The Year of the Horse 2014, I must say, has been a good one: Far from being perfect, but I would call it an absolutely sanguine year. I had some challenges, don’t we all? Some of them hit me really hard so much so I couldn’t help uttering the famous “ouch.” But I have learned in life to choose your battle and learn to roll with the punches. As the year’s end came near, I was blessed not only with a renewed self-trust but also the wisdom not to take everything so personally. I have learned that when people were mean, it had nothing to do with me necessarily. It was simply a reflection of who they really are, and I cannot change that.
So, as the Year of the Horse comes to an end, I count my 2014 blessings.
1. Officially a Knight
After testing the water of the Graduate Program at another university, I have finally realized what I really wanted. Subsequent to meditating, praying, and rolling the idea over in my mind, I sent my application to my chosen university, the University of Central Florida, and it didn’t take long before I was accepted. Next summer, if God’s willing, I am completing my graduate program and hopefully moving on to the next phase of my life.
2. I voted
Who would think that after being denied a Tourist Visa years ago, I would eventually receive my US Naturalization? I still couldn’t believe we (my husband included) made it. It was indeed a long journey through immigration, which was challenging, considering all the documents we needed to produce to prove my case, but we got it all settled – with no glitches nor shortcuts.
Thirteen months after I had my oath taking in a small room at the Bureau of Immigration, I received my ballot in the mail. It felt surreal. Given the rights and privilege to vote for my government representatives made me recognize how far I have gone from my once upon a time chasing the “elusive” American Dream. I decided to cast my first vote in person. Since then I have casted two more votes through the mail (please don’t call me a slacker *wink).
3. Summer Adventure
Visiting the three branches of the government in the nation’s capital last summer was a dream come true. Although I am not as a political enthusiast as my husband, I have always been interested with what is going on in my government. I guess it is a habit established from my former job. Back in the Philippines, I remember my first big assignment in the Embassy was to assist in the APEC as a member of the Secretariat. It was a baptism of fire. During the meeting I met numerous Heads of States (from a distance), including the US President at the time while they were entering the hotel. Call me star-struck because it felt oh so glamourous. Since then I have a continued interest in pomp and circumstance, and that’s how I got my idea to visit the Washington D.C.
4. Another work contract
Sometimes people tend to forget (I included) the blessing of simply having a job. Regardless if it is a dream job or not, the truth remains that employment offers not only economic benefits but also personal fulfillment. After all, it is not always easy to pass the grueling interview, as well as the subsequent performance reviews. Thus, I am thankful that despite my human imperfections and shortcomings, my employer has continuously believed in me and the work I do. This is my third school year in my job, and I am grateful for each day that I go to work to meet my energetic students who are enthusiastic to learn.
5. Five years of honeymooning
A wonderful husband, happy marriage, satisfying home. Just call us perpetual “mooners.” It was like having heaven on earth…What more can I ask?
6. After Christmas Surprise: The Ultimate Crescendo to my 2014 Symphony
When I embarked reading the personal memoir, “My Beloved World” of Supreme Justice Sonia Sotomayor, I didn’t know that it would have a great effect on me. Despite my busy schedule, I would take a break to read a few chapters of the book every night. I was so much taken by her life experiences that after reading the last page, I decided to send her a letter. My intention was simply to express my gratitude to her for sharing such an inspiring life’s journey. I think I understand the enormity of a Supreme Justice’s job and time demands a little. Thus, I had very little expectation of a response. After placing the stamp on the envelope and dropping it in the mailbox, I whispered a short prayer that it would pass the possible screening crew, and then be before her eyes.
Who would think that my beloved SJ eventually got hold of my letter and found time to reply? I was dumbfounded when my husband handed me the envelope. Despite my astonishment, however, what really struck me was the facial expression from my husband who was green with envy. I knew that I had scored a homerun, and the letter will surely be forever one of our priceless possessions. You can count this right up there with hitting the lottery, after all it’s not every day we receive a letter from a SJ, do we?
“The noblest pleasure is the joy of understanding” by Leonardo Da Vinci
I thank my family, my husband in particular, friends, and many people who have served as my shields and angels during those times when I couldn’t help the horse from galloping. Thanks for lifting me up in countless ways every time I slid from the saddle. I appreciate you.
May we all have a happy, peaceful, and fruitful 2015!