Turning three decades

Thanks, Google!

Thanks, Google!

It’s my last year in my 20’s, and for some strange reason, I feel really excited. I’m literally at the edge of a new era.

The past year up to now has been truly transformative for me, and I mean that in a good way. I feel so different from who I was a year ago and it feels strangely liberating.

I’d like to personally(?) thank those around me — and even you, my two or three readers — for staying with me as I moulted and transformed. If you remember, 2013 was a little rough on me, but 2014 made up for it real good. I’m only hoping 2015 finishes it right before I finally turn 30.

I’d also like to take this opportunity to get back on some resolutions I made last year.

#1: Plan. Plans don’t always work, but planning gets your head straight for the important stuff. Also, don’t just have one; have several of them. Life is rarely linear, and following a single path can sometimes lead to a dead-end.

Plans have been a little slow, but they’re still there, and, at least, they’re moving. I’ve still got my eyes on Canada, despite some distractions and the financial challenges involved. Alternatives are also in place.

#2: Never lose sight of your goals. If and when you do, pause to realign. Even if it takes you half a year’s time; you need to realign.

There are days when I doubt what I’m doing or where I’m going, but generally, my goals have become more solid.

My linguistic goals have certainly moved forward and my other scholastic oaths to Athênê have been kept. I’ve been keeping a diary of things I’ve learnt, brushed up on my Korean and Spanish, and even started learning Irish. I did pretty well on my DELF and IELTS, too.

#3: Question and examine your goals as you go along. They change as you change, too.

Yessir, I have. I’m pretty sure I still want to emigrate, but it’s very important to know (and remember) why I’m doing it and what for.

#4: Each day, be more “you” and who you want to be. Your relationship with yourself is the most important relationship you’ll ever have. Don’t let yourself down for anyone else.

Oh, man. I cannot stress how important this is to me now and how I’ve learnt how to love myself more these past few months.

I am reminded of Eartha Kitt’s words on love and compromise:

I fall in love with myself, and I want someone to share it with me. I want someone to share me, with me.

Damned straight, Eartha.

#5: Let your hair down more often. Let it go. Even if you have to tell this to yourself in 25 languages.

When I said that I’d let it go, some people thought I’d become more of free-spirited Anna (or perhaps be more like who they think I should be). What I actually meant was, speak my mind more often and more openly.

And I have. I’ve never been prouder of the things I’ve said to people’s faces. I still think cunning diplomacy is the way to go for me, but I realise that there will be days when I’ll have to tell people to just fuck off.

#6: Smile more. You might feel just as happy whether you smile or not (because you’re Ti like that), but smiling changes the people around you, too. I’m sure you’d be happier to know that they’re happy.

Following up on acting more ‘me’, I have decided to smile when I feel like it. A good friend of mine told me that, “the closer you get to Dionysos, the harder a time you’ll have trying to hide your authentic self”. See #5.

#7: Do not be discouraged by failure. I know you’re an incredibly brutal perfectionist, but you need to learn to let these feelings go. Advance through trial and error. Mistakes are best avoided by precaution, but if it’s the fear of making them that’s preventing you from exploring and expanding your comfort zone, to hell with that! Just do it.

Well, I’m still an incredibly brutal perfectionist, but I think I’m a lot more forgiving now? At least, I’d like to think so. I don’t need to convince myself that “everything happens for a reason” to forgive myself and move forward. Shit happens all the time, so just keep on walking.

#8: Talk to people. Please. You need to get out there and meet new people. You can keep your small circle of trusted souls, but expand your network. Expand your horizon.

I’m quite proud to say that I’ve done a pretty good job in this aspect. In addition to building a more solid network of friends, allies, and kindred spirits, I’ve also talked to several strangers randomly. Twice in French, and in a particular instance, with no less than the French ambassador!

Keep ’em coming, Hermês.

#9: Love yourself a little more. Self-pity isn’t going to get you anywhere good or far. A lot of people probably love you more than you know. Do them and yourself a favour by loving yourself more.

I’ve still got some old issues hanging about, but I’d like to think that I’m loving myself a lot more. See #4. It’s truly important to know your self-worth.

I’m really, really excited for this year.


Today in thanks: 26th of the 3rd, 2014

This is embarrassing. Between January 1st and today, my only post has been about horny, fruitarian werewolves. It sounds like a good time to be grateful today. (I know, that sounded so cheesy, but whatever.)

So, today, I am thankful for:

  • My new job. Yes, my winter has ended. To auspicious beginnings!
  • That I waited all those months, not jumping on just any job I could find, staying true to the Big D’s counsel. Hail the God who comes, the God who answers, the God who delivers!
  • That I passed my bilingual test at work! I know my job doesn’t really require me to be fluent, but just knowing that I can pull off a decent conversation in French makes me happy. Now, I must work on my Irish and brush up on my Spanish!
  • That I survived the first week at work (which is always the hardest). I actually almost went crazy for the first few days, but with a little help, I stayed true to my long-term goals and focused on them. I’ve still got a few questions that need answering, but I’m thankful, I’m in a better position now to answer them.
  • That I trusted in myself that I could do it. I know, I can be an unforgiving perfectionist sometimes, but a little self-love can do wonders for me. Never forget to believe in yourself, mate.
  • That I didn’t waste all those jobless months; that I put them to good use. Times spent learning never go to waste.
  • Hermês, Dionysos, and Apollôn, and the gracious spirits around me: always and for ever my succour.
  • My friends and family: I will always be thankful for each one of you. You are my life and I love you.

