basangsisiw

Trails of a wandering soul

Change as a Necessity

Change is inevitable. But to attain the kind of change you want, you need to execute and sustain several minute and bigger leaps that would take you to that desired end.

My nightly routines, even if I feel terribly wasted, pre-wire my mind to look forward to the next day. Nights are good for contemplation so I make use of it to reassess how the day went and what things I can do to change outcomes, if not create circumstances.

Normally, I’d reach home from work at 8:30-9:00 in the evening. That is an hour earlier than the previous year (and the years before that) after I discovered a new travel route going home. Although my travel cost is up by 71% compared before, the benefits of being able to get home early far outweigh the cost I bear now. Today, I am able to do things I find hard before to upkeep— I still can study after dinner for an hour, read news for 20 minutes and check social media for 10 minutes. The difference starkly contrasts with how I wasted my time before—spending majority of it on social media checking my friends on Facebook, even until past 11 in the evening. It was an addiction. I am changing this now because I realize there is so much more I can do with the little time I have and I need to start changing things right away. We are all gonna die somehow and if I won’t change things, I’d end up a loser. This, at the expense of losing connection with some close friends who I am only able to connect through social media.

It is hard to cut an addiction and anyone who has gone through it in any sort would know this. I am doing everything I can to persist even if the odds are so great and overwhelming. I skip for days on end without checking my social media unless there are messages that needs to be replied to. And I made a vow not to check anything unless I am already finished with my study sessions for that night. Even if my body wanted to quit due to fatigue, I try harder now to persist to finish some courses… and resist having to find excuses for not doing things.

Upon waking up at 3:30-4:00 in the morning, I’d say an appreciation prayer for being able to withstand the previous day and an affirmation that whatever comes my way today, I will grow through it. I’d make my bed and then do some exercise for 30 minutes. I am not sure if this is enough to keep me fit but I strive to do yoga and aerobics every morning. I study again for 30 minutes and hit the shower at 4:30. At 5:15 in the morning, I’d walk to the highway to catch the earliest bus bound for SM City. During these hours, while walking on the dark street alone, thoughts would race through my mind if this is all worth the hardwork I do everyday. That while most people are still drooling in their bed, I am already facing the day head on, mustering my courage while being catcalled by total strangers. To be honest, I fear when men do that especially when I am in a dark place and I thought I was alone but not. When I was younger, I asked my father to teach me karate. He taught me basic self-defense instead. Right now, I have been searching for martial arts club in the city that I could join because I just feel I need it at this moment.

If I could catch the earliest bus and I am lucky to get a vacant seat, I’d get a book and read. I don’t have much time to read books now due to the tight schedule I have, so I have to squeeze it in while I travel to work. With my routine everyday, I knew I need to find ways to disconnect from the world even for a few minutes. Reading a book while listening to videos like the one below helped me forget the kind of life I have while still keeping myself in sync with my goals.

Starting last November, I have tried to get to work as early as I could, experimenting on different routes to escape the heavy traffic (If only I have a jetpack, I’d happily fly everyday to work). Sometimes I’d reach Woven an hour earlier than our office hour so I still have time to study again and read news. Even if it’s physically draining, I feel good doing this. If I am going to subject myself to physical torture, I’d rather spend it doing worthwhile things that truly helps me grow as a person. If I have to give up nap time or cut my sleeping hours, I would give it up for the right reason.

These are minute changes and endeavors I am battling with everyday to upkeep. About 2 years ago, I cut down on meat intake and unhealthy foods by 95% and I did it in an instant. Truly, if you wire your mind towards achieving something and you act on that, anything is possible. With the right frame of mind and a clear execution plan, I know I can do the same with achieving my other goals. Change habits where necessary.

