Today marks my twenty third year as a legitimate human being on this place called earth.
The moment I turned eighteen, I told myself that it was possible to turn things around – maybe it was an excuse because of the official *debut party* and all that. Nevertheless, I changed up a few things, transferred majors, and ended up with a educational experience I wouldn’t trade for anything.
When I reached the twenty mark, it was time to grow up. Twenty one wasn’t any different – I had graduated from university then. But so far, turning twenty two has given me a lot of life lessons and experiences enough to sort of fix my life together and know that this is exactly where I’m at. It feels weird moving on from being twenty two (cue Taylor Swift’s 22) but as per usual, I’d like to think twenty three is just a continuation from there.
It’s such a challenge to be human. To know that despite what you do on a daily basis (i.e. work, chores, tasks and errands), above all – you are 100% human. You operate much like a machine, but with emotions attached to your system. Each part makes up a whole; and basically it’s up to you to function as you wish and create yourself from it.
(LOL at my scientific observations. *This is real, this is me* haha anyway.)
Call me a late bloomer, but it’s just recently that I’ve learned to identify the type of person I am – and what, I used to think I was
abnormal. Selective of the people I spend time with, satisfied with my own company, expressive in the most discreet way (i.e. writing and drawing, mostly), and an officially crazy workaholic who can’t spend even a day without checking her e-mails. Hahaha.
I think, for the most part, the biggest challenge of turning another year older is slowly getting to put the pieces together and map out what seems to be the *~near future~*. To be honest, it scares me. This pressure to have to “keep excelling and being better” eats me up sometimes but I just disregard it. I don’t have any plans yet – I just have goals I want to achieve for the rest of my years. This adulthood mindset seems too real to be ignored, and for the most part, I know I still have a long way to go with what I want to do with my life. I hope keeping that in mind is enough for now. *I hope!*
2015 has given me enough wake up calls. The universe was kind enough to open doors by way of the most unexpected circumstances – through people, projects, and places. There’s also the part where “I-figured-some-parts-of-my-life-out-yay” after what seemed to be an internal battle between living in my comfort zone for 21 years and finally taking the big leap to become a full-time artist.
And because of it, I don’t have any particular birthday wish this 2016. Most of my goals remain the same: travel more, live more, make better choices, and be kinder to myself. Then, there are the more ambitious and bold ones: to study/live abroad for a period of time, work with dream brands & clients (basically putting it out there ~in case~ it happens), write more stories, and inspire more people.
[Check out the zine below for a full list of my 2016 goals.]
I don’t know how to end this post. I felt like I just gave myself a good hit in the head (and heart ehem) with this post (I like reading old entries, so I will probably freak out after x years when I get to access this again). But one thing’s for sure, I’m excited for 23! Bring it on, 2016. :)
But if you read through this part, and if you’ve been following me since Tumblr, h.e.a.r.t. by artistic-dreams, and all those pre-lettering phases I had, thank you for being part of my journey, in one way or another. :)
That was six freaking years, if you count it. Whew! I don’t think I’ve kept myself long enough to keep doing this and pushing myself forward without you guys tweeting me and showing your support at every endeavour I’ve had in my life. Sobrang ibang level kayo, sa totoo lang. I want to freak out every time I attend signing and events because I never expected to have so much people appreciate my work. Salamat talaga! Huhuhu
Everything I’ve achieved now seemed like something impossible in my past life. So thank you to everyone who has made it possible. And to the bunch of friends I’ve made in social media, y’all know who you are – you have all been instrumental parts of my growth. Special shoutout to the talented + amazing Maine and Shutter Panda‘s Mare and Karen for producing this shoot. One of the best birthday gifts I could ever ask for.
Art direction + HMUA + editorial design by Maine Manalansan
Photography + post-processing by Mare Collantes & Karen de la Fuente of Shutter Panda
Hand lettering by Abbey Sy (of course, haha)