2016 in review

Me, Ms. Sarah, Ms. Rose, Ms. Lucille, Ms. Maru and Maam Katte Sabate at Mabuhay Temple.
What a difficult year this was! But with the worst hardships come the best lessions. 2016 was a year with the most challenges (we say that every time a year ends, I think). I resigned from my job in Manila last March, and tried looking for a job in Iloilo City. While waiting for job offers, I enrolled in a Masteral degree in Library Science in the same university. I felt that after my first job and passing the board, there's still a lot to learn about libraries especially on daily management and practical work. Anyway I like my new group of classmates and friends in this course! 

I had thought that I would like to rest after the stresses of my last job, but after 8 months of unemployment I realized how depressing not having a job was. Everyone else has a set routine each day, and you're the one with lots of time in your hands and its unhealthy for my mind - I keep on ruminating about the past and about the useless! My depression got too bad I'm seeing a therapist.

During my unemployment I resolved to get out of the house as much as I could (I discovered Iloilo Cinematheque and watched great foreign movies for free), read books, seek activities that will make me get out of my head.

I got accepted in my university's library as a cataloger (processing and encoding books for the library). In my previous job I was a one-man librarian and you do all the library work from the technical side to giving service to readers. Even though there were a few clients, I found it difficult to manage. Its really different if you're a first-time librarian with limited experience. At least now, even if my salary isn't that big compared to my last job, the job is more definite (you're just doing one specific task) and less challenging because you already know it.
But through these dark times I forgot an important thing: God. After deciding to focus on learning about God these past few months, studying scripture, and having more Christian friends, my perspectives on life had changed. In studying God, I gained a different perspective in the challenges I faced. There are times that you should 'thank' the dark periods of your life even if they are painful or difficult, they make you see clearer and learn along the way, about the world, about yourself.

This Christmas vacation, we had class reunions... one for my college friends and another for my high school batch, the Exergons (our batch name). The high school reunion was more interesting, because you realize how much you've changed! All of us cringe at our embarassing high school selves but we also have the maturity to realize that the past doesn't define us now. Its good to see that my high school batchmates in successful careers. There were different cliques in high school but during the reunion, everyone are friends! It was a good way to end the year and reconnect with them.

New Year's Resolutions?
Next year, I hope to be more independent. Even if I'm an adult I still feel dependent on my parents, which I know should not be.

My resolution is to get rid of or minimize most social media, except this blog and Messenger. Its not a bad thing, but I know how toxic and draining it can be for me. Its not to feel better about myself but I've realized how much time I've wasted that I could have used for better things.

At its worst, social media makes me obsessed with myself, an addict to notifications and likes and attention. It also makes me obsessed with others and what they are up to, which only leads me to be jealous and feel inadequate in my own life. In my death bed, I think those likes and comments will not matter anyway. So I pray that I will have the strength to do this and focus on what is truly important. And not spend too much time with gadgets but with real people instead.

Self-improvement is never-ending, but I hope to make a good progress this 2017. I didn't write that much this year as much as I want to, and I hope to make this year my most prolific as a writer!

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