I was inspired by Ms. Pryce Quintos’ post “What Added Value to My Life in 2018,” and decided to list down not only my December goals but also the things that have brought value into my life recently.
For my regular readers, you know that 2018 was a half-and-half bad year for me especially with my anxiety and depression. I have been documenting my struggle in both poetry and prose where I finally saw a change compared to previous years of self-destruction and alienation.
Despite the shaky start, I’ve felt there was a lot to be thankful this year.
Let us start with my monthly Three Goals which I will continue until 2019 to keep myself grounded and productive. So far, I was able to accomplish most if not all of my set goals for each month.
Without making this introduction any longer than it already is here is my goals as well as what added value to my life in 2018 which I would want to bring with me next year.
Budgeting my anxiety
Of course, budgeting will always be a goal for me which I have somewhat achieved this December. For the past few months, I tried to track where my money goes, however, I’ve realized tracking money is easy spending and saving was a whole other issue I couldn’t properly tackle on my own.
Recently, my spending habits and sudden emergencies have left my monthly budget reeling. To remedy this I tried to squeeze in as much as I could and lessen my spending habits. I will be honest it was difficult especially with Christmas and how I cannot afford to overspend.
My anxiety was on overdrive due to the sudden budget restrictions because I overthought every penny I’ve spent. I applied to a few freelancing jobs –which has been scarce for the past few months– to help raise my emergency funds. It did open my eyes, however, to finally budget and take money seriously especially for the new year.
Using my phone less often
Despite the fact my job requires me to handle social media, I am not active on my own social media accounts. I rarely go on Facebook compared to my high school days when it was still popular. Back then I would have the massive case of FOMO whenever I wasn’t online. Then suddenly I got over it when I was given a phone which wasn’t compatible with updated versions of social media apps.
Since then I realized going online wasn’t as important as my teenage self thought it was. Nowadays, it’s rare for me to use Twitter as well and when I do decide to go online I tweet non-stop then go on another week long if not month-long online silence.
There was also this one year where I did not use Instagram. Sure, I can admit I was sad to see the number of my followers dropped then led me to a path of trying so hard to improve my aesthetic to gain what I’ve lost. It lasted a few months then I forgot I even had an Instagram in the first place.
It’s safe to say I am not a social media addict however I am a smartphone addict. I feel comfortable holding my phone and using it for whatever reasons –mostly YouTube and Webcomics.
In my last post, I mentioned I would stay up until early morning with my phone in hand to watch videos or read endless chapters of an online comic. I try to make excuses to use my phone like checking my emails for extra freelance work or networking with other writers when in fact I want to use my phone for the sake of using it.
To remedy this I installed an app blocker on my phone for certain hours of the day or turn off my WiFi. This, in turn, helped me become more productive towards my new freelance work as well as revive some old hobbies.
Eat healthier and better
No one always cooks nor do I have space to cook my own food at the moment. I make sure to limit my instant noodles and fast food cravings to a minimum. I also make sure if I will have takeout I get healthier options which are sometimes a hole in my pocket. An excuse I tell myself it is an investment because health bills are far more expensive than fruits and vegetables.
I am healthy for the most part –physically at least because if I dwell on emotional health we would have a much longer post than intended. Next year, I hope I would give myself space and time to cook my own meals because I would prefer a pricy grocery list filled with health than spending too much each month.
Hitting two bird with one stone right there!
Two out of three goals somewhat accomplished. I am making sure I’ll bring these three with me in 2019 especially eating healthier. I know a lot of people my age who already have cholesterol problems. I rather spend a lot for a healthy meal than a hospital bill with no health insurance.
I try my best to keep my word limit to at least a thousand words but let’s end 2018 with the longest post I will ever write. This year has been really eye-opening which came with a lot of realizations about Adulthood. If anything 2018 was both a bitch and learning curve.
It made me more self-aware of my own actions without turning into an unstable cynic. Here are the things which added value in my life or at least things I prioritize which sparks joy.
Planners, scheduling, and tracking time
I like jotting down everything I need to do and where I need to go either on a cute notebook or on my Google Tasks. There’s this great rush I feel whenever I would cross something off of my “To Do” list because it tracks my productivity. I used to fill my planners and lists with simple tasks such as cleaning my room or simply washing the dishes because it gave the illusion I was being productive.
Then I decided to create different lists of tasks; one for chores and another for tasks which actually tracks my progress. I didn’t fully go digital and decided to still keep a physical planner because I enjoy writing everything down. Meanwhile, Google Tasks and Calendars help me keep track of my lists and progress for the week.
Alone time to reflect and recharge
A lot of people are surprised I am an introvert or at least an ambivert. I considered myself an extrovert a few years back because I had an outgoing (okay let’s say aggressive) personality and I genuinely enjoyed socializing. Since then a lot has changed to the point socializing has become very tiring. I didn’t value my alone time until I moved to the big city where I spent some of my weekends alone either at a cafe or walking around.
Being alone gave me time to reflect on my life such as my career, relationships, and my emotional health. In some ways learning how to be alone helped me become more mature.
A new artist to add to my playlist
Recently, I discovered BTS and let me tell you I love this band. I haven’t loved a band with this intense passion since I was a teenager. At first, I thought they were another generic pop band who relied on EDM and their good looks for fame. Until I’ve stumbled upon their speech at the UN General Assembly and English translations of their songs I fell in love with them. They not only sang about cookie-cutter topics like love and heartache but also mental health, social issues, and loving yourself.
Not to mention their lyrics are pure poetry.
If I’m being honest BTS has helped in keeping me a little bit stable for the past few months. They made me realized music was meant to be felt regardless of the language barrier. There have been many bands who sing about the same topics and have greatly influenced me over the years but for some reason, I have this strange attachment to BTS.
They make me feel a little bit of happy.
Writing and poetry
Unlike recent years I actually update this blog monthly. Writing has become something I genuinely want to pursue and improve. It has helped me become more emphatic and learn new things beyond grammatical structure. Meanwhile, poetry helps me release emotions and tell a story in minimum verses.
You would think someone who writes for a living would want a break from writing yet here I am hitting almost two thousand words. I may not be the best writer out there but I want to improve. If anything writing helped me understand the importance of empathy, change, and self-improvement.
An Advocacy to stand on
Anyone will tell you I am a stubborn bitch who is vocal about her causes to the point she becomes a broken record of annoyance. I’ll tell you they are not wrong.
Earlier this year, I’ve decided to get a little creative with how I promote advocacy and created an “Advocacy Doughnut” figure for my Instagram stories. So far, I’ve talked about the bloody injustice that is period poverty, the importance of being environmentally conscious, the Child rape situation in the Philippines, and even human trafficking.
I don’t know where this could lead but I want to do something while I’m still looking for a job which would further the fight for a better world. In some way, it’s how I can help promote these issues and raise awareness. Hopefully one day I can do much more.
The people I care about
I also want to thank the people who have been there for me this past year. My emotions are hard to deal with yet a lot of you stayed anyway. This year marks a few milestones and realizations which put a lot of things in perspective. I valued the friendships and relationships I’ve made in 2018 more than ever because they kept me stable. I hope I did the same for them by offering not only my hands or shoulders but my ears and heart to listen.
Looking forward to 2019
2018 thank you, next.