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Ten on twenty fifteen

1. I pray for strength, the kind that will carry me through bad recitations, strict professors, lengthy provisions, and arduous examinations. But more than that, I wish for the determination to finish what I began, and reach the end with great satisfaction and an unwavering sense of wanting to serve.

2. I pray for more love, to give and to receive. For the people most dear to me, and the people I have yet to hold close.

3. I wish for time - or rather, the gift of having the time to appreciate the people, the thing, and the places that matter to me. The last year has been incredibly tough in many ways, but it was also satisfying to think of the milestones I got to spend with the people I cherish. May 2015 bring more beach trips, lunches out, dinners in, travels, and quiet moments in the living room, listening to Alessi Brothers and Vivaldi.

4. There is nothing more satisfying than discovering new words and finding new meanings to old ones. Language has always been a friend, but perhaps less in 2014 than all the years before. I did not get to read books for my leisure as much as I would have wanted to; more so, I failed to write with the same urgency as before. This year, I hope to re-learn words I already know, to use them on feelings and places both new and familiar. More books to have and hold, more emotions to elucidate.

5. Sickness was never a friend, but if there is anything I learned about getting a disease, it is knowing how important it is to value the temple that is our body. I hope none of the people I care about get touched by anything destructive or weakening; and if they do, may they find the grace and strength to recover, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. As for myself, I hope I find the time to devote respect and care for my body, the way I did over the summer when I started doing bikram yoga. I have to give myself the physical care it deserves - may the new year give me opportunities to do so, in ways I can faithfully carry out.

6. Last year, I found a renewed friendship with an old friend, the pen: through calligraphy. I have always found myself playing around with my handwriting, and figured it must do my hands good to learn something new with it. It's liberating to immerse yourself in a new hobby, that requires a new skill and a new kind of discipline. Learning calligraphy is not entirely easy, but it's not difficult either. It's just a matter of actually picking up the pen, and having the courage to write. May the creativity never waver.

7. Just before the year ended, I learned a new song on the piano. It took me an entire day, but by dusk, I was playing two verses and the chorus. I hope that this year, I take on life with the same patience, the same willingness to go through each key, each sharp, each line - each day - until I finish the song. Patience is an elusive acquaintance to some people, but I pray to always have it as a friend.

8. I've always believed that it is always better to be kind than right, which is a mindset that isn't always reflective of a future lawyer. But I found that there are far greater rewards when you choose your battles, and let goodness do the winning, instead of your pride. I pray that each day of this year be filled with kindness, from me, and on me and on the people I love.

9. "When there's nothing left to burn you have to set yourself on fire,"* so goes one of my favorite songs. I hope all the endeavors I take on in the new year be filled with passion, the kind that makes one feel "as if you were on fire from within, the moon lives in the lining of your skin."**

10. Faith. In God, in His grace, in the goodness He brings to the people in my life and in mine.

Here's to more love, luck, and laughter in 2015! Cheers! 


* Your Ex-Lover is Dead by Stars
** Ode to A Naked Beauty by Pablo Neruda