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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Year Resolutions for 2009

I am one of those people who make a list every year. It is a good habit actually because I write it in a Batman notebook my brother gave me in 2001. Since then, I have been writing it there every year, along with my goals of the year, and it has been a lot of fun reading it throughout these 7 years. This year is no different. One thing new though, is that I am blogging about it too. Works this way as it keeps a record of my thoughts of what to change in me every year, till the year I stop writing.

Think positively. Talk positively. Don’t project negativity. This resolution came to the fore after a friend of mine and I had coffee last night. During the course of our conversation, he suddenly said to me, “Ang nega mo naman.” Nega for negative. It really caught me offguard. I always thought I was the most optimistic person that I can be, but I realized, after reviewing our conversation last night, that there were three instances in the conversation where I said cynical and negative things. I won’t mention them here anymore as they are of a personal matter, but it did project a sense of negativity and cynicism, which sometimes envelopes my way of thinking. Even my best friend scolds me for it. Sometimes, I just can’t help it. So this year, I will channel my thoughts and words into more positively so that I project it in my conversations with people and in my work, most importantly.

Not to play the victim anymore. Be more assertive. Sometimes, because I have this inherent habit of not being assertive enough to say no, some people treat me like a doormat. Do this, do that, I want this, I want that. And I do all their requests, unmindful if it’s too dyahe na for me. Interestingly, Christmas year, I decided to just be more assertive and say no to things that I am not interested in doing and I wasn’t worried if the other person will like me more or not. I couldn’t care less. I was really overworked and tired, physically and mentally, and I think, just choosing the projects I know I can deliver properly, made more sense to me. It’s not a popularity contest anyway, and I realized also that some people will always treat me as a doormat because I allow them too. So after saying no, to several different instances, I felt more in control of my life and not get too worried whether I hurt their feelings or not.

Adopt new technology with an open mind. It is really urgent this year, as I have evaded using camera phones for so long, but now that I am designing clothes and seeing people wearing my clothes, and wanting souvenir photos of them, the camera phone becomes the easiest way to document those. I have a very poor history of adopting new technology, which is quite ironic because 95% of my income actually happens online. So this year, I will open my mind to all new technology available and not be such a technophobe. I should have the curious heart and eye of a teenager, ever on the lookout for the gadget. Anyway, in my case, I always look at the ROI of all the things I buy right now. It can be monetary ROI or emotional ROI.

Consciously buy Philippine-made goods. It’s a habit I have started this year, and which I hope to expand more this year to more goods and services. Frankly, it’s tough to shake the colonial make-up of my mind, but I am doing it one step at a time, to be more appreciative of our own products and really support them by buying them.

I will be reviewing this list again by Holy Week so let’s see how I do. I haven’t listed anymore those things which have become integrated into my daily habits so I’m happy that this checklist forces me to make these resolutions become real daily habits.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Last Minute Thoughts of 2008

2008 will come down as one of the best years of my life. I grew again as a person this year and rediscovered myself, finding out that I can still kick ass, thirty years after I learned that I could kick ass in grade school.

This is the year where I gained my confidence back. Yes, I always had it, but since my core businesses have been doing well these past few years, I went into a complacent mode, and was sidetracked by constant traveling, partying, schmoozing and making friends all over the world. Nothing wrong with that, it’s just that, it made me rusty and very bored. Boredom was the catalyst that forced me to shake up my life again. It’s tough to build a new business, which in FABE’s case, is totally different from my existing ones. But opening my first store just 6 months after I started has given my confidence such a boost, now I am really gunning for my other “dreams” because the reality is, I always thought designing and having my own line would be more difficult, than say, be the editor of my magazine or write a book. For me, writing is much easier work, than designing. And as I was able to do the latter, I should be able to do the former, too!

This is the year where I banished my “I can’t do that” attitude. It is really true that your worst enemy could be your own mind. I’m too old to learn a new language. I can’t sew. I can’t draw. Those thoughts held me back for years and although they’d be on my “To Do List” every new year, I will always be held back by my petty insecurities and lack of self-belief. This year, I threw all of that in the trash can. I am now reading the novel, Desert, by 2008 Nobel Prize for Literature winner J.M.G Le Clezio, in French! Imagine that! I always thought my brain was already rusty since the last time I studied was 13 years ago. But no, the brain cells will just adjust and accommodate new knowledge. In fashion school, my teacher would always tear my drawings to pieces with nasty comments. A year later, I now have a fashion line which actually sells. I still cannot draw and sew but other people can. So I let them do that. Instead, I can design and I have a unique sense of style that comes out in the clothes I make. Voila! Anyhow, I read later on that most designers cannot even sew properly, that’s why they delegate. In corporate parlance, outsource it!

This is the year I became a “tito”, a “sir”. It was unnerving at first, young people always calling you tito or sir, never by your first name, but I realized later on, that, maybe because I am big and slightly obese, hahaha, that they say that. As Vic said, maybe we have commanding presence, that they would always say that and never call us by the first name. I am referring to the models and the gym instructors who I deal with. The reality is, my heart is still that of 22-year old, my mind though is already mature and 37 years old. Ditto, my physical body. I have learned to accept that this year. “Yes, tito”. “Yes, sir”. “When po sir”, “Where po tito”. Maybe I deserve the respect too, although I try to be as low-key as possible. Anyhow, I wonder how I would react if a model or an instructor of a much younger age would just casually call me by first name, hahaha!

Finally, this is the year I kicked ass again! And I love it! I used to always have that kick-ass feeling, all throughout my life, ever since I discovered it in Grade 3. Yes, at that young age, I learned that if I just use my brain enough, I could kick the ass out of my classmates and teachers and put the “bullies” in their proper places. Hahaha, now my classmates would be wondering who the bullies were among them. Anyhow, a “bully” for me is anyone who puts me down, who tells me I can’t do it, I’m hopeless, I’m stupid, bakla ko, mahuyang ko, pobre ko, itom ko, anyone who belittles me. Some mean it, some may inadvertently just say it, but a bully, still. Even as an adult, there are still people around me who do not believe I can make it happen, so it’s always good to bring out that kick ass attitude and show them. It’s not easy, it takes a lot of hard work and dedication, but when it happens, I’d say, “Yeah, I can still kick ass!”

Of course, there are still many things I’d like to improve on, and some attitudes of mine to change. That will be another article. It’s almost 2PM now, just 10 hours before 2009!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Dancing to "Womanizer" as choreographed by Genesis

Today is Christmas Eve, and since I had nothing much to do, I went to the gym (Fitness First ABS-CBN) to attend Genesis' Hip Hop class. We were only four in the class but we weren't disappointed! Gen introduced his new routine to the tune of "Womanizer". The steps were fabulous, to say the least, very expressive, very sexy, and we had a lot of fun doing them. Now, let me do these steps in front of a mirror while you check out Britney's video for this song