May I always remember the Wolf in me.

A year of thanks: 2013

I’ve been too busy the past few days (for only the best of reasons worthy of thanks, I assure you), so I apologise for not being able to follow up on this series. I’m thankful for so many things, I don’t even know where to begin! And whilst I’m always thankful, year after year, I’d say that 2013 was rather an eye-opening year for me. Like I’ve been saying all this time, I’ve only been really thankful for all the little pleasant surprises that spring up from the most unbecoming of circumstances. Still quite lucky.


For sunlight, daisies, and realised dreams, I am thankful.

Valencina de la Concepción, Sevilla

For every chance at a new journey, I am thankful.


For cheese and wine, the little pleasures, I am thankful.


For communion and outdoor dining, I am thankful.


For gentleness in wild places, I am thankful.


For wisdom and strength in old things, I am thankful.


For life unstoppable, I am thankful.

autumn stairs

For roads that lead us up and forward, I am thankful.

Fanad Head Lighthouse, County Donegal, Ireland © Andy McInroy (andymcinroy.com)

For the guiding light on the horizon, I am thankful.


For light that cheers the darkest of hearts, I am thankful.


For roads that lead us home, I am thankful.


For change and pleasant surprises, I am thankful.


For true friends, I am thankful.


For the warmth of a cozy home’s embrace, I am thankful.

2013-06-27 11.49.10

For learning, I am thankful.


For the coolest people you’ll ever meet, I am thankful.


For the pale blue dot, for home, I am thankful.

A Traveller's Prayer

For the quiet in strange places, I am thankful.


For cute, athletic, intelligent boys, I am thankful.

Three poems in Esperanto I wish I had made but did not

For the arts and its gods, I am thankful.

To the Ancestors

For my ancestors and their gifts, I am thankful.

Salvete, Lares Familiares!

To old kindly spirits, I am thankful.

New Blog: Man Talks

For love and family, I am thankful.

Some good changes.

For a beginning to every ending, I am thankful.

For these and so much more, I am thankful. May we always have things to be thankful for.

A week of thanks: 9th-15th of the 12th, 2013

This week, I am thankful for the following:

  • La langue française. It continues to drive me insane, even after two years. It’s an exhilarating kind of insanity, though, so it’s mostly okay. I love languages and I’m thankful for each and every one of them.
  • My friends. I’m always thankful for my friends.
  • For my friend who made me watch Spirited Away. In French. What a magical, weird movie.
  • Peter Jackson! You can hate him all you want, but I love this man to death. There were several cringe-worthy scenes in The Desolation of Smaug, but the movie was still awesome. This Middle-Earthling is grateful.
  • Sannion. I will be eternally grateful for this man’s genius and how he’s bridged me closer to Dionysos.
  • Dionysos. May his name be praised for ever and ever.
  • The landwights and house lares for their guardianship over my city and family. I’ll miss them when I leave the country, but I trust that they will bless me on my journey.
  • For life. For love. For the glorious Innernets (even if it’s acting kind of stupid right now).
  • For Christmas! It traditionally starts tomorrow at the break of dawn. (Other Filipinos will start theirs on 1 September, but I’m not one of them.)
Liverpool covered in snow. Photo by I don't know who.

Liverpool covered in snow. Photo by I don’t know who.

Today in thanks: 8th of the 12th, 2013

Today, I am thankful for good food and good company, and a successful celebration of Hermaia Eriounia.

This modern Hellenic festival occurs on the 4th of the Makedonian month of Audenaios, celebrating Hermês as ‘Luck-bringer’ – games, role-reversal, gambling, and sacrifices for good luck are performed for the coming year.

Thank you, Hermês, for the blessings of wit, fortune, and a good laugh. Hail thou, friend of Man!

Hail Hermês, guide and gracious giver of good things!

Hail Hermês, guide and gracious giver of good things!

Today in thanks: 6th of the 12th, 2013

I’m carrying over this series from Under Two Trees because I thought it would be of greater use here. I’m adding today’s gratitude, too.

I’m starting a new series today on being thankful. Perhaps it’s the holiday season or Melia at 4 of Wands, or perhaps just my life in general that I’ve come to this wonderful realisation that there’s always something to be thankful for. I’m sure there will be days when it won’t feel like tulips and daisies, but then, it would become a genuine challenge to actually find a reason to be thankful. Of course, I don’t mean to bullshit myself into thinking I’ve got to be happy for the shitty things that happen, too, but it would be interesting to find out. (Read the rest here.)

Today, I’m thankful for my wonderful friends. I don’t have a lot, but I’ve got some of the best. I’m extremely conservative when it comes to who I get to call my ‘friends’. I hope my numerous acquaintances, colleagues, and co-workers understand why I choose to be “elitist” when it comes to inviting friends over for the holidays or watching a movie together.

Which reminds me, I’m watching a movie today with my bestest bro-friend of 7 years. We’re still undecided whether it’s going to be Ilo-ilo or Frozen. And speaking of frozen things, I’m also quite thankful for the tropical snow-less winters here in the Philippines. It’s just the right amount of cold you need!

Finally, thank the Gods for a good belly rub (I don’t usually feel a need to scratch my tummy, but this kangaroo seems to like it).