Year 2007, Beautiful Indeed

December 30th, 2007 § 10

A little less than 2 days left before the year ends, would you look at that. In a few hours, together with my extended family, I shall say good bye to 2007. “Will you be in church on Sunday?,” Jovan, a friend, asked me the other day. I answered, “Of course. I want to be there when SBC bids 2007 goodbye.” :)

Year 2007, what can I say. 2007 brought me victories and accomplishments I never thought were possible at this point in my life. There were new (and overwhelming) opportunities, responsibilities, and commitments that were beyond my expectations. Of course there were heartbreaks, sacrifices, and losses as well — which brought about one leap of faith after another, spiritual highs and lows, and answered prayers.

And then there was love — an overflow of it in various forms and ways.

It’s a beautiful year, indeed. And by beautiful, I mean a lot of things — things I may not be able to give justice to because even if I try confining them into words, I would only end up robbing them off their true beauty.

Now just so I have some sort of a format, I’m doing an old blog meme I did two years ago, which I’m modifying now to capture the real highlights of the year that (soon-to-be) was. Here are some of my best posts for year 2007, grouped by month, with copy-pasted excerpts (because I’m too lazy to make summaries hehe). Join me as I wrap the year up. :)


:: JANUARY

2007, Bring it on!

If I may go back, 2006 has brought me significant milestones in my 23 years of existence. It’s as if NOW is the only time I can mean it with all conviction and sincerity–2006 came and went beautifully (not necessarily without pain, but beautifully, nonetheless) and I’m never the same. I turned 23, hence the inevitable quarter-life monologues here and there. And then there’s the big move. The big change in friendster status. Those on-and-off considerations to shift careers, and finally having the courage to take the red pill.

:: FEBRUARY

I Just Realized What Makes Me Bitter.

Monotony. Facades. Unfair judgments.

There was once a point in my life when these things were my motivations–my driving force to BE more, to DO more, and to PROVE to the world that there’s someone behind this shell who’s got potentials to be great, if only they would look closer. But now, it’s like I’m losing myself to the very things I hate. Like I’m watching myself succumb to these evils, and I’m too tired to fight them head on.

Dear Younger Ones.

Let me just say, it’s a cruel world out here. You can never tell who to trust. And even if there are a few people you can trust around, the truth is, you’re on your own. You get to enjoy your own money, yes, but soon enough you’ll realize that you’re trapped in your own (rat)race, and no matter how big you earn, it will never be enough. Self fulfillment does not come everyday. Criticisms (and misjudgements) are staple. Appreciation is scarce.

If only you guys will listen and believe me, I shall keep reminding you that there’s no need to rush. Trust me, you DON’T want to rush. Do yourself a favor and enjoy your childhood. If you can’t enjoy it, then fight for it. Live one day at a time.

:: MARCH

Meet Chichi & Chuchu.

Here I go again. While more responsibilities is supposedly not an option for me right now, I found a stress-reliever in the form of another responsibility. Don’t you just love ironies? c”,)

:: APRIL

I Love You, Daddy.

I waved goodbye and watched as the car disappeared from my view, thankful that I was blessed with such wonderful parents. Little did I know that it was going to be the last. Last time I’d ever hear my Daddy laugh. Last time I’d ever hug him. Last time I’d ever see him and my mom happy together. Last time I’d ever be with him, joke with him, laugh with him. Last time I’d ever see his smile.

My Dad’s in a better place now–no more pain, no more heart failures, no more disappointments. I’ll always miss my Dad, but I know, in my heart, he will always be. Once in a while I would still cry, and it’s as if everyone around me has given me the freedom to do so, no questions asked. Sometimes it’s easier to just lock myself up and forget that the world moves on regardless if I move on with it or not. I know eventually I will be okay, just give me more time.

Feldene Flash.

Amazingly, ten minutes after taking Feldene Flash, the pain was gone. All of it. (That fast? That easy?)

I don’t know how it happened, and what Feldene Flash has that made the pain go away. I didn’t bother trying to find out either. What mattered was suddenly, the day was easier to bear.

Now if only there’s a medicine that could take away that other form of pain — the one that comes with change; and letting go of something you’re not ready to let go of yet; and missing someone you can’t anymore have – please, let me know.

I need an overdose.

:: MAY

Year 24, Week 1.

