The Things I Could Do Without

This is the last assignment for the Writing 101 course and it was due about five days ago. After a lot of catching up, I would finally be done with the course.I just realized that I have been doing a lot of catching up lately. I am seeing a pattern now. I would have to change that. I need to change that. But I’m veering off course. Back to the assignment.

For this last post, I would like to share some of the things I could do without in the future:

In the future, I could do without art. I could do without crafts. I could do without using my hands to create something precious. I could do without sharing those creations with the world.

In the future, I could do without travel. I could do without getting lost and being subject to uncomfortable circumstances. I could do without breath-taking views and exciting activities. I could do without sharing those adventures with the world.

In the future, I could do without writing. I could do without the pressure of writing courses and prompts. I could do without the fun and freedom of expressing whatever I have to say. I could do without sharing those random mumblings with the world.

In the future, I could do without all these. The thing is, I don’t want to.

 
*This is in response to Blogging University’s Writing 101, Day 20: The future

To Finally and Fully Let Go

It has been two months since I left my previous job and what can I say, I still miss going there. It was far from perfect but it was home. It was my sanctuary for almost five years and I am finding it really difficult to let go. I read this article from The Captain’s Speech about how he misses school and everything I miss about my job came fluttering back to me in an instant. Putting everything out here may be just what I need to finally and fully let go.

I miss two-hour lunches outside the office.
I miss scouring through the internet just to find a great place to eat nearby.
I miss picking a piece of paper with a name of a restaurant from a bottle we have filled with names of restaurants nearby.
I miss being disappointed at where we just ate and laughing all about it afterwards.
I miss ordering different kinds of cake for dessert so we could try each one.
I miss being the only one to prefer Jollibee while almost everyone else wants McDonald’s.
I miss how the time spent to call everyone to eat for lunch was longer than the time we actually spend eating.
I miss going to the nearby convenience store after lunch to buy all sorts of snacks for the afternoon battle of staying awake.
I miss seeming like a headbanger because the snacks did not work. Why was it so difficult to stay awake?
I miss finally resorting to coffee to wake me up.
I miss the 30-minute snack breaks spent foodtripping with fishballs, squidballs, chickenballs, kikiam, kwek-kwek (boiled quail eggs covered with a mixture of egg and flour and then, deep-fried), turon (banana wrapped in a wrapper made of egg and flour, covered in brown sugar, and deep-fried), sweet potato fries, instant pansit canton with egg, siomai, corn, hopia, bread, green mangoes and everything those kiosks with wheels brought.
I miss not even bothering to eat during those breaks. I miss just spending the time together to rest and rant about work.
I miss afterwork dinners because we just felt the need to unwind after being exhausted the entire day. Yes, even if those dinners meant eating yet again in the KFC on the first floor of our building.
I miss going out for a few drinks after those afterwork dinners.
I miss eating at KFC and watching my friends take advantage of the free gravy.
I miss meetings that run the whole day and provide free lunch bought from KFC.
I miss having eaten at KFC so many consecutive times that the smell of chicken from a mile away makes me run fast the other way.
I miss free donuts that just constantly appears in our floor and in meetings.
I miss getting a free taste of donuts that haven’t even been released to the public.
I miss receiving a piece of paper after free tastes and being asked for a review of what I had just eaten.
I miss free-flowing coffee and hot choco, brownies, baked products, dossants, pon de rings, donuts and all kinds of our company’s products during planning sessions.
I miss planning sessions.
I miss being so exhausted after planning sessions.
I miss planning sessions held in hotels and resorts.
I miss not being able to enjoy the pools and the soft beds because we were so busy we had to work well into the night, too.
I miss living just walking distance from the office.
I miss everyone not knowing I just live nearby so I wouldn’t have to explain so much why I was always late.
I miss Halloween costume parties. I miss creatively dressing up the office space according to a specific theme. I miss how competitive we all were.
I miss Christmas parties. I miss trying so hard to not be included in the representatives of the per department performances. I miss winning the weirdest things in the raffle. I miss the Kris Kringle.
I miss team buildings. I miss being so competitive in the games only to be told winning was not the goal anyway.
I miss company outings, all the funny stories of people getting drunk, and every funny mishap that happened in the games.
I miss out-of-town trips. I miss getting to know people from other departments and bonding with clients. I miss discovering something new about those people everytime and feeling proud I belong to such an amazing team.
I miss going on sidetrips after out-of-town trips. I miss spending a little extra time to explore the place more and do some exciting activities.
I miss jokingly greeting the newbies on their first day, “Welcome to hell!” I miss scaling down the rants so we wouldn’t scare them away.
I miss teaching the new hires about our department, what we do as business performance analysts, our reports, and some Excel formulas they pretend to understand and ask about again in the future.
I miss creating Excel templates and reports that help and amaze people in other departments. I miss creating the longest formula for just a single performance indicator.
I miss my laptop crashing because it could not handle all the huge files that were open.
I miss creating Powerpoint presentations for my boss and the million revisions we have to do when he is extra enthusiastic that day and all sorts of ideas are coming at him from every direction.
I miss reasoning with him when he’s being too much. I miss just forcing a smile when I have no choice.
I miss the adrenaline rush of having to finish a report right away.
I miss being constantly pushed to the limits.
I miss not realizing the time because I was so absorbed in what I was doing.
I miss learning something new everyday.
I miss company trainings and seminars.
I miss asking my colleagues for help.
I miss learning from hearing my boss, other directors, and the general manager speak or scold us during meetings.
I miss our weekly classroom sessions where we would have cases or exams. I miss exchanging papers for checking and finding out the correct answers.
I miss being recognized for my work.
I miss being thanked because of how much I have helped colleagues in their work.
I miss being part of how the company’s targets were met.
I miss the constant exchange of banter with everyone I was close with. I miss how those closest to me jokingly pick on me. I miss how we do the same to other members in our group.
I miss taking random group pictures and posting them on facebook right after.
I miss constantly annoying my seatmate all for good fun. I miss being constantly annoyed as well.
I miss disturbing the peace and quiet in the floor because we couldn’t stop ourselves from laughing.
I miss leaving our respective areas and seating all together. I miss having very little room to move because we have squashed five to six people in an area for two to three.
I miss the constant exchange of stories and jokes through Google chat.
I miss hiding out in meeting rooms just so we could work peacefully and without interruptions.
I miss being allowed to work from home.
I miss passing birthday greeting cards to be signed by everyone. I miss planning birthday surprises.
I miss passing farewell cards for people who are leaving. I miss planning farewell surprises.
I miss planning our very own department team buildings. I miss going out of town to just have fun and forget everything about work.
I miss our clients. They treated me like family.
I miss the bosses. They appreciated what I contributed in the company and they taught me a lot.
I miss my colleagues. They are some of the most genuine people I met.
I miss my crazy friends. Without them, most of the items in the list would not even be half as fun.

