Twenty Five

Also known as: Some thoughts after meeting college friends last night

Thanks to Ramie for the photo and to Rye for taking this :)

I met some of my college friends last night for dinner, swinging from mid shift to day just so I can meet up with them despite the fact that I ended my shift last Monday at one o’clock because of a call and got to sleep at 3:00am because of some family stuff. I was a walking zombie in the day that needed to be caffeinated twice. However, come afternoon, I was excited to see my college friends again, so despite the sluggishness, I headed for Shangrila.

A little backgrounder about my college friends. Normally, you’d have only one original block in college, the people who you will know first and probably graduate with if all of you are lucky. It was a slightly different case for me. I had an original block that lasted for two terms (my adventures and such with them may be written in another post). By third term, our block was dissolved, and then by sophomore year, we were all split into different specializations. I specialized in Instructional Systems Technology in college, and it was one of the smaller specializations in our college, with only one block. We were only 36 in our batch, and because of that, we were a pretty close bunch. They became my second college family.

Just a week ago,  our specialization had a New Year’s/Reunion party, where we saw most of the people in the batch as well as the other batches. Then our batch planned a little dinner where I use our newly-wed blockmate Ramie as an excuse to meet up. :P Only a few of us made it, last night, though, but nevertheless, it was still a fun night.

The funny thing about my college friends – especially my thesis mates Rye, Ramie and Micko – is how our conversations evolve throughout the years. I remember in college, we’d talk about school stuff, obviously. When we’re taking a break, we’d talk about mundane stuff. Soon after we graduated, we were having coffee one day and we started talking about taxes even if none of us were working yet. Now that we’re together again, what do we talk about? Growing up stuff. The average salary of someone our age. Following your dreams. The best online tax software.  Deciding what to do next. Do you really love what you’re doing? Will you give up your stability for something you’d love to do?

It was a very serious conversation, and enlightening, too. I’m not exactly in a crisis mode in my career, but I’ve been feeling the edges of…I don’t know, unrest? I still like my job, and I think my company is still taking care of me, but a part of me wonders if there’s more out there, you know?

Case in point: when my best friend got the opportunity to go to UK for an exchange program, I was very envious. I wanted the same opportunity, too. I wanted to try new things and do all those things that I know I wanted to do before I joined the corporate world. But a part of me is also thinking: will you be able to file a leave of absence for that long to pursue the same thing? Or will you actually have the courage to resign from your job, do that, and then see what happens after? Can I be at peace knowing that there’s no steady income coming in and there’s no assurance of a job when I go back?

I guess the real reason I am hesitant to do things like this (or even other things like study abroad or something similar) is because I’m used to having a steady income. I’m used to having my own money, used to affording what I want when I want it (as long as its reasonable). But what’s life with just that? I’m young — I should be able to do more stuff now before it’s too late, right? If I may borrow Stacie Orrico’s words: there’s got to be more to life!

I aired those concerns last night and I liked how our friend Kiran put it: everyone gets to this point, and at one point in your life, you’re going to have to decide. Then, she told me it usually happens when one reaches 25.

Me: Oh, no wonder.

Kiran: Are you twenty five?

Me: No, but I’m turning twenty five on March.

Kiran: Oh, you’ll get there soon.

So I guess the magical age is 25? I have two months and five days to go.

But I don’t really want to stress about that. I can feel it, but I don’t think it would do me good if I stress about it over and over again, you know? And like what Kiran said, these things just happen. And it will be okay.

A thought: this is probably one of the reasons why I’m far from settling down. :P

When Ramie dropped me at Eastwood after the dinner, he hugged me goodbye and said, “May this be the year of answered prayers for you.” He meant something else entirely (and trust me, that will be posted here someday soon) but as I was thinking about it on the way home, I realized that God has never failed to answer my prayers anyway. He always has. He always will. It may not be always the answer I wanted, but He has never failed to answer them.

But I like that. 2011: the year of answered prayers. Maybe I need to be more aware of how God answers my prayers? :)

So from the looks of it, 2011 will be THE year. The year of what, I’m not sure exactly. But I am looking forward to finding out.

