Bravest 1.5 Years Ever (July 2017-2018)

I’ve been praying to the Lord for about more than a year now. I’ve been asking Him to guide me by revealing to me (in His own way) His plans for my life, my purpose. I’ve been told by my fiance to pray for it and so I did. Continuously. 

And it’s funny, because the more I prayed for it, the more I worked for it. I read devotionals, books, articles, listened to podcasts, went to classes… I reflected based on what I’ve read and I feel like slowly, God is revealing some of His plans for me by allowing me to get to know myself better – by the desires He has planted into my heart, my passions, and the innate abilities He has generously showered me. 

I have some inkling now of what I really love doing. Which is to create – art that inspires emotions, designs that spark joy, and the combination of art and words that teaches people (especially kids) about love and doing good. 

I have some inkling of how I want to live my life – to live simply with my family (and extended family) but with the freedom to eat healthy and exercise, to pursue our passions, and to have meaningful experiences. 

I want to practice minimalism as a lifestyle too. Capitalism has led so many people to live excessively or dream of living excessively. And this consumerism has also led us to become increasingly dissatisfied with our material posessions. Our focus on accumulating wealth for material possessions has led us to disregard the sustainability of our environment for future generations. 

So far, this is my big picture. Simple but close to my heart. Simple and yet complex because the path to this vision is not the path most taken, and it will most likely not be the easiest one to take. It’s an unconventional path that I have yet to discover, learn from and actually live. It will be a path that I may have to make up along the way, tread slowly, take uturns, accelerate fast, make temporary stops, continue on and hopefully have some some moments of clarity and awakening. 

This coming 1.5 years will be my bravest years ever. Because I will live it with intention towards this path. After this, maybe I may have to depart from the main road I’m in. Maybe I can tread on both. Maybe God has a totally different road to place before me but I have to find it still. Either way, pray for me. 😊🙏

Chapters of my life themes:

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Hope 2017

2017 goals in watercolor 😊❤️

  1. Graduate MDE (Master in Development Economics)
  2. Save 5k per month
  3. Run 21km in good time
  4. Travel Cambodia-Vietnam
  5. Read six books
  6. Build portfolio – 50 new watercolor paintings
  7. Seek volunteer opportunities 
  8. Seek new employment opportunities

Gratitude 2016

A lot has happened this year. Some were tragic (like the presidential election results and the many disappointing moments after that) but I still remain grateful for so many moments of faith, love, peace and hope encountered each day. So like my previous annual New Year’s post, here’s a recap of the moments I am grateful for this 2016:

  • Tried my hand at digital design for my brother and his girlfriend’s business. It wasn’t really a hit but it got them a feature in a famous morning show! Exciting.
  • Dyed my hair blonde. And then cut it short. 😛

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  • Traveled to Japan to visit the boyfriend and experienced snow and Disneyland (Disney Sea to be exact) for the first time! Fuuuunnnn. The boyfriend had me try skiing and snowboarding. And I ate so much nice foooood. And I got to meet his friends in school. 🙂 I would love to [temporarily] live in Japan someday!
  • And local travels were fun too – Pico de Loro in Nasugbu with family, Laiya with family, Pahiyas Festival in Quezon with mom, sister and Bonn, Naga in Bicol for work, El Nido with friends for my birthday, and Davao City for a friend’s wedding!
  • Did two 10km runs and finished with decent time. I was all set to do a 21km run during the start of the year but I wasn’t able to do it. But from zero runs to two 10km runs, I’m already proud of what I’ve done. Looking forward to a 21km run with the boyfriend in 2017! 🙂
  • Discovered the wonderful world of watercolor! This is one of the major highlights of this year because I am finally going back to arts. Whenever I was being asked who/what I wanted to really do with my life, I always said that I wanted to be a painter, an artist, a creative person. But for the longest time, I haven’t been doing anything to push this dream except for this year. Slowly but surely, I’ve made some progress in watercolor. I love it and I’m just so happy I have some free time to do it. I am also grateful for Exxon’s support all the way.
  • And my new love for watercolor has led me to some awesome opportunities to help friends. A friend asked to use a painting for her book cover and I offered to lay it out for her. We also helped her out for a book launch via FB live. 🙂
  • Received a lot of training opportunities at work that has truly helped me gain more confidence (or at least find peace in having additional knowledge) for work. Since moving into a new division, and being assigned OIC towards the end of the year, work has been a challenging year indeed. I keep praying for my work, to lead by being of service to my team and for the wisdom to know the things I can and cannot change. I also thank the Lord for the constant set of challenges that came my way because it is only there where I can develop strength, wisdom, perseverance, patience and grit.
  • Work accomplishments. Organized two training activities and one conference (with a team). Finished my “special concerns” tasks. Struggling with leadership and office politics and drama, but still surviving because “what doesn’t kill me makes me stronger”. Trying hard to prove myself by not proving myself – by being just me, not a copy of people around me. Finding my own voice.
  • The boyfriend came back home in July. Yaaay! I now have a buddy for almost everything, including numerous social gatherings and activities (like hopefully exercise in the future). And DATES! Lunch dates, dinner dates, movie dates. AAAH DATES and FREE LIFE ADVICE. ❤ I love youuuu! We also celebrated our birthdays together for the first time, and attended weddings, baptismal rites, children’s parties and reunions! 🙂
  • Submitted the first draft of my thesis after so much blood, sweat and tears (a.k.a. puyat, gastos and self-doubt)! So as a continuation for 2017, I should finish my MA by June 2017. Woohooo! Crossing my fingers for this one!
  • I gained… more weight. HUHU same as last year! HAHA
  • Tried to be there for the big and small moments of friends and family. Weddings, birthdays, small gatherings, stress debriefing sessions, drinking sessions, catch up sessions, etc etc. Socializing has been one of my most greatest struggles in life and I wanted to make a conscious effort in 2016 to be present – get up and just show up without overthinking. And I think I’ve managed to do that – avoid the lure of hiding inside my cave. Though I’ve missed some occasions because of thesis, or laziness, or family, I’m still happy to have found friends in office mates, class mates and still be able to maintain the oldest of friendships. 🙂 Hoping to nurture friendships still in 2017.
  • And lastly, I’m thankful for having a better relationship with God. With all the hardships of 2016, I clung more to God than ever – crying to Him and just letting go. This 2016, I have learned to just “Let God” to manage my insecurities and need for too much control in my life. I cannot control everything but I can trust God and His plan for my life. I am still working on discovering God’s true purpose for my life, but I’m getting there. “Self sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding your true self.” (Purpose Driven Life)

The Lord is good… His faithfulness continues to each generation. Psalm 100:5 (NLT)

Thank you Lord for 2016. I am grateful not just for the big moments, but for the thousand little moments of happiness, love, peace and miracles that You have given me. I am thankful for having family, loved ones, friends, a comfortable life and so many opportunities to grow and be better.

May 2017 be a better one for all of us. Happy New Year! May only peace and love be in everyone’s hearts, minds and actions for 2017.

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