Same Ocean, Different Boat

I recently came across this poem that became viral in Facebook over summer. It’s about how we are all on the same ocean riding in different boats and it made me think and reflect on the events that occurred in the past six months.

I think about our government’s response to the situation and what comes to mind first are these— foreign loans and debts and how the divide between our government supporters and leftists has become more pronounced.

I think about the 4Ps beneficiaries who are supposed to be the poorest of the poor and yet the people lined up on the 4Ps lane don’t at all look like the poorest of the poor and I know I shouldn’t judge based on their appearance or their clothing but I see homeless people in sidewalks and wonder why they weren’t the ones lining up. The government must be hiring selectively blind officials. Otherwise, they would see that most of the people they have lined up as beneficiaries aren’t supposed to be there. This is a matter of life and death and yet some of us choose to turn a blind eye for the sake of formalities or kinship.

And then I see members of the middle class crying foul because they get nothing yet they are the most burdened among the social castes.

Indeed, we are on different boats.

Six months back, I wasn’t concerned at all about the Covid19 virus. I had several out-of-country and local trips planned and there was no way this virus was stopping me. It did though. I thought it would disappear by summer the same way SARS did. It didn’t. I thought it was nowhere near as scary as drug-resistant tuberculosis. Now we know that in most cases, it is pretty much like the common cold but more evasive and contagious. In some, no, and much worse. I thought the economy would start bouncing back fast but the PSE is nowhere near the pace it left off before the pandemic. It would pick up for sure as soon as a vaccine becomes available globally but we can’t discount the fact that, globally, many giant businesses had declared bankruptcy and several industries are not coming out of the woods anytime soon.

We are on different boats.

But we don’t blame the government or our parents or God. That is not the way forward.

We think about how our society have come a long way so we channel our energy to acts that could alleviate, or at least, not complicate the problem. We step out of our homes only when necessary.

We learn to appreciate our jobs more and continue to work as efficiently as we can to keep the supply and demand cycle — the economy — running. We keep ourselves up to date on current events and we watch out for those ones that could make matters worse. We remain vigilant and not let our guards down because not even our leaders have no idea how much longer this will last.

We don’t let a virus change our very being. So we try and do good. Whatever excesses we have we share to those most in need. We throw a lifeline to anyone whose boat is sinking while keeping ours afloat..

It is hard, yes. We may not be in the same boat, but our boats are all tied together traversing through the same ocean. What each and every one choose to do makes a difference. I think that’s what matters the most.

*Link to the poem —> https://www.republicworld.com/world-news/rest-of-the-world-news/we-are-not-all-in-the-same-boat-story-behind-viral-post-and-poem.html

Of Empty Cups

Of late, it feels as though I have been living my life for the sake of living. Don’t we all? For some of us anyway. Every single day has become routine and repressive, what with the limited movements and interactions that can be had.

I tell a couple of friends about this and I get told that it’s the extrovert in me forcing its way out and, pardon my French, I think that’s bullshit. How can others slide into this new normal with so much ease? These past few months seemed unending but with July gone, it hits me how in the expanse of time, anything can be transient and yet each succeeding month has become some sort of a repeat of the previous one like a time loop. Don’t you feel trapped, too?

I’ve read somewhere that contentment leads to the road to happiness. Right, and here I am, lying on my bed, inside my home where I spent most of my growing up years, thinking about how I’d rather be somewhere else but here, doing something else but this. Recently, this has been the pill that I have to swallow everyday. A couple months back, I have developed a routine — working out 3-5x a week, playing my ukulele almost everyday, reading up on investment and self-development literature every now and then— I thought I had been settling quite nicely in this new normalcy. I had it, but as the days turned into weeks and then months.. If these turn into years, I just don’t know anymore.

I have no idea what I’m getting at, writing this. All I know is that for me to feel better, I have to let this train of thoughts go. My mind, it feels like it is brimming on the sides. I have so much thoughts unwritten and I’m not brave enough to write them all down. But I’m taking this slow. One way or another, I have to empty my cup.

Late 2017

It’s been a while.

I am thinking, “This is stupid, writing about my heartbreak of late 2017.”

I badly want to free him from my narrative because he hasn’t been in my life for more than a year now, nearly two years actually, but that’s not possible because he will always be a character in my story.

As Anne Lamott would say in her Instructions on Writing and Life,

“You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.”

