Day 14: Painting, Writing, Being

Drawing my  Lunchboxdiet  dinner last night

Drawing my Lunchboxdiet dinner last night

Living with hypothyroidism can be quite tedious. I have to follow a 1,200 calorie diet and workout on a daily basis in order to maintain normal thyroxin levels. I also take thyroxin before breakfast so I have to make sure that I take my medicine and eat brekkie at the same time everyday. I was diagnosed when I was thirteen, and I am now thirty, so I am already used to it. However, I still have to design my life around my condition. I cannot take graveyard or shifting work. I also have to avoid working in stressful environments. I have to get enough sleep and avoid vices such as smoking and drinking. This is why I choose to live mindfully so that I can have a quality existence even if my condition has limitations which shocks many people. 

Drawing is calming. Go check out  Cafe Lugud , a social enterprise coffee brand.

Drawing is calming. Go check out Cafe Lugud, a social enterprise coffee brand.

Painting makes me happy! Go check out  Cafe Lugud , a social enterprise coffee brand.

Painting makes me happy! Go check out Cafe Lugud, a social enterprise coffee brand.

My diet is easy to observe because I have already trained myself to be disciplined with my portions. Right now, I am subscribing to a food delivery service, but my current paycheck is insufficient to cover the cost. I have to improvise by using nutrition apps and buying prudently at our cafeteria. This will commence in June and I cannot wait to begin eating "normal" food, albeit in limited quantities. 

I cheer myself up by drawing and painting my food and coffee. This makes me appreciate the nourishment and caffeine more than the limited quantity that I am allowed to consume. Rather than eating for the sake of simply indulging, I make sure to eat like I mean it. I drink coffee to fight the sluggishness that comes with my condition, and I do not shy away from third wave coffeehouses if my budget permits. After all, there is nothing more awakening than a cuppa with unique flavor and story. 

Writing has helped me focus on the best things in life, such as my home, my family, my relationship, and the fact that I am working in a safe and stable company. I get to realize the nuances of the mundane with my daily writing. Now that I am also in the middle of my 100 Days Project, I get to find the story in each instance and the flow in every sequence. I get to appreciate the ordinary and filter out the moments I would rather let go of. Naturally, writing has also enabled me to learn from my mistakes. Words keep me grounded without holding me back from enjoying the best things in life.

I may not be the best painter and most verbose writer, but I paint, write, and live what my senses perceive in HD. It is my hope that you will also find your flow so that you can be creative in living and being.

 

Day 13: Speakoutsam Serves

My magic hour is 8:00am. When I started writing everyday, I noticed that this is my peak time for producing quality output. It also helps that I have the whole office to myself so I have silence and solitude to keep me going. 

I like keeping my desk cluttered with my paints, journals, and art materials. Visual clutter motivates me to ironically empty my mind through art journaling and writing. This setup gives me the semblance of control in an environment which I am not yet in charge of. 

Journals, paints, and coffee are my creative essentials. 

Journals, paints, and coffee are my creative essentials. 

I have observed that most writers put off their creative goals because they are busy with work and other commitments. I must admit that I was once like this too. I blamed writer's block and a full schedule for not putting up my blog sooner. I also claimed that being in finance since I graduated in 2008 has not helped me improve my writing. However, I realized that these are merely excuses. Everything changed when I took my Braver Goals  class with Arriane Serafico. She taught me to create a budget, follow a schedule, and commit to a fixed timeframe to finally launch my blog. I also realized that I need help with initial content generation. I then chose to enroll in the 15 Days of Writing True and Writing Room classes to improve my skill and technique. Since then, I have pinpointed my strengths and areas for improvement. I also keep it real in the official class Facebook pages, where I read my classmates' works and post mine.  I am still a work in progress, but I can say that I love writing because it gets me excited to live mindfully and be thankful for everything that is worth experiencing and writing about.

As I am now on Day 13 of my 15 Days of Writing True class, I am committing myself to continue blogging and sharing my life online. Sharing my work to others was nerve-wracking, until I eventually got the hang of it. I still have my 100 Days Project, so the habit and discipline of writing is here to stay (and even beyond that 100-day mark!). From my interactions with my classmates, I have noticed how merely posting my works could already help them. In the same manner that reading others' essays have helped put things into perspective for me, sharing my thoughts might inspire someone else or drive others to dialogue. My voice is light and readable. I know that I can use it to motivate others to write and promote my passion for good food, books, and my advocacy (social entrepreneurship). 

