If any year deserves a year-ender post, it’s 2017. While living through 2016 was like getting caught in a quicksand where the more you struggle the deeper you sink, 2017 was very akin to my first full-marathon experience, a very strong start, an arduous middle but a very rewarding finish. Yes, my 2017 was by no means a walk in the park; it was peppered by hardships and challenges. But the frequent respite I got definitely made up for most of the hurdles life threw at me.
2017 is THE travel year for me. I welcomed the new year by celebrating the Hogmanay in Scotland, napping at the Edinburgh Airport and finally, battling the cold in Paris. For three days I walked around the City of Lights, checking off item after item from my bucket list. Not a month later I would find myself traveling to Dumaguete and Siquijor, making new friends during that round of solo traveling. For my birthday I found myself in a week-long jaunt that covered Agusan del Norte, Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur, effectively achieving 2017 Goal #1: visit three new provinces in the Philippines.
Less than a month after, because of my insistence to have a great travel history, I went back to the UK during Holy Week, visiting places I missed during my first time there, like the Harry Potter WB Studios. I even checked out Cambridge then ventured off into the far away Isle of Skye in Scotland. For my mother’s birthday, I revisited Hong Kong, this time with my family, doing a theme park tour since I was with my niece and nephew. And for my final trip for the year, I went to Taiwan for the first time, happily reconnecting with a close friend from college at the same time. By then, I have checked off 2017 Goal #2: visit three new countries (yes, I included UK together with France and Taiwan to achieve this).
Because of all this traveling though, I have a mountain of backlog posts. I hope that I would be able to scale this particular mountain in 2018.
Traveling was not the only major aspect of this year as I also accepted a co-chairperson position on one of the employee resource groups at the company I work for. Presiding over seven activities and nineteen officers from three different sites and of different temperaments was no easy feat. After a light and breezy first year composed mostly of marketing activities, the second year had to be streamlined with activities that tied up with the overall diversity and inclusion goals of the company. Being co-chair was a real lesson on leadership and politics, and it gave me a different insight into the human psyche. Though fraught with intrigue and controversy, our ERG ultimately came out smelling like roses for all the world to see. And for that, I am nothing but grateful.
The last, but definitely not the least, major aspect of my life in 2017 was that I accepted a part-time job as a Spanish teacher to Grade 9 students. It’s my first time to teach in a huge classroom setup and the word “challenge” does not begin to underscore this part of my life right now. Everyday is a learning experience for me and I can only say that I am working towards improving, not just my students’ Spanish, but also myself.
In a few hours, 2018 will come. Unlike in 2016 when I was so gung-ho in planning, I have absolutely nothing for 2018. I actually feel like shaking things up a bit and just taking things as they come and see what happens. Universe, 2018 is up to you.