After a little more than three years in Lilliput, I’m finally moving here. The service of Blog.com had been increasingly frustrating, plus I think the change might help jumpstart my writing, which had stalled for the last few months.

So. Aside from the year, what else is new?

First, I have a new job. I have mentioned it in my previous blog, and I’m going to get a bit more into detail now.

Let’s say that again. I have a full-time writing job.

I started in November and have completed my one-month training period, and starting this January I’m moving on to the six-months-or-so probationary period. Which means I’m not completely out of the woods, and I don’t get to have paid leaves from work yet.

It’s not what I envisioned when last year started, but it’s a change nonetheless. It’s what keeps me busy these days, though the work itself, while hectic at times, isn’t really that hard, especially since it involves blogging.

It’s the schedule that’s been the killer. I’m working on a graveyard shift, and my work starts at 8 p.m. and ends at 5 a.m. The adjustment phase as far as my body clock is concerned has been difficult. Sometimes I feel I have jet lag in my own country. I’ve fairly adjusted the past few days but I still can’t get more than five hours of sleep per day regularly. And it’s been really hard to plan activities outside of work because of that.

We all need to make sacrifices, though.

……….

On November 30 my 93-year-old grandmother passed away. Somehow we saw it coming weeks before, but it still came as a shock when the news came. She died peacefully after a long battle with a lung infection.

Christmas and New Year felt a bit different as a result.

……….

It’s been said countless times but the damage wrought by Typhoon Yolanda (international name “Haiyan”) almost two months ago was devastating. Even that felt like an understatement.

In fact, during the next few days after the storm, social media was flooded with images, messages and videos showing the destruction and total chaos that plagued – and continues to plague – Tacloban and most parts of Eastern Visayas. And I’m not going to lie, it’s one of the main reasons why I deactivated my Facebook and Twitter for about two weeks. I was emotionally vulnerable that time and I couldn’t bear to see the anguish that was happening. Plus, I knew I had to do something, and I didn’t want the guilt brought about by the constant barrage of news feeds or by something that happened during the All Saints’ Day break affecting my decisions regarding helping the typhoon victims.

So I went offline.

I had to help but I needed to do it on my own terms. I would be doing it because I wanted to help. Because helping is the right thing to do.

And now that I think of it, the less I say about helping others, the better. Matthew 6:2, you know.

……….

As for travel plans, it’s really hard to say anything for sure right now, as much will depend on how things at work pan out. The best I can do is to make plans as the days go along. The first few months of the year will be the most restrictive, since, like I’ve said, I don’t get to file leaves yet. That will leave me with either weekends or holidays for traveling. After that, things will be easier, though not by much, since I only have five days of leave for the first year.

Like I said, we all need to make sacrifices.

That said, the (vague) plan is to go to either Laos or Burma for the Holy Week break, if budget permits. Otherwise, I might go to a local destination, possibly Masbate. The original plan to go to Japan won’t push through anymore, at least until October (when the All Saints’ Day break should give me enough time), because I don’t think four or five days will work for me. Personally, even if I sometimes hate to admit it these days, I am still in love with Japan, and it needs at least a week of my time. Besides, the promo fare has really been elusive.

……….

So I guess that’s it for the introduction. I really didn’t know what to put here. I guess I just needed to write something that would bridge the old blog with this one. I’m not entirely sure how I will format this new blog – whether it would be primarily a travel blog that would complement my other travel blog or more of a personal blog – so I might make things up as the year goes along. Hopefully in a few months, this blog will develop an identity. If not, at least it will mirror my disjointed state of mind. Hah.

As for now, I’ll go ahead and enjoy the rest of the first day of 2014. Happy new year, everyone!

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