2017 Sum Up

It’s the end of another year and it’s time to look back at what happened and feel something about it. Usually, I am overwhelmed with negative feelings due to my insecurities and life outlook that I fail to see that I had some successes and things I should be grateful about in life. I get into some holiday blues that just drains out the motivation in me. I feel a bit different this time. I do not feel an immense sadness this time around. I’ll take what I can.

I will just try to look on the positive things and see where this will go. I think one of my biggest accomplishment is improving my fitness level by getting into intermittent fasting. I started the year with around 154 lbs and I am now hovering at 137 lbs. I know yearly, I would try a diet and see how this will affect me for a month or so (i.e. Paleo, Whole30), but this is the only thing that I stuck to until today. It was an easy concept — you only eat your required calorie targets within an 8-hour window and then you fast for 16 hours. Basically, I would eat from 12pm to 8pm only. I have always been particular to what I eat thanks to my Whole30 days, and that skill helped in looking at the nutrition information and really use that data to be intentional in managing my weight.


Getting back into volleyball is another win for me. After my knee issues and PRP shot last year, I had to quit volleyball completely until March 2017. I started to play again by that time when I gave up doing my PT sessions and just really focused on it personally. I think this made me more mindful about my physical limitations. I realize that I am older and my body is not the same from 10 years ago. I need to protect it and make sure that it lasts me another 10 to 20 years.

Lastly, facing my emotional and anxiety issues was another big win for me. The second half of the year was very tough for me and it reached a point that it really became unbearable. I did not blog a lot because all the swirling thoughts was just getting to me. It had to stop and really get away from all the ruminations. It was such a big sigh of relief for me when I went to my doctor and helped me manage it. At the same time, starting some therapy was also another venue of confronting my inner demons. But, I do not think that I am well after going to my doctor and therapist. I still have struggles and my self-perception is still a bit skewered. I have learned to silence my mind or not let my thoughts take over. It was really about finding the effective way for me to live with it and eventually correct it.

Those were the biggest wins and at the same time, the times where I learned more about myself. If I can sum up 2017, it is the year of rediscovery and relearning again. There were many things that made me go “aha!” especially about accepting my limitations and who I am. I learned that I need more focus. I have to realize my strengths as a person and use them to make me more successful. I have to be more present and not let “mindspeak” take over my life. It is still a work in progress because it has not really reached the point that I am able to successfully manage my demons or stay grounded. It is really one of my 2018 key goals but that is another post waiting to be written.


2017 Year End Survey

1. What did you do in 2017 that you’d never done before?

– did intermittent fasting

– attended NAGVA Nationals in Columbus

– traveled to Canada.

– attended a Crotonville training

– stayed in a hostel

– attend a same-sex wedding

– went to a Halloween party.

– started taking Wellbutrin and going to therapy


2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

– I usually keep goals that I try to track regularly. I was looking back at my previous entries and I realized that I never blogged about my 2017 plans. I need to do that earlier this year and really fix my blogging rhythm


3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

No one that I know of.


4. Did anyone close to you die?

My Tita Loleng.


5. What countries did you visit?

Montreal and Philippines internationally. In the US, New York, Columbus, Louisville, Indianapolis, Chicago.


6. What would you like to have in 2018 that you lacked in 2017?

In 2018, I want to build more self-confidence.


7. What date from 2017 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

Maybe the day when Doug Jones won in Alabama. Who knew.


8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Following through IF and losing 15 lbs and hitting 13% body fat in the process


9. What was your biggest failure?

Getting hung up on people/things that I should not be.


10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Usual bout with the flu.


11. What was the best thing you bought?

iPhone X!


12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

Alabama folks who voted for Doug Jones.


13. Whose behavior appalled you and made you depressed?

A friend’s husband.


14. Where did most of your money go?



15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Being able to play volleyball again.


16. What song will always remind you of 2017?

Say You Won’t Let Go


17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

i. happier or sadder? – happier

ii. thinner or fatter? – thinner

iii. richer or poorer? – richer.


18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Being more present and grounded.


19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Obsessing on things that do not impact my life.


20. How will you be spending Christmas?

I spent Christmas at Irene’s with the gang. It was a nice and fun little celebration. I also made my mom’s baked spaghetti, but it’s not as good as hers.


21. Did you fall in love in 2017?



22. How many one-night stands?

In 2017, in all honesty, I do not know. I usually keep track of them but I’ve just let that go. I will get back to it in 2018!


23. What was your favorite TV program?

Rupaul’s Drag Race.


24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

Hate is such a strong word, but I feel negatively about some people versus last year.


25. What was the best book you read?

Strengthfinders 2.0


26. What was your greatest musical discovery?

The return of Sam Smith.


