Are we authentic enough to share with others the joy and pain of life?

This is one of the TEDx Talks that I repeatedly watched when I was newly heartbroken and now that I have gotten over the pain. The message that is conveyed to me now is different to how I interpreted the whole talk before which was how being heartbroken, in hindsight, can open up other opportunities for me.

This time, it is about how being honest with ourselves is the only way we will ever create, empower, inspire, innovate and achieve the greatness that our world so desperately needs, as told by the speaker, Emma Gibbs.

Here is the full video. ūüôā

 

Creating A Vision Board

I have always read in the past that creating a dream board or vision board is essential if a person wants to reach her goals in life. And since I don’t have my own room in the Philippines, it is only here in London that I’ve decided to finally create my own vision board. At first, I labelled it as Dream Board, however, I kind of thought of changing it to Vision Board because if it’s a Dream Board, I don’t want goals to stay as “dreams”. I want to be able to attain those goals hence, I decided to change it to a Vision Board. The pictures here are what I visualise myself to have in the future. As what they say, print pictures or quotations in a place where you can see them when you wake up in the morning. It will serve as a reminder for yourself why you’re doing what you are doing now, the purpose of the sacrifices of being away from loved ones, the reason why you wake up early in the morning, and a motivation to go to work even if you feel like not going to.

 

Little by little, I have been incorporating “Minimalism” in my daily life. According to the website www.becomingminimalist.com,

“At its core, minimalism is the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of everything that distracts us from it. It is a life that forces intentionality. And as a result, it forces improvements in almost all aspects of your life.”

It depends on every person how many goals she wants to place in the Vision Board. As I practiced minimalism, I only placed 6 pictures in my board. These pictures for me are the most important. I don’t want to place a lot of pictures because I don’t want to crowd my board which will only create noises in my vision and my mind. I want my board to be straightforward with only my top goals in it.

 

Here are the pictures I placed in my Vision Board.

1. Wedding picture

-This is an Instagram picture from the married couple Marika and Luigi Celdran. I am following this cute couple in Instagram and I love how simple their wedding was. I specifically loved the wedding dress of Marika because it is not the usual balloon type, it looks comfortable and light to wear which is exactly what I want in my wedding dress in the future. I only want a simple wedding in the future. I envision a relax, simple but elegant, with only the closest people attending the wedding.

 

2. Outside structure of a home

3. Minimalist living room area

3. Third floor garden 

-I got these 3 pictures from Bianca King’s Minimalism-inspired, Scandinavian home. Oh, I love Bianca King. I love her way of living a minimalist lifestyle, being mindful and her advocacy of caring for nature and the environment. I followed her on Instagram and subscribed on her YouTube Channel and blog. It is my dream of having a home when I have my own family in the future. Just like her, I also love decorating my space. Since I am an introvert, I value my personal space and coming home from a tiring work, my room serves as my sanctuary. When I was thinking of buying the townhouse, I originally want the end unit with the garden, but it was so expensive and I wouldn’t be able to afford it that’s why I let it go and purchased the inner unit (without the garden) hoping that in the future, I will just place plants in the entrance. But when I watched the house tour of Bianca King, she also has the inner unit of a townhouse, what she did, she transformed her 3rd floor to a mini garden, barbeque area, placed a sophisticated roof and outdoor furniture. It was beautiful! I’ve never thought of it. So, if there will be an excess fund in the future, I can also transform the third floor into a garden. What a great idea from Bianca King.

4. A family having a picnic in a public garden

-I took this picture of a happy family in Fulham secret garden. They’re so lovely! I think quality time like this with the family is more important than travelling or any material things. I want to do this when I have my own family in the future, doing activities to spend quality time together.

5. Good relationship with my own family

-This picture was taken when I went home to the Philippines on February of this year. This by far is our most complete attendance (except that my youngest brother can’t make it here) and our most enjoyed trip ever because of the activities we did in this place. We went to Minalungao National Park in Nueva Ecija, just 45 minutes travel from our home. Me, my siblings and nieces did several activities like Caving, climbing the 2000 steps mountain, doing the zipline and with our parents, we ate in the raft while sailing in the clear and clean water of the river. My mom and dad, my Ate Cathy, Kuya RJ, Kuya Reagan, Denmark, Weng and my nieces Jewel and Precious were here.

To more bonding time like this.

