when god speaks

I have been in five companies since I graduated in 2009 before I came to work in my current job and it’s the best workplace I have ever been.

I was happy, I was thankful. I believed that God answered my prayers about Him bringing me to a company that could possibly be the last workplace I’m going to stay until I die. Exaggeration, I know.

We have the best bosses any employees could’ve ever hoped for. They always put our welfare before anything else. They provide us with everything we need. They make sure that we feel comfortable in the office every single day. They were perfect.

Aside from that, they always provide us opportunities that would help us grow. They took me to London last September and it was amazing!

However, somewhere along the way, things have changed.

After the London trip, one of the British staff resigned and her job was passed onto me temporarily. For three months, I juggled two jobs – mine and hers. It was no easy feat, but I tried my best to handle both of them until I had to sacrifice my job to do my temporary one because it was more time sensitive. I’m a multi-tasker but I realized that doing more than one job is different from doing more than one task.

I began to hate the work. However, I told myself, it’s just because of the temporary job I had to do. Everything would go back to normal once they found a new person for the said job. So, I endured everything and, true enough, they hired a new staff. I was free again. I was back to my original job.

Still, it wasn’t the same anymore. I couldn’t pinpoint it exactly. It was as if my heart’s not in the job anymore. I don’t feel the excitement I used to feel even if the task I’m working on isn’t really exciting. Nevertheless, I tried to brush everything off because I might just be getting used to normalcy again.

Then, during the Christmas vacation, while I was lying on my bed, doing nothing and thinking of nothing, I heart a voice. The voice said, “You’re going to leave *insert our company’s name.*” I cried right away. I didn’t want to leave my job, but I know that it would happen. The voice was incontestable. It was final. It was absolute.

It was God’s.

I knew it was His because I couldn’t argue with it. I already had my own plans for my future and yet I know that the voice’s will would prevail over my plans. True enough, from my devotion, I learned that when God speaks, things will happen. His voice can change any situation and His voice changed everything for me.

When I went back to work, I would look around me and feel sad. I don’t know where I’ll be leaving, but I can’t help but miss everything already. I cried over it a lot. But I don’t ask God why. This is one of the things that accepting God has done for me – I learned not to question His will.

Also, everything has been settled as well. My heart no longer beats for the best company I have ever known. It’s now focused on what God has in store for me in the future.

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brave little soldier

[Warning: Spoiler ahead]

Sometimes, the biggest sacrifice comes from those people think of so little.

Ever since “The Great Wall” was announced more than a year ago, I was already looking forward to seeing it. I admit that it was due to Lu Han’s inclusion that made me interested in the movie. Though I know his role won’t be that big, I knew I just have to see him in it.

I was curious what character Lu Han would play. The story was set during one of China’s dynasties and it was a story about war. What could he possibly play? Then they said that he would be a soldier and I laughed at the ludicrousness of the idea. How could a sweet, boyish young man become a soldier during the said era? Then they said that he would be a soldier who was weak and cowardly. Again, I laughed. That character would indeed suit him.

I know it’s mean of me to think of him in such a way, but I just couldn’t help but be realistic.

So the time finally come to watch the movie. I don’t know what I was expecting. I know Lu Han had a small role and yet his name and face is all over the movie poster – out-billing the two Hollywood actors who have more scenes in the film. I just don’t want the reason to be marketing (no one can argue that he’s one of the most bankable Chinese celebrities).

Anyway, as expected, Lu Han only had few scenes and even fewer lines. Just like what Matt Damon said in his interviews when asked about Lu Han, the boy acted with his face and eyes really well. Upon seeing the movie, I understood what he meant. Without much dialogues, everything the Lu Han’s character has to say was conveyed on his face – the shame, embarrassment and frustration.

It might sound biased but Lu Han’s character has more dynamics than the rest (probably aside from Matt Damon’s). In the span of 1 hour and 55 minutes, Lu Han’s character evolved (not drastically but just right) from being a cowardly soldier into a brave one. He didn’t become a soldier who suddenly knew how to fight just because he faced his fears – that won’t be realistic. However, he became a soldier who gained enough courage to help fight the war (thanks to the few encouraging words from Matt’s character that he didn’t understand).

