A Year in a Life

Not everyone is big on birthdays. Some people like to go all out, invite a hundred friends, drink until they can’t remember anything, and celebrate like it’s their last.

And there’s nothing wrong with that.

Frankly, I used to do the same. But on the flip side of things, when it comes down acknowledging to yourself that another year of life has passed, I tend to also enjoy being alone to really think about what I’ve accomplished in that past year of life.

My birthday isn’t for another 3 days, but this exact day last year in particular was of extreme significance to me.

A year ago today was one of my biggest failures to-date. I’d say that it was a turning point in my life. (Certainly not my last and most certainly one of many to come in the future, or so I hope.)

A year ago, I was let go from a job for the first time in my life. I never thought I’d have to experience that. At the moment, it really defined me and I’m grateful for it.

After that failure, the things that I thought about myself could have been the end of me, it could have been the end of my future successes.

But I’m glad that it wasn’t.

Failure is a funny thing. Depending on how you receive it, it can define you for the rest of your life. It can throw you off course, shape your perception of yourself, it can bury you. But you don’t have to let it.

Failure and rejection makes you feel like you’re not good enough, like you’re not worthy. But at the same time, it can empower you. It can make you strive to be better and you can come back ten times stronger after accepting and overcoming that failure.

No matter how big or small the situation, whether it’s a failure in school, in a relationship, at a job, an apartment or house you were trying to get, whatever it may be, you’ll always gain something out of losing.

I never thought I’d end up where I am now. Had I rolled over and called it quits, I’d probably be in a much different place. A much unhappier place.

You may not recognize an opportunity when it’s actually happening, but you will. I promise you will. Because something good always happens amidst failure. You just have to push through the bad until you get there.

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Two Weeks Until the Philippines

Recently, I’ve been very silent with using this personal blog to disclose my recent experiences and emotions. Instead, I’ve tried expanding my horizons to other Publishing platforms such as Medium, LinkedIn and EliteDaily. However, I can’t fully neglect the base for which I started my writing journey.

So, here I am providing one very large update. Although much has happened in the time since my last real entry, the largest piece of news that I have to offer is this:

I am leaving for my second-ever International trip to my parent’s home country of the Philippines in two weeks.

If you are familiar with my most recent travels, I went to Australia (my very first International trip) last August and it had opened my eyes to the wonders of traveling to a foreign country and being introduced to a different culture.

Personally, this trip to the Philippines is going to mean so much more than just being introduced to a different culture. In fact, it’s not quite different for me at all.

Being raised in a dual-culture environment was a crucial factor towards the person that I’ve become. As a child, it’s difficult to fully commit to one culture or the other, especially if you are a minority. You cannot hide your physical features no matter how hard you try. I’m a Filipino-American, and I was raised in a predominantly Filipino household. However, I more strongly identify myself with being American.

My parents would speak to me in their native language, however, I’d foolishly refuse to learn how to speak. I understood the language, but I chose English instead. It wasn’t until I grew older did I realize how important that part of me is.

I don’t want to say that I regret the choices I’ve made in the past, but I will say that I wish I had made a greater effort to learn my parent’s native tongue and be more immersed in my heritage.

Millions of people came to the United States to pursue the “American dream” Many of whom made this decision for their children; to provide them with opportunities that they could not have had in their home country.

I cannot begin to explain how grateful I am to my parents for coming here. I know that they made this decision for my sister and I. I also know that I will never be able to repay them for the sacrifices that they’ve made for us. However, I do realize all of the things that they left behind for us and I cannot say that it was in vain.

My family isn’t wealthy. We aren’t even on par with the majority of the Middle Class. However, we are happy with what we do have and what we have is something that most people strive for; a loving and supportive family.

Going to the Philippines will be an eye-opener for me. It will show me the bigger picture of where my parents came from, who and what they left behind, and why they are the way they are. I have a feeling that this trip will impact me in many ways and I couldn’t be more excited. There’s just something about going to your place of lineage and discovering your roots.

For many years, I was beginning to doubt if it would ever happen due to financial circumstance, but miracles can and do happen. Things only seem impossible until they are done.

Again, this trip wouldn’t be possible without the help of my parents. They came to America from the Philippines and now they are taking me and my sister back with them.

It’s going to be an amazing journey and I can’t wait to soak up as much as I can -Stay tuned for more

The Future

If there’s one thing that I can never stop worrying about, it’s the future. I think it’s safe to assume that I’m not alone in that.

I envy those people who have mastered the art of “rolling with the punches”. I haven’t quite gotten there yet.

I guess it’s fitting that I was promoted to a job in which the main responsibility revolved around planning. And it’s no surprise that I’m pretty damn good at what I do.

My entire life, I’ve chosen every path, made every decision, committed to every action in order to reach a certain goal; yield a particular outcome. The buildings blocks to the foundation of my entire life were created specifically so that I could get to where I wanted to be.

Unfortunately, your 20’s take that foundation, flip it around, and place you on a roller coaster ride that makes you question everything.

People are considered adults once we’ve hit our 20’s (Young adults, that is). Well, it’s a scary thought once you’ve reached that point. We start to question if we’ve made the best of our youth thus far and begin to examine all of the things that we haven’t done yet. Those who are brave enough, tend to act on it.

As I’m continuously going through these new experiences, I’m finding out that life doesn’t adhere to your plans, nor does it care to follow your rules. Things just happen. I’d like to say that some things happen for no reason, but I’d have to disagree with myself and admit that things really do happen for a reason. That reason is to simply gain experience and knowledge and show yourself that things don’t always work out the way you had hoped. And that’s not a bad thing.

I connected with an old friend from back home who happened to be in New York City the other day. She had just gotten out of an interview for a company that she really wanted to work for, but they’re only offering her an Intern position. She expressed her emotions to me and I could feel her frustration of not understanding why her big break wasn’t happening yet. I told her that I’ve been there; that it’s hard and it’s a struggle, but in time her big break will come.

I may be repeating myself frequently when I write about time and patience, but it’s only because this is the core of my confusion and hardship at this period of my life.

I continued to comfort my friend and explain to her that life tests us with these trials when we’re most vulnerable and scared and lonely. Eventually, it will get better. I told her what I constantly tell myself; that finding the right job is just like finding anything else in life. It’s all about the right fit, and timing of course. Whether you may be looking for an apartment, boyfriend/girlfriend, job, pet, city, hairstyle, pair of shoes, or what have you, it’s all about finding the right fit and have the timing be right.

Even if we’ve been thrown into a situation where we feel like we’re not ready, trust me when I say this: You are ready.

From what I’ve learned thus far, at this young age of 23, it’s that things happen when you are ready.

I don’t know why I continue to stress over the future. I don’t know why I haven’t learned yet, even after documenting all various major life moments in this blog. I don’t know why I still have a hard time trusting that things will come together and things will work out and will get better.

We have no way of ever knowing what life has in store for us. We can’t predict the future. We can only deal with the present. We may have an idea of where we are going, but we’ll never know for sure. That’s the beauty of life.

The future…