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2007 According to Joel – Prosperous and Pensive

Working and playing the PC for most of the year, I decided to write all this first by hand before I sat down the hot seat. (Though I am editing it along the way.)

2007 has been very blessed. The greatest turnaround would be in my weight. After August, I buffed up a noticeable 30 pounds. I meet my dentist once a year, and it was nice for him to mention that those extra pounds looked good on me. Keeping that weight on will be a lifelong struggle.

Me

Also, if you’ve been following my blog, you do know what I’ve been up to in terms of projects. (I’m sorry but it’s what I talk about most.) Work from Archaia Studio Press has been steady and rewarding. My children’s books are in the market. I’ve been told that my illustrated Dalawang Bayani ng Bansa, written by recently deceased Rene Villanueva, and published by Adarna House, has been a bestseller. Tomorrow I will be attending my very own book launch for Hold on Tight, Peachy Concepcion‘s book packaged by Ilaw ng Tahanan.

My internet connection, through much calling and hassle, is now a PPPoE connection (trust me, it’s better than what I had before). It should remain steady enough to keep me sane until I choose to move house.

Speaking of house, I’ve gone out of the house more times in 2007 than in 2006, treated myself and my friends out to more meals and movies. I am learning to give again, learning to keep relationships alive. It’s oddly unnatural for me to do so. Everyone keeps saying it’s essential, and I just have to start believing it all.

I took a not-so-simple step of educating myself financially by taking up a workshop on technical analysis (of stocks, courtesy of Absolute Traders, and mingling with their community. Our third session is right after my book launch tomorrow.

I am grappling to reignite my passion for illustration. Late 2007, I learned that my passion to illustrate comes from a need to connect with people. (No I didn’t visit a shrink to figure that out.) I don’t intend to give up on that little magic that I possess to create wonderful pieces of art, but there are reasons why it has yet to possess me. Maybe I’ve grown too comfortable with my career, or perhaps I’ve found more expedient and successful ways to touch base with other people (and their wallets), or perhaps I’ve let envy turn me too green – in more shades than one.

In my particular breed of Chua, I was subconsciously raised to never want anything too badly. It’s sad, especially for my inner child, to have an emergency shutdown button for my dreams and desires. It’s an all too big all too conspicuous red button among all these other little buttons I have to keep pressing to make things work.

An effort must be made to fight for things. I didn’t get to stage my own exhibit this year, as I promised. I suppose you could say I thought it would naturally happen. Duh. It didn’t. It had to be fought for, against time, against complacency, against fatigue, against discouragement, against “the way things are”.

For while it is entertaining and thrilling to play the sorcerer with the magic of comics, animation, children’s books, and all that… I have to also play the soldier who has the endurance, discipline, and strength to get tangible results.

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