I usually don’t like posting really personal things specially outside of photography, but here goes. This is more like a letter to myself really.
2011 was awesome. It was the year I graduated cum laude from UP Diliman, of the last Harry Potter film, the year I started Heliana, traveled with my bestfriends, the year I wept for Steve Jobs (it was his speech and JK’s that I watched right after graduation), the year I got to take David Beckham’s photograph, and deliver my first speech. I saw my first demolition. And I got to meet and dance with Matt.
2011 was the year I really got to explore and just play. Although I loved my stay n UP, and I got to meet so many brilliant people, I wasn’t happy with sitting around in a classroom anymore. I promised myself I wouldn’t get a desk job—I’ll just experiment and see where the wind takes me. I wanted to create and innovate and explore. I slept in so many different places and hung out with people I really cared about. No more fluff. And though I had my fair share of quarter life crisis moments, I have to say that I’m happy with my decision to just take my time first. At the end of my year, I’m just as confused as I was when I graduated last April—still don’t know what I want to do with my life, but I learned a ton of things, so I have no regrets.
Here are 11 things I learned this year, from the storm of experiences that happened to me. 11 ideas that have made me better! I'm not an expert on anything and I have not always adhered to these ideas, but they're important to me anyway.
1. The most effective way to do it is to do it. –Amelia Earhart The hardest thing to do is start, and sometimes you just have to take the leap. Make a stand. Just do what you need to do.
2. Live with no excuses. Stop fidgeting about what your parents want, or your lack of resources. Be creative, make your own descarte. I used to make excuses all the time. But when I realized that a lot of things WERE actually in my control, I was set free. I became happier knowing that my life was my own. I could color out of the lines.
3. Stop thinking about revenge or karma. I don't believe in karma. If you focus on your own life, and if you live a life of great quality, you shouldn’t worry about someone else’s misery.
4. Explore. Travel. Sleep on the floor if you have to.
5. Shopping will only make you happy temporarily. Haha, I know, what a learning! But this was the year I started my adventure fund, and after feeling horrible after having wasted thousands of pesos buying things I really don’t need, this was what I learned. Also I made a pact to enter 2012 with as few belongings as possible, and so I cleaned out my room, donated the clothes I barely use, and now I finally feel so liberated! I literally donated ¾ of the clothes I own. I know it’s crazy but I don’t need it.
6. Getting out of your comfort zone is one of the surefire ways to surprise yourself. I discovered that I was braver than I thought I was.
7. Value the helpers. My yaya since birth left this year to retire and I wept for DAYS. I still feel like crying when I think about it, but I realize now how absolutely IMPORTANT she was to me growing up. Mum is a single parent, and while she was working, my yaya was at home tutoring me and taking care of me and finding my things. Nothing compares to that kind of love!
8. Count your blessings. Stop complaining. Yep, more blessings came when I stopped moping about what I didn’t have and when I started focusing on the wonderful things I had, and the wonderful things that are yet to come.
9. Believe in the impossible. I read somewhere that even if you fail a couple of times, you are still way ahead of everyone who isn’t trying. That’s so absolutely true! And don’t ever tell someone they can’t do something.
10. Be excited for things. I swear I think this is why I have become a happy person. I just started to find things I could look forward to.
11. Smile. I swear this has probably saved my life (and my equipment) a bunch of times. I smile, even to shady looking fellas.
And that's my 2011 learning list! So for 2012, I figured that since it might just be the last year EVER, I might as well do what I want to do! And if it's not the last year, well at least I had fun, and at least by 2013 I'll be just 22 and that's still not a bad age to start over. Win win! I'm taking my time and enjoying my youth, and learning all that I want to learn, and also maybe unlearn. I just want to grow.
I also have a wish, and a little note to myself.
May the coming year be lived as if it were your last. I hope you find new places to get lost in, and I hope you find it in your gut to follow what it is that’s tugging on your heartstrings. I hope you get to dance and run and dream like a madman. I hope you see something magical, and experience something that’s real. May the year be kind to you, but more importantly, may you be kind because people need it. I hope you find people to hug and happy thoughts to smile to. I hope you laugh until your tummy hurts. And I hope you find new adventures.
Happy New Year :)
Happy New Year :)