Last day at 26, as tomorrow I'm turning 27! Wow, time flies so fast. Right now, I've just come from a drinking session with Max, and nothing makes me feel older than when I'm out with younger people haha.

So here I am, three bottles of beer later and halfway through a glass of wine.

(Cut for drunken blather, kindly indulge)

Age twenty-six was a good year – traveled a lot, mostly; found myself atop a mountain after a five-hour hike, then on a plane for the first time with Andrea, then hit a couple of snags, relationship-wise, that I will not detail. It's all good though; this year I learned a lot – about myself, about other people, about limits. This year: I worked hard, won an award for a project I worked hard for last year, and most importantly: prepared to embark on an altogether new journey.

I've kept so many cards so close to my chest, and here I am sharing one with you: I woke one morning somewhere the middle of this year wanting to change something about the way I was doing things. A career-related impulse, mostly; I looked up the requirements, and before I knew it, I was heading to the old campus in Quezon City to get my transcript, then taking an exam, and buying clothes to wear for interviews, etc.

Long story short – my requirements were all found to be in order, my exam was marginally all right, I somehow managed to survive my interview, and just last week I attended the orientation and learned a new alma mater hymn. And so, yeah.

And so in January I'm starting out as a freshman MBA grad student at DLSU. Big step, of course – I've spent the last six years out of school, and now I'm back. I probably need to reconfigure my habits – I haven't been a student for so long. I look forward to: being forced to read a ton, doing papers, meeting new classmates, being awkward at introductions, and, actually, having a great time. Yep. So help me God.

This year I am thankful for: Andrea, who has managed to bear with me after all these years, despite everything; Friends who, no matter how hard I have been to love, did so anyway without fail; Family, with whom distance is no object; and Co-workers, who have continuously held up half the sky, especially when my arms are tired. That said, I don't know where I'd be if this year hadn't been full of wonderful people, old and new, who tided me over from day to day, week to week, month to month. It's been such a pleasure being with you, and I mean 'pleasure' the way you want me to, hehe.

Next year: Is going to be different, absolutely, and I am so ready. It's been ten years since I last met that girl who was new at everything, though I still remember her wide-eyed fear of the unknown like it were just this morning. I feel that way too, right now; I guess, we all feel the same when we're at the cusp of things much, much bigger than we are, no matter our age.

So, 2012, here's our deal: Surprise me, and surprise me good, because I've got a few good cards up my sleeve, and well. Between you and me, you see — we're about to have a riot in our hands, and I mean 'riot' whichever way you want it.

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