At first glance, there’s really not much of a difference — I’m still the same Riz, with the same surname (lol), and the same height, and the same God holding my life together. Still the same daddy’s girl who loves hugging people (fine, not ALL people), whose wardrobe’s 60% pink, who dreams of going to Oz, and of a happily ever after.

But looking deeper, I know that I’m a very different person from how I was a year ago. For one, I’m one year away from turning 25 (que horror!), and a whole year of drama was added to my life — defining moments, new set of people, new job (which is not so new anymore), new opportunities, bigger responsibilities. Twentyfour years made me this, and I’m glad. :) I just hope that when people look at my life now, they’d appreciate what they see — “some bruises here and there”, but still going, still thriving, still trying (and hoping) to make a difference one day at a time.

Love Letter.

I can’t hold back the tears anymore, Daddy. I miss you. It breaks my heart that I won’t get to spend my birthdays with you ever again. I wish I could go back to those days when life was simpler. When you were there to tell me bedtime stories and tuck me in at night, and drive me to school in the mornings, and buy me ice cream on my birthdays, and ground me when I get home late, or scold me when I mess up, and tell me you love me and that you’re proud of me even when I make mistakes. I’m scared to be 24 without you, Daddy.

But I know that even if you’re up there already, you’re looking down on me and watching me whenever you can. And I know that if you could, you’d give me a big hug right now, and wipe my tears away, and tell me everything’s going to be alright. And you’d whisper to me, “Be still, sweetie, and know that He is God. Just love Him well and everything will be well..

Thank you, Daddy. I’m 24 now but I’m still your little girl. Watch me, Daddy. I’m going to make you proud of me.

:: JUNE

Super Mom Part 2.

Hey Mom, I love that life is easier because you’re always there. I love that you have no choice but to be here for us when we need you (and even if we seem like we don’t), hehe, because that’s the kind of Mom you are. And I love that I don’t have to wonder how life is gona be like without you because, well, you’ve always been around.

Thank you for being the Super Mom that you are, and for imparting to us your genes, which gives us the potentials to be super too.

I’m a Writer, Really!

Writing for me sort of just happened. And I didn’t really think I excel at it, it’s just something I had to do.

Because it pays the bills. Because if I don’t write, I can’t seem to imagine myself doing anything else. Because I love doing it (even though at times it doesn’t love me back). And because sometimes, I hate doing it too (even during those times I have no choice but to do it).

The existence of this love-hate relationship with writing makes me convinced that I am a writer. I must be one. I mean, aren’t all writers love writing and hate it too at one point or another? :P

Second Chances.

In my life I have failed many second chances, some of them haunts me until now in the form of should-have-beens and what-ifs.

(And I couldn’t help but think that today, we just lost ours.)

But one has to keep moving, to keep breathing, to leave the torments of yesterday behind and focus on what lies ahead. After all, today’s another day. And, if God wills, there’s still tomorrow to look forward to.

Missing Daddy on Father’s Day.

As I said, I’ve learned that crying does not change the situation, but simply a release so that one has more room to fill with strength to cope, and to move on — at least that’s how it has worked for me. Come to think of it, no occasion will ever be the same again. There will always be that empty seat in Christmasses, and birthdays, and anniversaries, to come. As Miss Noemi always puts it, I’m entering my “new normal”. This is how it’s always gonna be from now on, and I need not be sad about it. We will always miss Dad, but there will always be that unexplainable joy that comes with knowing that even though he’s not here with us anymore, his memory lives on whatever happens and wherever we go.

Paperclips Brought Me to You.

It’s true what they say.. there’s always something extraordinary about the ordinary, in the same way you find beauty in the most trivial of things. You ignore the fact that you share the world with billions of paper clips, until this one point in your life when it created for you a way to reconnect with an old friend. Which in turn became an excuse to connect with all sorts of people: People who use paper clips to take wax off their ears. People who have traumatic experiences with paper clips. People who collect paper clips, and use them to define moments.

Now, I have every reason to see paper clips in a different light. This could be it, my paper clip story preserved in a blog forever. It may not be as grand as Nikki’s, or Oneredpaperclip’s, but who knows, this could be, for me, the beginning of something else. I’m excited to find out.

Caught in the Act.

It was therapeutic saying those things to kids, and hearing yourself as if you need it too. After some time you get used to the sight of blood, and to the shrieks of pain. After some time you get relieved for them because you know that they’d go back home armed with a pack of pain killers to last a whole week, and the pain would soon be gone. And then you watch them leave and you know that if only for that one moment that God allowed you to be there in their time of pain, the experience was definitely worth it all.

