Let me tell you why I have been feeling SO weepy these days. Aside from watching a lot of touching movies and reading a ton of articles, quotes and real life stories about dealing with inner storms, I am actually going through yet another storm in my life.
I have made it clear that it is impossible to be 100% happy all the time, but that does not mean I wouldn't at least try to see the good in every little thing. I still love living in the moment. I believe that's the only way to actually live. But for the past few weeks, my bipolar tendencies are at its peak! Haha~ Nah, I mean, I'm happy and a bit sad at the same time. I'm filled with hope and hopeless at the same time. It's so hard you guys!
So, I made a decision to move up here to Baguio after working for 6 months in Makati - with the same company that I left before I moved to China. While I was in China, all I really wanted was to get back to the Philippines, not just to see my family - I wasn't homesick at all. I was 'dorm sick'. I missed my friends and the life that I had when I was in Manila. I missed running on the weekends at my favorite park, shopping, having coffee with friends, watching movies in a movie house, going to salon, reading magazines, getting pedicures, foot spa, having a facial, getting a massage, eating in fancy restaurants and all those things I called 'NECESSITY'. I always thought I would actually die if I don't get to do any of these. I love my job and one of the reasons why I work is to have a comfortable life and so that I won’t have to do the things that I hate to do. I gave myself everything that my parents weren't able to give me when I was younger. I became so independent - I pay my bills, cook for myself and deal with adult talks whenever I have to.
When I was in China, there may be times when I can't get to do these 'necessities' because I only have one day off then and mountains of paperwork to do. It was impossible to recharge or get a decent sleep when all you think about is WORK. Preparing for a class is not a joke, executing them in the classroom is not a joke too, especially for someone who hates to be in front of a crowd. I was only happy then if there are Chinese holidays. I really get as far away as I could from the workplace just so I could forget it even just for a few hours or days. I remember it took me 45 days to write a post on my blog since I came to Tieling. For my first 45 days in China, I did nothing but cry, whine, and regret the fact that I gave up my good life in Manila. What the hell was I thinking leaving everything behind? I was craving for freedom all the time. Back then, no amount of money could pacify me. I was desperate to go home and live the life I had once again.
Yes, I still remember how I felt during those times. It's funny and sad, but it's in the past and I can't do anything about it anymore. It was a great experience and I'm glad I got over it somehow. Most importantly, I learned a lot from it. When I got back in the Philippines, I swore to myself that I would NEVER try to take a job that only fills half of my heart. Part of the reason I tried to work abroad is pretty much the same as any typical OFW : I wanted to help my family. I wanted to earn more so I can give more. I may be selfish sometimes, but I'm not entirely evil. I wanted to help my grandparents especially since they are the ones who raised me. I owe them a lot and no matter how much I give them, I would never be able to give them enough. I will never be able to repay their kindness. But even so, during the time I was earning more than what I need, I tried to send them some money. I don't send money all the time, but when I do, it's definitely not less than Php 5,000. It was just a small portion of my salary, I don't even feel it. But earning more than enough in exchange of hating my life every single day was definitely not worth it. All people see is that I am working abroad, probably living a comfortable life, I’m eating well and I’m dressed well. Yeah! But it's not all that. I had everything that I need, except freedom. No one sees how much I hate doing all the paperwork before and after my classes. No one knows how much I cry at night trying to endure migraines and shooting pains at the base of my skull. Doing that job was a battle I had to deal all by myself. What kind of a deranged person goes to a battle all alone?!
Flash forward to the present time.
A month and a half ago, I moved to a new place, a new company, a new house and I'm definitely having new experiences. Do I love it? Of course I do! I tried to make sure that I won't be making the same mistake I did two years ago, when I threw away my doctor's prescription of higher dosage of anxiety medication and decided to use my money to apply for a Chinese Visa instead. I made sure that I would continue doing the job that I want and I love. Thinking of moving up to this place for more than a decade is probably enough time to realize that I really want to be here. Wish granted~ with the help of a number of people, or an army of angels I should say.
I do believe that God sends his angels in the form of friends, or sometimes even total strangers.
Back to the inner storm - So, I have a job that I love and I'm back to doing the thing I'm good at. Most people would think I have it all figured out now, actually, so did I. Well, we were all wrong. Haha! Starting from scratch is never easy; I should know that by now.
