The Year in Photos

Jan 4, 2017 Dubai - United Arab Emirates

I'm glad I met you this year.

"How the hell did you end up there?" N asked me when I told him I was currently in Dubai. 2016 was Kylie Jenner's year of "realizing things," 2016 for me was more of like "uhmm, kind of like, knowing things."

I recall the year that has passed through photos. Going through my archives gave me a little heartache after 12 months of being transient.

Also, I turned 22 in 2016. Older but only a little wiser.

I quit a lot of things in 2016. January seemed to start fine, but I actually started to quit being friends with a lot of people. I also quit a three-month dating phase with a boy whose hands were too cold to hold my hand without caressing other bodies. In April, I quit the cycle of being in an unexplainable, long term, on-and-off emotional affair (or something like that) one night in a dark alley. The week after that I quit being in a job that didn't challenge my thinking anymore. Two weeks after that, I quit calling Davao my homebase. In June, I quit being in a melancholic state and start anew by finding a job that suit me well. By the time September came, I quit calling Manila my temporary home. December came too quickly, I didn't have the time to weigh things and figure out what to keep and what to quit.

The important thing is that I didn't quit myself.

Truth is, I don't know anything about staying. Before the year ended I was already in another country, living a totally different life, dealing with a new lifestyle. I promised myself, this time I'd learn how to stay permanent. They say practice makes perfect, but Sarah Kay in her poem said, "practice makes permanent." And while I do keep moving away, and farther each time, I try to practice permanence. Now, my stay in cities does not last only for weeks, but months. (4 months in Davao, 4 months in Manila, and 4 months in Dubai... going on 5.) I'm pretty sure soon enough I'll stay longer until I forget the comfort of carrying a backpack, the familiarity of check-in counters in airports, and the loneliness of staying put.

Whatever happened to me in the year that has passed, I have nothing to blame or thank but me. Albeit being single the whole year, I think it was the year that I have learned to accept and love who I have become — a career hungry human being with a not so empty bank account, traveling the world one city at a time.

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