Monday, January 3, 2011


It's just been a few days of the New Year so far. Facebook is riddled with status posts of people being hopeful for this year compared to the last. So I suppose I should take a few minutes to analyze my life in the past year, in my attempt to be equally as hopeful as others.

To be honest, 2010 was a blur for me, largely because there weren't any significant events worth remembering.  But if I reflect hard enough, I suppose I can summarize this past year for me in a few macro-topics.  2010 has been a year of just busting my ass off at work, of searching for reciprocity of affection in all the wrong places, of splurging on addictions, and of escaping into limbo-esque worlds.

Busting My Ass Off at Work

I started off 2010 working straight through the holiday season with no leave. This is very common in the call center industry, and 7 years of working in one should've desensitized me about working through holidays by now. However, I am no longer in the traditional call center industry. And therefore, my sensitivities have changed over time. The work I had to do for the first month or so of 2010 was necessary, and I got through it just fine. But at the same time, I ended up kicking off the year with a general exhaustion that carried throughout that year.

Each day of work was largely a grind. I always felt like each day only really started when I got home from work. Each weekend was spent attempting to recuperate and relieve all the stress built-up from the week. Every week was just an iteration of a cycle. And as the year progressed, I started having less and less free time.

I am at a crossroads right now in terms of passion for my work. A little over 3 years has passed since I first started in my current company. I remember coming into this company with an exhilaration at the fact that all my geeky knowledge of games since I was a kid, was now "industry knowledge" for my new occupation. That enthusiasm has waned since then. And yet I trudge on for reasons that are both unclear and in some perspectives largely trivial.

Stress and Apathy become the result of each day, week, and month at work. And no amount of thought given to my professional situation ultimately finds the path I must take. But somehow I still kept plugging away at it regardless. The people around me at work are good people. And I suppose they are part of the reason why I'm still in the company. I have other reasons. But I won't bother to get into them in this post.

Searching for Reciprocity of Affection in all the Wrong Places

Affection in this case is both romantic and non-romantic. As this past year drew to a close, I realized more and more that I didn't really have all that many friends that I could open up to, much less have any possibilities concerning romantic interest. Work this past year has left me exhausted to the point that I don't feel like going out there to search for connections and relationships. On the rare occasion that I do get out there or make a gesture to form these connections, I usually feel a sense of distance. Whether that distance is created by me, or by someone I reach out to, is largely unknown. And with the few connections I do have, it is obvious that I get so attention starved beyond what those people can provide.

I am thankful for the few people that were around for me this year, namely my best friend Roland and 1 or 2 other people. Even though this year was very lonely, having a few people around every so often is better than nothing.

The butt end of the year showed that I still have the capacity to give. When I vowed never to lend money to people again unless they are really close friends, I ended up lending money to some people because they were in need. Those people haven't paid me back yet. And they quite possibly will never pay me back. But I still lent the money knowing that was the outcome. I don't give money away for I'm not rich. It's just ironically funny that I still have that habit of monetarily helping people.

I didn't buy anybody Christmas presents this year except for one person. I surprisingly put a lot of thought into the gift. The gift was thankfully well received. But I am sure I'm getting ahead of myself in terms of how well received it really was. My best friend Roland told me that says something. But that just says something about me, more than it would say something about the recipient of the gift.

Splurging on Addictions

Given how I kicked 2010 off with 14-16 hours work days and working through holidays and weekends, the built-up stress and exhaustion had to be released in some form or another. I always give advice out to people to do the things that make them happy as means to cope from any problems or issues in life that they are experiencing. I took my own advice this past year by throwing money at the problem. This manifested in many forms, from purchasing the souped up PC, buying up games that I still haven't gotten around playing, to treating people at drinking binges just to have company or to keep the celebration going. None of what I splurged on was regrettable. Money well spent. But at the same time, they ultimately were just relief from the problem. It became costly maintenance rather than a solution.

Escaping into Limbo-esque Worlds

I noticed that I have a tendency for escapism. I crawl into these worlds to stop worrying about everything and just enjoy. The repetition of visiting these worlds shows the percussionist in me. I kept going back to them over and over.

There were a few months this year that I didn't go to sleep until I picked up my guitar and sang and played a few songs. There is something that raises my heart about playing and singing songs I can manage to do with my minuscule talent. It's like some sort of drug that gives a minor cathartic release. Just enough for you to keep looking to do it again and again.

I would queue up and watch TV shows, anime, or movies and burn through what little free time I had. I would log into virtual worlds and stay there for as long as I could. It was easier to live in fictional characters' lives than your own. Like the geek that got the girl. Or the kid that was shunned by peers that turned out to have limitless potential power. Or even the opportunity to be heroic and defeat a monstrous foe.

I looked to drink at least once every weekend. The month of December, I noticed signs of increasing alcohol intake. It's as if I made it my personal mission to work through whatever it is that's wrong with me through the path of San Mig Light, Jack Daniels, J├Ągermeister, etc. Apparently, I can still drink like a fish like I did 10 years ago. There would be times, that I would feel that the night's drinking wasn't enough and drink when I get home. My autopilot skills are as sharp as ever because I would get myself home safe and sound each and every time. The recovery the day after takes longer, showing that age is slowly starting to beset me.

Another definition of worlds which is an anti-thesis to my escapism addiction, are the ones when I would get sick and would have to nurse myself back to health. One notable instance was when I had a stomach acid problem that was causing complications with my throat. The whole ordeal lasted 3-4 months. But during that time was the healthiest I have ever lived. I kicked the habit of drinking Coke all the time. I went to the gym 3-4 times a week (just cardio). I significantly cut down smoking for half of those months. The treadmill in the gym of my apartment building died because of some collegiate athlete raping it with his competitive spirit. And there went my regular exercise. Laziness set in and I lost the habit.

What Now?

And here lies the question. I really haven't thought about my New Year's "resolutions". Hence the title of this post beyond geekily ripping off the term from the movie Tron. I have some ideas but nothing concrete. Perhaps attempting to go to the gym again more often (whenever the admin of my apartment building would get off their ass and purchase a new treadmill). Perhaps start writing more songs, blog posts, etc. more. Or perhaps find a new job that would improve the quality of my life, aside from bringing back the passion into my work. Or possibly consider a life in music as a full time job, or at least gig more often with kick-ass musicians.  Whatever it is, I'm guessing that 2011 will either be more of the same with slight adjustments, or a completely drastic life-altering change. Which one it will be, is still hazy to me.

I know I'm a decent person. Most people don't notice that about me or just plainly take it for granted. What I didn't mention in this post is that all year, I treated everybody nicely and with the utmost respect (even the ones I hate). My parents, my sisters, my niece, and new cute little nephew are still very dear to me even if they're miles away. And it's this decency in me that will guide me through 2011 as well. At least I hope it will. It's gotten me this far.


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