I hope that our online community at the 15 Days of Writing True will foster collaboration and further interaction beyond the class curriculum. It motivates me continue writing if I could be of help in any way to help others. I will continue to speak out so I could serve myself by validating my voice, and driving others to do the same as well.

Day 12: Searching Through Sam

View from my office window

View from my office window

I am fortunate to work in an area where there are trees. I find greenery soothing and comforting. While I will always be a city girl at heart, I find myself being drawn to pocket parks and sidewalks with leafy shade. Whenever I am stressed out, I look outside and think things through while staring at trees. I enjoy lunchtime walks to see leaves falling with the wind and I find the sun to have a rejuvenating effect in me. The same goes when I walk to the train station after work. I pass by tree-lined sidewalks because they seem to energize me as I make my way through the rush hour crowd.

I love trees so much that I prefer to workout at our local park. I did not avail of a gym membership because the idea of breathing in recycled air during cardio exhausts me as it is. I look forward to my weekend aerodance classes because I get to be surrounded by trees and plants. The happy paradox of oxygenating greens and repetitive dance moves motivates me to finish my routine. I feel renewed by the time I end my workout with a brisk walk around the park, because I am breathing in relatively fresher air in the city, thanks to my leafy companions.

If you will search through me, you will find that I am powered by coffee, but propelled by trees. An awakening cup of coffee and a burst of energy from trees are enough to jumpstart my day so I could hustle smarter. I also like dropping by chapels in the middle of the city to align my goals with a higher power. I probably do not need to search thoroughly anymore as I seem to be aware of what keeps me going. I just need to nurture my growth mindset to creatively live a more meaningful life.

Day 11: Just Keep Writing

Scribbled a quote by my   Braver Goals   mentor  Arriane Serafico

Scribbled a quote by my Braver Goals mentor Arriane Serafico

The best decision I have made this month was to launch my blog along with the first day of my 15 Days of Writing True class. I have observed in my previous blogs during university that I tend to write sporadically if I do not have a guide or an end-goal in mind for all of my posts. This class has then propelled me forward with daily assignments and the discipline of writing at the same time everyday. I chose 8:00AM because I had the whole office to myself and I could focus on writing as my tasks have not piled up yet. I enjoyed it so much that I also began my 100 Days Project, which entailed a commitment to produce written output for the next 100 days. I also observed the need to hone my technique, so I enrolled in the Writing Room class. I have decided to integrate my assignments for this class in my 100 Days Project and so far, I am feeling the flow.

My goal-setting class Braver Goals has inculcated in me the urgency to commence my passion project and do everything I can to make it work for the next 90 days. I chose my blog as my passion project because I want to write again on a daily basis. I used my hard-earned money to fund my annual subscription. Incurring the expense along with my basic needs has aligned my blog with my priorities. The simple knowledge that I have invested this much to fund my blog has given me the drive to write everyday and not slack off.

You might be thinking that I could have just started writing on a free blog. I have done that in the past and it has not prompted me to be diligent with my daily posts. When I paid for my domain name and website, it gave me the responsibility to fulfill my dream. I invested my funds, so now it is time for me to write. I cannot afford to have off-days because I worked hard to make this happen. For that simple reason, I have seamlessly found my flow.

Writing everyday has prompted me to be more mindful with everything. Every experience is a potential blog entry, so I savored my food, coffee, and books. I appreciated the lessons that only actual blogging could teach me, such as getting over typographical errors and editing my work. I also learned to write on the fly, which enabled me to economize on time and effort. On some days that I would feel insecure about my voice or worried that by the time my classes are over, I might run out of things to write, I counter them with action. I just write.

This blog is important to me because it is my dream to give my thoughts a home. I want my heart to be rooted in this home, so that my voice could continue speaking out the words I want to say. I want my flow to seamlessly continue, and it is finally happening after many years of not having the courage to be responsible for my dream. This is helping me find reasons to write and to drown out the noise and babble. With each day of my 100 Days Project, I am developing my writing habit as I hone my voice. And with that, I am being brave by sharing myself with every entry here on my island online.

