Earlier today, while doing some last-minute grocery shopping, my friend Isa retweeted this:
REMINDER: you don’t have to have 2016 all figured out by the time the ball drops tomorrow night. #fireandwindco
— Stephanie Kay Sharp (@stephkaysharp) Disyembre 31, 2015
And I thought, Yes, this.
I admit that I have been putting off this 2015 recap for the past few days and was intent on doing other things (like writing) because I wasn’t sure how to go about this. I mean, 15 is a pretty big number to fill (maybe I should quit doing this numbers thing for my recaps), and I guess a part of me is a bit in denial that this year is ending now.
And perhaps there’s a bit of dread coming in, unlike the previous years, and it felt a little disconcerting because I love the New Year. I love it because it meant so many things: new beginnings, new goals, new everything – even if really, not all of them are new. Everything’s fresh and just brimming with possibilities, and I like to make January 1 always awesome so I could carry it for the rest of the year.
But the ending of 2015 and the start of 2016 is a little bit different. I admit that it’s also probably because I’ve been on vacation, and I am loving the fact that I didn’t have much to do nor work to think of and the new year coming meant I’m closer to going back to the office again. Haha. I guess another factor is that I’m turning thirty next year and how about that for some growing-up anxiety.
I mean, thirty. Friends who are already past that age tell me that it isn’t a big deal afterwards, but I bet you were also freaking out slightly when you were approaching that age. :P But really, I guess there’s that feeling that I should have a grasp of my life better now that I’m reaching a new decade. Like I should have this and that, like I should have a plan and an answer to some of the questions that I had back when I was 20, or 24, or something.
But you know what? Those are lies. No one has all the answers and no one has things figured out right now. And Stephanie Kay Sharp’s tweet reminded me that it’s okay not to be completely 100% ready for 2016 by the time this day ends, because who’s completely ready, anyway? I don’t think anyone really is. The best I can do now is reflect, be thankful, and pray for what 2016 has in store for me, for us.
Because 2015 is all about FAITH: being assured of what is hoped for; being certain of what we cannot see.
Now that I’ve got that word vomit out (I just watched Mean Girls the other night, haha), I’ve decided not to the 15 things, because really, 15 is not enough, and also already daunting for this Tita to remember everything. ;) I think I’m the only one pressuring myself to do the same things I did in the past years. So, instead, an unnumbered list.
I never got to write about this because a lot of things happened at the start of 2015, but Pope Francis’ visit to the Philippines really started my year with a bang. I was blessed to be part of the press team for Youth Pinoy. I got to write several articles about Pope Francis in the span of those days and I got to work with a pretty awesome team. :) I lost sleep, walked in the rain from UST to Luneta, squeezed through all the crowds but I loved every single part of it. It felt like World Youth Day all over again. And it was the first time I cried while singing Ama Namin during mass.
Soon after the Pope’s visit, I bid goodbye to the company I worked for 7.5 years and joined a smaller organization with an entirely different role.
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When I first came into the role last May, I had no idea what Sourcing was all about. These two girls (and Rye, and our awesome contractors) helped make sure that my head was always above the water that is sourcing work. What I learned is just a fraction of what they know, and believe me when I say that IBS has the BEST Sourcing team, ever. :D In my head, I always call them "Source-resses" (did that wordplay work? Haha) because they make awesome sourcing magic. Thank you, Jil and April (and Rye)! So honored to have been a part of this team. 😊 #IBM
It was exhilarating, and really, an answered prayer from the end of 2014. I have learned to open myself to more opportunities in this job, particularly learning. I also learned to trust in the grace that I was brought to this place for a reason, especially when changes started pouring in by mid 2015. It’s still a ride, and quite honestly, I don’t know what I’m going to do next year, but again, I’m just going to trust the God who brought me here. :)
Puerto Princesa, El Nido, La Union, Borawan, Surigao del Sur, Davao, Batangas City. Whew. I had a grand time going around different provinces this year, although some of these places were places I visited before. No international trips this year, and I also didn’t get to do the Luzon-Visayas-Mindanao thing this year, too (almost had it, but had to sacrifice one trip in favor of other things). But even so, most of these trips were long-awaited trips with friends closest to my heart. :)
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"Looking back on yesterday, there are things that I regret, But I put the past behind me and I never will forget You have covered my mistakes and my broken dreams Now over the horizon, I see the dawn is drawing near And I realize the sun did rise, tomorrow's finally here." – Avalon 🎶
I went to the second night of the One Direction concert. We got rained on, we were surrounded by teens/tweens screaming and taking selfies like crazy. But this Tita enjoyed every single bit of it.