I have a very busy life but I’m loving it! I used to say before that I’d give up my career as I could no longer perform my best due to the extent of multi-tasking I juggle everyday which had caused me burnout and de-motivation. I had the worst struggle last year. But years and months later, I am still juggling my load trying to sustain the supply chain operation and making decisions how to address and sort out problems my department face everyday. The difference now? I look at these challenges in a positive light. The affirmation and commendation from the bosses about the quality of work I do did gave me more confidence and drive to push myself a little harder. Everything that I learn from my career now will eventually help me build my character as a professional and as a person. I do everything I can to learn and do new things that will create value for my department and the organization I worked for. I need to be the best in what I do. If in the future I decide to let go, leaving a good track record and a sustainable supply chain operation are the only legacy I could leave for my successors to keep.

I work  hard because that is how I was build. If you have parents like mine, it is impossible not to be a workhorse yourself. I thank them for who I am. I thank the people who have inspired me through the years. I thank those whom I draw inspirations from today. I thank the people who had been instrumental to my growth, even if the growth had been built up through pain. I believed that being appreciative helps us with having positive outlook. I kept a list things to do every night (just in case I suddenly suffer amnesia) and one thing in that list is to make at least one person happy… or thank a random person for just being here today. That is before I go to bed. So if you haven’t gotten yours yet, trust that I am almost there. 🙂

“I am convince that the only thing that keeps me going is that I love what I did. You’ve got to find what you love. And that is true for work as it is for you lovers. Your work is gonna fill a large part of your life and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you truly believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking and don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you will know when you find it. Like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking. Don’t settle.” ~Steve Jobs 

Here is a Facebook post I wrote about a week ago for myself. I have read it everyday just to remind myself that there is a reason for why I am doing this.

Pain is temporary, greatness is eternal. Whatever you go through today, whether it’s breaking or making you, grow through it. Pain is there not to break us down and tear us apart but to build us, to make us stronger and wiser than we have ever been.

Believe in your limitless potential to be who you want to be, and you will get there. Wire your thoughts to sync with your words because the latter oftentimes end up becoming your own reality. Never stop dreaming but also, never ever stop working for your dreams. Your dreams should lead you up into where you want to go. If you dream of becoming the best person you want to be, then start building yourself to be the greatest version of yourself. If you dream to revolutionize the world, then gear yourself up to execute and act on changing things. It doesn’t matter whether you start with minute changes. Work your way up with no excuses. Gear yourself up to win. The difference between winners and losers is that, winners execute, even if they don’t feel like it. Even if they only have an hour of sleep the other night, they would pursue the day with fortitude and courage because they knew, every little thing matters, every little action counts towards achieving a goal. Winners find ways and work things out to change the status quo, to defy the norm, to better things. They do the 60-minute routine everyday without ceasing. They never lose focus. Losers, well, they have insurmountable excuses for not doing things.

Give up something for the right reasons—sleep, entertainment and social media, toxic people and relationships, negativities, environment that’s crippling you—if the need be. Stop whining and instead, do what needs to be done to change your current state. Do not be afraid to start over after you let go of those that hinder your full potential. You can make it. You and I and them, have gone this far. There shouldn’t be anything that should stop us. Nothing.

Remember, those people who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do. Dream, believe, execute, work hard, work harder, work hardest. If you fail, then get up, dust yourself off and move forward. We are innately built to last, to endure, to leap beyond our own limitations, so be the best version of yourself—for yourself and for those who continuously believe in you. No one is going to make things for you. No one is going to fight to make your dreams a reality except you. So start being responsible for your life, for your choices, for your actions. For your dreams. Say this every day if you will— I am strong, I am able, I am a beautiful person, I have all the potential to be who I want to be and I will make my dreams come true because, I believe in me. Yes, I believe in me!

I may seem to have forgotten to mention how my weekend is spent. But anyway, I’d keep that a secret because it will definitely bore the hell out of you and I dread doing that to my readers. 🙂

So to end this post, here is a motivational video to awaken your inner warrior. Watch and listen until the end and I promise, this is gonna be worth your time. If you think otherwise, hit my mailbox and I’ll send you another.