Day 10: Intersecting Ironies Intercepted

Editing a previously written work, especially a personal essay, can be daunting if the original version was composed with emotions running high. I was tasked to do that for today's challenge and I have decided to work on Day 4: Intersecting Ironies. I also thought of reworking the essay in longhand using the official printable class stationery. 

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I ended up enjoying the activity. There is always room for improvement, and this essay definitely went through some changes. As you can see below, I have crossed out a number of words. Editing is a tedious job, and I have mad props to those who do this for a living. 

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Now that I plan to write often in my blog, I definitely have to be more diligent with my posts. Editing and revising are mandatory in order for my writing to attain street cred. I am grateful for this exercise and I look forward to applying it to my daily writing.  

Day 8: Lay Day

I appreciate that today is a break from the usual topics we have in the #15DaysOfWritingTrue class. We are tackling the very real ordeal called Writer's Block which can be caused by burnout, among other things. I used to experience it myself, until I put up this website and realized that writing can be a daily discipline. I picked a specific time each day (8am!) and wrote, no matter what. This everyday habit has banished my writer's block for good and maybe daily writing might help for you too. However, I do realize that enriching our lives in a holistic manner is more important than any discipline or writing technique. After all, we need meaningful experiences to draw from in order to produce quality work. I have previously shared about my habit of being thankful, and this has greatly motivated me to count my blessings and maximize my resources in order to have richer moments, memories, and lessons.

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I started my day with cheap coffee from 7-Eleven. I love buying my daily brew from there because I could see the arabica beans being ground and I love hearing the whole process. The multi-sensory experience magically wakes me up, along with the smell of my piping hot cuppa. I commenced my other e-course, Writing True and published my first output before checking out what my Day 8 assignment for #15DaysOfWritingTrue is. I have already fired up my brain so the productive break was a welcome distraction. I ate my breakfast and continued sipping my coffee. I listened to classical music and just felt so thankful to be alive, to be early at work, and to be in good health. I also realized how integrated my whole creative journey is and shared it so that others may learn from it. 

For me, taking another writing course alongside this one is effective in honing my skill and discipline. My daily coffee run has also helped awaken not just my tired and sleepy self, but my imagination as well (did you know that eavesdropping in busy places can trigger writing ideas? Just make sure you do it legally and discreetly, okay?). Lastly, having my own website has enabled me to have full accountability for all my posts and this has inspired me to write, write, and write.

Live your life around your passion while never forgetting your purpose. I assure you, everything will be all write.

Day 7: Word Yearn

1. There has to be a word for the high I feel after cardio. How my reluctance to even move has been replaced by superhuman radiance, and how my skin even glows at that.  

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2. There has to be a word for how coffee revives not just my sleepy self, but my soul as well. How my ideas converge as the caffeine flows through my veins. How my neurons burst with processing my life as I know it and how I will interact with the world today. How coffee just keeps me eager to fight even when my battles feel so futile to others. And when I win, I still have coffee because I want to feel the rush all over again. 

 

Enjoy this cutie at Commune!☕️ 

Enjoy this cutie at Commune!☕️ 

3. There has to be a word for the bliss I feel whenever I work alone in the morning. My best ideas pop up whenever I tackle tasks first thing in the day. I want a word for how I just enjoy this solo working state, because it makes me look forward to being in it again and again.  

4. There has to be a word for the feeling of being beautiful whenever I'm with the one I love. 

5. There has to be a word for the triumph of finding a book you want in a sea of options in a bookstore or library. How amidst shelves and shelves of books you just find a promising gem which could potentially move you. And how not purchasing it is just a sin, because it is like letting go of inspiration which was practically handed over to you by the muses.  

 

Day 6: Chutzpah

It is 7:33am and I am on board the P2P to Ortigas. I am still in Cubao, which is already halfway to my destination. Cubao also happens to be location of provincial bus stations, so there is a bottleneck in this area which while expected, still never ceases to upset. You see, I left the house early (6:00am) but the MRT was not functioning to its full capacity and ordinary buses were already filled to the brim. I tried booking an Uber or Grab but both were cancelled. This was probably because the university I am working for is not a popular destination. I had to consider the P2P bus then which does not have stops in between two points. I was greeted by a longer queue than usual, as a result of the defective MRT operations. 

