Rejection is Redirection

Rejection

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What is your biggest rejection so far and what did you learn from it? Here’s my story.

In 2014, when I was still an employee in a BPO (business process outsourcing) company, I was going through the quarter life crisis. At that time, I was no longer feeling fulfilled in my job and longed for a change. I wanted a job that I can settle for, and perhaps stay until I retire. The reason why I was actively looking online for job openings.  I ended up applying in a multinational bank for a sales post since I have a sales experience in a bancassurance industry back in 2010. It was a prestigious bank. I thought it will be great to be part of that institution and not really because I like the job. Yeah, doing things for all the wrong reasons. One of the mistakes that we make at one point in our lives. Sales post is a tough job, I had been there, I had done that, I know how mentally demanding the job is, but I still went for it. And so, I already had two interviews from the HR and from the head of one department, but I was told that a different department head will conduct another interview. I will describe the manager who conducted the interview. He’s a man, maybe around 40 years of age, looked intimidating, looked accomplished in his career, well spoken both in English and Filipino, wears a barong and black slacks, very professional looking.

It was the usual interview, “Tell me something about yourself, what was your previous sales experience, where do you see yourself 5 years from now, and the like.” At first, it went well. The turning point in the interview is when I was asked, “What is your passion?” I was taken aback, this is one of the hardest questions to answer because it’s telling about your vulnerability, that the other end might now understand what you really want to do in life. It’s very personal and it’s hard not to tell the truth. I stutter, because I know that the words and my answer to the question do not align in the job that I was applying for. I think he saw it in my eyes that it wasn’t really my passion to do sales. He saw and felt in my appearance, the way I speak and through my body language that I wasn’t fit for the job. I looked naïve, I was 24, and still figuring out how to live. All of us had been in that stage. And then I was told the most heartbreaking words and feedback in my life. The manager said, “You know what, I’m not gonna hire you, with your personality, you are not for sales. I see you as a goldfish, and the others in the production area are sharks, they’ll gonna eat you.” Deep inside, I was hurt, and I just sit silently listening to his remarks, nodding. I got his point, sales really isn’t something I am passionate to do, only applying for the prestige of the job and the company. At that moment, I wish I could vanish, I wish for the soil to just eat me, my morale was at my lowest and if there is anyone who will ask me, “Are you okay?”, I will definitely burst into tears. I was so sad that I had failed and that I was rejected right in front of my face.

But little did I know that rejection is a saving grace. I was being redirected by life into something else. A few months after arriving from a few days trip to Australia, I had an idea to go back to my real profession as a nurse in the college where I graduated and the hospital that I had my training 2 years before. And right there and then, I was accepted. I believe, if it’s meant to be, it will happen, sometimes, effortlessly. Then I realized, now I understand why I was not accepted in the sales post because it was not for me. I do not want to go through the stress and the demand of the job, the sales quota each month, the burden of generating sales for the company. I realized that my almost 2 years experience each in the bancassurance and BPO industry is part of my journey to where I am now. I am now turning 2 years as a nurse, and I must say, because of this, my life is now following a direction, no idea of the destination but it’s one thing leading to another.

I had experienced few more rejections after this, at work, in relationships, in applying for jobs but I always remember the lessons I learned from this experience. I was rejected because I am being redirected for something or someone else. Here is my message to everyone who would be able to read this post and is going through the same situation. Do not be discouraged. Do not give up. You have to actively look for your passion. Listen to your heart because most of the time it is true. If you’re not yet happy or satisfied with what you’re doing, just keep looking. You may not see the destination or the end point now, but step by step, it will be revealed to you. Trust in His will. Everything happens for a reason.

Quotes about rejection

Lessons from the book “The Four Agreements”

 

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How did I find out about this book? It was several years ago when read an article from Cosmopolitan Philippines magazine written by a woman who was going through a heartbreak at one point in her life. The way she narrated everything and how this book has helped her move forward was so touching. The Four Agreements is an inspiring book written by the Mexican author Don Miguel Ruiz. According to Ruiz, these agreements are essential  in living a life of no regrets and less hurt.

Here are the Four Agreements and its implications in my life.

1. BE IMPECCABLE WITH YOUR WORD. Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.

-This is very powerful to me in a way that I was reminded to use my ability to communicate into something that only promotes love and truth. I admit, it is so tempting  to speak against someone who has hurt or done us wrong but remembering this agreement put us in a peaceful place in our lives by not engaging into any negativity as it will do no good in us.

