As everyone in the long stretch of our street went inside their respective houses after several minutes of blowing horns made of disposable plastic cups and counting down to officially welcome the new year, it dawned on me that it signals the start of really 'living' in 2011.
It is one thing to go out in the streets, making all sorts of noises from hooting to blowing horns to dragging cans attached to the back part of the vehicle while it's moving. It's another thing to be in the quiet and comfort of your home, enjoying delectable dishes served in the Media Noche. It's an intimate way of family bonding and yes, we can all reflect on what's in store for us in the coming 12 months. But the previous year also deserves to be given a glance before we bid it goodbye.
2010 had been a pretty good one for me, to say the least. It was a year full of changes, transitions and challenged my ability to adapt and adjust in no time. There were a lot of first times too.
I tried a very short Korean hairstyle for the first time and apparently, people were praising me coz the cut suit me well. I know it cost me five times my regular haircut budget but with compliments I was getting everyday, it's all worth it.
Seeing my peers make a graceful exit dubbed as college graduation tugged my heartstrings. I was left behind for another six weeks since I had to complete one major and one minor subject before finally earning my degree. It meant extension for my ATENEWS EICship also. A national convention was held in Bacolod for almost a week and as the only editor enrolled during that time, I took the duty of canvassing for tickets, hotels and all that. With three members under my wing, we attended the convention and I was absent in my classes. I can no longer imagine how I was able to multitask listening to the talks with a photocopy of our Philosophy of Religion in one hand. You see, I needed to study so I'll be on the same page as the class took on the same lesson by then. But the convention was truly enriching and the side trip to Cebu was fun so I got through it smoothly.
The National Elections also happened during this year. After casting the peoples vote and with the aid of technology that are PCOS machines, the country now has a different set of leaders. I am hoping for the best. May the people's vote not be a waste by malpractice and anomalies. I know that politics has always been dirty. I just hope they won't stain it more.
After all the defense and exams, I officially graduated from college with no graduation rites, no preparations, no graduation dinner, no graduation gifts, no nothing at all. I could care less, what's important for me is that I survived college after eight regular semesters and four summer classes! From a colegiala, I have now become a professional who has to pay 7 pesos minimum in a jeepney ride. I admit, sometimes, it's tempting to pay just only 6, just like the old times. :))
Then started my bum life. I rested and chilled but not really since I still had to go back to school and apply for the diploma, clearance, etc. After a month, a college friend offered me a home-based online writing job which I accepted eagerly. I wrote about hen parties (UK setting) and used spinning software. It only lasted for a month as the boss lacked the funds to continue getting my services.
I wasn't idle for long though since NSO hired me. There I had a not-so-challenging with an above-average compensation on a killer schedule. Haha. Truly, I learned to budget my time and make some sacrifices by waking up way early for my 6am duty or going home at more or less 12 in the midnight from my 3pm duty. But the people I worked with are keepers so I couldn't thank NSO enough for bringing our paths together. :)
Life after NSO meant staying in our house and having to endure all the noise, mess and a lot of chaos while our house was under renovation/repaint. It certainly bored me so I had to find ways to get out of the house. When I saw an old college classmate again and informed me of a vacant writing position in their office (which is situated in the tallest building in the metro), I applied days after and got hired. What a pity because the house repair was almost finished the time when they told me to report for duty. :( But still, I am more than thankful for the salary and more than that, I am glad for having something to be busy with. I guess sitting around the whole day with no goal in mind just doesn't sit with me well. I can feel I am shortchanging myself doing nothing.
Come Christmas season, my aunt who is now based in Japan spent her holidays here with us. Thus, on Christmas eve, everyone from my father's side gathered in our house as we had a Christmas program and gift giving session. It was good to see everyone of them for the first time. I realized I have a lot of pamangkins already. They were all so adorable! It was even better going around the place, greeting each one with a hug as our eyes were filled with tears. Truly, we are all so touched with this once in a lifetime family event. And of course, it was the best with all the tasty treats served in the Noche Buena. After that, we all slept in the house. All 31 of us, imagine!
Last night was New Year's eve. It's the first time to celebrate this special beginning with my immediate family. I am used to having my aunts and uncles around during New Year but this year is different and I love the refreshing change.
In a nutshell, I view the past year as a time when growing up is a requirement as major decisions are needed to be made. I learned how to step out of my comfort zone and give importance to my hard-earned money as well. I also learned how to relate with other people, especially those in authority, in a professional way. 2010 was truly one of the best years in my 20 years of existence.
And now, I'll say 'Hello there, 2011! Rock my world, Year of the Metal Rabbit!' :)