Over the shoulder glance

I figured the best way for me to swim the vast open seas of 2010 would be to first look back and see what I was able to learn, experience, and accomplish the year before. So here goes.

In 2009…

1. I was able to reach my goal of becoming financially independent before I turned 30. This was a goal I’ve had for three years. But in Manila, no matter how much I tried, I couldn’t seem to reach it. I loved my job as a beauty editor but unless my children were going to have cold cream for breakfast, there was no way I could afford (without the help of my awesome family) a comfortable existence and savings for the future. My spirit needed this affirmation and I’m glad I got it last year.

2. I returned to a place with someone I loved. When I was 17, I was given this incredible opportunity to study in Spain for a summer and tour its jaw-dropping landscape. I immediately fell in love with the Alhambra in the southern city of Granada and promised myself that I would go back to its lush gardens and golden palaces with someone I was crazy about. It took over 10 years to fulfil this dream, but I’m glad I waited to do it with the right person. It was magical.

3. I accomplished two fitness goals. In early 2008, I surprised myself and got back into a sport I hated with utmost passion. Running. You can read a post about my past running experience here. Last year, Carl and I were able to run City2Surf’s entire 14k route. And the best part was that our time was good enough to qualify for green bibs this year. I was also able to accomplish my goal of running 10k in under one hour (57:15). I will never forget the sound of a hundred plastic cups being crushed under thousands of running shoes or the sticky, hot pavement from all the sugary Gatorade. It was an incredible feeling to cross the finish line both times faster than I thought my body would let me.

4. I graduated from my Master’s degree with honours. It took two years of insane paper writing, stressful group work, and a perfect attendance record. But I’ve always been a nerd, so I’m just grateful that it finally paid off. Bottom line, I didn’t pay for my graduate degree so I had every intention of doing the best that I could with the opportunity I was given.

5. I suffered through three hard months and came out on top. For an entire quarter of ‘09 I worked 13 hour days, seven days a week. Juggling two jobs, a Master’s degree, and night classes. Yes, I had a death wish. I’d get up at 6am and come home by 10 at night and STILL need to do paperwork. I had no time to wash my clothes, shop for food, and even get a haircut. This experience was tough, and there were a number of times throughout those months when I broke down and needed to tell myself to be strong. Through it all, Carl was an amazing partner who did my shopping, handled my laundry, and told me that he was proud of me. When the dust settled from the whole experience, I came out tougher and very in demand. I was immediately offered a job by three companies and now work for the best one.

Wow. Five. Not bad.

Let’s see how many 2010 can bring.

Do any of you have a list of accomplishments for 2009?