The difficulty of getting to work early has initially angered me. I woke up so early and prepared for work while it was still dark outside because I was keen on getting to the office on time. In fact, I enjoy the solitude in my cube before most of my officemates arrive. I could no longer focus on my podcast so I turned it off. Good thing my recent Braver Goals course has taught me how to focus on the status quo and employ the usual breathing techniques to get over setbacks so I can hustle without missing a beat. 

Before I knew it, I was already feeling more calm. I observed the crowd who were with me in the queue and I empathized with them. I am sure that they were also worried if they will make it to work on time. They probably have more problems than I do. In fact, I felt ashamed that I was already panicking about the possibility of not receiving my pay in full today due to tardiness. Some people carry burdens beyond my comprehension  I felt that I just had to be present in the waiting game without feeling desperate.  

I also realized that this situation is beyond my control. Similar to my resignation due to change in management in my previous job, this is something that I should not blame myself for. I cannot even blame others for this. Life has surprising ways to push us away from our comfort zones, so we just have to manage how we respond to them.  

There is so much clamor for us to assure ourselves that we got this every single time. While this is possible in an ideal world, we all know that the real world can be trying. This is why I have decided early on that I have to be courageous even when I feel so small. We have also been taught that it is wise to fake it 'til we make it, and it has worked for me through the years. I faked my bravery until I already felt that I could finish something that makes me insecure or insufficient. Today's transportation challenge has triggered this faux courage (fauxrage?) until I got into the groove and felt that man, I got chutzpah. I can get through this morning commute and whatever happens, I will survive this Monday. Even when I am a little nervous about the deliverables that I will be assigned to (I'm only a month into my current job), I am channeling my chutzpah (that's bravery, boldness, and audacity in Hebrew, according to Mr. Webster!) until it already feels real. We do create our perception of reality after all, so I encourage you to make it a brave one everyday!

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P.S. I made it to my 8:30am shift! 

Day 5: Routine Warrior

Can i just say that i'm really happy it's Friday already!

I can't help but join in the collective relief that most of us have today. Last Monday, we had Labor Day (I still instinctively type "labour". That's what I get for spending five years in an Australian company!) here in the Philippines so we had the day off. I spent the day working out, running errands (like getting my legs waxed and having my pixie trimmed), starting the #15DaysOfWritingTrue (I submitted my entry from Bo's Coffee because their purpose is displayed on each cafe and I like companies which are sure of their big why), and eating Good Burgers with my boyfriend (I always order their veggie margherita). So you can just imagine how hard it was to get back to the daily grind last Tuesday. I started my day by working out with YouTube cardio videos every morning until I survived the morning hustle until today. I feel as if this week was just a challenging opener for this month so we all deserve a pat on the back for going this far!

Drew the flowers before logging out of work yesterday. The lettering was quickly done before I wrote today's assignment 🗒 

Drew the flowers before logging out of work yesterday. The lettering was quickly done before I wrote today's assignment 🗒 

Before the weekend commences, I have to ensure that I get to submit all my deliverables for work. I also have modules for my Braver Goals course to complete after lunch. That is why before everything else, I really dedicated time in the morning to write this assignment for Day Five. I cannot believe I'm already one-third into this course. I am enjoying it tremendously and I think the best indicator for its wondrous effect on my life is how it motivated me to begin this blog and just write.

I feel that my love for routine and early mornings has developed in me an instinct to be a warrior in the sense that I truly embrace my surroundings and people without compromising my sense of being. Like any warrior, I always begin each day with the affirmation that I got this. Even when I'm too sleepy to workout, I still do my ab routine. Even when I do not feel like driving myself to the parking lot, I still push myself to enter my car. Even when I am already tired of eating diet food, I still savor each bite, thinking that due to my hypothyroidism, this is the only way I could nourish myself. You see, my thyroid disorder (or better yet, condition) is a lifetime one and I have to take thyroxine supplements for the rest of my existence if I want to live normally. Believe me, I've tried not taking care of myself and I had falling hair and weight gain. So I really had to go back to my endocrinologist to make sure that I'm getting my twice-a-year blood tests and that my thyroxine supplements are attuned to my blood levels. I also had to work with a dietician-run food delivery service so I get professionally-planned meals every weekday. I also workout each day to jumpstart my metabolism and improve my overall health. One of the side effects of my condition is chorionic fatigue. Coffee helps, but through the years, I have observed that a good cardio and ab routine can work wonders on keeping me on my toes and reducing drowsiness. You have no idea how many coffee-induced days I have wherein I would still be sleepy and I would end up napping while standing up in the MRT or bus. Yup, true story. Some people say that my ability to sleep while standing up is a talent, but really it is more of survival for me. When I workout, I tent to prevent this from happening, but sometimes I still do. Again, I just have to do what I have to do. If it means sleeping while standing up, then so be it. There are crazier things that could happen than that.

