Friday, December 21, 2012

Thank you, Twenty Twelve

Yesterday, Steve Carell posted this on his Twitter account:

And then I figured that because it's probably the end of the world tomorrow, the least I can do is to be grateful. That is probably the kindest thing a person can ever think of doing before dying. That or profess undying love, but you know me, I don't profess. The world *might* not end tomorrow, and I don't want to go through the next years of my life in hiding. So here are the things I am truly thankful for this year, in no particular order (this phrase is so Ms. Universe!), just because I may not be able to do so. 

1. Thank you 2012 for allowing me to go to Hanoi

I'm not sure how I will get over this, but the definite highlight of my year is travelling alone to Hanoi. I am thankful for the opportunity to get out on my own and leave my comfort zone without support from anyone. Truth is, it was kind of an ordeal to conceive my plan without busting it to my parents, because I know once they knew about it, they won't allow me to go and I will be very sad, because I have already paid for my tickets (hehe). I never really intended to travel alone and have never thought about Hanoi, until the last minute when I randomly selected a city. Glad I made the decision and pursued it because it has taught me a lot of things I don't think I'd discover had I decided not to go.

Going there gave me time to talk to people I never really thought I have the courage to talk to. My host, +Ryan told me that independence and rebelling are good things (I know he meant rebelling in a good way), that it's not bad to leave things behind, even if it gives you so much money, for something you actually love and gives you happiness and better sense of fulfillment in life. My experience with him has helped me open up to trusting people again, which is really hard for me with all my trust issues. There are so many people I've met during my short stay, but Ryan has definitely made me think about my life and my goals, which makes him the coolest person I met this year. 

2. Thank you 2012 for the awesome movies, books, and music this year

Movies, Books, and Movies are three of the things I truly enjoy, but never paid too much attention to. During the start of the year, I vowed to write all the movies I saw and books I read throughout 2012. It was tedious, but it gave me a push to discover and re-discover because the thought of not filling out the notebook is disappointing. True enough, it made me see more movies, even those I have already seen before. It made me appreciate (or not) the things I've seen or read. It helped stir up conversations among my friends, which made meet ups more engaging. It made me buy or download (sorry!) books of different genre (some of which I have yet to read, but at least I have things to do when the world continues to live beyond 21st). Aside from my growing book collection, I have also decided to collect DVDs which I am planning to make bigger if I survive the apocalypse. 

This year has led me to 8tracks, a site which features specially curated playlists, letting users become their own DJ and create a virtual mixtape. I don't know where have I been living all these years and I only discovered 8tracks this year. Shameful. This site has opened my ears to more artists, some of which I haven't really heard of. It gave my often neglected iPod Shuffle a new life with new tracks from singers and bands I got acquainted to by going to 8tracks. It can be a small feat for a self-proclaimed music fan, but a great musical victory nonetheless. 

3. Thank you 2012 for being cruel... to be kind

I have been warned: 2012, despite being under my Chinese zodiac sign Dragon, will not be so nice with me and that's true. There are things I regret and I want to forget doing. But you know what, come to think of it, they me made stand up and face realities I try to shun away, because then, I only want what's beautiful and easy. This year's cruelty (from instances to people) made me work harder, made me think of things that truly matter, and let go of whatever's stopping me to do what I want to do. This year, brought heartache (so many times), anger, injustice, and whatever heart wrenching thing you can think of. But defeats, no matter how awful they are and how nearly it tried to kill you, must mean to make us stronger, better, and wiser. 

4. Thank you 2012 for terrific friends anyone could have

This year may have been a roller coaster, but I must say that some of the best parts of 2012, if not all them were spent with these people. I am grateful for all the experiences I had with them, that nothing, even the worst natural disaster can ever erase. I'd like to think that my memory may not be top-notch, but I am glad I have photos to help me remember when, where, how, and why these things happened. I am grateful for brave friends who weren't afraid to be themselves and discover who they are. For wise friends who shared wisdom and experiences with utmost patience despite my short comings. For inspiring friends who has greatly influenced my decision to pursue my new goals. 

This year brought me to new people, rekindled old friendship, strengthened bonds, and reaffirmed relationships. These photos are just snapshots of those people I am truly happy to have met. For those in and not in it, but have made a huge impact in my 2012, a big thank you and I hope we survive tomorrow. 

5. Lastly, thank you 2012 for my awesome family

Despite everyone getting busy all year long, I am thankful my family and I get to spend time together. I cannot remember any year before 2012 where we spent the most time together. I'm not sure if it's with age or that we just really wanted to hang out as a family, but I am happy that we have those lunch dates, dining out, out-of-towns, birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, and other wonderful instances to get together. I've never been so excited to celebrate any occasion in my life before, but this year was totally different that it made me giddy every time I invite or get an invite from them. Not to mention our adorable pets who are all charming and affectionate. I cannot imagine having another family and I would gladly spend the next lifetime with all of them. 

And as I wait for December 21st, counting down minutes before a supposed demise of humankind, it's nice to look back and appreciate how beautiful life has turned out this year.

If by any chance I survive and end up in Planet Niburu, I hope I won't lose my memory and remember to still be grateful for the wonderful 2012 I had on Earth.

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