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 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 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 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 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 54: Rising Above Failure

I have a passion for rising from failure. This has stemmed from my exposure to risk management, which was quite early in my life as my father worked in the industry all my life. I think it is beautiful that major corporations and institutions value failure and document them to calculate future probabilities. On a personal level, I believe that taking risks is crucial for growth. Whether it is our skin, our immune system, and our major organs, we all have cellular foundations that work hard to facilitate growth in all aspects to achieve optimal health. When it comes to our lives, growth only happens when we get rejected, when we fail, and when we experience pain. Failure is important because they can teach us to see what went wrong as stepping stones to achieve success in the next attempt. 

Zero turnout. Immeasurable personal growth.  

Zero turnout. Immeasurable personal growth.  

Recently, I have seen this at work. We hosted an event wherein nobody showed up. It was a rainy night and in Manila, and we all know that this means insane traffic, a surge in ride sharing prices, and close to impossible public transport options. I was initially hurt, because I hustled to get this approved, organized, and marketed. But after eating the catered dinner and receiving a hug from A, I realized that I did not do anything wrong. It was simply a series of uncontrollable circumstances which led to zero turnout. 

I have learned that often times, we blame ourselves for things which are not even our fault. We should focus more on what we really did wrong instead and reflect on how we can improve in the future. In this day and age where social media is prevalent, it is easier to gain support and resources online to better ourselves. In fact, I am currently taking a Purporse-Driven Branding Workshop online with Arriane Serafico to develop the way I carry myself both on the interwebs and in real life. I think it is important to be coherent with our personal branding in order to realize our full potential and grow as effective individuals. It is important to channel the lessons we have gained from failure to propel ourselves forward. 

Indeed, it is essential to rewind before we can move forward. What failures have inspired you to be who you are today? Use the lessons you have gained to inspire you to grow and realize your full potential. It is never too late to be your best YOU. 

Day 52: Small Wins

Cardio warrior 🏃🏻‍♀️

Cardio warrior 🏃🏻‍♀️

I have read that celebrating small wins is important. You may think that it is shallow to list down the little victories that get us through the day. I must admit that I was skeptical at first. However, I listed down my small wins anyway and I was determined to see positive results. After more than a month of doing so, I have observed that I was more focused. I was resourceful in completing tasks such as commuting and eating healthful meals. I thought out of the box and became more creative. 

All because I celebrated the small wins. 

My P2P ride this morning  

My P2P ride this morning  

I wrote down each time I worked out. I listed down each healthy meal. I diarized those times I drank a fresh fruit shake. I wrote about successful dates and quiet times with A. It was relaxing and meditative. 

In time, I looked forward to completing my tasks. I saw consistency even when my hypothyroidism was wearing me out. I exercised even when I was tired. I observed my diet even when I felt like doing the opposite. And I realized how short life truly is so I have to make the most out of it. 

My classmate Marvi passed away the other day. Back in grade school, she wore a headband everyday. I thought that was so badass of her and her style still inspires me today. I still wear headbands at present.

I was heartbroken to hear about her passing due to aneurysm. I am wearing a headband today in her memory, and hopefully to pass her cheerful personality on even if she is no longer with us.

Day 49: I Could Get Used To

I could get used to thinking of you the minute I wake up

I could get used to the skip in my step because I know that you love me

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I could get used to eating healthy because I know that you are also doing the same thing

I could get used to listening to music during my commute because the songs remind me of you

I could get used to hanging out with a steaming hot cuppa, because it reminds me of simple times

I could get used to driving and feeling independent, because I know that you keep me grounded

I could get used to half cups of rice, veggie subs, and taking the stairs, because I will eventually enjoy my cheat days with you  

I could get used to reading and writing in the morning, because I know these could help me converse with you

I could get used to having you in my life, because after ten years, it would be us after all

I could get used to all your messages, because eventually we will never have to say goodbye at the end of each day.  

DAY 48: FAMILY

I had an eventful Father's Day as my parents invited A to have lunch with us. We had hearty meals at Cafe Adriatico while having light conversation. I appreciate the fact that they invited him to have lunch with us. 

As an only child, my family has always been reserved regarding the people I would introduce to them. The fact that they have invited A is truly remarkable. I would like to think that they appreciate his care and concern towards me, especially in times that are beyond my control.  

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Just when I thought that I could not ask for anything more, I had dinner with A and his family for his baby sister's 18th birthday and Father's Day. I was grateful for his invitation, and to my family for finally allowing me to meet his side. They are strict with letting me spend time with my significant's other's family so I appreciate that they are gradually letting me get to know them.  

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I had the best Father's Day ever and I look forward to spending more holidays with my favorite people.  

