Monday, November 23, 2015

Project: L.I.F.E. (Living In Full Excitement)

Sometimes I ask myself if this is all worth it. You know, living miles away from your family and friends, in a foreign country with no one to count on to but yourself?

It’s been more than a year now and for no reason (must be the weather, I guess, or Adele’s new album, “25”), I was struck by homesickness – the kind that paralyzes you and the kind that the only thing you can do to ease the feeling is sigh. Ugh! Yesterday I was more than okay and today I just felt so alone that I had to text a lot of people just to feel I’m not. I hate this feeling!

Suddenly, I found myself in limbo again, asking myself, “Where do I go from here?” Good thing I have a job that keeps me busy most of the time during the day and a circle of friends that makes me smile even when I find it really hard to do so. But when the “curtains fall” and I’m on my own again, the feeling comes back.

Considering my age and what I’ve accomplished so far, I still have a lot of insecurities. I want to do a lot of things (and be someone) but I’m too lazy to start. In a way, I can say that the loneliness I’m feeling right now is rooted from those insecurities. I'm longing for things I know I can’t get (umh, maybe just not yet). It’s frustrating.

But who’s to blame or what to do? We can’t have all the things in this world just because we want them, right? Or maybe it’s just not the right time. Maybe God has something more in store for me. Or maybe I should strive harder and do better to achieve them. I believe that life is a journey of endless possibilities and it’s just up to me if I am ready and strong enough to hurdle the challenges to get there (wherever that is. Haha!).

Meanwhile, I stand by my principle to live and love life – be happy, sad, angry, excited, jealous, envious… try new things, meet people… whatever!

Bottom line is: No matter how hard life hits you, stand up and face another punch. With a smile. Haha!

Life won’t stop hitting you (hard!) from time to time but that doesn’t mean you have to take it so seriously. You’re not alone. I’m not alone. I know that. Some people might hate you or treat you like sh*t or leave you feeling empty and used but know for sure that there are people who will treat you special and care for you. Don’t waste your time giving your attention to the wrong people or wrong things. Don’t dwell on gloomy emotions, too (which can really be very addictive).

And to answer the intro question, yes! It’s worth it. Not because I enjoy living alone but because I get to give my family a better life and I get to test my strength physically and emotionally. All the things that had happened and are happening to me here all contribute to a better me. Still a work in progress but it’s better than no progress at all. Haha!

I am alive. I am infinite.


Thursday, June 4, 2015

The Reboot

Everything was just like yesterday.

I can still vividly recall everything in my mind: that moment I stepped foot in Singapore’s Changi airport bound for Qatar, the first few days of adjustments in Doha and the numerous job interviews I’ve had to endure before (finally!) landing one.

It’s been a year! :)

When my family sent me off for Qatar, I really had a heavy heart but I had to pretend I was fine. I didn’t want to speak too much to any of them lest I’ll start crying. I avoided being in that plight but I guess things were really just meant to happen that way.

It wasn’t the first time I’ve left the country but it was definitely the first time I’ve left knowing I won’t be back any time soon. It was also the first time I traveled abroad weeping. I was in an emotional struggle. I was a mess. I was trying to win a war I had created internally and while I know I have my family’s full support, I was really scared.

I was afraid of so many things that time, which included failure, loneliness, (and maybe) dying early. Haha! If you’ve been reading my previous posts, you’ll understand where I’m coming from. Hehe.

But God really knows what he’s doing and voila! :) It’s been a year and as of this writing, I would say that I have already fairly adjusted with my new life. I’m still trying to cope with a lot of things in Doha but I’m getting by. Time, as they say, really passes by fast and with all the things that had happened, I guess I was reborn. I didn’t even think I’d last this long here.

Qatar is a very different place compared to the Philippines. It’s a very wealthy country but as they say, “not everything that glitters is gold.” Haha! Kidding! Seriously, while I can enumerate a number of things I hate about this place (most especially the transportation system!), I’ve learned to love Doha as a second home. It sort of saved me from the misery I was in. It gave me the chance to redeem myself. It isn’t the perfect place for moving on but I’ve come to terms with its imperfections. I guess this is where exactly I should be.

Moving on was never easy. While things were going smoothly here, I was still in doubt for the most part of the year. I was still convinced that I’ll die soon. Haha! I guess it’s really the idleness and the fear of the future that fueled all these crazy thoughts. The past two years of not knowing what to do with my life was really a stress. Moreover, the thought that I have a degenerating disease added up to that.

