Last weekend at Martin's house, I caught the CNN TIME Frames special on TV. It was all about the biggest newsmakers of the past decade, also the very first ten years of the 21st century.
When I woke up the next morning, it hit me that nearly everything important that has happened to me, the "newsmakers" of my own life, happened in the same ten years. Life is rarely so neat.
While EDSA Dos and 9/11 happened, I went to high school. My best friends and I first got together. We wrote each other stories. I finally worked up the courage one day to tell a boy that I liked him, and I got shot down. I went on my first date ever. I shot a guy down for the first time. I had my first boyfriend and first kiss.
The Indian Ocean tsunami happened during my freshman year of college. I made new friends, including the guy I would hang out with for the next five years. I had a secret admirer who sent me a bouquet of peach roses. I shot down a guy for the second time. I got depressed about how much I sucked in college and changed my major. Someone I liked asked me out twice, but I had to turn him down both times because of prior engagements.
I read some books that completely changed my views on relationships. I went out with someone nice but later decided that the books should've given more credit to chemistry. I took philo and theo classes under some really good teachers. For the first time ever, I showed my writing to people who've made it their job to critique writing, and it wasn't horrible. I met Martin in a book and then in passing.
I left home and moved to the capital. I got my first job at a church. I moved into my first apartment with a college roommate. I ran into Martin again and decided to hang the old books. I fell out and lost touch with my best friend from college. Michael Jackson died and Obama won.
I quit my first job because the church wasn't for me. I was finally able to pay all my bills without my parents' help. I got a new, more difficult job and moved to a seedy neighborhood at the same time, and the stress and disappointment made me cry almost every night for a month.
Ondoy came, 58 people were massacred in Maguindanao, and Noynoy won. I made new friends at work, and work became not just tolerable but actually kind of fun. Martin's leg broke and changed personal life literally overnight. Last month, the leg finally got fixed. It looks like the life will follow.
I understand that in the grand scheme of things, the past ten years of my life aren't much, and these reflections may seem pretty shallow considering that some people had to live through disasters. I don't intend to demean Hurricane Katrina or the Ampatuan killings.
Still, there is some comfort in the idea of life happening--and continuing to happen--in spite of the real newsmakers. People do live through everything. In one month, the new decade begins. I can't wait.