2016 was really challenging but full of learning experiences. I think part of the stress was because I’ve tried to be as organized as possible to the point that it made me feel like I’m not living a life, but a plan. However, when I look at my life, I still feel lucky because I still have control to most of the things I desire especially those that does not require so much dependency. I’m here in Paris today, celebrating my fourth year of welcoming the world elsewhere. It’s cool, my sister and I are safe and we’re having the time of our lives, which I think is always important. Anyway, 2016 was the year I’ve let go of so many things both personal and professional and I don’t regret a thing because I’m happy and my happiness doesn’t really have to rely to someone. There were just really moments where I had to ask myself whether to stick with my plan or scratch it and begin with a new one.

2016 was also the year I made a lot of realizations–that not everyone who are with you will always be with you; that even if you gave it your all, it may still not be with you; that you have to work really hard to deserve something; and that life in itself is beautiful. For sure there are many more but I’m trying to be as spontaneous as possible while writing this message via my smart phone.

This year, I’m welcoming a year full of optimism and the first day of the year gave me a valuable lesson and that’s to learn how to be spontaneous too. I can’t guarantee that I will be that spontaneous. I mean, I still have plans and I want to stick with it. But I’ll try to minimize it at least a little bit so I can have time to breathe without having to think if everything is alright. Life is supposed to be enjoyed and I’m more than optimistic that 2017 is the year that will reflect all the good things in life, including those learnings I’ve picked up from the not so good ones. I will always be forever thankful how I’m given the opportunity to grow as a person and being able to explore and learn the beauty of the world with my own eyes.

I thank my family, friends, and colleagues for being with me without asking for anything in return, for helping me without having to slap me with my shortcomings, for a decent conversation when I’ve had enough, for being an ear and a shoulder to lean on when I’m all down, and for many more. I don’t want to name all of you as I might forget someone, but you all know who you are. There’s not too many of you so I’ll always be thankful.

Here’s to many more years of joy, laughter, and learnings. Cheers!

 

Hugs and kisses,

AJ

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