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Grow 2018 / Rooted 2019

Every year, my friends and I choose a theme to guide the coming year. 2018 for me was grow. I knew I was moving out of my parents' house and I would have an opportunity to work abroad for the first time, so it seemed appropriate.

I was scared to work in the Pacific Islands. After working in the Philippines for several few years, I had a good grasp of what could and couldn't work, but the Pacific Islands was a clean slate. I needed to adjust to the culture, traditions, beliefs, language(s), and interests of every community I worked in, plus the rigid administrative requirements of my employer. I emerged from experience mentally/physically/emotionally exhausted as fuck, but I felt a lot more confident in my capabilities as a conservationist and environmental educator. Grow talaga kung grow.

"Grow" was applied to other aspects of my life too: growing into a solid workout routine and pushing the limits of my body; growing out of relationships that no longer added value to my life; and powering through the growing pains of Save Philippine Seas.

After Build 2017 and Grow 2018, I felt like I needed to re-center. Both themes required a lot of outward growth and stretching myself. Sometime in November, I told Poch that I wanted my theme for 2019 to be something like "grounded."

"I just want to feel more... grounded and stable. I felt like I was all over the place in 2018, literally and figuratively. I need to go back to my whys," I explained.

"What if 'rooted'?" he suggested. "When a tree grows and has longer branches, it needs stronger and more stable roots."

And so, here we are.

"Rooted" for me means going back to my whys, and my core values, and making sure my decisions are rooted in those.

"Does this mean you'll travel less?" B asked.

"Not necessarily. It just means being more intentional about my travels. Last year, I accepted a lot of invitations because I wanted to see a new place. FOMO lang. In hindsight, I could have spent it doing something more meaningful, like... sleeping." :))

Let's see how this goes.

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