Hanging out: EDSA edition

Hanging out: EDSA edition

My daily commute is unpredictable because public transport is unreliable in Metro Manila. By the time I alight my car at the parking lot, I have to be prepared for anything, I love listening to the radio or podcasts because I get to learn about the news and business while stuck in traffic. (Reese Fernandez, the founder of social enterprise R2R, has a kickass list of podcasts which I used to jumpstart my podcast collection.) I usually take the MRT since it still has a relatively few amount of passengers before 7AM. If the queue is unbearable, I take the P2P bus. Walking to the P2P bus station means crossing two footbridges along EDSA. I just have to keep moving to the beat of whatever I'm listening to, whether it is a pop track with techno infused elements (aren't they all these days?) or a podcast on startup businesses (I'm not even into business but allow me to geek out on this. It is fascinating to listen to brave people hustling their way to the top!). Once I get to the CBD where my university is based, I walk to my workplace and buy coffee. Nothing like the smell of freshly-brewed arabica rewards all of my senses and makes me feel so alive and thankful for another day on earth (I'm not exaggerating, coffee moves me to pray). Speaking of prayer, I always drop by our chapel to check-in on our Creator and to plead for help with my tasks today. What I have observed about this is that praying makes you conscious. It makes you realize how badass (the rhetorical irony!) you are just to survive each day in this world and that you can still get some energy in every mitochondrion in each cell that you have in your body to hustle harder today. You do not have to be religious or even believe in God to do this. Just reflect before starting your workday. You will be amazed on how mindfulness and gratitude can propel you to produce better output without losing yourself.

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So after my shift, I walk to the MRT or P2P bus station, depending on what my best commuting option is for that time of the day. I am usually wiped-out after this, so I drive to  the park near my house to buy coconut juice for Php30. That's a whole coconut with the meat and water in it. I ask the vendor to scoop it out of the shell because it entails you to eat the meat like a big chunk of fruit and sip the water with a straw. It makes me feel so island girl-ish, and really, this coconut routine makes me feel cleaner and hydrated after a long day on my feet. 

Easter card from Cez! 

Easter card from Cez! 

Once I get home, I immediately eat dinner. I usually have lean meat with brown rice from my diet service. Last night was special because I also received a card from one of my best friends, Cez, who's based in San Diego. Never mind that Easter was weeks ago. Snail mail never loses its appeal to me, as it reminds me of simpler times. 

Last night's dinner from  Lunchboxdiet

Last night's dinner from Lunchboxdiet

I slept just after receiving an SMS from my boyfriend that he is already home. This morning, I did this same workout and prepped myself for work. I commuted via the MRT (check out this crowd) and I could not be happier when I realized that I'm already immune to crowd. Heck, I can even ride the wave of humanity this early in the morning (think 6:30am). I walked to work while listening to my podcast and just felt amazing because I got through another morning commute and yeah, it's already Friday.

Good morning humanity.  

Good morning humanity.  

I usually end up with wrinkled clothes after being sandwiched between the morning rush of fellow working class heroes. I really do not mind, as my armor can get polished so to speak. 

This is how I am after commuting: my outfit is a mess. Just lemme drink my cuppa and then I'll sort myself out ☕️ 

This is how I am after commuting: my outfit is a mess. Just lemme drink my cuppa and then I'll sort myself out ☕️ 

While our building has a lift, I take the stairs most of the time because I enjoy the walking that much. By the time I reach my cozy nook at the fifth floor, I recharge my fan and turn on my USB one. I'm a cool girl like that. It makes everything easy-breezy, pun intended. 

I'm a cool girl 💁🏻 

I'm a cool girl 💁🏻 

So that is how I am a routine warrior and how I have injected some transcendentalism into the mundane. My fan is still recharging, and my day has just begun. Thank you God for creating me and coffee. 