So. You will always be a part of my narrative. It can’t be helped.

I know this sounds silly but the cat was the final straw. I just got back from an out-of-country trip and was already making a big issue out of him changing his profile picture in Facebook to that of our male cat. We’ve always had the same profile pictures. I know, the cat picture was stupid and us always sharing the same profile picture was too teenager-y. But the breakup had to happen one way or another, I was desperate to make a mess out of something stupid. Even before my trip, I felt something in our relationship had just fundamentally shifted. It was different that time. I had tried to break us up a couple of times before and it always ended with us hugging each other like neither of us would ever let go. But that last time was different because he just walked out and played basketball and I was left staring at the wall.

I easily got bored. I still easily get bored and I will always need to be doing something. Anything that would make me feel more alive.

Herson was content with watching movies and eating at RUB every f*cking weekend. There were the rare out-of-town trips and, the ones on beaches, he hated because of the heat and humidity.

I lived with this man for nearly three years and I realized that I was living my life only through his. Most of the things we did together were the things he wanted to do and I was okay with that. I was supportive until it was too much. It was never going to work out because that was not the life I wanted. It was not exciting. It didn’t make me feel alive.

There was also the issue about the way he behaved as an adult. He didn’t have a proper job — he wrote on demand as a freelancer for a living— and I was okay with that but he started neglecting his clients and playing too much basketball and buying too many shoes. I didn’t need his money, and he didn’t need mine but I wanted him to be practical. So at my urging, he took a job in the same company where I work— where we are both working now. And, thanks to me, he found himself a new girlfriend.

It was the same girl who consistently liked and would occasionally leave smart comments on his Instagram posts and not once, not even once did I ever suspect that there was something going on. Perhaps I was naive or just damn too complacent. He was a guy who was still friendly with his exes and I was okay with that.. I wasn’t a girl who easily got jealous. Not even once did he ever show the slightest tendency to cheat. But he did anyway.

I thought she was a smart girl because the way she wrote was.. kind of the way he wrote. She was smart, that I know for sure. She outsmarted another girl after all.

I can’t imagine doing the same thing to another girl. Woman to woman, she ‘stole’ something from me. That’s what it felt like. To me. Perhaps they never did anything intimate while we were still together. But if you are a woman, and you are aware that this man has a girlfriend, it doesn’t matter how rock bottom their relationship are at the point you start innocently flirting with him. You just don’t do that to another woman. Woman to woman, you will avoid him. You will not allow him to pour his heart out to you because he has a girlfriend. Having issues with your own boyfriend doesn’t also justify your need to pour your heart out to a man who happens to be there just because you share the same workspace.

But that’s her story. Her own discretion and infidelity, and although I know parts of it, it will not be a part of my narrative. I felt bad for her then-boyfriend.

Nobody deserves to be cheated on. I don’t understand people who can start another relationship without properly ending their previous one. It is cowardly. It is barbaric. It is not something I can imagine ever doing in this lifetime. It is just unthinkable to break another person that way. To make them feel that it was somehow their fault. To make them not believe in love again. To make them feel afraid to love again. To transform them into these paranoid, jealous individuals who couldn’t hold their next relationships down.

A couple of months after the breakup, I started dating this guy who also liked to travel. I broke things off nearly a year after we got together because apart from traveling, there’s little else in the relationship. I easily got jealous at all of his female friends, maybe I was being unreasonable or maybe there really was something to my suspicions and at that point, I didn’t like my behavior, I didn’t like that I had turned into this jealous, control-freak. Soon after, I realized that I never loved Mark and up to now I suspect that he was a rebound.

A few days after, I jumped into another relationship which I identified immediately as a rebound so I had to end it again. It was very not me and I didn’t like that part about myself.

Rebound after another. We do stupid things in the name of love, or the lack of it thereof. But it is not something to be ashamed of. We are after all more than just sentient beings. We feel too much and think too much, and we love other people too much even when sometimes, they don’t even deserve the love we give them.

Had it ever crossed my mind to give us another chance if the circumstances would allow? No.

The cheating is enough. It doesn’t make sense to trust someone not to cheat on you again. He did it and he could do it again. Maybe he won’t, but it will always be at the back of my mind. The trust will never be restored.

