End of the Year Check-in 2010

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  • Let’s not forget that Prop 8 was overturned and DADT was repealed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.

  1. Go on a spiritual journey – Yes, the trip to the Philippines for my grandmother’s funeral was quite the spiritual journey.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Learn how to write music and then write a song – Yes!
  5. Build something with my hands – Yes, I built a laptop stand. 😉
  6. Continue improving my Tagalog comprehension and speaking skills – Yes, they’re getting better
  7. Deepen my spiritual practice (yoga, Catholicism) – Yes, at least definitely with the yoga.
  8. 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.
  9. Connect with my international relatives at least once a month – Yes, via video chat or IM.
  10. 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!!!

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