I am used to being so independent that I have forgotten what it is like to ask for anything. I felt so invincible being able to do almost anything that I want to do as long as it is within my budget. I go wherever I want to go, eat whatever I want to eat and do whatever I want to do. I provide for myself, that's how it's always been since I started working. I'm usually the one who is 'giving' and I liked it. It feels so good being able to help even in simple ways that I can. Whether it's for my younger brother or cousins, it gives me a sense of worth and responsibility. I am not rich, I never was and I have no idea if I ever will be, but it feels good to have some extra money to give away.
I have never been good in saving, balancing or recording my expenses or any kind of Math for that matter. A prudent person would do all of that. I am not prudent. If I have money and if I or someone else needs it, I would use it or give it away without a second thought. I only have to live every two weeks anyway. As sure as the sun sets every day, I'll get my pay in two weeks. I live within my means, what's wrong with that? As long as I don't owe anyone anything, I'll do what I want to do and I'll be fine, or so I thought.
Arrogance, though it may not be obvious, has somehow crept all over me. I didn't even realize I had it until there was no option left for me but humility.
Now, I somehow believe that no matter how good your situation is, if God wants to shake your life or turn it upside down and inside out, He could. Whatever it takes for you to finally stop, turn around and run to Him, believe that He would do it.
I am still in the middle of this faith-shaking phase. It's hard and easy at some point. Easy in a way that I DON'T HAVE TO cry myself to sleep thinking about how stupid I am for doing a job I know I hate. Hard in a way that I have used up all my resources and emergency money before I could even get my first pay. On top of that, for the first time in my life, I am indebted to a number of people. I feel like I am harassing and abusing people every time I had to borrow money. I couldn't even imagine borrowing money from my mother until I had to. Haha! Seriously, when I did that, I buried my pride 50 feet below the ground. I had to do cash advances from my company too, (I didn't even know people can do that legally or professionally!) and I had to tell my landlady to give me more grace period since I still can't pay my rent. I had help from my sister and from my friends, most of whom offered financial help even before I started to beg. And that's what moved me so much, knowing that there are people in my life who would never let me touch the ground and hit rock bottom. I always come close to having absolutely nothing, but, so far, I haven't because out of nowhere, an unexpected help would land right in front of me.
I feel awesome and awful at the same time. (Yeah, this post is made up of a LOT of irony!) Awesome because I never knew people would trust me this much. I mean, they are not lending me Php 100 here. We are talking about thousands, man! Never in my adult life have I imagined myself borrowing that much money since I have been trying to live within my means. Turns out I have to do better than that. It makes me feel awful thinking about the amount of money I have spent for pampering myself too much. Usually, when I feel like I am about to have a cold or fever, I would immediately book for a massage appointment. I hate taking medicines, so, I do precautions. I try my best not to reach the worst-case scenario. I stay away from anything that would make me frown because the moment I start thinking about a tiny annoying thing, it would lead to an unbearable migraine that even music cannot heal. And that is SO not cool, man!
But, I've been sick for more than 2 weeks. I got cough, cold and fever that I swear I have somehow learned how to switch on and off. I can convince myself that I feel good every time I walk out the door. But at night, I feel like there are bricks all over my body every time I lay on my bed. I breathe fire and somehow swallowing became an ordeal. It’s probably because I’m still adjusting with the low temperature here. I made my peace with it, but then one fine morning, shooting pains up and down my left arm woke me up. I was so worried and scared that I won’t be able to go to work that day. If I go to the doctor, would they have to chop off my left arm? Would I be invalid for the rest of my life? How on earth would I go to the doctor when I can’t even buy a decent meal for myself this time? I tried to get some senses and thought of a sane way to go through this ridiculous situation. I asked helped from my bosses, once again. I was given help, once again.
It felt uplifting and a bit depressing. Uplifting in a way that even though you already placed your sword down, the game of life is still on! I found hope when I thought everything would just crumble down to my face. All I really had to do was to be humble enough to ask. It was a bit depressing because I felt like I am not in control of what is happening and of what is about to happen. Being an ex-OC, I still get a relapse of having things ‘in particular order’. And none of these things are in proper order. But I have to live with it. I have to live and have faith that I will survive today, tomorrow and the days after that with little things and a happy heart. This time, I really have to live a simple life.
I am learning how to live below my means without bathing myself with self-pity. I am learning how to appreciate every little thing. I do not feel entitled to have anything. Most importantly, I am learning to detach from material things.
Let me end this post with a quote I have read from an online article...
"Because in your death, you'll leave behind your comfort, your career, your cars, your clothes and your cash. The only thing you'll bring to Heaven is your character."