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.

How to Get Back Up from a Slump?

Crying your eyes out early in the morning isn’t a great start for the day, but still getting up and preparing for work is a huge step in facing the day better. In fact, even just the thought of trying is a strong choice to make to begin the day. However, it is not that easy to do every single time this moment happens. This is something I realized just recently when I got to the lowest point of my physical, emotional, and even mental threshold; with the latter, an event that is totally new to me.

Calm Before the Storm

A quick background about me, I am the eldest of three and I just turned 26 this year which, I guess, stirred up a lot of unsettled emotions and thoughts within me. Growing up as the eldest child in a Filipino family setup means opening myself to maturity at an earlier stage compared to my siblings; though this may be the case with many other first borns.

Even when I was just in Grade 1, I remember having to do household chores at home as well as keeping an eye on my baby sister and my youngest brother. They are only roughly more than a year apart, unlike with me who is two years older than my sister and four years older than my brother. I thought it was a typical situation and simply enjoyed the days.

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A Trip to Loving Myself More

Everyone is on a one-way trip through life. Whether you believe in reincarnation, it won’t happen until another lifetime. 

Love poems, love notes, lovers hugging, billboards reminding of love and romance, romantic TV series and movies; there sure is romance everywhere. But, why does it seem difficult to love me? With the numerous stories passed on from generations to generations, there seems to be that innate need for people to find a partner to “complete” themselves. Have you ever felt lost because of such an idea? I know with me, I have, had, still having those thoughts.

Let me take this as a starting point for my weekly series which I would like to feature in this blog for the month of October: Dreamer’s Confession. With dozens of dreams in my head, wouldn’t it be great to try and explore the possibilities of finding an outlet for them?  Aside from the dreams, there are like hundreds of doubts in my heart which I need to express before fully facing my dreams. With that, the first on the list is love.

Love: Am I lacking it?

Where should I start? For you, where would you start when people ask you about your romantic endeavors or perhaps your own love story?

In my case, I can’t really share anything as my experiences are extremely limited with just my elementary to college crushes. Yes, I am one of the lucky thousands (are we really that many?) who have never been in a relationship. It is somehow difficult to explain how it happened, but at my age, I guess I would give an excuse that no one may have actually liked me to be in a relationship. How such a sweet reason; like it’s not my fault, I may really just be that naive or insensitive.

That’s such a lame reason which I simply need to put the blame on others for not liking me. In reality, I think I never really just let myself take a chance with being in love. I feel comfortable with people around me which is a big leap from my introverted self in elementary and high school, though what exactly is one of the factors which led me to my status right now: single.

Forms of Love

There a lot of experiences in life that leads more to just marriage. In our short journey through the passing of years, there are numerous people to share our love with. I believe that not everyone is meant to get married. Yes, others can have a surprising moment where each one meets for a brief time yet not really have the chance to stay together for the rest of their lives.

Love is not just seen in one form. There are different ways to express it. For you, do you only show one kind of love?

Reasons I make to feel good

There aren’t enough reasons to make myself feel good. But, there is even a wonderful experience of learning to love yourself. I never fully understood the meaning of this until I needed to love myself. There were a lot of insecurities that tried to knock me down as I was growing up. It was so easy to compare myself to others around me (and still is). It even turned into making me the worst critic of myself which led to the feeling of me not being enough. There was even a phase in my life when I wasn’t sure about myself and what I can do or even achieve. That was a difficult point to pick me up. Then through the years of enduring numerous experiences and meeting different types of people, I gradually accepted the love coming from my own. Was it easy? Not really, but it was remarkable and refreshing.

Everyone is on a one-way trip through life..png

Adulting: Struggles of Letting Go

Have you ever experienced a day when you just blurt out statements like ‘Shocks, I’m getting old!’ or ‘Seriously? How old are you?’? I have those moments now, but I’m not even close to turning 30. I just hit the sweet quarter of a hundred mark and yet I feel somehow overwhelmed on how ‘adult’ I should be after that particular age. I think of how “Oh dear, my officemate doesn’t know this or that anymore’; ‘The bills are here already!’; ‘I want to do that but I’m tired.’ Don’t those statements just sound sad?

In modern references, it is just a part of ‘adulting’ which everyone in their working years must face. However, as it seems to be a natural thing to happen, why are there a number of us who struggle with it?

Keeping Up with the Young Ones

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I think that there are times when the younger generation is catching up so fast in terms of age, but our sentiments are leagues away. This is one factor in how our ‘adulting’ becomes evident, and how this phenomenon seems like a burden. We start comparing our own memories to the ones who we somehow feel like us during those years.