Young and Bold

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I searched for Flynn Rider all over the place on my 32nd birthday, but he was nowhere to be found. The date over sky lanterns? Well sadly, it did not happen. Alright then, where can I find Iron Man?

For several times that I have asked my colleagues if they’d ever want to do something crazier than the RC Racer in HK Disneyland, majority, even the men, already declined. Why? Because of fear.

That kind of surprised me. I understand that most of them (all of us, I mean) are acrophobic. I thought regardless of how spine-tingling our experiences had been, they’d be happy to do the same adrenaline boosting stunt once again. Yes, I am talking about fear of heights because of all the things we pulled off during our Hong Kong trip, nothing comes as exciting and nerve-wracking as that time in Disneyland fighting our will to summon our inner warriors, while trying not to pee our pants.

That was when we tried the RC Racer.

I was in a group of 4 brave? men and 2 women. Surely, the majority were hesitant about pursuing the “Racer” after trying out the Parachute drop. That was normal for acrophobics. But we decided to get on with the plan because we knew, that opportunity may never cross our paths again. We pursued the Racer although it was obvious everyone was having second thoughts as soon as we were there standing just meters from the raging ride that will ultimately test our will and courage.

We waited in line anxious about who in the group will first retreat and leave. While waiting, I felt the need to ask the other two girls if they were sure about doing it as I knew both had health issues and I can’t allow them do something that will put their lives in danger, although at the back of my head, I was cheering them on to continue. I was honestly scared for their lives as both are hypertensive. The ride’s regulation was clear and that put the men in the same predicament as the other two girls. I would have understand if they chose to stay behind, but surprisingly, they did not. We were a team when we left the hotel and roamed around Hong Kong that day and in that exact moment, without having to say it in words, I knew, everyone affirmed that we will make it happen as a team. That was what team building should be like in the first place.

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The rest of the pack

I’ve witnessed my friends throw up on several occasions, in many instances, but at that time while our spirits are trying to escape our bodies, to hell with throwing up and vomits, the 2 girls beside me and the men at the back, made it. We all made it. I was happiest and proudest of them.

While my stomach twisted and turned as the ride pushed back and forth, I tried to enjoy not just the feeling of falling to and being pulled to the ground, but also what the ground below looked like from the top. That was a first time for me, the only time I feel close to free-falling. I looked and scanned the audience’s reaction to our hopefully not-too-funny reactions and how the parachute drop in the distance fared in comparison to what I went through at that moment. Although I felt terribly sick, I focused on the ground and the people and the view. It’s not everyday that you come to experience something that will test your stamina and will, right?


And since I am hard-headed, I still insisted my friends to try another ride, if given the chance. I was told it is easy for me to get on something that I love doing. To some degree, they are right. It is easier to pull off something that you love doing, like putting myself to the test, like knowing how much adrenaline I would need before I turn my back running with my tail tuck between my legs. I like to asses how much courage I can muster before I break apart… or maybe before I pass out… and die.

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What my friends did not know is that, I am afraid of heights myself. No matter how much I loved it, I am and will always be as equally afraid of the ocean. My stomach churns at the sight of the blue waters below me everytime I ride on a plane, that sometimes the recollection gave me unbelievable nightmares. There is some strange feeling that I am being pulled down to the abyss of unknown depths and I know, if that happens, I won’t be able to survive it. But still, I want to do something more than what I have done. I want to kill whatever it is that gives me fright. I want to conquer my fears little by little. If that means I’d have to do a space jump like Baumgartner and Alan Eustace, yeah, I think I should do it.

I don’t know why I wrote about this now but I feel it is relevant for me to affirm this at present… It feels strange today alright. Oh fears, let go of me again so I won’t have to think about flying!

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I once claimed I am a cockroach in my past life but I admit it now, I am rather a bird. I spread my wings whenever I get a chance! 🙂

In Musk, I Trust

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Elon Musk: the epitome of hard work and indestructible determination. In him, I trust.

