2018: A Year I’m Thankful For All My Failures

I wanted to write something about how my 2018 went by, but I couldn’t write anything for the past few days or maybe weeks. As some of you may know, I had the worst start of 2018; it still affects me both emotionally and financially. I also read my previous posts in this blog just to see how my year was, and the previous years too. It’s disappointing that I didn’t have a year-end post in 2017, though. But, I realized how each year—from 2016 to 2018—I say “this is the worst”.

And now, I started this blog post by telling you I had the worst start of 2018. I want to change my perspective.

In 2018, I’m finally thankful for all my failures.

2018 - A Year I'm Thankful For My Failures.jpg

I was at that point in my life when I thought about what’s the purpose of life—or living—if we’re going to die anyway. Why do we struggle? What’s with these challenges and difficulties? Don’t get me wrong; I didn’t have any suicidal thoughts, but I just want to know my purpose. It’s true that before you can take action, you have to accept your situation first. It took me months before I felt at peace with myself & my struggles.

Life is very interesting, if you make mistakes.
— Georges Carpentier

I’m thankful for my failed relationship

I cannot explain how thankful I am for my failed relationship even though we ended it on good terms. At first I got scared to start over again—dating, getting to know each other, meeting the parents and family—because it takes time & effort. Since then, I became focused to myself.

It’s been years since it ended, but until now, I’m still thankful for it. I feel happy each and every day with Miguel. Especially now that we are in a long-distance relationship, I’m becoming more thankful for it because Miguel is one of the reasons why I had the courage to move in Sweden.

Christmas in Sweden.jpg

Miguel visited me in Stockholm

Miguel’s first trip to Europe is in Stockholm. Can you imagine? In 2016, we were just talking about living in Sweden someday, and then now I moved to Sweden.

I’m thankful for my traumatic work experience and environment

I wanted more. That’s why I left the first company I was working at. It’s not a good decision; it troubled me during my entire stay, and it made me unhappy. Despite all those, I’m still thankful for my traumatic work experience and environment because I wouldn’t meet some of the nicest coworkers if it wasn’t for that.

I wouldn’t appreciate every good thing about the company, and I wouldn’t grow as a person. I’m thankful for that because my perspective towards work became better. It helped me realize what I really want to do with my career. If it wasn’t for that, I wouldn’t find my job here in Sweden.

This year, I realized why I had to experience that and why it happened.

You’ll either win or learn, but never fail.

I’m thankful for my failed interviews and job applications

It feels unreal that I am living and working in Sweden. I know it has been months already, but until now, I still cannot believe it. I remember when I got scammed (the agency was legit, but the money isn’t worth it so it felt like it was a scam and a complete waste) to work in New Zealand. I got interviewed for a job in New Zealand, but it was for pooling only. And, I failed my interview for a job in the Philippines that gives an opportunity to travel to Sydney.

I also remember when I had to decline the offers from the companies that I really want to work at because something is missing. These all happened in 2017.

When I pieced everything together, I’m thankful for my failed interviews and job applications. If it wasn’t for that, I wouldn’t be working in Sweden now. If it wasn’t for that, I wouldn’t have an opportunity to better support myself and my family financially.

April 2018.jpg

Family photo before my flight to Sweden

My brother is missing because he’s at work.

I’m thankful for my financial difficulty

I spend money like water because I thought I wouldn’t run out of money. I always get what I want. I cannot stick to my budget, and I always choose convenience over cost savings. Every year I’m trying to be better with my finances, but I always fail. This year, it hit me hard. I was uneasy because I cannot accept my financial situation. When I was at my worst financial situation, I started to learn more about finances and made a long-term plan.

Practicing delayed gratification, trying to have a minimalist lifestyle, and planning what I want in the future… I became better with my finances. I’m thankful for my financial difficulty because if it wasn’t for that, I wouldn’t focus on insurances and investments. If it wasn’t for that, I wouldn’t be smart about my finances.

Now I don’t have to worry about my retirement.


Before 2018 ends, I want to leave all the bad things behind. I’m not going to write a New Year’s resolution; I just want to have a healthy lifestyle, financial stability, clear skin, healthy family and more opportunities. I’m claiming that 2019 will be my year because, finally, I’m starting to settle with everything now.

2017 was a year for lots of trials and errors. 2018 was a year for a new beginning.

It took me courage and a lot of cryings before I got here, but I’m not successful yet. As I mentioned before, I still have a long way to go. But, I’m not going to be too hard on myself. I’m still taking one step at a time. It also helps when I stopped comparing myself with people I see in social media. We all know that the things they post are usually their highlight reels. Nobody knows what’s behind the scenes. We all struggle, we have our own timeline, we have our own priorities.

In 2019, I’m going to focus on myself.

Karen Roldan.jpg

Thank you, 2018 ❤️

Not everything will happen according to our plans. Of course, there will always be hiccups along the way. It might be difficult for you now, but someday, you’ll be thankful for all the failures. Just hang in there. ✨