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Looking Back before Moving Forward to 2018

Today, I can say that welcoming my 25th year wouldn’t be that bad after I have grown to know more about myself as well as the different things that truly matter to me. However, before I can move forward to welcoming 2018, there are a lot of experiences that I need to look back to as I reflect and finally put them out of my mind and my heart. This is me letting go of those moments for me to have space for new ones in my head and my heart.

June 2013 – early 2015

  • ESL work -> got burned out from it 😦

Right after graduation, there were a lot of experiences that opened my eyes to how different it was to be a student and to be a part of the workforce. I spent almost two years of my post-grad concerns focused on a job which challenged me a lot (physically, mentally, and emotionally).

This was the time I realized that I wasn’t that good enough to be working in this field, but I didn’t let that stop me from doing well. So, I studied, I practiced, I endured, and I became a better ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher than how I thought I could be. Though, there were still a number of times when I truly wanted to cry from exhaustion and just quit. Like why in the first place was I there? I wasn’t even a speech communication graduate; I chose writing as my major!

Honestly, for the first three to five months, I had always thought of quitting. Then, the kids came to the academy. I had to endure all the challenges and faced them head-on. I loved the kids, I loved how I was sharing a part of my knowledge with them, and I love how I was becoming a part of their growth as an individual. As I saw them improve, I felt that I needed to be there to guide them. This was not an entirely good choice, though.

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I am ready to fall in love

Has anyone really been ready to love?
Is there a certain schedule that you can mark in your calendar and finally set aside for a couple of days, weeks or even months? If there is such a thing, I wish someone could tell me the proper steps right now.

Is there a certain schedule that you can mark in your calendar and finally set aside for a couple of days, weeks or even months? If there is such a thing, I wish someone could tell me the proper steps right now.

Throughout the years, I have learned to simply shrug off the comments of people around me asking, telling, and sometimes, arguing on my current romantic/relationship status. There were moments from high school to my university days that people around me started meeting new circles of friends, enjoyed the companies of other cliques, and dated people they thought were “the one.” Now, I think with the many stories I’ve heard, and first-hand experiences that I’ve witnessed throughout those years, I also learned to stay aloof from the feelings of jealousy as my friends spent more time with their significant others; anger as they share their pains from a failed relationship; and distrust as they introduce new faces with glee and beaming smiles. In that process, I’ve led myself to a comfortable state of sympathy, empathy, and patience. But, there’s that particular feeling that I missed, curiosity.

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Baler: Surfing and So Much More for a Quick Weekend Trip

I caught some last minute heat as the dry season (there’s no summer in the Philippines, we only have two seasons 😉 ) finally said goodbye this year. I filled last weekend with a fair share of nature’s quiet beauty and the surprising waves of the open ocean in the stunning little wonder down south – Baler.

I have always been curious about this particular town as I usually hear about it whenever people search for nearby surfing destinations in Luzon. Being a non-confident swimmer (I still can’t do water treading), doing such activity isn’t really at the top of my list. But, surprisingly, I enjoyed surfing the most during my quick trip to Baler. Before I share that experience, here are some additional events that happened and the special moments that I also truly appreciated.

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Learn, Write, and Complete a Story (Part 1)

I suddenly realized that reading has become a tedious work these days. It now serves as an action that I need to complete for the sake of meeting an academic requirement. As I follow this new habit, I gradually lost the interest in meeting new characters as I have become busy in understanding (at least trying to understand) the ideas of various local and international literary critics. Then aside from discovering this extensive form of “reading,” I also realized that I lack an important knowledge about Philippine literature.

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On Writing (2): Lost interest, missed opportunity

A dozen of scenarios plays back and forth in my mind. I get sleepless nights, tossing and turning with all these grand images knocking, crawling, and sometimes, frolicking their way to my consciousness. With this kind of dilemma, I set up a small space beside my bed with pieces of paper and sets of pens. This is my refuge as I try to organize the thoughts into actual writing. However, it never works out well.

I end up stunned. Staring blankly at the ceiling right after I opened my eyes from sleep. Whenever I try to remember, the ideas aren’t simply there at all. I’m left with a certain kind of emotion drawn from the event/scenario/whatevs, but the actual scene or thought isn’t present anymore. This is a real struggle especially when I want to write so badly. How I wish I could easily record my dreams and random train of thoughts like in a quick writing exercise where I jot down anything that pops into my mind. This way, I can go back and read through them then slowly figure out how a story can possibly develop from the seemingly balderdash record.

Aside from these challenges, I also end up losing interest in particular topics that I think I miss a lot of good opportunities. This year, I wish to overcome this lazy attitude and complete more written works.