 

Elon Musk is everything I ever aspire to become. His passion and dreams for the world is remarkably insane but in ways that advance not his personal interest but the good of many. For us who trust in his belief that we can become a space-bearing civilization or a multi-planetary species in the future, every progress SpaceX has achieved with regards to space exploration awaken in us a sense of affirmation that “our” dream can happen because someone is building it for us. Someone is finally doing something into making it a reality.

It’s been almost 50 years since humanity first took a step beyond our Earth. We have lost many great minds and great ideas had gone to waste after Apollo 11. We have not materialized any concrete plan to advance space exploration after the moon landing and I’d say that made me personally sad.

When people read about my intro here and in some of my social media accounts, most would laugh at the idea that I am aspiring (yes, I still am) to become an astronaut. I applied for Mars simulation programs for next year and in any space program I come across on the web. Got no word yet. I am not giving up. Even Bill Nye did it four times and got rejected everytime.

Well, even before I learned what Physical and Earth Sciences were exactly about, I was already talking to myself (sounds crazy, right?) while I looked up at the sky at night and wonder if we would ever make it to another star or another galaxy beyond ours. I was wondering what those lights are actually made of and if there are some life forms beyond Earth . As I looked at the sky, I would imagine someone from a million light years away watching his sky and thinking of the same thing I was thinking. I was five or six then. And at that young age, I knew I needed to be good at something, if not everything to accomplish what I dreamt. I have always loved Science and I knew it was the field I needed to take if I want to pursue my dream. I knew I needed to be good at it. To be really good at it.

So even without the parents to guide us around and teach us with our assignments and subjects in school, me and my siblings made it a habit to rely solely on ourselves to get things done. I have a brilliant brother which most of my classmates believed is an advantage for me, but what they do not know of is that he seldom helped me with what I need in school. Even if I’d tear up in front of him in an attempt to beg him to tutor me in Integral Calculus,  Strength of Materials and Thermodynamics, he hardly lift a gaze to see if I was serious. Why? Because I knew he wanted us (younger brother and I) to be independent and self-reliant. To live and work on our own means. To exert extra effort into doing what needs to be done and accomplished. We do, most of the times. We worked on our own… I worked on my own. I read a lot. I read just about anything in the hope that what I came across will eventually help me with my growth, in whatever way that can be.

In High school when I became exposed to encyclopedias and all reading materials available in the library, I found an innate love for reading biographies especially of scientists and world leaders, world history and literature and the Sciences (all of it, even if most of the time, I barely understood what the words and the ideas meant).

My memory was well nurtured when I was younger. I would surprisingly remember the exact details of something I read from somewhere even three years earlier. Some classmates would call me the walking encyclopedia back in school because most of them believed, I knew a little of almost everything. I was the silent girl in class and for them to engage me in the conversation, they often would ask something and I would reply based on what I remember. And that’s how the name tagging came into existence.

I cannot say that I have a terrible memory now. Perhaps because of the many things and responsibilities I juggle on a daily basis, my focus is compromised. And I ended up not having the memory as I used to. My countermeasure to overcome the threat of my failing memory (God forbid) is to engage myself in activities that induce and enhance memory retention and cognitive abilities.

1) Took some time off in silence every weekend.

 

I usually would get a lavender room diffuser in full relaxation mode, spray a light perfume on my pillows, grab my book and get lost in it while I’m in bed…with my coffee (yeah I know caffeine is not helping but that is something I cannot give up for now, forgive me). I also had been making progress on shutting down social media on scheduled days. I love my friends and the people I met there and they are important to me but just give me some time off to enjoy my “me” time, alright? I still love you all nonetheless.

2) Pursue a healthier diet.

 

I’ve cut down on meat and high calorie-foods since two years ago. As a result, I’m nearly only skin and bones now.

3) Get enough sleep everyday.

 

Although this is quite a challenge due to my work schedule, beginning this year, I have tried to get as much sleep as I can— about 7 hours a day compared to last year’s 4-5 hours. I catch up with friends from around the world on weekends or if there’s spare time in between. Kudos to me!

