Saturday, December 27, 2014

7 Life Lessons I Learned in 2014

Leaving the footprints behind, and creating new ones as we move forward.

Now, where do I begin?

For years, I have been asking myself what do I really want in this world, and which one's really better: the road traveled by many or the road less traveled. The year 2014 is not just about a story about how I made bold decisions and taking the less familiar route, but it is about how I fell and stumbled along the way, lost a number of significant things, and picked myself up.

Truth is, 2014 had made me more resilient and more prepared as I continued my journey on this road less traveled.

1) Real Life is harder than I previously thought.

Back in college, I'd always daydream that someday I'll breeze this phase and enjoy life after graduation. Three and a half years after finishing my college degree, everything seems to be going backwards. It's just life outside the four corners of an institution is thousand times harder than I imagined. Being smart isn't enough. A lot might think it's the end-of-an-era of meeting horrible people right after college (see also: your terror professors). When you start working for a living, you meet more and more people that would really stretch your patience, and would test your endurance. Whether you like it or not you'll be dealing with the nosiest and the most obnoxious people at work. And oh, did I forget bills and taxes to pay periodically?

But I am still thankful because it had allowed me to step out of my comfort zone and I finally know myself better when it comes to dealing with these situations.

2) A few people will try to pull you down, but many will back you up.

Wherever you go, and no matter how genuinely nice you are, there are still people who will never cease to pull you down. I thought of retaliation, but it's not great idea; it would just add fuel to the flame. I learned how to deal with it and move on with life. And besides, there are still lots of people who really know me: my family and my true friends.

3) Those who do not sleep are the ones who are truly weak.

As much as I hate myself for being a night owl, I always try myself to get at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep. I work on a shifting schedule: One day, I'd work from 1PM-9PM and the following day, I'd work from 5AM-9PM. Chronic sleep deprivation would lead to serious ailments and I do not want to compromise my health.

Health is wealth, my friend!

4) Appreciate what you have, and not complain what you don't have.

Call me a brat but I used to complain a lot over the shallowest or the littlest things in life. From the very slow jeepney ride to downtown to a busted AC in my room. There are a thousand reasons why I was assigned here in Tacloban City, and one of which had forever changed my perspectives in life, generally speaking. After a quick visit in Anibong, I realized that I don't have the right to complain right from the very start. I am still lucky. People there are deprived even up to the most basic necessities of life such as clean water, proper sanitation and food. Yet, they are still happy. Maybe their family's still complete despite what happened last year. Maybe they are still grateful for the gift of life. Real happiness is unexplainable.

5) Travel more. The world is such a wonderful place.

No need to elaborate. Traveling is not my form of escapism, but rather it is my way to experience new cultures and to experience LIFE as we know it. Let us all travel while we still have the time and resources.

Angkor Wat. Siem Reap, Cambodia.

Sand Dunes of Mui Ne, Vietnam

6) People at work.

I easily trust people. But, I should be extra cautious because sometimes those people whom I completely trust might talk behind your back. I have learned that lesson the hard way. Never, EVER add your colleagues on Facebook and other social media accounts. Trust me. There's a reason why Mark Zuckerberg created a restricted list, block, and the unsubscribe features on Facebook. Use them wisely. Definitely a life saver.

7) Of burning bridges.

It really is OKAY to burn bridges. Why should I even cross when the connection and foundation is unstable in the first place? This year, I learned how to let go of those who are only seeking self validation and attention, those who leave you right in the middle of the road, and those who do not know how to value respect and self-worth. They keep you from moving forward. After all, there are more people out there who are worth preserving.

* * * * *

I never thought that I'd learn a lot this year. I would like thank 2014 for being the most amazing year yet. I was never expecting that I'd learn a LOT from you.

So, for the year 2015... bring it on!


  1. Burn Bridges... may pinaghuhugutan. hehe. Experience teaches us more lessons. I agree, sleep deprivation leads to some serious ailments and ugly face. Hahaha

    Cheers for 2015!

  2. Welcome to the real world in 2014! Its early for you to start life when many know it start only in the forties... School taught you just the ingredients how to... but to churn and achieve harmony with the environment challenges you to make the best of your own creation, God's glory to return back to him. Loving yourself is doing it with others as well for them to care for you...Don't burn bridges, juz don't cross through your own bridge to empower those who goes toward you.

  3. Thanks for these tips Renz! No. 7 is also one of the things I learned the past year. That there are some people meant to be just acquaintances and not friends.

    1. Re: Your comment on my About page.

      Wow!! Thanks Renz! I have been a reader since your pre med days (if i remember that right). Well, anyway thanks again for the big compliment. Nice to meet you too! And I hope we get the chance to chat in person as well! :)

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