It’s that time of the year again where I celebrate yet another birthday. Honestly, I feel I’m growing old way too fast and find myself trying to hold on desperately to my youth. I mean, where the heck did my 20s gone? They seem to zip by so fast!
Regardless, it’s been a fruitful and interesting year for me, more so because there were so many changes that happened. For example, the biggest ones were:
- Getting a boyfriend in November 2012. 1 year and a month after Trader and I broke up (4 months of which I cried myself regularly), Boyfriend and I got together. It was November 21st when finally, I admitted I had feelings for him as well. So far, it’s been a wild adventure with many ups and few downs, but Boyfriend has become such a big part of my life that I start wondering how life would be quite empty without him. Our love story is best told by Boyfriend here.
- Dad passing away in February 2013. Dad was diagnosed with liver cancer in September, and passed away less than 6 months later. It was so very fast. Being in the hospital, sleeping beside him and holding his hand, and then him passing away! Though we all tried to be practical about it, I still very much miss him.
- Spending more time with mom on 2013. With my dad gone, we’ve been spending a lot of time with mommy. Back when dad was alive, mom was always with dad. Day in and day out, they built their lives and family together, only separating in death. Today, I spend lots of time with my mom, exercising and doing yoga 4x a week, watching movies and having dinner together. It’s been such a joy!
There were a few pains and disappointments that happened. For one, my brother disapproved of my choice of boyfriends and somehow made life and work more difficult for me as documented here.
There were also a few challenges that tested our relationship, but we’re still going strong and happy so guess God was looking out for us.
And lastly, I had a few successes at work. From a company nobody knew, at the very least, people are already seeking our company actively. It’s great. Unfortunately, given the difficulties with working with brother, am taking a step back and working with mom instead. Not a bad move indeed.
Anyway, enough with the summaries. As per tradition, here are the Q&As:
1) What have you done when you were 32 that you’ve never done before?
- Go to Zhangjiajie (March 2013) and saw the Avatar mountains come alive.
- Went to Guangzhou in the hopes of finding a new business. Came back empty-handed but full of respect for the enterprising Mainland Chinese who come up with EVERYTHING.
- We also participated in two car shows, both of which I’ve actively organized. There was the Manila International Auto Show in World Trade Center last May, and the Transport Show at SMX last June. Both booths and events had proven to be quite popular, and our Baby Beetle was a head-turner, winning second place in its category.
- Dated one guy and had a relatively smooth and enjoyable relationship. We spent everyday together, and even underwent pre-marital, pre-engagement counseling. Now, that was a first!
- Tried out yoga with my mom. Now we go twice a week!
2) Did anyone close to you give birth?
- Hmmmm… not really, though a lot of my friends and classmates are already in their 2nd kid!
3) Did anyone close to you die?
- My dad. I still miss him.
4) What countries did you visit?
- Xiamen with my dad where we spent our last Christmas/New Year’s together. Boy I have so many regrets from that trip. I didn’t know that dad wouldn’t be with us by February. I miss him a lot.
- Zhangjiajie in March,Guangzhou a few months after.
- Singapore in August for a short trip to renew our relationship. It was a nice 5 days with just my mom and my brother.
5) What would you like to have when you’re 33 that you lacked when you were 32?
- A lot more luck I guess. I think that my year of 32, I lost a lot of people. My dad, who I still miss, and in a way, my brother, whom I didn’t really understand much of. I think my dad’s death really impacted us all, and we didn’t really know how to handle the hole my domineering and demanding dad left after he passed away. It changed the family dynamic losing someone with that big of a presence and personality in our lives.
I’d like to have the good relationship with my brother back.
6) What date this year will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
- November 21, 2012: when Boyfriend and I formally got together.
- February 2, 2013: when dad passed away. He was buried in February 9.
7) What was your biggest achievement of the year?
- Participating in two of the Philippine largest car shows, and coming up with booths that substantially increased our company profile, and customer awareness of our products! Our car even won second place in its category, and we organized our part of the show a mere 4 months prior. Haha, and I don’t even drive!
- Oh, and I finished my MBA degree. The graduation was last November 2012! I still miss HK and my friends there.
8 ) What was your biggest failure?
- That I couldn’t retain a good relationship with my brother while working together with him. It pains me a lot to this day. We used to be super close. I hope we can solve this issue especially since I’ve already moved away from working very closely with him in his company, and is now helping my mom.
- That I didn’t know how short a time my dad had, and I could have savored my time together with him a little bit more.
9) Did you suffer illness or injury?
- Not really, maybe just a lot of back ache due to stress.
10) What was the best thing you bought?
- After months of deliberation, I finally bought myself a Black, Medium Chanel 2.55 in caviar and with gold hardware, justifying it was an MBA graduation gift (yeah right). Up till today, it’s still one of my prized possessions, and I’ve made good use of it during cocktail and evening parties.
