Category: Personal

2016 Year in Review: Conducting a Life Retrospective

Year in Review Life Retrospective

Facebook notified me recently about my year in review. It was a slideshow of my photos captured within the current year. I am not really sure what is the algorithm on how Facebook chooses photos for a year in review; probably those that got the highest number of likes and reactions or probably not. It was nothing but a reminder on how much I gained weight in just a matter of almost 12 months, and that the year is about to end, and that we are about to welcome a brand new year.

Since we are just a few days away from 2017, why don’t we all do a life retrospective? It’s pretty simple. We are just going to answer the three questions that are only often asked and answered during IT projects’ sprint retrospective: What went well? What went wrong? How can I improve?

2016 was not a great year. It was not even a good year. Several inspirational artists died this year: Allan Rickman and David Bowie to name a few. You can check Worst Things That Happened in 2016 if you are still not convinced that 2016 has been rough.  In my personal life and career, there were several mistakes that I have made, a LOT of fork roads that I have encountered, and a couple of risks that I have taken. Nevertheless, that is not to say that there were no joyous moments that are deserving of recognition.

What Went Well?

  1. I got to travel to old and new places. This year, I went to Boracay, Subic, Bataan, and Cebu.
  2. I landed a freelance job and has been working from home since.
  3. I managed to ditch the stressful traffic every single day because.. (Refer to #2)
  4. I learned to cut ties with stressful people, no matter how painful it is to do.
  5. I discovered new things, be it in technology, TV series (Black Mirror and Westworld), books, or a discovery within myself.
  6. I wrote several poems.
  7. I got to watch Les Miserables live.
  8. I got to watch Spoken Word Poetry live (Words Anonymous and Sierra Demulder).

What Went Wrong?


  1. I resigned twice this year which doesn’t look good on a resume if I would want to land a day job in the near future.
  2. Glen died in The Walking Dead series. T_T
  3. I gained a couple of pounds which is bad for my health.
  4. Trip to Palawan was cancelled.

How Can I Improve?

  1. Exercise daily.
  2. Write more often on my blog and be consistent in creating new content.
  3. Read more often.
  4. Travel to new places.
  5. Talk to my parents more frequently.

I am quite surprised that the list of “What Went Well” is longer than my list of “What Went Wrong”. It is really a good practice to stop once in a while and reflect on where we are and what we have done so far. Through this, we would be able adjusts the sail of our boat when the wind is against our direction.

How about you? What are the things that you think went well, went wrong this 2016, and that you need to improve on in 2017?

On Quarter-life Crisis + Free MSA NMAT Reviewer

Imagine you just received your most awaited salary. You can now buy that thing that you have been eyeing for so long. You go to the mall or wherever the hell you can find that something that you have always dreamed about. Finally, you are at the doorstep of that special place. You can finally have it, after months of saving up for it, you can finally own that thing. Except that you don’t want it anymore. You no longer feel like it’s worth it. That thing that seemed as a necessity before, now feels like just a mere want in your life. So you veer away from the place and find a new thing that entices you. This new thing feels like it is what you have been waiting for so long, and when you can finally have it, you lose the interest again, and again, and again. And you are stuck in this cycle, feeling lost. That is what quarter-life crisis feels like —  a limbo, a purgatory, a place where there are no directions, just several forks in the road.

Just like many other people of my age out there, I experienced this crisis. I cannot say that I am over it, but I think I have already learned to keep it at bay. What helped me during these times are the articles and books by Mark Manson. My most favorite article is entitled Screw Finding Your Passion, which debunks the myth that we need to find our passion in order for us to be happy.

I used to see myself as a professional doctor — fully dressed in white, working in a hospital, or in a clinic, treating patients and diagnosing illnesses. In my head, I will be like Dr. House, who seems capable of treating the most obscure illness there is. It seemed like a pretty cool job. It felt like it was my passion, job that will make me happy, and a dream that I needed to fulfill. But when reality bites, boy it stings and it stings like a freakin’ giant arthropod. Long story short, I realized that the medical profession is not for me, not because I am weak but because I am not interested with the process needed in order to get there. I am just interested with the result. I am interested with the degree, with all the benefits that comes with, but I am not interested with long hours of sleepless nights, exams, and whatnot. I am not in love with the process. I am only in love with the result.

I salute all med students who, though already on the verge of giving up, still continue to study because they feel that what they do is worth it and meaningful. I actually follow MaartistMD on Twitter and this Twitter account shares comic relief on being medical students. You should check their Twitter account. This afternoon, I cleaned my room and saw the MSA NMAT Reviewer that I bought last year when I decided that I wanted to enter med school but as since I no longer need them anymore, I felt the need to give it away to those who really need it.

It is an MSA NMAT Reviewer Revised Edition 2014 with practice sets on Chemistry, Physics, Quantitative Reasoning, Inductive Reasoning, Perceptual Acuity, Biology, General Reviewer, and Companion Volume Answers and Explanations.

NMAT Reviewer for free!
NMAT Reviewer for free


  1. Let me know your current year, course, school, and the reason why I should choose you. Send this as a private message on my Facebook account.
  2. Share this blog post, and comment on my facebook post so that I can see your name! Your post must be set to public.
  3. Contest will run until Nov. 30 11:59 PM GMT +8.
  4. I will announce the winners anytime on Dec. 3 GMT +8.

Thanks for reading!!!