On Instagram, you post a photo of yourself with closed eyes, arms spread wide, hair blown by the wind, in your cute adventure outfit. In this photo, you are probably at the beach, or at the top of the mountain, or in a new city in another part of the world. The caption says something in the lines of “Never lose your childlike wonder”.
It is a five-day long weekend for everyone in the city. In other days, that could have also been me. But this time I decide to stay at home in the suburbs through (almost) all those days, without any plans. In this era of filled calendars, that is an awful long time with barely anything setup. Life as an adult is a collection of lists of things that must be done – things to do, errands to run, muscles to gain, inboxes to empty, eyebrows to pluck, children to run after, money to earn, occasions to attend, places to go. But this weekend is mine. I am free to be bored, to stare at the ceiling, let my thoughts wander, read a good book, or play with the dogs all morning and afternoon.
Continue reading “Never Lose Your Childlike Wonder”
The other day a friend spoke about someone who is dying, literally – someone who is counting down his days because of a certain illness. And the first thing that came to my mind was: Aren’t we all? The only difference between us and the person who was told she only has a few days or weeks or months left to live is that we don’t know what number to start counting down from. If you think about it, the sands of time are dripping down the hour glass. Our hour glass. Every hour, every minute, every second is our life.
For the past couple of weeks, I’ve thought about playing around with graphs of life using spreadsheets. I figured that if we’re using them so much in our work and business to visualize our status, progress, or certain data, then perhaps we can also apply them to visualize our own lives.
In this series of pie graphs, I’ve graph-ified something quite simple: the years of life I have lived versus the years of life I (may or may not) have remaining. Obviously, all are but guesstimates. Nevertheless, it might be worth pondering.
What is your target life span?
I’m currently 30 years old, and I plan to live to at least 100. Based on that plan, I would have lived 30% of my life. This pie makes it look like I still have a lot of time to pursue my dreams and tick off boxes in my bucket list (though I don’t really have one).
Continue reading “Life in Pie Graphs”
I started doing 30 day challenges in 2014. For me, it was just a game. I wanted to see how much discipline I can enforce upon myself either by detoxifying from something I have become addicted to (ex. social media) or adding a habit to my daily routine (ex. journal writing). When it comes to food, I’ve explored 30 days with no rice, no alcohol, no junk, no sweets – but all at different times. In an ideal world, we should just stop eating all of those at the same time, forever and ever. But different people have different methods of shaping their lifestyles. I have found, accidentally, that, this one works for me.
When I cut up a big challenge into smaller challenges, it becomes easier to swallow. So easy that it is inexcusable for me not to do it. I set myself up to gain a streak of small successes every day, which encourages me to tread on towards the end. Continue reading “No Sweets for 30 Days: Recalibrating the Palate”
I haven’t written anything well thought of for a very long time. And though I didn’t have all the time in the world to do this, I did put some effort into writing my last letter to my friends in the previous company I worked in. I sent this on my supposed last day (“supposed” because I got cut off my e-mail on the morning of my last day – that’s another story). And so here it goes:
Hello my friends!
I ran the numbers.
On a regular day, we spend about 1 hour preparing for work, 2 hours on the road to and from work, 9 hours at work, and another 2 hours thinking or talking about work (y’know, group chat). If I slept for 7 hours a day, that’s easily 82% of my whole waking weekday.
If I lived to be a hundred years old, I would have spent 6% of my entire life with you. (Chances are I would only live to 70, in which case that would have been 9% of my life!)
So. O.M.G. I should have really, really made the most out of my stay here at Smart. What a shame, otherwise. The good news is, because of all of you people, I’d like to believe I did. Continue reading “A Farewell Letter”
I want to write. And that is why I am here again, reintroducing myself in 2014, 3 years after I started this blog. Back then, I used this mainly as an avenue to find myself. It had no theme, no categories, no rules, no boundaries. It was meant to be a personal journal after all. From there, it molded itself into a travel blog. And it was a good ride, joining travel communities, exploring the country and nearby lands (the Philippines is a gem, by the way), taking upside down photos in every single island I set my foot on – all those things. I still get e-mails from people in other parts of the world complimenting my stories, photos and whatnot. It is them, actually, who inspired me to get my ass back here, trading sleep for a Great Perhaps.
And in this search for the Great Perhaps, I feel there is a need for a Great Shake Up. This blog. My perspective of the world. Life in general. We are going to break the walls we built around us in the past years. They are old after all (things get old so quickly these days). We are getting on a boat is what I’m saying, and we’ll push it to the sea, and we’ll see where it goes.
I guess we could say this is still a travel blog of some sort, although this time it’s more like a life travel blog. Or something. Hell, I really don’t know. And, perhaps, that’s the point.
“Great people do things before they’re ready. They do things before they know they can do it. Doing what you’re afraid of, going out of your comfort zone, taking risks like that, that’s what life is. You might be really good. You might find out something about yourself that’s really special. And if you’re not good, who cares? You tried something. Now you know something about yourself.”
I usually write a somewhat elaborate new year’s wish on every first of January. (At least I’ve been doing so since 2012.) For many reasons worthy of another post, it has taken me three and a half months to finally release one for this year. And this may be the simplest by far:
This year, I hope you become your most amazing self yet, even if it means letting go of things that previously made you feel amazing.
That is all.
Have a great year.
My colleague Nim gifted me Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In for my birthday last year. It couldn’t be more apt. I just turned 29, which meant I have just one more year on my so-called “twenties”. It is, indeed, a very good time to look back at the past decade of learnings, mistakes and whatnot, and move forward to a better, (hopefully)more mature me.
But after reading the book, what I immediately thought was, hell, had I read this years ago, I could’ve prevented some of the mistakes and negativity that creeped into me from time to time throughout my career. Books truly are mentors of a kind.
Which is why I then handed it over to my cousin, Raya. She’s not into books, but she just graduated from university and is out looking for a job. I thought it was worth the try to hand her the opportunity to learn the things I would’ve wanted to in my early twenties.
And for every body else (as well as for my future self), here are my notes and quotes from the Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In, which is the first out of the 24 books I promised to read this year. Continue reading “BOOK NOTES: Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In”