 

I created this vision board when I was nursing my broken heart at the first quarter of this year. At that time, I forgot about my goals and the very reason why I’m here in London. I remember waking up in the morning, I felt so sad and had no motivation to do things. I know I had to do something then. I made this Vision Board to remind myself not to feel sad about the breakup and that everything happens for a reason. True with the saying, “When God closes the door, he opens a window.” The best is yet to come. And great things are coming. I have the work that I love here in London, I was granted an employer-sponsored study in London South Bank University, I have the opportunity to travel once in a while and I learned life-changing lessons from that first heartbreak that I will never know and understand had I not experience it. It was painful but necessary.

 

So, that’s it. I didn’t expect that this post will end up a little emotional but that’s fine. I had moved forward and in a good place now.

 

Thank you for reading this post.

I hope you are inspired to create your own Vision Board. ūüôā

 

 

 

 

My Quarter-Life Crisis Experience

Warning! This is an extremely long post.

According to Merideth Goldstein of The Boston Globe, the quarter-life crisis occurs in one’s twenties, after entering the “real world”. Oftentimes, feelings of being “lost, scared, lonely or confused” about what steps to take to transition properly into adulthood¬†are felt by the individual going through this crisis. (Wikipedia)

When I was working in the Business Process Outsourcing in the Philippines back on 2014, I was enjoying my job then but at one point, I started to think if it’s really the job where I want to settle and retire. I was 24 years old. I was always on night shift and I thought that I do not have a life anymore. I go to work at night time and during my rest days, I only stayed at home to catch up with the lack of sleep. What if I get married, have children, I don’t want to work on night shifts when I already have a family, I want a normal day job (all I ever really wanted is to have a family of my own, be a housewife, take care of my future husband and children) and I won’t be able to do that if I’m working on night shifts. I just want a simple life when I have my own family.¬†

I tried to look for an office 9-5 job. I wanted a challenge, learn something new and somehow be promoted in the business industry. That’s when I decided to enter graduate school. I looked for several universities like De La Salle University-Taft (I even visited the campus to view it but I felt that it was not for me, it was so grand and posh). Instead, I chose University of Sto. Tomas (UST) – The Graduate School – because ever since college, I’ve always wanted to be a Thomasian. Being a probinsyana, my idealism of a college life has always been like in UST. But life has it’s own way of making things happen and I ended up studying in Chinese General Hospital College of Nursing (which I don’t regret, I wouldn’t be in London right now if I studied elsewhere). In studying nursing in Chinese Gen, I learned the value of studying hard to pass my exams, studying ever more after I have studied and studying the most after I had studied more and failed in the exam. I had spent sleepless night to review for my midterms, quizzes, moving exams, case presentation, etc. When everyone at home was already sleeping, I was still up and reading my ultra thick nursing books asking myself why am I doing this, I’m supposed to be enjoying my college life, this is not the college life that I was dreaming of when I was in high school in Nueva Ecija.¬†And I have no choice but to go with the flow. Not knowing what the future is in store for me. Fast forward, 10 years after that, I didn’t know that all those hardwork will pay off. My siblings had seen my struggle to study, my parents did. I owe them a lot now that I am in London.

So going back in UST to study MBA (Masters in Business Administration), I was looking for inspiration and motivation to push me to finally enrol but I couldn’t find any, I was scared of the unknown. It took a while. I love reading magazines. It’s one of my sources of inspiration when I was a bit young. My older brother was a former layout artist of Enrich magazine and he brought home several copies of that magazine (thanks for that Kuya). The deciding factor that finally pushed me to enrol in The Graduate School was reading an article written by Amanda Balneg from Enrich magazine stating about how reading Paulo Coelho’s book “The Alchemist” had taught her to reach for her inner dreams. She stayed in her office job and every night after work, she goes to Instituto de Cervantes and studied Spanish language, applied for a scholarship in University of Salamanca in Spain and was granted the scholarship. That article inspired me and when I was randomly chatting with my teammate in Convergys, JJ, said that she had also read The Alchemist and she lent me the book. I was excited! Reading every pages of the book, I felt the lessons hit me hard and I read the book at the exact time I was looking for validation and a push to finally take a step towards achieving a change in my life. The Alchemist is about the story of a boy who left the town he grew up in to search for a treasure. And in searching for that treasure, he met a lot of people who had taught him the way of life, learned lessons and found true love along the way, reached for his destination not knowing that the treasure he was looking for was buried in his hometown.