4) Learn a new brain activity
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Like learning a new language. This is one thing I have been pushing myself to do on a daily basis. And so far, I can be understood better than an Italian or a Spanish baby’s babble. Great progress, I must say :).

5) I alot a few minutes everyday for physical exercise.
 
Yes, and what I do actually is do some few yoga poses and that’s it. ( I hope this counts). I also would walk to the highway for like 15 minutes everyday.

6) Stop overworking my arse off.

If I can’t travel either with friends or family or just myself (or in my dreams), I set time for leisure even if it’s just getting my drawing materials into use. It’s good brain exercise. No more stick figures now. 🙂

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7) Foster healthy relationships.
Surround yourself with people who makes you feel good as much as possible. Socialize, interact, call a friend. In a study from the Harvard School of Public Health, researchers found that people with more active social lives had the slowest rate of memory decline.
So I set time for social activities with friends, even if it is just unleashing my inner Adele or Mariah carey in a videoke.
It is good to be serious when you need to but never ever forget to have fun. Getting a pet if you can’t find a human companion to interact with (because you live outside our planet) would also help.

8) Choose happiness every day or you decide otherwise.
 

Happiness is a choice. We all have our bad days and most often we allow it to consume us, we allow it to ruin our day, we ruin the opportunity when you could be happy instead. Bad days, bad memories are part of our lives. They are there no matter how hard you avoid it, but you can change your attitude at how you handle these negativities. Either you stress yourself sulking about how bad your day (or life) has been or you embrace it. “It is a bad day so what am I gonna do about it?” You can choose to be happy, to find meaning and lesson even in the midst of tribulation. Be grateful that you have opportunities to grow mentally and emotionally even if these are from the bad experiences.

I realize lately there is no point getting yourself hurt by allowing the negativity to consume you. Life is too short not to be happy and make someone happy. Smile. Flex those face muscles. Laugh at yourself for your mistakes. Daniel Goleman notes in his book Emotional Intelligence, “laughter… seems to help people think more broadly and associate more freely.”
In Elon’s word, “Life is too short for long-term grudges”. 

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But since this is about Elon and his principles and how that makes him the man he is now, some of the points here would contradict his philosophy. He has been vocal about working so hard towards getting your goal, even at the expense of sacrificing sleep. He doesn’t mind getting a call at 3AM on a Sunday and how he don’t want to take a week off from work. To me, these habits are insanely ludicrous and exhausting, making one ineffective. But he proves to me, and the many naysayers, wrong. 

You just gotta love what you do so it won’t feel like it’s work you are exhausting your energy, tears and sweat… and your time on.

My aspiration to become an astronaut continued to grow until High school years. And then something happened that made me reassess myself and my capability to make that dream a reality. I lost my confidence into pursuing Science in college. I digressed from my childhood dream. So instead, I took up an engineering course. And then I almost forgot, I first fell in loved imagining myself in outer space with my space suit looking back at my planet, than designing and calculating work systems and methods confined in an air-conditioned office.

There are people like Musk and others who are venturing into the space travel industry. But what sets him apart from the rest is that, Musk took his vision and launch it into action. He makes the dream real and he is making great progress on that respect with every successful launches SpaceX is making. Furthermore, he never gave up on pursuing his beliefs, ever. His story before he became what he is now is truly remarkable of a hero. He was like being pounded on the anvil for too many times already that quitting to him, is never an option.

I drew my inspiration from him. I am putting my trust in Elon because I saw in him what I cannot do for myself in years—to fight for what I truly love; to take action and move forward; to change the world for the better by trying whatever you can to accomplish that goal. To just try and never give up trying.

I’d often say I am willing to go on a Mars mission in the future and I am not kidding, folks. If I am not able to do that, at least, I would love to see it happening in the course of my lifetime. And I know it will happen because I trust the Iron Man would make it happen.

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Winter Solstice

The period from when I last blogged has been one silent ride for me. Silent because even with the chaos I was subjected into, I decided to remain calm and reserved. Few people have said goodbye (directly and indirectly); few good ones came in; new things came up and life never failed to surprise me with something that both challenged my conviction and will.

