Tuesday, January 01, 2013

2012 Roundup

I just woke up from what was another EPIC New Year's Eve party at my cousin's house, and so I was never really able to sit down and write down what had happened in 2012. In many ways, last year (it's last year!) was a year of new beginnings, of finding my feet again, of figuring out where things are going. After four years of being in what was essentially a dead-end relationship, and five years in another country, it was time to take stock of what I wanted to do with my life. I guess the realization that I can't keep on living for someone else, that I had to figure out my purpose (very Avenue Q, I know) was something that pretty much smacked me on the head as I said goodbye to 2011 and said hello to 2012. Mind you, moving back to Manila was pretty much as culturally shocking to me as when I moved to Singapore in 2006. I had to re-learn so many things: the value of money, commuting, remembering little things about everyday life that I had forgotten about.

So this is just a hodgepodge of things that made up my 2012. It's not a meme, by any means, but if you want to answer something similar, feel free to borrow the questions. :)

Culture, Offline and Online

First book I finished in 2012: The Fault in Our Stars, John Green
Last book I finished in 2012: Unholy Night, Seth Grahame-Smith
Best musical discovery: The Gaslight Anthem, the soundtrack of Next to Normal
Best musical (re)discovery: The Phantom of the Opera and Les Miserables
Best theater experience: (local production) Bona, (international production) The Phantom of the Opera
Best TV show: Still Doctor Who. But then again, I didn't watch much TV this year.
Best film: I don't think any of the films I saw this year could actually make it to the top of my list - many of them were seen multiple times, but I guess if we're talking about the amount of time I actually devoted to it, it would probably be The Avengers. I think I saw that at least six or seven times.
Most awesome concert experience: Hands down, the NKOTBSB concert at the Mall of Asia Arena. Best evening ever.
What did you spend your money on the most? Books. Always books. Books forever.
What did you spend most of 2012 doing online? A lot of Tumblr, a lot of fanfic writing, and a lot of YouTube watching. I think YouTube tops the list. (And no, I don't watch it for the cats and the musical covers.) I think what I discovered about independent video content creators is that they're all pretty awesome and I'm so happy to be part of this awesome little community - well, not so little, really - and that I can call myself a nerdfighter.
Best discovery online? The Lizzie Bennet Diaries and Crash Course: World History on YouTube, Girls Next Door fan comics on DeviantArt, a lot of awesome writers on FF.net and Teaspoon and AO3 and LJ and just, wow, I am amazed at the amount of creative energy floating around online.
Your fandoms for 2012: Always Doctor Who, I don't think that's ever going away. Went back to Harry Potter for awhile. Read a lot of POTO as well, and was pleasantly surprised at the amount of great stories in that fandom. The Avengers movie-verse was fun to visit as well.
Any OTPs? Doctor/Rose, always. I enjoy reading Hermione/Severus a lot, which is weird since it's more fanon than canon anyway. Same with Clint/Darcy, which is fanon, but it's pretty funny. And Erik/Christine, because that's just the way I roll. (I don't hate Raoul though.)
Summarize your cultural experience in 2012 in one sentence: Too much time spent online, but I love it anyway.

(That was not a sentence.)

Work and More Work

What were the job/s you took in 2012: Writing for magazines (print and online), researching for a book, copy editing for educational material, and finally, teaching English at a university.
Did you enjoy the work you did? YES OF COURSE OMG YES.
How was your creative output like? Three stories accepted for publication; one story is published already over at the Philippine Genre Stories website, while the other two are (hopefully) coming out in 2013. A lot of articles written for various people. (That counts as creative output, right?)
What did you learn about yourself, work-wise? That I can be terrible with deadlines, sometimes. That my attempts to organize and schedule my life can make things easier but at the same time, more exhausting. That I do care about the things I do and why I do them, and I think I missed that push of knowing that I am doing something that positively contributes to the world and to myself.
Did you do anything exciting for a job in 2012? I went up to Banaue and saw the rice terraces for a travel magazine job. Also, I was made to go there as a photographer, not a writer. That was pretty cool.
Do you love your current job? YES OMG YES. You have no idea how much I love being a teacher and an academic. If I had a choice, I'd love to do this for the rest of my life.

Your Social Calendar

How are your friends this year? Still pretty awesome, for the most part.
And what about your family? Again, still pretty awesome. My parents are cool, for the most part; my sister is crazy; my brother is cranky. I love them all.
And your extended family? I come from a very large extended family, and my cousins and aunts and uncles and grandmother are all great. I'm so thankful that I come from a family where we all love each other instead of trying to stab each other in the back.
Did you meet any new people in 2012? You might say that, especially since I joined the English Department. Then my life suddenly exploded with the awesome.
Any keepers? Definitely the junior faculty at the English Department - everyone was pretty great, and I learned a lot from them, and they're a great support system for the crazy that is teaching university students. My usual circles of friends, in real life and online, from years past and some pretty new ones, are also pretty awesome.
Did you learn anything new this year? I learned that there are some people I am meant to travel with, and some I am probably not supposed to. I learned how to drink alcohol properly. I learned that my friends are complex and interesting people, but then again, I'm not really surprised.
Did you fall in love this year? I think I put romance on the back burner for 2012, simply because I had no time and I haven't really met anyone new in real life. And when you're juggling re-orienting yourself as well as learning the ropes of a brand-new job, something's gotta give. Still, I'm crossing my fingers that someone might come along. And soon.
Loner or grouper? Okay, first of all, "grouper" is not a real word, unless you're referring to the fish. But I realize that this year, I didn't mind being by myself a lot, and I found that I could entertain myself pretty well without having to depend on someone else's company. That being said, marathon checking sessions with a group can be pretty therapeutic.
Did you go on any trips in 2012? I went to Davao with my best friend at the beginning of the year, to Zambales in the summer with my high school friends, and to Baguio in September with a bunch of junior faculty. Yay!
Regrets for your conduct in 2012? I think I could have been braver, in some respect. I wanted to save everyone, but I realized that that wasn't really possible. I could have acted kinder to some people, and perhaps saved myself the sadness in the end. But as my mother told me once, there's hubris in expecting that I can save everyone, and that I should learn to be more humble and recognize that I have limits as well.

And what about yourself?

How's your health? Well, my lungs are still faulty and I'm still asthmatic, but it's not as bad as when I was younger. Still overweight, but working towards shedding the extra pounds without starving myself to death or marrying the gym.
Any particular illness you found yourself dealing with? Just a really bad round of the flu after the first semester. I think it was the stress.
Any new skills you added to your repertoire? Well, now I know how to play the kahon, which is always miraculous since I'm tone-deaf. Also, I realize that I like speaking in front of a bunch of people and trying to make them laugh.
Did you meet all your goals for 2012? Not really. I still haven't finished my novel, I didn't lose the pounds I wanted to lose, boo.
So what goals did you meet? I found a job that I loved, I met new people that I care about, and I managed to rebuild both my library and wardrobe. So that's pretty cool.
Sum up 2012 in one word: Learning

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