After the revelry and the burst of color and music that was Sinulog, the holiday season is officially over. Time to roll up those sleeves and get to work, people! I was thinking of writing an article on New Years Resolutions, but since that’s so passe, here’s a quick round up of what’s hot and what’s not this year. Check them off your list!
- In with humility, out with the diva. If there’s one thing growing a year older has taught me, it’s that humility, self-assurance, and a quiet but firm confidence gets you so much further than throwing your weight around ever will. Sure, we were awed by pomp and grandeur, VIPs, socialites, celebrities. We paid attention to divas throwing hissy fits to get whatever they want. But girl, seriously, get over yourself. The world does not revolve around you, and it is a complete turnoff to assume it ever will. So instead of getting all insecure and trying to keep dropping not-so-subtle hints as to how important you are and blowing your own horn, why not focus on doing your job really well instead of broadcasting your achievements to everybody and their mother? Because honestly? No one cares. People respond so much better to unassuming, down to earth people who are exceptionally good at what they do and do not need constant ego-stroking.
- In with classy, out with trendy. Chasing after every fad is too much trouble, really. This year, make a resolve to stick to your aesthetic and cultivate your own brand of style. And go for classy, high quality pieces that will last you years and you will never get tired of instead of splurging on cheap clothes made of cheap fabric and cheap-looking prints. Same goes for accessories. Always buy only the very best you can afford. If it’s not real gold or real gems, or a real ‘It’ bag– baby don’t bother. People can always spot a fake, and you will always have an inferiority complex. It’s not worth it. You are much better off wearing things that may not carry a brand, but are made of good quality materials (like a real leather tote bag), or unique materials (like indigenous fabrics).
- In with discipline, out with bad ass. Thought it was cool breaking the rules, acting like you’re better than everyone else, not giving a rat’s ass about the consequences of your choices? Those days are over. If you haven’t noticed, what gets respect nowadays are people who have noble causes, people who work with passion and conviction, people who are willing to do their share to make the world a better place. We are so over ‘rebel without a cause’, and as a whole we now look up to social responsibility, well-applied talents, perfected skills, and the discipline required to excel. We want to be top notch athletes, professionals, entrepreneurs, artists. So that devil-may-care, too-cool-for-school attitude? You won’t get anywhere with it.
- In with low maintenance, out with over the top. These days, natural trumps over-the-top. Real beauty is that which radiates from within and does not need a whole medicine cabinet of makeup, concealer, hair contraptions and skin serums to create. Real style is that which can be seen effortlessly and does not involve having to stuff yourself in tiny dresses you can barely breathe in or platform heels you can barely walk or dance in, or trinkets all over the body like a Christmas tree. Elegance is clean, chic, and never needs to scream for attention. As for personality, it is always better to be with an easygoing, relaxed person who is game to dance in the rain or run through a flower field whenever the impulse strikes, as opposed to an uptight, high maintenance, super self-conscious person. Ask any guy, he’ll tell you the same thing.
- In with relaxed, out with control freak. With all this media hype about being an alpha-female, I’m seeing a lot of friends and acquaintances twisting themselves into a pretzel trying to do or be everything to everyone. It’s as if doing one thing that you love isn’t enough—nooo you Have To be a multi-hyphenate. Blogger-triathlete-restaurateur. Corporate professional-yogini-deep sea diver. Entrepreneur-chef-calligrapher. While that’s great, and I admire accomplished people who follow their dreams, always remember that no one is trying to out-do you, and all that fame is worth nothing if at the end of the day, you come home feeling empty. This year, try to relax and focus on your true passion. Live in the moment instead of chasing after hollow victories. Life isn’t about the number of accolades and awards you’ve accumulated, it’s about how well you have loved and how much you have shared to others.
- In with conservation, out with excess. All that pollution, plastic, smoke belching, dynamite fishing—shortcuts that have led us to become worse off because we lived only for the day. It is only now what we are catching up on sustainability, on carbon footprint, on saving water, on cleaning up our rivers, on recycling, on using biodegradable packaging, on teaching means of livelihood to impoverished communities. It’s time to stop living selfishly and start considering the kind of planet we are giving to the future generation. If you can’t find a worthy cause to support and become part of the solution, at least stop contributing to the problem and do your share for the country and the planet.
- In with hard work, out with slacking. It used to be such a phenomenon if you could afford to live easy and be a bum all your life. Just travel the world ‘figuring out’ what you want to do and how to spend your parents’ money. Today it’s insufferably boring, and means only that there is nothing between your ears, nothing in the universe that interests you more than sleeping all day and partying all night. That is so sad, I can’t even.
- In with real life, out with selfies and social media. It amazes me how some people have shown their true colors on social media. There are people so in love with their own (mediocre) faces, they do nothing but post duck-faced selfies that all look exactly the same. There are people who just want to face brag as to who they are connected to and what high-flying activity they are doing. There are people who are so self-absorbed, they turn everything into something about themselves (e.g. Oh I did that too! I was there too! I have the exact same item!) . What’s funny is these people do not seem to notice that they are making themselves laughingstocks not only to their friends but to the greater public. This 2015, strive to focus on real life. On savoring a beautiful cup of coffee on a rainy morning. On talking and laughing instead of updating your FB status. On enjoying the ambiance of a new place instead of ‘checking in’ foursquare. On really having fun instead of taking pictures from every conceivable angle only with the intention of posting the best looking photo on Instagram. On meaningful art and music instead of frantically checking who liked and commented on your pictures. I mean, really? What have we become?
- In with good vibes, out with hate. I am so tired of people who meddle into other people’s affairs and make it their business. Let people do what makes them happy! Stop talking about other people just to make yourself feel better. Stop speculating, stop judging, stop sour graping. You are only making yourself look more pathetic. We can’t always like everything our friends say or do, but there is no need to judge other people’s actions nor nitpick on how you would never do that, you could do so much better, yadda yadda. Ever heard of the saying- ‘Try walking a mile in my shoes and see how far you’ll go’? Perhaps this year it’s time to let go of everything that makes us toxic, and embrace only good vibes in you life. In the same way, if people attack you or say negative things about you, shake it off (thank you Taylor Swift!) but try to be objective. There may be some truth to the statement, and there is value in listening to that, but don’t let it rule your life. Haters gonna hate no matter what you do anyway, so why let them ruin your mood?
- In with authenticity, out with duplicity. This is the year I have decided to be a little more honest about how I feel. No more sugarcoating, no more shallow, plastic conversations with people I barely know or people I do not like, no more overcompensating. I no longer have the patience for it, and I think I can sniff out the real deal at this point. If that leaves me with just 5 friends at the end of the day, that’s ok—at least I know they are true friends, rather than having a million meaningless acquaintances or fair weather friends who would so easily stab me in the back at the slightest provocation. Just like in #2, quality always trumps quantity, and you won’t run yourself ragged trying to please everybody when you don’t even really like half of them.
May 2015 be your truest, most grounded, and most sincerely happy year yet. Cheers!