After reading that book, I was so inspired and motivated and I finally decided to enroll in UST. I took the exam and paid my tuition fee from the money I saved every pay day at work. I had to choose 3 subjects, which I do not have an idea which from which. My gut feel says St. Thomas in Critical Thinking, Management of an Enterprise, and International Trade and Business. It was a very fun semester in UST The Graduate School. The only time in my life that I look forward to attending school. I had enjoyed every discussion and wrote on my notebook all the lessons in life that my professor was sharing which were making sense. And then in one of the subjects I had, I didn’t know that in International Trade and Business, my professor told us on the first day of class that we are going to Australia for the International trip.¬†My parents paid for the 35% of the trip and I shouldered the rest from my savings. Though they did not require me to repay them, I returned the amount they gave for that trip when I was already here in the UK. Then the trip pushed through on the first week of March 2014. Because of that trip, Australia remained very close to my heart. I don‚Äôt know why but that country and continent became very special to me. Maybe because that‚Äôs my first trip outside the Philippines. Maybe because I was on a quarter-life crisis at that time and that trip gave me clarity on what I want to do in my life. Maybe because I thought that I may not be able to afford to go back in that beautiful country again in the future so might as well savor the moment. I was on a ‚Äúturista‚ÄĚ (tourist) mode at that time. I was in awe of that country.

It was an exposure trip. Travelling exposes a person to the beauty of the world. Travelling can be a gateway for a person to reach his goals. Australia was my first trip outside the Philippines. It was my first international trip. We went to Melbourne and Sydney. But what sets apart or changes everything was when I was in a river cruise in Circular Quay. It was a sunny day, I went up to the top part of the cruise to see the view of the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge. The view was magnificent! ‚ÄúIs it real? Am I really in Australia?‚ÄĚ, I told myself. I only see this view in a post card, or in a travel book, or in the television. This has always been one of my dreams. I thought at that time, ‚ÄúWhy did I give up on one of my dreams which is to experience living and working abroad, to be independent, to experience living on my own, to save for the future and in God‚Äôs time, marry a good man and have my own family.‚ÄĚ

I couldn’t believe on the effect of that trip to myself. After I returned to the Philippines from that trip, I contemplated with the lessons and realizations I had when I was in Australia. I finally decided to go back to nursing. So I went to my Alma Mater, go to the Nursing Service Department, asked if there are nursing vacancies. Timing, at that time, there was a shortage of nurses in the hospital and there will be an orientation for the new batch of nurses to start the following week and they asked me if I would like to start on that date. I said, yeah, sure! I would love to. So I resigned in the BPO company and even if I do not want to, I did not continue my MBA and went back to concentrate to nursing. I was thinking, I can always go back and study MBA again in the future.

This was one of the events of my quarter-life crisis that led me to where I am now. There were still other things that happened in the early times like thinking of studying another degree, looking for universities¬†(I even went to Bulacan State University (BSU) one time to inquire about getting a 2nd degree), applying for several jobs, opening my own business, etc., so many thoughts. It was mentally tiring. Because you will keep on thinking and figuring out what to do with your life. My quarter-life crisis lasted for almost 2 years. I know I’m over it when I figured out what to do in my life in terms of career, what path to take which is the road where I am right now. Now, I’m a little bit more relaxed about where life will take me.

Looking back, now I know why things happened. Why I had to stay up late studying my nursing books during college even if I don’t want to. It’s because that moment was the start of my preparation for this job in the UK. I couldn’t see myself doing any other jobs at this point in my life. Maybe, this is where I’m meant to be.

Until now, there are times when a thought of switching job or location has entered my mind multiple times, but I don’t want to think anymore. I just want to be in the present moment and be grateful of what I have. I wouldn’t be here if this is not for me. We are meant to be where we are right now.

To anyone who might stumble in this post thinking you are experiencing a quarter-life crisis, I know you feel lost in life not knowing where to go, I’ve been there. You will eventually figure it out. Don’t plan everything, let life unfolds on its own. You only need to do the first step towards your dreams or goals, and then God, the universe will take care of the rest.¬†

 

Guys, what is your experience of a quarter-life crisis? Please share it in the comment section below. 

 

***All pictures from the post were taken from google images.

Home Is Where The Dream Is

 

There was a change in my life. Because of this, I had to redesign some parts of my room. There was an empty spot in the wall and because of that, I thought of purchasing a painting. I went to Laura Ashley store and saw a beautiful painting with a scenery of¬† purple flowers. I liked it however, the price was a bit expensive and told myself it’s not really a need that’s why I didn’t buy it. Then one day, I went to Wilko store to purchase something then I came across this painting / frame with a quotation,

 

“Travel the dream far enough so you find home.”