- Oh and a Nespresso machine. Got it cheaper from HK and I’ve never looked back. Nespresso offers consistent, flavorful coffee that does NOT disappoint. It’s definitely a lifesaver given the limited availability of good coffee that packs a punch.
11) Whose behavior merited celebration?
- Boyfriend: for being able to spend time with me daily, and not getting sick of me yet.
- My mom: for staying strong despite the many ups and downs this year.
12) Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
- My brother: there are still many things that he did that I don’t understand. I feel at times he is a bit torn, and he doesn’t really understand why he does what he did. I wish he can be a lot more open, a lot more forgiving, and a lot happier.
- His girlfriend: for still not getting to work on time. Oh well, but she is improving!
13) Where did most of your money go?
- Starbucks coffee: that’s my happy place. When I’m away from my Nespresso, Starbucks sufficed.
- Shopping: I still love to buy dresses, shoes and bags. Hey, I’m a girl!
14) What did you get really, really, really excited about?
- My boyfriend and the future! What sort of business can I come up with in the future?!
15) What song will always remind you of this year?
- Psy, “Gangnam Style” and “Gentleman”
- David Guetta, “Titanium”
- Miley Cyrus, “Wrecking Ball”
16) Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder? Happier with my boyfriend and mom. Sadder everywhere else.
ii. thinner or fatter? Oh gosh, fatter.
iii. richer or poorer? A LOT poorer. The Philippines salary is a joke.
17) What do you wish you’d done more of?
- Spent more time with dad when he was alive.
- I wonder if there was anything I could do at work that would’ve made my relationship with my brother better.
18) What do you wish you’d done less of?
- Fought with my brother over useless things. In the end, I still value my relationship with my brother instead of anything else.
19) How will you be spending Christmas?
- Hopefully abroad. Haha!
20) Did you fall in love between October 2012 to October 2013?
21) How many one-night stands?
- Uhhh none, I was in a committed monogamous relationship.
22) What was your favorite TV program?
- I really liked Suits and The Bitch in Apartment 23. Didn’t really have that much time to watch TV although Boyfriend and I are currently watching American Horror Story: Asylum. Creepy max.
23) Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
- Yes, let’s keep it at that.
24) What was the best book you read?
- I liked Games of Thrones though haven’t finished all five. I also liked Tim Gunn’s book, “ Gunn’s Golden Rules: Life’s Little Lessons for Making It Work“
25) What was your greatest musical discovery?
- Piano Guys, we watched them when they came to the Philippines. Here’s their take on Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep.“
- Revisited Daft Punk. Their “Get Lucky” was amaze-balls.
- Pentatonix, they were discovered in a talent show. Here’s their take on “Radioactive.”
- KurtHugoSchneider, their take on Adele’s “Skyfall” tore into my heart.
26) What did you want and got?
- The Chanel 2.55 bag. Haha! Then again, that was my choice anyway.
- A loving relationship
27) What was your favorite film of this year?
- “Pacific Rim” I loved the imagination and effort that went into this film. Although it starred a bunch of nobodies, Pacific Rim broke movie making barriers in my own opinion.
28) How did you celebrate your birthday?
- On the 15th, I went out with two of my best friends from high school. We had dinner at SM North EDSA, and then had coffee at Starbucks.
- On the 16th, my family took me to Sakura in Makati where we had the best beef teppanyaki!
- On the 17th, boyfriend took me to Enchanted Kingdom. The Lord was good as it didn’t rain! We afterwards spent the evening eating Subway, and watching American Horror Story.
29) What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
- A good relationship with my brother.
30) How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009?
- Still the same, lots of skirts and dresses, interspersed with pants and shorts. Because of my dad’s passing, I removed all bright colors and anything that was yellow, orange, red, or pink. Most of the stuff I wore were white, black or blue.
31) What kept you sane?
- My boyfriend and my mom.
35) Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
- Miley Cyrus, it’s great how she’s managed to be the most talked about polarizing celebrity in just a few months. She did what most people only talked about but never dared doing.
36) What political issue stirred you the most?
- The gross stupidity of the US’ Tea Party. What the hell were they thinking putting the global financial markets on hostage by threatening NOT to raise the debt ceiling?!
37) Who did you miss?
- My dad, hands down.
38) Who was the best new person you met?
- My Auntie Baby, whom we rediscovered. She offered her place for us to do our gym and yoga.
39) Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned between October 2012 to October 2013:
- That wealth is unimportant if it’s at the risk of losing your good relationship with loved ones.
- Don’t sweat the small stuff and be too greedy about money. Think big picture, please.
- That all problems can be handled calmly through a soft voice and lots of explanation. Sometimes, we have a tendency to balloon things up and not hearing the other side. We could basically solve a lot of problems by listening first and talking later.
- That you have to be detail-oriented. You can get away with carelessness at times, but not all the time.
- You really have to trust God in His ultimate wisdom. Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
40) Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
Have a great week ahead everyone!