:: JULY

You Didn’t Have to Know.

This afternoon, I faced pain head on, no turning back. It wasn’t easy, opening up wounds that never did mend, allowing frustration to sink in, and acknowledging the reality that there are things that just.. can’t be. And it hurts big time. It involves a lot of crying, and a lot of shouting inside an empty apartment, and a lot of questioning if God hears.

For the first time in a long while, I wanted something so bad and I know I couldn’t have it.

I’ve never cried as much as I did this afternoon since I last cried because of losing Dad. But this I have to admit.. there’s something about being at your weakest that’s painfully liberating. As if you’re left with no choice but to draw strength from within (because you can’t get it anywhere else), and to trust God that He knows what He’s doing (because you can’t really trust yourself), and you cling on to Him, and you don’t let go.

No need to explain further. I shall always remember this day.

Plaything, But Not Really.

It’s just like that “gorgeous” night at Serendra with three lovely lovely ladies, where, in the midst of coffee and jazz music and yuppies having their own adult conversations, we found ourselves talking about things that usually don’t cross an adult’s mind.

And it was fun, and refreshing, and feel-good. As if we allowed ourselves, for one night, to forget the race that this life is, that there are bills to be paid, and that there’s work the next day. Classic girl bonding moment.

Quarter-Lifer Meets Mid-Lifer.

And what more of an honor (horror??!) to be called the “wisest 20something I know” by The Cathy Babao herself. (Wow, the pressure! LOL.) Seeing my link on her blogroll, lined up with highly respectable people who blog about life, careers, politics, charity work, family, and faith, (you get the drift), brings this sudden weight of pressure on me. I mean, imagine Kuya Bojie of Batibot singing, “alin, alin, alin ang naiba..” and everyone’s finger would point at my link. Get the picture?? Que horror!

In the end, it was a win-win case for me. I got a breather from all the SEO and writing I have to do, but more importantly, getting to know a new friend, getting a glimpse of mid-life through her, and being inspired, was the icing on the cake. It was lovely meeting you, Miss Cathy, and let me just say.. the feeling is mutual as I see you to be one of the wisest women I know online and offline as well. )

:: AUGUST

Buhbye July, I’ll See You Again Soon.

The past month flew by in a bliss I almost didn’t notice it (probably because I was too busy floating). But before I say hello to August, let me just say that July has successfully climbed the charts as my, by far, most favorite month of the year. (Or, possibly, of my entire 24 years of existence.)

July came and went, and I’m never the same.

And it made me smile to realize that some of the most important milestones in my life happened in the month of July — coincidence or planned, I wouldn’t know for sure. But I always believe in God being mindful of the details and timelines in our lives, and how they mesh together with everyone else’s. So yeah, perhaps He’s got His hand on this after all. )

:: SEPTEMBER

All my Bags are Packed, I’m Ready to Go.

Now is the time to feel stressed, and to think of a nice long bath, but there’s still a lot to do. However, on top of the adrenalin rush, I can sense this teeny weeny bit of nostalgia in the air — which I think is inevitable, especially if you’re leaving a place you’ve spent some of the best months of your life in, and you’d most likely never set foot in that place again.

I would have taken more pictures, but my mess awaits. This nagging voice inside my head keeps on reminding me that I’m no longer a little girl, and there’s no more yaya to pack my things and do the tasks that are supposed to be mine. Gah. It’s tiring to be an adult.

Tomorrow, we’ll be leaving this apartment, and will start filling a new one with new memories. And it’s really not that big of a deal for me to be blogging about it.

Except that it once again made me think about how time flies so fast, and that life involves a lot of moving on.

:: OCTOBER

I’m Officially a Mac Convert.

It’s difficult for me to adapt with change, and I’m usually scared to try out new things too — must be why I’ve had the same hairdo for years, and I’ve never owned a mobile phone that is NOT Nokia.

Well, it’s about time for me. )

Moleskine Confessions.

Behold, I heaved a sigh of relief. There it was, the familiar leather bound mini-notebook, handed to me by a certain barista named Ducks — don’t ask me, I wondered what’s with the name too — and I went away with a huge smile on my face. Thank God.

Now just in case you happened to pass by Starbucks Shangrila, the one in 5th floor, do me a favor by thanking Ducks again for me will ya. Heh.