So, Lu Han’s fate in the movie was actually really noteworthy. I even felt bad for him. But at the same time, I was proud of his character. The brave little soldier.

and i’m alive

I was sliding. There was nothing to hold onto. The rocks were smooth and wet. No rough edges could stop me from going straight down. I already pictured what would happen. Then, I silently and loudly called, “Lord!” Just then, everything stopped.

My friends from work went for a climb at Mt. Balagbag (Rodriguez, Rizal) yesterday. It was an easy climb. It was more of a trek actually. Still, it was tiring. Walking up a hill isn’t easy anyway if you didn’t grow up in such a place.

After the climb, we went to one of the nearby waterfalls. I think it was called “Otso-Otso.” There were a lot of people in the front so we headed up to look for a spot where we could relax.

I took pictures of the falls with one of my friends while the others are already dipping in the water. Then, we called them to swim where the falls is so that it would be more fun. The water was cold but refreshing. We took pictures with someone’s GoPro (I put my phone aside with my friend’s so that it won’t fall on the water) and joked around.

Then, it was time to go.

I climbed back up from the water. I was wet all over. I put on my slippers and picked up my phone along with my friend’s phone and watch. Then, I headed carefully to where my stuff is with my hands were both occupied – my left hand was holding a monopod where my phone was attached and my right hand was holding my friend’s phone and watch. Then, it happened.

I slipped. On the rocks. By the edge of the waterfalls.

My butt landed on a rock and I felt myself sliding down. The rocks were very smooth and there were no rough edges to stop my fall. My head was filled visions of the next chain of events – I would roll down along the rocks, bump my head against them and land on the shallow cold water. I didn’t reach the part of how I would look like after all that. I just immediately called on the one being that could possibly help me – God.

My heart called for Him. Upon the first cry, it was like the time froze. I wasn’t sliding anymore. I was shocked in disbelief.

A friend of mine rushed to my side. She clung onto my right arm, hoping and trying to keep me in place. However, there was no need for that anymore. I was already safe. Everyone was shouting something, but I just told them to calm down. I felt like I would really fall if they kept on their loud voices.

Stupidly, my first concern was the stuff in my hands. I looked on my left where my phone was. It got detached from my monopod, but luckily it was still plugged into the cord. It was hanging there on the edge. I immediately handed it over to my friend who was beside me as well as the other phone and watch in my other hand.

Free from everything, I got up on my feet. On my own.

The back of my ankles were hurting and so was my butt. However, I was all fine. No wounds or even scratches. I was alive.

Usually, such incidents would leave me high on adrenaline. I’m a thrill seeker and that should’ve been a perfect thrill. However, I was scared. For the first time, the thing that would usually excite me scared me. Scared me so much that I called on God.

I couldn’t help but be amazed. God heard me and He was really there. He was the one who kept me in place when I should’ve went straight to my end. He was also the one who told me to stand up. He saved me – literally – and it was overwhelming.

reuniting with matilda

One of my favorite movies as a child was “Matilda.” I remember my mom bringing home a copy of it on a VHS so that we don’t have to rent it from the stores. I watched it a lot to the point I memorized the dialogues. But despite all that, I still suck as a fan because I didn’t know it was a book – a children’s book – by Roald Dahl until a couple of years back. I suck as a fan.

Last year, Mara Wilson (better known as Matilda to us who grew up with that movie) released a book. An autobiography. Upon the announcement, I knew I had to have her book. I remember going to bookstores in Stratford when I was in London looking for it. I was so excited because the UK release coincided with my stay there. However, it seems that book releases don’t work that easily even in the UK, so I came home empty handed. Good thing, my colleague offered to buy it for me online and I got it.

“Where Am I Now?” is the first book I read this year. I am still in a state of utter speechlessness. I didn’t even wrote a review on my Goodreads because I don’t know how to put all the feels I got from the book on coherent writing.

All I know is that I loved reading the book. Mara’s a really good writer. She’s engaging and funny. I felt everything she put down on paper. Which was why, reading the book was also hard for me.

I knew it was about her life since it was an autobiography. So, I knew I’d finally learn where she had been after leaving Hollywood. However, It wasn’t just your typical narration and I was caught off guard. I was shocked, confused, heartbroken, relieved, etc.

She didn’t just talk about her career and life after Hollywood, she talked about sex (how she learned about it and how she struggled with her thoughts about it), death and religion (which really got my brain working), mental health (this got me on my feet), relationships, breaking up with Hollywood, being in a choir, losing her mother, NYU, Robin Williams, and her present.

