Previously posted on http://practicalmagician.spaces.live.com/ last 15 December 2006.
Today was my last official day at the office for 2006.
Yes, I still have some work stuff to do (mostly administrative) and I do have to go back for a few days in January to do my turnovers and file cleanup, BUT now I really get some time to my personal stuff -- mostly in preparation for my departure in January.
And I do have a lot of stuff to attend to -- purchases, arrangements, financials, socials. It will be a hectic holiday for me. Thank God it's not because of Xmas shopping! No, I won't be playing Santa this year (just like most of my X-mases). I just find X-mas shopping too stressful -- physically, mentally and financially -- and honestly, it's not worth all the fuss. My friends and family know that the best I can give them is my company. And so, I don't expect any presents either, although I still do get some.
Anyway, looking back, it's been a roller-coaster year for me. Having known since early this year that I was being transferred out of the country, and going thru all the work-problems, all the new client pitches (some we've won, some we didn't), it's been a tough year for me. I don't consider it to be my best year as a Practical Magician, although I still had some glory moments: SmokerService and the Microsoft pitch, to name a few.
As I had to let go of my accounts and let my teams take on my responsibilities (some also Ichay had to take on), it was painful seeing them encounter challenge after challenge and me not as willing to dip my fingers into things. But it was also a relief that I could take on a new pace of life, of work. The advertising industry in Manila has become a health-hazard -- with less and less of the glory, and more and more of the gruel. Client have become more demanding, less skilled, more reliant on the Agency, and less generous. With buzz words like "metrics", "ROI" or "ROMI", and "profitability" filling the air instead of Xmas carols, creativity has become a commodity rather than a blue chip. Practical magic is becoming more practical and less about magic. I think I will have to coin a new term -- impromptu magic -- for the current pace of work here.
I'm setting my dreams beyond what I see here. I dream of a place where practical magic does happen; where practicality does not necessarily mean making-do with what you have, but making sure it's money well-spent; where magic is truly amazing and not just cheap tricks. Where creativity is honored and respected.