 

This painting resonated in my heart. I remembered my all time favourite book, “The Alchemist”. I read that book in 2014, the exact time in my life that I needed an inspiration to pursue my dreams. I thought of the lead character in The Alchemist, Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy. He left his town Andalusia to travel in search of a treasure. He travelled far enough and along the way, he met several people that gave him wisdom and met the love of his life while in search of the treasure. Santiago fell in love with Fatima and almost decided not to pursue his search for the treasure to be with Fatima. But Fatima doesn’t want Santiago to give up his dream just because he fell in love with her. She doesn’t want to be the reason why Santiago will stop chasing his dream. She encouraged Santiago to go and continue his journey. Fatima is happy to set Santiago free to pursue his dreams and to willingly wait for the time he comes back. She wants to be like the other ladies in her tribe who are waiting for their man to come back after a journey. I admired Fatima at that moment for becoming selfless.¬† I can still remember the conversation between Fatima and Santiago. Fatima told Santiago, “I love you because I love you. There’s got to be no reason for it.”

Santiago travelled his dream far enough and when he reached Egypt which was his final destination, he had a dream that the treasure he was looking was buried in the place where he came from, in his hometown, Andalusia. So he went home and found the treasure and then he decided to go back to Fatima.

Same is true with reality, we keep on looking, searching and traveling in life hoping that we will find the treasure in the faraway land. Remember the quotation, “The grass is greener on the other side of the fence.” Sometimes, this isn’t true. In life, we reach a point that we had travelled enough, worked hard enough, sacrificed enough, and then suddenly realized that this were not the dreams that we’re hoping for when we were young. That the dream is found in our home. Whatever home means to you. Home may be the country where you’re originally from, the province where you lived or the town where you grew up. Home may be your first love. You have travelled far enough only to realize that you are yearning and longing for your HOME. Home is where the heart is.

Looking at this piece of item in Wilko store, that’s how I interpreted it. It’s like my imagination was thinking those deep thoughts and realizations. Ending, I bought the frame and placed it on the wall in my room. Now there’s no more empty space in my wall. The frame was just cheap and very light so I was able to carry it in a bag on the way home.

 

Guys, how about you? How do you interpret that quote? 

Snapshots of My UK RN Journey

Hello guys! I apologize for being absent in the blogging world for several months. I have a love affair with blogging. Sometimes I love it, sometimes I just don’t feel like doing it. I went for hiatus in blogging to concentrate on a new chapter in my life. I had shared in the previous posts that I had moved to London, England on 2016 to work as a nurse. It’s been more than a year now. Looking back, I never thought that I will be at this point in my life. Remember the quarter life crisis I experienced on my early 20s, the career shifts, etc.

These were my fears before I moved to the UK. Can I make it living on my own? Can I start a new life in a different continent, in a different country, a place that is very far from where I came from. It’s been more than a year now. And in that 1 year, I’ve learned to take a risk in life and love. I tried to face my fear of doing something I’d never thought I can do. I had learned to trust life, to trust in the Higher Being. I believe that there is a reason for everything. That things will happen if it’s meant to happen. I don’t question life anymore because at the end of the day, something good will rise from all the negative things.¬† Hope is moving forward even if it’s hard because you want to get pass that stage of your life. If you are not yet contented in to where you are right now, if you think you deserve more, then you are right. If you are not yet happy, then strive to achieve whatever it is that will make you happy. Whether it’s in your job, relationships, family, health, etc.

I went on break in blogging because I concentrated on settling in my new life and career here in London. I reviewed for the exam, (while working) for me to become a registered nurse in the UK and thankfully passed the examination on July 2017. For the readers who are thinking that it was an ‘easy-everything-1-year’ since I arrived here, it was definitely not. There were probably more failures in this road to UK compared to everything that I had ventured ever in my life. The majority of the steps in applying as a nurse in the UK, I had failures. But why didn’t I give up?¬†According to Sonia Ricotti, never give up because just when you are to give up is when things are about to turn around in a grand way. I hold on because I know that great things are waiting for me around the corner. This is the e-mail that I had been waiting for on July 2017. Finally, I passed my exam after two failed attempts!

The whole process was very hard and tedious and it took me 1 year and 9 months to get my PIN. That is from taking my IELTS on October 2015 until I passed the Part 2 РTest of Competency on July 2017. To be honest, I cried when I received the result on my e-mail. This is the destination of all the hardships that I had to go through when I was still working as a nurse in the Philippines. This is the destination, but the journey is still the sweetest. So after receiving this e-mail, I immediately informed my ward manager Katherine, the Practice Development Nurses Siobhan and Richard, my closest friends here in the UK, my siblings, Ryan, and made a long distance call to my parents in Nueva Ecija, Philippines. My mother was very happy and said that she had always been praying for me, I know my father did the same.

Before I passed the exam, I worked as Band 3 – ONP and was wearing this white uniform.

