OMG Moment: 2019, The Year That Was

Hello, 2020.

I'm. So. Ready!

It's the new year. But first, I'd like to look back on the year that made a lot of impact in my life than any other year of my existence.

2019 was so far the most impactful, amazing, wonderful and life-changing year of my life. There were lots of blessings received. Lots of drastic changes. And some hiccups too. But lots of healing, as well.

The year 2019 started not with a bang but rather, low keyed and spontaneous.

The first day of 2019 was not typical for me. It was totally the opposite considering that I spent it ALONE. For 53 years it was the very first New Year that I spent alone but definitely NOT LONELY. Actually, I'm still in doubt if I want to talk about it but I know in my heart that at some point I have to deal with it somehow... someday.

Yes, definitely someday.

But for now, I want to dwell more on the blessings I received in 2019.

Although 2019 was the year that I was still trying to pick up the broken pieces of what 2018 left behind and the year I was trying to lick my bruised ego, it was also a year of great discovery and connecting with my inner self. So far, I did a great job.

So, here are the highlights of my 2019. This is by far is the best year of my life.

1. I became a certified Yoga Teacher at the Yoga Goddess Academy.
2, I traveled internationally 3 times last year to Greece, Canada, and my motherland the Philippines.
3. I went to my first Yoga Retreat through the Light the Spark Within at the Amorgos Aegialis Hotel and Spa in Amorgos, Greece.
4. I spent Christmas and New Year with my family after 12 years of being away from my motherland.
5. I started teaching yoga classes to teachers and colleagues.
6. I did a lot of things and activities solo and enjoyed it a lot.
7. And I finally got divorced. This, however, is one of the hiccups. Not proud though, but hiccups are part of my life and those are the ones that made me stronger and appreciate all the good things in my life.

Now, let me break it down to quarterly.

The first quarter of 2019 was full of blessings. I was a busy bee. I started my 200 Online Yoga Teacher Training at the Yoga Goddess Academy. It was a nerve-wracking move but worth it. It was then that I realized my worth as a person. My confidence level went to the roof. And yoga became my passion.

And for that, I thank Crystal Gray, the Goddess, and my Yoga Teacher who saw the real me.

It's legit. I'm a Certified Yoga Teacher!

During the second quarter of the year, I finally crossed Greece out in my bucket list of places I want to visit. I went to see and experience this land of the gods and goddesses on my own. It was the very first time I traveled to a destination where I don't know a single soul. It was this time that I attended a Yoga Retreat in Amorgos, Greece through the kindness of the Light the Spark Within and spent a week of yoga-ing, journaling, pampering, and just being with nature, myself and my newfound friends. It was there where I found my true self, who I realized is undeniable interesting, creative, confident, happy, beautiful, smart, loved and more than enough.

And for that, I thank Erin and Clarissa, for giving me the opportunity to discover the real me that I didn't even know existed.

The ferry ride from Athens to Amorgos.
Breakfast with a breathtaking background is always on the menu.
With the LTSW Tribe during our yoga retreat.

I also was also fortunate to see Doha at night due to my long layover in Qatar en route to Greece. I got to meet up with my former High School students based in Qatar whom I have not seen and lost contact with since they graduated from high school. It was indeed something out of the ordinary and a real treat.

My former HS students gave me a quick tour of Doha.

In the 3rd quarter, I spent almost my entire summer in Canada. I had a great time bonding with my Aunt (who I haven't seen for 7 years) and cousin and his lovely wife (who I haven't seen for 17 years) in Victoria, British Columbia.

With my Aunt and cousins in British Columbia.

It was so wonderful to be with that side of my family again. I spent a lot of time, running at the golf course solo and one time with my cousin. I went to see Vancouver and other interesting places where my cousins brought me. And I was able to eat a lot of my favorite food from home because my Aunt is a great cook. The 10 pounds I gained during that vacation was all worth it and I'm still paying for to this day.

Then, I finally got certified as a Yoga Teacher.

Just me bragging about my Yoga Teacher certification.

And started teaching Yoga to my colleagues and friends at the school where I work.

Teaching yoga classes to my friends and colleagues is very fulfilling. 

And it was during this time when my major hiccup happened. I finally got my divorced final. It wasn't easy but it was necessary. For now, that's all I can say because I'm not gonna lie... emotional healing is not easy and the healing process does take time. When the time comes, I will surely blog about it but for now, I just need to put it out there because denying it won't make healing easier either.

