Dear 2016,

You are a crazy amazing year.

Before you were just starting, I had a mission. I tasked myself to move to a distant foreign land, whose language and culture I am not fluent at, to apply for work, to live independently, and to grow as much as I could. All of these are just a means to an ends. And if you’d ask what the ends are, the ends are manifold: To pursue an idealistic childhood dream, to obtain maturity and wisdom, to learn independence and necessary life-skills, to pit myself against an uncomfortable and new environment, to take-advantage of strategic opportunities not available elsewhere, to learn the world, and to (hopefully) hasten the growth of any sleepy potential that is hiding inside of me. Considering the serious life-threatening risks that this mission entails, I realize this is a suicide mission.

And now, it’s the ending of December. You are now dying, and a new year is about to be born. Let’s see, how did you, 2016, go?

If I had to describe you in one word, I’d have to use the overused word: Amazing (and this word will be overused throughout this post.)

The reason why this is is because:

Firstly, I was, unexpectedly, absorbed by a company with an amazing culture, tasked with an amazing job, and with me working with amazing officemates.

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Skyscrapers in Makati. I took this photo not really sure if this is our office building.

 

Secondly, I was put into a team where I found myself as a perfect, if not very perfect, fit. I met some very super-caring, smart, and talented intellectual people in my team. Some in particular are persons who have challenged my thought in a very craft-ful way, and for that I am grateful. Considering my choosy personality, I find it amazing how they learned that this is a team that would be perfect for me: a small team of promising people who are committed to excellence. Aside from my team, I also consider it an unexpected blessing to have met some very dedicated Christians who are committed to the learning, the studying, and the sharing of the absolute Truth.

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Just the team that my team is a part of.

 

Thirdly, I joined Toastmasters. And I was elected as an officer, though I believe that the great reason for this happening is because of our initial lack of manpower. Toastmasters has delivered me not only great learning opportunities, but also strategic ones.

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I realize that being a master of toast is not only funny, but weird.

 

Fourthly, I joined my first hackathon and we won as finalists (not the real winner, only finalists). I met some new smart friends who were willing to join me in my crazy adventures, and who I hope will continue to join me in my next ones. Because after all, we are Vertex, and we connect the present to the future!

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After a long, arduous walking and map-pointing, we finally arrived at our long-sought venue for the final round of the hackathon!

Fifthly, at my first nine months in the company, I was awarded with the Above & Beyond recognition. This is a company award that is given only to 5% of the population per division: A very prestigious award, they’d call it. And being a newcomer to the company, and a newcomer to corporate work, I can’t help but feel very grateful for this. But the glory is not mine. I thank my leads and supervisors for all the belief and the trust and the pushing and the caring, and for my teammates for being amazing. I take my hats off to you.

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Though I’m still not at home with the Infinity, but as Buzz Lightyear often says, “To infinity, and beyond!”

 


 

So to conclude, how truly amazing is 2016?

2016 is not only amazing, but crazy amazing.

2016 is amazing not because of me, but because of all the amazing people who loved me, and because of a very God who never ceases to amaze me. I am still alive and breathing mainly because of the help of amazing family and friends, which I am intensely grateful, and beyond that, I am intensely and madly grateful to the sovereign, super-loving, and super-caring God that we have. If not for Him, my steadfast loving Savior, I can only think of myself as a hopeless and dead speck of dust.

To end, my final short words for you dear 2016 are these:

Thank you! And goodbye.

And dear 2017, I’m coming for you.

 

Sincerely,
A hopeful speck of dust

 

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