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 92: Staying Strong

I worked out today even if it was raining. Our class was moved to one of the gazebos in the park. The space was limited so it was challenging to move around. Nevertheless, I was able to complete my workout. What mattered most was that I was able to show up and bring my A Game. I may not be employed right now, but I can wake up early and attend a workout despite the bed weather. I think it takes willpower and discipline to carry on despite being tempted to just sleep again.  

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 89: Fitness on a Budget

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I have always been a morning person. It is not a problem for me to wake up early and get things cracking. My favorite way to fight drowsiness is working out. I focus on my abs and thighs, then move on to cardio. It never ceases to bring in results and it keeps sleepiness at bay.

There are days when I do get lazy and I fight that with walking workout videos and barre routines. They are focused on target areas and while they are low impact, they also work effectively. I do not want to enroll in a gym because I want to keep fit my way and of course, my routine depends on what I feel like doing for the day. When I settle down, I might have to enroll in a fitness center. For now, I am enjoying my workouts, be it a couple of hours dancing Zumba in our local park or burning calories while glued to YouTube.

I do not think that there is an ideal way to keep fit. I am living on a tight budget so I keep fitness affordable by going to our nearby park. A workout there costs Php20-50. Meanwhile, it is free to workout at home while following a YouTube video. The important factor is consistency, which is priceless. Discipline is developed through diligence and hard work. There is simply no gym membership that could buy that.

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 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 83: Purposeful Unemployment

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It is officially my first weekday as an unemployed person. It is a holiday in my city, as it is hosting the state of the nation address. For me, it is another day to workout, and exercise I did. 

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I plan to take a break first to clear my mind. The circumstances surrounding my resignation revolved around factors beyond my control. It is important for me to regain my bearings. Of course I am not a hundred percent healed yet, as I had to question my fundamental principles and corporate ideals. Letting go of my job was not an easy process, as it also involved defying questionable practices which went against my basic values. In the end, I had to stand my ground and follow what I was taught to be correct. No one should be made to literally shell out money at work. No one should be asked to go against their health in the name of camaraderie. No one should work in a dissolving program. 

I had breakfast after my workout and I reflected on my previous job while having coffee. I know that there is a better place for me. I just have to make sure that I am not angry anymore when that happens. I am at my best when I am at peace. Give me a few days of fitness and books.

I will be okay.

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.  

Day 77: Starter Pack

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I just had cheesy eggdesal and two cups of coffee for breakfast. I am down to my last four days at my current employer, and I would have to admit that I am quite sentimental. Working in my alma mater was a unique chance for me to get acquainted with my academic institution from another perspective. I have learned a lot in a quarter. Working in IT also enabled me to build this website and blog during my downtime. I am grateful for this experience and I have no regrets. 

I would like to think that the skills I have acquired here comprise my starter pack for my next job. I still do not have a role lined up, so I am looking forward to a short break. I got some books and magazines to entertain me and get my mind active. I am also planning to continue my fitness regimen. Lastly, I am excited to blog about my journey and continue my 100 Day Challenge.  

I have learned to manage my time, start a blog, and live meaningfully. My graceful exit is just around the corner, and I will not look back in anger. Gratefulness is key to making the next four days count.  

Day 76: Dates Do Matter

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A and I needed a break from the recent stressful events we have undergone so we booked a day trip to Corregidor, the World War II military island. We are both history geeks and while we have both visited the island already, a repeat would not hurt. We also wanted to experience the tour together, and it was a memorable one. 

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We bonded during the ferry ride to the island, and we took several pictures all throughout the day. I appreciated A's patience with me as I am not the easiest person to be with. He thoroughly explained to me how the guns and weapons worked and supplemented our tour guide's script. We also got to enjoy our first lighthouse together. 

We had an amazing Sunday and I can really attest that dates do matter. Book a trip with your loved one, even if it is just a day trip. I guarantee you that the pictures, the memories, and the company will be worth it.  

Day 75: Determination

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I workout everyday because I have to. Having hypothyroidism has forced me to take a stand on fitness, and I chose to defy my condition the right way. I did not resort to crash diets or questionable pills. I decided that going slow but steady is key to developing good fitness habits that can support me throughout my life.  

My determination comes from a simple motivation to be the healthiest version of myself, for myself. That way, I can ensure that I am giving myself the best that I can be and I can pass it on to the ones I love. Indeed, self-love can sustain a girl with a chronic hormonal condition.  

If I can be determined to push myself, I am sure that you can do this too! 

Day 74: Resilience

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It was not easy for me to get out of bed this morning. The air was cool. My sheets were inviting me to stay. The teddy bear given to me by A was seemingly beckoning me to hug him again.  

Ugh. Like many similar mornings, I had to make a stand. I chose to rise and shine. 

