Lessons from 2014

2014 is one of the most memorable years of my life. There are many momentous experiences that I went through last year; mostly exhilarating, some sad. Instead of listing all of them in this New Year post, I decided to focus on the lessons I learned from each experience that I hope will be forever stuck in my system.

My life, my lessons


Let people you love know you love them.

2014 was the year I lost someone very dear to me. The last time this happened was when I lost my Lola Itang decades ago. It was heartbreaking, but I knew Ninang Perla is in a better place now.

I admit, I had doubts about her condition. I felt so guilty after I saw her a few days before she passed. She was weak and unresponsive – not the Ninang Perla I know who’s always smiling, ready to make people laugh and entertain everyone. She was the reason why I developed a relationship with my cousins in Malabon back when we were living in Navotas. She spent quality time with me when I was a kid, and she’ll almost always call our home to check up on me.

And there I was, all grown up, busy with work and other things that are going on in my life. I avoided her calls ’cause I almost always had something else I wanted to do than talk to someone over the phone. You can imagine how guilt-stricken I was when I saw her bed-ridden. I was worried it’ll be the last time I’ll see her, so I just had to go back home to see her. My heart sank and I tried to hold back the tears, but my eyes failed me. I wanted to tell her I love you, but I knew she wouldn’t remember me. 🙁


Not everyone is dependable.

My heart broke when I heard Ninang Perla say over the phone, a few months before she left us, how sad and hurt she was that the people she willingly helped in the past were not reaching out to her when she needed them the most. I realized that when I grow old, I really have no one else to depend on but my nanay, my brother and a few select friends. Okay, sure, that’s still a good number of people who I can depend on, but what I’m saying is I have to make solid plans for my future now so I don’t have to beg for other people to help me.


Really think about your future. Your financial health now will affect everything from here on out.

I suck at saving. I haven’t saved anything even after years of earning more than enough to raise a family. Sure, I can say I have tons of bills to pay, but that’s just a lousy, lame excuse. So this 2015, starting January 30th payday, I will seriously save up for my future. I need to lessen unnecessary spending, especially when I’m stressed or depressed.


All it takes is a little courage for something amazing to happen.

2014 was the year I mustered the courage to do things I never thought I could accomplish. I am confident about my skills and competency. I’ve always made sure I excelled at everything I do, so I knew that if I put my heart and mind on something, I can achieve my goals.

Cup of courage

I took on a new role – okay, not completely, but in a totally different environment. I thought I had no other career ahead of me but working online for my old company or as a call center supervisor. Both jobs are fulfilling, but I knew I needed to continue my career growth in the social media industry.

So, here I am, in my sixth month as an office girl again in one of the top ad agencies in the country. I head the team of community managers, and I have had a lot of contributions in some of the successes in our company. I guess that’s why I made it to the top 5 finalists for Rookie of the Year. It was a good boost for my morale and confidence that I’m doing the right thing. I’m glad I made the decision to accept this job. 🙂


Be a little selfish.

I used to think that selfishness is such a sin. But, then I realized last year that a little amount of selfishness – I call it self-preservation – is good for me and my sanity. I used to give my all to people, even those who I know don’t give a damn. I’m gradually learning to think more of myself and take care of my needs first before others. This way, I’m less prone to abuse and heartache.


He’s just not that into you. But be ready to give second chances.

I’ve kept this in mind since I first heard it on Sex and the City – He’s just not that into you! If a guy really cares about you, wants to spend time with you or get to know you, he will do something about it. Otherwise, you’re just wasting your time and energy, and brain juice too, worrying about how he truly feels and making up excuses for every misstep or pagkukulang.


Despite this, I told myself I need to give second chances to people. If they still fuck it up, then that’s it. So far, this hasn’t been doing me any good. I might need to adjust the criteria for second chances. 😀

Second chances


It’s not good to keep grudges. Be forgiving.

One of the most important moments of my life this year is rekindling a friendship that I thought I already lost. I had this filter and wall up since I turned 30 that limited the people I let in and resulted to me letting go of those who were no longer bringing joy to my life. It’s one of my ways to living a more stress-free, happier life. Sadly, one of the people who were affected is a dear friend of mine since high school.


Reunited and it feels so good… ^_^

A photo posted by Mhel Ignacio (@blankpixels) on

It made me realize that I need to be more forgiving of people who deserve to be given a second chance (I knew this lesson was not just for romantic relationships!). And she more than deserved it, so I’m super glad that I ended the year with less grudges, especially for someone who I sincerely care about. 🙂


Truly value your friendships. Words are not enough. I always say that when it comes to true friends, distance and time are not important; that you don’t have to always see or talk to each other to make them feel the friendship is still alive. I realized at the later part of 2014 that words are not enough. You need to get off social media for a few hours and actually get together with a dear friend and catch up. Chatting online is not the same as talking face-to-face. Body language and facial expressions make the whole bonding time more fun. So I need to spend more time with my friends offline. 🙂

Second attempt ng group photo ^_^ ♥♥♥

A photo posted by Mhel Ignacio (@blankpixels) on


I need to write and read more.

I have 3 journals now:

  • Journal #1 is private and password-protected on my laptop.
  • Journal #2 is this blog, but this is mostly musings that I feel can be publicly shared.
  • Journal #3 is a large notebook that I use for when I am really confused, stressed, depressed or upset. Writing by hand helps me release my anxieties, so I need to do this more now.

For 2015, I vowed to write every day. It can be on any of my journals as long as I do it daily. This is post #1/365.

I also need to start reading again. And online articles don’t count. I bought a Kindle early 2014, and I haven’t finished a book yet. I’ve partially read 4 books, and haven’t gotten to half of each of them yet. Sheesh. I’m taking it slow now, reading all my Reader’s Digest magazines from 2011 and 2012. 😀

That’s it for me. I can’t wait for what 2015 has in store for me. I hope it’ll be epic. 🙂