2. DON’T TAKE ANYTHING PERSONALLY. Nothing others do is because of you. What others say or do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.

– At least one day in our lives, we encountered a person who got angry at us, even if the reason is so pointless. I realized that behavior was demonstrated not because of me, but maybe because that person has her own issues and is going through something. But it doesn’t mean that I should be complacent. In my job where we work with the doctors, sometimes, they get angry because of work not being done competently. On my part, I should also make an effort not to be a stimulus for someone to get mad, however, if it happened, it shouldn’t take it personally.

Where else can I apply this agreement? In life, people come and go. We may have a lot of friends before, but as we move to our life’s journey, it seems like the communication with them is lessened and we hate to admit it, it seems like we are drifting apart. With this situation, we shouldn’t feel sad. We just have to accept that we are on a different stages of our lives right now, your best friend may have a family already and you are still figuring out things yourself. Let us just be happy that we met these people and had painted colors in our lives.

3. DON’T MAKE ASSUMPTIONS. Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.

-We are all guilty of this. How many times did we assume or worry of something that is not yet happening? Assuming for the best and worst to come has its own consequences. I finally decided to just be a realist. Being real, in the moment, present, eye-opened with what’s there and not. I’m not saying that I do not assume anymore, but as much as I can, I try to avoid it.

4. ALWAYS DO YOUR BEST. Your best is going to change from moment to moment, it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgement, self-abuse and regret.

-For a life of no regrets and in everything we do, we should always do our best. The outcome: whether we win or lose, if it’s success or failure, it won’t matter anymore for as long as we did our best. I still feel dignified in times of failure when I know in my heart I did my best for that endeavor. It if wasn’t enough, let us strive to get better the next time.

*** I read this book three years ago when I was still in my previous job. It’s highly recommended that we go back to the lessons from the book that changed our lives because sometimes we get so caught up with everything that’s been happening in our lives. I admit that for the last 2 years, I forgot these lessons and seeing the book in my room reminded me of the wisdom that was introduced to me and that I should apply in my life.

This Year’s Holy Week

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This year’s celebration of Holy Week has only been the same as with the previous years. Nothing’s really special happened. Due to my crazy work schedule, I have no time to go home in Nueva Ecija or do an out of town travel alone, with friends or family and take a time off to reflect on being a Catholic. I only went to work (which I surprisingly enjoy lately), reviewed for my upcoming CBT nursing exam during free time and did the things I love like reading and writing.

Holy week is an important reminder for us Catholics to strengthen our faith. As this time of the year, we remember how Jesus was crucified and died on the cross to save us from all our sins. I may not be able to do Visita Iglesia just like other Filipinos, but I very well know in my heart that I believe in Jesus and to God. I understand that there are other people who don’t believe in a Higher Being. Regardless of religion, let us find something to believe in. I choose to believe and have faith. Because believing gives me HOPE. That I am where I am right now because of a purpose. That I was given this life to live because He has a plan for my life. And that gives me a different perspective of everything that I have gone through.

Two weeks ago, when I had to leave the church at the middle of the mass to go to work. This whole month of March has been a very busy one for me. With everything that I was dedicating my time on, I felt I neglected my time with Him. And so when I left at the middle of the mass to go to work, deep in my heart, I felt I needed more time with Him, to talk to Him, to tell Him how crazy things have been happening lately and just thank Him for all the great things coming.

This Easter Sunday is the time when Jesus has arisen. He died and became alive again. There might have been times in the past that we felt shattered for different reasons, but we should never give up. In my everyday randomness, I decide to believe that there’s a Higher Being who only has great things in store for His people. And that for me is what Holy Week means, keeping up with the FAITH.

My takeaway from the movie “Always Be My Maybe”

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During the first week of the released date of the movie ‘Always be my maybe’, I was able to watch it with my very good friend Coleen in Robinson’s Magnolia.

The story is about the relationship problems of twenty-something people. I think that single people in this age group can definitely relate to the story. For those who had broken up with their girlfriend or boyfriend, if you’re a guy or a girl who fell for someone and was left hanging, for people seeking for love and are hoping to find The One, this movie is for all of us. We can get a glimpse of what’s going on in a guy’s mind when he hangs out with a girl and a girl’s perspective about being treated special by a guy.

Why is this movie a hit? Because it is so real. I, personally, can relate to it. Not really in every scene but in being down at some point in my life and in being hurt. Relationship issue is always a very interesting topic because the development task for young adult is intimacy vs. social isolation. This adult task is about engaging into meaningful relationships with the opposite sex, finding a life partner, getting married and starting a family. Young adults want a movie that they can identify with.

