How I Spent My Year 2012

I've spent a lot of my time this year focusing on myself. Taking a step back, looking at the good times I cherish, and the hard times that humbled me. I've been putting it together to see how all of that has affected who I am today.

I'm gaining a much better understanding of myself now. I really starting to understand what makes me tick, what inspires me to take bold steps, and what kind people/things hold me back.

I think know the right formula for me to move on (at least I think I do). I just have to put it all together.

A big part of that formula is getting my career back on track. Because when I have financial freedom, I can go out and spend more time with people that inspire me.

That's why my career has been my top priority for the past year.

Anyways, without any further ado, for my 9th straight year, here is my annual survey.

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

  • Happier or sadder? Meh.

  • Thinner or fatter? Same.

  • Richer or poorer? Not exactly "richer" but at least I have some income now.

2. What other states/countries did you visit?


3. What was your favorite film of this year?

  • Avengers

  • Dark Knight Rises

4. What was your favorite TV program?


  • Breaking Bad

  • Fringe

  • Happy Endings

  • New Girl

  • Walking Dead

  • Wilfred

5. What was the best book you read?

Hmm. The only book I read this year was Speedwealth by T. Harv Eker. The basic premise is this: when starting a business, build it in a way that it can run self-sufficiently without you. Then franchise.

6. What was your greatest musical discovery?

ONE DIRECTION, lol. I'm a sucker for boy bands.

7. What song(s) will always remind you of 2012?

  • Jackie Boyz - Honestly

  • Mitchell Grey - Heartstrings

  • John Mayer - Shadow Days

  • One Direction - What Makes You Beautiful

  • Yellowcard - Always Summer

  • and of course, Psy - Gangnam Style

8. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2012?

omfg I really need new clothes, LOL

9. What words/phrases/slang did you pick up on this year? Who do you blame?

  • For the longest time, when I would express laughter online with "hahah" or "HAHAH". This year I slowly started using "lol" and "LOL". It was a big milestone! Like switching from tighty whities to boxers, lol.

  • I absolutely refused to pick up on the whole, "dat ____ though," slang. Maybe that's a sign of getting old — you start to resist popular slang.

10. Did you keep your new years' resolutions? Will you make more for next year?

Last year I wrote this:

This year I will find a damn job. And I will work out/run at least 4 times a week.

I got a job in February! As for working out, I was doing well with that for a while until I had my eye surgery earlier this year and when my ankle started giving out these past few months.

For next year, my focus will be getting health insurance and making enough money so I can work out at a gym. I'd love to get a rowing machine so I can work on conditioning and strengthening that'll improve my posture.

I will also give up french fries, onion rings, potato chips, and any other similar fried appetizer (with just one cheat day per month). For most of this past year, I've been good about not ordering fries"¦but I would always get around it by mooching off other people's fries, lol. Maybe someday I'll be able to give up fried food in general?

11. Describe a typical day for you this year.

For a while, I would wake up at 6am. Take my time stretching while catching up on reading on my iPad. Run around my 'hood. Shower, make breakfast. Work from 9-5. Dinner. Coding and/or relaxing for the rest of the night.

Maybe I'm just getting old but seriously, after a long day at the office, all I want to do is enjoy my personal time.

12. What did you do on your birthday?

Worked. Had dinner at Coconut Bay with Deland, Jenny, Mei, Raynell, Patrick.

Jenny made me little burger-inspired cake pops after I jokingly requested it, lol.

13. What do you wish you'd done more of?

Accepting the apologies that I never got.

14. What do you wish you'd done less of?

Less dwelling.

15. Did you suffer any serious illness or injury?

  • The cataracts in my right eye got really bad so I went to the Philippines to get it removed.

  • I hurt my ankle while taking off my pants too fast, lol. It honestly wasn't that bad but man, it's been lingering for two months. It randomly gives out, even in the shower. I might have to get it checked out soon.

16. What was the best thing you bought?

Mac mini! I never thought I would be this happy to get a Mac mini but man, compared to my six year old MacBook Pro, this thing is a BEAST.

17. Where did most of your money go?


18. Which celebrity/public figure(s) did you crush on the most?

  • Anna Kendrick <3

  • Elena on Vampire Diaries <3

19. What political issue stirred you the most?

It's funny. All of my childhood friends are hardcore Republicans. Like HARDCORE. All of my current friends are very liberal and very open about it.

