Looking back and pushing onwards

Window, Penang 2012
I'm a little late in posting about 2012. Let me just say it was one of those years where a lot of learning was done, some still ongoing to this day. In contrast to those years where one lives out the questions (Rilke), 2012 seemed to be a year for living out the answers -- where answers don't always lead to heaving sighs of relief or keeping the heart spared from heartbreaks. While those heartbreaks did lead to more questions, they also forced me to look at other options.

So early on in 2012 some dreams were broken, but along the way new ones were created. Clarity came dressed in poetry (Mabi David's You are Here and Chingbee Cruz's Disappear), in creative non-fiction (Katrina Stuart-Santiago's Of Love and Other Lemons), in that Tres Marias (Lolita Carbon, Cookie Chua, Bayang Barrios + Cathy Go) gig, in the trips I was fortunate to have been able to take, and, of course, in the countless conversations with women friends (that band of sisterhood with Turtle, Rach, Joelle, Ina, Lira, Anjie, Checo, & honorary sisterhood member Froi). 

Work-wise, 2012 threw a curve ball too. Suddenly, I couldn't do corporate training full time anymore and no local training job opportunities were opening up. I did more freelancing work, like that part-time "journalist" post (I didn't even know you can do that), the (awesome) trip to Baguio and Banaue for Sidetrip, the Pampanga fieldwork to document the best practices of the communities under Mother Earth (the NGO)'s care, and the online teaching consultancy. 2012 placed me in situations where I wrote more in terms of word count and significance. I also learned, through work, another model of teaching English. All these proved of value to my going to Malaysia. 

Sticking to graduate school and staying here even when I so wanted to go home (newsflash: I fell in love) was a decision which is proving to be right. What I have learned about teaching language and all those other intricacies involved when learners try to acquire a second language were gifts, pure gifts. One of the highlights of the first sem was conducting an actual research on a Japanese English writer and writing a paper on his language use difficulty and coping strategies (will spare you from the very technical terms for now). That my professor was quite happy with how the paper turned out felt like an affirmation. It's nice to be imbued with a purpose, teehee.

Love and integrity were the keywords for 2012. Looking back, love and integrity were indeed poured on me as lessons and as rewards throughout 2012. I have those two in different measures and won't let go just yet. In continuation, 2013 will be about passion and consistency hopefully leading to abundance. 

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