How I Learned to Be Cozy

Do you remember the last time you felt cozy?  I can hardly remember the last time I felt really cozy. So what I did was to learn how to get and feel cozy in order to cope with life’s challenges. Sigh. Whew.

2017 was a tough year. It was a year of sleepless nights and mornings, and even afternoons. This time, I am busy with my “work” as a full-time mum to my little boss, BM. I applied to several jobs online but unfortunately, there’s no offer yet. I was able to do some freelancing and damn, it made me dizzy but it sure put a smile on my weary face. Before, I was so uncomfortable working when I’m exhausted. But now, even if I’m tired doing chores and breastfeeding the baby all the time, I still have the energy to do some work on the side. Heck, do I have a choice to be weak? None, I guess. 😀

It’s still a blessing and opportunity to finally do what I love to do: writing and testing. I’ve learned to be grateful for any payment, no matter how small. After all, it’s hard to get a job these days and doing “something for a time” is wonderful and no easy feat. Currently, I am selling stuff online and doing some artworks to be sold soon. It might not give me a big amount of money but a little goes a long way compared to nothing. Now, I am more comfortable with the money I’ve got. Back then, I really want more but having more does not equate to stability. Nothing is secure these days, we all know that. The key is to have funds (even if we start small) and learn how to manage it well in order to be at least complacent when the rainy days come.

I’ve kept in mind these thoughts so that I’d feel cozy at times, especially when I’ve got no one to talk and turn to. 😦

  • Accept that we cannot solve everything.
  • Don’t over think.
  • Rest whenever we can.
  • Live for the moment.
  • Choose to be happy. 🙂

Learning to be cozy starts with a good mindset. It’s not easy especially if you are the type of person who’s not used to getting out of the comfort zone. But by being vulnerable and uncomfortable, we set the stage for improvement and growth. We don’t want to be dormant and stagnant, don’t we? Come to think of it, even the trees and plants grow — and if they cease to grow, at least the leaves and roots continue to grow. I hope we learn to get cozy with our lives and ourselves. Because that’s the only choice there is. 🙂

 

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When Survival Is The Only Choice

Survival can be summed up in three words – never give up. That’s the heart of it really. Just keep trying. – Bear Grylls

When there’s no choice left, it is indeed a choice but a choice without an option. And that’s where survival comes in. For some or most people, survival becomes the choice by default when there is no other choice available. We all need to survive especially living things like us, even the non-living things need to survive at least for a designated time (e.g. Mostly, a condominium must withstand 50 years before it crashes, have people evacuate it or build a new one).

My predicament is nothing compared to what other people are experiencing. But it came to a point when I was just dragging my feet, my whole body, literally just to get to work. While it is still a blessing, a part of me feels that something’s wrong and I just have to get out of this rut. I haven’t gotten out of this pothole yet but I will soon because I have to make things happen for me. If I don’t make it happen, it will never happen! Have you felt the same way at one point in your life, too? 🙂

What happened is that I am doing something totally different from what I have applied and signed in the contract. I don’t mind doing it because it is also a chance for me to learn something new but what’s worse is that they don’t even train or equip people (although that happened to me before). I was put in boiling water when I was asked to talk to a client and they informed the client about my position (new position that is not in the contract) but I was not even aware of it. Yep, right then and there I have to function as a personnel holding that new position.

I talked to my boss and HR manager regarding this but I was informed that their culture was for the person to wear many hats. Some of my friends have decided to leave the company and they found that the grass is really greener on the other side. Actually, people won’t be looking for other greener pastures if theirs are green and alive. Not that they don’t water it but because they only have one choice left and that is to survive. Myself included.

For the time being, I just feel grateful that I am still swimming afloat. But I have to leave before the boat sinks or else I would drown and might not be able to save myself. I am on to finding new opportunities but at this moment, none has come yet. I always remind myself not to settle but to keep on trying until I find something that is valuable to me — something that is worthwhile for me as I continue with my journey.

