Unknown Depths: Of Oceans and the Cosmos

“Nothing can separate me from my love for the ocean and the outer space.”

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Perhaps because my father was once a fisherman. To a fisherman, the ocean is his world and the sky his map.

Or maybe because I tend to love those that gives me fright. Dark, deep waters gives me chill I am still unable to explain. But that fear, I tried to turn it into feelings of wonder. What hides beneath and beyond which our eyes could not see, I take that as a beautiful mystery I am bound to find out. Maybe not too soon… but sooner.

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Even if it means, there will be sharks in there. (Geez, not with sharks, alright). That is a different story.

I am scared of the unknown depths. I am scared that I’d be pulled down to the bottom and God-knows-where and I won’t survive it. I am scared that I’d be eaten by sharks bit by bit and I’d feel myself slowly dying. (If it’s gonna be a shark, then he better have very sharp teeth and very big mouth so he can just swallow me whole if he decides to eat me so my agony would not last long. And perhaps, I’d thank him).

With the advent of technology and the great leaps in modern science, it is unfortunate that up until now only 5% of the ocean has been studied. The rest is, chillingly, just awaiting to be known.

So yeah, who knows? The blob might have been caused by some creatures we still have not come face to face with yet. Or maybe they were right. It was some movement on the ocean floor that resulted from the breaking and melting of icebergs. We do not know for sure.

I love the ocean and I love the sky. I love the heavens. I love the thought that perhaps in my lifetime, someone would really be able to land and walk on Mars, if living would be too far-fetched to think of now.

Thalassophobia is real. But so is Thalassophilia. The mix of fright and wonder creates a spunk in me to try whatever it is that will make more room for my understanding and respect of the ocean and all bodies of water, in general.

I am still a beginner when it comes to swimming. Just this year, I made it a goal to try to learn basic swimming skills. A colleague at work who was the Michael Phelps of Woven really pushed me into conquering my fear. We first did some lessons in May—in the open sea while we were island hopping with some friends from work.

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It was freakin’ deep and I was at first like an octopus clinging my tentacles on whatever something I could get my hands to—rope, ladder, the outrigger, anything. Too bad this octopus isn’t so good at suctioning because I let go and whoosh I plunged into the water. I swam like a dog, no maybe a frog, or whatever creature it is that doesn’t know how to swim that got into a life and death situation. I swam towards the colleague who was just watching how I would do it—with all smiles like as if they (yes, all of them that were there) are watching a very amusing event. Watching me how I would drink ocean water while fighting the heavy current that was pulling me away from the banca. And maybe into the sharks’s mouth… Ah, I am quite lucky to have real friends who may just watch me drown! Can you believe that? 🙂

But of course, the shark did not come. Fortunately. I made it into the other side of the banca to my colleague who has extended his hand for me to grasp. Haha! See, I did not die! And I wasn’t eaten by sharks! And most importantly, I made my friends laugh for my incapability.

After that, I go into the water whenever there is an opportunity. I do not care if I am alone or with a companion. I just want to learn to befriend it. To feel myself become one with the water, like the fish (or the shark). I will do what I can to advance what I learn about swimming because I would not be as happy as I would be if I won’t be able to try deep sea diving once in this lifetime. I already experience being too close with a whale shark for three times. Now, I want how it is to feel swimming with a great white. Just kidding, hammerheads would do.

The ocean is as mysterious as the vast sky above us. The universe in itself is a very beautiful and mesmerizing mystery. My love for the ocean is as vast as my love for outer space. It is perplexing how and why I do. I just loved it, period.

But then, perhaps, this explains why.

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And yes, as I wrote it in my “About Me” section, I am willing to volunteer for a Mars mission in the future, if I would qualify. Even if it means, I won’t be able to go back home (in one piece..gross!). Or maybe never being able to survive 10 seconds upon landing on an alien planet… Even if I end up becoming a space debris and get burned in space without anyone knowing what happened. I don’t know. I just think I belong to this universe… and not to someone or anyone. And I know, my family would be totally devastated that their only girl is prepared to face her doom in an unlikely setting. But I know they would understand.

I’ve already made quite a few dumb decisions where I question my sanity, thereafter. But those dumb and wild decisions that we do in life, most often became our source of learning. So I do not limit myself only on trying to be wise. Because when I use my mind, I often end up not wanting to go out of my comfort zone. The pre-frontal cortex, would automatically send me into defensive mood that instead of risking, I chose the mundane, the repetitive and routinary—the easy and the most comfortable way. And I do not want that. Not anymore.

Instead of finding my home. I risk dying homeless. And I would not allow that.