But, looking back, I would say that the cheating was merely the tip of the iceberg. We were just incompatible. I am too much of an extrovert, I thirst for adventures. He’s the exact opposite. We clearly weren’t meant for each other and we would never work out and he hurt me more than anyone had ever hurt me before.

Being able to write this truthfully, in my own version of the truth, I guess I have moved on. Yes. Maybe. I am not even mad at him anymore. I was mad at him because he didn’t even have the decency to tell me about his discretion/infidelity before we broke things off or even after. I had to learn about it weeks after and from someone else. I was angry at myself because he bounced back much faster than I did. That was a hard punch to my ego.

When I thought I was finally free, it felt like waking up after a very long hibernation.

I started to travel more. At first, it felt like running away. I was going to so many places.. Visited several countries and numerous cities in and out of the country within one year. At first, there was emptiness after running to these new, far off places. I ran in so many different ways, did so many things I’ve never done before. But the truth is, time is the distance that I needed to navigate. I could never run far enough away. I realized I had to stop and wait.

So I began the process of stopping and waiting.. stop being so afraid of giving my heart and my all again.. stop deciding a timeline of when I can move on.. stop running away from dealing with my emotions, from love.. stopped being ashamed of love and the vulnerability that comes with it. That’s when I knew that I have begun to let go.

I have forgiven him although he never apologized, and, really it is no longer necessary. I want him to find real happiness, or if he is on his way there, I want him to keep going towards it, with my forgiveness. I mean it. There’s a part of me that can’t believe it, but I do. I know I will always care about his well-being. He will always be a part of me. He wasn’t a monster just because of one big mistake. In another time, Herson loved me, took care of me, wished the best for me. I loved him, or I guess I will always love him a bit or the person he was or, maybe, just maybe, I love just the idea of him.

I suck at writing endings so I will leave this with something I have read somewhere: the glass is neither half-empty nor half-full. It is refillable.

Allusion Vs Reality


He looks at her profile quite stealthily, the way a thief would barge into someone’s abode in the middle of the night, searching for something that he can take for his own. Perhaps, he wanted those lips grazing on his, matte red lipstick or not, it doesn’t matter. A flash of white directed at his general direction would suffice but she smiles the way a girl would who is aware that she is beautiful and blatantly proud of it and can’t even be bothered to grace him an icy stare. Frankly, just a glimpse would be enough to trigger that tingling somewhere on his nether regions. He feels cheated yet it doesn’t feel right because where he is is not where he is supposed to be. What he feels is not in the right place. So, overriden with guilt, he ended what he had with the other girl, who is really not the other girl. Just one of them, or so he prefers to believe. After all, someone can be willingly turned into no one or just about anyone depending on someone’s preference at a given point in time. The lesser she knows, the lesser the pain perhaps. But she knows that he knows that she somehow knows and he doesn’t care and she knows that. Or he does but what difference does that make? We are all born not to give a shit. Or at least that’s what he prefers to believe.


So the main girl, who isn’t really the main girl, unbeknownst to him (or perhaps he knows) can’t get enough of anyone and an imagination she quite has. She feeds his with a myriad of possibilities, sometimes with that knowing smile pretending to not know about his predicament, or for most of the time, that aloof stare, those wet lips slightly parted, pretending to be a virgin in this game of subtle seduction. There is a hint of excitement running through her flesh everytime she sees him, talks to him, but it’s the same with another, and then another, and yet another. Insatiable, she is like no other hot-blooded female—  quite averse to what she is trying to portray, which is a cross between a stoic and a domineer. Or perhaps a sweet thing, just a sweet, pretty little innocent thing she could be. He is drawn, almost blinded, but such is a man overcome by desires as powerful as the groin of Eros, rendering him incapable of reason. She holds that power and she intends to use it like an armour, pretending to be a shield, disguised as an armour, I guess one would suppose that it’s the other way around, but it can be however one prefers it to be.


She intrigues him, and he, her. Pretty soon, someone is making the first move and it’s not her, though she is beyond tempted to do so. Maybe she will. Or he will. Then the waiting game will be over.


And then reality sinks in. Life is just a game, he would say. So on to the next because such is how it is— just a game. He almost always wins.


Well, almost.


You know what they say. No one in this life gets away with anything.


What’s Three* Years Compared to the Rest of Your Life?

