Day 100: Life Goes On

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A and I are currently watching a classical concert featuring the music of Astor Piazzolla. We are both fans of tango. He dances it, while I appreciate the music. I am lucky that we were able to buy tickets and that A is here to experience tango music live. There is nothing quite like it.

I am happy to reach the end of my 100 Day Project inside the Ayala Museum, where the concert is being held. I am glad that I have made the commitment to write about my life for 100 Days. I have met some indescribable challenges in my career and health, but I somehow made it work through blogging. I carried on with my life while making it a point to write about my experiences.

My journey has taught me to appreciate my family, friends, and most especially, A. As I approach my thirty-first birthday and jobhunting, I know that I am truly blessed. I will keep on writing, even if the challenge has already ended. After all, I have only just begun.

Day 99: Milk Tea Nostalgia

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I was in Ortigas earlier so I decided to stop by my former workplace. I had my favorite milk tea (which was my usual even before milk teas became trendy). It brought a smile to my face because it reminded me of simpler, happier times. I may not be glad about the recent challenges I have encountered, but that does not mean that I cannot have beautiful memories as a student and employee here. The perfect blend of milk and black tea was anything but bitter. And for Php40, it was an awesome cheap thrill. 

I am no longer angry about things beyond my control. In fact, I am thankful for the opportunities. I am going to charge everything to experience. I am moving on. If I find myself in the area, I know I still have my favorite milk tea to depend on. 

Day 98: Life Goes On

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Yesterday, I turned down a job offer. I had a phone interview with a multinational company, but I realized that I was not the right fit for the job. They were looking for someone who is knowledgeable in network systems. I am not an IT expert, and while I sound good on the phone, I do not think that will translate to effective systems work unless I am given proper training, which the company cannot shoulder. I realized that I should never sell myself short, because I can still find a better job out there.

I had a vermicelli bowl at Pho Hoa for lunch. It was glorious. It was a welcome respite for this day, as my friend cancelled on our get-together due to an illness. I then decided to push through with my day and just enjoy it. I rode the train while it is not rush hour. I roamed around a mall I hardly get to visit. I just wandered and took a break. It was relaxing and I ended up enjoying myself. 

I may not have work but that does not meant that I should be bored at wit's end. Life goes on. It is up to me to make it better, one day at a time. 

Day 97: Calm

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This morning was anything but calm. I worked out as usual, took a shower then proceeded to have breakfast with my family. The reality of things hit me. I'm not working. I'm consuming food which I did not work hard for. I'm drinking coffee I can hardly afford. 

I know that I need to find a new job very soon. But the bitter truth is that jobhunting is not an instant enterprise. For now, I will have to live with it. I have to keep calm. I am better off without my previous circumstances. I can only move on and find something better for me.  

Day 96: Upside-Down

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I recently resigned from my job due to circumstances beyond my control. My routine has been turned upside-down. Suddenly, I am spending more time at home and dependent on my small savings. I am focusing on reading and working out when I am not looking for a new job. Having said that, I realized today that I am more fortunate to be jobless than to be stuck in limbo. Being obliged to follow uncertain directives can only lead to panic, worrying, and demoralizing days. I am better off taking a break rather than being sad. 

I may not have a job right now, but I am able to improve myself through reading and blogging. By working out, I am managing my hypothyroidism. My family and A are supportive of me, so I know I am not alone. Life may be upside-down right now, but I am lucky that things are all looking up. All it takes is optimism and gratefulness in order to appreciate what I have right now, and what I will still become in the future. 

Day 95: Opening Up

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Being on a diet is already a walk in the park for me. I am already used to it, so I intuitively know which food to avoid. I also know my portions so I do not have to be a control freak all the time. When the weekend comes, I am embracing my cheat days with enthusiasm and an open mind. Like today, I had mango cream pie gelato for dessert. It was amazing to finally have a sweet treat. It also reminded me of mango cream pie from Red Ribbon, which was a staple during my childhood. Because I opened my mind and avoided negativity today, I had a nostalgic sweet ending to a lovely meal. Same goes with life. If I am more open to new experiences and opportunities, then I can be surprised by the good things that will come my way. I am letting life lead me by the hand. Who knows, I may even have a dessert to remember. 

