Another year done! I was looking for one word that would summarize 2014 for me. I dabbled with ‘fear,’ ‘indecision,’ ‘bad luck,’ etcetera, etcetera, but nothing clicked right. Until I saw this word: FINIFUGAL (thank you, other-wordly.tumblr.com.).
That was the best definition of this year. I think being finifugal relates to being scared of starting over, of new things, of changes (drastic ones, to be exact). A quick check of my year-ender the past years led me to one conclusion: I was, kind of, reliving my 2012 all over again, because the same quotes that I quoted still applied, the same complaints, the same worries, and a heartbreak (thankfully, a different guy this time, but jeeeez I never learn, do I?).
I would quote the same John Green quote in 2012:
“You spend your whole life stuck in a labyrinth, thinking about how you’ll escape it one day, and how awesome it will be, and imagining that future keeps you going, but you never do it. You just use the future to escape the present.”
–John Green, Looking for Alaska
Let’s kick off this 2014 recap, shall we?
I started the year with a question. I was reading this book (I think it was Jessica Kirby’s Golden), and it opened with a question from Mary Oliver: Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?
I had a plan at that time. I was turning 25, that ‘quarter-life crisis’ looming at the corner, ready to pounce at me. I promised myself last year that I would do some things when I turned 25 (like get a tattoo, for one, and do that life change as a gift to self). But that’s just what they are until now… plans.
February was a good month. It’s my birthday month, yay, I AM TURNING FREAKING 25!!!! But turning 25 also came with a couple of questions, versions of that January quote.
Was I where I really wanted to be at this age? (Not sure.)
Was this what I really wanted to do? (Not sure. When people tell you you’re good at what you do, you wonder sometimes, if they just tell you what you wanted to hear or if you’re really good at it. I want to try other things. What if I’m better there or somewhere else?)
A day before my birthday was the Luna East / #romanceclass party at Ayala Museum. I was the one who was asked to speak on behalf of the class (impromptu and all!) to thank our mentor and game changer, Ms. Mina V. Esguerra. So yay, #romanceclass! Here’s to more stories and to keeping romance alive. :)
Also, I have to celebrate my birthday somehow, right? So I booked an Ilocos road trip with my top-tier friend Flor. [I want to go back to the beach.]
March was the month my little brother wasn’t so little anymore (yay to finishing grade school!) and the month of travel. I think I went to places that I haven’t been to before because of fieldwork. It was hello Naga one moment and then back to Manila before being whisked off to another place (I think it was Legaspi). But I would still catch lunch with my Mega A loves even if I just got back:
Soundtrack of the month: Eavesdrop by The Civil Wars. For all that we’ve got, don’t let go. Just hold me.
Who knew April was the start of the hell year, the year when no one would get proper sleep, would stay far too many nights and spend far too many weekends at the office? Before it all went to hell, so to speak, there was taking my brother to his first live PBA game…
…and that Baguio trip with my officemates. (ANG FRESH PA NATIN DITO GUISE)
Timehop-ed a quote from David Levithan (@loversdiction on Twitter): choice, n.: You have to remember, there is always a choice, in every situation. It’s just a matter of the strength it takes to make it.
I didn’t make the choice then.
May was, again, busy, but at that time I gave myself a bit of liberty to live (haha). [I did start May with an overnighter at the office.] I was celebrating five years of the longest ever relationship I ever had and a family reunion in Baguio (again).
And fangirling! I fangirled a helluva lot in May. I fell in line for 17 hours for tickets to a concert that was happening in ten months (do not ask where I got the patience), and watched rugby all in one weekend.
Let’s call June the food month: lechon party, Magnum Gold bars party (I WON THIRTY BARS I DON’T WIN RAFFLES EVER UNTIL THIS ONE), a night-out movie to watch Coco Martin and Sarah Geronimo’s movie (the title escapes me now, sorry!), a lunch-out with Stat.
Of course, I fangirled again this month. BEST HUG EVER.
And it was the month when people moved on faster than I could count and when everyone felt the weight of it all. Independence day, freedom, finally being able to breathe. Goodluck, Ate Flor. :)
I started the month with some bed rest. I got bronchitis, which rendered me a bit useless for work when there were so many deadlines. [I also ended the month with fever – I got sick way too much in 2014.]
July was one of the worst months (September and December would give it a run for its money), and I got into a place emotionally where I didn’t want to be.
And you know when there are just some things that you have to do for yourself, because you have to prove that you (still) can, that you still have a life outside of it?
This was my thing.
This was the month where I got some sort of a team of my own. Behold, the first team dinner (where I say hi to the new members and bye to Beej, huhu):
In August, Mega A (most of us) formed a routine: stay at the office overnight, grab a 4AM breakfast, sleep for a couple of hours, go home to take a bath (sometimes, not even – just take a bath at the 3rd floor bathroom), rinse, repeat. It was the start of the downward spiral for some of us – we lost so many people (and hey, gained new ones, so yay?), and people break, no matter how much we believe they’re steadfast and strong.
So you know that choice that I didn’t make in April? I made it in August. And I was asked to rethink it. Booked a trip for some soul-searching, made new friends, did things I never thought of doing. [I stole this collage off Ayah, the one who came to the trip with me.] I met some amazing people in this trip and it was one of the most adventure-filled trips I’ve had. Since it was intended to give me time to think, I saw the signs that I needed for that decision.
