I started the year full of hope and friendship, a call from a very special friend. The first month was really great. Calls, texts, chats, friends were my company. Come April, my cousin graduated and a family adventure ensued. Of to falls, we went. Island hopping and riding on speedboats. The water – magical. I don’t think I could ever count the number of times I dived off the cliff. My mother celebrated her birthday and once more, we went to the sea. My favorite place for thoughts. Me, my family, and my cousins – pitter-patter on the waves of the ocean and on that water park obstacle – racing amongst ourselves. May, my favorite and most beloved uncle finally got married! Maid-of-honor, dressed in white, I rode on a motorcycle to the reception; the ‘best man’ and my beloved cousin as the driver.
Had a boodle fight with cousins by month-end too. Eating, is one of our strong suits of course. Happy birthday to my dearest brother! He turned thirteen this year. The following month, I added one more year to my existence too. Twenteen, I believe, is the word they call it. And I am happy to have reached this milestone. Final year of college! Only 6 months left! I had my first job. After having an internship at an auditing firm, and having fully memorized the English alphabet, first work was an accounting assistant. Had quite a run, I suppose. Resigned due to personal conflict 5 months after but the experience will stay. I started my first ‘proper’ blog. I took it seriously too! Had a couple of posts published in the first month. It’s over 300 now… and counting.
Witnessed friends achieve their dreams, and clapped with the crowd during the testimonial dinner. Called my cousin to congratulate him for passing the licensure exam for teachers, and called my uncle for urging him to not give up and take the next one with more vigour. For the most part of the year, we were travelling. Me and my family. Either with friends, relatives, or just the usual ride to school and home. Then December came. Grandma died. There was – in the most ironic of ways – a sudden reunion in the family and once again, resiliency is tested. But we got through, somehow. Tough bunch, huh?
It is hard though; to not mention the things that happened to the world under your watch. But, believe me, I do not blame you. Not one bit. Elections happened. Candidates won. Politics is a never ending strand, I know, but somehow, yours was historical. I know you know what I mean. Killings, deaths, awards, celebrations… all of these too. Wars erupted, a massacre happened. Where is the love? became a song heard in almost every corner. As for me, I still listen to ‘Unsteady’ by X Ambassadors. My reminder that love is love…is love… is love… is love… is love.
And also, I had the fortune to come upon a certain musical that struck me. Youtube viewing finally paid off! A fan of history, and a person of the past, it’s been months but I still replay ‘Hamilton: The Musical’ songs in my phone when I feel like it. And I’m not even American, to say the least!
On a microscopic view, this year challenged my relationship with friends. And people, in general. But like they always say, those who stick through thick and thin, are best buds until the end. I cut ties with some, left midway. I left, they left. Severed ties. But the memories will remain. Bittersweet if not altogether nice. There are however, the 31 people I still… and will always call family. Saw them again ( well most of them, anyway) before the year died. Those were the happiest 5 hours of this year. Family … is not always blood. And home… is a privilege. They are both.
You were a year who tried knocking me down. But you were also a year that handed me a lot firsts. Travelling alone. Internship. Job. Resignation. Salary. Blog. Online friends. Poetry Slam. etc. And you also handed me a lot of seconds. Grand Champion for the school’s General Knowledge contest. Officer for the school’s organization. Being a part of and witnessing a friend win our DSFF. Meeting an author. Blog. Online friends. etc. Giving me countless chances for my many failed attempts in life. Lots of time to mull over thoughts, grieve, be merry, and write.
Despite all the challenges you have thrown upon me, and the world in its entirety, I had the last laugh.
I made it.
Wanna know my greatest achievement for the year?
2017 can try… but I am as resilient as resilient gets. So … tell your cousin (2017), “give it your best shot!”