It won’t be now but it’s going to come soon because I am making it happen little by little. For now, I just have to survive, do what needs to be done, learn stuff and enjoy the company of new friends I’ve met in this dystopic place. I have learned to see the good in the bad. That way, I can survive. 😉

Life Lessons Learned From A Hiatus

Idleness is the root of all evil. The said adage does not ring any truth to me, at least in my opinion. I’ve been idle for almost a year and I am excited for my one year idle anniversary come January 2015. I never asked for this to happen and didn’t even want this to happen especially if it’s unplanned. But the universe has its own uncanny way of bringing surprises that I am unsure and unaware of. I don’t know how to put all these into words or how would I call my situation. So let me call it a happy hiatus. I am not an authority to give tips but I would like you to have a peek into my own world which is a sort of a hullabaloo-meets-oasis kind of thing.

I am branding this year as my lucky year because it is a year like no other. Each year is unique but this one is very distinctive. Losing a lot when situations have gone haywire on the first month of the year is something most folks consider bad luck. Come to think of it, people may brand it as bad luck but it is just our own thoughts making the situations worse as they seem. At first I thought I’ve lost it all — job, money, chances, people, opportunities, you name it! All I can think of is how bad the situation was and a part of my life is over. And then I tried to shift my thinking on a different level. If something bad happens, something good will happen, too. That was a bit excruciating for me because I am not a Pollyanna.

“When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.” – Hellen Keller

I thought being jobless for a year would make me a useless wimp. Ironic as it seems, I was completely busy. I’ve been touring on my own, hopping from one country to the next either by plane, bus or boat. It was fun meeting new people, all different and beautiful in their own ways. I was like an exchange student and a foster child at some point! Being a lonesome traveler is liberating for me. I do travel on my own but it is my first time to travel for months. Crossing the borders with the other solo travelers and setting our foot in between two borders at the same time is one of my definitions of the word awesome, at least before kicking the bucket.

Finally, my nomad dream came true this year. When you travel alone, you don’t know what to expect. You get to live in the moment and savor every second of it. Sure, sometimes worry sets in and then sadness fills my heart but looking forward to the wonderful adventures take all those sentiments away. Every single day of my backpacking journey is exciting as I do not know what to expect. It is like today I am wandering in this beautiful city then tonight I will sleep in the bus and wake up in another city!

In this happy period, I was also able to write some posts, letters and do the things I always dreamed of doing but never got the chance. I did some moonlighting and yes, it sustained me for awhile to go on with my journey. Along the way, I also met likeminded people who want to share their lives by giving back a portion of themselves. I engaged in helping the less fortunate together with these wonderful people that I’ve met. I also visited old friends whom I haven’t seen for a long time and gave my time to them especially to the ones who need it the most. My life is not about me at all. It’s about them. It is about my loved ones and other people. I am just a dot in the universe also connecting to other dots. By connecting to them, my life is enriched and I feel happy and contented. We don’t need much in life, we just need one another to get through each day. Money can surely buy some happiness but it cannot buy fulfillment.

To begin with, I am not rich and by mere definition, I am poor. I just happened to sustain myself for a year (without working) because of some little preparation. My work as a freelancer does not guarantee a fixed salary every month. It only lasted for three months. So, for the rest of the months, I lived my life as a nomad. What I do is I save every penny that I have years back. Is it impossible? No. If we are living from paycheck to paycheck, we can live below our means and spend money on necessary things only. No matter how little money we have, if we use it wisely and feel grateful for what we have, everything will work out fine. I thought at first, I wouldn’t make it and then December came. Finally, I am closing the year with an unexpected grin on my face. I never believed in myself as much as I believed in myself now.

“And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.” ― Sylvia Plath

As silly as it may seem, I trusted myself that I’ll get through it. That’s the only option so I am forced to make it happen. While it is true that having a backup plan in life is one of the best things to do, it also makes sense to focus on your main plan. Otherwise, you would just end up doing plan B and may have some regrets later on. At that time, I just jumped right on, not looking back. I also quit over thinking because it kills the mood and makes the vibrations low. I have learned to put myself on a pedestal and love myself more.

Being the spontaneous being that I am, I always go with my gut feel. There are countless times that I have ignored my gut and I was left crestfallen. I blew it and I constantly blamed myself why the hell I am put in this kind of situation. It is when our hearts, minds and intuitions are aligned that magical experiences unfold. It depends on what works for you, if your mind works better then use it more than your heart. It all boils down to knowing ourselves and what works for us. No inhibitions, no pretensions, no whatsoever.