*This is in response to Blogging University’s Writing 101, Day 16: Search your stats for a post idea and Day 17: Mine your own material

Where Were You, Lord?

When my siblings and I were really young, we considered ourselves pretty well off. We had really nice clothes and we stood out among our peers. We studied in one of the best schools in the province. And it was not cheap. We had the latest toys, the best that money could buy. We could afford all these because my mom was the vice president of a huge insurance company. Then, that fateful day came when my mom lost her job. Her name was dragged into a civil case and she was accused as an accomplice in embezzlement of funds from the company. We had to use all our resources to prove my mom’s innocence. We were left with very little resources and very little faith.

Where were you, Lord?

Help came in the most unexpected places. Relatives and friends offered help in every way possible. They took care of us and our needs. Aunts helped us with our tuition. Our grandfather helped with our daily expenses. We felt important. We felt loved.  It was much more than the clothes, toys and status could ever have given.

He was there. He was teaching us lessons on humility and materialism.

~

I was fresh out of college. I graduated in one of the top universities in the country. And I graduated with honors. I felt invincible. It felt like I could do anything! I would achieve it all! But I got sick. I went to several different doctors. They could not find what was wrong with me. Eventually, they found out that I had an autoimmune disease. I was told I could never work. There were a lot of times I cried myself to sleep.

Where were you, Lord?

My mom was there with me through every checkup and every laboratory examination. Even when giving up seemed like the easiest thing in the world, she remained strong for me. My family was there to make me feel loved and cared for. Friends, even those I haven’t seen or talked to for a while, came and spent time with me. I eventually got better and was able to work. But much more than that, I learned that achieving it all was not as important as nurturing the relationships I have been blessed with.

