2014 In Review

Before I start telling you about what 2014 has meant to me, I’d like to apologize. I’d like to apologize for: a) not being in touch; b) not blogging weekly; and c) focusing on “me” rather than on my surroundings. I have been selfish, self-centered,  and the list goes on.

It is 3 minutes to 12am; 2014 is finally over. This year has been the worst I tell you; I lost myself (a couple of times). It wasn’t failure; but grief, regret, and pure utter loss. I lost my grandpa (lolo in tagalog) two weeks after my graduation ceremony; actually, 17 days to be exact. I spent five days with him then flew from The Philippines to Malaysia, then from Malaysia to Saudi Arabia, and finally, from Saudi Arabia to Egypt (all within 48 hours). This happened during the first week of May.

My lolo would always introduce me as his granddaughter (apo in tagalog), he wouldn’t say my name but rather declare a connection first. Oh dear god, I miss him. My lolo is one of the greatest men I know. He wasn’t feeling well when I was around and only asked to be dropped to the hospital once I was gone. He didn’t want me to miss my flight; he didn’t want me to remember him in tubes; he didn’t want me to watch him suffer. But the thing is, I wish he had spoken sooner; I wish he allowed me to stay (god knows if I had known, I wouldn’t have left to begin with); I wish I had more time.

I am sharing this experience with you because I don’t want you to miss out on spending time with your loved ones while chasing after your dreams. I only stayed five days in The Philippines because I was so in a hurry to get a job and now that I have one, it is not as exciting as I thought it would be. A job is a job (period). So, please don’t be foolish; time wasted is time lost.

Things went from bad to worse; the rejections kept pilling up, the silence started to be deafening, and my depression got out of control (okay, I can’t exactly say depression; I was just unhappy). But then again, the second half of the year did light up; July has been a great start to what has been the best yet. I started making a living through writing; I found myself through the written word, became a contributing editor, and got the chance to combine my love for writing with chemical engineering. My work as a science journalist fulfilled my life in ways unexplainable. It also got me the job I currently have. The thing with the workplace is that – no one wants to hire a newbie. You need to have experience or a particular set of skills no one else has.

However, it is not about getting the job and being lawfully employed; it is about being financially sustainable and making a life out of your living. Well today, I am financially sustainable because I have 1 full-time job and 2 part-time jobs. Maintaining a certain lifestyle doesn’t come without a price. Anyways, I’ll stop talking and list down the highlights of this year.

  • January – Started working as a news correspondent for The Asian World.
    / Location: Saudi Arabia
  • February – Continued pursuing my CompSci degree at UoPeople.
    / Location: Saudi Arabia
  • March – Started working as a webmaster for Peninsular Property Agent.
    / Location: Saudi Arabia
  • April – Graduation!! I became a Chemical Engineer on April 26, 2014.
    / Location: Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, & The Philippines
  • May – I lost my lolo.   / Location: The Philippines, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, & Egypt
  • June – Went job hunting in Egypt (epic fail because I couldn’t stand living in the country).   / Location: Egypt
  • July – Started making a good living through writing and became a science journalist.   / Location: Saudi Arabia
  • August – Continued writing, started blogging, and became a junior CS major.   / Location: Saudi Arabia
  • September – While writing, I started to actively job hunt in various places.
    / Location: Saudi Arabia
  • October – Gathered all my savings, packed my bags and went to Malaysia for vacation.   / Location: Saudi Arabia & Malaysia
  • November – Got selected for a CS internship, moved to The Philippines to live with my grandma and job hunt, got offered a job at a Multinational, then decided to move back to Saudi Arabia in favor for a job in Jeddah.
    / Location: Malaysia, the Philippines, and Saudi Arabia.
  • December – Used up what is left from my savings to rent a place and furnish it. And FINALLY, I got a job.   / Location: Saudi Arabia

Regardless of everything (the bad and the good), this year has been okay. I’d give it a 5 out of 10. For 2015, I want to pray more, workout more, interact with people more, earn more, and finally be happy. I want to find happiness in my work; not to impress but to express myself through my work quality and dedication. To end this, I will share a quote a friend of mine shared earlier:

 Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you as by the attitude you bring to life; not so much by what happens to you as by the way your mind looks at what happens. – Kahlil Gibran


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