Do Not Fear the Future, Thomas

I had been meaning to write something about how September greeted me with so many unexpected things in life since Day 1. But much to my chagrin, I wasn’t able to sit down face-to-face with this white blank page until today.

To summarize what’s the fuzz in my mind about: I am just overwhelmingly grateful of how the Big Guy favored me in the most unexpected time in my most unguarded moment.

If you ever heard about the disciple named Thomas, you might actually heard about me: the Doubter. I am a person who doubts a lot – mostly, the subject of all my doubts is myself. I got this very low regard with my capabilities as an individual; I tend to focus more on what I might fail to do or what I might actually done wrong to a perfect situation. I’ve come to learn that that’s not humility. Whenever we say, I can’t do this or I don’t know how to do that, we really are hindering all the possibilities where God can intervene in our lives. Sometimes, when doubt just pops out a big CAUTION: This might be dangerous for you, it is strongly suggested for you not to continue – we just freeze and we just want to stay where we are comfortable. Fear takes over. Doubt is eating up on Hope, every second that it counts.

Last month, I was really at the edge of my seat wanting to dive in my sea of worries. And I did so, because I lost heart like losing a battle I’m itching to win. That particular Friday, I became emotional, too emotional, that I cried to God to ask Him what does He want from me because I believe I gave it my all and all I wanted is some consolation – what about what I want, for a change? Selfish little brat that I am, I did ask that.

I wanted to explore a new field. I already proclaimed it with all conviction that I’ll be in one on September. And then doubt came in halfway August and I panicked. How can I possibly enter September with new beginnings if the company I’m applying for – the company which my mother told me to try – haven’t been in contact with me after two days? Spell #atat. LOL. (Now that I’m looking back, it was actually funny that I think they won’t ever consider getting me since they haven’t given me a text, call or email…and it was only two days passed!!!) That day, I seriously accepted the fact that they won’t ever regard me. See what our emotional hormones can do?

I was discussing all my drama to the Lord and just before I dwell deeper into the quicksand of paranoia and worry, a text message came in. Guess what the message was about? Yup, it’s God telling me, Why are you in such a hurry? Have you forgotten that everything is under my control? because the company already came in contact with me and told me that I am scheduled for an exam and interview the following week.

In that week, I finally surrendered all my doubts. I prayed to God that if the job really is for me, He’ll make way; if it’s not, I prayed that He’ll bless my heart whatever the decision may be. I will not elaborate point-per-point how everything unfold the way it did. All I know was, the Lord backed me up big time. Meaning, He approved of me getting it and so I did. Everything went smoothly by God’s grace! True enough, what I proclaimed September to be, it happened.

After getting the job, another set of doubt – actually, fear – came in. Since I’m getting myself in a new field, I’m fully aware that it’s different from what (some) people will expect from me. I’m afraid that they’ll judge me. Some of them – I saw through their actions and words – seemed to think through on my decision, assessing if I’m doing the right one. I know that they are just concerned, but that kind of quiet pressure, made me doubt my decision to explore this new field too. And I remembered that I prayed about this, the Lord gave His answers clear. I need not to worry.

You see, we all are in varying stages or phases in our lives where we are choosing what we want to be, where we want to be. To tell you honestly, I don’t know where I wanted to be and what I want to become, yet. If others are sure that they wanted to be teachers, accountants, doctors, writers, musicians, etcetera; all I wanted – as of this moment – was to be an explorer of life: to do things with my heart, to feel the world in my hands. I swear, I see nothing wrong with that. I think it’s beautiful to enjoy the voyage when you haven’t got a clue where you are headed. At least for me, that’s the case.

Although I fear the future, calculating if my decisions will benefit me in the long run, I have come to realize that I don’t have to, because the Lord has promised to be with me wherever I go.

And as for my Doubt,

Doubt was cool. Doubt was predictable. It broke my heart a lot less. But over time, that changed and I realized that all doubt really did was stifle truth. I am always grateful for that. There are big things out there for each of us. Sometimes the hardest thing to do is just believe.