Day 94: Closure

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I am claiming my clearance today. The finality of everything is hitting me, and I could not be happier. I want nothing more than to move on from the pain, the anger, and the state of being stuck. It is unhealthy to hold on to these negative emotions, and it will only pull me back. I cannot afford to have bad vibes. I want to be open to better opportunities and there is no greater feeling than having closure. 

I will be wiser moving forward when it comes to jobhunting. I will make sure to ask questions and be stronger in standing my ground. I will continue being loyal to my loved ones and once there are questionable factors, I will discern whether they are worth fighting for. I am worth more than the heavy price of uncertainty. I am worth the closure.  

Day 93: Enjoying Life

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I am at a time in my life right now wherein options are not readily available. I am jobless, and I am confined to live within my meager savings. I can only workout in the park because it is affordable for me. However, I refuse to remain stuck in the middle of nowhere. I am enjoying life because I am on a break. It is unusual to have free time, so I am making the most out of it by reading and blogging. Also, it is a time to reflect and be thankful, because being jobless is better than working in a role that will get me nowhere.

I ate lunch today at Coco Ichibanya. I had my favorite mushroom curry set. It was lovely and it reminded me to be grateful for my life, my blessings, and the simple ability to eat out. I am happy to experience the best that life has to offer. I should really quit dwelling on the past from now on.

Day 91: Moving On

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I am currently moving on from a traumatic experience in my previous employer. While I promised myself that I will never look back in anger, I allowed my true feelings to surface and eventually, dissipate. After all, it is healthier to acknowledge one's true emotions rather than just let them kill me deep inside.

I spent my previous week working out and catching up on sleep. This week is a time for reading and more workouts. There is something about burning calories that puts things into perspective. I also like relating to the characters I read about. They make seem moving on possible because they have done so in beautiful prose.

A friend yesterday messaged me to encourage me to enjoy my break because as adults, we rarely get free days when we are tied up with work. I am grateful that she messaged me because it makes me see my unemployment in a new light. At the same time, A is telling me not to be desperate and that I am in charge of my own journey. I will keep moving on until I get to the place where movement is no longer a forced endeavor.

Day 90: Thriving Wisely

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It is Monday morning and I am not rushing to work. Instead, I am sitting on my couch at home. I am composing my blog entry after enjoying breakfast and iced coffee. I already did more than an hour's worth of heart-pumping Zumba and brisk walking. I ate a hearty bowl of lugaw with egg (congee with egg) for only Php25. I am on a reflective mood because while I do miss the Monday rush, I am thankful for my break. I was able to exercise and do my thing. I do not have deadlines to beat. While I do need to look for a new job, I am not pressured at the moment.  I am thriving wisely. 

I do not want to go beyond my budget. Prior to resigning, I have already assessed my spending capacity per week until I can find a new job. I have also chosen to read books (as usual!) to spend time wisely. I think it is best to maximize my break instead of feeling sad that I do not have work. I am more selective now of prospective employers. After my recent experiences, I owe it to myself to have a better working environment. 

For now, I have calories to burn, books to read, and music to listen to. I am thriving and happy. I am a very lucky girl.  

Day 88: Breakfast

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I never skip breakfast. It is my favorite meal of the day. My thyroxine dosage is administered first thing in the morning. I wait thirty to forty-five minutes until I can finally eat. Usually, I have pandesal because that is okay with my diet. On weekends, I have something extra as I deserve treats on my cheat days. That way, I do not miss normal food on weekdays, and I am able to live a balanced life.

I love Mc Donald's because of their coffee. Their breakfast meals also remind me of childhood. If I can enjoy meals from simpler times, along with strong Arabica, then I have a winner each time.

