Before the annual questionnaire, I think I need to list down a few things that are memorable about 2011.
1. I was deeply moved by the recent calamity down south. I think I will forever be haunted by the images on TV of families rent apart and mothers grieving for children they can't find amid corpses. Even more moving, perhaps, is the fact that the people were still grateful for being alive and children are still calmly praying for better times even though they have lost everything they own. I think this has put many things in perspective this holiday season: that the cliches still hold -- what doesn't kill us makes us stronger, it's so wrong to have so much when others have so little, Christmas is all about giving, and the best things in life are free.
2. I am constantly amazed by what young people (people younger than me, I mean :D) are capable of and are doing for the less fortunate. You know what we say about "kids these days" -- they're spoiled and materialistic, they don't know anything about the political and social climate, they have no concept of nation, they're narrow-minded, etc. Mind you, I still observe these things, but there are many who defy these stereotypes, and I am proud of them.
3. I felt really blessed this year, especially because aside from winning my iPhone 4 from an SM raffle (which I still consider God's birthday gift to me of sorts), I still have many things that money can't buy. I have a home, my family is safe and healthy, my parents and I have jobs, and while I can't afford a car, I can still afford the bills and my books and clothes. These are simple things but they remind me how lucky I am, especially since my extended family had to go through some struggles this year. (This is not a case of schadenfreude at all -- more like an eye-opener, I think.)
4. Four. Four years and going strong. Another reason why I think I'm lucky. :)
5. Ultimately it's a simple thing, but now that I have passed my comprehensive exams, I have a clearer idea of what I want my future to be. Last year I made some plans borne of disappointments and anger. I'm glad those didn't push through. :)
6. SO MANY WEDDINGS THIS YEAR! You know you've passed a certain age when this happens. :))
7. That said, I'm really happy with and for my friends.
And for the new year questionnaire:
1. What did you do in 2011 that you'd never done before?
Became an adviser for a senior class, went swimming in a lake (San Pablo :), drove a car,
2. Did you keep your new year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
This is what I said exactly a year ago: "Next year I will write and read more, take photos, blog, watch plays and musicals, and spend less." I did two out of six of those. Ah, well. I know that every new day is a chance to change oneself, but there just seems to be a resetting of several aspects of our lives going on every first of January, which seems to make it the perfect moment to change! And for a while at least, we all follow our new year's resolutions, right?
So here are my new year's resolutions for 2012: be more active in socio-civic activities, lose weight, save up, travel more, and WRITE MY THESIS.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
My cousins! I can't keep track of all my nephews and nieces any longer. :D
4. Did anyone close to you die?
5. What countries did you visit?
NONE. But next year will be different, I believe! :))
6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011?
A THESIS! (And a winning lottery ticket.)
7. What date from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
November 24 (my birthday) and Christmas Eve with my family. :)
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Passing my compre! \m/
9. What was your biggest failure?
Spending too much. BUT I REGRET NOTHING. :))
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Aside from the occasional cough and colds, wala naman. :)
11. What was the best thing you bought?
Lots of clothes!
12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Ang tropa ng may mahahabang pasensya!
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
There were a few, but I love and respect them nonetheless.
14. Where did most of your money go?
Clothes, books, utility bills, and other domestic expenses.
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Getting my compre results, getting a haircut, and winning my iPhone 4 (!!!) and Mamma Mia! tickets!
16. What song(s) will always remind you of 2011?
Adele's songs, "Moves Like Jagger", "Run the World", and "Super Bass"!
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. Happier or sadder?
Several times happier.
ii. Thinner or fatter?
iii. Richer or poorer?
Poorer in cash. :D
18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Write and travel.
19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Eat, surf the Net and play Angry Birds. :>
20. How will you be spending Christmas?
I spent it with my family. I was also researching for my thesis then...
23. How many one-night stands?
24. What was your favorite TV program?
Game of Thrones!
25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
I don't think so :)
26. What was the best book you read?
The A Song of Ice and Fire series.
27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
28. What did you want and get?
Passing compre results!!!
29. What was your favorite film of this year?
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2. I went to the cinemas only a few times this year, mostly to watch Pinoy flicks. No regrets there. :))
31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 27. It was the school fair, a pretty fun day.
33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011?
34. What kept you sane?
My friends from Zobel, and my students, for a lot of reasons. :)
35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Xian Lim -- although this is very recent!
36. What political issue stirred you the most?
GMA trying to leave the country and all the shenanigans that followed.
37. Whom did you miss?
My mom, as usual :( but I'm happy she's home for Christmas :D
38. Who was the best new person you met?
My new co-teachers and students.
39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011:
I learned that being humble and admitting my faults and weaknesses ultimately makes me a better person. It's not a new adage, but it sums up many things that have happened this year. :)
Also, this: judge a person not by how he treats his friends, but by how he treats those who cannot do anything for him.
40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
Something really old and literal by Kylie Minogue: "I should be so lucky, lucky, lucky, lucky!" :))