It’s a little different this year. I don’t see a starting line.

This new year feels more like a pause – the ones you take when you cross borders and straddle state lines. Continuations rather than beginnings.

In 2013, I’ve listed five priorities to anchor myself to while on this whirlwind of a journey. They remain the same in 2014, but the details, I would say, are going to be more elaborate and more ambitious.

Wanderlust + Surf
 Crazy year for travel! And it’s not just about counting the number of trips I’ve been on. I feel like I’ve gathered quite a number of battle scars, and earned a few “I Survived” badges.

It was a “Started the year getting a shiner, ending it nursing a couple of deep wounds, while in between, got stranded in Real and had a taste of a minor storm surge in Baler – to name a few” kind of crazy.

All I can say is… Whew!

Wanderlust 2013

My wanderlust took me to places I’ve never been before:  Bantayan Island and Medellin in Northern Cebu, Dos Palmas in Palawan, Cagbalete Island and Real in Quezon Province, Siargao, Kuala Lumpur, Bali, and Siem Reap. Found my way back to Singapore, Vietnam, and El Nido, and discovered more awesome things about them.

Surf trips to La Union, Zambales, and Baler were interspersed throughout the year. Also made sure to go on a hiking trip, which finally got my tropicana ass to summit Mt. Pulag! It’s still nowhere near to achieving a sea to summit balance, but that’s a start.

Wanderlust 2014

2014:  There’s no slowing down in 2014. A couple of flights already booked – Seoul in spring, return visits to Siargao and El Nido. Most excited about my first international trip with my mom who’s the complete opposite of me when it comes to travel. Hence, we’re flying to Macau! 

Same as last year – targeting more mountain destinations. I’m looking at Sagada, Batad, and maybe even Kalinga? Improving my surf form, trying out traveling solo, taking more travel videos, and learning more about sustainable tourism complete 2014’s travel resolutions. And if there’s anything I’d want to get less of, or if possible, none at all – battle scars on my skin!

Passion Projects
Looking back at last year’s post, all I said about volunteerism was that it’s just about time that I got more involved. Little did I know that I’d be so immersed in it. I chanced upon Trade School Manila and Muni as I was looking for avenues to learn more about topics like design, social entrepreneurship, self-development, and sustainability. With these organizations, I felt like I found my tribe.

Just like what I wrote in Muni’s year-ender post, finding people who share your passions is a re-assuring feeling. To have someone’s fire rub off on you, and discovering that you yourself can have the same effect on others, is nothing short of a magical experience.

2014:  Suffice to say for now, both Muni and TSM are doing more ambitious and disruptive things in 2014! Looking forward to be working on these projects soon. Meanwhile, I promise to be writing more of these endeavors here. Maybe I can also transfer the spark this way.

 The surprise of the year – I became a Sun Life Financial Advisor! I never thought I’d end up going back to my Economics/Finance roots. NEVER. [Squirms at the thought of sitting through Dr. Carlos’ Money and Banking class – ISLM curves!!!]

But having experienced for myself how detrimental financial wellness is to the kind of life choices one can be given access to, is what compelled me to this work. I mean, the crux of the matter is this lifestyle wouldn’t have been possible for me hadn’t I been financially capable. There’s always an economic angle to consider when chasing dreams – whether it’s getting out of the rat race, pursuing a totally different career, traveling the world, starting a business, or getting married. And I guess, my end goal is to help people expand the options available to them.


Source: Tumblr

2014:  I’m a multi-hyphenate wannabe. There I said it. Haha! Besides Sun Life, I’ll be constantly on the lookout for gigs and rackets. I’m also shopping for ideas and collaborators for my start-up. A lot of dreams, I know!

On the other hand, reality check. I haven’t really hacked productivity in this freestyle environment, so it’s gonna be a self-development goal I’ll be focusing on this year.

Happy to have shared the year’s craziness with these people! A good mix of old and new.

2014:  Be kind. Be open. Be generous. Let people surprise you. It can’t get any simpler than that.

I guess everything about the year had undertones of learning. Or maybe, it has been like that since forever. It’s just that now I’ve been particularly paying close attention.

I’ve become a learning junkie. The sheer number of classes I’ve signed up for in different MOOC platforms (Coursera, Iversity, NovoEd, etc.) is a testament to that. Not to mention the workshops and talks I’ve attended. My favorite bit was hearing from some of the heroes of PH start-up scene, most especially the social entrepreneurs.

But more than anything else, I am most thankful for the life lessons. 2013 was the year of simple truths, nuggets of wisdom that tend to teach big things in a roundabout way. It was also a year of heightened self-awareness – daring to dream new dreams, and giving face to inner demons.

2014:  In 2014, I really don’t know what to expect. I guess I’ll just have to rely on Woody Allen’s formula – SHOW UP.

A year is otherwise called a revolution around the sun. Up to us how we choose to define revolution – ‘to move in a circular path’ or make it have a deeper meaning.

This is my definition. Thanks for indulging me. Happy New Year! :)


2 responses to “Bookends

  1. Great post, Paula! I like how you melded what was (2013) and the to-be (2014)… And these lines: “It’s a little different this year. I don’t see a starting line.

    This new year feels more like a pause – the ones you take when you cross borders and straddle state lines. Continuations rather than beginnings,” I can totally relate to. Even after summarizing what happened in 2013, it feels like 2014 hasn’t quite started because the difference of the two have not been so defined. Cheers on the new year! :)

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