Locksmith

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I locked my apartment’s door with the keys inside the unit and after almost two hours of breaking the doorknob — but still to no avail, I finally listened to other people recommending to reach out for a locksmith.

In 30 years, this is the first time I heard this word locksmith and their purpose. I don’t know which one should I be more frustrated – leaving my keys inside the unit or not knowing a locksmith exists.

I have been through the best and worst of times, highs to lows, celebrated the happiest days of the year and slept myself to tears in those long nights. This year taught me resilience at my weakest point, to seek the things I deserve, to understand people more, to pray harder – for me and for others, to continue a life of worship.

Mustering up the courage to welcome my thirties to the next level of wisdom, reflection, and faith. I am sharing these snippets of life lessons:

  • Hardwork brings results, no other formula. You can thank the heavens for luck but still in the long run, consistent quality of work will sustain you. Always, always be reminded of this.
  • Don’t let anyone invalidate your feelings. Part of maturity is the courage to say how other people made you feel. Acknowledge and don’t let it just pass because as I always tell this, “little things can become massive”.
  • Begin with the end in mind. Have a clear goal and stick with it. Picture yourself living it, post photos of it on your vision board, make sure that each day you do something that will make you closer to the goal.
  • Self-care is best prescribed for weary days. Moisturize day and night.
  • Forgiveness is for one’s self. Treat yourself with a peace of mind by leaving the extra baggage behind. In return, apologize for the things you’ve done. No one’s perfect but accepting mistakes is the first step to change – applies to you and to everyone.
  • Never lose your logic. Remember how your mentors taught you to become wise. Be still, respect above all else.
  • Trying to be kind and causing no harm to people don’t free you from pain. Life will bring you episodes of real-life drama seemingly taken from a movie and all you can do is just close your eyes and cry. Cry until there are no more tears. I remember reading somewhere that not a single tear goes unnoticed. I had my full trust that everything will be okay, that everything’s going to be fine, that this has its own purpose.
  • There are people who will always be there to listen, treasure them. You will really know your friends in the worst of times.
  • Love, as it is always a conscious decision is a mystery in itself. It grows into you until it becomes a part of your subconscious. It’s so easy to love a person because of the good side but what makes love real is choosing them despite the differences and helping them become a better person. You try to remember what made you admire them – from the grandest to the simplest of gestures. Then, you decide. Love outweighs hate by choosing grace over justice – just as our Saviour gives salvation to us, sinners.

For what it’s worth, I trust that this is part of a bigger beautiful story waiting to unfold.

No more locked doors because I know now, locksmiths are open 24/ 7.

State of Discontent

unnamedWith all the things falling apart right in front you, questioning yourself over and over again, “Did you do your best?” and knowing that you lacked to do certain actions that might make things work. Is it regret? The self-awareness that goes with “hey damn, I failed on this one! Let us see how will I prove my worth again in other things?” And for all you know, there goes a series of unfortunate events that unfold one by one failing to answer your second question above. You will go home ranting about how frustrated and unproductive you are today saying okay, tomorrow is another day to fight. To fight with procrastination, with demotivation, with weariness — all these self-imposed negativities.

This afternoon a colleague informed me that whenever she sees me, she can’t help but be proud of what I have become – her remembering my humble beginnings even though we didn’t really work together. This made my day, thank you! These simples gestures go a long way. Maybe it is God’s way of saying hey, it’s okay. Slow progress is still progress – even if you fail in-betweens.

How ironic how five years ago, all the things you have been praying for are here right now yet at times, you are in a state of discontent. Not a single person brought you to this state, in fact, you are puzzled by how a good environment and the nicest people around can make you feel this way. New different level of challenges makes you hope that things are far simpler.

I bought a book entitled Grit by Angela Duckworth, about how the answer to all success is passion + perseverance. I used to be so passionate in all the things that I do, maybe, just maybe that’s what’s lacking now. I need to find my way in reigniting on what’s lost or diminished before it gets the best of me.

Patting myself in the back and saying okay, this is just a phase. Unfortunate things happen so it’s normal to feel this way. This time, I am on the verge of failure but how can I do things differently because I can’t wait for the good things to start flowing again. Self, what’s the next action item?

Also, sometimes, you just need a hug.

 

2019, with love

49846478_2073916959313968_6208251801892814848_oThe best love songs were written with a broken heart. Does my current state makes me extract all the creative juices out of me? Because girl, ang saya ko. 

I don’t need to wait for another heartbreak to write a journal, all I needed was an afternoon Kopiko 78 drink and boom.. sleeplessness! I heard from my current celebrity lodi that is Joyce Pring, when you can’t sleep, get up and do something else until you fall asleep. So here I am typing this one away at 2:39AM in the hopes of sleeping at erm.. 6am? I am on-leave tomorrow until Thursday so safe to wake up late + I am on the Philippines soil, mga kabayan.

2019, WHERE DO I EVEN BEGIN?