Recently, I had one of those in-depth conversations with a very inspiring lady. One question that really got me going was this, “What’s [three] years compared to the rest of your life?” Yes, indeed.

This is one of those questions that are not even intended to be answered in a spur of a second. It has all sorts of answers depending on your state of mind at the time that it was fired at you. When my friend posed that question to me, she spoke it like a prayer. Like some kind of an advice but a whole lot more than that and so I didn’t even bother answering because I knew that she wasn’t expecting an answer. She meant for me to take it with me after our conversation.. to ruminate upon, poke at it in different ways, see all sides of it from different angles. But I answered anyway silently inside my mind. I like to keep things simple. One word. Yes, at that moment, that was what was inside of me, waiting to be uttered but the word was like a shy kid. It refused to come out.

We have so much time in this world. So much time we can swim in it, who knows, for one thousand, one million laps, or more, so much time it cannot be swam through. It cannot be contained. (This sounds like some movie I watched a few months back.) Who knows right? What will be coming is waiting to be spent, waiting like the moon waits for the skies to get dark every night in this part of the world, like the days that couldn’t wait for the sun to rise for new beginnings. The rest of my life is waiting, it can’t wait to show me what could still be. What I could be. It can’t wait to show how there are so much more to explore, not just physical places, but places that don’t require the senses..

If something is no longer as fulfilling as it was before, if it’s stifling you, if it is stopping your growth.. If you feel like a plant with a Tupperware protectively hovering over it, sheltering it from the sun, the wind and the rain.. if it’s something that’s holding you off from venturing out of your comfort zone.. if it’s something that’s hurting you, makes you want to lock yourself up and cry.. If it’s something that no longer fulfills your needs and wants.. then it’s got to stop. If it’s something that will make you change the essence of who you are.. that will make you forget what makes you tick.. Erase the codes that you’ve carefully built in within yourself for twenty-something years.. Auto-delete what’s been programmed in your mind to make you laugh without inhibitions.. what makes you do all the quirky things that you do.. what makes you you.. If it’s something that makes you fake your laughters and smiles.. then it’s got to stop.

Alright, so let me ask you now. What’s three years compared to the rest of your life? What’s four, seven, ten years compared to the rest of your life? Nothing. They’ve all gone. Three beautiful and sad and tragic years and now this sounds like a Taylor Swift song. Three years was everything with a list that goes on and on so long it could span the entire length of this island, so long it could break records but that’s not my purpose in writing this. 

I guess whoever’s reading this now, I want you to think about it. What’s three years, five, seven, ten years? These are just numbers.. There shouldn’t be regrets or perhaps just a little, but definitely no turning back. 

What’s to come is like a promise, you can almost touch it now if you let go and let be. It can hardly wait and YOU ARE worth the long wait.



*could be three or less or more depending on the reader’s personal experience 🙃

Hope

But somewhere out there.. there we are, holding each others’ hands.. we, marveling about how they perfectly fit together the way my heart fits perfectly inside your chest cavity and yours in mine, so perfect we could swap hearts and the difference would be hardly noticeable.

She walked down that path. They were meeting for the first time. She was ruminating about how many times she’d been doing this.. meeting people for the first time. Meeting a friend for the first time. How people would start as strangers completely clueless about what they were like when they were younger, clueless about what time they were born in this world, hmmm she doesn’t even know when exactly she came to this world.. completely clueless of the quirks that they were hiding from other people.. and suddenly they are friends and that is just so mind-blowing, don’t you think? Like we are such social animals and can’t leave each other alone.

So why can’t we leave each other alone?

I. Couldn’t. Get. Enough. Of. You.

He was wearing a polo shirt and she was thinking that they could be perfect together because why not?

You. You told me things. Like how you like to do lots of things. Like you’re some sort of a jack of all trades but a master of none. And I believed you and I had come to know that that is true.

You told me things. About you. And I just wanted to know more.

So why couldn’t we leave each other alone?

Somewhere out there are people loving for the first time, breaking up for the first time. Or maybe for the last time but what I have in me is hope. Hope that there are beautiful days to come. That this is just a hiccup, a major hiccup, but a hiccup nonetheless. Nothing that can’t be fixed. Somewhere out there are all the other possibilities. Thousands, endless, so many possibilitues — and yes that’s a typo cause I’m writing way too fast—the world couldn’t hold them, the last ones remain floating in the Galaxy. You, perfectly fine, alone.. nothing and no one to worry about except for yourself.. You finding someone else better than I am.. I, finding someone who shares my interests and quirks and dreams in life. But somewhere out there.. there we are, holding each others’ hands.. we marveling about how they perfectly fit together the way my heart fits perfectly inside your chest cavity and yours in mine, so perfect we could swap hearts and the difference would be hardly noticeable.

