April 19, 2024
What are your reasons to be thankful this 2019? Challenges? Twists? Read more!
2019 in Karakoy

2019 has come to an end.

For me, I have every reason to be thankful.

First, I sincerely believe that I was fortunate this 2019. No one knows what happened to my engagement, but we actually prepared for it within three days. I think it’s safe to say that Melike and I planned one of the fastest engagements ever! Buying the clothes, preparing the venue, even doing the proposal – I think that Field Marshal Erwin Rommel would have been proud of our efforts.

Many say that long-distance relationships are hard. I say that if one puts enough effort into it and both sides are willing to work out the details, then I’m pretty sure that a long-distance relationship is always going to be worth it.

As for the how of this relationship, it’s something that you need to plan. Then you talk. You revise. You work it out. You find something that is doable regardless of the circumstances. You talk again. You just go through it until you get the results that you both want.

At the same time, it would be a farce not to acknowledge the struggles and pains that carried me to the end of 2019. The tenets of my belief states that this corporeal life is supposed to be a taste of Paradise, a wayside station and an examination hall all at once. Sure enough, I got to see all three facets of this notion this year. They’re never easy; however, who thought that life on Earth is supposed to be a walk in the park, no?

Second, the main question that haunted me this year is this: How far could I go when it came to my craft? It took a whole year for me to find out the answer.

My craft involves writing, teaching and a small slice of esports.

Let’s start with my writing. I obviously don’t write Esports anymore – apart from the occasional article for outlets like CSGO2ASIA, for better or for worse. I found joy in creating content for mobile mech games (yes, majority of those who read my blog actually come from those games), though I still miss writing esports from time to time. Maybe I should just do it as an occasional hobby.

I actually tried to become an editor for BlueStacks somewhere at the beginning of this year. I believe that I did a very good article, but I got rejected. Sayang (that would have made a good mark on my CV, in addition to earning money on the side while writing about mobile games), but maybe it’s for the best.

Speaking of the best things, my literary and non-fiction writing found big-time traction this year. I never thought that I’ll be published in Young Star, ALPAS Journal, Philippines Graphic, Rappler and PDI all within the same year. I also came close to publishing a book, just getting rejected at the final step (though to be fair, it’s just about the editing, so it’s not something that should be impossible to solve).

For the first time in my life, I actually felt that I’ve made a difference somewhere with what I wrote. I felt a measured amount of satisfaction knowing that my best is actually good enough to make it to those places.

While it is amazing to celebrate these victories, let it be known that each of those pieces required hours and hours of introspect, editing and reviewing. Multiply it by two for poems – people should realize that poetry is not just a shortened form of expression, but rather a form of expression in which every syllable, every iamb and every image counts.

Tying it to life, 2019 has been a year of behind-the-scenes struggles. A ton of them involved prayers, tears and a ton of sadness. It was never easy, but I felt the support of my family, friends and the people around me.

Oh, I’m still awaiting word from three journals at the moment. I just hope that my work will make me proud of it, regardless of the end result!

Then comes teaching. It’s not easy to actually teach subjects, let alone inspire students. I took and passed the Licensure Examination for Teachers (LET) despite having never studied a single day of it. I guess that’s a message for me to step up my teaching through professional development and to give the profession the maximum amount of respect that it deserves. After all, teaching is a laboratory for the future.

I even remember one Islamic preacher stating the following: If you want to see the problems that are happening right now, look at how the education system looked like 30 years ago. This is a great way to connect the importance of teaching towards the well-being of a society.

Personally, I’m here to give my best effort. I just hope that my students learn a thing or two from it.

As for Esports, I’m happy to have been able to do some small things. That’s enough for me, as long as I’m sure that I gave my best effort for it.

I’m just happy to watch Bren Esports reach the semifinals of eXTREMESLAND, thus making sure that they are in the Asian CS:GO Top 10 this 2019. I’m just glad to see the Morph+Shaker combo bringing victory to TNC time and again.

I don’t know how the decade after 2019 would look like. I also don’t know what the leap year would bring to my life. But I would always prostrate in thanks to the Almighty for giving me a great year.

Obviously, I couldn’t have done many of these things without the support of my family, friends, co-workers and bosses. For these, I am eternally grateful.

Finally, I am happy that I have a better half who supports me in everything that I do, while at the same time proving to be a great friend and partner in life. Mahal kita at alam mong lagi akong andyan para sa iyo.

It’s been years of ups, twists and downs. I pray that 2020 and beyond will be hayirli (blessed) for the people around me.

After all, there is no way but up!

Happy holidays everyone! May you enjoy your time with your family and special someone as you end this decade!

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