You gotta be!

05 January 2011

Alternatively titled as: There's just something about welcoming another year that makes us want to marvel in all the possibilities.

A year ago, instead of making Resolutions, I made a blog post about the things I wanted to become to be a better version of myself. To this day it remains one of my personal favorites among the posts I have written here and I reread it whenever I feel like I'm losing track of myself and my personal  goals. This being the new year - a signal for all things fresh and new and beautiful - I would like to revisit that post and see whether I have made good on the things I said I will do or whether I have [I hope not] gone astray. Also, I turned a year older so it might be fun to know whether I have changed for even a bit.

Just like in last year's post, this list is inspired by the song You Gotta Be by Des'ree. Even though it was released when I was still eight years old, the message of this song is so timeless and will forever be relevant; I am declaring it a personal anthem.




For 2010, I jotted down the things I needed and wanted to work on to be a better ME. For 2011 I am looking back to evaluate how I fared and see areas I want to improve on.

BAD.
Again, I don't mean bad as in rob-banks-and-kill-people bad; I mean bad in the sense of being more assertive and standing my ground. I still need to work more on this aspect, methinks. Sometimes I'm just too nice for my own good to the point that other people have begun treating me like a doormat. It can really be unfair when others do not want to help me when I need them, when I go out of my way to be there for them. Sometimes it's good to think of myself first when I'm already trampled on. On a lighter note, I finally learned how to escape the clutches of hard-selling salespeople and say No when I really didn't want to buy the items they're offering for sale, hah!

BOLD.
Last year I did a lot of things I never thought I could do: I travelled abroad using my own money, I went out there and met a lot of different people, I lived in my own apartment all by myself, I chased experiences. I am a living proof that you can get what you want if only you're bold enough to go after it. There's one thing I said I will do but failed though: get out of my comfort zone, quit my job, and pursue that which I really want to do: write. Why? Next item on the list should explain further.

WISER.
I realized that we can't always have what we want, and that sometimes what we want isn't really the best for us. On one sleepy 2am conversation with friends over lattes and pastries, I had this epiphany that hey, I am exactly where I should be. As what Liz Gilbert wrote in Eat Pray Love, "I am never not meant to be here. This was never not going to happen." This might seem like a shallow explanation to some, but I wouldn't be able to give this much focus and attention to this blog if I am working on another job different from what I have right now. If I indeed end up being a writer as my day job, maintaining this blog would be a chore for me. That's actually the main reason why I don't sign up on sites that pay you to blog. I mean, where's the fun on that? Where's the fun on being required to do something? I complained so much before that even I got tired of listening to myself, when I should be thankful that I have a fantastic schedule (that even lets me attend cool events on the side), a relatively well-paying job, and the awesomest workmates I have had the pleasure to work with. That's not to say my dreams of being a published writer would already be forgotten. I still dream them and nurture them in my heart of hearts. Right now I am happy where I am, but who knows where I'll be in the next few months?

HARD.
Everyone knows I am a total spend-aholic. I used to be uncontrollable but now, thanks to learning how to stick to my guns, I finally managed to take care of my finances. I even opened a savings account. Too little an accomplishment for some maybe, but if you know how I can blow cash in one shopping trip you would know that's already an effort to be lauded.

TOUGH.
I admit I am a sissy, but I learned how to be tough when it matters. No matter how hard and painful it was, I learned to let go of relationships that were bad for me. It was already detrimental, too condescending and suffocating, and won't help in any way to my personal development. It hurt too much to the point I really needed to cut it out my life. I realized that a good relationship shouldn't make me feel like I was  being patronized. I acknowledge that others might judge me for giving it up too soon but I don't want to explain myself any more. I just know that my conscience is clear and I shouldn't have to force other people to like me.

STRONGER.
I will forever be a cry-baby who becomes a human pool of tears in sappy movies, cheesy rom-coms, lyrical narratives, amazingly beautiful photographs, sweet messages (and comments!), and the Spice Girls' Let Love Lead the Way music video, and I am proud of that. I am very transparent and my feelings are easily visible and I am proud of that. I am proud because I am not shy to show my emotions. Heck I am proud that I have emotions. Last year I got my heart broken and it felt like I can never recover again. I admit it was the most painful thing I have had to go through. How can something so beautiful end just like that? After what happened it was hard to find a source of joy again. Through the help of my friends, my family, this blog, and all you wonderful people I pulled through. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. Now I'm stronger - and even though it can still get terribly lonely sometimes - in the immortal words of Britney Spears, "my loneliness ain't killing me no more". Yeah.

COOL.
I will forever be a nerd, but last year I got the chance to meet some of the coolest people I wouldn't have had the chance of meeting if not for this blog. It felt so great to be acknowledged by other people I admire (I consider meeting Jessica Zafra the highlight of my stint as a blogger). Please don't think I am bragging in any way but my heart also flutters with happiness whenever I hear people say good words about this site and read sweet messages from readers saying the things I've written have helped them in one way or another. Sometime in 2010, it seems like I suddenly became cool. Thank you everyone, you all make up this one big ball of inspiring inspiration (hah!) for me!

CALM.
Being a paranoid worry-freak is one of my most annoying habits and I intend to completely erase it from my system. How am I going to do that? Well, keeping in mind - at all times - that there is a God up there who takes care of me and will never intentionally hurt me helps a great deal.
PS: You all know how terrified I am of spiders, right? Well, it used to be a problem in my current apartment, but I've since found out that there's nothing a good insect killer spray can't fix. I cried when I sprayed on my first intruder, though.

I've started personalizing my 2011 planner :)

From Neil Gaiman:
“May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you’re wonderful, and don’t forget to make some art - write or draw or build or sing or live as only you canMay your coming year be a wonderful thing in which you dream both dangerously and outrageously.
I hope it’ll make something that didn’t exist before you made it, that you will be loved and you will be liked and you will have people to love and to like in return. And most importantly, because I think there should be more kindness and more wisdom in the world right now - I hope that you will, when you need to be, be wise and that you will always be kind.
And I hope that somewhere in the next year you surprise yourself.”  
Think of all the possibilities this year brings! Are you excited to see what else life has in store for us? I know I am! Krissyfired up!

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