It’s the last day of the year, and we’ll say goodbye to it, but surely not forever. Maybe we’ll glance back at it in random moments in years ahead, picking fragments of memories, shaking our heads at the absurd things we did or beam with pride as we zoomed in on a series of recollections that eventually shaped us for whoever we will become.
My 2013 was the fastest year that went by in my life. I almost didn’t feel it. Well, I felt it, but it seemed to consist only six months, or less. It seemed to fleet by, like a butterfly in vivid, wild colors, circling around me and enthralling me in the moment—and when it flew away, I realized I’ve been watching, following, and playing with the pretty, little wonder for a long time.
This was a year in my life when I had extraordinary lessons learned. This was a year I was able to delve deeper into myself and really listen to what the voice inside me was saying, hushing the outside world, blurring their words as they whisper to my ears.
Some of the debris of 2012 made their way into 2013. The first quarter of the year was riddled with headaches and stressful nights of trying to put everything on paper, making a draft of what was really happening. I felt discontented and too eager to move forward. I didn’t—and don’t—want to be in that place.
Writing what really was happening and what caused it had reality stare me in the face. After solitary nights and days, I realized I was the one who made me be in that limbo. It was hard when I realized that my enemy was myself. It was terrifying to know I could cause such destruction within me.
I followed the root to where my discontentment came from. I listened to what I really want. I recalled my happy days, remembering what I was doing and who I was with. I let go. I let myself be washed into my world of happiness. Smells of books and coffee, my family singing karaoke, and spending time in the bookstore with an amazing person came into my mind. There was also a clear picture of me with my book, a bestseller.
In March, I decided to quit my job as a business development executive, a position a lot are rooting for, after being in the company for a year and a month. My colleagues thought I was crazy to let go just like that. I wasn’t sure if it was just me, but months before my resignation took effect, every time I look into my colleagues’ eyes during a celebration for a new client acquired or big sales, I know I was doing the right thing. I stuck to that job because of the high pay and the name—but it was taking me away from my dream. So I had to let go. I knew people would talk—but that’s what they always do anyway. I walked away, but I didn’t walk away just like that. Being in that business made me learn a lot of things that even the most prestigious business schools couldn’t teach me. I walked away with experience and life lessons. I walked away from a good place to a better one. I walked away to be myself.
I congratulated myself for that, walking away from what people want me to be and be who I really want to be.
This was a year when fragments of my life started to slowly fall back to its place. This was a year when my questions, a lot of those I carried with me since I was younger, were answered in a way only a higher power can.
This was the year when I lived together with a sister. We have a nine-year age gap. I came to know my sister more. I came to know a strong, young woman who can be hard-headed, but has the biggest heart. She told me stories about what happened before I was born and when I was too young to remember. I came to know more of the family who have been with me through all those times, cheering and always praying for my success in whatever endeavour I do despite the distance; the family who always supported me in their own ways, and whom I have taken for granted. The hatred I have for a family member slowly died.
This was a year I realized I am not alone—and will never be. This was a year when I’ve been reaffirmed a thousand times that somebody will always be there for me, an amazing and wonderful person who would not let go no matter what.
I met this person in late 2010. It was my first day in IBM, and I was a hundred miles away from home. I don’t know why I noticed him. He was just there, beside a solid, humungous post. Until now, I don’t know what that post is for, but I have a theory that the office layout was changed due to some reason; that’s why that post stood in a not-so-corner in the conference room.
He was in his red jersey jacket. He had long hair, but not so long; it didn’t reach his shoulders. He wore a shy smile, but he had the perfect teeth. He was the second person to speak in that meeting. I was really fascinated by him. There was something in him that held my attention. After speaking for less than three minutes, he went back to his seat beside the post without looking at me.
This February, me and the guy in red jersey jacket who amazed me that day will be celebrating our third anniversary, but I feel like we’ve just started dating months ago. They said the thrill and the passion will die as the relationship gets older, which I also used to believe, but I can attest it is not true.
We don’t see each other often. The truth is, we haven’t spent more than ten hours physically together in a day, and we haven’t seen each other for a long time now. I miss him so much. The last time I saw him was February last year, in less than three hours because I had a plane to catch. And before that February meeting, we had not seen each other for twenty months. But we talk all the time. Almost every single day. For hours and hours. He makes me feel he’s just around.
And even if his two closest friends are staying for the night for an online game, he still calls me and talks to me. On random nights, we watch the same video, listen to the same music, or read the same article at the same time. He also makes me feel like I already belong to their family. He has an amazing mother and a wonderful brother.
Maybe it’s really different, like magical, if you’re with the person destined for you. See? I now believe in destiny.
Whenever I’m with him, I’m most comfortable in my own skin. We can talk anything under the sun—from health, latest science fiction movie, a Yahoo! News article, show business, wedding guests’ list, number of kids we want, forex trading, recipes, investments, bitcoins, and the just-released online game. Anything—including our feelings, our fears, our insecurities, our dreams, and our future. It always feels good that someone knows you so much that they don’t have to say anything to make you feel safe, feel secure, feel loved. He always makes me feel like I’m the most beautiful woman in the world and I can do anything my heart desires.
Every time I ponder on this beautiful gift given to me by life, I think that maybe I wasn’t a bad person after all—because some higher power granted me such a wonderful love story. A lot of people would tell me that it’s not always sunshine in a relationship, that it will always end up in a heart break. Funny I also used to believe in such a thing. But now, I believe in happy endings.
This was a year I realized nothing is too late if you decide right then and there to start doing what you want to do and stick to it. This was a year I started earning a living doing things I love doing.
Reading is my first love, but writing comes close to it. Right after I resigned as a business development executive, I went back to work as an editor in a publishing house and built my freelance career at the same time. After six months, I jumped on the freelancing world fully-equipped. This is the best decision I’ve made—well, second to saying “yes” to the man of my life. Right now, I work from home, more than eight hours a day. I work at least twelve hours—including Sundays, but I’m happier this way than having a boss. Plus, I don’t have to commute, and I don’t have to keep checking my watch during breaks.
Who says I’ll be forever freelancing? I also dream of owning my own company. A big company. I wrote everything down on my journal, my dream book. I believe I have the power to make it come true. Still working on it—well, I’ve been working on it since I was eighteen, but success doesn’t come easy, because if it is, everybody’s doing it.
This was a year I started to call on Him again. This was a year I started to become my best self.
This was a year I let go some people in my life—people who always tell me, subtly or bluntly, discouraging words. Some of these people were my closest friends for the longest time, and that was the hardest part, but I know they’re toxic to my dreams and to my mentality. I moved on without them. At first, I felt so empty and unsure without friends whom I could have fun whenever I want. And then my depression started eating me alive. That’s when I started calling on Him. I never thought I was far away and shut Him out too long that it was so hard to open up my heart to Him. Then He let in new people in my life—sincere and kind-hearted people, beautiful people.
This was a year I learned lessons the hardest way and reap bountiful rewards. This was a year that, when all my dreams would come true, I would always look back, for I know something big in me was awakened this year.