Sometimes, I worried a lot. I worried about that time when I thought I had disappointed you. I would obsess about it the whole time. It would lurk inside my head, like a ghost on my hindsight, waiting to present itself.

I would worry about not remembering that feeling of excitement the first time I met you. That giddy feeling that I never want to forget. You had that smile on your eyes, you had that look on your lips and I knew right then that you were going to kiss me on the cheek. You did. And I couldn’t take my eyes off you.

I never told you, but I was worried shit that day we first met. I have never been on a date with someone I was meeting for the first time. I swear I wanted to un-send the sms I sent you. You must know by now that I am not one to think things through. I make decisions in a spur of a second and I know that that is bad but that day, when I decided to see you, it was the best in-the-moment decision I have ever made. Never, ever, even at this point am I regretting that.

Everytime you talk about the universe conspiring against us, I laughed at you and teased you for assuming that you were the most unfortunate man in the universe. Because you weren’t. Know that even the best among us are passed up by luck (or the equivalent of that) because nothing in this world is good enough without all of these imperfections. You are lucky because, to me, you are perfect with all of your imperfections and I know that’s cliche but I speak the truth.

Oftentimes, I wonder why I hadn’t met you early on, why you hadn’t showed up when we were still in college. It would’ve been perfect. Proximity happens by chance, by coincidence. But, in our case, you made it possible. You said you weren’t able to resist me and the distance between us. You said, “I know I had to cross it, and the sooner the better so that I may know if you wanted me as well.” Of course, I did. Still do. Want you. Love you.

That book, the first one you gave me is about memories. Some of these memories won’t go away. I have mine, too. Words cannot be unsaid and actions cannot come undone. But we can utter more loving words and do thoughtful actions and make new memories. Yes, even at this point. Happy ones, preferably, so that we won’t be rattled when the past tries to catch up with us.

I look stupid here but I love you. While you are asleep, I love you. And by the time you wake up, be reminded again that I love you.

Not a Game, Not Again. This is It.

When it feels right, you gotta do it because you can’t not. You can stop playing pretend because it’s not going to do you any good and I’m not even talking about adulting. You’ve got to do it now. You will never know what happens next until you jump in face first, or ass first, I don’t know what. Take that plunge, you will get drenched for sure but it will be worth it. It could be the best move you’ve ever done in your life. And if it’s not, well, stop worrying about that part. You will have another go and by then you would already know how to swim through it, backstroke, freestyle, whichever way you prefer.

When it feels right, never hesitate, no matter how crazy it may seem like, no matter how out-of-bounds, no matter how far-fetched, it will make all the sense in this world. Everything else will feel vague,like  a weak approximation. See, I am now talking about algebra and I don’t know sh-t about algebra but it will start to make sense if I give my 101% to it. You will know it. When it feels right, it will feel like a four year-old tugging at your dress insistently until you look at it. Perseverance. If you f-cking want it, you will f-cking get it. It will make you lose sleep, your appetite, and what-not and you might not notice that you’ve been wearing less stylish clothing but it’s okay because you will never tire of it, when it feels right. Be bold, but not chaotic. Be frank, but be careful with the words you use. Ask, don’t be afraid to ask, but never beg.

When it feels right, it will be tangible, far from it’s former dreamy appearance, far from a hazy state of probabilities, palpable, it will look you in the eye, and nope, I don’t mean that in a scary sense. It will form itself solid right in front of your eyes you can hardly believe— well, believe it!— that it’s been there all along, running in your veins, it’s in your blood, it’s in your genetic makeup, and it is alive. You may look at it in a completely different way. It can be like a complicated process map, a strategic maze of sorts and only you will figure it out.

You will never know, the guessing will never stop until you do it because when it feels right, it will happen. You will make it. You can do it, I promise you.

The Waves are Coming

The treacherous waves are coming and the girl is not quite prepared for that. If she could just stop them, she would. Of all places, this is where she remembers him though they’ve never been to this particular spot before. Sunsets and beaches and skies painted with ochre, burnt orange, sometimes purple and your face just surfaces in my mind.