During the night, after watching the movie, I silently reflected in my life and remembered my experiences in the past. I get to understand that sometimes in life, we hurt people unknowingly and unintentionally. I do not want lose the capacity to trust and to hope that one day, The One and I will be at the same place at the same time and our love story will begin. Just like the lead characters in this movie.

Sydney and the Small Stories

This post was really intended to be done two years ago after my trip to Australia. But because of procrastination, it took me two years after to post. Nevertheless, what is important is I am doing it now. The purpose of posting my travels and all the beautiful things that happened in my life is because I want to look back on those experiences in the future. When I am already 40 years old, I want to visit this blog and cherish what I did on my 20s. Indeed, it weren’t all joy. There were pain, struggles, challenges,  heartbreaks and tears. In a novel, a good story has all of these element to ignite the enthusiasm of the reader. My life is a book. I am the protagonist and everyone around me is part of my story. Okay, so much for the random thoughts. Sharing you now my pictures for me and my classmate’s epic trip to Sydney, Australia.

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The three rock formation as the three sisters.

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This is one of the scariest ride that I’ve tried in my life. This train goes up inside the dark mountain in a 55-degree angle. Me and my classmates really enjoyed this ride a lot because we didn’t expect that the train will go up in that angle. In the history of this ride, the train was really intended for coal mining, but since people wanted and enjoyed the train running inside the rocky interior of the mountain, it became a tourist attraction and the owners decided to stop coal mining and just made it a train ride. It is a must try!

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Here, we are exploring the Blue Mountains. It is called the Blue Mountains because the mountains are covered by the eucalyptus trees which are the primary food of the Koala bears. When the sun touches the eucalyptus trees, collectively, they became color blue or looked like color blue. Hence, the Blue Mountains. I was able to touch a eucalyptus tree and it smelled like a menthol candy. Our tour guide, his name’s Ken, was very informative. I think he’s been doing that job for more than 20 years already. He knows every story and details of the places we’ve visited. I admired him because I can sense that he takes pride in his job. He is happy being a tour guide.

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Here, I was outside the Katoomba coal mine.

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Enjoying the farm animals in Featherdale Wildlife Park. I was with my classmates, the sisters, Ruth and Diane and with a cute Australian child who was also touring with her parents. In the the Featherdale Wildlife Park, I had seen a lot of animals like Kangaroos, snakes, Koala bears, penguins, crocodiles, goats, cows, etc. I love going to zoos and interacting with animals that I don’t usually see everyday.

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Trekking and being one with nature. Sunlight, trees, grass, rock formation, soil, oh I loved it!

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So let’s move to the city, the famous landmarks of Sydney, the Sydney Harbour bridge and the Opera House.

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Me and my classmate, Mel, was able to walk around the opera house. It was such a unique architectural piece, really one of a kind. Beside it is The Royal Botanical Garden, a huge park where one can relax and spend the day feeling surreal.

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The Sydney Opera House is located in the Circular Quay train station. From there, Mel and I, decided to go to Manly beach riding a ferry. It took the ferry ride 30 minutes to arrive in our destination. That 30-minute ride was an awe for me. I was able to see the beauty of Sydney, the opera house, the bridge, the ocean, and the beach front.

 

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Mel and I, enjoying the beach.

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Basically, these are just some of the moments we had in Sydney. There was a lot but I can no longer put them into words. They are left in my heart and will just forever be cherished. How can one not miss this experience? This trip has changed my life forever. Several months after coming home, I quit my former job and pursued my profession now. Solely because I was able to reflect on this trip. I wondered why I lost my passion and why I gave up on my childhood dreams. With this experience, I stood up, tried again and is now pursuing my childhood dreams. I realized that what we dreamt of when we were a child is the same as our adult dreams. We really didn’t change.

This is such a heartfelt post. I am really an emotional person. Let’s all dream and pursue our heart’s desire. 🙂

Just Do It

My critical thinking class… Oh, I will never forget the semester when I took that subject in UST. I like my professor there, Ms. Dela Cruz. I may not remember all the topics in St. Thomas in Critical Thinking that she discussed but I very well remembered all the lessons in life that she shared with us, her students. One of it is the tagline of the brand, Nike, “Just do it”. She said that its message was beautiful and relevant in life. According to her, whenever we think of doing something but are faced in a dilemma of doing it or not, most often than not, we ended up not doing it. The only thing that’s stopping us is fear. She said that sometimes in life, we need to just do it. Just do it! Because the voice inside you is the only one that stops you from living the life you imagined. If your dreams are bigger than your fears, then you have to overcome your fears and… Just do it!

