Rest

I am tired.

Tired from perfecting everything.

Tired from disappointments.

Tired from being tired.

The road ahead is not easy.
Work wasnt meant to be dreaded, but enjoyed.

Work was meant to be a means to enrich – not pull down.

Do I want out?

Yes, everyday. Not take it daily – but monthly, yearly.

You may be down now- but you won’t be down forever.

Success is never final – success is a mindset.

I look for change – for peace, for hope, hope to feel better, more rested.

I hope for something else.
I hope.
And hope.
And hope.

With eyes closed – but an open heart, ready to receive God’s grace, again and again and again and again.

So help me God. Allow my heart to smile again. I miss it smiling again.

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I Think About

I often wonder why we work.

Of course not including the obvious need for financial stability for our daily needs and incessant wants.

I think about why we work.

What makes us get up in the morning?

What keeps us awake at night?

I think about what drives us everyday to at least wish to be better than who we were yesterday? 

Better in many forms. 

Stronger, fiercer, bigger, brighter, sharper, bolder, more fluent, more courageous, wanting to be more.

I think about what makes us tick? What puts a smile on our face? What makes us want? What pushes us further?

I think about faith. 

Faith in God. Our one true source of our being. Our Savior. Our daily grace.

I think about what purpose we have on earth? Why were we born? What is our mission? Why we lived? Why we are who we are?

I think about life. 

Its disappointments and pains. Its triumphs. The laughter that comes from the heart. Friends. The happiness of getting to know new friends. Comfort. Comfort felt with each other’s company.

I think about love. 

Love that keeps us going. Love for a son. Love for a spouse. Love for love. Love for life.

I think about waking up. Waking up each day, refreshed, ready to take on anything.

I think about rest. 

Resting in God. Resting in our faith. Assured by our dreams. Dreams of a bigger, brighter tomorrow. Something we look forward to.

I think about retirement. 

Staying home. Resting. Not worrying about work. Assured by a solid retirement fund to enjoy the twilight years.

I think about everything in between. 

Our career. Why we build it, only to fade away, slowly, surely.

I think about time. 

How we can never take it back. How it passes, oh so steadily.

I think about life. 

My dreams. My love for my life. My hope for my life to be better than yesterday. My hope for something better. For anything better.

For bigger dreams. For happiness that does not fade. For hope that never ends.

I think about all these things. 

Now, at this moment, I think about God’s gifts – my mind to think, my heart to feel, my soul to endure and my life to live – not only for what I think about, but most importantly, for what I was made for.

I don’t know yet for sure why. But I will think about how I can find out.

With God. And with Him by my side – I never have to think about anything. 

I just gotta have faith.

Nostalgic

I try and reminisce on my past.

A lot of things I miss here. A lot of things that made up me. The me who now faces the world with more confidence, subverted insecurities, but still living life with the incessant intent to belong and find a ‘home’.

Home can come in many forms. Family. Work. Love. Life.

In all the different experiences that made up my DNA, one things is for sure – I wouldn’t be me without the things I left behind.

It is so easy to turn away – turn away from a past love, a former best friend, an old habit, a long time crush, single-days, credit card bills. Everything can be left behind if you find the willpower to do so.

But I believe that it is in the trying to find again that’s hardest. That sickening moment when you feel your memories creeping up at you making you miss them the most. Making you want to go back. Making you experience that cringe-worthy feeling when you ponder whether or not you made the right choice.

Though you know conceptually that you did, but you know emotionally that you want to go back.

It is quite difficult to do – accepting the fact that you may have chosen a different path. Though now, you will never know what it feels like. You can only surmise.

And that not knowing makes it the hardest.

I want to go back to the good old days – where everything was comfortable and when you felt at home

Now I dont know whether I am missing the feeling of being at home, or the “home”.

A lot of consequences of decisions made, but one things for sure, we were never made to stay in one place. We shouldnt have evolved as a limb laden organism with stretchy arms and legs.

We are made to move – whether it is to move away from misery or to move on to perceived better things, no matter how difficult.

I think we also have to come to terms with the fact that we would want to go back. For many reasons. But one thing remains the same, the need to trust a plan bigger than our fears and bigger than all our hopes and dreams combined.

For it is in trusting God’s plan can we find peace. In our heart, our soul, our mind and our being. And if only for this twinge of hope that we come to believe that better things await, they everything should be worth it.

No buts. No what ifs.

Only what could be’s and more importantly, what will be.

#Du30 to Do-30: 30 Things to Change from Within

Riding on the hyped and much talked about win of (arguably) one of the most popular presidentiables in recent years, I decided to create my own version of the (hashtag) Du30 – aptly called “Do-30”.