He was there. He was telling me to not take anything for granted.

~

I landed my first job in a government office in the province. I was doing okay. The workload was a bit scarce. The boss was lenient. The people were nice. I could do more but there was nothing much to do. Why change anything? I was comfortable and the office was just nearby. Then, the head of the office was replaced. Along with him, some people’s contracts were terminated along with mine. It was so sudden. I was devastated.

Where were you, Lord?

I got another job that was beyond what I wished for. It was far away from home but I was invigorated. I looked forward to going to work. Every minute of my every day was put to good use. I became exposed to a lot of challenges. I learned more in my first month there than I had in a year’s work in my previous job. And I realized that by not using them, I have been wasting all the abilities I have been graciously blessed with.

He was there. He was pushing me to do greater and harder things.

~

He was. He is. He will always be there.

*This is in response to Blogging University’s Writing 101, Day 13: Compose a series of vignettes

100-Word Story: Just Like That

It was the first week of school. I was sitting with some friends in the cafeteria having just finished lunch. All of a sudden, a pair of cold, soft hands covered my eyes. My heart raced. It could have been just like any other playful and meaningless gesture. But for me, it wasn’t. It was much more than that. I broke away from the grasp, slowly looked back and saw a familiar face. I forced a smile but decided to walk away.

Moments you’ll eventually regret for the rest of your life can happen in an instant.

Just like that.

 

*This is in response to Blogging University’s Writing 101, Day 12: Play with word count

When I Am Not Writing

Early morning jog
Warmth of the sun
Round and round
Thrilled and energized

Romantic comedies, drama series
Animations and superheroes
Again and again
Moved and inspired

World wide web
Google, WordPress, Facebook
On and on
Intrigued and informed

Papercuts and paintings
Endless creating
Through and through
Engaged and absorbed

Any fun activity
Everything under the sun
By and by
Refreshed and ready

*This is in response to Blogging University’s Writing 101, Day 11: Writing and not writing

Catching Up Over a Wonderful Cup of Coffee

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If we were having coffee right now… I would pause for a while, take a huge sip, and savor my delightful coffee. You can never pass the chance to enjoy a wonderful cup of coffee.

If we were having coffee right now… I would ask how you have been. And I would listen to every word. I would like to know more about you, your family, your hobbies, your dreams, and anything you would like to share. You and what you have to say are important to me.

If we were having coffee right now… I would thank you deeply. I would tell you how grateful I am that you appreciate what I have to say, that you keep me on my toes, and that you push me to better my craft. I could not have done the things I had if it weren’t for amazing and supportive people like you.

If we were having coffee right now… I would tell you that I am enjoying this Writing 101 course much more than I thought I would. I would tell you that I am enjoying everything, actually. And now, I could not stop even if I wanted to.

If we were having coffee right now… I would tell you that I am extremely excited. I would love to pursue my other passions. I would love to explore other forms of expression. And I would love to tell you more about them. I fervently hope you are willing to learn about them, too.

If we were having coffee right now… I would tell you to finish your coffee. Mine is all out. And it is getting late. Who knew time could pass by that quickly?! I had an incredible time. I wish you did, too.

*This is in response to Blogging University’s Writing 101, Day 10: Update your readers over a cup of coffee

A Break-up Letter

Dear Self-doubt,

I am sorry to have to say this but I have to say goodbye. Sure, we had some good times. You kept me from pain. You shielded me from failures. You protected me from the world. And we were okay. Everything was normal. But that was it, that was all we were going to have.

I am not meant to just be okay. I am not destined to just be normal. I know you meant no harm. I know you just wanted to keep me from getting hurt. But I need to get hurt. I need the pain and the failures if I am ever going to be strong enough and wise enough to reach the extraordinary.

I just have to do this. I know you’d understand.

 

Sincerely,
Someone who held onto you for so long

 

*This is in response to Blogging University’s Writing 101, Day 9: Reinvent the letter format

“I Love my Fear”

Once in a while, I come across some things that lead me to reflect upon life and its many complexities. I stumbled upon this incredible post entitled “A Quote on Fear” and it struck me well enough to squeeze a few words out of this proud introvert.

