Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 in odd numbers

While everybody else is either inside their homes preparing for media noche or outside destroying their eardrums by adding to the cacophony in the streets, I'm in my bedroom thanking God for the genius that are snug earbuds and getting ready to sleep because I have work early tomorrow morning. Before I turn in, however, let me join the public in doing one thing—making a recap of my 2012.

My best friend since high school resigning from work might have been the best and worst thing that happened to me in the office. Worst, because although it's true for some people that having close friends as officemates can put a strain on their friendship, it wasn't the case for Maricris and me, and so naturally I was devastated when she had to leave. But best, too, because when she left I got to know her cousin Hannah and former teammates Cams and Jade more. Maybe I served as their replacement for Maricris, or maybe they served as my replacement for her, but either way, we had a lot of great times together, stuffing our faces at Bonchon, jogging, getting drunk on milk tea and coffee, seeing movies, singing karaoke and a cappella, and most of all, laughing our hearts out. Through Cams I got to know Claire Yvette, whom I like to call Clara, who works as a theater production assistant and generously gives away free tickets to friends. I was able to watch God of Carnage, which starred Lea Salonga among other brilliant actors, with Cams for free at the RCBC Theater. Amusing play.

I surprised myself this year by taking part in activities that only my outgoing friends do. I continued going on dates with my online buddy Koji whom I've known for a while and we went to several exhibits, most notable of which was The Myth of the Human Body. I went to drink and party at clubs like Republiq in Pasay, Libations in Greenhills (where I teamed up with Tim, an officemate, for a few rounds of beer pong against two strange guys we met there) and Skye in Taguig. I went to two concerts: Katy Perry's and BIG BANG's. I even joined a couple of college friends at a beach resort called Acuaverde in Laiya, Batangas. I'm not a fan of beaches or any place that with noise or loud music renders conversations useless, and as expected of an old-fashioned introvert like me, I always revert to my default programming of just wanting to stay in my room, reading a book or watching TV series or movies on my laptop. This year I discovered 9 TV series—Community, Arrested Development, 30 Rock, The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, Revenge, 2 Broke Girls, Awkward and Sherlock—and the fact that I downloaded all of their episodes to date and watched them each night without much care that I have to leave for work early the next morning should tell you how good these shows are.

Our department at work, as I have mentioned in a previous blog, has never had to hire so many employees as we've had this year, and I am glad to have somehow become an instrument in molding these new colleagues of mine as part of our Training and Recruitment team. I began in April (unending thanks to Tata for making it happen) merely updating and tweaking our databases, and now with an expanded role I get to be involved in our new employees' development. I'm not the best at what I do yet, that's for sure, but I'm striving to improve and I'm enjoying every step of the learning process.

The team listing in our department was shuffled early this year and I initially dreaded transferring under the management of Agnes, whose name calls to mind unpleasant memories for most, but whose heart, I later found out, was golden and whose skills and knowledge only few can match. She eventually had to leave the company fighting for what she knew was right, and my team misses her even now. Robert replaced Agnes, and Ninno is who I report to for Training and Recruitment. (Titles removed for smoother narration, although of course I address them with their respective titles at work.) I'd share good things about them but since they're still my current bosses, that might just be deemed as sucking up (though they might not even get to read this at all). Let me say this, however: Work can be hell, and it usually is for those who (A) don't like what they're doing and (B) have difficult bosses. I am happy to report that both statements don't apply to me.

A few things I can remember from our Psychiatric Nursing lectures back in college and one of them is dissociative fugue. Also called a psychogenic fugue, it's a type of amnesia where one does not only have an inability to recall his memories and personality but also has the urge to travel or wander and even sometimes establishes a completely new identity. Minus the amnesia bit, I discovered I have this tendency to suddenly want to go on a "fugue state" especially when I am too emotionally burdened. And so it was in January after Someone's Revelation To Me That Changed It All (the details of which are to be either elaborated upon in my biography or carried to my grave) that I sought solace in Baguio. The biting cold, the many twisted roads perfect for walking at nighttime, the crowd who knew nothing of me—they all served to make me immediately consider Baguio my second home when I revisited it as a young adult in 2010, and those same things welcomed me with open arms when I returned in January. And again when I came back during the Panagbenga Festival. And again three other visits later, two of which I was already accompanied by friends.

I never really fully understood Kelly Clarkson's song "Sober," even when I've already listened to it more than a thousand times, until I watched a YouTube video of her performing it in 2011 at her Sony-sponsored concert at the Troubadour. She shared how she had written the song off a line from a friend who said to "pick the weeds and keep the flowers." It was probably that one line in the song that didn't make sense to me until she explained that it was about "[picking] the people out of your life that are cancerous for you and [going] with the good ones." That was a lesson I had to learn the hard way this year, actually. I don't always have to be the one working on making my friendship with someone grow—most of the time I just have to let it flourish. It may not often do so or at all, but either way I have to learn to let go especially if the relationship is doing me more harm than good.

And so there it is: 1 play, 3 bosses, 5 Baguio trips, 7 new-hire classes and 9 TV series. New friends gained, old friends lost. Countless books, films, dinners, jogs, laughs and lessons, the most important of which is—as cliché as it sounds—to love myself more. That's my New Year's resolution for 2013.

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