After receiving the e-mail, I excitedly arranged my Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) registration and received my PIN after 48 hours. Afterwards, me and my friend Fe, who also passed the exam, went to the sewing room of the hospital to fit our new band 5 uniforms. I chose two dresses and 1 tunic with trousers. I’ve always wanted to wear dress with black stockings and black shoes on duty. And when I got the uniform, my new ID and new name plate,¬† I lay them all on my bed and I even took a photo of them. Here it is…¬†

This is me wearing my new uniform happily. Simple joy… Pinaghirapan ko kasi talaga ito! (I really worked hard for this!)
¬†*** P.S. I had written this a long time ago and it stayed on my draft folder for 7 months. I want to publish this to remind myself of my UK journey and the happiness I felt when I became a registered nurse in the UK. I know being a nurse in the UK is just a phase in my life, that I should enjoy every moment of it even if the work is hard and be grateful for the opportunity that was given to me. With this experience, I am learning a lot not only as nurse but also as a person. I have grown and realised on my own what really matters in life and it’s not money, travel or career. Despite the fact that I’m living in a first world country, I am still a simple person, my ultimate dream remains the same which is to have my own family, be a wife and mother. I will use this as a motivation to my work to give quality care to my patients and share the lessons that I learned here in my blog to anyone who might stumble on my life stories. To you reading this, do not give up even if you had failures, if you really want to achieve your dreams, keep on trying.
Go and reach for your dreams! 

The Whitney Houston Show Memories

Last night, I watched “The Greatest Love of All: The Whitney Houston Show” in Evertim Apollo in Hammersmith, London. Whitney Houston was honoured by the singer Belinda Davis who sang the greatest hits of the late singer. How did I know about this show? Actually, everything was very spontaneous. When I opened my Groupon app, I accidentally pressed the featured option, and The Whitney Houston Show popped out. Interesting, I told myself. So I searched google for the trailer of the show and got excited because I know a lot of Whitney Houston songs. I’m on my late 20s, I grew up listening to the songs of her in the radio and CD player. The venue of the show was in Evertim Apollo in Hammersmith, London. I thought that it was in Central London but when I checked City Mapper (this is the app that I use to go anywhere in the city of London with suggested routes and mode of transportation), I found out that the fastest way is by riding a bus. I just need to ride Bus 85 from the Queen’s Road/ Kingston Hospital and drop off to Shawford Court station then wait for Bus 72 and drop off to Hammersmith Bridge Road station. Afterwards, I only walked for 4 minutes and then I already saw the venue, Evertim Apollo. When I arrived 25 minutes before 8pm, there were two queues, one was for those who already have their tickets and the second one is for sales and ticket collection. I went to the second queue as I already booked the ticket the night before the show. That is me, so spontaneous of everything.

Outside of the Evertim Apollo

I noticed that with the shows that I attended here in London, there were very tight security measures being implemented as UK had history of terrorist attacks. Five minutes before 8.00pm, I finally got seated. I bought the ticket last night for a price of ¬£50. I watched the show alone and was seated with two lovely ladies and also grannies, Maggie and Jackie. They bought their ticket on December of last year for ¬£40, and they compared and concluded that there isn’t that much difference from the price of tickets bought last year and the night before the show. Remember that I bought mine for ¬£50. Maggie and Jackie were telling me they’re still waiting for their favourite song Run To You, but unfortunately, it was not included in the songs sang by Belinda. During the 30 minute break, Jackie told me to try to watch for a Tennis match in Wimbledon sometime on June because it is a great experience to be with the atmosphere of a tennis match. According to her, it’s more exciting when you are physically present in the venue rather than watching it in a television. She said that after the match, she went inside the court and almost cried. Haha.. For her, it was a very emotional moment to be picked and be given an opportunity to watch the Wimbledon Tennis match.

My two lovely seatmates, Jackie and Maggie

Going back to the show, Belinda introduced herself after singing few songs. She said that she was born in Fort Elizabeth, South Africa and growing up, she wanted to sing like her idol, Whitney Houston. Well, dreams do come true because now she was the one chosen to honour the music and legacy of her idol. She looked like Whitney Houston, her skin colour, her hair, the gestures, her powerful voice and she was dressed exactly the same as what Whitney wore during her past performances.

Belinda Davids going to the audience

I thought that The Whitney Houston Show is like other West End musicals that are being shown in London all throughout the year, but it’s not.¬†I decided to watch this show because upon searching, it will only be shown for 1 night in London, it’s now or never. The next day they will perform in Cardiff for 2 consecutive nights and in Manchester the night after. Belinda gave a stellar performance with her powerful voice belting out the Whitney Houston hits and received several standing ovations. The price I paid to watch this show is definitely worth it.

