A trite and sappy saying, “When was the last time you did something for the first time?” reverberates in my head every time I remember last year. Unfortunately, I hear it as a voiceover for one of John Lloyd Cruz’ Star Cinema movie so it sounds more dramatic and tacky that it should. Nonetheless, maybe the fact that I turned 30, or have gotten sick of waiting around that I decided to just do it (now I sound like a Nike ad).
A year of firsts, I must say. Never thought I would ride a propeller plane but I did. Even though I did not sleep the night before due to anxiety, it was pretty spectacular riding over the plains of Luzon and stopping over Vigan for lunch.
I finally took the plunge with my tattoo. I’ve always told myself that once I decided on a design, I have to sit on it for at least 6 months before I actually stamp it permanently on my body. I’ve tried everything - water sign, phoenix, feather, my initials - nothing panned out. Then I remembered that I’ve always loved drawing flowers because they’re so feminine and delicate. And in commemoration of my mom who loved red roses, I got down to business, LA Ink style. Yup, complete with the tearjerker background story.
Nothing topped my travel for 2012. Considering that my travel took a sabbatical during the last decade, I more than made up for it last year with nine countries in my list. And best of all, I’ve finally gotten out of Asia and hit Europe with my best friends. Nothing like getting drunk with three bottles of wine on a Barcelona beach, partying with protesters in Sevilla or getting harassed by random teenagers at The Hague.
But really, decide you’ll do it and everything will follow. Plan and it will happen. Forget restrictions, don’t analyze and just do. Everything time you put up a barrier or think of a reason why it can’t happen, then it won’t. If you automatically shut down or question an idea, then it will not happen. You have to remember thoughts and plans are in your head - there is no physical investment involve so you can go as wild as you want and taper it down over time. Anyway, at the end of the day, if the plan doesn’t pan out at all, then that’s when you put it down for a later time. But don’t cut the process - just because the first hurdle shows up doesn’t mean it will not happen in the end.
And this is what amazes me most of all - no matter how impossible it seems, as long as you want it enough, it will happen. No, I’m not spewing The Secret. But for some reason, no matter how impossible it seems in the beginning, the universe never fails to deliver.
Living last year has been phenomenal. I say it with full gratitude of my heart and thank the Lord, my family and everyone around me for it. But most of all, I thank myself. Yes, humility is not my strongest quality but it has been my decision to take the necessary steps that allowed me open myself up to a whirlwind of experience.
Toast to you 2012 - for the lessons, laughter and love.