2010 in Pictures

JANUARY- The girls headed north for a memorable trip to Ilocos. Left Manila with mom a day after I arrived from Taiwan.
FEBRUARY: Auntie Emi went home for her yearly visit and took her to Cebu and Bohol. Went back to Taipei for another semester and bid goodbye to the bestfriends I had during my first six months. I took some of the good courses offered by other departments. Gender Politics rocked, and also Communication Psychology and Human Communication. Best semester ever.
MARCH: When you say goodbye to some friends, new ones will come. I signed up for a Chinese class and met three girls whom I shared the best friendship with, that is over Vietnamese noodles and Sichuan foods.

MAY: I went on a solo flight to Singapore for some RnR. I realized I like traveling alone.
JUNE: Finished all four term papers just in time for mom and Auntie Yollie's arrival. They visited me, showed my old and new place. Mom finally saw my life in Taiwan and I think she's happy that I'm living well. Got good grades too from this semester!
JULY: I brought my friends I met in Taiwan and toured them around my favorite places and restaurants. I hope they found the Philippines beautiful despite the disheartening economic situation.
AUGUST: This picture was taken a day before EJ was rushed to the hospital. Two days after, he left the world and became an angel, watching over us.
SEPTEMBER: Left again for my second to the last semester in graduate school. Moved in to my new place which I can now confidently call as "home," not dorm. I also started meeting and working with a wonderful thesis adviser who motivates me each time to do well.
OCTOBER: No crying unlike last year. Judy, my classmate, gave me a surprise in our Chinese class. Turning 22 wasn't a big thing but someone reminded me to not let age pass you by. There must be something memorable in every birthday and age you celebrate.
NOVEMBER: The start of the I-feel-like-dying-because-of-thesis moments. Thanks to my bestfriend Monica who came for a visit, I regained my sanity. She's one of the few close friends I have who truly believes in me. I don't believe in my capacity, my close friends do, and also my adviser. I need to be pushed, most of the time.

DECEMBER: I got the approval of my thesis adviser and successfully defended my proposal in front of the two demigods of qualitative research, one is the author of my thesis bible. Thankful of the grade they gave me, hence the after-defense celebration with friends, for lunch and noisy chit chats. Taiwan journey is about meeting people and saying goodbye after, so Judy and Shawn, my classmates from Chinese class organized a small get together for everyone before leaving Taiwan.
Even if I'm so preoccupied with a lot of life's issues, this note from my English tutoring group student melted my heart. It made me think of the possibility of me becoming a teacher someday. Should I consider? Hmmm... 

So that's my year in review. It was quite a ride, but I enjoyed it :)

Lessons on the Year that Was

From dryicons.com
I haven't written anything since forever. I just want to share some lessons I gathered from the experiences I have had this year 2010.

I cannot always pretend that everything is perfect or smooth sailing. I have problems that only a few close friends know about and they are amazed on how I'm holding it up together. It is just a blessing that I've been living a busy life the past months in Taipei that I couldn't bring myself to think of the problems I have to think. If I can only slice my brain into pieces, divide them into parts, and assign each part to problem A, B and C, that would make me happy.

I struggled the past couple of months. I managed to smile each day and think of better things. I busied myself with teaching people the right communication skills and writing my thesis proposal to finish graduate school. With God's grace, I was able to focus on my thesis and did quite well on the proposal and defense. I owe it all to the big Guy up there who's been giving me so much strength to handle these situations. I'm coping so well that I don't have hate in my heart anymore.

At the end of the day, everything boils down to our own choices and decisions. I choose to be happy and not let the problems affect me. I choose to smile not because I want to create a front, but because I desire positivity. Some people make bad choices, and even stupid decisions. But for some, fate interferes and brings them a little discovery that will change the way they perceive things. Such is life. You  make wrong turns, but you can always think of ways to go to a better route and maybe somehow redeem yourself to those you've wronged. But then again the choice is yours. It's always about options, and they all have their corresponding consequences.

So that basically sums up my entire year, a year full of learning, academically and life-wise, from all the highs and lows and heartaches. They make us stronger. I was swamped with books and readings and I was this close to losing everything and giving up, but I persevered. All the things I have now, or where the path had led me, is all because of sheer hard work and constant prayers. Even if I'm scared to death, I don't give up because I have faith. I'm way past the adjustment period in living my life alone. I don't know why or how it took me so long to learn it's okay to be alone in the other side of the world. With what I've been going through, I think I can now live and have my own peace somewhere along life's trajectories.

I am so looking forward to a good 2011. Lord, whatever's in store for me in the year to come, be my guide and light my way. Keep my family safe, especially mom, because she's my strength.

HAPPY 2011!!!