GOING BACK TO MY PASSION PART 2

Books and music are some of my lifesavers (and my cats)

There are a lot of wonderful things in life that I tend to neglect when I get too busy or too focused on work (or my worries). It seems difficult for me to simply sit and be grateful for all the different events that happen in my life. I would like to make sure that in this new journey that I will be taking in life, I learn to be grateful for all the blessings – big or small – that are given to me.

With a lot of sadness or even scary news about the concerns of the world, it is not easy to look for the little things that make our day better. It is something that I also struggle with, day in and out. I would like to find that piece of hope in my heart that believes in the better days ahead for all of us. There may still be some moments when I would stumble and forget about this new practice I wish to do; nonetheless, I would like to try.

Struggle in getting back

January 2020 – the start of the new year was already a roller coaster of various local and international news. From the fearful thoughts of Iran and America’s conflict to the bush fires in Australia, then the eruption of the Taal volcano which was later topped by the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic from Wuhan, China. With all those, the start of the year seemed like a long, exhausting one already. As I tried to work through my tasks as a senior high school teacher, I wasn’t able to go back to writing anymore. I chose to keep an old-school written journal instead. Anyhow, now, I would continue with my story regarding this passion of mine.

Continue reading

Start of another journey

In times when everything seemed dried out of life, there are those little workers who keep on doing their part to keep death from turning up one day. Even in life, there are a lot of struggles and even some walls that stop us along the way. However, we can see them as the finish line or we can enjoy the rest and then find a detour to continue our run.

In the years after university, I faced a lot of those walls. I even came to a point where I felt worried and lost. There were moments when I gave up and didn’t see the meaning of the events happening in my life. It was, however, during those lowest moments did I give everything up to the Lord and I rested. It was not an easy journey. I had years of simply worrying about the coming days that I was too stubborn to listen to the Lord’s plan. I wanted to go my way. I wanted to achieve the dreams I thought were right for me to take. Then, only after all those hardships along the way did I enjoy the precious second of surprise as I was still led to a purposeful road which I truly love.

Now, I am still just at the start of that new road and I would like to be one of the workers to help in keeping the belief alive. There are many ways to reach our destination, we just needed some guidance and some recalibration so that we won’t hinder from the one that was designed for us.

Many may not have the same belief as I do, still, it is a good experience to share. It may even be a good chance for others to check on their current place in this run. There sure are a lot of interesting views to see and a number to better understand.

Getting back to writing

Have you ever experienced being stuck in the neverending cycle of waking up, commuting to work, getting to the office, commuting back home, and then simply just falling asleep?

I never really had this kind of problem before, however, as I get older and as I become more acquainted with the busy work life, it seems like I simply lost the light I once had. For instance, I used to enjoy writing down my thoughts and sharing stories with people around me. Now, with my work related to checking papers, attending meetings, writing down comments on various activities, I can’t seem to find the time to simply sit down and write. In this case, write to me and not for any work-related requirement.

I haven’t been active in any platform consistently, as there is a bunch of available outlets in the entire world wide web. Still, it is good to be able to stick to something and enjoy the moment. I hope to be able to find this space in the vast online community. I know that I may simply just use my laptop’s notes for these, but it is still good to have it available for others to read. Maybe there is one out there who would wish to hear these kinds of sentiments as well. After all, I do sometimes forget that I am not the only one with feelings of such worry, exhaustion, or even a sense of longingness. An emotion that I wish to jump back to right away. With that, I hope that this new note will remind me to simply pause and write my stories again. I may not be (may ever be) a well-known writer out there, but it is still a good opportunity for me to have a voice and give life to the thoughts in my mind. Sometimes, those ideas get too much in my head that they make it impossible for me to accomplish anything productive, in terms of work. So, let this be a start.

It may have been quite late as the strict quarantine period due to the pandemic is about to be lifted. Nonetheless, I hope to be able to juggle all these worries about the current health concerns of the world and that of my little world of life.

Step 2 in Retrieving my Lost Time – Grace

Start with grace and appreciation for even the smallest action. Just as I open my eyes, I need to give grace to the Lord. I must say my gratitude for giving me another day to live and to witness the wonders of life here on Earth. It may be difficult to get up at times, but I need to remind myself that the Lord still gave me another chance; to change or to find another reason to pursue an act that will make me want to continue living.

If money was not a concern, I would have chosen to write stories and become a professional writer. However, it might take me a few more years to jump into that road and work my way to achieving such a goal. I need to earn to provide for my family. It was not specifically asked by my parents, but as the eldest child in the family, I think that I need to do as much as possible as to help.

Filipino Mindset of Helping Out

Recently, I had been in a seemingly infinite cycle of worrying because of my current financial status. I felt drained both physically and emotionally that I couldn’t focus on accomplishing anything. I think that with almost a decade after attending university, I am in a limbo. This is further heightened by my own personal want of providing well for my family.

As the “Ate” (older sister) in the family, the first four years of my career were set to help out in financing my siblings’ college education. My parents didn’t ask me to provide for everyone. It was on my own decision that I opted to give a portion of my salary for them. Honestly, I didn’t earn that much, almost just a bit higher than minimum wage, but I felt contented. It was not later on, when I reached 25 that I suddenly felt that “Woah, wait. I need to look after myself. I am not getting any younger.”

