This time last year I consumed more than half a pack of cigarettes a day. During more unstable moments I could finish three to fives sticks consecutively. I thought playing with that white cylinder with my fingertips and puffing smoke out of my mouth made me look cool, yet I was aware that I was slowly destroying myself.
Going cold turkey was one of the hardest I had to overcome but I was determined not to let the cancer stick take control of my life. Now my body rejects the nicotine and even second-hand smoke seems disgusting. (Ang linis linis ko na po. Charot.)
This time last year I was only bilingual. It took me half a year and a lot of my hard earned cash to study another language, which is a new skill I’ve always wanted to acquire. Going back to school to learn again was a fun challenge but at one point I cried hard over it the way teenage girls cry about their idiot boyfriends. Now I can read, speak, and write basic Nihongo and when I get myself a Japanese mate (preferably Shun Oguri or Karachi , I will look back to this year and thank my old self for making a wise investment! (Hindi lang ‘bukkake’ ang alam ko!)
This time last year my illustrations placed characters against half-assed environments. I have always been intimidated by creating backgrounds and never gave any real effort in improving that aspect, thinking that it’s just an accessory to the whole piece. Yung totoo, nakakatamad lang. So I ended up with subjects being disconnected from their surroundings. Now I start with backgrounds first, adding the subjects later on and letting them interact with what’s around them. (In short, hindi na tinatamad gumawa ng background.)
This time last year I loathed the Church and questioned Christianity. But despite all my efforts to transform into a better person, I realized my control over things was limited and seeked a higher power. Now with the help new friends, I’m trying to strengthen my spirituality by attending weekly service, bible studies, and surrounding myself with people who are influencing me to become less hateful and a lot more understanding to circumstances in life. Charot. (Ang linis ko na talaga. Pwede nang punasan ng puting panyo.)
This time last year I had an empty bank account. I was earning enough but my priority was to pay the debts that accumulated during my three years as a freelancer. Halfway through the year I opened a separate savings account but couldn’t maintain it because of my regular traveling lifestyle. My expensive addiction. Now I decided not to push through with a major year-end trip because I wanted to end the year with money in the bank. (Matyured na daw!)
2014 wasn’t a good year for my health. I quit smoking but my lungs haven’t really fully recovered from the damage, I got diagnosed with early osteoporosis, and before the year ended found out I had gout on both my feet. These are probably the reasons why I should focus more on my diet and fitness next year.
Knowing your goals and what to prioritize sure made a big difference. Becoming aware of your mistakes and shortcomings help, too, because at least you know what to work on. Though I still stumble occasionally, I know better to pick myself up and move forward. And sure, I’m still far from being the ideal friend, son, brother, uncle, colleague that I want to become.
2015, handa na po ako. I’m up for another year of challenges! Pedro hinay hinay lang please. Hahaha.