I hope you will have a freakin' awesome Friday ahead! 

Day 4: Intersecting ironies

Me on a footbridge in the middle of EDSA. By this time, I have turned the music off already so the earbuds are mostly just a prop. 🚦 #nofilter 

Me on a footbridge in the middle of EDSA. By this time, I have turned the music off already so the earbuds are mostly just a prop. 🚦 #nofilter 

I was happy that today's challenge is to write about a thirty-minute detour. I actually did this last night, because I was looking for inspiration that I could draw from for #The100DayProject which I have started yesterday.

After alighting the P2P bus, I walked along the sidewalk instead of entering the mall. I may have been tired from work, but was in dire need of a change of scenery. I was initially worried about tripping over my skirt's hem as I was wearing a floor-length one, but I did not care anymore once I let the symphony of headlights, billboards, vehicle sounds, and traffic wash over me like a wave. I followed the crowd and weaved my way through the sidewalk vendors. They were selling street food which were tempting to try, but I trudged along, focusing on letting the surroundings take me forward, instead of ruining my appetite for dinner.

I was fascinated by the unspoken agreement between the crowd that the only way to go is onward. While I doubt if everyone in the crowd had a sense of purpose, I was certain that at that moment, they knew where home was, and that was where they were headed to. Like them, I let my feet instinctively take me towards the direction of the parking building where my car was waiting for me, but I was not ready to drive home yet. Since I seldom walk along this path, I was impressed as to how this urban tableau has recharged my senses. It is common to think of retreats along tree-lined paths or quiet mountains, so I really was not expecting to feel so connected to my own purpose of creatively sharing myself for the coming days in my writing challenges. I felt inspired by the onward direction of the crowd, the lights and sounds which is commonplace in rush hour traffic, and the fact that I was still walking, despite my fatigue from a hard day's work. I stopped a few times to browse through some of the goods being sold by the vendors. I realized that I ran out of prepaid cellphone load this morning so I topped-up from a peddler on the footbridge. It was after I checked my cellphone credits that I saw the vista which was sprawling in front of me. I was standing on an intersection right in the middle of EDSA, the busiest thoroughfare in Manila. I have just reconnected myself to the world through my prepaid credits, but I have also internally realized my sense of purpose in the center of city lights and the collective courage of the working class.

I am no different from anyone else in that crowd at that moment, but I was still going onward with a renewed sense of self to fuel my creativity. 

I got inside my car and started the engine. My mind was fired up by the spark of awakening I have experienced. I could not wait to share this on a writing challenge, and I was amused as to how I experienced beauty in a polluted and crowded highway.

This morning's thirty-minute scribblings 🎨

This morning's thirty-minute scribblings 🎨

I was inspired enough to bring my watercolors and brushes with me to work today so I could spontaneously do some art journaling whenever I have downtime at work. I got in the office hours prior to my shift (as usual, since I love how quiet my cube is) and was pleasantly surprised to see that today's writing challenge involves thirty minutes of focus. While I do not have the luxury of wandering away from my desk, I had my traveler's notebook and paints with me. I whipped out my journal and just let my hands convey what my mind could not process yet at that time. I also ate my breakfast of pancit and slowly drank the cup of coffee I bought before logging in. I drew roses because I realized that I can still dream amidst the atmosphere of work and transient silence. Before I knew it, my thirty minutes was over. I have produced a page on my art journal while managing to slowly appreciate my breakfast. And then I realized that there is joy in the mundane, if only we will unplug from the noise surrounding us and look inside of us.

So I found my purpose in the middle of EDSA last night, and this morning, I had a mini-break over brekkie. I have wandered without going too far, because I tapped into my creative core. I hope that you will also find yourself in unexpected places and settings, and may this help you move onward.

 

Day 3

Artdori by  Aireescreates . Notebooks are both corporate giveaways.  

Artdori by Aireescreates. Notebooks are both corporate giveaways.  

I adore maps. As you can see in this flatlay, I've incorporated some map-themed elements in my #desklife essentials. So when I saw today's #15daysofwritingtrue challenge, I knew I was in for a treat. 

