I am writing this a day after I had my wisdom tooth and molar removed, nursing a slight fever and a painful mouth, a bit traumatized by the experience of sitting on the dentist’s chair for about three hours with hands doing God knows what in my mouth.

I can still feel the injections on my gums, the orthodontic pliers pulling my teeth, and blood gashing from my mouth. And it’s horrible. Last night my left cheek was completely numb and my face was completely lopsided — swollen on the left where the teeth were removed, and almost normal on the right. It was a scary sight.

Yup, it seems like a morbid start to my 2015.

In a way, I asked to be subjected to this misery. My wisdom teeth were impacted and grew completely sideways because they don’t have enough room  in my mouth to emerge or grow normally. As such, the teeth didn’t completely erupt from the gums, and caused infection. Add the fact that they were located at the farthest corner of my gums, which made it difficult to clean them. Over time, tooth decay developed in the left wisdom tooth and the infection spread to the molar, which was what probably caused pain for the past few weeks.

The situation could have been avoided if I had my wisdom tooth extracted long before, when my teeth weren’t as hard as they are now (dentists recommend having an extraction before 25), and I could have avoided the whole ordeal yesterday. But for some reasons, I kept putting it off.

……….

Time flies really fast, and I can still remember last year like it was just a few days ago.

I flew to Kalibo last year to participate in the Ati-Atihan festival and I thought starting the year in such a way would typify the next 12 months for me – full of travels and fun. I’ve planned trips to a few places, including volunteering in Tacloban. But either through lack of time, funds or realignment of priorities, life just has a way of messing with your plans.

I also quit my night shift job in April because another company offered a more tempting deal – higher pay plus a regular schedule. But it didn’t work out and I had to resign two months later.

Thankfully, three and a half months later, I got another job, as I’ve mentioned in a previous post, as a writer for the local government unit office of my hometown Valenzuela City.

Then there was another emotional breakdown, which, I won’t get into the detail of here anymore.

So, yeah. 2014 had been frustrating for the most part, but overall it was a memorable one filled with food trips, impulsive decisions, and lots of coffee. It was realizing that happiness can be found in simple things in the company of family and friends.

Last year was also about being aware of responsibilities and becoming an adult. Someone had pointed out that I had the problem of being immature, and it wallowed in my system because I was really affected. But thinking too much about that was what I needed to change – really change.

I figured that maybe I should be more proactive. I tend to waste so much time just thinking of what I want to happen but not actually pursuing them. I was caught for a long time in the tangle of making goals but not pursuing them, and allowing them to just gradually get out of reach just because it’s easier making excuses.

But things happened and I was finally hit with a sense of urgency, and it’s taking a bit of adjustment on my part to realize that unless I start somewhere, nothing will happen. It won’t be always smooth and the road can be rocky, sure, but the thing is, I have to let this dreams be realities by acting on them.

I’m also learning to savor the moment instead of rushing things because the latter will only lead to frustrations. I haven’t mastered it yet, but I’m getting there.

……….

On matters related to travels, I’ve learned that it’s better not to count chickens before they hatch. Like I’ve said, a lot of my travel plans last year didn’t push through and it became a long list of frustrations. Now I’m basically starting from scratch as far as financial resources are concerned right now, and I’m trying to be a lot more prudent when it comes to money matters.

That means, I don’t want to make grand plans of travels right now. Maybe one or two trips to another country when I’ve saved enough and I’m eligible for leaves. My choices would be South Korea, Japan, Laos and Burma. Maybe East Timor, too.

Other than that, I’m mostly targeting local destinations for long weekends. Besides, that would be good for the local tourism industry.

……….

I still haven’t quite figured out a lot of things, but there’s a whole year to make mistakes and learn from them. 2014 wasn’t particularly kind but I know that those hurdles were there so I can overcome them. Here’s to a meaningful 2015!

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