I will find my home.

Thalassophobia (Greek: θάλασσα, thalassa, “sea” and φόβος, phobos, “fear”) is an intense and persistent fear of the sea or of sea travel.Thalassophobia can include fear of being in large bodies of water, fear of the vast emptiness of the sea, and fear of distance from land.

Thalassophilia. Noun.  Lover of the sea, someone who loves the sea/ocean. 

Astrophilia. Noun. (uncountable) (rare) Love of and/or obsession with planets, stars, and outer space.

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Mind Game

Before the clock strikes four in the morning, I am normally already awake. Sometimes I’d start my day checking emails, but most of the time, I spend the 15 mins or so just thinking—staring into the blankness of my room thinking about how to start and end my day right, what priorities I need to complete the day, what little endeavor I am going to tackle while I am travelling to and off from work.

Unlike before, I no longer take cat naps when I am travelling. I use my time to study. I use my time to read books or check the news.

My mind is one hell of a workhorse. It does not rest. I just could not satisfy it. It’s quest for something better and bigger is insatiable. And probably, most probably, this is the reason I am hooked from one interest to another, trying everything I can that my time allows me to upgrade what I know, to learn a little more about something and anything…and push myself a little more to persist even when things got too overwhelming,  mainly because this mind demands too much from me.

I hustle because I cannot allow myself to decay. As long as I am still in my right mind, that just would not happen. I will strive more because I have a responsibility to take care of myself, to not let myself die, to not let my mind die. To not let it stagnate and stay stuck at what I already know. If I allow mediocrity to consume me, that is being irresponsible for my life because that is a very bad decision I am making. People’s potential is limitless. Our human mind is a very powerful weapon so why not use it right? Why not use it to be better? To become better?

Earlier this week I had a lengthy discussion with a new team member about her performance at work. I do not know if it is right to keep her despite the fact that she failed in the evaluation but I want to give myself just another shot at building someone—to help her come out of her shell, to help her explore, to allow herself to grow. If I could help just one person, yes one person, into embracing her full potential and make use of it positively, I know I have done something right in my life.

One step at a time and progressively, I believe I will make my goals a reality. I have so much belief that one day, I will get these things done. It might take time, but I will make things happen. I will prove to myself that I can.

Everyday I struggle to keep afloat. We all are. Problems come after another. Not only that, there are also times when my momentum seems to slow down, when my mind tries to challenge me into quitting. Consequently, I’d lose my streak in my courses, or lost interest into pursuing them and went into normal mode for a day or two. And then comes the reconditioning period. I get back up mentally and start building sparks within to fuel me into getting back on track. This has happened so many times before but the vision that keeps flashing in my mind moves me into getting back up again and again. When you are reminded every single minute of your life that you aren’t growing, staying in the normal mode becomes very uncomfortable. Until you push yourself to get up from that uncomfortable place and start doing what you almost let go of again.

I will not allow the demons to frighten me into not doing what I know I need to do. I eat negative vibes in the office everyday. Toxic people and situation instead of wearing me down, I have decided to not let it get to my mind. I have loved myself this much to not allow these poison to get through my system. Sorry, but I would not allow it. Not anymore.

My life is just a mind game. And I choose to be the better player.

Meet Me After The Storm

I went on and off blogging for several times but this is one of those long sabbaticals I took from something that I loved doing, since I was a small kid. The longest I’ve been away was 2 years, I guess 5 years ago. Now, I am again telling stories to strangers with the hope that this means would help me in the eventual healing.

“This is the world where I hide the pathos of my existence, far from the judging minds of those who knew me, but have cared less”. This blog is just one of those digital worlds that I kept with me as go on my journey.

And this sabbatical took me eight months before I regain the desire to be back up again.

I could write down every good and bad reasons why I stayed away in the past few months. But I don’t have the heart to divulge everything now.  Yes, it always has something to do with the heart when I write. I don’t think I’d ever scribe something down without bringing my heart with me, without putting my heart on my sleeve for others to see, perhaps even, to be judged at for being something and someone I am not.

But it’s the least of my worry, to be honest.

The storm started in May. It went off without warning and the family got caught in a situation that left us all broken. May shook me. Maybe even killed a part of me at some point. But it was also the time that I learned how, despite the fact that I am the most emotional person in the family, I discovered that I could also be the strongest person there is for anyone to held on to. I stood when almost everyone was falling.

The Sound of Heartbreak, Nikita Gill

“It is eerily terrifying that there is no sound when a heart breaks.
Car accidents end with a bang, falling ends with a thud, even writing makes the scratching sound of pencil against paper. But the sound of a heart breaking is completely silent. Almost as though no one, not even the universe itself could create a sound for such devastation. Almost as though silence is the only way the universe could pay its respect to the sound of a heart falling apart.”

