Dec30 12:48AM / Onboard a ship en route to Stockholm, Sweden
It’s second to the last day of 2015, I’m not yet asleep because of my caffeine intake earlier tonight, and I just finished rewatching one of my favorite movies, Stuck in Love.
I always have a lot of questions about life. That’s probably cause my curiosity always creeps up at me every single day. How things work, how directions go…I just like figuring things out and plotting the points together. There’s just something about knowing how things go that excites me. That from nothing, you can be something – and that mediator, that defining point that transforms you is the most important and crucial part of it all.
2015 seemed like many of my previous years; I like starting the year telling myself all sorts of motivational things. “I’ll eat better!” “I’ll commit more time for myself” and most of all, “Dreams will come true”. Yeah, right. I went back to corporate work, juggled the usual double life I always had. It was okay.
Turning 22 was just one aspect of it. I received a book offer, and while I’ve been holding off writing for the longest time (well, I only ever write personal stuff anyway), for some reason, it made its way back to me, by giving me the chance to write my first book six months later (thank you, Summit!).
And then, some more life goals achieved – always dreamed of giving a TEDx talk, and who knew – I quit my day job after realizing that for all this time, I’ve been telling people to pursue their own passions and realizing I haven’t been following my own advice.
I’ve never felt more alive than ever – this 2015 proved to be just that. There really are days that I just try to fix my composure and tell myself: Wait, what? THIS is happening? For real? And then, some self-doubt questions like: I don’t deserve any bit of this…really. I’m just twenty two.
It took me a lot of harsh love (!) and mentoring to grasp the idea that maybe, just maybe – these chances were reminders that I’ve worked hard enough to make it. Heck, I didn’t even have any goal of doing what I do now. I’m lucky to say I get paid to do what I love, despite the challenges it entails.
I can be the most fragile artist out there; easily affected with the petty things no one really cares about. I’m not an art student, and not even an educated designer at that. Growing up always following the rules, I never saw anything special in myself; and wow, 2015 just made me realize that there are actually people who can bring out the best in you – at the least chance you thought possible.
There are people you meet for certain purposes: friendship, work, and everything in between – and I’m so grateful to have met so many of them and get fueled with inspiration as I grew on my own this year. I am so lucky to have a manager from which I got to build a (temporary) team and meet young talented creatives. I also relaunched my workshops thanks to an awesome team, co-organized the first type conference in Manila, got to design for Havaianas’ Filipinas collection, work with an equally passionate book team on two projects: The ABCs of Hand Lettering & Letters from ABC, and collaborate with some of my dream brands.
And then, there are friends who remind you why you’re here. Friends who take you places (here and abroad: La Union, Pico de Loro, Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong), give you a chunk of their day for coffee and conversations (hi, barkada and friends!), and people who become your accidental officemates & workout buddies who would also whip up delicious home cooked dinners (hi, Googly Gooeys!).
Growing up and having to transition from teenager to adult is one freaking roller coaster ride. But for the most part, getting to act a bit older and be more responsible for what I do (being my own boss is no joke – I suffer 90% of the time) has given me a greater reason to keep pushing from my limits and maximizing every opportunity that comes my way.
It’s relatively difficult to encapsulate 2015 in a blog post. “It was a great year for you!”, most people have told me. “What’s next?”, most people have asked. Well, for a goal-setter like me, my surprising reply would be: Who knows what’s next? I’m just excited to see 2016 unfold right in front of me.
But if anything, I do hope I give some time for myself to rest and live more outside of my art / work. And of course, keep creating, making more art for myself, others, and for the world.
And, fingers crossed I get to pursue one of my lifelong dreams as an artist. I’ll share it soon if it comes true.
So, how was your year? :)
PS: For the record, I gave myself a bunch of ideas on how to write this year-ender post…but nothing worked. Haha. Guess all it took was a lot of film watching and alone time in this ship to get my innermost thoughts out. Lol.