At the beginning of 2010, I said that this was going to be the year of taking incredible leaps and trusting that I’ll land safely, even though I wouldn’t know exactly where I would wind up. Ominously, last year at this time I said that 2010 was not going to be easy, and guess what…. it wasn’t. 2010 was indeed a rollercoaster of a year. After spending a inordinate amount of my fall of 2009 working on grad school applications and essentially hidden from the world, I spent the beginning of 2010 wondering if all of that work paid off. And then in January, there was a large blow to our family when my dad’s mother, Nanay Ising, passed away. I was able to be there with her in the Philippines during her final moments, but it was an incredibly sad way to start 2010. I knew, however, that my grandmother was with me in spirit on March 22 when I received my acceptance letters to Harvard. The beginning of the year was truly bittersweet. Here are some other highlights from the year.
- Spending Nanay’s funeral and mourning period with my entire family in the Philippines
- Trips to New York (Tony’s bday & watching the US Open), DC, LA (Steve & Jen’s wedding!), Austin, New Hampshire, Maine and of course Las Vegas (oh, and my parents moved to the Strip!)
- Finding out that my little sister got engaged, and then finding out that she’s pregnant!
- Going on my 10th BUILD college tour
- Leaving BUILD (and SF) in July after 5 amazing years
- Moving to Cambridge and starting at Harvard
- Getting certified as a Rap Director after 3 years of training with College Summit!
- Dream come true: visiting the mother of all mother countries (Spain) with Karla and falling in love with Sitges, a gorgeous beach town
- Meeting CEO’s of successful nonprofits: Year Up, Pratham, Planned Parenthood, United Way, and more
- Watching some awesome speakers: Muhammad Yunus, Michelle Rhee, Rachel Maddow, Arne Duncan (OK, so he wasn’t an awesome speaker, but it was interesting nonetheless)
- Becoming an uncle when my brother’s baby, Elliot, was born in October
- Writing a business plan for my Education Policy course that I will probably launch
- Let’s not forget that Prop 8 was overturned and DADT was repealed
- Raising enough money to work with Gawad Kalinga during my winter break
And as I do every year, I wanted to check-in on the goals that I set for myself last December.
- Go on a spiritual journey – Yes, the trip to the Philippines for my grandmother’s funeral was quite the spiritual journey.
- Take a GIGANTIC risk – There have been a couple of gigantic risks taken this year, but the biggest by far was leaving my position at BUILD after five years and starting my grad program at Harvard.
- Get more involved and make a positive impact in the gay community by doing some gay rights advocacy work – This wasn’t exactly as I imagined, but I joined the staff of Harvard Kennedy School’s first-ever LGBTQ Policy Journal.
- Learn how to write music and then write a song – Yes!
- Build something with my hands – Yes, I built a laptop stand. 😉
- Continue improving my Tagalog comprehension and speaking skills – Yes, they’re getting better
- Deepen my spiritual practice (yoga, Catholicism) – Yes, at least definitely with the yoga.
- Read at least 8 new books – Yes, I think this is true, particularly since I started grad school, and we do a ton of reading all the time.
- Connect with my international relatives at least once a month – Yes, via video chat or IM.
- Continue spending time with family members – Yes, I took a lot of trips home.
It’s been a great year, and I’m really looking forward to 2011!!!