Hello, MMXX. I’m just so glad 2019 finally ended. Well the past year started light and fun, until it didn’t. It was one of the hardest I’ve ever had to fight. Countless highs and lows, unexpected bumps and turns in ways I could have ever imagined. It was not the year I expected at all. In terms of my career, it was like a skyrocket always pushing myself beyond my expectations. When it comes to personal a.k.a. love + life, it was definitely the worst. All of the mishaps were thrown at me last year.
Okay, a quick recap.
So here’s a summary, a chronological recap of what went down in 2019. It’s definitely unforgettable.
Giving Trip – Every few years, employees from different countries go on a Giving Trip to get to see and participate how TOMS (yup, I work as the marketing girl for TOMS PH) give back. It’s the company that started the One for One giving model where for every pair sold, another pair is given to a person in need. I was the only rep from PH who joined this trip to be able to give back, guess where? In the Philippines, right in Quezon City and Legazpi, Albay. I’ve always wanted to give back and I feel blessed how my work isn’t just about for the bucks but to pay forward to the community and the world.
Volunteer for CRIBS Foundation, Inc. – This one’s very dear to my heart. Also, as part of TOMS’ way of giving back we’re launching Changemakers— these are people who are actively taking action to create a positive impact. Arianna Cowper was the chosen Changemaker in the Philippines. She chose to volunteer at CRIBS Foundation, Inc., a facility for girl survivors of sexual abuse undergoing healing and recovery and also a home for abandoned babies. With TOMS’ financial donation and Arianna Cowper’s initiative who worked closely with us, we spearheaded a series of activities for the 26 girl-survivors of sexual abuse. As part of the culminating activity, we took them to Liwliwa, Zambales for a summer camp. We had workshops, games, and also found the time to personally connect with the girls. How I wish I could be with them more often.
Okay, a break. While all of these are happening, I took the time and went to La Union with colleagues and friends. La Union is my happy place but I felt something odd. I felt alone and questioned my life existence. There was a hint that my depression was sneaking back in— and it did. After the trip, I thought it would be over. Little did I know, from that moment things are about to go up and down.
Los Angeles, California – Who would have thought I’d make it to USA? My boss told me that the company will send me to LA to attend the conference. Never in my dreams have I imagined that I’ll be able to go there! I was kilig at first in all honesty, like who wouldn’t? Not everyone is given the chance but since I was feeling different, I told my boss I’m willing to let go of that opportunity. My depression and anxiety was halting me. It was less than a week before my flight when I decided to go. Exploring LA and visiting the spots I’d never thought I’d see personally, I mean I can only see them in the movies! I finally had the taste of their dish.
Okay, another break. Look at me, feeling happy and all but the truth is. I caught my then-boyfriend for four years cheated on me, three hours before my flight to LA. (Cute, but let’s not dig deeper into it. I’ve already moved on. Yup, that quick because I’ve already forgiven them. 🙂 )
Stand for Courage – Okay, so remember what TOMS and Arianna did back in summer? Two days after I landed back in Manila, we officially launched Ariana Cowper as TOMS Philippines Changemaker. It was one of the biggest events I’ve ever had in my life. Sooo grateful to be working with everyone!
After all of these, me dealing with depression got worst and wanted to kill myself. I went away from home, when they found they sent me for a break for three months. No phone, no internet. I only got books. My social accounts got deleted except for Instagram and my blog. During this time, all I got was my family and my best friends. I started seeing my Psychiatrist again and got medications to help me out. From the day that the news broke, I got messages from my college friends. Despite not talking to them for years, I was surprised that they still care and they actually are there for me. What did I do to deserve these people! Insert cry emoji.
Zion the Shih Tzu – While I was under healing and recovery. Someone dear gave me a cute Shih Tzu. I was reading the bible during that time off and I named him Zion, the hill of Jerusalem named as the kingdom of heaven. He was there for me during my sleepless nights waiting for me to go to bed as I cry myself to sleep. He was always there to make lambing and loved me during my worst. I wasn’t good enough for him. He died two days after my birthday. The second heartbreak I had this year.
I got my first tattoo – I’ve always wanted to have a tattoo. And I want it to be meaningful. This year I rekindled my spiritual connection with God and now working my way to know Him more, hence the first tattoo I got. God is Greater than the Highs and Lows. (It was the front cam I used, hence it;’s mirrored lol.)
Life is tough but that doesn’t mean I should stop. I didn’t realize how life-changing the past year was going to be. I’ve loved and lost but gained a few kind people before the year ends and I feel blessed to have them. I never thought I’d meet people who are genuinely caring and loving despite short period of time being with them. 2019 was definitely a hell of a ride, but looking back it was the ride that helped me to become the person I am right now writing this down at the first day of the year. Those happy and dark times molded me and made me stronger. If those didn’t happen, I’d turn out completely different. It made me appreciate life and more driven to fulfill my dreams. Now I’m ready to welcome the new year with light and love… and being single, lol. Hello, MMXX.
All thoughts and experience stated in this post are entirely my own. Please seek professional help if you don’t feel good about yourself.