Whitney Houston is very popular in the Philippines. I grew up hearing her songs. I also remember that our Elementary graduation song was “One Moment in Time” that’s why I can still remember its lyrics. And since the Filipinos love to sing, Whitney Houston songs are always being sang by singers in the television shows, concerts and in the singing contests.

Here are some of the videos I took from the show.

 

The audience does not only comprise of older people but a mix of young and old, male and female. There were grannies and grandpas, there were married couples, group of friends and young people. I was dancing and singing my heart out (as heard on the videos that I took) as well as the whole audience. These were some of the songs belted out by Belinda: I Will Always Love You, Where Do Broken Hearts Go, I Have Nothing, The Greatest Love of All, One Moment In Time, I Wanna Dance With Somebody, etc. There was a live band and the National Philharmonic Concert Orchestra which gave fantastic music. The quality of music is really different, very soulful and grand if there’s an orchestra playing. This is a great show¬† worth spending.¬† It will entertain you, you will sing, you will dance and you will remember the talent, music and memory of Whitney Houston.

This is the video/ trailer that I watched that made me decide to come and see the show.

My selfie after coming home at around 12midnight.

 

I just want to end this post by leaving this quote from the book that I’m currently reading, “Do less, get MORE” by Shaa Wasmund. I remember I also read this quote from the blog of Tom Basson (www.tombasson.com).

It says there…

-What makes you feel alive? “Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

When I was watching this show, I feel alive because I was enjoying my time, and that I am living my life in the present moment and in my own terms. I think I need to remind myself all the time to only do things that will make me genuinely happy.

That’s it for now. Guys, please leave a comment below if you have watched this show or still planning to watch. Have a great day ahead!

 

***I got the featured image from MyTicket.co.uk from google.com.

Hillsong Church Easter Sunday

Today is the second of April, 2018. How fast the time flies? It’s almost the end of the first quarter of 2018 and I didn’t even notice. The holy week has just ended. As usual for us working in the hospital, we don’t have holidays, I mean the hospital never goes on holiday. It’s open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for the service of the people who are sick.

It was not known to a lot of people but I’ve been struggling in my life recently. And these struggles made me question life and God as well. I know this struggle is nothing compared to what others are experiencing but for me, this is already something that weakens, breaks and hurt me. This made me question life and God with a lot of why’s. Why do I have to experience this? Why do I need to be in this dilemma? Did I do something wrong? I’ve waited and worked hard for this, but suddenly, why do I have to choose between two options that I really love? I am just fulfilling my dream.

I’m a firm believer of God’s plan, but it doesn’t deny the fact that I am hurting. I was telling myself that I won’t be able to know why these things are happening now but in the future everything will fall into place. But knowing this doesn’t change the fact that presently, it hurts. I was hoping that the pain I’m feeling will be gone soon.

It was my first time to attend the Hillsong church. I told myself, why only now, I’ve been here in London for more than a year already. The venue was in Palladium theatre to accommodate larger audience for Easter Sunday. It was a long queue before we got inside the venue but we didn’t mind. During the service I remembered my SFC (Singles for Christ) days, singing praise and worship songs, praising Him, letting go and letting God. After the praise and worship part, there was a preaching followed by the presentation about the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ. In the presentation, they modernized the setting, but the story and the lessons are the same. It was a stellar performance with complete visual effects, lighting, singing and dancing of great performers. It was beautiful but I wasn’t really affected by the presentation, there was even a time in the play that I fell asleep not because the performance was bad or boring but because of lack of sleep the night before. I don’t know what happened but the following morning after I wake up, it was the first time that I didn’t feel the weight in my heart. I felt very at peace and trustful of the journey that I am right now. After all, love is supposed to be patient and kind. I went to work joyful and happy. I dealt with the patients with smiles and laughter, building rapports and uttering silly jokes (which is unusual of me). I hope this is the start of the moving forward process.

I’ll be fine.

Pinky Promise

Pinky Promise

www.google.com

According to Wikipedia, pinky promise is the entwining of the pinkies of two people to signify that a promise has been made.

In every phase of our life, we will face a challenge.

This led me to a quote in my head about waiting. And that is, “Anything worth having is truly worthy waiting.” There is a time for everything. I have to wait for the right time to get married. Because it is also me who set the standards that, in the future when¬†I get married,¬†I promise myself that me and my future husband should be together after the wedding. I will be back. I will come home for good, definitely. But I need to wait for the right time.¬†While waiting, I will¬†study, acquire experiences, get myself ready and sufficient¬†for when the times comes that I have to go back to the Philippines to settle for good, I am¬†mentally, emotionally, physically and financially¬† ready and equipped to use my¬†learnings in London to¬†build a better life in the Philippines. I believe in my heart that there’s a lot of opportunities in my country. I will improve myself, build my confidence through speaking and remove my naivety that I still have even though I am already approaching my 30s. I know I have a lot of potentials, I just have to develop them and push myself to believe in myself.

