Writing this was not easy, hence the delay. Although there are lots of excuses to be made not publishing this, (such as work, busyness, etc.), I just can’t break a yearly tradition and skip looking back at 2017. But tracing the root of my reluctance, it could probably because I am not too satisfied with results of my performance last 2017. I just feel that I could have done more, given more, achieved more.
On the lighter side, there were lessons. There were blessings and answered prayers. Opportunities unfolded and sought me. These are still worthy to share, I believe.
Twenty-seventeen was a good year for my blogging career. I started to cover events, see new faces and receive incentives for my blogging. I made new friends and learned from acquaintances. I saw the industry for all its perks and ugliness, yet loving the passion even more. What made me fulfilled? More than the gift certificates and the rewards, it’s the thought that you are able to help small and big entrepreneurs to promote their businesses. It’s seeing your readers becoming more engaged with your blog posts, as it influences them positively. It’s learning how to commute from point A to point B and riding the MRT again to attend an event. It’s seeing your work published by the owners themselves. I remember this as one of my prayer requests years ago and is now coming to a reality. All praises to God!
Traveling heals my soul and cures my longing for new sights and adventures. This year, I went to Baguio, Benguet, Leyte, Samar, Tagaytay, Tingloy Batangas, El Nido and Puerto Princesa. Every trip was memorable. Every journey had its unique story. Traveling enriched my spirit and molded me to become a better person. Traveling was my gateway to know more my Creator and spend precious time with my family and friends.
I admitted that last year, my ministries took a back seat. I was happy seeing young leaders standing up in our church to assume the responsibilities, but I became too complacent they can manage it. Perhaps my heart wandered and had so many questions. Perhaps I shifted priorities, or I simply drifted away to pursue what my heart aches for. I didn’t want to be boxed. But I miss the fact that there is no happiness outside that is parallel to the joy of serving Him. I missed that.
My sister and I also made an investment. Thanks to her guts and for pushing me to decide on that, since time is our enemy. That is our gift to our parents. I can’t reveal it yet until everything is finalized. God is so good and provides blessings in His on time. We just need to be patient.
I also decided to treat my adenomyoma last year by taking hormonal pills. The effects were hard to bear at first. I gained weight, my period became irregular, and experienced intensely painful cramps everytime I skipped it. Just recently, I found an alternative that eliminates the painful dysmenorrhea but I hope it is for good. I am praying for complete healing.
If there were gains, there were also losses. I grieved over the loss of Nikki, my DSLR. Honestly, until now, I haven’t moved on from it. That was my first investment in blogging. Oh, life goes on. I continued attending events with the use of my camera phone to capture photos. I know someday, it will be replaced with a better one.
To summarize, here are some of the important lessons I’ve learned this year:
1. Never compare your success with ANYONE.
You have your own pace to achieve your dreams. When you compare your success with other people, it’s either you end up frustrated because they are accelerating on the race, or you become proud because they are behind you. Honestly, the blogging community is very competitive. I became obsessed with numbers — the pressure to increase followers, readership, statistics, etc. But I am unhappy because there will always be bloggers more famous or influential than I am. But I realized, I am still uniquely created by God. I have my own set of gifts and I should develop them more.
2. Be selective of people to trust.
You can be open to certain aspects of your life, but do not REVEAL all. Someday, it will be used against you. Lift it to God in prayer. He knows you more than anyone, even yourself.
3. Grab opportunities.
Small projects can lead you to bigger opportunities in the future. Work hard and do your best in any endeavor be it big or small and it will reveal your work ethics, skills and abilities to assume bigger roles in the future.
4. Everything has a reason. A purpose only designed for you.
Yes, it may sound too cliche, but it is true. Things that happen beyond our control are designed to build our character. In everything, give thanks to God — be it joy or pain. We cross paths with people for a reason. They hurt us for a reason. Trust the process of God. God sees the bigger picture and we are only focused on the smallest details of our lives.
5. Changes are inevitable. Be flexible.
People change, circumstances change. Accept that as a reality of life. Today, you are in good terms with your friend. Tomorrow, he will betray you. Today you are fit. Tomorrow, your metabolism will slow down. Today you have a job, tomorrow, you might lose it. What do I want to emphasize here? It’s our reactions that will make a difference. It’s how we approach things in life. Treat everything as temporary but determine which ones are more valuable. For me, it’s time, relationships, and character that matter the most.
6. Prepare for tomorrow.
No one holds the future except God. Prepare for it financially by saving and investing while you are still young. Money is not the most important thing in this world, but the absence or lack of it may affect the most important things in life.
7. Choose your battles.
When faced with adversities, know the battles worth fighting for. Is it worthy to be stressful about? Is the issue really life-changing? If not, then don’t sweat the small stuff. Choose to be happy.
I certainly learned a lot last 2017. It was an amazing year filled with blessings. Even though I was not constant with my devotion to God, He’s been always faithful to me and my family. I hope I’ll continue to discover His purpose in my life.