“Self-preservation isn’t worth it if you can’t live with the self that you’re preserving.” –David Levithan
I did a thing I’m not proud of this month, because it made me feel like a weak person for doing it. I could make excuses why I did it, but I won’t, because it would all boil down to this year’s theme: FINIFUGAL. Scared of endings. Maybe scared of leaving comfort zones, too, if you must.
All in all, September was one rainy day after the other (literally and figuratively).
Also, September was the month when I realized that there were revelations you get to share with people without the aid of alcohol which made them more fun (no excuses that you were drunk when it happened or when you did it [I don’t buy this, btw], so nope, you can’t take them back).
Put your iTunes on shuffle, and then see the song that comes up. October was my It’s Not Right for You by The Script month, having found this song accidentally. And it perfectly captured the feeling of the month(s):
She said, “Is this the life you’ve been dreaming of
Spending half the day away from the things you love?
It’s not too late to do something new.”
She said, “It’s hard enough trying to live your life.
But not following your dreams made you dead inside.
If you don’t love what you do.”
I made a decision the month prior that I have to live with, and I tried hard, so hard to do so.
Of 4AM breakfasts. (Wow, same cast hahaha; I cut myself off from the second picture – pretty sure the other one was on a weekend, when we determined the love languages of everyone)
To live a little, someone started Jogging Fridays at the office, and we had a movie night there, too.
Me as the pillow after our movie night, back when my hair was still black haha. Pictured are two of my favorite people.
Before I start November, take this very deep breath with me.
I kicked off November with my mom’s renewed love for cooking. With the weekends far and between that I spend at home, there were steak nights and taco nights.
November was when we met Baymax in Big Hero 6. I just realized that this was my last movie for 2014! I haven’t watched Mockingjay (part 1) or The Maze Runner or Gone Girl. I mean, Big Hero 6 wasn’t a bad movie to end the year with (I watched it twice because I loved it a lot), but… wow.
After not seeing Nenz also for months, we took that trip to San Mateo to see her and threw her a baby shower for baby Kane. :)
And then there was this FIRST EVER MEGA-A AWAY DAY (I never thought I’d say those words). In freezing cold Tagaytay, no less. We played sports (who knew), became a bit like kids again (yay for swings, trampolines, and seesaw), and spoke about heartbreak and moving on over alcohol.
Soundtrack of the month: Cabin Down Below by The Royal Concept
[This would be the longest entry, so brace yourself.]
December: When I thought the love I found and felt would be something good for me. To be honest, I thought my heart would escape 2014 unscathed, you know. Like yay, I pulled through and finally got out of that 12-year rut that I got myself in, and then found someone to like. Like really like, that on some days I was willing to risk my just-whole heart again for him.
And I did, well, sort of. There was a point where I denied this even to myself, realizing it only when it hurt. Getting hurt was like the proverbial seeing the light kind of thing. Actually it was a blinding light, like you were standing in the middle of a football field, alone, and then someone just turned on all the stadium lights, aiming for you. No, wait. It was more of a deer in front of the headlights kind of thing. Caught unaware, like yay jeeez I love him one moment and then frozen, unable to do anything, then bam! You’re dead. Heart on the floor, pour some salt and acid in it, cut it with tens of knives.
Cried and cried, got some girl bonding, and then woman-ed up and realized I was worth better than this. Got a haircut and dyed my hair (okay, ladies, I get you – I did actually feel lighter), new glasses. And while it would take more than psyching myself up that I was going to move past this and more than spending on some items to make myself happy, I felt better each day, save for some tough days when I was tempted to backslide.
So thank YOU. For being in my life, and for showing me that I could again find a person worthy of loving. For showing me that despite my thinking that maybe my heart hardened enough due to the past and the hardships of 2014, I could love again. [And I could get hurt again, haha.]
Since I couldn’t give you a mixtape (well, I could but I won’t), I made you a playlist.
Okay, now that I’ve given that love found and lost more than the time it deserves in this year-ender, can we move on now, like what I’m doing with my life? Yes? Okay.
I did end 2014 on a positive note (sort of). We Great Gatsby-ed that #ootd, yeah?
Whew, 2014. You were such a mad bitch. You were a crazy ride with some people falling off and some new ones getting in, and some staying there with you, throughout the trip, never letting go. So thank you, to ex-somethings that teach you more than the past ones did, to everyone who stayed and never let go, to those who hung around, and to new ones who jumped into my trip of life: you made 2014 ever so colorful, despite all the darkness that came with it.
When I buy (actual, leaf-through-the-pages) books, I skip to the end. I want to know if I’d like the ending, and if I don’t, I don’t buy it. Life doesn’t work that way. We can’t skip to the end because it’s sort of a make-your-own-adventure kind of thing. The end changes with each decision and choice we make (or do not make). And being scared of endings, of being finifugal, isn’t a good thing. And I should know this, being a writer and all. That every end means a start to something. Maybe a sequel, maybe a new story. Maybe with new characters, maybe with recurring ones. It could be scary as fck, it could be something familiar but still relatively unknown, but we wouldn’t know if we wouldn’t try, right?
So this 2015, take the leap with me. Here’s to better choices, both in life and love. To stronger and wiser hearts.