December 31


The Gifts of 2021

By Odyssa

December 31, 2021

This year and the last were full of madness, disappointments, and surprises. We're finally done with mad year number 2, and here's a review.

Pandemic life

We are still under a pandemic, and the problems we encountered for the first time back in 2020 are still here despite the genius minds behind the vaccines, dedicated health professionals, and modern-day heroes.

Even though travel has been restricted for a while now, I had an opportunity to travel to Maldives. That trip was worth all the trouble, but I wouldn't be traveling outside the country anytime soon. 

Travel is not considered essential these days, definitely not compared to health. This year I had my first major surgery, which led to many changes in my body physically and mentally. I tried to practice yoga again a few months ago, but too difficult to follow through. Here's what I found: recovering from a surgery, or an illness, is not just about gaining back physical strength. Yoga is far from my mind these days, but I will never forget these lessons the practice has taught me. 


Because there's no travel, there was more time to write. I said a temporary goodbye to my first 'home', Medium, but decided to keep going at a much slower pace. Through Medium, my work got into another magazine called The Good Men Project

With self-publishing my first book, I got a little busier than usual, did a talk with my former school, but never too busy to write more. Writing more also meant being reviewed and criticized more, and there were days when thinking of what people think of my books bothered me. 

And of course, there are rescue dogs that are always looking for friends and companions. The dogs are amazing. Despite what they've been through in the past, they have learned to trust humans again. 

These rescue dogs are looking for homes. Check Ampon Alaga on Facebook!


I had an increased love for reading, but the year didn't make me read more or any faster. Books are wonderful friends, and they will exist forever unless burned. Reading books helps us discover who we are in the eyes and words of another, or reinforce our devotion for what we love doing

I got to know more authors, discovered contemporary poetry, thought of poetry, wrote poetry, and submitted poems to a magazine

I found several outstanding books this year and writing about them was real fun. Here are my favorites from 2021


Rest (aka sleep, coloring books, taking care of the dogs, not doing anything), though sometimes scarce, was my source of comfort

I thought more of getting older and dying, our loved ones leaving us behind. Admit it or not, we all struggled to find ourselves amidst the tragedy of being stuck at home, not seeing our friends and family, and letting our loved ones die without us beside them. 

On relationships, I was visited by thoughts of infidelity, what it takes to keep my relationship going strong despite the distance, showing love through action and not only through words.


We wouldn't know how strong and wise we truly are under the worst circumstances if the worst never came. Thanks, 2021, for making all of us stronger and wiser. 


About the author

Odyssa is a writer from the Philippines. She is the author of Like A New Sun Rising: A Collection of Poems on Love. When not working or writing at home, she's out walking their dogs. She enjoys traveling, practices yoga, gets lost in books and Korean drama. To her, making time for a daily practice or ritual is the best gift to one's self.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

January 5, 2024

“There was nothing more I could ask for.”

October 12, 2023

Autumn is here. Another season means a change

August 25, 2023

I'm wary of attending organized events that happen