Tuesday, December 15, 2009

For the Moleskine!

This is an entry for Avalon.ph's Win a Moleskine Colour a Month Daily Planner 2010! contest, wherein the following question must be answered: What are you thankful for this 2009? I always appreciate opportunities for reflection...not to mention an opportunity to win a Moleskine product. :D So, here goes! Wish me luck. :)

What are you thankful for this 2009?

The first thing that comes to mind is a milestone. April saw my graduation from UP Diliman and the end of 18 years of schooling. As a student I was above average at best, but the completion of my studies elated me as only a milestone can. I had accomplished something significant - it was a turning-point, the beginning of my life as an adult. An earning adult, since I had started working as a programmer at a local software company two weeks before. A college degree and a job; as far as I was concerned, I was all set for whatever was in store for me.

The second thing is learning, especially about myself and my capabilities. By May I had been assigned to a project with difficult clients; being new, I was given only minor tasks, but I felt the pressure that was constantly bearing down on my team. I was barely a month in the team when I started spending nights at the office along with my teammates just to get things done. Although some of us got sick from working late hours, we managed to pull through and finish our work. Fortunately the pace became manageable after several weeks, although our clients continued to be difficult. When the project was concluded in September and I was transferred to another project, I had already learned a lot about my skills as a programmer, as well as how much more I still had to learn. I'm very lucky to be in a company that actively fosters learning - not only do we have access to the internet and a well-stocked library of reference books, but we are also encouraged to share our knowledge with one another. I've learned a lot from the expertise of teammates past and present who guided me and helped me whenever I got stuck. I look forward to the day when I'll also have a lot to share with my future teammates, whether in terms of experience with a project or technical know-how.

Lastly, self-discovery and acceptance. Granted, this process did not take place only within the space of one year; it took many years, starting from the moment I noticed the gradual changes in the way I think and form opinions. This is where diaries come in handy - reading my old missives reminded me of the things I considered important (and worth recording), and my attitude towards them. This year marked an upward trend in my thoughts, mood-wise; I've been more positive, more open to change and more reflective. This in itself is something of a milestone to me, since I spent most of my formative years in a gloomy, pessimistic state. I've been happier this year than I ever remember being in a long time, and this is quite a lot to be thankful for. I realized a lot of things about myself which I would never have thought possible just a couple of years ago, such as my fondness for the color pink (I used to hate pink for the sake of hating it). As my friend put it, I've mellowed out. I love my life, and I'd love to keep on improving it year after year.

Looking back, 2009 was a really good year. I'm looking forward to 2010 and all it will bring. :)