New Year Happy: One last rant for 2014

Posted on December 31, 2014

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V for Vendetta (2005)

Except probably during the last minutes of the year; because by then I’ll be complaining about the Unstoppable Karaoke Neighbors, local pyrotechnicians, and the neighborhood’s trumpet orchestra.

My God, 2014. Where do I even start. This year has been a total whirlwind, and it has left me clutching at the fringes.

I started out the year so full of hope. But don’t we all? Every New Year’s Eve we stare at the firework-strewn skies with hope and uncertainty towards the next 365 days that will come. We hope that by December 31st, we lived the year well enough to not be a disappointment.

I guess I can’t complain that much about how my year went. I mean sure it’s probably my most gut-wrenching one yet, but I could have had worse. I am ending 2014 with a college degree, a job, a family I’ll do anything for, friends who love me, and some of the most memorable experiences I’ve ever had. I have passed the “Satisfactory Year” quota.

In a nutshell, I guess this has been my existential-rediscovery year. I will always remember this year as the year I tried to grow up. I know I haven’t grown up yet, but I’m really trying to.

This time last year I was still stressing over my undergrad thesis as my neighborhood was pretty much going all riot town. I had 5 or so books checked out from the library strewn across the dinner table, scraps of drafts everywhere, and piles of data to analyze. This year I am at the same spot, listening to a Britpop playlist on Spotify and trying to put together this year-end blog post I have been planning for days. Last year we had some relatives with us, now it’s just me and my parents and the dogs. Times like these make me want to have at least a brother or a sister to celebrate with.

[EDIT: apparently this year we’re celebrating with a bunch of people in another house. Guess it won’t be that much of a boring New Year after all. :))]

This is why I hate the Christmas-New Year holidays. There’s too much pressure to go out with people and have fun, especially for only children like me whose closest relatives live in various countries. I mean, I don’t even go out that much, and I’m kind of longing for a large family to bond with. It really sucks being an only child, I realized after reconnecting with my family. But I guess I can only just live with it. Being an unica hija still has its perks – the best one I can think of is the capacity for precious, precious solitude.

I admit, these days I am no longer comfortable with holiday celebrations. I don’t know, this may sound so cliche but I’m slowly losing my ability to have fun and be happy. I used to love Decembers back when I was still *partly* full of cheer but this year, this damn year, I have gotten jaded. I just want to get the holidays over with. I don’t know what it is with 2014 that made me feel this way.

Maybe that was the problem – I felt too much in 2014. I felt so much that I have gotten to the calm after the storm.

This was the year I cried a lot in front of people – a professor, my parents, my friends, my relatives…I don’t really know who else I cried in front of. It’s embarrassing at the same time liberating. I have cried over a thesis and a cancelled trip. I have cried over people’s expectations of me. I have cried over someone and I have cried over no one. I have cried over the way life overwhelms me. Bottom line, I did a lot of crying. I was like a champagne bottle freshly opened. All those feelings kept inside just burst out of me – down to the last drop.

This was the year I lost myself. I lost myself in wanderlust. I lost myself in airports and in the streets of Metro Manila. I lost my chill from commuting in the city everyday. I lost some of my idealism when I realized that some of my college-student ambitions are nothing but pipe dreams. I lost myself in the bitter reality of the fresh grad life that didn’t align with how I expected things to be. I lost myself in sensations I never thought possible with me.

I have lost myself and found myself. I found what it means to be strong, to be looked up to. I learned to be self-reliant, to not depend on anyone to save me from myself. I learned to embrace solitude. I learned to accept myself as the one comfortable being alone, and that I shouldn’t be ashamed of it. In a way that makes me strong enough for others to lean onto.

T’was the last night of 2014 when people were making a ruckus outside and I sit here trying to get myself together. Things aren’t exactly coming up like a revenge-of-the-nerds scenario, but right now I just want to survive. We all gotta cooperate with the system one of these days, no matter how dissatisfied we are with the world. Even the most idealistic of us. It’s called growing up.

So here’s to a prosperous new year and may we stare at the firework-strewn skies tonight with hope and uncertainty towards the next 365 days that will come. May we all find peace within ourselves, and may we love and be loved in return. Through the happy and the sad, may we all hold on. I just have a feeling that by December 31st of next year, things are gonna be just fine.

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