I set my timer for 15 minutes and just started doodling. I mapped my inner thoughts. Most of them were about my new blog. I've always wanted my own website but I was hesitant to get a domain name because I wasn't financially capable to do so. Fast forward to 2017. While I cannot say that I'm already stable money-wise, I figured out that I cannot delay this blog journey any longer. I just have to embark on building my online home now while I still can. 

I'm 30 years old, with a job and a couple of online courses at the moment. My creativity is being sparked by so many elements but my inspirational pegs remain the same. I am thankful to have discovered Arriane Serafico's  Braver Goals  goal-getting workshop while listening to her podcast,  The Purposeful Creative , because this really pushed me to go beyond my comfort zone. As for my discipline with journaling, I credit this to a a creative journaling workshop I attended with AireesCreates. Mind you, I'm not innately artistic, but her method of believing that everyone is an artist  has changed my perception of creativity. Before I knew it, I was already stocking up on art supplies and attending workshops on brush lettering and food illustration. (If you like snail mail, should check out The Happy Mail Project!)

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I still maintain that reading is the best form of nourishment when it comes to blogging. When it comes to background music, I prefer classical music and whatever is on the radio. I also like listening to  The Beatles Hour from 5AM-6AM. Yes, I'm a morning person!

Self-expression is a form of self-care, and I look forward to growing as a writer through journaling. I hope that you will also find reasons to express yourself along the way!

Day 2

A Simple Triumph

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My new desk is an oasis. My cubicle has white walls, cupboards, and surfaces. In a smattering of concrete facades, a deluge of billboards, and a cacophony of noise, my space inside the School of Sciences and Engineering is my refuge.

I am the Program Officer for the said department in one of the top five universities in the Philippines. I have been here for a month now, and it is a tectonic shift from my previous job. I was the Senior Risk Officer of an Australian BPO for five years, until I resigned due to change in management. Letting go of my job due to circumstances beyond my control was humbling. I did everything I could to fulfill my role for half a decade, so I felt out of sorts to be jobless. I was the type of employee who had systems in place and for once, I did not have a system or map for navigating the murky waters of unemployment. Since I resigned before Christmas, it was pointless to apply when companies were already preparing for the holidays and their year-end reports. I had to wait until 2017 begins to commence my job hunting.

Instead of wallowing in self-pity and feeling sorry for myself, I chose to enjoy the festive season. I spent time with my family in Taipei, caught up with my friends over coffee, and had a meaningful first Christmas with my boyfriend. By the time the new year unfolded, I was certain that I no longer wanted to work in a BPO. I wanted to join the corporate world again, as I used to work in a bank prior to my outsourcing stint. I also narrowed down a possible office location, as I drive halfway to work and commute to and from the parking space.

I read books which were beyond my comfort zone, lived within my means (I was prudent with my savings), joined the country in celebrating the events leading to the Miss Universe pageant, worked out everyday, stuck to my 1,200-calorie diet, and cleaned my room. I gave away books to The Bookstop Project, watched a Bach vs. Beatles concert at the Ayala Museum, and rediscovered the joys of third wave coffee shops. I continued supporting Human Nature and other social enterprises. I did all of these while applying for potential opportunities and attending interviews. Before I knew it, I was being dispatched to a clinic for my pre-employment medical exam and eventually, I was signing my contract at the university.

It was not easy to wait for my corporate job because my qualifications had to be deliberated by board members, and eventually, the Management Committee. I am fortunate that I was picked over other worthy candidates, and that I am able to return to my alma mater. While I currently do not have the luxury to take further studies, I am enjoying my privileges for learning as I have access to numerous seminars and of course, our libraries. Being a voracious reader has enabled me to hunger for knowledge, and I then discovered podcasts which enabled me to learn during my commute. My favorite podcast is The Purposeful Creative by my mentor Arriane Serafico. It was from her episodes that I have discovered online courses which could enhance my skills. I joined her free class, and eventually her paid course Braver Goals. It was through one of the exercises that I realized how much I miss writing and that my One Brave Goal is to start a blog. I researched online for the basic steps in the whole process and decided that I need to sharpen the saw by joining an online writing class. This led me to enrolling in the #15daysofwritingtrue, which I know will allow me to find my voice and overcome my shyness as a writier.

Indeed, my new role in the university allows me to yearn for learning, to pay for my desired online courses, and to finally buy a domain name to jumpstart my blog. This job is my simple triumph. 

This is only the beginning.