What is it?

“Do-30” is definitely not intended as a bio of president-elect, nor a political analysis of why he chose his publicized cabinet members to date.

My very own “Do-30” is a list of 30 things I am hoping (no, scratch that), I am committing to achieve to signify my individual pledge to be part of Duterte’s much-celebrated and hoped for (must I dare say prayed for) campaign for change which as everyone knows, was the single definitive reason why he won the hearts (and votes) of millions of Filipinos.

My “Do-30” List:

1) I will not be tempted to offer a bribe to a traffic enforcer who gives me a ticket for whatever out-of-this world reason he can think of.

2) I will try and follow all the rules and processes in a government agency, no matter how unreasonable, without muttering a single, sarcastic remark to any government officer who is processing my document. Believe me, this is extremely difficult.

3) I will not befriend anyone from any government agency, offering any form of reward, to “expedite” the process so I can finish at half the time.

4) I will follow the red traffic light. From now on, it means stop. And not “check if there’s an MMDA and drive quickly if there’s none since there’s no incoming car yet”.

5) I will not drink and drive. Not even with 2 bottles.

6) I will not hold my phone with one hand and the steering wheel with another, even if I can.

7) I will follow simple pedestrian rules like no crossing even if would take me an extra 5 to 10 mins to go up the overpass to cross.

8) I will pray for local officials who gatekeep our well-earned tax money, may they be strong enough to resist the temptation of greed and wealth.

9) I will take the extra mile to look for a local equivalent of a certain product at least once every other purchase.

10) I will aim to pay small kindness to people who provide us service – like in fastfoods and restos.

11) I will absorb all issues (political, social, economic) with a grain of salt. Be mindful that media nowadays are not 100% bias-free (pardon my French). Research issues, be in the know. We need more rational than emotional Filipinos taking a stand – and acting on it.

12) I will remember our history. Leverage the internet, look up your leaders. How capable are they? What are the policies they care about? What do we know about their agenda? Are they more popular than valuable? Ask questions – that is what our Facebook news feed is for.

13) I will speak up – not based on what I feel but based on analyzed data and verified information.

Warning:
Not all web articles shared by friends are legit, some are done by paid-per-word propagandists who stir up emotions than induce thought.

14) I will care about the country. And I mean, really care about it. Find time to uplift what’s good in Filipinos rather than dwell on what’s bad.

15) I will care about the environment. I mean, really, what is so hard with throwing your trash in the trash bin. Seriously? Seeing trash right beside a bin is gravely disappointing. Who do you expect to pick up for you?

16) I will talk about issues more than I talk about people.

17) I will harness my talent. We all have it. The question is – what are we doing with our talent to make our community and not just our companies – better?

18) I won’t ask people to change if I don’t stand up for that same change I hope to see.

19) I will think long-term. I will not dwell on tagpi solutions. I have a brain bigger than other animals for a reason.

20) I will abide by community over Individualism. There’s no other way.

22) I will ask instead of bash. Media are not the only people allowed to ask questions. If you wish to ask a public figure, go to his Facebook account, and ask.

23) Be the change you want to see. If you haven’t changed, then shut the hell up.

24) I will give respect to gain respect.

25) I will learn to discourse. I will befriend those who oppose me.

26) I will pay it forward because I know a little kindness goes a long way.

27) I will practice a little integrity because I know it goes a long way.

28) I will read everyday because the world wide web was not only made for selfies, likes and retweets.

29) I will practice prudence in thought and speech.

30) I will pray whole-heartedly. In the end, goodness always prevails. No matter how long, how far, how difficult, how excruciating, how long-winding – my God, our God, always, always wins.

Feel free to comment and post your own “Do-30”. May this jump-start a self-reflective journey towards not just expecting a single President to change the country for us, but to ignite our very own personalized journey for that same change we hope to experience with every single change in leadership.

Until my next post. ūüĎä

10 Things I Learned After 10 Years of Working

1. Money can never buy fulfillment and engagement.

2. You will always find horrible bosses and co-workers. But you need not be a horrible version of you to survive. Bombard them instead with kindness and empathy, no matter how difficult, and it will surely pay off in the long run.

3. Look at how you spend your time. Do you have time left for what’s important? Or better yet, carve out time for the most important relationships in your life. Work commitments should always come after.

4. Do not treat work as your whole life. It isn’t. Neither should your self-worth be anchored on what you do. Rather, we should give importance to who we are with what we do. Character over position.

5. Stay true to your core. Politics is real. But authenticity will always take precedence over politicking if you work hard enough to overcome the challenges.

6. Do not apple pick what you received from your previous companies. Let go. There’s a reason why you left in the first place. Appreciate the promise of the future.