I wasn’t ready for the book. I knew it upon reading the first few pages.

It left me bothered, especially on the part when she let go of her belief in God. That really got me thinking. It’s not because I’m against atheism. I’m a very open-minded person and I respect each and everyone’s beliefs. I just couldn’t figure out how she just let it go so easily. Well, she struggled at first, but I guess I was looking for a specific huge life-changing event (like something tragic) that could’ve altered her perception about God. Anyway, my friend told me we have our own unique journeys when it comes to God.

I was also left worried when she discussed her OCD. Because of what I’ve been through last year, I wondered if I have some mental health issues of my own. I have put the thoughts aside towards the end of the year but this book brought them back and it brought them really strong. Thank goodness I have a friend who knows how to calm me down when I worry too much. Now, I’m all good once again.

Nothing could’ve prepared me for this book. I didn’t read any detailed reviews. I just knew it was a good book. Mara Wilson is that good. So aside from the confusion, I was left inspired. I learned a lot and I hope she’ll release another book soon. This time I know what I am up against.

in and out of the gray

 

A year ago, I was very enthusiastic about 2016. I guess it was because 2015 had been a fantastic year for me. Towards the end of 2015, I found myself watching videos after videos about journaling – bullet journaling, smashbooking, etc. I was eager to make them the coming 2016, kind of like a personal project.

Then, in the middle of the year, everything sort of came crashing down.

I don’t know what really happened. Everything was going perfectly fine during the first half of 2016. I was keeping up with my goals. I was reading books after books. I was writing chapters after chapter of my online story. All of the sudden, I lost my drive to do these things. Everything felt like a burden. I couldn’t even listen to my playlist because I felt that I didn’t like all the songs I had despite them being my favorites. For whatever reason, I felt utterly lonely and hopeless.

I didn’t know what to do. It felt like there was no way out. Even though I had a trip to London (the place that I had been dreaming to see since I was a kid), it seemed that the sadness was endless. Then the jetlag from that trip added to my anxiety. I couldn’t do my job. I was lashing out at my closest friend. That’s when I knew I had to put everything to a stop…even though I don’t know how.

Thankfully, I met new people – workmates who entered our company in 2016. I’m a kind of person who doesn’t open up to people, but I realized that at that point I couldn’t keep everything to myself. I knew I needed someone else to share my burdens. So, I opened up to some of these people. They listened. They understood. They gave help.

Slowly, things started going back to normal. I was happy again. Work became bearable and I had the best time when I had my December trip to Seoul.

Just like how the slip to depression started, I also couldn’t pinpoint how things began to pick up again. Did listening to the words of the people around me do that? Did doing what they told me to changed things? It was amazing.

For some reason, I have to say, it was a joyful experience. Now, in this new year, I feel better. Despite knowing that I will have the tendency to go back to that rough patch again, I know I’ll be okay.

back to blogging

 

A year ago, I made a resolution – to keep a journal.

Though there were times that I neglected it (weeks to a month), I have to say I did fairly well with it. It could’ve been worse.

Then days prior to the 31st of December, I came up with something – to go back to blogging.

Blogging isn’t new to me. I started blogging back around 2000s. I was in high school then and blogging wasn’t as complicated as it is now.

Back then, it was basically like an online diary. You wrote about your day. It was fun as it allowed my friends and I to stay updated to each other’s lives. High school was busy most of the times that hanging out was a luxury.

I closed my first blog after graduating from college. I thought I needed a new start. I created a new blog and wrote about my early adventures in the ‘working world.’ Unfortunately, this new world was very demanding that I failed to keep up with my blogging. Then, there’s also the pressure coming from the development of the platform itself. Somehow, these things made me lose interest with it.

Then, a couple of years ago, I decided to go back to it. I told myself to just blog like I used to back when I was a teen. Why should I worry about readers anyway? So, it went well for awhile. Sadly, work got in the way once again.

I thought I’m done with blogging. I was surprised at myself for thinking of doing it again. I guess that’s what New Years do to someone. It makes them think of things that they can do on the next 365 days.

I tried to shut the idea off but the determination to do it was so strong. Giving in to the demands of my own mind, I made a new blog a week ago. Now, I’m writing on it. (What will happen to journaling? It will still go on.)

Hopefully, I can stick with this.