Day 37: Just Get Up and Work

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There are just days when I would rather hit the snooze button in the morning. I was tempted to do so earlier, but I immediately countered it by reciting the Prayer of Jabez:

New Living Translation
... "Oh, that you would bless me and expand my territory! Please be with me in all that I do, and keep me from all trouble and pain!" 

I got up, worked out with my YouTube exercise videos, and took a quick shower. I got dressed, drove to my parking space, and took the train to the office. I am transitioning to dieting on my own (I am no longer enlisting the help of my diet delivery service), so cafeteria breakfast consisted of half a cup of rice and a fried egg. I also had a 120z Americano. It was filling, and it is proof that it is possible to eat healthful meals without resorting to expensive diet plans. Of course, I have had three years of experience with my diet provider, so I already got used to the proper servings and I am already educated on portion control. I am keen on continuing my diet as it is one of the important factors to minimize the health risks of my hypothyroidism.

I have been dreading this day due to some recent events. However, I also pushed myself to work and put my game face on. I prayed the rosary in front of the Blessed Sacrament, and I felt that I am not alone. There is no use to feel discouraged then. 

I will live through today!

Day 33: The Beginning, Part Two

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Today marks the end of my second round of my 15 Days of Writing True Class. It is a beginning more than an ending, because my first one ushered in a daily writing habit which led to attending the Writing Room e-course and embarking on my own #The100DayProject. Today is also my thirty-third day into this journey. I am thankful that I never run out of topics to write about. Life has many experiences to delight, surprise, and move me. Even a recent traumatic event has led me to count my blessings and realize that yes, there are still plenty of reasons to say thank you for each new day.

I will soon be ending my three-year relationship with my diet delivery service. My workplace does not allow deliveries of food subscriptions without knowing when to expect them. The recent growth of the diet company has led to erratic delivery times, so I cannot have them delivered to my office. If I continue having them delivered at home, it will cause me to be late for my shift. It was a painful decision, but being with them has trained me to count my calories, practice proper portion control for my body's needs, and eat healthful options to address my unique nutritional needs. Having hypothyroidism AND keeping trim is difficult, but it IS doable. Embarking on this new chapter may seem shallow to most people, but for me, feeding myself without the aid of my diet service is a form of freedom. Of course, responsibility comes along with this, so I have to continue controlling my portions and choosing my food with care.

I am excited to commence writing without a writing class for the first time in over a month. I will learn to use my voice to highlight the good and keep it real in my online island. So instead of marking this last day of #15DaysOfWritingTrue as an end, I am considering this as a beginning. 

I cannot wait to write on the ordinary, the special, and the true!

Day 32: Daily WROTEin

Werking it even with sore throat!

Werking it even with sore throat!

I'm celebrating my second monthsary at work today! Being an alumna of the university where I work definitely has its perks, such as knowing the layout of the libraries by heart and knowing where to buy awesome brewed coffee based on my budget. However, my homecoming is not a single event. It is a daily routine which I am surviving thanks to willpower and prayer. 

The best part of my day is when I wake up. I get to thank my Creator for a new morning and say the The Prayer of Jabez, 1 Chronicles 4:10 : “...Oh that You would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.”  This prayer has kept me grounded and blessed since I discovered it in 2006. I then wash up and workout for at least thirty minutes. Exercise is a must as I have hypothyroidism. I mix it up with different routines so I will never be bored. 

I take a shower, take my prescribed thyroxine dosage, and drive to my parking space. I cannot eat breakfast until forty-five minutes have elapsed since I took my medicine. I usually eat in the car, after it is already parked. I take the MRT or P2P to my stop, then walk to work.

My first stop in the office is always the chapel. It always fills me with awe that I am able to work and live a normal life despite my health condition. I then unwind with a cup of coffee and my morning snack. There is nothing more rewarding than a cuppa, which wakes me up while calming me down. It is a paradox which has never ceased to intrigue me. I randomly count my blessings, check my social networks, and respond to emails. If I still have time to spare, I return to the chapel to pray the rosary.

My work day usually goes by quickly. I like being organized, and I keep an analogue planner to take down notes and tasks. I listen to music while working, using a cheap radio and earphones which I regularly replace. I switch between pop and classical stations. During my downtime, I also update my blog and chat with my boyfriend. Lunch and coffee breaks are healthy yet filling. I am always focused on my fitness goals, and I know which food to eat and avoid. I also stay away from frappuccinos and calorie-rich desserts.

My commute home is a reversal of my trip to work. I enjoy light dinners, to help me sleep earlier and lessen bloating. I also stop by our nearby park to buy fresh coconut water. It aids in detox and re-hydrating me after a long day.

I end my day by writing on my Five Year Journal, a prayer, and a book until I drift to sleep. The next day is the same cycle, with the same willpower and attitude.

I will never be able to pull this off without the support of my family and boyfriend. I may not be earning much, but I have enough and that is what matters. I look forward to having a more abundant life and eventually, the chance to settle down.

