Earlier this year while having dinner with someone, we got into the conversation of how our 2017 fared compared to last year. He, with full conviction, declared that his 2016 was more epic and he had yet to see what the current year can bring.

Bali_Elegantly Wasted 6

After that episode, I started thinking about my own year and if it was any better. The answer at that time was 2016 had been fantastic. Too fantastic that I backtracked and re-read my New Year’s wish last January, I warned that 2017 will have some big shoes to fill.

Previously, I had measured my “success” in terms of being able to travel alone, on a whim, and being in situations way out of my comfort zones. The scooter situation in Tablas Island was enough to make me feel alive (scared, thankful, regretful, etc.), and I have been yearning for that same adrenaline rush in 2017 which never really actually happened. Work-wise, I was also having a lot of fun and earning so much.

If 2016 was my “Year of Mindfulness and Discovery”, 2017 was my “Year of Adulting and Slowing Down”

I have learned to enjoy just being in my room, reading or writing. I’ve relished in letting go of jobs that didn’t feel right, to say no to some people (call them out if needed) and decline trips because I didn’t feel like it. I’ve basically learned to delete or edit my life as I see fit. And I don’t feel the need to apologize for any of that, because it is my life and I’ll do whatever I want with it.

I went out of my comfort zones for sure, by pitching AXA to companies, going on a roadtrip around Davao, and being able to speak about The Plastic Solution in an Environmental Summit. As someone who has this fear of public speaking, I think the latter was the highlight of my year.

Representing The Plastic Solution at the EAC Summit

Representing The Plastic Solution at the EAC Summit

On the flipside, even though I was supposedly doing more serious stuff, I was also in search of passion. I felt my life lacked meaning. I wasn’t driven too much by money — this I knew but money will still buy you time hence very important.

Have I reached my fulfillment curve?

Am I done with surfing (sometimes I like reading my book by the shore and watch people surf), traveling (I need more mindful and immersive experiences), or dating (I love dating but I am perfectly fine alone, too)? Because I had a very event-filled two years does this mean my introversion is slowly rearing its head and I am too tired with all these activities the young me once enjoyed? Did Netflix and chill destroy me? Last one is a joke, I love Netflix.

And I started to love naps — naps with cuddles even more. Total brainfart right there but worth mentioning.

Mid-year I was already feeling the burn, I had taken a one month sabbatical from work to think about what I wanted. I didn’t travel during those weeks, in fact I got sick and was bedridden most of the time. It was a mixture of [mental] fatigue, lack of drive and inspiration, and plain confusion that prompted me to rest and think about my life.

Our first beach clean up in Baler

Our first beach clean up in Baler

Everyone was only seeing the fever, body pains, and bacterial infection that made me stay home, but I was tired AF. I was tired of following the path that was laid out in front of me, tired of just doing the same things day in and day out, tired of being in Manila.

While out drinking one night, I stumbled upon a stray kitten (I’d like to think she chose me) and so I temporarily forgot all my worries in the world and took her in. She has been my center ever since, a worthwhile distraction if you will. But distractions don’t last too long…

So my 2017…

…is a mish-mash of so many things I can’t even define it. There were lovely and impetuous parts that will live with me forever along with the lessons I hopefully learnt from them; there were hard decisions I had to contend with, a lot of sad, introspecting days that tore me to pieces; and there are days like today when I just appreciate myself and the idle time I have.

The good stuff:

  • I have decided to start blogging again, I was thinking of retiring the blog early this year until opportunities started coming in (God’s timing is awesome!)
  • I have turned to reading physical books and I average 2 books per month. Isn’t that amazing? A welcome break from the digital world.
  • I’ve been around the Philippines more this year and interacted with our tribes, this was my dream 2 years ago
  • I was able to go around Mindanao, specifically Davao, General Santos City, Saranggani, Sultan Kudarat. My dream last year was tick these off from my bucket list, thanks to TPB this wish was granted.
  • I am more conscientious with my ecobricks and have inspired other people to do the same

I’m still a work in progress, I’m still trying to be mindful and more passionate about what I want to do. And I’m hopeful that 2018 might just surprise me. And I think — having re-read this post many times — all I really need is a scooter to drive, a map, and a new solo adventure! That’ll do the trick, methinks.

How was your year? Better than 2016, I wish?