I got cracking and worked out. I started with my abs, then I threw in some cardio. I transitioned to a barre video and then ended my workout with a squat challenge. 

My body was on fire and I could barely catch my breath. Like most days, I questioned why I was doing this. But I did not answer myself. Instead, I focused on my breathing.  

Inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale... 

And when I looked at myself in the mirror and took this photo, I got my response. I am doing this for myself. I am doing this because I am resilient. 

I am doing this because I can rise above hypothyroidism, one day at a time.

 

Day 73: Hangout

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I have been going through a tough week at work as I am transitioning and rendering my last few days prior to my departure. I am making sure that there are no loose ends left untied, no tasks left undone, and no files left in my computer. I am just glad that it is finally Friday. As usual, I commenced my day with a prayer and a workout. I hurriedly prepared for my day. I then carpooled with my dad to the office as he is also working early today. 

I enjoyed my breakfast while reading my crime novel. My cheesy eggdesal blended nicely with the twists of deceit. I drank my first cup of coffee as the plot thickened with adultery. And by the time I had my coffee refill, I was walking to Prom B, which my hangout way back in college.

A and I spent heaps of times here, and while we had our biggest fight here which eventually led to our "breakup" in 2007, I am spending my early morning here because it brings me zen. An empty study hall is a promising cradle for all my feels as I am slowly saying goodbye to my office and alma mater. No, I am not dwelling on my epic fight with A ten (!) years ago. In fact, I am grateful that we are together in the present and that quarrel is history. Rather, I am focusing on the moments I studied here when I was still a student. I believed so much in myself even when the world was challenging me to the core. I never listened to the negativity and focused on my tasks. My college self inspires me to trudge through my current mountain of deliverables and eventual farewell. I do not want to leave with bitterness. Rather, I want to think that this place cradled my idealism and belief in humanity. 

If I slayed it then, I am sure I can do it again in 2017. Push. 

Day 72: Awakening

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One of the the biggest challenges with hypothyroidism is that I am always sleepy. Like really sleepy. I'm not just drowsy, I am sluggish, tired and exhausted even in the morning. The lack of thyroxine contributes to this constant state. With that being said, I make sure that it does not interfere with work. I noticed that praying first thing in the morning works wonders. Aligning myself with a Power greater than myself is not only humbling, it is also awakening. There is also no greater alarm clock than knowing that I was promted to wake up for a reason, and that I have something better to do with my time than lie in bed all day. 

I workout thereafter and make sure that incorporate cardio to burn calories. I like taking a cold shower to jolt me awake because there are times when a quick run cannot even keep me up. I then get dressed and prepare for my day. The drive and commute to work is not bad, but when I do feel like snoozing, I reach for some entertainment. I enjoy reading if I am in the MRT, and of course, I always drown the noise with my earphones. I discovered that I never get tired of The Beatles and classical music, so I am pretty much married to these sounds.  

By the time it is time for breakfast, I drink coffee like it is no one's business. I always clean my email inbox in the morning because it keeps me up to date with my job. If I am not in the office, my emails and social networks also get checked and updated first thing in the AM. I really have to know what is going at the start of my day because it wakes me up. It was a tactic that has helped me ever since I was dependent on the internet to communicate, and if it has managed to energize me, then I am sure it can keep you up too.  

What do you like doing to stay awake? I am on the lookout for life hacks for keeping energized and I am glad that with the improving awareness on hypothyroidism, people are not branding those with my condition as being lazy or worse, slackers. Before you judge people, make sure you know what they are going through. That way, you can be more compassionate and even more awakened. 

Day 71: Walking Tall

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I am rendering my final fortnight here at my current job. It is bittersweet for me because I graduated here and I have heaps of memories related to my workplace. During my reflection, I had to separate my memories as a student and as an employee. I had to differentiate things so that I will not be angry. I do not want to look back with a heavy heart. I want to move forward with the knowledge that I did my best in a vacuum.

With that, I am walking tall in a firestorm. Even when things are being hurled at me, I choose to pace myself at a constant speed. I cannot afford to trip or be discouraged. It is the homestretch. 

Day 70: Light It Up

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I am down to my last two weeks at my current job. I have resigned because the program I am managing is eventually going to be dissolved. As an employee, I am only looking after my own welfare. At the same time, I also want to pursue opportunities for growth without compromising my health. As you know, hypothyroidism is not the easiest condition to manage when I am under unreasonable stress and fatigue. I want to look for a better role where I can grow both as a person and as an employee. 

Right now, I am transitioning and turning over my responsibilities to my team. I cannot afford to be bitter. Life is too short to dwell on negativity. It is futile to be angry at things I cannot change. Of course, my priority is to make sure that there are no loose ends on my plate. I want to leave knowing that my journey has not been put to waste and that my team can handle my job. 

Let me find the light for now as I finish my remaining fortnight here.