2016: One Hell of a Year

I write this with just a few minutes to go before 2016 officially ends for me, my family, and my little world. It was one hell of a year.

My mother died in February and it has left a huge hole in my heart that I know will take more than this lifetime to get over. I always imagined how hard it could be to lose someone in your immediate family, but to lose the one closest to your heart—it was a heartbreaking first lesson in the tragedy that is death in the family.

(To be continued… and now resumed roughly 24 hours later.)

With that happening, it was hard to see clearly how to even just move. And then events around you happen.

You’d hardly think how politics and society can take a toll on you emotionally, but here in the Philippines, it was real for many Filipinos. We elected (I didn’t vote for him, obviously) Rodrigo Duterte as president—a man known for his down-to-earth, one-of-the-masses point of views and approach to life. Sadly, his simple qualities also includes too crude, even barbaric views on justice. Now people suspected of various crimes are killed without a trial.

It is hard to explain, but if you’re American and disappointed at Trump’s victory, you’d have an idea what I mean. Think of all the pros and cons and the worst what–if scenarios that people were accusing him of doing when elected, and then waking up one day to actually see it happening. That is the reality called the Philippines, now.

Trump’s win made Duterte’s victory even worse. Now we couldn’t count on the United States’ to “promote democracy and uphold human rights”; who will save us from the monster in our midst?

In matters of work and passion, do you still remember the sex and cash theory? You’re supposed to have some of both, for your sanity. Now imagine having almost none of each—would you go insane?

In 2016, I hardly took photos *seriously*, neither professionally nor for personal artistic pursuits. Unless I call my instagram artistic and pleasing. Even the #project366 I had going there was just roughly halfway accomplished. I miss the feeling of shooting and being consumed by the experience itself.

You know I’ve always worn many hats, but the developer/blogger/tech geek in me has barely had fulfilling milestones. An event in early 2015 left me ruined and scarred (maybe someday I can get myself to talk about that publicly), and though I’ve accomplished other things, I could’ve done better, and learned more.

My health was supposed to be an exception. I’ve been riding a bike since March 2015, and in fact I’ve been addicted that I’ve already acquired and sold a few bikes since then. And yes, of course, I’ve put in the distance, too! Cycling has helped strengthen my cardio endurance, though directly losing weight is another matter. I’ve felt quite well for more than a year, even managing my diabetes (yes, I am diabetic) and getting my test numbers within normal levels. Unfortunately though, I’ve had allergies and derma issues for the last two months, compounded by paresthesia. It must be the weather or something, because tests suggest that I’m healthy without significant issues. The uncertainty though is bothering me to an unknown degree, possibly adding exponential growth to all the stress I’ve already been having.

I’ve been looking forward to writing this post as 2016 fades away, as some form of therapy to heal from all the wounds of the year that was. And then maybe I can write about the other side of the story, because there always is.

Tomorrow is always a chance for a better version of today yesterday. Or something like that. wink