I also need to remind myself when I’m feeling sad and homesick, “Think of what London and UK can offer you. It can be¬†new and exciting¬†experiences, it can be different¬†insights about life¬†you will acquire after travelling, it can be professional growth and¬†expertise. There are¬†hundreds of reasons to love what I do now and appreciate where I am right now.” Living independently to a different city teaches me to be more responsible knowing that¬†I have the¬†total¬†liberty, enough money, freedom, unlimited and fast internet connection, exposure to good looking men and women, and with all these, it is knowing how¬†to take responsibility for myself, sticking to my values and¬†stopping myself from being tempted to life traps.

What will I do with¬†the opportunity¬†handed to me? I know I should use this to help and inspire others who are also dreaming in the small town,¬†urban area or in their dark room¬†at night. I have told myself, I don’t want to¬†change. Living in a first world city, living a good life, sometimes it is inevitable to want to keep up with the trend and lifestyle. But¬†I want to keep the simplicity in me.

That is my Pinky Promise. Before this, I have only done pinky promises when I was young. But looking back, these were the most honest, most sincere and most innocent promises we can ever give.

A Conversation With An Uber Driver

Uber

www.google.com

I arrived back on UK on February 16 from a 1 month holiday in the Philippines. This vacation was very productive. I was able to spend most of the time with my family, my father had an elective surgery and stayed with him during the confinement, met my high school friend, went for a trip to Iloilo, and most especially, Ryan and I were able to talk and we got back together on Valentine’s day. I realized that no matter what our differences are and the challenges our relationship are facing, I am willing to fight for our relationship because I love him.It was a total of 16-hour flight duration with Cathay Pacific from Manila to Hong Kong followed by a connecting flight from Hong Kong to London. It was very smooth from take off to landing and as much as I can remember, there was no turbulence throughout the whole flight. I arrived in London Healthrow airport at around 15.00 of February 16 and waited for more than an hour in the immigration because of the long queue. After getting my luggage, I booked for an uber to take me home to my flat in Kingston.

I had a very interesting conversation with the Uber driver during the whole trip. His name is Gershom from the country, Uganda. I learned from him that Uganda was a former British colony. He came in the country 16 years ago to work to support his family in Uganda. He is already on his 50s. He shared with me the hardships that he had to face and endure when he first set foot in the UK. He said there is no reason for him to bring his children to UK because he doesn’t want them to experience the hardships that he had gone through in the past. He was just working and working and couldn’t go home to Uganda because of the immigration policy to remain in the country so that he can continue to provide the needs of his family. By the grace of God, his two daughters had already finished college and are now working. He is planning to go back to Uganda this year to be with his family and settle in his home country for good. He said that everything is not about the money. His advice to me is not to lose my culture with the culture in the country where I am right now. He said that if you lose your culture, you are dead. You don’t have soul anymore. It was like, he is pertaining about the good values that is innate with us. Sometimes, what happens is that when we start to earn more, even if we are in denial, we also change and we may think highly of ourselves. This is a reminder to stay humble.

He also gave me wonderful advice about relationships. He said that being in a relationship will never become easy. Definitely, there will be trying times, multiple throughout our whole lifetime. If you are able to surpass one trial, then you’ve succeeded, but expect that you will encounter few more challenges in the future. That is one of the realities of life. He also told me not to give up if I experience problems in the relationship. Being in a long distance relationship is already a challenge. He said that I should be willing to fight for it if I really love the person. He gave me tips on how to make the other person feel loved even though we are far from each other such as calling just to say good morning and good night and no need for a long conversation, just make the person feel that you think of him. At the end of the trip, I shook his hand and thanked him for all the life lessons that he had shared with me. It can be that life is telling me something because Gershom is the 4th uber driver that appeared and I do not know why the first three bookings were dropped.

I had been constantly praying to give me wisdom with every decision that I will be making. Oftentimes, I do not know what decision to make because of too much noise from my head, my heart and from the people around me. What I have been constantly praying and asking is to hear His voice for me to be directed in the right path.

 

Purposeful 2018

Words to live by

Hello 2018! New year is all about setting up new goals for ourselves, may it be financial, travel, relationship or family. But before I dive in to the new year, first I wanna look back on my 2017.