I voted but I'll just exercise my right to keep my vote private. =]

20. Did anyone close to you die?

Thankfully, no.

21. Did anyone close to you give birth?

  • Janet gave birth to Noah.

  • Amy?

  • Julie?

  • Ria?

Shit, there are SO MANY babies now.

22. Who did something worthy of celebration?

  • Joy winning first runner-up as Miss Philippines USA

  • VJ on The Voice

  • JR on The Voice

  • Krystle Cruz on TV

  • Alyssa winning the Coke Mix On contest

  • Tori getting signed by Scooter

  • Sherwin got married!

  • My homeboys Dan, Mike and Samir all got married!

23. Without giving names, did anyone do anything really disappointing? What did they do?

Just in general, it hurts to see friends repeatedly putting themselves in situations where they get hurt. Even when they know better, they keep running back to people that hurt them. I try everything I can to talk some sense into them"¦but it hasn't worked at all this year.

It's hard because it becomes an emotional investment for me too. I put in all this energy in trying to help them out"¦but then they go right back to the problem and hurt themselves. It hurts watching someone repeatedly hurt themselves, and not being able to do anything about it. =/

24. Who did you miss?

NorCal fam. East Coast fam. Music fam. Saudi fam at Samir's wedding.

25. Who/what kept you sane?

Meliss. She knows me, understands me, and appreciates me more than anyone else in this world. She sees the real me. She sees the me that lives between all those happy tweets and Instagrams. And while so many things in the world make me feel guilty for my mistakes, she only sees me for my heart and my good intentions.

26. What did you do in 2012 that you'd never done before?

  • used a Neti Pot for my first time, lol

  • first time going to a client for a presentation

  • went to my first industry trade show, SEMA

  • first time taking in freelance projects

Honestly, no super firsts this year. I'm really just focusing on my career right now.

27. What dates/moments from 2012 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

  • Making amends with M.L.

  • Eye surgery in the Philippines

  • My brother's surgery in the Philippines

28. What was your biggest failure?

  • Neglecting some important paperwork from the government...

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

Health insurance and getting paid a market-value salary, lol. If I had more financial freedom, I'd be able to pay for a gym membership, travel, and meeting up with friends.

30. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Getting a job again, lol.

31. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?

No. But I've reconsidered a lot of my friendships and decided to put more focus in my real friends.

32. Did you fall in love in 2012?

  • Nope. Just a few crushes here and there.

33. Which new person made the biggest impact on you this year?

  • No one.

34. Tell us a quote or song lyric that sums up your year:

If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present.


35. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2012:

A bunch of things:

  • False Feeling of Entitlement — Working hard and being kind does not entitle you to getting the same amount of respect. Just because you treat people the way you want to be treated, you're not entitled to be treated the same way. Life is very much unfair"¦but you just gotta keep doing what you believe is right because it's what you do that defines you. (*pat on back for Batman Begins reference*)

  • Three Levels of Friendship — In my head, I've always grouped everyone in my life as one giant group of friends. But the reality is there are really three different, very distinct groups: acquaintances, acquaintances, and bros. Level your expectations of them accordingly.

  • Types of Trust — Similar to what I learned about levels of friendship, there are also different types of trust. Some people can be trusted to keep promises. Some people can be trusted for good unbiased advice. Some can be trusted to keep secrets. Some can be trusted with money. Just because you trust a person one way doesn't necessarily mean you should trust them another way.

  • The Government is Unforgiving — Don't neglect paperwork from the government. Just because you stop sending money to the government doesn't mean things will automatically cancel; they'll just secretly keep billing you and later come at you.

  • Pain makes you do/say/think crazy things. Sometimes you just need to take a step back and realize you don't really mean what you're doing/saying/thinking; that's just the pain getting the best of you.

36. If you could go back in time to exactly one year ago, what would you tell yourself?

This will continue to be a humbling year for you. Your new career path will get a lot clearer. You'll take just a couple steps in the right direction but you need to push harder. You'll have to make a few sacrifices to get to where you need to be.

37. What are you looking forward to in 2013?

Furthering my career.