January 12, 2018

10-minute Reflection

Bodbe Monastery, Signaghi, Georgia

Is it too late to reflect on the past year? I hope not because I am in the mood to reflect on the year that has been probably one of the best years living abroad and on my own. I usually have a 10-minute reflection on random days where I listen to relaxing music and doing nothing in particular except for mindful reflection. But this time, I wanted to write down my thoughts with the help of North Star Facilitators.

1. What are 7-10 moments/events that rise to the top from 2017?
  1. Opportunity to travel to four countries: Brunei, Singapore, Philippines and Georgia
  2. Living abroad means getting away with the people you have known and meeting new ones. Therefore catching up with old friends and family is difficult to achieve but this year, I believe I made a good time catching up with my loved ones and good friends this year.
  3. Braved myself to get out of the comfort zone by leaving my dear roommates who became my family for 2 years and moved into a new flat (a few steps away) to create a change in my daily routine. But it's nice to have a place to visit nearby!
  4. A few moments where life slapped me hard in the face to make me understand that life does not revolve around me (and this actually made me understand other people, too!)
  5. Come to think of it, I experienced snow for the first time that year! Although I did not manage to make my first snow man nor made myself a snow angel!
  6. Always trying to be better at work every day. I am always grateful for my colleagues who make the workplace a better place when the daily commute (especially during summer) is a challenge! 
  7. For my team and boss who believed in my skills and what I can offer to the team. For the moments I received countless "gold stars" from them. They always inspire me career-wise!
2. How would I describe the atmosphere or mood of 2017 for me?
It was a whirlwind for me - a share of happy and sad, easy and challenging, planned and spontaneous, determined and ambivalent, plain and mixed days and nights.

3. What from 2017 do I want to leverage for 2018?
Leverage my time to interact more, travel more, and learn more.

4. What and who do I need to engage with in the first quarter of 2018 to ensure a brilliant meaningful balanced year?
Nothing in particular but I think setting aside more time in interacting with friends or strangers instead of always on my phone. I really want to be aware of other people's time and to make the time more meaningful and full of context and not small talks.

December 16, 2017

Living with content, love and happiness

Five years ago today, I wrote something about Life being confusing all the time. I ended the blog with:
So don't question why life is confusing because it will always be confusing. Search questions, discover answers, and when you do things, do it because you love to. There will be a lot of choices in life but choose the ones that make you happy. After all, living life is living with content, love and happiness.
After five years, I must say, I think I have chosen to do the things I have done because they make me happy. If I look back to the last five years of my life, looking through the big steps I took - it was because I was searching for satisfaction which results to happiness (whatever it may be).

I might have clung onto things that satisfied (or still satisfies) me because it is the safest thing to do. Some people may think that being on the safe side is mediocrity but I think if you know that you are placing yourself where it can help you flourish in the long run and if it makes sense to you - then it should be fine. At 27, I realized that (in a deeper way, I guess) your actions need to speak louder than words. How cliche - but it's true. It's time to think it through before doing it and before even saying it (if it has to be said). We are all work-in-progress here. We like to enhance ourselves. We want to change our old habits even if old habits die hard. But if these habits don't make sense to you anymore, you have got to get rid of that thing gradually.

Honestly, I have been changing the way I react on things or make decisions. As I said, I want to think things through. Sometimes I think that I am obsessed by it - I hope it's just a phase to becoming older. I try to stay away from doing things just because but doing things with a purpose. I hope I am doing this right. They say that, if you want to know that something is right, then ask yourself if (doing) it makes you happy. I am not happy nor sad - but I am scared to do my own decisions at some point now. But that is the beauty of it - of getting older. You have got to do things on your own now. I think we just have to stick to one reason why we should do the things we want to do - because we want to live. By living the one life we have with content, love and happiness. 

And sometimes, it does not hurt to live a little! By that, I mean, make little adventures for your soul. Go travel, talk to people, create something new, ask silly questions, climb that mountain, cook something new, go there but with a purpose. Life always has its own reason but sometimes the reason only shows up once you have done something that scares you or new to you.

I shall say it again, there will be a lot of choices in life but choose the ones that make you happy. After all, living life is living with content, love and happiness.

December 8, 2017

Ice Breaker #14: What was the biggest surprise you ever had?

me at Dubai Butterfly Garden, December 2017

my cousins (Beau, Ate Evelyn), my sister (Ate Aking), and my sister's husband (Kuya Mel) at Dubai Butterfly Garden, December 2017

I think the biggest surprise I have ever had (so far) would be knowing that I will be leaving home in three weeks for the longest time. My sister have told me that they (she and her husband) got me a visa and ticket to fly with her to Dubai so I had around three weeks to prepare my things. It was such a big surprise for me even though I have wished that I could come with her months before she told me but the moment it was all set, everything was just sinking in. I had to leave all the people and my things behind and live somewhere. I would not say it is easy but knowing that I still have my family around to keep me sane, then I am good.

