My Thoughts On: 2012

Every year I like to reflect on how things transpired…

As I’m now almost 2 hours away from the final moments of 2012, I’d like to take some of this time to stop, think and reflect. Although I’ve never really “publicly” reflected on my year (Okay, maybe I did in my Facebook days…)  I can’t help but share an awesome blog that I read about a few days ago. Ironically it’s called, “How to Reflect on 2012 and Set Yourself Up for Success in 2013”. Honestly, I’d like to believe that everyone takes time out of their schedule(s) to reflect on their life over the previous year, but I most certainly doubt it. I can only hope more people would take it more into consideration however, as I believe it’s a great way of keeping track of your life and/or goals.2013

What are the 5 things of 2012 that you are most proud of?

  1. I’m thrilled to be able to announce that I graduated with my Associate’s Degree (with Honors) in less than 1.5 years.
  2. I was able to finally obtain my US passport and passport ID card(s).
  3. I’ve managed to build a solid and long-lasting relationship with a great group of friends that I only started spending more time with this year.
  4. I’ve kept in contact with some really important people in my life with no hiccups.
  5. I’m proud of my brother who is thinking about joining the Navy after high school, as well as my mother who’s secured a fair-paying job and that I’ve grown closer to.

What new connections have you made, and how have these shaped your life?

  • My mother and I have gotten closer, as our phone calls have lasted longer and our conversations have gotten deeper. This has allowed me
  • My connection to the Kagi family (aka my family/”other” family) has also solidified. They’ve been there for me for years, and I have nothing to be worried about when I’m with them. I’m proud to say that they know me better than most of my actual family members, yet they still love me (and I, them).
  • My cousin, Jasmin and I have officially made it a tradition every year around our birthday(s) to go hiking in the Gorge. I’ve never really done anything for my birthday for many years – so it’s fun looking forward to something on an annual basis.
  • My connection to friends from my second year Japanese classmates has also developed into us hanging out on a regular basis, planning trips together and just allowing us to become closer and more cohesive as a unit. We dream about taking trips to Japan as a group, and we’re even planning a trip to Montana next November as two friends within our group are getting married there. I’m stoked to see how things continue to develop as we move into 2013 and our 3rd annual Secret Santa event, next Christmas.
  • Another connection that I’ve been developing is a connection to some new friends in my third year Japanese class. Not to mention several Marines that I’ve met over the course of taking classes at Clark and PSU. I’m uncertain of where these relationships will lead or whether they’ll last, but I can firmly say that I’m glad to have them.

What experience has made you the happiest?

  • Overall, I believe it can all be summed up in the happiness of my family. Although I lost my grandmother this last year, it’s outstanding to know that my mother was able to fly back to the Philippines to visit her (as well as my grandpa) this last winter. I’m also happy that I was able to provide my younger brother with a new laptop when his crashed for some ungodly reason during the school year. I honestly feel extremely blessed with so many luxuries and invaluable people in my life that I can’t be grateful enough.
  • Transferring to PSU, although the process was a nightmare, eventually makes me happy. Knowing that I’ve already received my AA and am working towards a BA that will only make me all the more marketable to employers in the future makes me excited.
  • I can also say that I’m happy at the moment because I have a sense of financial stability. All in part due to the Post 9/11 GI bill, as well as a loving and supportive family that was there to help me out when I had to make some necessary financial decisions.

Who has made you happiest?

I feel like I’m beginning to beat a dead horse now, so I’ll try to keep it simple from this point on:

  • My parents (Pat & Robin) – They’ve been there for me from the smallest problem to the largest – whether it was for emotional support, assistance with my car and/or financial advice or recommendations.
  • My mother and brother  (See above for more information)
  • My cousin Jasmin – for being there for me since we were “adults”.
  • Friends that have been there for me from the beginning, as well as those who have just began the journey with me.

What have been the best moments in your career this year?

  • Career wise, I believe that the #1 thing is/was graduating from Clark with Honors.
  • Besides that, I would have to say that working on my Bachelor’s Degree is the next best “moment”/career move.
  • I’ve also spent a good amount of time volunteering for my Japanese teachers this last term, which may or may not help me in the future…

What changes would you make to your career in 2013?

  • Updating my résumé is pretty high on my list of things to do.
  • Come October, I’ll need to apply for the JET program for the next year.
  • I think looking for a possible internship would be a good move for me, this next year.
  • I should probably begin the application process(es) for Teach for America and/or Foreign Service Officer jobs, too.
  • I’ll need to look more into the ‘Troops to Teachers’ program, as well.

What challenges did you overcome this year? How did you do it?

