by Marla Halili

Marla Grace Halili, 23 years old, works as a Customer Service Representative in Bacolod City. Here, she shares the essential lessons she learned last year and how she is facing 2015.

365 days over. Can you believe that? Days pass by like a blink of an eye and here we go again. Another year full of possibilities. Each year we have these goals to accomplish, but by the end of the year, out of all those things what have we accomplished? That’s why I’m not fond of making such promises because we don’t know what’s in store for us in the upcoming days. I’m not saying that we should stop making plans but that we should have an ‘ACTION’ plan.

So before we bid farewell to 2014 and put those plans into action let’s do some backtracking on what we have learned for us to bring to the upcoming days. As for me, 2014 was quite a ride, with its fair share of ups and downs and some downfalls. From all of this I’ve learned four essential things: acceptance, forgiveness, kindness and love.

Acceptance. Things may go according to your plans and if it doesn’t you’ll get hurt and think that things will work out fine. Thinking that you’re just being hopeful but you’re not, you’re in a state of denial. The day when my grandmother died was a wake-up call, I was hoping that her death was some kind of nightmare or that she was just sleeping. I’m the emotional type but for the first time I couldn’t cry and if people asked if I was okay I simply said ‘I don’t know’. The day that I feared most came, that of her funeral. The night before that I thought I heard her voice calling my name and at that moment I felt that she was trying to tell me to move on and accept the fact that she was in a better place now. I’ve learned that it takes a little maturity to accept that things doesn’t go your way, that everything happens for a reason and that it’s always for the better.

Forgiveness. Forgetting is different from forgiving. You may try to forget to ease the pain but you know for a fact that it is still there: ‘sleeping’, waiting to be awakened. Forgiveness means letting go of the pain and healing yourself from the scar of ‘before’. Yes! It will take time - give time, time.

Kindness. Giving someone that awkward smile doesn’t mean you’re kind. Kindness is respect. Respecting others as persons, for who they are or what they are. Their life is not yours to live.

Love. One of the most valuable lessons of my 2014 is understanding the meaning of those four-letter word that can make or break you. Through my heartaches I’ve come to realize that love begins in yourself: that you must love yourself first and accept your individuality. You know what they say: ‘You cannot give what you don’t have’. For me love is giving and giving You just give without expecting anything in return and that’s the beauty of loving, you become selfless.

I will be bringing these lessons to improve myself. So let me end this by saying, ‘Thank you, 2014, for the lessons learned’ and ‘Hi there, 2015! I think I’m ready for you.’