More than being able to think critically, I have a lot of life lessons learned. It’s funny because aside from the topics for the day that Ms. Dela Cruz were discussing, I was also jotting down quotable quotes from her book of life lessons. Just like these:

“Do not follow the majority, dare to be different! (She said this with conviction.)
Give and give until it hurts. Until it hurts no more. You will no longer feel the pain because you are one with it
.”

I just love the fact that every one of us has the opportunity to influence, motivate and inspire other people in one way or another, just like Ms. Dela Cruz. One of my dreams is to be able to do the same. I do not need to be a professor, teacher or a celebrity to influence others. I just have to be me. Maybe one of the reasons why I put up this blog and share the life changing lessons from the people that I have come across with in my life.

Stand Up 2016

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Before anything else, I just want to greet you (my reader), A Happy New Year! For the last couple of years of blogging, I always think of a theme for the present year. For this year, I wanna call it “Stand Up 2016”.

2015 was such an amazing year for me. Just like every great story, I had experienced several failures and downside. But it was nothing compared to the joy, laughter, great memories, lessons, experiences and realizations that were added to my life. I had grown a lot.

And since there were downside most specifically in the last quarter of 2015, the only way for me to move forward is to “Stand Up”. No matter how optimistic a person is, there will be times when she feels like not standing up from her bed, not doing anything but to lie down, disregarding the plans for the days because she lost the drive. I remember myself several days ago in that exact situation. A subconscious mind then tells me, “Berna, stand up! Literally! Stand up from your bed!” Because that is the first step, the start of something.

Last November, I applied in a Pediatric Brain Injury Hospital in the UK but I didn’t make it. God knows how much I wanted the position. But the timing isn’t right. For I know the very reason why I wasn’t able to get it, it’s because I didn’t give my best during the whole application and interview. To be honest, I was not at my best self at that time. I had to learn from that experience and move forward. I have to “Stand Up”.

For us who went after the chance, took the risk but got hurt, please Stand Up. These actions are admirable.

For the health issues, disappointments, rejections, heartbreaks and pain last year, this 2016, can we all be brave enough to STAND UP and try again?

Lessons I Learned From the Movie ‘Inside Out’

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Earlier, I was able to watch the movie “Inside Out” by the Pixar Animation Studios. It was an animated movie that I thought was created for the kids but it did have a lot of lessons and realities that are applicable to life. The scenes were very relatable. When you watch the movie, you see yourself in some scenes. You remember yourself when you were a child.

It was a story of an 11 y/o girl named Riley Andersen and the emotions that she has in her mind: Joy, Sadness, Anger, Disgust and Fear. These emotions control Riley’s reaction and perception on the situations she encounters in her everyday life.

The story in the movie happens in real life. When a child was born, she was like a blank slate. In some scenes, it showed Riley’s significant moments that are called core memories which make up her personality. A child always grow up as a happy child until life’s circumstances got in the way that Sadness overpowers Joy.

I, personally, can relate in the movie. I silently reflected the time I lost the child-like behavior in me. When did I lose the characteristics of a child? The capacity to be joyful. Not only me, but also other people. The reality is that people change because of experiences.

It is true, what’s on the inside will manifest outside. That is the central message of the movie. And fear, they’re all in our heads. But just like the illustration in the film, negative emotions like sadness play an important role in a person. It has its purpose when used in the right moment.

I was captured by the moment when Riley broke down into tears telling her parents how she misses her hockey team, her friends, their home and backyard in Minnesota, her previous life. Change will happen in life and it is inevitable. Who wouldn’t relate in that scene as everyone did experience a change in one or more aspects in life. What is important is to have the courage to face anew.

This is a brilliant film. I salute the creator of the story. It will make us examine our lives and the emotions that we allow ourselves to take over. Might as well allow joy to take charge of our emotions for the rest of the day. 🙂

Book Review: I’ve Never Been to Vegas but My Luggage Has

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Last month, I had come across several quotations of Mandy Hale in Facebook. I immediately searched for her in Google and found out more about her book and her blog. Mandy Hale is an American blogger and the New York Times best-selling author of “I’ve Never Been to Vegas but My Luggage Has” which is the second offering following the success of her first book entitled “The Single Woman: Life, Love and a Dash of Sass”.