Maybe it’s true what they say. Moleskines really do travel a lot! As for my Moleskine Journal, here goes her first adventure. )

I Had a Chat with Gio and Aaron Wall.

I had my ten minutes worth of air time with the Walls, yay ME — perhaps one of the highlights of my SEMCON experience (which I will blog more about later). Very down-to-earth, both of them. )

I told Aaron Wall that he’s got a pretty good taste, falling in love with a Filipina. And I could say the same for Gio, for marrying The SEO Book. Er, I mean, the author. Hehe.

As for me, I’m still starstruck. (And wondering if someday, people will tell my husband-to-be that he’s got good taste marrying this SEO girl that I am. Blpht.) p

Abigail Breslin, Always the Lost Little Girl.

Funny how she’s always casted for roles like that — lost little girl, trying to get over the death of her parents, starting a whole new life with an aunt who knows little about her, seeking attention in different forms and ways. And dude, she’s played the role well.

Then again, she probably didn’t have to exert too much effort playing that role. I mean, how natural is it to feel lost? Come to think of it, there’s always that lost little girl inside every woman’s heart that is wanting to feel that sense of belongingness, hoping to find someone who will care for her on top of everything else, and seeking that “place” she can call home.

Point is, I envy her. Man. She gets paid millions of dollars playing a role I do so well. Tsk.

If Only I Have One of Those Babylon Candles.

At the end of the day, there is no babylon candle. And the only way I could reach Sydney or New York is if I work hard and pray even harder. And the only way I could reach heaven is if I already accomplished what I was made to do here on earth, or attempt suicide — which I won’t do, of course, because life is too precious.

Gah. Would I sound too icky-emo if I say that perhaps I don’t need a babylon candle, after all? That maybe, I can bring Sydney, New York, and heaven where I am — like, right here, right now? Hmm.

:: NOVEMBER

Two Random Things to Buy ASAP.

Que Horror!! I know, I’m shocked at myself too. I’ve always set aside the thought of doing some serious cooking.. until this certain someone started pressuring me to think of my future family, and what I’m going to serve them for dinner. I mean, yeah, my kids would probably love pizza and Jollibee everyday but that’s not exactly responsible parenting, right? Hence, the awakening: I need to learn how to cook.

Thinking of Daddy on His Birthday.

I guess there’s really no way I could avoid missing him and wiping tears off my eyes once in a while. No way I could stop thinking of a lifetime ahead of me without him to share it with.

*Sigh* It’s been almost 8 months. Sometimes it still feels like a dream.

But don’t get me wrong. I’m happy. We‘re happy. Happy that he’s not battling anymore with cardiomyopathy. Happy knowing that he’s not experiencing any more pain. Happy knowing that he’s happy where he is now.

Let Me Tell You Something About Breakups.

The ultimate truth of the matter is, experiencing a break-up is probably one of the most (if not TEH most) liberating, life-altering experience in the world. While it’s mostly painful, it’s an opportunity to get to know yourself a bit more and to acknowledge what you’re worth. It’s the kind of experience you’d want to go back to when you need something to draw strength from, or when you have a friend who needs to be comforted.

Take it from someone who experienced something like it. I’m not an expert at all, just like Aster, or Ivy.. just like the rest of you. Break-ups are real. It happens, but it’s not the end of the world.

Year-End Resolutions, It’s Never Too Late.

And let me just say that it’s tragic, reading pages and pages of blogs and journal entries bearing the same thoughts — the same resolutions — through the years. You thought you were still young at 23, that you’ve become more matured a year after, but actually, you’ve been whining about the same things then and now. It’s as if you’ve never really learned.

I need to grow up, and fast. Hence, this list of year-end resolutions. I know a list is not going to change anything, but here’s to remind myself, with everyone as my witness, that some major overhaul is going to happen in this life of mine.

In Memory of Chuchu.

It doesn’t feel too long ago when I first got the hamsters, when I had to take them to my niece’s debut. Dad was still alive at that time, and was really amused as well. 10 months, gone in blink. Sigh.

I feel sad, but it was a good 10 months for Chuchu and me. I don’t think I’ll be buying a new set of hamsters anytime soon. But when I’m ready, or perhaps when I found the perfect pair, I will.

Makes me say “wow” everytime I think about all the milestones that happened in this life of mine this 2007. 2008 is a few hours away, and man, I can’t wait to find out what it has in store for me. :) Happy New Year everyone!

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