 

Day 31: Living Mindfully and Helping Others

Beautiful handmade rosary by an inmate in Bilibid Prison.

Beautiful handmade rosary by an inmate in Bilibid Prison.

I prayed the rosary again after a long time. I used to pray with it everyday during my previous job. My old building was adjoined to a mall, which is a stone's throw away from a church with a quiet adoration chapel. My previous job was stressful, and this ritual calmed me down during my lunch breaks. I enjoyed meditating on the mysteries, and I never lied about going to the adoration chapel whenever I was asked regarding my whereabouts. I have always been proud about my faith, and this motivates me to look for ways to integrate my passion for prayer in my other love, which is social enterprise.

I have previously used cheap plastic rosaries and jewelry-type ones from pilgrimage sites such as the Vatican and Lourdes. All of them were easily broken due to daily wear and tear. I have never been dainty, so these rosaries never appealed to me. I only used them out of necessity and because they were presents and purchases from important places of prayer. I have constantly been on the lookout for a durable rosary, because I believe that prayer is a tactile experience. I depend on rosary beads to guide me along the way. If the beads are too small and the gaps between them are practically non-existent, then it will make prayer less of the soothing ritual which it was meant to be. Thus, I have been accustomed to replacing my rosary annually, which became a pain because I do get attached to things especially if they have memories connected to them. 

Usually, the crucifixes are the first ones to break. The cheap plastic ones cannot withstand the pressure of daily commuting, which is not pleasant because I do not enjoy seeing the representative image of Christ cut into half. For those with metal links, the chains would get disconnected. Having them repaired is an obvious choice since I do have experience in bead work, but it already dampens the enjoyment of prayer. As the years have gone by and the handmade movement grew along with the internet, I have discovered options which finally meant having sturdy rosaries for less heartbreak.

I bought a chotki rosary from Caritas Manila a couple of years ago, and it has served me well. It was handmade by an inmate from Bilibid Prison. It is sturdier than most rosaries I have owned, and it still works until today. It has began fraying though, as the string they have used is fibrous, so I am already seeing the signs of wear and tear on several areas. I will still recommend this though, for it is a good conversation starter and it is for a good cause.

This has then led me to the search for a new rosary. My boyfriend and I are going through challenging times in our personal lives, so we need a spiritual weapon to inspire us to renew our faith and pray more often. I have ordered four rosaries from Rugged Rosaries, an artisanal social enterprise in California. They make rosaries by hand using military-grade paracord, beads, and components. The two full-size five decade rosaries have been carefully selected to represent our personal faith journeys, while the two one decade clip-on rosaries are for everyday use and commuting. I am excited to receive them and road test them once they arrive from the US! I am also happy that part of the proceeds from my purchase supports a team of artisans who promulgate the faith through beautiful rosaries in America, and provide rosaries and MP3 New Testament Bible players to the troops.

My faith has led me to support social enterprises and the handmade movement. My advocacy is my biggest means to help others, and I look forward to doing so by shopping meaningfully, sharing the products on my blog, and living mindfully. I also want to keep on praying, because it is a meditative practice which lets me focus on the positive.

I hope that your passion will lead you to support an advocacy with minimal effort and true joy!

Day 30: Soul Sam

This photo was sent by my good friend Rafe ❤️ 

This photo was sent by my good friend Rafe ❤️ 

The past few days have been challenging. I have encountered incidents which shook me to the core. I lost my trust in the people around me, and it seems that I am being harassed by an unknown entity. I have already reported these incidents and I have faith that authorities will handle this accordingly. Meanwhile, I am healing and moving on. I have decided this morning that I do not need to dwell on the feeling of distrust. Rather, I should focus on what I must be thankful for.

I woke up early this morning and did my ab and cardio routine. I had a hearty breakfast and a medium Americano from my go-to convenience store. I am wearing my five year old Doc Martens which cushion my feet and keep them warm and toasty in the rainy weather. Most of all, I have a family to go home to, a boyfriend who drives me home when visibility is low due to the rain, and a best friend who will drop everything to spend a few hours to comfort me. 

My best friend works in Quezon City but he managed to treat me to pancakes and coffee during my lunch break in Ortigas. I appreciate his effort and concern, as he knew I was going through a difficult time. My boyfriend had a family reunion at Pampanga, but he waited for me at Quezon City to have ramen with me and drive me home. These simple gestures mean heaps to me. It has been said that the only resource that we cannot reclaim is time, so I am grateful that my closest people look after me. I am also looking forward to moving on from these recent issues and carrying on with work. 

I have reasons to be thankful and happy amidst troubles and the rainy season. I will always have something to write about and experiences to share. People may try to take my trust away, but they can never conquer my spirit. All I have to do is breathe. 