The post includes this beautiful quote:

What do I fear?
I fear stagnation and lack of progress.
I fear never reaching my potential and being average.
I fear being forgotten… The past… Yesterday’s news.
I fear giving up and being passed by, going softly into that good night.
I fear letting those I love down, letting myself down.
I fear settling, giving in to the “that’s just the way it is” mindset.
I fear dying without leaving my mark.
I fear not feeling these fears anymore and just floating along.
These fears feed me, they nourish my drive.

I love my fear.

-Unknown

As I mentioned in the comment I left, I like how genuine the passage is. The fears described are real fears people face everyday. Admittedly, those fears include some of mine. I am extremely afraid to find out later in life that my existence had no meaning at all. I cannot leave this world without my epitaph saying something like “made a difference,” “lived an extraordinary life,” and most importantly, “loved with all of her heart.”

I also like how the author, Nick Langis, described fear as a powerful motivator. I usually think of fear as an enemy, as something you fight or suppress. I never really thought of it as a friend that helps you. This made me think long and hard about the times I was confronted by my fears and how I handled them. I realized that the moments when I dismissed my fears were the ones that just lead me to continue how I was living and doing things. I went on like nothing happened and nothing ever did. On the other hand, the moments when I owned my fears and really felt them lead me to create some extraordinary changes in my life. The result of those changes includes the most astonishing things from thrilling travels to a healthier lifestyle to this crazy colorful blog.

I have now found a deeper appreciation of my fears and how I can use them constructively. I can now say as the last line of the quote says, “I love my fear.”

*This is in response to Blogging University’s Writing 101, Day 8: Expand a comment

Choose to Understand Instead

“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.”
― Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

Judging people is really easy. Some do it all the time without realizing they are doing it. Some even do it in their sleep. We cannot really blame anyone, can we? We live in a society where it is as common as the pollution around us. We know it’s there; We take it in; And sometimes, we even cause it.

You see that womanizer you know and immediately roll your eyes. You feel the hate. You feel for every woman who has fallen for and has been deceived by one. Doesn’t he have a mom or a sister? How would he feel if what he does happens to his sister? You can’t help but shake your head disapprovingly.

You overhear your annoying coworker shouting while on the phone and you think, “Oh, there he goes again!” Why is he rude all of the time? Why does he think he’s better than everybody? Hasn’t he been taught good manners? You can’t help but think that there is no hope for this guy.

Passing on judgment is our default reaction to behaviors that we believe are socially unacceptable. We can never really understand “those people.” Well, we never will unless we try to. Let us ask ourselves what would have made us act the same way. Let us try to put ourselves in their shoes.

Maybe, just maybe, that womanizer has never felt the love of a mother. His mom walked out on him when he was still young. Now, trying to get the attention and love of as many women as he can is his way of filling the void his mother left.

Maybe that annoying coworker has been bullied in school. He was called by so many foul names, he lost count of all of them. He was told that he could not amount to anything. Now, his arrogance is his shield. It is his way of ensuring that no one would consider him weak. It is his way of saying that he did amount to something great.

Maybe this act of trying to envision ourselves as inside the person’s shoes can help us show more love and compassion. We are blessed to not have experienced situations that would have brought out the worst in us. Or maybe we have, but because of the love of the people around us, we have chosen another path. Judging may be the easier route but there is a more rewarding path. Choose to understand instead.

* This is in response to Blogging University’s Writing 101, Day 7: Hook ’em with a quote

Anywhere Anything Anyhow

A cozy little corner inside the house

On the streets during a morning jog

A long bus ride on the way home

At a table in a favorite restaurant

A four-hour plane ride to a dream destination

In a queue for passport renewal

By the beach while watching the crashing waves

Anywhere is good when you write from the heart

~

In a worn out and trusted notebook

On the receipt of the gift I just bought

With a favorite black pen

With a crayon borrowed from a friend

Through the shared desktop at home

Through the Ipad taken almost anywhere

Through the ever dependable smartphone

Anything is good when you write from the heart

~

Deafening silence all around

With a lot of talking people in the background

Cool, upbeat songs continuously playing

Sitting comfortably on a gray office chair

Lying down on my belly with feet in the air

On a hot and sunny Sunday morning

Through the frightening bouts of thunder and lightning

Anyhow is good when you write from the heart

*This is in response to Blogging University’s Writing 101, Day 6: The space to write

As part of this Writing 101 course, I have created a poll (see below) and I would greatly appreciate it if you could spend your precious time in answering.