I found a new interest which I believe is pretty awesome and I am working on it daily. I’m doing well with keeping up a hobby I almost forgot and I am super-stoked on getting my grip on a dream I almost lost interest to pursue and look for ways on how best to assist myself on attaining the goals I’ve set for myself.

Forward-thinking has been my mantra in work. Being in a career where intensive planning is the name of the game, it has become my habit to always plan ahead and ensure everything turns out as planned, even in my personal life.  But almost always, I am more surprised, sometimes even shocked that in reality, there is a better chance of not disappointing yourself if you stop playing Jack-of-all-trades of your own life. Besides work, I refrain from planning anymore if it concerns something personal I need to work on to. I just do what I deem is necessary to be done everyday and see how these little endeavors will create results for me in the long run—if in turn this will get me into the goals or diverge me 180 degrees from where I should be.

I tried to be positive in everything, even during times when I feel myself wailing out in the middle of the night. There is good about pain and I have always believed in the positive side of opening and subjecting yourself to the throes of your own struggles.  While at some point we become broken and scarred, it is also during these moments that we also realize how strong we are capable to become everytime we victor over our own struggles and how we are able to let go of each pain after. There is beauty in everything, even in our own darkness. The starlight would not be half as beautiful as it is now if it stays in the light.

I am far from becoming the person I aspire to become. There are still a lot of mountains to move and oceans to explore, wars to wage and perhaps white flags to raise, if need be. It will be a hell of a ride for sure but I am not scared anymore. I can no longer be that woman who is afraid to take risks to start a life. I now fight for my beliefs even at the expense of losing some people in the process. There is a reason why people come and go and I just want to believe it is for the good reason.

I am working towards a better me and I hope I am able to get this done soon. 🙂

Spread some ♥ for the world, will ya?

Blank Phase

“There are times when your sadness spills out of nowhere that you can’t fully grasp why you feel the way you do. You embrace melancholy like it is the spirit that fuels your soul and you run after it because deep down, a voice is telling you to chase it, to get your grip tight so it won’t escape you. You long for more of what makes your heart bleed. Your lungs break everytime you grasp for air. The pain is terrible that it gets to your bone everytime a thought crosses your mind or when you remember something…or someone. It’s a sadistic way of killing yourself but also a way to affirm that you are human— broken, flawed, messed up. But you also know, behind every smile that conceals a heartache, the damp pillows and the sleepless nights that mums your heart’s silent cries, you are heading for a catharsis, for a redemption from what it is that makes you feel forlorn and lost.

I don’t know if it is because of the book I am reading that bore a sad resemblance to what and who I am and what I wanted to do, or the characters that made me remember the people in my life— the sad reality of who they were and who they will be.

I just feel in love with a thought but I also embrace the kind of death that comes with that lovely thought. A death to an old dream, a death to moments that will never be again.”

I am not okay. I’ve written the post above in my Facebook about a month earlier and judging by how I feel today, it’s evident I still ain’t feeling any better. And this phase here that I am battling is different from the ones I used to experience. I think I have exhausted every energy I have that I am left with nothing now. Not a single reason could suffice why I should wait another year before leaving and why I am allowing people to make me feel, like all of a sudden, I am a failure. What I do, all the efforts I put through every single task I juggle every.single.time.everyday. counts as nothing.

I hope alienating people out on purpose makes you genuinely happy. And that the division you forge into this sphere where we co-exist could still be torn down in time. A lot has been hurting and there is a terrible reason why we do. I do hope you are able to see that before it is too late.

I don’t know if I am heading towards something much catastrophic but hoping I am not. Suddenly, everything and anything doesn’t seem right. And what pains me is the fact that I’ve never put too much effort into making things new for myself, for others, because I am trying to love what I have now. I have done the best of what I can this time. And still, I am not happy.

There is something missing and I couldn’t figure it out.

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