7. Do not be too in love with yourself and what you’ve achieved – everything came from God. Your skills, talents and abilities. Everything.

8. Stay humble. Or learn to humble yourself again and again no matter how far up the ladder you are.

9. Restrain yourself from working purely for money. Wealth can be taken away in the blink of an eye. But who you are inside will remain with you forever.

10. Find your contribution and do it with all your heart.

17 Things I Learned Before Turning 32

With the trend nowadays of publishing “list-icles” (list-articles), I create my own list of 17 things I learned looking back at the last 32 years of my life, or maybe, more specifically, looking back at the last 2 months I had the chance to reset and re-assess where I am, where I’ve been, and where I hope to be.

I know there are (and will be) more, but as of June 12, 2015 – fitting that it coincided with our Independence Day – do I realize these 17 things which mark my own celebration of my personal independence and freedom from anything and everything that is weighing me down, one way or another.

So, here goes – the 17 freaking things I learned before turning 32.

1. I learned that sometimes, all you have to do is see things through.

2. I learned that to get somewhere, you must have first planted the seeds and toil it out. That it will not be as easy for you as you would like.

3. I learned that time is currency in itself, and I need to weigh out the relative importance and significance of every single thing I will do if it will add to my life cup and only do things where I can say to myself after, regardless of outcome, “That was worth it.”

4. I learned to be kind, most especially to myself.

5. I learned that a perfect world does not exist. Perfection (or otherwise) is created only in the mind.

6. I learned to qualify my relationships and make amends, that being in a meaningful relationship with people is much more important that being in a relationship with your bank account.

7. I learned the trans-formative power of God’s word, where I get my strength each and every day when I feel down and out.

8. I learned that it’s OK to make a mistake, or think that you made a mistake. 
At the end of the day, it’s not the mistake that is important, but how you picked yourself up from the mistake and pull yourself back together from kissing pavements.

9. I learned that I needed to heal what needs to be healed in my life – relationships I have been putting off or have placed in the back-burner because of work that never loved me back.

10. I learned that often, we need to really experience what’s real, and actually go through the often difficult exercise to realize that you were, or have been, in a good position all along.

11. I learned to trust, that God never intends for unhappiness to pervade in our lives. He never wants to see us lonely. He not once wished ill or misfortune or regret to envelope our thoughts.

Sometimes, you just have to make room and wait, smiling and patient, and allow Him to create even bigger miracles than you can ever imagine.

12. I learned that God can change your life in an instant, only if you allow Him to.

13. I learned that you must first learn to be at peace with who you are – good and bad, right or wrong, rich or poor – and trust, that you are exactly where He intended you to be, no more no less.

14. I learned to let go of the past to be at peace with the future, because I can never be fully accept what’s to come if I am still holding to what I lost.

15. I learned to pull myself together every time I feel like disintegrating, which is most of the time, every single day.

16. I learned that no matter how much we take control, we never truly can, not without His grace.

17. And I learned that you will never be able to fully and truly know yourself Рwho you are inside out. Only God can do that.

And with that, I wait for 2 more months before finally turning 32 and officially not being in the Gregorian calendar anymore.

Calendar or not, I will hold on to these 17 things and look forward to 32 more years in this life and beyond, patting myself on the back and reassuring myself that it will always, always be alright.

Featured Blog: Wait But Why

I am a reluctant nerd. Nerd in the sense that I really love to read. I love putting on my glasses, picking a quiet corner, mixing a¬†Great¬†Taste White cup (unpaid plug) … and read, and read, and read some more.

I am not going to be hypocritical and claim that I read the high-brow books and dissertations nor pore over brain-draining journals or news sites.

What I love to go through¬†are 1) quality, well-written, entertaining feature articles; 2) those¬†free, downloadable pdfs¬†whenever you subscribe to a site’s mailing list promising to make me a better human in 10 simple steps; and 3) those select, and very, very few, uber-witty blogs.

(Quick note: When you download the¬†Pocket¬†app in your smart phone,¬†you can subscribe to their weekly e-mail recommending legitimate and web-worthy articles from various sources¬†tackling diverse and highly¬†informative¬†topics such as¬†understanding the human psyche, describing how world leaders’ rose¬†to power¬†or sharing pragmatic, science-based¬†parenting tips.)

Ok, so going back to my point, I vividly recall that day when I renewed my passport in the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) branch in AliMall which as you can expect, took most of my should-have-been-productive day.  While I was sitting in the waiting area, I remember coming across an interesting article featured by Pocket in its weekly digest.