I didn’t expect my 2018 to end with many wonderful surprises. Originally planned to spend my remaining mandatory leaves for the year meditating alone in my room and just casually celebrate NY with Feast family, but things didn’t go according to my plans — it became better. I was with my Feast friends the entire time, every single day explored KL, cooking session + hanging out in Happy Home, ate street food in Jalan Alor, took a lot of photos in Petronas Tower and shared life stories until 4am in Mcdonalds Bukit Bintang. We were having such a great time, we lost track of the time in most days.

I have been single for as long as I can remember, third-wheel for all seasons who always used the panget ba ako? meme to divert people’s concern on my year-long singlehood. Mga tita, okay lang po ako, darating din po ang “the one” sa right time or kapag ready na po syang maging “the one”. Then segway, na pa-cute si ate girl on the side. There was a point where I was under an immense pressure to be in a relationship because all my siblings have partners already (I am the eldest, lol) but personally, I only want to commit to someone that I feel is right.

What I realized is on the X years of waiting, I focused on improving my character, knowing the things that I want & don’t want and yes, discipleship. I used to pray for a person, but Yani once mentioned to me to pray for the character of a person that I want to spend the rest of my life with. Then I prayed for courage, not for me, but for “the one” whoever he is. I really want to be pursued hence I silently prayed for his courage without anyone particular in mind.

When I totally lifted my state of love life to God, that’s when an old friend commented in my journal and gradually, things started to fall into place. Through discipleship, I met my boyfriend. I believe love is easy if it’s the right person. Not the best advisor for love at this point but I know it’s a continuous work in progress. Every day, I learn new things about him and it makes me realize that these are all the shared values that I have been praying for. In one of the LGs, Yen mentioned that when you seek God first, all the goodness flows from there. It’s true, it makes you appreciate all the grace and you will be amazed how even the smallest things are in accordance with His greater plan. It’s also a liberating mindset knowing that nothing is perfect, remember the snippet of my journal last November about love? Two individuals with different backgrounds working on interdependence, at the end of the day, it’s always a choice.

It’s so easy to love a person because of the good side, what makes love real is choosing them despite your differences and helping them become a better person.

Hello, you’re reading this. Going back to the first thing that attracted you to me, my writing. Naks! Turned out reader pala ng blog ko ang “the one”. Thank you for bringing more color in my OFW life and for all the things that you do to make me happier, wiser and kinder – a better person in this short period of time.

The world awaits our love story, MM/DM. Ganito talaga sa showbiz lol. ❤

Dearest Yani

November 22, 2018, 1:16AM

Dearest Yani,

You are asleep beside me wearing the same pajamas and I am still wide awake from the coffee we had tonight.

Brought by my noticeable lisp and messy train of thoughts, I don’t have the right words to say most times, so instead, I write. I need to arrange my thoughts to have context and here I am writing this down while I am feeling it. It’s about time to share a feature for people around me in this space. Let me start this series with you.

Yani, I am excited to more affirmations for you, whatever happens in this life know that I am always in your team. I know that God continuously orchestrates blessings for you and He’s answering your prayers in this season.

Proverbs 18-24 (King James 2000)

A man that has friends must show himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother.

I am beginning to study the scriptures, and just like Jesus in the above verse, you stick closer than a brother. It’s true that people look up to you and it’s an honor being able to have these heartfelt personal conversations with you.

Thank you for keeping my feet on the ground when I think that I am becoming somebody else and things start to become superficial. It’s true that we can have a taste of heaven yet we need someone to bring us back to reality. You bring a balance of positivity and realness in every situation. Thank you for always being open to listening and becoming a moral compass in times of overwhelming joy or despair.

I will always laugh at your humor kahit hindi ko gets minsan. Continue being a reason for people’s smiles kasi ang benta ng jokes mo. You draw people through your wit and charm. When you’re weary, I know how strong your faith is and this enough will sustain you albeit continue to allow other people to be a vessel of the love of Jesus – for you. Feast KL family is here for you. I am here for you, always.

I am so glad that I am with you on this journey of finding purpose. You don’t select the people you want to help, you reach out to strangers becoming friends to them and you pacify situations when things are tough. Amen!

I have said these things before once or twice but a written one would make it readable until we are old and grey. We can always read and remember how things are at the moment and be grateful for the promised life of our future.

Years from now, we will read this again and say ang payat natin dati. Cheers to many great years of friendship! Okayy *crying time*

When familiarity breeds contempt

Every morning at my desk, I restart my MacBook even if once you flip open the laptop it automatically shows the same windows last night. I always want to start my day on a clean slate, at least on my work computer. Everything cleared. No open applications. Neat desktop. I am ready for today’s hustle.

In a parallel universe, our hearts can be cleansed with a press of a button every day, sinless and reborn the next day. Perfect relationships will flourish however in reality, there are more compelling reasons to go on. The greatest stories start when we find Christ in our darkest moments, at the bottom of our sin, ready to accept redemption. It’s a continuous series of ups and downs on what makes it a beautiful story.