That statement may seem exaggerated as my sister only started work at the age of 24, but thinking of the dreams that I set aside, yes, my circumstances now seem a bit worrisome. Nonetheless, I didn’t exactly mind it as I grabbed a job that seems to be a passion that I would truly be happy with – teaching.

Passion over Finances is not enough

Teaching was wonderful. I enjoyed engaging with my students, sharing experiences, and even being strict in class. However, this didn’t last long as I got burned out with financial worries. Don’t get me wrong, finances aren’t the only things that matter in life, I know. However, being able to have enough and provide properly for the family is a crucial factor in staying in a job. Also, having to carry a load that isn’t even part of my job description is somehow too much. Okay, let’s be honest; a teacher isn’t an eight to five job as there are a lot of in between scenarios to take care of during the entire school year. However, being asked to juggle too many tasks at the same time with some of which should have been shouldered by others, that is too much.

Also, compensation wise, it won’t make ends meet that easily. Though I am truly grateful for the experience as it also helped make me more mature and more responsible in the way that I handle events in my life. I think that I need to find a way to help me meet this passion of mine. First by completing the required units to take the licensure examination (credentials and titles are still such a big thing in the Philippine setting; understandable as we are supposed to be professional). Then to pass the board.

For now, I am just grateful to the Lord for all the realizations that I have had for the past months. I have to be committed to seeing this through no matter how difficult or how long it may take.

Step 1 in Retrieving my Lost Time – Devotionals

In the previous post, I talked about my disappointment whenever I’d felt that I wasted my day. In my decision to get back my time, I wish to take the first step in that, hopefully, long-term commitment. I will start with my daily devotionals.

I have done this for an entire year last 2018 and almost got through the half of 2019. However, a stumbled a couple of months in the year and lost the drive to do anything. This was when I physically, emotionally, and mentally got drained to a point of a breakdown. I almost tried seeking professional support, though I didn’t get a chance to do so. But, no worries, I still do plan to take that step later on. I am simply taking this change, one step at a time. Perhaps, if you know any local (PH) venues where I can have free or with minimal charge, psychological assistance, I’d greatly appreciate it when you share it with me.

Morning Routine

With my new work schedule, I arrive home close to midnight already. I’d only have enough energy to wash my face, fix myself for bed, and doze off right away. In spite of that, I plan to take back my morning routine or set a new early morning habit that I can stick with. I think this is a good way to make sure that I have a system that can help get me back up into feeling and doing better than I have been for the past three to four months.

I plan to get up before 8:00 AM and make sure to devout it in prayer and my bible reading plans. Right now, I am using YouVersion and it has been really helpful in making me prepare for the day ahead. There are numerous plans that are suitable for various concerns: fear, purpose, happiness, and more. It has never been a bad move to thank God for another day in my life as well as the chance to find new meaning in the events that are happening around me.

Commitment

This kind of change is not that easy to see through the end, especially with little motivation or proper guidance. The good thing is that even before starting, I already accepted the fact that there will be struggles or trials along the way. That surely is a great thing to settle in my mind to make me see a better way to make this fresh commitment work. But, I think I will also share this one great song to help put this new task in perspective – Best News Ever by MercyMe to help me end this reflection for today. This is also a great reminder on how I can commit to this new step in my life.

Getting Back my Time

Have you ever felt like you needed more time in a day? Maybe, you have felt that at the end of the two dozens of hours, everything you did with your time was not that productive at all. Well, if you never felt this way, I am happy for you and how I wish that you may be able to share that with me.

On my part, I have had a lot of those moments when I simply couldn’t believe that more than 18 hours of my day went down the drain of unproductiveness. I felt disappointed with myself because after all, it was my own decision and action that led me to not do anything worth my time. Of course, there was once that time when I had never gotten tired of filling my schedule with tasks. It seemed that I always had the energy for various activities in one day that end, I felt fulfilled and satisfied with the way I used my hours. But gradually, as I got older, I slowly forgot about that drive.

Lost Focus

I got too focused with work that whenever I have a free time, I’d rather sleep or use my phone. I think that I got too attached to my device that I also skipped my usual habit of reading. I lost the motivation to continue with my passion projects as well. I built a mindset that I have exerted a lot of energy to work and that I simply deserve a relaxing time; idly tinkering with my phone or watching loads of hours of TV series/dramas. Then when the sun went down, I’d crawl with a burden of disappointment as I wasted my day that didn’t help in leading me closer to any of my life goals. Though, arguably, I was able to rest, but was the stress after it worth the random acts of fulfillment? Not so sure about that.

With that in my memory, I have to make sure that I move back to finding a better focus. Each of us will have a different priorities in our lives as we have distinct paths in reaching whatever we find as worthwhile life goals. In the years after graduating from the university, my priorities changed. My understanding of categorizing various events as well as tasks into priorities leaned closer to my family. My dreams changed as well. They aren’t as far-fetched as when I was younger; I became more realistic. This kind of experience both had it’s pros and cons.

