Time Check

2015 is an exciting, enticing, candid, challenging and the year of out of the box. Reasons varies like the colors of the rainbow.

A. Be part of the revolution
– Revolution to change the status quo and no longer settle for mediocrity and complacency. Months ago, I became part of an organization which lifts the Competitiveness of the country which translates in raising the bar for performance excellence not only in personal level but also state level.

B. Listen more and talk less

I tend to talk

most of the time, random thinker as they say, but with a number of diverse people I met, I believe I could spend more time to listen as much as time allotted to speak.

C. Travel more
– Privileged. Is a word that could sum up what I am doing. As part of my duties and responsibilities as an employee I have to roam around the country and promote several advocacies towards competitiveness. A drum beating activity may sometime drain not only physical but also mental aspects of your being. Strike a balance between work-life and your off to go!

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C. Volunteer more
– Since I volunteered last year, the chain of positivism lingers in me. Sounds cliche, but it is true. I could spend my long weekend volunteering for a cause than sit idle looking at the window waiting for my dreams and endeavors to become a reality.

D. Financial literateracy v Frugality
– I am pro financial literacy since then, I am quite lucky enough to be part of a small community which highly value education. Knowledge is power as they say. Last year I set up my own set of goals towards my financial status. I could tell that it is so strange that there are people who are attached to a thin colored paper which has really an imaginative value. Where did the value of interest rates, stock market valuations and a lot more came from?

E. You are an ordinary-extraordinary individual
-As your age (practically the numbers associated with your existence), your values and even perspectives differs and widens. It is so weird to think that you have  limited limitless time here. Limited coz at a certain time you will die, limitless in a sense that you can do a lot of things while existing. For an individual, it is an ordinary day,month or year, but for others it is already an extraordinary gift; of being alive and breathing oxygen and still rationally thinking. How about those who could no longer remember what they did?? so strange isn’t?

Unusual Valentine

Spending your valentines day with the family and good set of friends feels like you’re already having a date of your life.

It was not because I don’t have  special someone to be with on this so called “couple’s day”;  I prefer to be with my family rather than spend it on a solo backpacking trip. 21 years ago,  my mom would always keep on telling me and the rest of the fam, that she met a nice woman, who loves backpacking, travelling and mountain climbing, went to our home and talked a lot of things.

I think I am destined to be a single. These were the words that popped in her head yesterday when we talked. She finds tranquility and peace of mind by herself in her own home right just at the back of my parent’s home.She hosted a nice valentines day gathering at her home, where she also invited some of our neighbors and their children (unfortunately, I am the only single person – aside from the host). They shared stories how life has been, they’re excited to see how generations just come and go ( and I thought, what if, I go old, will I still have the same set of friends like my parents have?)

I just find it fascinating, even if time really passes us by ( and as fast as you can’t get hold of it), there are people who will still be there no matter what.

I envy my parents for having friends whom at their back when their down, or whenever there is something to celebrate. I envy and wished that my set of friends that I have at the moment will be the same as my parents. Even if, we don’t talk that much, even across miles, I wish it is far beyond the spoken words, but of meaning, of feeling.

We may live in different places, with different timezones, with different ways and means to spend our time (here), but what matters most? It is the time we spend with the people we most cherished.

* this may sound mushy, and for the valentines date that I could think of, it is best to celebrate with your family and friends! 🙂

10996175_914923441892806_3092840764738754094_o sunset with katie nihon no uchi (17)

Can I be a Volunteer again?

Anxiety, excitement and mixed emotions caught me right then and there when I met the next batch of volunteers for Cabiao.

I want to tell loads of stories about our experiences, our moans, hardships, down days, the awesome socials we had, our endless exploration of the this small town. But after my endless stories, I stopped and reckon, I should not deprived them of the learning’s that this small town gave me, my counterpart and the rest of the team had.

It was not as easy as one two and three to go back, face the past, and moved on. But what I’ve got from this weekend getaway? It was the realization of the ff:

  • There will be strange feelings that will just pop out of the box- there was this feeling of deja vu, from the matching up to traveling from Phil rice to Cabiao. I still remembered how anxious and nervous I was when the counterparts was revealed.
  • Things will never be the same again.- this is true, when I went back to my host home, I felt as if I am a guest in their house. Yet, when I talked to my host ‘brother’ not ‘father’, he told me that I am still welcome in the house.
  • It is overwhelming to see the new batch of volunteers who will continue what we have established. Some as I had an opportunity to talk with and shared some stories has feelings of anxiousness and if not worry about the standard we established. Well to be honest as well, I told them to just be ‘yourself’; at the end of the day, expectations just come and go, but who will enjoy this journey? Is for them or for you to cherish?
  • Cabiao has been my second home- I never felt that kind of feeling of being secured even if I am not in my own “home”. Perhaps, this small town gave me the sense of belongingness of being a “tourist” yet being a local at the same time.
  • I had a great volunteer experience with great supervisors- I never thought that my “out of the box” attitude that I had would be made possible because I have a supervisor who is not selfish to tame if not put me in a box of doctrines. He even encouraged me and my counterpart to do things that we want to do, but of course within the limits of being “responsible for your own actions”. I could not think of a single word to describe my supervisor who kept on telling me to learn via experience, since “you know the rules, you can now modify it”.
  • Half-hearted- I don’t know if I really wanted to pursue MBA or MCD, which way it would be, I’m not yet ( I think) ready to pursue any masteral degree for this year, but definitely I will take one.
  • Security over happiness and vice versa- when I was in the small town of Cabiao, it gave me the sense of being secured and happy both at the same time. So why is it, I am living near the metro where the life line of the businesses sets in and go would made me feel inferior?

There are loads of questions and uncertain answers, with uneasy feeling of how will I bang it on. But here I am typing in this keyboard over the papers and numbers of the work for tomorrow. All I will think of is how Cabiao made me a better person.

Exit Plan

In search of tranquility and silence, I found peace and serenity on our favorite coffee shop in town while having a nice cup of coffee and writing this blog entry.

I really don’t know why I am having this feeling. So strange, I really don’t know what is happening to me. I’m scared, I worry, I am excited and I am happy, rolled into one.

The exit plan

To welcome week 10, two weeks from now, we will go back home, to the lives we left before the program, before this roller coaster ride.

I could still remember what our supervisors told us during our in-community orientation. He told us, that the first 2-3 weeks will be a community integration, and the last 2-3 weeks will be formulation of our own ‘exit plan’.

Am I ready to make my own exit plan?

Seeing the word ‘exit plan’ made me realize:

  • I built relationships that will lasts and some are just the surface level, which is a fact of life (like you can’t please everyone).
  • Inspiring someone is like having a nice trip to nowhere-scary at first, yet, once you ‘bang it on’ all you can feel is a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction.
  • Drawing back to past does not mean dwelling on it- I tried to review my ‘Japanese listening exam’, and got a bit stressed out(worry to be specific) about my upcoming examination; seeing how I built relationships with my Nihonjin friends and how it fades made me think, will it be the same thing for my counterpart?(hope it will not).
  • A nice chat with someone you’ve just met is as fantastic as exploring the other side of the world- I thought, having a surface level conversation is enough to formulate your own ‘stigma/brand’ to someone. Sometimes, it takes weeks or even months of conversation to end up with a nice person.
  • Being alone does not mean you’re lonely or anti-social- I love doing things with someone(a friend, a random stranger or even a driver or a vendor) in a random place at a random time. But, today, I spent most of the time having my own ‘me time’ without my counterpart, without anyone from the group of friends that I was able to build during the program, and I enjoyed it! I felt, again – a stranger looking for an oasis in a desert. Yet, similar peolple who will come across, will recognise you not as with counterpart but as individual-which I loved most!
  • It is okay to be immature- I love the way I am exploring this journey called life- I acted as immature (most of the time) and my counterpart can attest to that, the same way that I acted mature in several ways as well. Before, I thought, once, you received this thin paper called ‘diploma’ you’ll become mature, yet, when I entered the ‘professional world’ I find myself in a total lost. When I got my first work, I thought I am good enough to take a bigger responsibility/ am I overqualified(that’s why I resigned), yet, when I went to the business district, I find myself too little for big boss’s to spare their time to engage a nice chat with me. Now I was given the luxury to talk, to chat with the community, yet, I found myself taking aback from this good opportunity! Why? Perhaps I’m still scared to try- so what if I fail? Failure is part of life. So easy to be said yet, so hard to live it up.

It may not sound as a perfect plan (there’s really no structure in it). To be honest, I don’t want to leave the community yet, I love the community, how they accommodate us, how friendly the people are, yet, there are times that ‘missing home’ and missing my comfort zone strikes me. Perhaps this is just one of those days.

I thought, I won’t feel this kind of ‘missing home’ thing; I’m in my own country, living my life as if out-of the box, yet, there are things that will remind you that your past/background is not your benchmark to move on. It is just a pretty much reminder of how you progressed in this journey called -life.