27. What did you want and not get?



28. Favorite film of this year?

Call Me By Your Name.


29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I turned 34 this year and I was in Montreal, CA enjoying the city.


30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?



31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2017?

More adult and sporty.


32. What kept you sane?

Wellbutrin and therapy.


33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Armie Hammer.


34. What political issue stirred you the most?

The usual political drama we have in the world. Nothing new, but can’t wait for 2018.


35. Who did you miss?

Family and friends from the Philippines!


36. Who was the best new person you met?

NAGVA folks!


37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2017.

Don’t let your thoughts get the better of you. Be present in reality.


38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

I’m never gonna let you close to me

Even though you mean the most to me

‘Cause every time I open up, it hurts

So I’m never gonna get too close to you

Even when I mean the most to you

In case you go and leave me in the dirt

Holiday Backlog

Since I took time off until Jan 2, I need to be a bit productive and get some of the things off my to-do list:

  • 2017 retrospective and 2018 goal setting
  • Clean/Fix extra room.
  • Bake or cook something new
  • Figure out what’s in a 2,500 cal/day meal plan (with 150g of protein)
  • Inbox zero
  • Watch Star Wars: The Last Jedi
  • Iron clothes
  • Change sheets
  • Buy food containers for meal plan
  • Confirm art lessons
  • Have my roof checked out

I do not know if I will get everything out of my list but I am crossing my fingers.

How do I…

I got a friend who got blindsided by his partner and broke up with him. There were no warnings or signs, but just a direct conversation where he expressed his desire to separate and be on his own. Naturally, my friend was caught off guard because it was a surprise even for him. It just did not make sense because they were making solid future plans. I do not know how to console him because there’s really nothing I can say or do that will make things better. I cannot provide the answers on why the relationship ended; on why he left. All I can do is offer my time, and listen. I feel helpless but at the same time I know I have to also provide the dose of reality. Life goes on and it will not stop because you’re in turmoil. It moves forward and you have to get on it one way or another. I know my friend will get better eventually, but it’s such a sucky situation that I do not wish on anyone. No one deserves this.

The Wall

I have been really stressed out for the past few weeks. There are many things going on in my life and they are starting to overwhelm me. I am usually fine managing things that I can control or influence, but the stressors lately have been things that I cannot control. There’s just so much uncertainty, and the tension is so thick that I just want to run away. A big part of me just want to escape the madness and start anew. I wish it’s that easy.

Don’t fret. I am talking to someone. I think that’s a good step for me. I need to address this. She’s helping me overcome some of the things that has been bothering me. My last assignment was to identify/list down things that contribute to the “wall”. I was the one who coined this during my last talk. The wall is this barrier that induces anxiety inside, and hinders me from connecting with the people around me. I think it’s more or less social anxiety. My mind plays tricks on me causing me to be defensive or not engage at all. It’s just my mind and body seems to be in self-preservation mode when faced with new people. Connecting to new people has been really tough for me since I moved here. I realized earlier that since I moved here in Cincinnati in 2011, I have not built a lot of relationships around me. Most of them are in my Filipino circle. Even the new friends I met in Chicago are Filipinos. I continue to stick in my comfort zone and let my anxiety get the better of me. I get intimidated by the “different one” and that prevents myself from connecting deeper to the new people around me. I lost my ability to build deep friendships with people. I don’t know why and what caused this, but it’s something I need to work on. I need to chip away this “wall”. I need to change this thinking that I am not good enough for other people. I need to stop judging myself against this self-imposed standard that is impossible to meet. I need to be present and grow. This is the demon I need to face and conquer. I need to believe in myself again. As what Mama Ru has said, “if you can’t love yourself, how in the hell are you gonna love somebody else?”


taking action.

i feel better. that’s good news and i hope it continues moving in this positive direction. it’s still early if i’ll feel this way long term, but i’ll take what i can.

i don’t know how to describe my week to be honest. i think it was pretty good considering all the choices i had to make. a part of me is just relieved that i took action and that’s over, but there’s also that part where you just second guess yourself and continue to ask “is this the right decision?” that’s a lesson i need to learn. decide and realize that it can be good and bad, but you roll with it. i’ve always been a weak decision-maker. growing up, i never really had to decide for myself much. my parents decided for me most of the time. so i eventually got used to deferring it to others and just go with the flow. i really have to break that habit.

this week has been a lot of those. i decided that i want to feel better and talked it out with my doctor. i decided on what i want for my career in the next 3-4 years and it’s very exciting in a way. i feel the same way during my early 20s when i worked on my career. i’ve been skating for the past few years letting things just go with it. let others decide and go with it. now, i’m taking it on. let’s see where this leads but it’s going to be challenging and fun for sure.