That was the day before it was over. We held hands by the beach. The spaces between your fingers, that’s where mine perfectly fit, but that day, it didn’t feel quite right anymore. I grasped your hand, traced my finger in the inside of your palm, feeling every crease and line but your fingers didn’t tighten at the slightest touch the way it used to before. You were staring at the horizon, deep in your thoughts, and though I was dying to ask you what you were thinking about, something stopped me. I realized that I was afraid of knowing. The waves were coming.

The waves were coming and the girl ran away from them but you didn’t. Perhaps, you were tired. Tired of your life, everything, meeting other people’s expectations. And I understand. If you push her away, she won’t resist anymore. But know that she will always be there.


I will never leave you, that’s a promise.
The tears flowing down her face are joining the saltwater and no one would know the difference. The waves were coming to wash out all of your memories of you and I and you were just standing there, you can hardly wait for the waves to consume you.

Notes to My/Your Workaholic Self 

As of late, work has been particularly hard on me and I know it’s been taking a toll on my personal life. I’ve been spending too much time in the office, been getting lesser sleep, and skipping lunch just to get it all done. In short, I’m getting crabby.

It’s supposed to look like a cRab but sorry not sorry, I can’t draw to save my life! 😂

Sure, I had a one-week breather during my out of town trip but as soon as it was over I had to get full-on work mode again. Anyone with a similar job as mine knows that when returning from a week-long vacation, the first thing that you have to attend to is your inbox. Naturally, mine was bursting at its seams. Sure, I know a few secrets in winning the war on emails but when there’s too much, there’s just no way around it. Responding to emails is just one part of my lovely job. I have to process and manage transactions, prepare reports, attend to our partners’ and other stakeholders’ queries via phone if emailing is not sufficient, numerous calls with clients.. you name it! Don’t get me wrong. I love my job, sure, but as we are on a transition phase right now, the workload feels as if it’s twice the amount it used to be and I’m getting so lost. 🙁

There’s no ignoring the downsides of having a full-time job but no matter how overwhelming it can get, there are so many ways to manage it. Shun negativity. Minimize stress. Be more productive and efficient. I don’t claim to be an expert in work management, but I am just jotting down these notes, a list of sorts to get me by when the going gets tough, and it sure is tough right now. Perhaps you may even be better off than I am, but if we ever are on the same boat then this one’s for you.

1. Disconnect after work. Never give in to the urge of opening your work email. Yep, I had come to the point when I just couldn’t stop myself from logging in to my email and responding to queries until I realize that I’d been doing it for more than an hour and I had yet to prepare for sleep. You’re just going to drag some to folders, you say, but nope, don’t even start or you will get lost on your emails. Been there done that and it’s not healthy.

2. Eat healthy. And by healthy, I mean don’t skip meals though if you want to restrict to eating healthy food, then all the better. I was, still am, guilty of this. I almost always skip meals. That 1 1/2 hours of time allotted for break is not a benefit, it is your right and it is your responsibility to take care of yourself. Nourish yourself to energize because you need it. But if you’re not hungry, have a powernap, like I do for most of the time.

3. Get at least 7-8 hours of sleep. In this age, the # 1 sleep detractor is the mobile phone. It will help to turn it on airplane mode or, at least, on silent mode. The lesser the distractions, the higher the probability of dozing off early. When you’re well-rested, you wake up on time. If you wake up on time, you will have enough time to prepare for the day– and this is plenty important to me because I need the extra time to blowdry my hair (I hate going out with wet hair!) and choose which clothes to wear without having a panic attack. Thank God I don’t wear makeup. I heard some girls take a couple of hours to do theirs. As for me, I’d use that extra time for snooze. When I have enough sleep, I am less grumpy. My mind is more relaxed. I get more work done. In short, I become more productive.

4. Dress nice. I don’t know why but I always feel better when I am wearing a smart outfit or my favorite dress. When you dress nice and good, you get an instant confidence boost. Don’t report to work in your sweats and hoodies else you’ll feel sleepy. Been there done that. 😆

5. Don’t be too hard on yourself. There are times when the quality of your work is just off. Or you’re taking too much time than necessary working on a particular issue when on some days it would only take you less than five minutes. Or you just can’t do things right. In short, you’re having a bad day. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Yep, this is my best advice to myself. When something goes wrong, I overthink. I get frustrated. I would dwell on it and talk nonstop about it. Well if you are like that too then stop. Talk about it once or twice then move on. Also remember that there are good days and they far outweigh the bad ones.

