Friday, January 23, 2009

my life as shaped by 2008

sorry folks, it's been a while since i've last been in touch with my laptop here. It's not like me to delay so long on my reflections on the past year and foresights for the new year however I have good reason (as i always do). my cousin Toots arrived from the philippines shortly before Christmas to temporarily live with my family and since she's not working, the majority of her time is spent on my laptop--every day. i'm not casting blame on her for my lack of writing because of course all i have to do to get it back is ask. so my second reason is due to some great news and development in my professional life. i mentioned in some of my past entries that i began working for Apple retail in October. i took advantage of the few hours i was scheduled each week to highlight my work ethic, exemplary customer service skills and enthusiasm ; ) ...nonetheless my hard work paid off because amidst the din and chaos of holiday shopping, my managers reviewed my month-to-month progress, general attitude and effort and offered me the honor of a full-time position. i was ecstatic and considering that i did not receive word from any of the other organizations i applied to, i readily accepted. this certainly is not the economic environment in which one should be picky especially if it comes wrapped with a great team and benefits. it's been a full month since THE offer and i'm definitely happy and excited to see where the road of 2009 will lead me. so far, the customer experiences i've encountered have enriched my life and provided me reason to wake up every morning. i will have to expand on some of those encounters in a future post. 

today really is just meant for catching up. 

2008 has come and gone. in retrospect, i would consider it to have been a very climactic year in my short life. my plans changed from month to month, some decisions which seemed trivial then turned out to be quite significant in shaping the path for future plans and decisions to follow. i didn't write about it then, but last spring i had in my mind that i would spend 6 months after graduation living abroad in london off the little cash i had saved up, the surplus student loans i had in my account, and peddling for a part-time job wherever i could get one. after much debate with friends + mentors and months of hesitation, i eventually saw reason in staying in the U.S. while beginning the steps to stabilize my life. in the short run, i have no regrets in staying here for now because had i not, i probably would not have gotten this job at Apple and this time for me to refocus my thoughts and goals for at least this year. i've decided that trying to plan ahead the next five years is just non-sensical. each minor decision made each month or year in the long run is really not that minor considering how it may affect future decisions.

i refrain from listing resolutions or personal goals such as losing weight, blogging weekly, etc. for 2009 because i haven't really followed through with them in the past and i really haven't created one since high school. there are a couple of things i'd like to accomplish this year that i'm determined to tackle, however i may need some encouragement and motivation to get started on the first: study and take the GRE. yes, that's first on the list. while it seems minor, it's important. i don't know what grad program i want to get into yet, but getting the test done and out of the way is step 1. we'll worry about choosing a program [and school] when it's time to cross that bridge. second is: finish paying off my current debts and start a new one(s), which leads to the third goal: move out of my parents house and get an apartment. as much as i love them and appreciate the free rent, it's really time for me to live my own life. i'm more than happy to come over whenever necessary to help them with technical problems, troubleshooting, and occasionally food, but i need my own space. 

and i guess there is one more goal for this year that doesn't really belong in the above category of "life" changes...#4 is schedule a week+ in the off-peak season to traverse to Spain with my best friend. i bought the lonely planet book last week, i have the money stashed in a CD. i just need to make sure i don't waste away my few vacation days before we actually agree on a departure date. that's currently our only obstacle, agreeing on a date. she's pretty much set on going in the summer whereas it's more convenient for me to go in the spring or fall. i'll have to keep you posted on the progress of all the above.

brief recap. i'm not creating 2009 resolutions, i'm establishing concrete goals that i'm determined to accomplish.
1. study & take GRE (alloting 3-4 months while working 40 hrs/week)
2. finish paying off current debts (3+months)
3. get own apartment by no later than sept. 25
4. agree on a date to travel to Spain

we'll see where i'm at with these by spring. i'll make sure to revisit this list often. my advice to you faithful readers is, if you've got personal goals that you'd like to attain, set specific timeframes in which to achieve them. without a timeframe and specific steps with which to reach them, they just seem like unconquerable Goliaths or unreachable Mt. Everests. it's always been helpful for me to break down those large goals into mini-goals that can be achieved one week at a time. try it and let me know how it goes for you. best wishes as we all embark on our LIFE JOURNEY's of 2009!!