November 28, 2017

Ice Breaker #13: Are you an achiever? In what way?

Zero Gravity, Dubai, November 2017

This is a difficult question to answer with just a yes or a no. There are a couple of times that I have achieved something that are meaningful to me though they may be just a regular task for some. A couple of times I failed but did not stop until I got it right. A share of achievements with other people who share the same passion and goals as me (at school, mostly). And for sure there are times that I failed a hundred percent - did no even try harder. So, I ain't an achiever all the way but I do have some achievements through the years. Unfortunately, there's nothing geeky about them (Or so I thought, LOL). But those achievements, no matter how small they are or almost absolutely just nothing for some, are what made me who I am today. And so far, I think I am doing just right. =)

October 30, 2017

Feeding Stray Cats in Abu Dhabi

There could be more than a dozen of things that needed to be written here as I have been missing in action for at least a year but let me write about yesterday's event. My sister has been talking about feeding stray cats in a park in Abu Dhabi. She has seen a couple of expats around the area who spend time in the park and feed stray cats! And she thought maybe we could do the same thing.

Of course I am all for it. I was once a cat person and I still am. If you ever ask me to choose between cat or dog, I would not probably give an answer but I would recall the time when I used to have a lot of kittens and cats when I was a kid. Dogs were also there but the kittens were easily accessible for me. 

This happened yesterday:

I can say that around a third of the cats we have fed came to us and rubbed their body against our legs! I guess it is there way of saying thank you!

We started around 5 in the afternoon and spent time around the park and walked along Corniche. I don't have a correct count of how many cats we fed but there are a lot along the way for sure!

We had coffee at Seattle's Best coffee shop and enjoyed the view of the Marina. Decided to go back home along the same route and got back home at around 11 in the evening. If I remember correctly, my step count reached 17,000 steps! It was a great day to walk around the capital city, feed stray cats, and see strangers/tourists smile at us! I hope we inspired them to feed stray cats as well if they have time!  =)

October 29, 2017

Stopping By To Say Hi!

To be honest, I find it difficult to write in this space these past few months (years, maybe?). It's saddening that I prefer to write business e-mails than writing for my personal blog. It's good that I am focused at work but I know my boss would want me to have a life. I remember her telling me to not stop writing when she asked about my blog a year ago.

Here I am again, on vacation, trying to populate this blog with one more entry. Trying to keep the ball rolling and hoping my thirst for writing more comes back! It's a shame. I don't remember how much writing made me feel sane. Isn't it scary to not feel anything you used to love once? I think I need to write more but I also need time for it. These past few months, I always ask myself how did I ever write so much content in my blog? How did I write poems, stories, whatnots? How did I manage to create things and even collaborated with different people around the world through digital media and endless e-mails? How did I manage to have always an idea in mind?

At 27, I think I need to go back to the time when I was 21 when I told myself that "at 21, I am undecided but just fine". It's true though - I am 27 and I am undecided and fine but I want something more. I want to go to the next step but I don't know what that is. Funny how at 27 I still do not know what I want but I know there has got to be something there. Something that makes life more meaningful. 

I have so many things in mind that I want to do and the more I think about those, the more I find myself scattered everywhere. But I can't just let myself stay still in one place - that just ain't right. Therefore I choose to be everywhere and keep it that way because that's how I have lived my life for years now and I am still doing okay, I guess. This is why I am back here again... I am writing again. And I will try to keep stopping by.

August 11, 2017

The Friday Currently Vol. 9

Me, Changi Airport July 2017, In the wee hours of the morning waiting for my flight to Dubai

Reading - For One More Day by Mitch Albom. This book was given to me by Eileen on the day of my departure from Davao to Dubai. (She was able to go past through immigration, with the help of our high school friend Jeehu, who works there, and spent the time with me in the boarding gate! How awesome is that? She is just the sweetest!)  I have not read much of it though but so far I am expecting something unusual about this story (compared to what I always read) as it is about having a chance to fix something that happened in the past.

Writing - something about professional development goals. It is nothing formal though it is a personal thing that I wanted to do for so long - it is just a review of my career after two years of happily working as a Web Support Executive. There sure were a lot of things that I am proud of and a lot of skills to want to learn more.

Listening - to nothing as of the moment. I have been enjoying the silence as of now.

Celebrating - 27 years of existence! Well, almost there!

Thinking - about how my preferences of almost anything have changed throughout the years. I'd like to think it is maturity but more of being practical and choosing my own battles in all aspects of life.

Wishing - I could have more chances to travel to places - be inspired and get to know people! It would be great to travel with someone as well. Solo travel does not hurt though.

Hoping - that all the things I am doing right now will be fruitful in the years to come.

Wearing - a green Brunei t-shirt and a faded flower-y leggings.

Loving - the silence and the intertwined ideas in my head.
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