Now, for the last and 4th quarter of the year, I finally went home to the Philippines and spent my Christmas and New Year with my family and the people who matter most to me, after 12 years of being away.

The Orona Squad finally complete on Christmas day 2019.

I spent quality time with my brothers-from-the-same-mother. It was long overdue but worth the wait. It was precious and memorable.

With the Bros. The last time we were here was in 1989
when my parents celebrated their Silver Wedding Anniversary.

Spending time with my real family is the best gift of 2019. All my prayers were answered and manifested. I spent a lot of time bonding and watching Netflix with my nieces and nephew. I spent a lot of time with my Sister-in-law driving and exploring around Angeles City.

We spent Christmas in Baguio City, the place where we celebrated my parents' 25th Wedding Anniversary 30 years ago. The next generation of the Orona kids finally had the chance to see and experience the place that my brothers and I hold so dear to our hearts.

At the Lourdes Grotto with Japs, my Nephew Toby and Lara.
My oldest Niece, Jade the Actress.
2 of my beautiful nieces Lara and Erika who gave me tons of hugs.

Yes! Last year alone, I traveled internationally 3 times. Greece was so memorable and breathtaking. Canada was awesome and I plan to go back. And the Philippines was definitely worth all the trouble. It was indeed a great time to go home.

It was seven years ago in the summer of 2012 when I last set foot in my hometown. Though I spent more time in my brother's city this time, I did get the chance to visit my hometown even for just a couple of days.

At the centuries-old church in my hometown.

The place where my brothers and I spent a lot of happy memories playing together.

And I also had a chance to spend even just a few hours catching up with old friends. Though bonding with them was short, we did have a great time laughing and chatting like we used to for so many years in the past.

The BFFs

And for the first time in forever, I had a mini-reunion with both sides of my parents' families. I had the chance to bond with 2 of my surviving Aunts and had a blast with my first cousins on both sides too. It was fun and delicious because we had lots of food to partake. Lots of videoke and laughter and selfies.

It was fun bonding with my relatives from my Dad's side of the family - The Oronas and The Gavars, my Mom's side of the family.

The Oronas - my Dad's side.

The Gavars - My Mom's side

There were still a lot of things that I needed to do back home but I ran out of time. Three weeks was not enough to do all the things I wanted to do. I felt sad and guilty not to be able to see my former co-teachers, my High School and Elementary classmates and childhood friends. But I know that I will surely come back again and next time I will make sure that I will have a better itinerary.

Aside from traveling internationally, I traveled locally too.

I went to see New York for a day with my friend Judy. It was the first time we did a day tour together. And I get to experience Halloween in Salem, Massachusetts all by myself but not in costume though. It was a fun and totally different experience.

New York Day Tour.
Bewitched at Salem, Massachusetts

Also last year, Ruthilicious Designs had the most Craft Shows put up since I started the business 5 years ago. I was so pumped that my hobby and the thing that helped me manage my anxiety and depression became so rewarding. I was able to cash in my no longer hidden talent and finally recognized that this is a gift that I need to be grateful for.

Ruthilicious Designs at one of the Craft Show

And lastly, I spent the whole year doing things on my own, alone and happy. I used to be so scared to do things on my own but last year I was brave enough to do things solo.

Though I like running alone and ran races in the past all by myself, I haven't tried hiking and biking all by myself. So last year, I did both - solo.

Solo hiking. Here we go.
Hiking Douglas Mountain
Hiked Bradbury Mountain State Park and practiced yoga at the top.

I rode my bike solo.

Biking at the Mountain Division Trail in Fryeburg.

I frequented the beach on my own. 
Journaling at the beach is my new thing.
Just relaxing like it was my business.

Camped all by myself.

First time camping solo at Acres of Wildlife Campground.

I even watched movies and concert solo.

Watching concert at Shilo Farm Eco Lodge

I never thought I could do a lot of things alone but I did it. And I am happy and proud of myself.

Yes, last year, I let my hair down and freed myself of all the "what if's" in my life and replaced them with "why not's". It was the most liberating and wonderful thing I did for myself.

And I never looked back.

Thank you 2019. It was totally an amazing year and I am ready for 2020 to take on my new journey to the next level.

I am ready to live my life like a real adventure.

I am ready to receive and manifest all the things that are rightfully mine.

And I am grateful that 2019 has prepared me for 2020 to harness my full potential.

Thank you and bring it on!