There were days that somehow, I felt that days won’t be any better. The days just seemed to become a routine. Luckily, with my job, teaching students brought a lot of delight (as well as headaches). It was not easy, but I found the fulfillment. Until one day, I got too burned out. I realized that it was important to have a balance with work and rest. I also needed proper guidance for me to continue with doing work well.

I may be capable of doing my task properly with less guidance, but it would always have been better if there is a mentor who could share insights. I, after all, am an individual who wished to perform still better than what I do in the present. Moreover, I learned that being with the right set of people could affect my actions.

I learned to let go of my worries. I started facing my fears – the worry that I may not be doing well, emotionally, physically, and even mentally. I needed a redirection for my heart to be well. This is when I went back to God.

Initially, there was denial as I was not confident in facing the Lord again with the fear of rejection. But, I went back to the encounter I had long before when I received Him and then I remembered that I shouldn’t be afraid. This is when I realize that I need to make new commitments to help me stand up from the slump that I put myself in for the past year.

Commitment

There were days when I still struggle, but with a few more little steps to make, I hope that I could do better and retrieve my time. I may have wasted hours simply being lazy or doing random things that I thought would help me get better. Now, I wish to make a few commitments to let me start refocusing my goals to a life worth living – to a life where God is leading.

  1. Devout a quiet time with God – this should be on the top of my list. Not everyone may agree with me, but this is where I can get strength. Having to start a commitment with anything, without proper guidance would definitely double the difficulty. I have learned that with my faith in the Lord, I gain strength to face many trials. I may not be enough, but God is more than enough.
  2. Learn a new skill – it’s not that easy, but I hope to start getting my time back by changing my focus to something that can help me get better in the future. I may not be that young, and learning a new set of skills may take longer, but it’s worth a try. I personally would like to start learning any of these skills: a new language, swimming (as I am still very much afraid of deep water), and driving (yes, I still don’t know how to drive at this age).
  3. Keep up with an exercise routine – I’m not getting any much stronger and younger each day. I need to begin looking after myself, which includes taking care of my health. I do, honestly, slowly feel the drag of muscle pain as I work on a few exercise movements. This is something that I know I should have started much earlier. 😉 Also, this is an act that lets me take care of the body the Lord has lent me. After all, I need to stay strong to fulfill the plans He has for me.
  4. Go back to creating small passion projects – I have left some of my childhood dreams behind thinking that I would never be able to do them any justice at this age. But, I also learned that doing so won’t help me in any way, reaching a better appreciation of my life. I like reading stories and creating some of my own ones. Perhaps, I need to start doing so and sharing them to people who may wish to also read new stories that can help them ignite the flame of passion in their hearts.

Let’s see how these will end and I hope that I would find the strength to begin them now.

Facing my Giants

You work to live and you are not simply living to work. This is mainly the gist of common tips I hear from people who try to encourage me to continue working. This later became my own type of go-to reminder whenever I feel like giving up. Has it always been easy for “adults” to live a life they wished for?

Growing up, I always thought that people who are already in their 20’s know what they truly want in life. It seemed such a wonderful time to be at that stage of life when you have a profession that you can be proud of and share with the family. I also had that belief that people who are working in their 20’s had their life planned ahead of them; that life is such a black and white journey where there are milestones that you just need to check from your list and then you move on to the next phase. It was such a wonderful thought then. But now that I am in my mid-twenties, I see the world differently. Never really thought that there would be dozens of giants that I needed to face to reach the goal I wish to achieve. In fact, I am still on that road and not really sure what will be at the end of this journey. But, I think that there are still many giants that will be meeting me along the way.

Continue reading

Drop of Life, One by One

The rain keeps falling on the roof. My head’s hurting from its constant tap, tap, tap. I haven’t heard any other sounds since two days ago. Now, I’m longing for the breeze and even the shout of my neighbor. Why does it have to be raindrops?

Out of all the sounds in the world, why this sad, far away memories lingering to me?

I know that I yell at people sometimes. Making too much noise, but it’s just right for certain events. I never thought that I’ll miss all of those today.

The echoing tap, tap, tap…

Boring at times

Lonely for the rest.

Even with great effort to sleep, the raindrops keep me awake, feeling that longing. Crawling farther away, closer to the dark, solitary light.

Walking across the street, waiting for the light to turn green. I know I’m safe because of that blinking light of a peaceful remedy. My right foot leads the way with the left to follow. Slowly, but never so sure.

Tap, tap, tap
Still hitting the notes in my head

Screeching sounds take them to the end.

Chasing the Writing Bug

There are numerous opportunities for me to start bringing life to the unimaginable stories out of my head. But most of the time I slack off instead. Then getting annoyed at the end because of wasted hours.

Frustrations

Writing has always been one of my toughest frustrations (next to singing). I’m aware of how random I could be throughout the day, so I’ve got to make use of my productive hours well. However, the actual writing tends to come rarely these days. 😥 This is due to my lack of a fixed writing habit. I try to be consistent with my schedule, but distractions greet me which I embrace so openly.

Bothersome distractions

Online sites are the worst!

Continue reading