17 Things That Made My 2017 Awesome

by - Saturday, December 30, 2017

With just 1 more day until we welcome 2018 with a bang, I figured it's as good a time as any to list down the things I'm grateful for or happy about - things that happened, things I had realized, or things that came into my life in 2017 that made this year a little more than bearable. 

It can't be helped that my list will likely seem incredibly mundane to you, subjective as they are, but I'm grateful nonetheless and I want to share it.

I got to spend more time with my family.
Let's start with something that happened near the end of 2016: I got redundated. I know - it sounded like such a terrible thing to happen, especially with the the holidays coming up, but it's all too clear now that it's the best thing that ever happened to me. This meant I'd be spending more time with my family and actually celebrate the holidays with them for the first time in 4-something years. You can't put a price on that. 

But more importantly, getting laid off work meant - 

We got the green light to work on our goals.
Ever since we got together, Jed and I have been set on setting our future straight. Plans were laid out, and we slowly worked our way to making it happen. After we got redundated we took that as a sign to put our plans into motion - going abroad either find greener pastures, or grow that bitch ourselves.

It was an important time for us because we realized we can find silver linings in the most unlikely places, which honestly was a bit challenging to do but in the end things worked out for the better (once we stopped panicking lol). 

I found out who my real friends are.
Not everything will go according to plan, and somehow I found myself out of breath and out of time. I didn't expect things to move so fast and suddenly I found myself rushing to pack my stuff 4 days before our flight to Dubai. 

I settled on sending heartfelt farewell messages, thinking I'll just see them again (if and) when I return. How they managed to put together a last-minute despedida, I'll always wonder, but more importantly I'll always be grateful for it. It's touching how a select few people will fight tooth and nail to see you one last time and wish you well. I'll never forget it. 

We reached Dubai without incident. 
You'd think it was as easy as getting on that plane and making sure you don't lose your bag (or grab the wrong one at baggage claim). Hearing and reading about the horror stories of traveling to foreign countries got us the yips. (Having your nearest airport voted as one of the worst airports in the world doesn't really give you a vote of confidence, either.) 

As trivial as it may seem, we're very grateful we were able to reach our destination without issue. That sigh of relief once we touched down is damn unforgettable.

Getting a fresh start.
Leaving your home country to start fresh elsewhere is sort of a norm if you're a Filipino, or at least many of us would think so. Jed and I couldn't believe our luck; what's in store for us on this side of the world? 

We learned to be (somewhat) independent.
I had lived with my parents my whole life. One too many times I've heard them tell us that if they could, they would keep us under their wing forever. As someone who values comfort and luxury, that's enough to keep me content with what they're giving me. Looking back, I sometimes mentally kick myself for thinking I could go on living the way I did for as long as I did. 

It wasn't until I reached my mid-20's that I decided I had to change things. 

It took me a while but I'm slowly learning how to adult. Keeping myself from filling our pantry with unnecessary purchases and basically learning how to manage my money on top of paying the bills and rent was a monumental challenge for me, but I'm getting there.

Having my family's support.
I wasn't fazed by the fact that I'll be living so far from home - almost 10 months in and I'm still not homesick in ways you'd expect. I didn't let my roots settle in, and rather chose to go where the wind blew stronger. I didn't let myself get attached to anything; leaving was easier for me.

That being said, I was more surprised by how my family stood by me (and continue to do so). Messages of encouragement, concern, and assurance poured in. It was comforting, to say the least; I wasn't as far away from home as I thought. 

Final Fantasy XV gave me life.
Oh, man. I thought I was done with the franchise, having skipped XIII and completely forgetting about the whole series until Emman bought a PS4. I didn't start playing until August but damn its magic is still there. Despite the fact that it's largely unfinished (and with a downer ending to boot) it has wound itself into my heart and I will forever love it and the adventures I shared with the Chocobros.

Also this game re-ignited my goal to go on a grand roadtrip at least once in my life. 😆

A change in my career path.
I've worked in customer support for years back in the Philippines - never did I expect I'd be working in marketing and graphics design. While I have a working knowledge over most of the Creative Suite apps, I know squat about marketing. It was the biggest cause of my anxiety for a few weeks because I didn't know the first thing about any of this, and yet they took me in and gave me a chance. 

I was basically learning as I worked, and I'll also be forever grateful for having such understanding superiors

Watch my Instagram Stories! ⏩ @_subliminalwish

Being able to explore new places and things.
There's nothing like that feeling of excitement when you're in undiscovered terrain. We didn't know where to start! Slowly we worked our way around the city, keen on getting to know as much about it as we could. There were just so many things to do, so many places to go. It was a constant adventure, and I loved every turn.

A newfound love for blogging.
After years of sporadically uploading a half-hearted entry or two, something triggered a new enthusiasm in me to blog again. Suddenly I have these bouts of inspiration to write and create, and it may not seem that much but I'm happy with how this blog evolved into. There's still so much I have planned out, and I'll slowly kick them in motion in the coming months.

This also led me to finding more outlets and be more creative.
There is much for me to say about finding joy in playing around with Photoshop, even if it's just for a post title or a minor edit for one of the photos I'll upload. But more than that, I discovered that there's so much I can do with it. You should have seen how giddy I was when I found I could recreate my favorite concepts, and even be inspired from them to give my output my own spin.

This year I also found myself taking more photos and actually putting in a lot of effort to make it cohesive and profound, not to mention taking the time to edit them to make them stand out more. I'm dead set on bringing out my mirrorless camera and relearning how to wield it this 2018. AND I got into journaling! 

I'm now constantly trying to find new ways to improve myself. Now, more than ever, I want to be better than who I was last year.

Lessons on resilience and adaptability.
For the most part, 2017 was about learning to move in a certain rhythm so we don't drown. We had to learn and relearn some habits, get rid of old ones (tried to, anyway), or remodeled them to fit into our new lifestyle.

I'm grateful for learning to be more flexible, and for forcing me to focus my efforts on the things I can control, rather than fret over the things that were out of my hands.

Meeting new friends and reconnecting with old ones.
I think this is one of my favorites. I felt right at home the moment I was able to hang out with my friends again. Forging new connections and strengthening the ones I already have - these helped make my year worthwhile.

Of course, I saved the best for the finale. I owe this entire journey to him. Truth be told, I would likely have given up had I been alone in this. He is my constant, my guiding star. I couldn't be any luckier.

This list was surprisingly easy to put together - 'know how to count your blessings' and all that, after all. I want to make sure I end 2017 feeling happy and thankful, and welcome 2018 a little more grounded but hopeful.

I'm going to make 2018 my best year yet!

What about you? I'd love to know what you're thankful for! Did anything happen in 2017 that left a mark in you? Link me to your blog post, or leave a comment down below! See you next year. 😜

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