I will never forget the May that got me down crying inside the restroom like I am gonna burst and got out of there like nothing has happened. Got back into work and pretended I will be okay.

Most of the time, I was okay with trying to be okay.

You can’t be weak while others are weak. Somehow, someone has to stand, clinched fist and stare into the way the storm is heading and devise ways to surpass it. Someone has to muster the courage to choose the other way. The better way.

And I chose it.

I chose to trust my brain at a moment when I could not count on my heart to sustain me. I held on until everyone felt alive again. Yes, they needed to be alive. Whilst everyone was recuperating, I was oblivious to my own pain. Inside, I was already slowly dying.

All of a sudden, a lot of dreams have died. Five months later, the ghost still haunt us. I am not scared of any ghost personally, but I am scared for the people that I loved for when the ghost would frighten them again. Everyone is beginning to start anew. I guess we have learned to forgive those who have been the cause of our pain… or the majority of us had… but the ghosts, they just kept coming.

I wonder if it makes people happy knowing they have destroyed others. I wonder what words they say to themselves when they see their reflection in the mirror, everyday. I wonder what prayers they say every night when they go to sleep, or if they ever would say any. I don’t know. I really don’t know.

How much more are we willing to give in the name of love? How much pain are we willing to endure to sustain love?

I remember I wrote some years ago about a couple named Tony and Ellen somewhere. If we talk about love that endures, I guess I can go back into reminiscing how this couple’s love stood the test of time. But every good thing comes to an end. Tony, a good family friend, died of a sudden heart attack in early May. He was in his mid-forties.

These feelings of melancholia came about possibly because I wasn’t especially well lately. Last week, I only got a day of work because I was a bit sick. Nothing serious, just flu and some petty stuff. Four days out of the normal weekdays when I was supposed to be beating deadlines or putting off fires in the office. Four days is so long to just rest, eat, take medicine, study, read and then read some more. Those are the sacred four days that I completely went off the radar from the normal office life I have lived for five years.

Being ill has its advantage. Somehow, you realize the value of time. And you learn to appreciate and respect it.

For five years that I have worked in my company, this was the first time that I have attended to my body’s clamor to slow down and halt for a while. To think things over. For five years, I realized, I worked so hard for nothing. On top of it all, I realize how fool I still am to chase a life I never wanted in the first place.

I remember I took a vow to be grateful for what I have today. I still am grateful about a lot of things and a lot of people who have come along with me. I remember that vow where I said, I will love the life I’ve made. But after all these years, did I, really?

No. Maybe…no.

Feeling lethargic is real. But I do not want to just sit and serve myself these emotions that aren’t helping me. I have brought in my books to cheer me up. I have my LinkedIn short courses waiting to be completed as I near the deadline. I have reports and proposals pending my update… language courses where I am stuck at. These and all while my sketchpad is stretch on the bed…just waiting. However, I am instead pounding on my keyboard trying to scribe something worthwhile for my soul.

But still, I feel depressed. Maybe because of waiting. Waiting for the storm to pass. Waiting for me to get that courage to leave and live my life. Waiting for time to grant us the complete healing for all these wounds. Waiting for something that may never come in my lifetime.

How much more am I willing to wait? I don’t know. All I know is that, time won’t stand still and wait for me until I do something.

How unfortunate, Maricel.

These subtle moments where I am able to reflect and contemplate just made it even worse how I feel about failing myself, for not having been true to my calling. I knew I wanted to do a lot of things. At 33, I am still torn among different pursuits that really interests me. My hunger is insatiable. This desire of really wanting to learn new things and never ever stopping (while on a very limited time), to be a part of something bigger than myself that would create a great impact on the society, to travel, learn and live with different cultures and help people, to experience sunrise and sunsets at different points of the Earth and to capture, to draw and paint them, to write stories about them, to inspire, to motivate people to be the better versions of themselves— to be a better human being. To make use of my limited existence to help transform the world in a positive way. Yes, I have a very big dream. Even bigger than my foremost dream to become an astronaut, you see. This is my existential bummer—the fact that I am still struggling to get one thing done at a time. And I feel I don’t have much time left to do all of these.

Recently, I have stayed away from several friends on social media. Even if it hurts, I have said goodbye to some few good people I met. To some others, I went completely silent. At times, I would try to gather up my thoughts and attempt at getting in touch with my dear friends again, but I lose at my attempt. I am saddened at my lack of courage and for some reason, I am baffled why. At this point, I am deciding on whether to delete everything that bears my name online, if that is even possible.