I am forever grateful for the opportunity to be a UKRN and work as a staff nurse in a hospital in London. Being independent and living in a different continent and country is unimaginable. Working in the UK is not just about travels and dream job. It sums up hardwork. If people only know what we have to endure at work. This does not reflect what people see in the posted pictures in Facebook and Instagram. So looking back…

What went well this year?

  1. I passed the examination to be enlisted in the register of qualified nurses in the UK on July 2017. Technically, now I am a registered nurse in the UK.
  2. I was able to adapt (and still learning)¬† in my new role as a nurse in the respiratory ward where I am permanent staff. I can honestly say that I do not fear or drag myself whenever I go to work unlike the feeling that I usually get for my shifts in the hospital in the Philippines. Which leads me to the next…
  3. I am more confident of myself, of who I am as a person and what I can do and at work in terms of my nursing skills, etc. This is not being complacent, I know I still have a lot of things to learn but in terms of my self worth, I am now certain that I am enough. Less are the times that I doubt myself.
  4. I was able to travel more. I went home to the Philippines on my own on October, traveled  to some parts of the UK (Greenwich, Brighton, Kent, Southampton, Stonehenge, Bath) and my first Euro tour in France on December. Traveling opens up my eyes to a lot of things this world has to offer. Amidst the negativity that we see in the news, this experience amazes me to the extent. I am able to see the true beauty of this world.
  5. The opportunity to love and be loved romantically. Sounds childish but before, I thought that being in a relationship is like a fairy tale. But now I realizes that it is not an altogether happy and loving times with the one you love. This entails patience, hardwork and understanding.
  6. I was able to start investing (not on disposable things), but mainly for my future. I have started paying for the downpayment of the townhouse that I bought. (This is the decision that scares me the most but the bravest one as well. I just took the leap of faith and trusted my instict.) I have an affinity to the thought of having my own house, from buying the furnitures to decorating to moving in, home is one of my excitements in life, one of the things that I look forward to. Having a house of my own is one of my dreams. The goal I am dreaming to achieve by working in the UK. I have also invested in the stock market from a percentage in my salary. I have decided to continue paying for my SSS contribution as an OFW. The premium is a bit expensive for OFWs because there’s no employer who pays the half of the premium unlike when we were still working in the Philippines.¬† Little by little, I am able to save. This becomes possible by doing bank shifts or ‘OT’ (overtime) at work.

What didn’t go well?

  1. I forgot my passion. For the past year, I dedicated the majority of my time working in the hospital that I set aside my hobbies and leisure activities. These were the activities I did to keep me sane when I had a very toxic work in the Philippines. These are blogging, going to the gym, attending self help workshops, serving in the community and church and reading self help books. Somewhere a long the way, I lost myself. I am not saying that nursing is not my passion. Being a nurse is my bread and butter and I love the work that I do. I think the correct term is, I thought I have lost my purpose. There were days where I don’t get excited to get up from the bed. I have lost the enthusiasm. The ‘me’ who loves to read self help books and Cosmo magazines before to get inspired. After reading, I am left nothing but with a burning desire in my heart.
  2. Since coming in the UK, I have missed a lot of important life events, like Christmas, New Year, birthdays, weddings of my friends, reunions and get together. It made me sad not to be able to share these events with my loved ones. But given this situation, whenever I feel sad, I just remind myself the very reason why I am here. There are things that I cannot control like living away from my loved ones. To be honest, I have lost contact with some of my friends. What I can control is going home whenever it’s possible. Which is exactly what I plan to do. Whenever I have annual leave, I made sure to go home and spend it with the people I love.
  3. My bf and I broke up before Christmas, though we’re still hurting, I am taking this break to reflect, to get to know myself even more and evaluating what I learned in this relationship to help me become a better person.

And lastly, what did I learn about myself?

  1. I learned that I am capable of loving and being loved in return and that everyone deserves this magical thing. I remember the quote of the priest about love in the workshop I have attended before. “Don’t forget to love fully, freely, faithfully and fruitfully.”
  2. Following my heart and trusting my guts and instinct because most of the time they are true. I have learned to trust life and let go of all my worries.
  3. I am keen to listen from other people’s advice because I know I can learn from them. Listening is learning.
  4. I have accepted myself that I am an introvert and not the life of a party. I am more of a listener than a speaker. This is uniquely me, I am enough.

Inspiration from this blog post came after watching Bianca Gonzalez’s vlog with guest, Arriane Serafico of ‘The Purposeful Creative’.

My theme for this year is #Purposeful2018. As me, living each day with a purpose.