayon, mga sandali na ng excitement!

Ang saya ng buhay! Lahat ng pangyayari, kahit akalain mo mang hindi maganda dahil nagdulot man ito ng kalungkutan, ay nararapat lamang ikatuwa at ikapagpasalamat. Gasgas man ang pangungusap na ito ngunit lahat talaga ng mga kaganapan sa buhay ay mayroong dahilan.

Yakaping mahigpit ang pagbabago
Masaya’t malungkot, harapin ito
Dito lalago, dito matututo
Hayaan lang na umikot ang mundo

Kwentong Shredder:

Alam ko! Alam ko! May isang buwan pa bago matapos ang taon pero heto ako’t nagsusulat na tungkol dito. Dahil magsisimula na ako sa bagong trabaho sa Disyembre, gusto ko lang isara ang isang malaking kabanata ng aking buhay.

Naglinis na ako ng mga gamit ko sa opisina. Nagtapon ng mga papel at syempre dahil karamihan dito ay confidential, kailangan ko silang i-shred. Kasabay ng pag-shred ko ng mga papel ay ang pagpunit ko rin sa lahat ng frustrations ko noong mga nakaraang buwan at taon. Pagkita ko sa maliit na piraso ng papel ay nakita ko rin ang paunti-unting paglaho ng mabigat kong kalooban. Ang bawat retaso ng papel sa basurahan ay katumbas ng bawat isang mapait na kahapon na akin ng pinapalaya sa aking puso’t isipan.

Mapapait na kahapong nagdaan
Palayain na sa aking isipan
Baunin ang lahat ng natutunan
At bagong bukas na ang siyang simulan

Kwentong Roller Coaster:

Kaya ko ba talagang sumakay ng roller coaster o mabuti pang umalis na lang ako habang hindi pa ako nakakabili ng ticket? Iyan ang simula ng aking taon – wala na bang atrasan sa pagsakay ng roller coaster? Meron ngunit pinili ko pa ring sumakay. Sa simula, panatag lang at pagkatapos lang ng ilang saglit heto na! Bigla ng taas-baba, liko-ikot! Nagulantang na ako! Paikot-ikot at nakakahilo. Nakakasuka! Pero lahat naman ng ride ay may katapusan – at sa pagtatapos ng ride, kahit na isang malaking sakit sa ulo ang sinakyan ko, alam kong isa itong once in a lifetime experience. Maaaring sakyan ko ulit ito sa balang araw o kaya naman ay di ko na ito balikan ngunit ang mahalaga ay naranasan ko ito at baon ko ang mga alaala at mga natutunan sa pagsakay ng isang roller coaster.

Walang kasiguraduhan ang bukas. Hindi ko masabi na baka mamaya ay pumipila lang pala ako sa anchor’s away. Ngunit alam ko na ito na ang tamang panahon upang tanggalin na ang seatbelt at tuluyan ng bumitaw sa aking roller coaster ride.

Gulo na tila walang katapusan
Pagkabagot na di ko malampasan
Ngunit pagbitaw lang ang kailangan
At tunay na ilaw ang masilayan

Kwentong Crossroad:

Nagsimula ang taon sa dalawang daan na dapat pagpilian. Nakakita ako ng bahag-hari sa daang tinahak ko. Parang isang paraiso! Ngunit sa bukana lang pala ang lahat ng iyan. Ang daan palang ito ay nababalot ng kapaitan. Walang pagsisisi dahil sa aking paglalakbay ay marami akong napulot na kaalaman. Dito ako natuto, nanindigan at nabuksan ang aking puso’t isipan.

Sinong mag-aakala na muling haharap ako sa isang crossroad bago matapos ang aking taon? Ang kinaibahan nga lang, ngayon, alam ko na agad ang daan na nais kong baybayin. Wala ng alinlangan, tuloy-tuloy lang sa paglalakad. Ito ang aking dasal, ito ang plano, ito ang nakalaan. Kailangan ko ng ibang pagbabago, ito ang magbabalik ng tamis sa aking mundo.

Dalawang daan na pagpipilian
Magtiwala lang sa kahihinatnan
Ito ang hinintay na kasagutan
Tuloy lang ang lakbay sa nakalaan

Kwentong “Heto Na Kaya?”:

Maaari bang tapusin ko ang taon na hindi magkwento tungkol dito? Ngayon alam ko na na Heto Na Iyon! Mahaba ang aking nilakbay tungo sa paghahanap ng aking passion at sa wakas ay matutuldukan ko na ang isa pang kabanatang ito ng aking buhay. Buong puso kong niyayakap ang aking passion! Wala ng alinlangan, HETO NA IYON! Ito na ang aking pakakaabangan sa susunod na taon.

Wakasan ang kabanata ng kahapon
Panibagong bukas ang napapanahon
Magagandang alaala ang siyang baon
Salabungin ng ngiti ang bagong taon

Saan hahantong ang tagpong ito? Tingnan natin… sasayaw pa rin ako, Bollywood style:
All izz well
Woot woot woot
Hey bro, all izz well
(all izz well indeed :))

– November 26, 2014