Here’s a fact of life: At some point, you will still fail people even those who are dearest to you, you will judge them for the bad decisions in their lives, and eventually, it becomes a test of love. It is human nature to feel negative towards certain situations – sad, angry or disappointed, and it’s fine. Take your time but don’t dwell on it. What we do after defines a person’s worth to us, a conscious decision to keep, love or forgive them even from afar.

It’s so easy to love a person because of the good side, what makes love real is choosing them despite your differences and helping them become a better person. Stories from the Bible tell us how humility is relative to grace, how repentant sinners transitioned to followers and how Jesus chose the outsiders by accepting them in His mission of fulfilling the prophecy. We are given free will to follow His ways.

If we hope to be a mirror of Christ, how do we resolve a problem with familiarity? I believe the first step is to accept that all people have different journeys, backgrounds, and personalities with all the good and bad. As much as we try, understand from where they are coming from. You cannot feel negative towards someone without a deeply-rooted cause and you may start to resolve from there. What we are seeing is just a portion of one man’s life, we tend to conclude things and profile them as a one word adjective based on our judgement. My dear, life is short to carry a heavy heart, free yourself from the baggage. In recent years, I found that the best way to deal with a person in a challenging situation is to respond with kindness and knowing them more – it transcends people.

May we always seek for positive change – that mistakes aren’t permanent, that we can still wake up tomorrow beaming with so much hope that little things at a time can be done to be better. And for all you know, one day, you will look in the mirror seeing a brand new person molded by wisdom and beautiful stories to share.

At the end of every business day, I end up with a messy desktop knowing that tomorrow will bring a brand new day of ‘cleaning’ the slate. Press RESTART.

Here’s to Writing

This week, I was reminded twice on different occasions that I used to write. There’s no better way to recuperate from the apparent loss of interest than to start writing again. Anyare na, ate girl? 

It’s been so long since I logged in, I needed an hour to figure out my password and username. I don’t even know if anyone is reading or am I just wasting my money on the domain? Pangarap ko talaga ang magka-website so let it be. Truth be told, I miss writing in long form. Curated my Instagram for very short essays and nice photos, leading to the disintegration of my blog. Napusuan mo na ba ang posts ko sa IG? Haha If not yet, go figure.

Ang dami ng naganap, hindi ko alam kung saan magsimula – or maybe we can start on why I write personal stories online. Most times, I worry that I write too personal stories that I maybe projecting a different persona at work or people won’t take me professionally because they somehow know me outside work because of what I write or post online. Growing up, I associate being emotional to weakness and being weak is not the kind of person I want to show off in the corporate life. Sometimes, I forget that the people I work with have personal life, that they are someone’s mother, father, child or a friend.

I started to write less in emails, short ones with precision. I adapted it in my personal life, I reply briefly on every chat and asks general questions only even to friends and family. My words transitioned to cold, flat and emotionless. Which I ask, is this part of maturity? To care less with length but focus more on substance of the context, to stick with facts only because adjectives are subjective, ultimately, to write less.

The other day, we were having dinner sharing stories of our childhood together with my church mates and then I blurted out that I was featured once in a newspaper about growing up in a sari-sari store household. Despite my messy train of thought, Philippine Daily Inquirer published my article last May 2017. It meant a lot for me because someone saw a compelling story to my literary piece. For a moment, me being a legit writer has been justified. It was a dream come true. All feelings of exuberance came back real quick as I remember that moment last year.

Then I remember, I used to write passionately. I cannot quantify the people I touched through my essays but receiving words of thanks even from total strangers still makes my heart flutter. Maybe we write not for ourselves but to pass on the kind of inspiration we got from the great writers we know, it’s paying forward. Right there, you found it, your purpose.

So yes, I am breaking boundaries by letting my guards down, at least in this blog. I will start to write again because there are stories that need to be told and it’s about time to see it as a gift, an act of strength and courage instead of weakness. For now, let me curate life narratives through the interwebz.

Crossroads

Crossroads

Last night I had the chance to join a personal discussion with a priest, we asked him several rhetorical questions like the story of how he entered the priesthood, his view of the third gender, sins, and absolution.

Then someone asked him, “If you knew that you will commit a sin – but will do it anyway then ask for repentance, will you be forgiven?”

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Cambodia for your old soul

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I always like the idea of visiting Cambodia because of #1 reason: it is super cheap. Case in point: I stayed in a decent all-female dorm for USD25 for three nights. Felt like I needed a break from all the work-related stuff and decided to spend the long ASEAN holiday outside Malaysia. I fancy tuktuk rides and Siem Reap has the best night market I’ve ever seen!

Quaint cities like Siem Reap tug at my heartstrings – to live simply without the sight of towering buildings, to sip a cup of coffee or to eat pistachio ice cream while waiting for time to pass. The calmness of having nothing to worry except for the next destination.