First two items on the list: practice driving and start fixing papers for Schengen Visa for WYD. Yes siree, let’s get moving. :)

Welcoming the new year

Also known as: How 2010 was and my 2011 goals

Like I said in one tweet, the time I blog the most is whenever I have a new blog, or when I have a new layout. There’s something so exciting about writing whenever there is something new, especially if it’s so new that it’s practically empty. Or shiny. Or both. :)

But it’s even more fun to blog because it’s the New Year. The turn of the year is always the most exciting part of the year other than my birthday or Christmas or Easter. New year means a blank slate, a time when everything seems plausible, and there are an infinite number of possibilities waiting for us to be discovered. And claimed.

And because I’m a sucker for all the New Year hullaballoo, this post is a dedicated to that. :P

Image from

2010 was…a strange year. Strange, not because many odd things happened, but because it seemed pretty quiet compared to the past few years. I used to set a theme for every year. 2006 was a different year, 2007 was a difficult year, 2008 was the year of the extraordinary, 2009 was the year of the unexpected. 2010 was a year that I just wanted to come because 2009 (especially the last few months of it) felt like it was a bad and neverending nightmare. I just wanted to get to 2010 just so I can say that 2009 was over.

I wasn’t expecting 2010 to blow me away, and now that I think about it…it didn’t. There were so many good things that happened last year, though, and I am honestly very thankful about that. It’s so quiet that the end of the year kind of took me by surprise and it took me a while to accept that it’s ending already. Right now I’m still trying to recall the stuff that happened, the smaller ones that I should remember, but they’re fuzzy. There wasn’t even too many monumental things, but I do remember the people, and some of the events and the happiness that comes with being with them.

How to describe 2010 still kind of evades me, but I’m happy it happened. It was almost like God was giving me a chance to rest after a tumultuous 2009. And maybe it is His way of letting me recharge, you know. Of letting me recover from the challenges of the previous year. And I’m pretty sure it’s his way of preparing me for the year ahead.

In the past years, I’ve always made new year’s resolutions. I like writing down goals, I like challenging myself to do new stuff or more stuff (or both). However, I realized that I barely accomplish half of those goals, and this non-accomplishment just ends up frustrating me. I guess that’s what being young does to you: you set out to do so many things that you spread yourself out too thinly and only end up doing a few things and not all. That is also how we set ourselves up for disappointment, don’t you think?

Oh so emo on the first day of the year.

I’m pretty sure I only accomplished half (or less) on my 2010 goals. And I honestly do not want to beat myself up with it. Past is past, you know. Move on. No use crying over spilled milk. [insert another cliche here]

As 2010 came to a close, I wasn’t really thinking of things I need to accomplish the next year. In fact, the only thing I was thinking of as midnight came were things that I need to start doing if only because I can’t stand not doing them anymore. So instead of writing a loooong list of goals that I know I won’t be able to accomplish anyway, I will just focus on a few things that I need and want to do this year. And they are:

  • Drive on my own. I’ve had this in my resolution for the looooongest time, almost like the lose weight resolution. I’ve managed to lose a lot of weight successfully, and since that proved to be doable, driving on my own should, too. After all the hassle of commuting I experienced last year, I need to learn how to drive. Especially now that my brother is married and is not around to fetch me anytime I need him. I must drive. I MUST DRIVE.
  • Go to Spain for World Youth Day. I missed World Youth Day Sydney in 2008 (quite miserably, if I may add), and I was pretty heartbroken about it. I was pretty sad about it. Late 2010, I was asked if I want to attend the WYD at Madrid and I jumped at the chance. I still have a lot of papers to fix and my bank accounts need to get ready, but I do want to go to Madrid and finally experience a World Youth Day. So, by God’s grace, I will go to Spain on World Youth Day in August 2011.

And those are the only two things I can think of. It may seem easy for others, but for me, this is already quite…daunting. Having fewer resolutions means it’s less excuse to not accomplish them, you know?

Oh, but I have other side projects in mind, but let’s not put them in the goals list. For now, those two are the BIG, FUN AND SCARY THINGS TO DO IN 2011. Big, fun and scary, all right.

Early today, as I was doing some reflecting, I felt that someone was telling me, “It’s time to grow up, Tina.” And maybe it is. I am turning 25 this year, and…well, maybe it is time to start focusing on some grown up stuff that I’ve refused to acknowledge in the past years since I turned 21. What are those things? I have yet to figure out.

And now I think I’ve rambled enough. That is one thing I don’t think I can get rid of this year. Sorry everyone, you’re stuck with me (as long as you keep reading my blog, anyway). :P

Happy new year everyone. :)