inspiration, Uncategorized

He decides to downgrade

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.

 

 

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inspiration, Uncategorized

Requirement: Experience Needed

EverWing: Life Lessons, and Experience

I’ve been hooked on EverWing in the past few days. It’s a game in Facebook Messenger that lets you and your group chat members, compete and work together for victory. I have been playing it religiously because it’s quite addicting, especially when most of your friends are playing it very seriously as well.

At first, it was just a distraction for me, to spend less time on Facebook and other social media platforms. I wanted to detox and detach myself from the internet because I obviously was very dependent on it: and EverWing was the answer (though it still needs to connect to the internet). After a few days, I had been so hooked that I can sit for long hours and just play the game; earn gold coins, trophies, buy dragons and level up with experience.

In the game, you need to level up your experience (or they call it XP) by playing the game constantly; putting your character on the battlefield to earn gold and gain experience. In the game, the longer you play it, the more difficult the challenges (enemies) become. I exceeded the maximum allowed gold coins (999,999) and have 10,000 trophies amongst my 6-pages of dragons. I felt invincible yet I still find it difficult to defeat the enemy boss at times. Why? Experience and the lack thereof. I have had to play more to gain more experience, for me and for my dragons. 😦

I remembered the time in Singapore when I was in one of my interviews. Being a really good English speaker (and sensible), I would often impress my interviewers with my wits and confidence. I research beforehand the company, its core values, goals, etc., for me to have an edge. By the end of the interviews, I come home disappointed because my personality cannot compensate for my lack of experience (Singapore is very strict with their foreign applicants). I look at my Curriculum Vitae and realized that my professional game is still at entry level.

All my life it had always been a chase for learning new things, for being the jack of all trades: there is nothing wrong with it since it also accounts as experience, as personal growth. But to be able to fulfill one’s true purpose, I believe one must have a single destination of which he can cultivate and be an expert of.

Experience is gaining new strengths by overcoming challenges along the way to your goal. Much like in EverWing, first, you have to set your goals. When you know what you want to do, achieve them one by one, and make sure they complement each other. Meet new people, be in a circle with people of the same endeavors; learn and gain more experience. Lastly, share and be an instrument and an inspiration to others.

It’s funny how life lessons come from such silly game. I am no wiseman but I know that someday, all my efforts will be read, will be heard and will be appreciated. Experience is such a big word for me. I have always said to myself that I wanted to be a writer, I dreamed of being a writer, but I never had the necessary experience to be one. I have written short stories and essays, and looking back, I really have so much more to learn, so much more to improve on, so much more to write about. To fulfill that dream, I must start as soon as possible. I know it’s not too late for me.

PS I will try to write my daily reflections as often (everyday) as possible. So help me God.

 

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inspiration

5 life truths

(I am writing this entry in the presence of 3 people drinking brandy and singing karaoke at broad daylight, while I am waiting for my mother’s car to be finished. I am in a carwash/ karaoke bar on a fine Sunday afternoon. )

Below are 5 life truths that you should be able to manage in your quarter life.

Failing

In your life, you will fail in many endeavors and in too many times. You win some, you lose some they say. You will fail people, fail expectations and fail yourself. Nobody wants to fail intentionally. But along the way and as a part of growing up, we fail and recover somehow.

We fail to learn.

We lose to gain.

We fall to rise. 

We disappoint to surprise. 

Favor

A favor is a favor whether you asked for it or someone gave it to you. If you have to have a favor, take the former. Lay your cards on the table and whether they approve, support, help you or not, you already decided for yourself. Do not be indebted to what they want for you. You are you. Do your best to repay that favor by small acts or grand gesture. Always be thankful.

Believe that there are still good people who are willing to help without expecting anything in return. Know that kindness will never run out of style.

Focus

Distraction is a product of your wandering mind because it feels like it can accomplish so much more when it can only do so much at a time. From time to time, you will be distracted by other people, by a youtube video, by a call from a friend or by just about anything. Take some breaks, appreciate small breathers, and then come back to your goals, and focus.

My greatest distraction is alcohol and heavy drinking. I tend to do less whenever I drink more. My travel to places where alcohol was expensive helped me accomplished more by drinking less.

Focus on what is important at the moment, and get rid of the unnecessary.

 

Frustrations

Life is never going to be easy. You will be tired, hungry, sick, angry, frustrated. Amidst it all celebrate failure and distress because it is your spiral staircase towards satisfaction. It’s the safety net to your failure.  We become frustrated when we expect so much and it doesn’t go our way. After all our efforts, our hard work, and resources invested at something, if we are not satisfied we crumble.

Frustration, though, teaches us to expect less and do more. It breaks the monotony of life’s “what you get is what you give”. Give it your all, hope for the best and expect the unexpected.

In your journey, if it’s all safe, all familiar, all easy, then there is nothing new, there is no more growth.

Fears

Ego, pride, frustrations. People will hate you, lose their trust on you big time, leave you and eventually hurt you. Those who will stay, no matter what, continues to support you, trust you and love you, they will be your rock, your foundation.

A true friend will bet on you, count on you, invest in you, like a true family who puts all their faith in you, and whether you succeed or fail, as long as you did your all, and you are kind, you will never disappoint.

My greatest fear was to disappoint the people who have so much faith in me. It was the only reason why I cry myself to sleep at night. Eventually, the ones who truly matter doesn’t really care if you fail. If they love you they will support you unconditionally.
Faith

The happiest people I’ve met have one thing in common. They have a great faith in God. Different religion but same faith in God. I am surrounded by people who are either extremist in their religion, mediocre followers, agnostics and non-believers. I used to shy down about being very spiritual, just because I didn’t want to look like a pagan believer. But eventually praying has been my greatest refuge when I am overwhelmed or angry, overjoyed or frustrated, through my little victories and failures, and it humbled me.

 My faith is my foundation, it brings me joy and comfort. It clears my mind and it gives me my daily drive to live to the fullest because God guarantees me victory.

We will always have our share of good and bad. We will meet people who will stir up our humanity and step hard on our ego. We will be shattered more than ever. We will cry. But no matter what, just so as long as we have faith in God, in ourselves and the people that matter to us the most, every tear and every pain will be worth it.

 

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