Finally found the courage to speak my truth….
It’s 7:37 pm and I’m listening to the raindrops falling from the rooftop (like the song from Tamiya) the small pad I’m renting near my University. I’m tucked in my bed feeling the cold chilly breeze the monsoon brings, waiting for the hot water to boil for my evening tea (green tea chamomile). I just had my dinner and a good bath; it feels like such a lovely evening (eventhough I was not able to have my sunset meditation), something I have been enjoying for almost 2 weeks now.
Yes, eversince (June 2nd week) I went back to my Uni to finish my masters, I’ve been taking my time and have lived on very simple and basic things. A major downgrade. To describe my current living situation: I only brought one medium size suitcase that has 2 long pants, 1 slacks, 3 casual shorts, 2 shorts, 3 boxer shorts, 5 briefs, 8 T-shirts, a polo shirt, casual 5 long sleeved top, a suit, and tie. I also brought a gym bag with 3 shoes: 1 black shoes, 1 sneaker and 1 training shoes, 4 pairs of socks, 2 towels and a jacket. I also brought my mini-ref, osterizer and heater for my food and tea/coffee. It might seem that I will be here for only a week or two, but these things I have right now, will be the only things I will live within the next 6 months; that’s a total of less than a hundred item including my toothbrush, computer, phone and 2 mugs (1 for cold and 1 for hot drink). I have no idea how this is all going to work out for me, but I’ve been having really goodnight’s sleep, and surprisingly, I’m doing okay. Did I mention I don’t have internet connection or wifi in my room?
What could have been the worst in all situation, turned out to be the best thing for me. Having no internet connectivity inside my room (though I have mobile data on my phone, but I have to go outside for the signal) has actually given me so much time doing things I really love: reading and writing. In a span of 2 weeks, I have finished reading 7 books and have done so much writing (thesis and blog). For 4 months I was wondering and doubting myself because I could not finish reading my books, or be inspired enough to write. I was too distracted, especially with social media and the internet. Now: Major downgrade on the lifestyle but a major upgrade on the personal goals. Albert Einstein once said “I must be willing to give up what I am in order to become what I will be”, and it finally made sense to me now.
A year ago, I was in Metro Davao, probably eating dinner and having drinks with some colleagues in our corporate attire, taking snapchat videos and posting pictures on Facebook. I was once a person who would never miss out on anything. Honestly, I was earning much( but not as much as my counterparts), I had a great social circle, yet still I feel very left out, and I was living sinfully because I can afford, and I was not okay being lonely then. I was in Kuantan, east coast of Malaysia, November of last year, when I was confronted to make a choice to continue that life or change it; to continue the chase until something happens, or to stop and begin again. I chose the latter.
Fast-forward, I decided to downgrade. I now live in a very small and basic room with a fan, a 1x1m bath and toilet, a bed, a table and my less than 100 stuff. I didn’t know I could do so much with so little. With all honesty, I can say I’m happier now, even happiest. My fear of missing out(FOMO) has been turned into appreciating simple joys of life; like a long conversation on the phone with a good friend, a funny text message, videocall from home, catching up with old mentors, and even sunset meditations by the beach.
Life indeed gave me something beautiful after I let go of the things that I thought were best for me. Sometimes, our fear of losing control and unguaranteed future keeps us from enjoying the present, having fun in the now. We always chase after perfection and a good life, and we forget to appreciate the small things in it, we ignore the present because we are too preoccupied with the uncertain future.
What this downgrade has taught me is that vanity is different from pride (actually from pride and prejudice), and that I can keep my pride, but I should give up on my vanity (narcissism, ego, self-centeredness); that I should always be humble and never forget to help others in any small way that you can; that we should always be kind to everyone no matter what or how difficult the situation is; and always be patient because God has His purpose for our existence. We are exactly where God wants us to be.
I am so much thankful for this second chance, and I know this is just the honeymoon phase, easy, slow and joyful. I am expecting bigger challenges and even bigger test of faith, patience, and wisdom, but I know that with God’s grace, I can and I will overcome them. It won’t be easy but it’s not impossible.