I am not ashamed. :P Directioner++;
This was totally unexpected, and probably one of my favorite things for 2015. :) Thanks to my former manager, I started taking the full Certified Digital Marketer Program, and I’ve been having so much fun with this. Going back to school taught me how it’s not so easy to be a student while you’re working full time, and it’s provided me with the thirst to learn again. I remember telling my friend who took the program before, that it’s so fun to be in school because you have room for mistakes. I’m just halfway through the course, and I’m looking forward to the next tracks in 2016! :)
I think my most favorite blog post this year (among the very few I posted) is the one where I wrote about remaining in God’s love. This, I admit, was a loaded blog post, but it was really more for me, to remind myself of what is true when all I wanted to do was lash out and run away. But that kind of reinforced our community’s theme for 2015: love more. It’s so hard to love, and it’s so hard to love more, but it is the only way to go.
A lot of really, really great things happened to this community this year and I couldn’t be more proud to be part of this. :) They say that you have to be surrounded by like-minded people when you want to pursue your passions and I’m glad to be a part of this. :)
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When you almost forgot how it feels to be kilig and it took two hours and a few live readings by really good theater actors (now MC/LI pegs!) to remember how. Guys, hindi pala ako halaman! 🌿😝 Thank you, @minavesguerra, for planning this, and #romanceclass for being all awesome 💕💙
I feel kind of bad for not being able to publish anything in 2015, but I promise to make up for lost time in 2016. :)
5th Filipino ReaderCon
2015 capped itself (sort of) with the 5th Filipino ReaderCon. I have too many feelings over this, which I already summed up in this Facebook post/thank you speech below. Being a part of this (and sacrificing my Dumaguete trip) was one of those really good decisions. What an exhausting month November was, but it was, as I always say, the best kind of exhaustion. :)
Prayer and Adoration
And finally, 2015 led me to this – to prayer and adoration. I suppose it’s natural, with Faith being my word for the year, that I would be led to praying more and learning about my own faith. I started to learn about some saints (I have a looong way to go!), I am still learning so many things about the mass and the other sacraments, and I think the best thing is adoration. There’s something beautiful in making time to visit Jesus at the Blessed Sacrament. I wasn’t able to do this as often as I wanted to, but I think that’s what 2016 will be for. :)
* * *
So 2015 is ending is 3.5 hours.
I was looking at my old planner, as a preparation to write my goals for 2016, and I found the three points that the priest said during the New Year’s mass: be happy, be good, and commit yourselves to God. I especially liked that he said at the last one: the journey will not be smooth, but the road will be right.
I believe with all my heart that it’s the same thing for 2016.
We don’t have to have things figured out by midnight. If you were also freaking out like I was (and still am, a little), then relax. I’m okay, you’re okay. We’ll all be okay. :)
Thank you, 2015. :) And see you soon, 2016!
And God must be a pretty big fan of today, because you keep waking up to it. You have made known your request for a hundred different yesterdays, but the sun keeps rising on this thing that has never been known. Yesterday is dead and over. Wrapped in grace. Those days are grace. You are still alive, and today is the most interesting day. Today is the best place to live. (Jamie Tworkowski, If You Feel Too Much)