2023 was an eventful year for me. There were a lot of ups and downs. Before the year comes to a close, I just want to reflect on everything I’ve done so far and appreciate where I am now.

In no particular order…

Got a new job

I started a new job back in March 2023. I’m happy I can now finally say that I work with a team of designers and researchers! I feel lucky I get to be part of this team, even if I did have a lot of complaints at the start regarding the existing tools we used… (cough Adobe Xd cough) 😆 But also glad I took part in helping the team fully transition to Figma, finally. 🙌🏻

There’s a lot more to be done in terms of work, and I hope I do get enough chances to do so.

Started this (micro) blog

I started the subscription back in July (throwback to my first ever post here!) and I think I’ll stick with this for another year. The 1 USD monthly promo has ended for me, so I’ll just need to budget a bit more (which is fine), but I think I’ll figure out how to customize this more to my liking so I can really maximize my subscription. 😆

I like the fact that cross-posting to the accounts I want to actively keep using is here, and Hugo as a static site generator interests me. I haven’t coded at all as well this year, and I want to get back into it again.

Left Twitter, and used social media with more intention

I stopped posting on Twitter back in July as well and removed the app from my phone before it could turn itself into a delete (X) icon. Since then, I don’t get that stressed as much from online bardagulan or arguments that just pop up on my feed every now and then.

The transitioning between social media platforms eventually got me to use it less for posting, though. I don’t post nearly as often as I did in the past. I think this helps me in the long run. I’ll just have to form new habits.

My immediate problem then was where to get updated with news, but I still do follow local and international news on other social media sites, and I do my best to exercise verifying things that I find shocking.

I initially wanted to try out subscribing to news outlets, so the news will instead be fed to my email, but I haven’t gotten to exploring that yet. For what it’s worth, I’m thankful that people share articles on the other social media sites I do participate in now, initially in Mastodon / the Fediverse and then eventually on Threads.

For socializing with friends, I now use Instagram more than I did before, mostly for sharing stories. I do like sharing things, and stories help me achieve that “hey, look at this!” urge I have that used to be “solved” with tweeting.

Overall, I’m sticking with what I have now while trying out things along the way.

Traveled (a lot!)

I can’t believe I got to go to so many places this year, both locally and abroad!

Times I left Luzon (since I’m based here):

  1. Taipei and Taichung, Taiwan for my first ever solo trip abroad, March–April 2023
  2. Chiang Mai, Thailand for the first SEA Urban Mobility Movers conference, August 2023
  3. Iloilo, Philippines for #MoveTogether workshop, October 2023 (this is in Visayas so it counts)

And then around Luzon, but outside of Metro Manila (the city)…

  1. Caliraya Lake, Laguna for a biking day trip with a friend, February 2023
  2. San Juan, La Union for reunion with my childhood friends, May 2023
  3. Antipolo, Rizal for department team building, June 2023
  4. Biñan, Laguna to try out (folding) bike + bus with friends, July 2023
  5. San Felipe, Zambales for scrum team outing, September 2023
  6. Sta. Rosa, Laguna to visit Enchanted Kingdom trip with friends for 10th year company celebration, October 2023

When I was growing up, I’d only really hear about other countries from experiences shared or told by my parents when they were young. The farthest we went before was Cebu for family, but usually, we’d just go around Metro Manila or to Laguna / Tagaytay. When I’d bring up travelling abroad as a family to my parents, their usual response is, “It’s expensive.”

So I also really feel lucky to now be able to go around wherever, and next year I even have another out-of-country trip planned! I hope someday we can also go out as a family, while we’re all still together. 😊

Gained (and lost) friends, plus reframe outlook on relationships

Friends and people come and go, that’s for sure. But I’m thankful I got to both get to know so many new people and get in touch with other old friends as well. 😄 I’m thankful for my support system. So many people have helped me throughout this year, and I hope I can give back in some way, or pay it forward, too.

On losing friends or other connections: first, I’d like to clarify that I’m not talking about life or death here (though that is also an inevitable thing I’ll deal with when the time comes). Instead, I’m referring to people I don’t talk to anymore, either because I’ve outgrown them, cut them off, or I did them wrong.

This year had me reflecting mostly on how one can make up for wrongdoings or mistakes. And also learning to accept that sometimes, there’s nothing much to be done, and the best thing for the situation is to move on or be away.

Before, this would pain me so much, because when something is wrong, I usually want to do something about it and try to fix it. But I know actions have consequences. Those are neither good nor bad; they just are the result of something done. The question is also not so much if I’m ready to deal with the consequences, but also if I want to deal with them.

This year I learned to choose my battles. I don’t have to fight them all. I don’t have to be the one to say things. I don’t have to do anything. And that’s okay. Sometimes the best thing to do is to move on and do better.

This kind of thinking for sure has consequences of its own, but I’ll commit to this and face them as they are. Besides, life is constantly changing. I’ll just adapt to the situation.

Managed my finances better

I’m really happy I got to finally keep up tracking and managing finances for a whole year! No more forgetting to do this for a month and then having to trace my transactions back and then readjust existing balances. I’m more aware of where my money is and where I’m putting it.

I still occasionally forget to track a few expenses, usually when I’m out and away from my computer. But it’s not as bad as before when I’d literally not update my tracking for a month and then when it’s time to think about finances, I panic and frantically trace where my money has gone, and get sad after seeing the new (usually lower) amount.

I’m also still using YNAB, though I am open to trying out another app. It’ll just be more tricky though, since that’s gonna be a new set of habits to get used to if I do choose to move to another budgeting platform. But I’ll see. I think I can keep it up for another year. 😆

I’m sure I have more to say, but I think this is a good summary so far of what transpired during my 2023. I really am thankful for where I am now, and I’ll do my best to keep it up for the years to come, hopefully for the better.