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Tired? Surely I am. Broken, yes obviously.

Melancholy chases me down every waking day. I am still battling the storm from that May incident. I wasn’t even well aware that I am still into this battle until it resurfaces again very recently. Somehow I felt tricked into believing I was already okay. Or perhaps, I was being an a#$h*le for not really accepting that I still am not okay.

There are hurts you only wish did not come your way. There are pain so great that made you question what is God’s purpose for letting it befall you. But they did. They happened. Maybe even on purpose. But right now, inspite of everything, I choose to thank God for it anyway. You see,  there are lessons after every storm. And that is what I looked forward to every time I wake up. That is the reason why I never grew tired of chasing after sunrises.

With all of my pain, life will not end for me yet. No dear, I dare not say no. Ever. I would still endlessly chase over sunrises and sunsets to witness them. To see that there is a new world that awaits me every waking and dying of the day. And I will sing, dance, paint and draw all these aches away. Maybe at times I would write them here or in another. Whatever the case, I am never relenting to these demons. We all have them. Our demons, they will try to drown us in whichever way they could. Until we raise the white flag. That is what they do right? But dear, I am not letting them, I’m sorry.

“If I should have a daughter…“Instead of “Mom”, she’s gonna call me “Point B.” Because that way, she knows that no matter what happens, at least she can always find her way to me. And I’m going to paint the solar system on the back of her hands so that she has to learn the entire universe before she can say “Oh, I know that like the back of my hand.”

She’s gonna learn that this life will hit you, hard, in the face, wait for you to get back up so it can kick you in the stomach. But getting the wind knocked out of you is the only way to remind your lungs how much they like the taste of air. There is hurt, here, that cannot be fixed by band-aids or poetry, so the first time she realizes that Wonder-woman isn’t coming, I’ll make sure she knows she doesn’t have to wear the cape all by herself. Because no matter how wide you stretch your fingers, your hands will always be too small to catch all the pain you want to heal. Believe me, I’ve tried.

And “Baby,” I’ll tell her “don’t keep your nose up in the air like that, I know that trick, you’re just smelling for smoke so you can follow the trail back to a burning house so you can find the boy who lost everything in the fire to see if you can save him. Or else, find the boy who lit the fire in the first place to see if you can change him.”

But I know that she will anyway, so instead I’ll always keep an extra supply of chocolate and rain boats nearby, ‘cause there is no heartbreak that chocolate can’t fix. Okay, there’s a few heartbreaks chocolate can’t fix. But that’s what the rain boots are for, because rain will wash away everything if you let it.

I want her to see the world through the underside of a glass bottom boat, to look through a magnifying glass at the galaxies that exist on the pin point of a human mind. Because that’s how my mom taught me. That there’ll be days like this, “There’ll be days like this my momma said” when you open your hands to catch and wind up with only blisters and bruises. When you step out of the phone booth and try to fly and the very people you wanna save are the ones standing on your cape. When your boots will fill with rain and you’ll be up to your knees in disappointment and those are the very days you have all the more reason to say “thank you,” ‘cause there is nothing more beautiful than the way the ocean refuses to stop kissing the shoreline no matter how many times it’s sent away.

You will put the “wind” in win some lose some, you will put the “star” in starting over and over, and no matter how many land mines erupt in a minute be sure your mind lands on the beauty of this funny place called life.

And yes, on a scale from one to over-trusting I am pretty damn naive but I want her to know that this world is made out of sugar. It can crumble so easily but don’t be afraid to stick your tongue out and taste it.

“Baby,” I’ll tell her “remember your mama is a worrier but your papa is a warrior and you are the girl with small hands and big eyes who never stops asking for more.”

Remember that good things come in threes and so do bad things and always apologize when you’ve done something wrong but don’t you ever apologize for the way your eyes refuse to stop shining.

Your voice is small but don’t ever stop singing and when they finally hand you heartbreak, slip hatred and war under your doorstep and hand you hand-outs on street corners of cynicism and defeat, you tell them that they really ought to meet your mother.”

― Sarah Kay

So for now, just let me. I will battle my storm. I’ll savor this pain and I will come out of it healed, stronger and a learned woman, I suppose. If everything is clear and I am back on my track, you will all know.

If you can wait, just meet me when this storm is over.

 

 

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 hard work 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.

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.

Being Young, Dumb and Bold: Our Hong Kong Escapade

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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 came 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.

Or maybe, even this.

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 am a birdie!

And here are just some bits of Hong Kong I was able to capture with my phone. Enjoy!