Back then, I am unsure of myself and I was scared of the unknown. I am not brave but I just know that I have to do it. Otherwise, none of all these wonderful things could have happened. Just live life on your terms and let go of the things you cannot control. Even if we are not armed with a plan, we just do it and take a leap of faith and watch what happens.

So what about failure, does it matter? Failure is subjective and it’s up to us how we perceive our failures. Sure it hurts when we fail at something we really want and things don’t go as planned, but when we take failure as an opportunity to learn, that’s the first step to making things happen. We can be right, we can be wrong and we can be both and still fail but as long as we still try and get up every after fall, we will still get to our destination.

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill

If you think that you’re living in a rut and have lost hope, please give another chance to yourself. There is always a glimpse of hope, a light in every dark corner and a chance to shine. May you always remember that you are a masterpiece and your story goes on. To all jobless sibs and wanderers, it is not yet the end of the world. Remember, the rest of our story is still unwritten. 🙂

When Too Much Work Kills

I feel for this talented lady because her death is not even justified. I feel for her because I understand the pressure she have undergone. For some who do not know, it is a tough job being a writer not to mention the unrealistic deadlines we encounter. I have experienced working for nine to twelve hours straight, break time not included. I felt like a haggard and just like Mita, I felt I have no life. My friends also experienced the same thing for they have worked 24 hours straight. All the more to her, for working 30 hours and for keeping up with the unfeasible timelines.  When do we draw the line and say that enough is enough?!

Her untimely demise is a loss to her company – more so, to her family. We cannot bring back her life. And, even if the employer gives her family a big sum of money, Mita will never be back on earth. My only hope for the future is that all the work martyrs will be lessened and more people would value their health more than their jobs. A job lost can be recovered by having a new job but a life  lost can never ever be recovered. If your boss fires you just because you cannot keep your pace with him and tells you that you are an ineffective worker, consider it a blessing in disguise. Your life is valuable compared to that sick asshole. If you ain’t got a life, now is the chance. Live well. Cheers!

See Mita Diran collapsed and died.

Breakup on Christmas Day

How splendid it was to have a breakup on Christmas Day! How great and surreal the feeling was! That’s how I am feeling right now on a sarcastic level to the nth power. Nothing beats the nostalgic feeling of being away from your family and longing for them while your special someone is so eager to end forever with you. Okay, I understand that to begin with there was no forever. Maybe it was just a course of hallucination in my head. A hopeless, romantic moron that I am who built a perfect world in my own world. Yeah, pathetic is the perfect word to describe me — a foolish, vulnerable pathetic.

With his firm voice, he said that he cannot see forever with me and that I do not listen to him that much. I uttered the word “OK” to emphasize that I understood even though he’s hard to fathom compared to a normal human being. I think we just have a different language of love so we didn’t understood each other. Different wavelengths, different views, different opinions, different everything. Or maybe, it is a form of misunderstanding or miscommunication between us. I understand that boys communicate to each other by conveying information and girls communicate to bond. With us, communication is dead and through his own words, very hard and frustrating. So, when he said that he does not want to work things out, “OK” was all I have to say. Though we explained our sides and sentiments to each other, for him it was better to put an end to what we have started — to which I said I respected his decision.

One week to go and 2013 will bid goodbye. I am with the leaves falling from the trees. I am also with the raindrops falling from the sky and for everything that just comes and goes away naturally. No matter how melancholic this Christmas is, I am happy that for once in my life, I have become vulnerable again. True love must be free and not to be coerced or forced. If it wants to go, let it go. I am hurt and so is he. We are all humans wanting to have freedom within our range. I know I have given him the love and the freedom that he so much wanted. A heartbreak for me yet a wonderful Christmas gift for him.

No regrets, no ill feelings, no hangovers. Just a fresh new start for the coming year. I hope he feels the same way, too.

I am Pissed About Writing But I Still Have to Write This

I am pissed. I joined this NaBloPoMo thingy but then I find it hard to write everyday. And now, I missed one day in a matter of minutes before I hit Publish button. While the objective is to write everyday and hone the writing skill, I just find it irritating that I was not able to keep up. I am not aware of the time, not prepared on what to write and the many excuses of I-do-not-know-why-it-happened kind of stuff. There are lots of sites helping everyone to write yet my brain is an empty can and as if, my ranting would do any help to make the situation better.