6. Have a dose of self-love. A little of this won’t hurt. Stop feeling insecure. You are enough. You are good. You deserve to love yourself because if others can, why can’t you? And don’t ever think that no one loves you because I’m pretty sure someone does and appreciates you no matter how ugly you feel and inadequate. So, yes, self-love, because you matter. Take care of yourself. Don’t let yourself become ill. Don’t exhaust yourself. Forgive yourself in the face of blunders. These shall past. You matter at work. You are an important part of a project and without you, your team couldn’t have made it.

7. Be the best version of yourself. Don’t be a slacker. Leave no rooms for mediocrity. Do your best in everything that you do. Stop being complacent, instead innovate. It’s alright to make mistakes once or twice but make sure you’ve learn from them. But if you can, avoid, because, for real, most mistakes are avoidable if you are careful.

8. Be realistic and accept the volume of workload in the most professional way. Learn how to say no. It is not good to saturate your agenda with too many assignments when in the end, you won’t meet the deadline, or the quality of your work is not up to par. I am not going to say “slowly but surely” because sometimes, the volume is higher than usual. Instead,  plan, organize, and be resourceful. Make use of technology/tools to help with your productivity.

9. Love your job. Yes, of course, because if you don’t, you’ll die. Literal and figurative. It’s your bread and butter. It’s what funds your travels and fine dining experiences and your wardrobe and gadgets allowance. Seriously, don’t take a job that doesn’t suit you or just so you can pay your bills and put food on your table. It has to be more than that. It has to have more meaning in your life. Be passionate and proud of what you do. You have to care (but not too much), hey you’re not a machine. If you don’t love your job, or if you don’t develop passion in it, you’ll just feel miserable like you can’t wait to get it done and over with every.single.day and that’s not good.

10. Don’t judge and don’t set standards that are just too high. Sometimes, you (think you) are just too good, no sarcasm intended, because you just are. But don’t expect others to be just as good as you are or to have the same discipline and work ethics as you do because they aren’t and they don’t. If it’s a colleague, well don’t get yourself riled up, don’t stress yourself as long as they are not making a personal attack on you. If you are someone’s mentor, try to emphatize, try to know the person and don’t judge them outright if they don’t suit your standards. Instead, try to understand them and from there, you can agree on how the both of you are going to achieve your goals as a team.

11. Promote harmony. If there are issues with a colleague, talk about it. Be openminded and act like the mature adult that you are. No two persons think alike and so it will be extremely unhelpful to stop having a touchpoint after a misunderstanding. Yes, this happened to me before and to cut the story short, nothing good came out of it. As a whole, your team has a goal/s and as a team, you have to work harmoniously with one other to achieve your goal/s.

12. Pamper yourself. Get a massage, a haircut, a makeover, a hand paraffin, a foot spa, and all the other things you can think of to relax and make you feel better. Go somewhere without too many plans in mind and it better be some place quiet, preferrably greeny and grassy and cool.

13. Always wear a smile and be happy because more facial muscles are getting worked up and worn out when you frown. Your choice. Wear a smile, it will make you feel and look better. If you find it hard to smile then think of happy or funny thoughts and I bet you’ll start laughing in no time. Be happy just because, you know what, life is good and that should be reason enough to be happy about. 😉

If you have tips that are not on this list, please feel free to share on the comments below! Thanks for reading!

My Thoughts Exactly

Most people who meet me for the first time would assume that I am one of the dopest, friendliest, goofiest thing they have ever seen. Nope, that is the stuff of fiction.

I am not a sociable person. I mean, since when did cat people ever become outgoing and sociable? Except Taylor Swift, perhaps. She needs to be because of the nature of her business. The girl is not a pop star, she’s a bloody businesswoman who seems to have worked out all the kinks ( of her hair and) of the music industry.

  

Enough of Tay-tay. I have stopped stalking her both in social media and Google search. I am just tired of her entrepreneurial voracity and insatiable thirst for distinction, really. And I am stark mad that she didn’t include me in her girl squad. (You know I am kidding, right?)