Day 87: Family

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Last night was special for my family because it was my parents' thirty-second wedding anniversary. We had a simple dinner celebration at Misto Cafe, which is located inside Seda Vertis North. It was meaningful for me because they invited A to join us. We had a buffet of steak, pho, and my favorite, cheese! There were many dishes to choose from, but since I am on a diet, I had to zero in on my target entrees. Aside from cheese, I also had pizza, pasta, chicken, shepherd's pie, and matcha gelato. The best part was having coffee with my loved ones and unwinding with relaxing conversation.

I am truly blessed to have my family around me. Even if the future may seem uncertain, I am thankful that they are here to remind me that love is never absent in our lives.

Day 86: Pasalubong

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Bringing pasalubong is customary in Philippine culture. These are small goodies from abroad, or even from local vacations. I usually bring some treats for A and my close friends. Today, I was overjoyed to receive pasalubong from Chesca, one of my closest childhood friends. She has recently visited Japan, and these goodies were a pleasant surprise in this stormy day. 

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I am touched because she also remembered my magnet collection. I already put it on my magnetic board, a memento from a friend's happy trip.

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Today's post-workout breakfast consists of strawberry KitKat, two wasabi crackers, and a piece of biscotti from San Francisco. My meal was a cross-cultural trip. I am grateful for the biscotti from my aunt in SanFo. It is truly remarkable how our loved ones never forget us even when they are miles away.  

Day 85: Pixie Life

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My favorite salon is closing down. I had my last pixie cut with my stylist today, and it was sad. I really liked this salon because they totally understand my hair and they take good care of me. Time to look for a new salon then. 

My life is interesting now because changes are occurring one after the other. From a job ending, to my salon closing, I am forced to make room for better days ahead. Hopefully I have learned from my experiences so that I will bring with me the wisdom I have gained.  

I love my pixie cut because I get to have monthly haircuts and I have a stylish mane that requires very little maintenance. I also get to stand out because there are few people with pixie cuts in Manila. It is also friendly to my hypothyroidism because having short hair means lesser hair loss. 

Life is teaching me many lessons at the moment. For now, I am enjoying my fresh pixie trim. I will make the most out of each experience so that like my pixie, I can use each one to stand out.  

Day 84: Lucky

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I was feeling down yesterday. I was not used to being jobless and I am still adjusting to life at home. Luckily, I got to spend time today with A. We had lunch at a gyro place. After walking around the mall, we decided to watch two movies, Kita Kita and Dunkirk. Both films were worth our time and money. We are both into conversational, story-driven plots so today's selection totally hit the jackpot. 

I realized how lucky I am. I may not have a job, but I am better off without my previous lockdown. I may not realize this now, but someday I will look back on this day as a period of regrowth and renewal. 

For now, it is important that I count my blessings and focus on what I have. 

Day 82: Word of Mouth

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I enjoyed public speaking again after ten years during last night's Word of Mouth event. It is an invitational five-minute speech fest which is held once a month. Our theme was obsessions, and I spoke about being obsessed with living a healthy lifestyle because of my hypothyroidism. While I was daunted by the possibility of sharing the stage with athletes and a nation builder, I carried on with my speech because self-mastery after all is easier said than done. 

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A was a dedicated photographer and loving date. He seemed to enjoy the evening, as all the speakers delivered moving personal stories onstage. The event ended earlier than expected and with a little help from the side-streets of Mandaluyong, we were able to swing by his uncle's birthday bash in Makati.  

It was a dinner of flavorful Indian food and familial company. I even got to dance impromptu with some talented belly dancers! It was freeing to do so after a speech and a belly full of curry.  

I am ushering in my unemployment with this evening of public speaking and partying with his side. I hope that this period will not last long. While I am at it, I will fill it with memorable experiences to make it worthwhile.