I want to give up on all the writing challenges and I want to stop reading the writing tips and stories shared by people who continued pursuing this craft. Before, all these and more inspire me to become a better blogger. Even if I feel I cannot write good, I feel that I should give it a shot and give it a try. Who knows I might get better even a bit? Perhaps it could help me be an inch closer to my goal of writing with substance and sense.

Okay, 10 more days to go and it is December 31. Where am I and what I am going to do on that day, I do not know and no one knows. I really do not want to finish the challenge (writing everyday for one month) because I think I am not good. But the objective of writing every single time is to become better until one becomes best. If I stop, I would never have to think and experience severe headaches. And if I continue, there’ll be more headaches and as expected, more sleepless nights or vice versa.

What I have learned from all these is what we can also learn in real life: There is always a price to pay to get what we want or to achieve our goals. 10 days may seem long but these 10 days are crucial days preparing me to really experience what it feels like to become a writer. I do not consider myself one, let alone my job as a technical communicator — a job that I accidentally got after I graduated from college. Writing technically is a lot different from writing creatively as one has to write and express himself in a creative yet figurative way that a reader can easily understand. That is my problem because I’ve never been creative with words.

Fine. Expect more posts from me. If you don’t mind, let me excuse myself first and I will just prepare some more pieces to be published for the last 10 days of NaBloPoMo. I would not want to miss 10 days of learning and if this is the start to become better at this craft, so be it. I missed 1 day and  I felt bad. If I miss 10 days, I might feel worst. This is another bout of mind setting for me to continue writing and now, I am decided that I will continue to write. So, if you think of giving up on your writing just like me, please also think about NOT GIVING UP yet. Please try again. You never know what good thing happens after that and where a good thing can lead next.

P.S. Most writers have a feeling that they are never good at what they do. If that is the case, take on the challenges. Just write. Who knows we can accidentally become better at we do?! 😀

* Nablopomo: More or Less – more tries

An Escape and a Lesson

My neighbor called me up to say that my family’s house was robbed. He was so eager with his story and said that I come home right away to check and assess the situation. I looked at the wall clock hanging by my boss’ wall and realized that I am working late again. Overtime. Overworked but I have to finish my task and at that time, I was paid by the hour plus the differential pay when working past 9PM. My mind told me to just continue working because after all, what’s the point of hurrying back home when I am already robbed — er, we’re already robbed?

I got home around 1230AM and voila, what a sight to behold! From afar, it is like I can see our humble abode in broad daylight with all the big spotlights focused on our gate! Whopper barks endlessly and the police cannot get in through the front door. They are afraid that Whopper would bite. At the back door, the knob was already wrecked. That was the time when the other police and some of their assistants entered the house to check the robbers. A total of 4 were found but only 2 of them were caught.

At the precinct, I saw the 2 robbers and to my disgust, the other robber is a minor. Obviously, the older bastard got the kid to do the crime with him with the promise that whatever they get would be divided in half. The robbers are both bruised but the older one was using a borrowed clutch because he fell from the second floor when the police was running after him. I filed the case after that, freed the kid so that he could have a chance at life. The hearing continued and every two months and I am seeing the robber’s face and I realized how much the whole thing sucks. The so-called fiasco lasted for about 10 months and a half. Then, the case was dismissed. It was dismissed all because my witnesses are afraid to speak up, for fear that they will be the next victim. I just assumed that they are entitled to their own reasons but grateful that one of them called the police to report the incident.

The robbers are freed and it was such a sweet escape to them. The witnesses didn’t show up and up to this point, I never knew them — that, too is an undefined escape. As for me, my escape boiled down to the fact that I will no longer think about what and why it happened. I lost the case but it is a blessing that I did not lose my mind. I am grateful that the pipe and wrench did not have the chance to hit my head on that fateful night. If I went home early before 9PM at that time, I would be either killed or raped. One thing’s for sure, I would never get to hug Whopper ever again. I also learned about forgiveness after that. See, there is always a good side to every bad story. 🙂

* Daily Prompt: By the Skin of Your Teeth