So what I know about sociable people is that they are like Taylor Swift who likes to be friends with and well-liked by everyone, except that they might not like cats. (Hah. That is the last time I will talk about her, my apologies. It’s hard to get over someone I used to love.) Also, sociable people like to meet lots of people. Obviously. (They might also prefer dogs over cats.) I think they like to build their connections and have these ultra self-empowering goals, which I don’t want to find out because it’s none of my business. Or maybe they are born to be Mr and Ms Congeniality’s. Like when they were barely a year old, they smiled at the camera, at dogs and even at that suspicious brown mound on the ground that looks like cat turd. No, I am not kidding. It’s fun to be with this group of people.👌🏻

I don’t like large crowds and the Barbie and Ken dolls of the world. (Read: superficial.) I choose my friends (and I like to think they chose me, as well). I choose people who I perceive to be smart and real. I like folks who don’t need everyone’s validation and I don’t like people who don’t choose sides. Yep, I don’t like the Swiss. (Except Toblerone, of course. Everybody loves them.) You gotta choose, buddy. So, are you a cat, or a dog person? 👊🏼

I like being around a small circle of friends. But there are times when I like to keep to myself and, even when I am with them, I like to wander inside my thoughts, thinking that I am somewhere else doing something else. Most of the time, I imagine sitting on a rocking chair, reading a nice book, with a cat on my lap. Yep, I know it’s so Alessia Cara singing ‘Here’. 

  

(Ooops that’s not Alessia. And I’ll pass on that headdress.)

If you think I am being arrogant just by writing all of these, be reminded that you can exit my site anytime, sweetie.

Of course, there were those times when I wished I was different. Don’t we all? I wished I was friendlier, funnier, easier to be with, less complicated and more free-spirited. But I like to think that I have come to terms with my individuality and that’s something because I don’t need to try hard. Really, the easiest thing ever, is to be yourself, to let others see the real you because it’s so hard to pretend. No hesitations, no holds barred, heck, no make-up or designer clothes. And no Camera360.

The first time I meet people, some seem to want to be friends with me (or am I just assuming things here? Please enlighten me) maybe because I am being funny when I talk about real stuff however bland or skin deep. Perhaps they would assume that I am bluffing or whatever and so a few weeks or days or months after, they would begin to think that I am bloody serious. A few would like me even more once they get to know me but most just wouldn’t know how to deal with this five foot zero inch shit and so they would walk away and this little shit wouldn’t care because that’s none of it’s business.

I like real talk. Man, I am plain honest and straightforward, sometimes you will think that I am sugarcoating my words or sometimes, I am dissing you straight in the face because that’s how I roll. Okay, sometimes I do filter my words just a wee bit the way I use a few photo filters to play with the light on my photos but I would tell you exactly what I need you to understand the way I would show you the zits and blemishes on my face because that’s how I roll. I believe in speaking out to make a difference to the world (yep, the world) so don’t be bloody sensitive when I speak the truth and I know it hurts the most but let’s just get real and get it over with.

Okay. You can stop right there and let’s breath real deep together.

  
One of my work counsellors told me that I am one of the realest, bravest and strongest people she knew and she said that was good because I knew what I wanted. My principles are intact, which means that I am hard to be influenced by other people who are on the other side of my fence. She said these are the makings of a good leader.

She didn’t tell me about the other side of the pancake, though. You know, the burnt one. I know that she knows that I already know. I know I can be complicated sometimes or perhaps, most of the time. I can break things up before you can say sushi. If you know what I mean. This other side might stop me from getting what I want, or even deserve. It might not get me up through the corporate ladder, might not get me the likes and hearts in social media. But you know what? I don’t need those types of validation from others who don’t matter much in my life. No one shouldn’t.

But we have our differences and while I think that no one shouldn’t want, shouldn’t work so fcuknig hard, shouldn’t be so fcuknig desperate to receive other’s validation and acceptance, some people just don’t think the way I do and it doesn’t mean that I am right and they are wrong. It could be the other way around and, who knows, both.


*First photo is not mine, I just found it in Tumblr. Whoever owns it, please let me know so I can give proper credits.

The second one was taken from http://www.spin.com/2015/08/alessia-cara-here-vevo-dscvr-watch/

The third one is my son’s photo. Lol. Texts on photos are mine.