Friday, January 1, 2010

2009 in Review

I gained: a better sense of who I am, how strong I could be, and who loves me/is there for me unconditionally.

I lost: touch with someone I care about deeply. I made the decision to cut ties because you have to know your worth and should not be around people who constantly tell you you are broken, damaged, unclean, or unworthy. 

I stopped: giving a rat's ass whenever some feminists tell me that I am not really a feminist or a womanist because I enjoy cooking and keeping a clean house. The way I see it, feminism and womanism are about equality--affording women the same  choices, opportunities and rights as men. Cooking is just one of the many choices I make. Besides, by ascribing gender roles and defining a person by its attributes, isn't that going against the tenets of feminism and womanism?

I started: meditating and practicing capoeira again.

I was hugely satisfied by: the fact that Roman Polanski is finally going to pay for his crimes. For victims and survivors, rape is a shadow that lasts the length of a lifetime.

And frustrated by: seeing Jon Gosselin's mug on TV, magazines, and websites. Enough already!

I am so embarrassed that I: said I loved to eat food "değil preservative" to a Turkish chef. I meant to say that I prefer food that are made with fresh ingredients--no preservatives. Unfortunately, "preservative" in Turkish means condom. Yep, my Tarzan Turkish strikes again! 

Once again, I: bought more shoes that I absolutely need and am able to bring to Turkey (unless I pay exorbitant fees, which isn't the case).

Once again, I did not: complete my Master's thesis. Deep down, I know that I probably won't. However, I will definitely go back to graduate school--just to another program!

The biggest physical difference between me last December and this December is: about a foot and a half of hair. One night in March, I decided that I was through being defined by my hair, and I cut off ten inches in a non-climactic Britney move. Another four inches was cut off at the salon the next day, and I've had about 4-5 inches cut these past few months with regular trims.

The biggest psychological difference between me last December and this December is: my wanting solitude more. And I can actually go a week without my smart phone and laptop!

I loved spending time: wandering around in the vast expanse of nature. Mountains, lakes, seas, plains, fields...doesn't matter. This year I hiked, camped, fished, and sailed more than I have my entire life.

Why did I spend even two minutes: worrying about living up to someone else's expectations of who and what I should be?

I should have spent more time: creating more art and writing for fun. For the first part of the year, I was knee-deep in research, interviews, transcriptions, transliterations, and translations that I barely had time to write for fun. I also have a book proposal thing for one of my former professors that seems to have been neglected.

I regret buying: that Showtime Rotisserie by Ron Popeil. The little bugger BROKE after one use!

I will never regret buying ten boxes of large pizzas and distributing them to the homeless people around the square even though with that money I could have bought a nice pair of shoes or some Apple gadget. I can survive another day without luxuries, but how could I want to, when my fellow man is hungry for food and a little kindness?

I slept on the rain, car, bus, plane, etc. way too much.

I didn’t sleep on my own bed enough.

Reading about the state of Philippine politics drove me crazy. The current president and her predecessor, Joseph "Commander-in-Theft" Estrada are two PoS in a pod of corruption.

The most relaxing place I went was Pine Ridge Reservation. Being out in nature and speaking with elders give me a sense of peace.

Why did I attempt to shop for Christmas/Dia de los Tres Reyes presents on Black Friday?

The best thing I did for someone else was to drop everything, go on a 5-hour bus ride to another state, hold them for a couple of hours as they cried, and then rode another 5-hour bus ride home to make it in time for work the next day. I'd do it again in a heartbeat.

The best thing I did for myself was to cut ties with someone who for years convinced me that I was damaged and broken (because of something that was not my fault).

The best thing someone did for me was to fly from another continent to spend my birthday with me.

The one thing I’d like to do again, but do it better, is make Iskender Kebap.

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We must never permit the voice of humanity
within us to be silenced. It is Man's sympathy with all creatures that first makes him a Man.

--Albert Schweitzer

Everything can be taken from a man or a woman but one thing: the last of human freedoms to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way.

--Viktor E. Frankl