There’s something odd about 2009. Aside from the fact that 9 is an odd number, this year has been super crazy, chaotic, and, for the most part of it, overly frustrating. I feel like everything was going all wrong as the months pass by. Looks like 2009 was not my year. If 2008 was the best year of my life, 2009 was the complete opposite.

Early last year (I mean 2009), I have the highest hopes to graduate by April. Since I’m on a graduation mode during that time, I have to sacrifice some other things, things that I really love, just to finish my thesis. I attended a lot of graduating students’ seminars sponsored by different churches and organizations because I thought that it would somehow encourage me to pull off college. It was a tortuous journey for me. Add the fact that I’m doing my thesis alone.

To make the long story short, I wasn’t able to graduate last April. That was the first major frustration that came to me last year. I can still remember every detail of that day when my professor told me that he won’t be accepting my project, suggesting that I take the same subject the next semester. My world fell apart. I don’t know what to do. I’m not ready for that. My parents got really frustrated about it. Thankfully, they learned to accept it, more easily than I did. After finding out that I really can’t do anything about it, I started planning out what to do next. I don’t have a plan B yet.

One thing that I am really afraid of is the thought that if I didn’t graduate, I won’t stay in QC anymore. That was my biggest fear during that time. I became easily attached to friends because I enjoy every single moment with them, playing ultimate every Monday and doing hardcore jogging around the acad oval every Wednesday night. I also love our dinner outs as well as the Friday gimiks. I’m having the time of my life but because of that unfinished thesis, I have no choice but to follow what my parents said, and that’s for me to stay with them again, far away from my beloved friends, far away from the place that I really called home.

Summer came. I keep on thinking ways on how to go back to QC and stay there. I started to find part-time jobs just around the vicinity of the campus. I thought that maybe, it would be enough reason for my parents to allow me to stay there again. But I failed on that part. I’m a loser feeling bitter of the things that I missed while spending time in our house.

For the last time, I enrolled as an undergrad student when June came. Still, my parents won’t allow me to stay in QC since I only have 2 units left to complete. I was already hopeless that time. But I continued to find ways to get out of our house. Quite unexpectedly, a friend told me that he’s gonna resign from his job as a Physics tutor and he recommended me to his employer. One day, I got a message from one of the coordinators that he’s gonna schedule me for a demo teaching. Actually, I was thinking twice if I would accept it since I already applied for that job before and I failed. But I was too desperate to find a part-time job so I accepted the invitation for another round of demo teaching. And I’m doing this for one single purpose, to go back to QC. I think I was lucky enough to be given a second chance. I woke up one morning preparing Physics lesson plans and test guides to 4th year high school students.

I realized then that going to work while finishing your thesis is easier said than done. I had a hard time juggling with my regular thesis meetings (this time, I have groupmates so the job should be easier, but I was wrong) and scheduled tutorial sessions. Plus, I have to take long rides each day from home to work (and sometimes, to school) and back. It was very tiring on my part. So I keep telling myself that I really should get a place near work and school. But after getting my first regular paycheck, I realized that I still can’t get a place of my own. It got me really frustrated because I have the highest hopes that I can already rent a place. But my salary was just not enough.

With my mind still focused on raising enough money to go back to QC, I felt the pressure of staying at home, parents asking me if I can finish my thesis on time and siblings who gets in my way whenever I need to use the internet (thankfully, I was able to buy a wireless router for our home network system). I also had a hard time dealing with everyone at home. I felt like they’re all against me. So I didn’t give a damn interacting with them. I always preferred to be alone. It came to a point where I don’t wanna hear a single word from my parents. I intentionally go home late when everyone’s asleep so I won’t bother having to see them. In the same way, I get up in the morning whenever everyone’s gone. I even make excuses to go out for thesis every weekend. I just can’t bear living in the same house with them.

Once in a while, I go out with friends especially during birthday celebrations and special occasions. I just miss being with them. I promised myself to do everything just to be with them again and do the things that I love.

My life was like that for the past months or so. On the other hand, I’m having a great time with my workmates. They became my new friends in an instant. I somehow enjoyed work because of their company.

September 26, 2009. Guess what happened? I was at the engineering library in UP with my thesis mates. It was the day when Ondoy hit Manila. I have no idea what’s happening around the metro since we were stranded at school. I called Mama to ask if I can go home since we usually have flood whenever there’s a big storm. My mom said floodwaters on the streets were already waistdeep (probably knee deep inside our house) so she suggested that I spend the night at my thesis mate’s house. Thank God my family’s safe. Floodwaters subsided before the day ended so I was able to go back home the next morning. The next day, I heard the news about people who died because of the catastrophic flood. As I watch the TV, more heartbreaking stories were being reported. I can’t help it but feel sorry for those people who were affected by the great flood. Somehow, I learned to appreciate my own family after hearing those stories. I prayed to God and thanked Him because He kept my family safe and no one’s hurt.

After Ondoy, things started to change. Quite miraculously, I always long for a time with my family every weekend. I learned appreciating my moments with my family every dinner and lunch. I started talking to them and tell them stories about work and friends. It seems like God has worked His way through me. I’m somehow thankful to Ondoy because it made me see things through a different light with regards to my family. God has been telling me to love my family. And true enough, I’m learning to love them, little by little. It just proves that even though I screwed it up, God still loves me and He wants me to have the best.

Grace. It’s one thing that I should be thankful for this year. I’ve been doing everything all wrong with my relationship with God but I’m glad that He saved me not just from the flood that Ondoy brought but also from the sinful nature. I finished my thesis by God’s grace last year. This coming April, I’m gonna graduate from this country’s premier state university. All because of God’s grace.

What a year indeed! A lot of ups and downs but still, God’s mercy prevailed. It wasn’t a perfect year but God’s strength was made perfect for my weakness. I believe that He has a reason why He let me get frustrated with what happened with my life, and if I only follow His heart, He will lead me to the place where He wants me too.

Blessed 2010 to all of us! 🙂