  • It’s hard to call this a challenge, as I know there are people out there that have it worse than I do; but I would have to say that it has more to do with allowing myself an equal amount of time for the gym and school. During the school year it’s been increasingly more difficult to balance the two, and with that being said it’s just so much easier to skip the gym than it is/was/has been to gaff off school. To rectify this, however, I opted to pay for a year-long membership at my school’s gym, before realizing that it was their hours that made it difficult to go to the gym. With this being the case, I more-recently became a member of LA Fitness, instead. I believe this gym will work out for me even more, and I’m looking forward to training myself up to my long-runs again (10-20 miles).

What has held you back from achieving what you wanted to do this year?

  • It’s been my dream to give the JET program a try since I graduated high school, so I believe the only thing really holding me back has been my lack of a Bachelor’s degree. Thankfully, my pursuit in a Bachelor’s will quite possibly help me maintain a possibly solid career path overseas, but time will surely tell.

What can you do in 2013 to ensure this doesn’t happen again?

  • Working hard in school to ensure that I graduate on time will surely help me in 2013. Not only that, but it wouldn’t hurt me so much if I applied for FAFSA early, as well as several scholarships for the future. ;]

What habit did you acquire this year that has made a difference?

  • I believe being true to myself has helped me blossom a lot this year. I’m not the type of guy that takes people’s bullsh’t, and I’m very passionate and driven towards my goals. These traits allow me to be myself, and often times repels people that don’t like my personality, yet attracts those that find me interesting, entertaining and/or fun to be around.

What habit has prohibited you from achieving what you wanted this year?

  • To be honest, I don’t believe there’s a habit that I have/had that prohibited me from anything this last year. I went through a breakup, which I believe was more for my benefit than anything else. Besides that, there was literally nothing that I wanted or needed that I wasn’t able to achieve and/or acquire.

What habit do you want to enable in 2013 that will make a difference?

  • If there was a habit that I could magically “activate”, I think it would be something that allowed me better time management. When the school term begins I’m usually so consumed by that, I make less time for friends, family, my artwork, photography and the gym that I often feel pretty drained. I’d love it if I could manage to get a great paying part-time job on top of it all, but that would only be if I had exceptional time-management capabilities. Hahaaha.

What was your biggest mistake in 2012? What have you learned from this?

  • I wouldn’t necessarily call it a mistake, but if I had the chance to do it over again I don’t think I would have allowed myself to be in a relationship. Like I said before, time management is difficult enough as it is, with school in session, so throwing in a relationship was a poor decision on my part. Although I have no regrets, I feel like it would have been better if I didn’t put myself in that position. Irregardless, I’m glad that things turned out the way they did.

What else have you learned this year?

  • I’ve actually learned a lot this year. One thing that I learned is that the older I get, the more I come to realize that relationships with your friends and/or family are more important than secular/worldly achievements and/or possessions. My relationship with my biological family may have dwindled, but they’ll always be my family. In the same manner, I’ve been able to blossom some incredibly great, long-lasting relationships of my own. I believe this is what people should do. I believe it’s important to create a solid network of friends, that allow you to be vulnerable, depended upon, needed as well as, Loved.

What are 3 words that sum up your year?

  • It was exceptional.

If you were to live 2012 all over again, what would you do differently?

  • Yikes! To be completely honest, there would have been several things that I would have changed, if I were able to relive 2012 over again (not including what I said previously).
    1. One thing would have had to have been, going to Japan. I missed out on an incredible (possibly once in a lifetime) two week “vacation”, all due to my diligent pursuit of graduating by spring of 2014. I can partially blame this on my procrastination in the PSU application process, but I really should have gone.
    2. Besides that, I also wish that I applied for scholarships earlier, last year, rather than later. I’m definitely hurting due to the lack of extra cash flow, but I’m confident that 2013 will be even better than this year has been.

(Add your own!) What is the biggest goal you’re setting for yourself in 2013?

  • Although I’m not a big New Year “Resolutionist”… I only set goals for myself that I believe I can achieve. In 2010 I managed to train for a marathon in 6 months, so my goal for 2012 is to be marathon ready by the end of 2013. With my LA Fitness membership, I believe it’ll be a lot easier to achieve than it was previously. Not only that, but I’ve already done it before – so I’m confident that I can get there.

“Your success and happiness lies in you. Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and You shall form an invincible host against difficulties.” – Helen Keller

5569e1958bAnyway, I wish you all a phenomenal and extraordinary 2013! We have approximately 10  more minutes before we ring in the new year, so I think I’ll spend these final minutes with my family before heading home to rest up for tomorrow’s festivities.

See you all next year!!