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Your January 10, 2020; my December 31, 2019

In my head, today marks my New Year’s Eve. It’s still December 31, 2019 in my calendar. I kid you not. I believe that time is relative and a social construct. I have two situations to exemplify. 

A. March 11, 2018. The day we had to fly out of Washington DC, it was daylight savings time—meaning that at 2:00 am, the clocks will move to 3:00 am. I had an hour less to hug and say goodbye to my co-fellows in the academic  residency. Never mind that I love all of them, and never mind that it’s impossible for us to be complete again considering that we both live on different time zones. I had to pack my bags and say goodbye quicker. Wherever the single hour snatched from me had gone, I had to leave.

B. Someone said they had moved on from somebody. It was ridiculous for me that someone’s great love seemed to bypass some steps to finally be happily alone in such a short period of time. Someone told me that time is relative; what I considered a short period might be a long period for them, and maybe much was exhausted and sacrificed for someone to be okay that their moving on appeared to be short and effortless.

I realized that we may not dance with the tic-tocs that the clock’s hands are drumming. Or we dance differently. Or manipulate time to our favor and sanity.

Considering the aggravations 2019 has inflicted on me, it makes me wonder why I’m lingering onto this year. Perhaps it’s the lessons and growing pains. Perhaps it’s the fear of solitude and the possibility that nothing is waiting or me there. But what’s more certain is this: 2019 is a rich period for me that I have to process and celebrate it not minding how it would wreck my heart again. I stan catharsis and symbols that not doing these unfinished businesses would render 2019 lacking.

I had three things to do to let go of 2019 for good: one, write a year-end letter to the self which will be sent to my email on January 1, 2025. It took me page fright and reopening wounds—one week—to write this.

Second, I revisited the notable dates on that year, scrapbook-style. So here:

Favorite quotes from Wild by Cheryl Strayed, Reasons to stay alive by Matt Haig, and Hyperbole and a half by Allie Brosh. I’m sure you can surmise what went on this time.
I travelled to Bohol and Cebu to eat, pray, and love. Kidding. I was a resource speaker on research at a conference
Oh, Virginia Woolf.
Don’t open it. Or else, you’ll get what you deserve for snooping around. And if it’s not much of a stretch to share, I recycled a torn Zara paperbag.
My happiness died by accident, but serving the people went on, with the team
Another confidential file inside.
A transcript of the speech I delivered about mental health. Yeah, the situation is a lot more nuanced than that
Another great reads: Forgive me, Leonard Peacock and Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin
Rebrand: a fancy way of saying I killed myself over and over to step forward.
What I always want to do is to fight back by writing back. It’s published in Rappler.
K ra ko bai (I’m okay, bro), so I deserved a 26th birthday celebration, thinking that I thought I would be forever 25.
Taylor Swift gave me a 2020 song and an email signature: “I wanna be defined by the things that I love” yada yada.

Lastly, I will declutter and redesign them. What a closing salvo. Cleanliness is next to Marie Kondo.

And when my own 2020 comes I will fill this notebook with things I am grateful for. You see, I have been hard on myself for a long time it crushed my health.

Hi poetry junkies.

And so, here’s a mixtape to welcome my 2020:

To new beginnings, I guess. I hope.

Whatever time you are syncing in, happy new year, or advanced happy new year, or belated happy new year. You’re here, and even if ill shits or blessings are what 2020 will offer, you are here and that’s all that matters.

You fucked me up, 2019. I’m through.


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