The title¬†read:¬†“Taming the Mammoth: Why You Should Stop Caring What Other People Think”. ¬†This struck me most especially since this was around the time when¬†I was already contemplating on¬†making that long-awaited but much-feared career shift and¬†I was curious whether it¬†would tackle exactly what I was going through at the time.

When I clicked on the link, I was directed to this odd-looking blog with a¬†header of a king (the one in playing cards) with stick figures on it. ¬†The blog was aptly named¬†“Wait But Why”.

After reading the first few paragraphs of the article, I was immediately hooked!

The “Taming the Mammoth”¬†article was extremely¬†witty, funny-in-the-intelligent-kind-of-way,¬†providing¬†simple yet powerful visuals¬†to¬†shed light on¬†a highly relatable topic of societal pressure and its impact on individuals’ life decisions and actions. Something which I believe most people, if not all,¬†have experienced¬†at least once in their life.

The article centered on two characters, the Social Survival Mammoth (or Mammoth for short) and the Authentic Voice (or AV for short).

The Mammoth represented all kinds of pressure we place upon ourselves, may it be societal, familial, political, or¬†personal in nature. ¬†These comprise the¬†should’s¬†in our life – how we¬†should¬†act, who we¬†should¬†marry, what course¬†should¬†we take, what kind of image¬†should¬†we project, what belief system¬†should¬†we abide by¬†and so on and so forth.

The AV, on the other hand, is the discreet, always-placed-in-the-back burner inner self we shamefully hide from the world from fear of rejection, condemnation or rash judgment from others.

The sad realization upon reading the article’s main message is that¬†no one ever pays as much attention to us as we would like to believe. We mistakenly think that a spotlight is placed on us, when the reality of it is that each person is really minding their own business and they¬†also think that a spotlight is shone on them, too.

What turned me into an instant fan was how the article used witty, straightforward visuals (some with bubble text) to emphasize a point. These are simple stick figures which say a lot and help emphasize a point by depicting real-life scenarios and experiences in comical ways. (See sample 4-shirts-2below.)

circles-2

Mind you, the posts in¬†“Wait But Why”¬†are¬†not exactly eezy-breezy,¬†1-page, done-in-5-minutes kind of read. ¬†Articles here¬†are lengthy and well-researched¬†and you must really have a significant¬†amount of free time to spare to get through just one post. ¬†Some¬†are even written in parts.

The blog’s approach and casual writing style (sometimes or often with curse words) is a refreshing¬†departure from the usual text-heavy, infographic-driven, sensationalized articles spread across¬†the web, mostly populated¬†with free ads and annoying pop-ups in between.

The blog also forces a mental work-out when the authors deep dive into really complex stuff such as artificial intelligence or trying to count how many billion/ trillion/ gazillion people can fit in the solar system.

But if you’re looking for really good stuff – and I mean, really, really good stuff amidst endless memes and Facebook news feeds, this quirky and charming¬†blog might do the trick.

I promise, no scratch that, I guarantee (in bold letters so you can hear my conviction) that you will find Wait But Why to be gripping, amusing, extensive, whip-smart and sardonically funny without trying too hard.

For starters, here’s my top 5 picks to launch¬†your¬†Wait But Why experience (just click on the article¬†you’d like to read first):

1) 10 Types of Odd Friendships You’re Probably Part Of
2) Japan, and How I Failed to Figure it Out
3) The Great Perils of Social Interaction
4) Why Generation Y Yuppies Are Unhappy
5) God’s Wounded Ego

But since we all have different tastes and preferences, feel free to browse through their archives, or pick from the Popular posts tab on the lower right portion of their main page and choose an article which jumps to you the most.

I assure you¬†that you will also fall in love with Tim and Andrew’s wit.

Honestly, I think the soul and tone (save for the F* words) of Wait But Why greatly influenced my blog’s own voice, or at least the kind of voice I am¬†hoping to achieve – casual, real, conversational, authentic.

Like how musicians share their influences, I proudly share that this blog greatly inspired and influenced me to write this blog using my Authentic Voice and be as aware as possible of the Social Survival Mammoth that aim to please and impress rather than be.

Like a true-blue fan girl, I hope that you, too, can find the same kind of inspiration and authenticity I found in Wait But Why to help you in your journey of finding your own Authentic Voice amidst the overwhelming external pressure we needlessly place upon ourselves.

I am crossing my fingers that Tim and Andrew will come across this post to validate how they are doing a really good job in producing web-worthy, extremely well-written content amidst a vast and endless web space dotted with shallow and sloppy articles that do not care a bit about its readers.

I truly hope you enjoy this featured blog and become a fangirl (or boy) yourself. ūüėČ

To jump-start your Wait But Why experience, click here.

Happy reading!