Day 29: Trust Issues

Me in 2007

Me in 2007

I feel dismayed because my workspace has been violated for two consecutive days now. Yesterday, my traveler's journal was closed the wrong way, resulting in a loosened garter. When I got to my cube at 7:15am this morning, I found my top drawer open. My drawers do not have a lock, and these incidents may seem petty. But if you think of it, it is not petty at all. I work in a university, so files are all pertinent to educating students and upholding the corporate ideals of our community. These past two days have proven that it is possible for trust to be broken in an admirable company. Small items like my traveler's notebook may not seem much, but it is full of my art journaling and lunchtime sketches. I am also dismayed because I always psyche myself to get excited for each work day. These instances disappointed me, and it will take some time before I can regain my bearings. 

I have already filed an incident report, and I have updated security regarding this morning's incident. I know that they are doing their best. My cube is not covered by the CCTV, so there is no way to catch the suspect on video. I am praying that this gets resolved soon.  

I am also thankful to still be employed and that nothing was lost or stolen. I would not wish this on anyone else. After all, I was a student of this university ten years ago, and I do not want to disappoint my college self by being derailed by negativity. I just have to keep moving on.  

Day 25: There Has To Be A Word

Today is Diane's 30th birth anniversary. She was the closest thing I had to a best friend in high school. She's the one on the left (in red) in this pic taken during my birthday in 2006. 

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I miss her everyday since her passing from a car accident in 2008.

This one's for you, Diane. 

1) There has to be a word for missing someone in random moments, and anyone still alive can never replace someone who passed away because she was the best person to give spot-on advice.  

2) There has to be a word for realizing that you should make the most out of this life because your late friend is no longer here to experience new stuff in the present.  

3) There has to be a word for the friendship that binds you and your high school girls, and one of the things that bring you together is a late friend who was everyone's soul sister. 

4) There has to be a word for falling in love with someone whom you introduced to your late friend back in the day.  

5) There has to be a word for a friendship that goes beyond someone's passing

I ❤️ you Diane! 

Day 12: Writing Efficiently

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Once again, my Writing Room class has taken me out of my comfort zone. Writing efficiently is easier said than done for me, since I love being detailed to a fault.  Here are the shortened versions of my mini stories on feelings. They have been scaled down to ten words or less. 

He hugged me longer than usual and held my hand.

He hugged me longer than usual and held my hand.

I kissed him goodbye, then I alighted the bus.

I kissed him goodbye, then I alighted the bus.

They sipped lattes as their parents worked in cramped cubicles.

They sipped lattes as their parents worked in cramped cubicles.

A vial of blood could make or break my summer.

A vial of blood could make or break my summer.

The MRT had insufficient trains for the rush of humanity.

The MRT had insufficient trains for the rush of humanity.

In closing, I was also assigned to edit my first entry for this class and rewrite it in a concise manner.

WRITING IS MY HOME

Writing never felt like a chore to me because I have befriended words early on in my life. I learned how to read at the age of two and this led to a lifelong love for reading. I eventually developed a love for writing, and I contributed for our school paper and occasionally, for
national broadsheets. I also became a public speaker.

Blogging became a natural hobby as I became a habitual writer in university. I have recently started blogging again after joining The 15 Days of Writing True e-course and beginning my 100 Days Project, which integrates my output for another class I am taking, the Writing Room.

Day 9: The Way We Met

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Us in 2006.

Us in 2006.

Allan was my classmate in a Manila university. We were both active in class discussions and became fast friends in our public speaking organization. We were drawn to each other's sarcasm, and we both found refuge in each other's wit. I discovered more about his personal life, such as the fact that he was a scholar and he was helping support his family. I admired his kindness and determination even if the world could be cruel and relentless. 

We started hanging out over coffee and I loved talking to him because he did not judge. He had an opinion on almost anything under the sun. We enjoyed cheap barbecue and beer after class. Unfortunately, I was in the wrong relationships then so he became a sounding board more than a love interest. He has signified his intention to be with me in 2005, but I turned him down for someone else. He did the same thing in 2006 and this time, I was already single. We did date around Christmas time but our time together ended after the New Year. We had a petty fight with him shouting at me to "grow up." I just could not handle that so I walked out of his life.

Us today!

Us today!

We lost touch during the remaining years of college. We eventually talked again in 2010. We were already working by then and he was drunk-calling me every now and then. I found out that he got my number from a mass message I sent to everyone after I got a new phone. As much as I was bothered that he only talked to me whenever he partied and got wasted, I appreciated the fact that I was still his top of mind person to call. I felt sad that he could not hold down any relationship, and I really wished that he would find the right person.

Little did I know that we will cross paths again in 2016. We had coffee after an art fair and we were both single. As adults, we both find our past amusing. Our coffee date was followed-up by more dates, until we became a couple. We are still together until now. I am thankful that we never thought ill of each other. And yes, I did grow up, and I finally chose him.