It was when I started letting God take over my life that everything went back to normal again. I freed myself with all the worries and just lifted everything to Him. If I’m going to die, then I might as well do something good for my family – this became my new mantra. Haha! So instead of wasting my days worrying, I focused on landing a job but not totally pressuring myself to the point where I’d end up frustrated (and even more stressed and depressed). I just believed in God’s plan and while I still don’t know exactly what it is, I think that it led me to this job I have right now.

Since then, I slowly started feeling better again. I slow started to rekindle shelved hobbies and goals. I slowly started being me again while pieces of my life’s puzzle were also getting into their places properly. It was a reboot. I guess I just really needed a change of environment and a diversion (my new job) to be normal again. And I also realized that there’s really no way of telling when is our time to die. It’s not in our hands. All we can do for now is to just seize every single moment of our lives and be ready when the time has come to face our Creator.    

Friday, January 16, 2015

My 2014 in Retrospect

It’s been a year of self recovery and rediscovery.

I never thought 2014 would be this much memorable and, I must say, a redefining year for me. A lot of things have happened to me this year and while some of them weren’t that favorable, I still consider them parts of the bigger picture.

I started the year with a very positive and hopeful outlook but then a series of twists and turns led me to becoming the most paranoid and hopeless individual I could possibly become. And all it took was a (lingering) pain in the back.

Guess that was one of my weaknesses – HEALTH issues. I value health so much that a sudden disturbance to my normal bodily functions got me super scared and worried, which in turn attracted a lot of other negative stuff. I started feeling weak and vulnerable to other diseases. I started creating symptoms that, heck! I don’t even know if they’re really there. Haha!

I’d be honest that at some point, I just wanted everything to end in a snap (but I didn’t want to die!). To cut it short, I was crazy the first half of the year. From February to May (I think), I was so consumed about me deteriorating and dying.

Crazy, right?

Then off I went to Qatar. I must admit, I have already deleted this possibility in my mind. All I could envision that time was that I was bound to just stay at home and rot. But a “force” made everything possible. In just a few weeks, everything was flawlessly prepared.  The only thing that’s not prepared was me. It took a lot of self-talk and convincing from family members before I really said yes to the plan.

I left the Philippines sad, scared and totally afloat. I’ve wasted too much time over thinking to the point that I was already blinded by my misery. Yes, it was depression. And that time, I thought nobody really understood what I was going through.      

That kind of mindset went on ‘til early June. It was tiring. It was suffocating. It was a bad, bad experience. I hate the feeling but I was too weak to overpower it. Then I started letting God take over.

Prayers and constant communication with God led me to where I am now. By the end of June, I was already getting back on track.  I found a job (or should I say, it found me). There were still humps along the road and I was still a bit surrounded by negativities (and I almost retreated, actually) but faith kept me going. Faith and the belief of His bigger plans made me stronger. I started making new friends, I started thinking about future plans again, which were shelved when I was still “in the dark,” and I started thinking about living again. I never thought I’d reach this state of mind again.

2014 taught me some of the most important lessons in life.

First, uncertainties are the only things certain in this world. We may have plans (and know how to execute them) but we can never be sure that these plans will turn out they way we want them to be. It’s always good to have plans but it’s also a must to expect the unexpected.

Second, there is really a bigger plan. We may have everything laid out already in our head but God has a bigger plan for us and all the things that have happened and are happening to our lives right now are parts and portions of it.

Third, guilt is like a disease that could slowly eat you up. I’m no saint, I’d be honest. I did things in the past that I’d consider “out of the ordinary” and therefore, had to be kept to myself. Later this year, there were things that came up that pushed me to break the wall and open up to my brothers (if they’re reading this – which I doubt they would (Haha!) – they would know). It was liberating. The assurance of their love and support made me bear the weight of the feeling.

Lastly, life is still worth it. When we’ve come face to face with our biggest problem, I think most of us would just want to escape and end the suffering. We are dazed by the pain that we want the quickest relief. Some resort to developing vices and all that and worse, some people take their own lives. While it is, indeed, the fastest way to end all sufferings, it will definitely get us into a more miserable destination.

Anyway, what I’m trying to say is that life is a journey and for sure, it will not always be a smooth path. There will always be bumps along the way and rocks falling here and there but always and I mean, ALWAYS GIVE LIFE A SECOND, THIRD, FOURTH AND SO ON CHANCE AND BELIEVE THAT EVERYTHING WILL TURN OUT FINE.

We are here, breathing, because each of us has a purpose. We may not see clearly during the rough times but when the clouds have all departed, we’ll realize that life is beautiful and that there are still things to discover and learn; things that are worth living for.

I did not mean to make this entry too melodramatic but I guess this year really had been quite such a ride. Happy New Year, everyone!

Let’s all live life to its fullest. J