“I’ve Never Been to Vegas but My Luggage Has” detailed Mandy Hale’s journey after graduating from college until the release of this book. At first, she thought that the journey for a happily ever after will be easy but it was not. For instance, she had been to several jobs and was fired which resulted to a depression. Just like other young adults, in those years she fell in love and got her heart broken several times but she did not lose her faith in God.

I had learned so many things through her life experiences. My favorite was the one she said in an interview about the idea behind the title. She said that in life, we often go search of one thing and end up finding something so much better. Because guess what, that is God’s plan.

Some of my favorite lines are:

“God, like a proud Papa, I think He sometimes does things for no other reason than to make His children smile.”

“I didn’t take the no personally, however, as I knew that every no was pushing me one step closer to a yes.”

“She didn’t have the perfect hair or the perfect nose or the perfect clothes, but she still felt she deserved the world.”

“I was learning on this journey that we call life that failure is just a sentence in our stories. It doesn’t have to overshadow the whole book.”

“It had opened me up to the magic and joy and possibilities of life again.”

“Because no matter how bad you might mess up, or how foolish you might look, or how high you might crash, there is absolutely nothing worse than the feeling of regret you will have if you don’t try at all.”

And a lot….. There are too many to mention. I think the central message that connected me to Mandy Hale’s life experiences is the realization of connecting the dots. Just like what I learned from Steve Jobs’ Standford graduation speech, he said that “We cannot connect the dots looking forward, we can only connect them looking backwards.” Realizing that we were in the situation in the past and we met these people because having them prepares us for what lies ahead in the future. Rise up from a fall, move on from hurt, bounce back and then pursue your dreams are her advice to all women.

I bought the book for Php595 in the National Book Store. This is a great read especially for women going through tough times in terms of career, love or life in general. The readers will realize that if Mandy Hale can bounce back and so do I.

Have you read it? Please comment your thoughts and learning about the book. 

Back on Track

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Hello! I just want to share that right now, I am on vacation leave (VL) from work. My VL started on September 16 until October 11. Almost a month.. Yay! The reason for that long VL is because in the hospital where I am presently working, whenever an employee reaches her anniversary from work, she will be granted an 18 days vacation leave. Great benefit right? For me, including the 2 days off per week, it will be a total of 26 days of not going to work. So in this 26 days, what shall I plan to do? Long before I reached this VL, I had been thinking and planning on several productive things to spend my time well and for me not to be bored and suddenly realizing wanting to go back to work. I thought of going on vacation, visiting my parents in the province, out of town with my friends, learning something new like driving or swimming, attending blogging events, updating my social media profile and writing/ blogging a lot. In reality, I am now on vacation and not all planned months before will be materialized.

Sudden changes were made like finally booking for IELTS (International English Language Testing System), which is one of the requirements for my application as a nurse in the UK. I booked the exam the other day and it was indeed a very expensive one. The exam date will be on October 8. I did not rush to take the exam. I just realized that while on vacation leave is the best time to take IELTS since I have ample time to review and am just relaxed and not stressed from work. After registering online for the exam, I made a decision to finally focus on reviewing by watching tutorial videos on YouTube, doing practice test in the reviewer I bought in the bookstore, and showing up in the review center where I enrolled myself in.

Yesterday morning, I sent my updated resume in the agency through email. I am already qualified to be hired as a nurse in the UK which requires a minimum of 1 year hospital experience. However, I needed to pass several exams and IELTS is the first one. In the afternoon, I went to Makati to attend the free IELTS talk offered by the recruitment agency where I am communicating with for my application. I liked the talk because the myths regarding IELTS were made clear and we were advised that the exam is an objective one in a way that test takers only need to give what the exam asks for.

After the talk, I met with a blogger friend and he treated me to a fast food chain and just enjoyed the company of each other. It’s just amazing how blogging allows me to meet interesting people and learning a lot from them.

When I was updating and sending email to the recruitment agency yesterday, there was this exhilarating feeling because I just felt that I am back on track. I am back to pursuing my dreams and goals when I was in high school. The same feeling as how I dream before in high school is exactly how I felt yesterday. The burning desire that was lost during college and during the first two jobs after graduation returned. The feeling of being lost and not knowing where the direction of my life will be heading because of quarter-life crisis is no longer in my system. The past sadness, disappointments, rejections and all the not-so-wonderful feelings were all gone as I view them as God’s way of redirecting me to where I am meant to be. I feel so excited every day because I have many things to look forward to and I have a dream and goal to pursue.

Let us continue to live, hope and dream. Day by day as much as I can, I am trying to work harder, study harder, play harder and risk harder than ever before. 🙂