Day 81: Miracle

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Have you ever experienced a miracle in your life? I have, and it was literally a sight to behold.

I started having really bad vision in elementary. By the time I was thirteen, my eye prescription for nearsightedness was 650 and 700. I had glasses which made a joke out of "ultrathin" lenses. At around the same time, I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism. My life was an emotional roller coaster ride, as adolescence was naturally challenging. It was even more difficult as I had a chronic hormonal condition and I was nearly blind without my glasses.

My family toured Europe when I was fourteen, and one of the cities we visited was Lourdes, France. It was special because I am a Marian devotee. I was not expecting a miracle to happen to me, so I treated it as a normal holiday. It was after we got back to Manila that I experienced the best gift I could ever imagine.

I remember waking up in the morning and being able to read the time on the clock across my bedroom. That was weird, because I was not wearing my glasses yet. At that time, I was rocking the latest purple frames with clip-on shades, so I distinctly remember not wearing it. I read the time again and I examined my bedroom. I could clearly see! It was no joke and I could not believe it. The next few days was an overwhelmingly clear blur. I could see everything in HD. At first, I did not tell my parents yet, and they only assumed that I was wearing my contact lenses. Eventually, I shared to them what happened to me and they were overjoyed.

This miracle led to an obsession with defying my condition. I have hypothyroidism, which means that I am predetermined to be overweight. My 20/20 vision has made me believe that I could be more than the blurry lines of my life. Years of dieting and working out has led me to be fit and healthy for someone with hypothyroidism. I still have maintenance medication and it should be taken for life. Indeed, I am living proof that being obsessed with a miracle can lead to more inexplicable blessings.

I still have 20/20 vision, and while it is natural to eventually need reading glasses in the future, I am thankful that I can see clearly and that my faith has saved me several times. I always focus on possibilities and on all the effort I can exert. Hope can keep one adrift, but only faith can move mountains. I hope that you can believe in miracles because I am living proof that they are real.

Thank you.

Day 80: Be Good

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This morning, I drank coffee at Prom B for the last time. I enjoyed the cool AM breeze while listening to classical music. As I am rendering my last day today, I am saying goodbye to my college hangout with fondness and zero regrets. 

I will look back on my three and a half months here as an employee with positivity. I refuse to hold on to grudges, especially concerning matters which are beyond my control. By letting go, I am welcoming better opportunities to come my way. By letting go, I am redeeming myself. And by going away from here, I am finding myself again.

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Ten years ago, my spiritual director urged me to be good even when it is difficult to do so. I am leaving with that advice in the same place, but in different circumstances. I choose to be good. And I will eventually find something better soon.

Day 79: Stuck in Traffic

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It is 7:48am and I am still in Cubao. I am riding an aircon bus because the MRT was not accepting passengers due to stop entry. The P2P had no bus queue at SM North, so I had no choice but to ride a regular bus. 

I am freaking out because I do not want to be late. I left the house at 6:00am and the bus is crawling. Traffic is so bad. I wish I can make to my 8:30am shift in time.  

I am down to my last two days at my current job. There were circumstances in my job which I could not live with, such as the eventual dissolution of the program I am managing. I refuse to be stuck in a dead-end job, that is why I resigned from that role. I am now looking for a better employer where hopefully, I will not be stuck. 

As for my commute at the moment, I am only making the most out of it. I am blogging on the go and listening to music. Life is too short to be stuck.  

Day 78: Caffeinated Heart

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I am leaving the place where I first learned to drink coffee. I first appreciated the brew during my student days. I cannot live without coffee now. To say that my heart is caffeinated is an understatement. I am practically operating on caffeine. I cannot be productive without it. This goodbye is giving me the feels, because I also fought the drowsiness brought about by my hypothyroidism with copious cups of coffee right here on campus. I did it to write my papers and I am still doing it now to fulfill my transition period. 

I will definitely have coffee here again someday. For now, I look forward to having my last few cups of coffee as an employee and alumna.