-Isabel Garcia

Take that! Lol

Instead of Fear, I’ll choose to Hope. Hope always lets you believe that you can fly and it has always been a liberating feeling touching the clouds.

There’s a lot to learn in this new expedition. I pray that the Lord will give me Courage to face the calmness of the sea, as well as its rages. For the now, let’s take heed of my September Moodboard (yes, it’s back!!!): Do Not Fear the Future :)

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Dark Mocha. Chocolate Cream Chip. Honey Glaze. And Chocolate-Dipped.

Lately, things had been so busy and schedules are tight and muscles felt tensions (and I just had to say that for the muscles, oh goodness, I am in need of a massage. haha!) and I am stressed out. That’s why I needed the break, mostly from blogging (see my post under this). And I am still on a pause – I hope to come back soon, though – but yesternight when Me and my friend Mari met, we did some exercise which kind of laid our stresses off, at least for that night; and that I wanted to share today. :)

One of the many things that I am thankful for in this life are my friends. I don’t have a lot. I do not belong to the hierarchy of popular people when I was still in school. Never. And I know, I wish I would, but I’m content because the Lord had guided me to choose the right friends and circles to which I can grow and belong and be more of myself and exceed myself and just have fun. And my friend Mari is one of those close friends which I am bound to keep forever. Haha!

Anyways, we already set the date for us to go at a coffee shop to feel some sort of a writer’s ambiance, and yesterday we did exactly just that. Some sort of trivia re my friends: they are good (read: VERY GOOD) writers. They wrote essays and poems and short stories and novels and I really believe that they would be a successful authors of a book someday. I, on the other, am a simple “everyday life” writer. I mean, this blog is like a journal, right? I tend to write things that I experience and is interesting to me and from there, I can push an idea or inspiration for my essays or poems. But, I don’t really write stories. I don’t do fiction. It’s just so hard for me.

So, guess what we did at the coffee shop?

Bingo! We did fiction-writing. It was Mari’s idea. She said that we would do a collaboration for a story (and you must understand, she was torturing me the WHOLE time, wala siyang awa!!!) and short story we did.

We started writing at around 8.30ish and finished an hour or so later. I was already in the mood of continuing on the “writing” part but we had to end the story or else we will sleep at the mall. Ha!

And now, *drum roll* I’ll let you read the short story that Mari and I had collaborated on! Haha! Be gentle on it, okay? We only wrote this for an hour and it is my first time to go about fiction-writing. The whole experience, though, was fun. I got some learning points from it.

I (we) hope you enjoy it!

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Red.

Continue reading

My Love for Words and My Random Thoughts

Back in grade school and high school, I was never the girl who writes, nor the one who reads, but I got a love affair with words.

It started with rejection. The time when my third grade teammate reiterate my failure in misspelling a word that made our group lose the class competition. It’s that rainy Saturday of April when somebody I considered close to me told me I wasn’t pretty and I smell odd. It’s one afternoon at the rehearsals where one of the members of the group I’m leading blatantly refuses whatever I say about the sequencing of the play.

It started with the feeling of being out of place. When I met with a new group of friends who can’t entertain my existence in a discussion of a matter I’m not familiar with. When I entered a room full of strangers and no one dared to shake my hand and welcome me in. When I dressed up for the occasion to which I was not particularly invited to.

It started with weakness – of feeling inadequate, unsure, uncertain of other things I can do to be socially accepted.

Bad things come into three and so do good things. From the time of rejection, the feeling of being out of the boat with my shaky knees and teary eyes, it took someone who gave me a tap at the back and told me something that somehow erased my doubts. It took all the promises I had to read from Ephesians, Psalms, Jeremiah, Matthew, Proverbs or anywhere in the Bible, the promises from the One who could give my heart the stillness in the midst of chaos. It took words to get me through the sandstorms in the desert of self-pity and loneliness.

Later on, I found out that my love for words can flourish by: flipping through pages of adventure from different chapters of a book; or, slow dancing with my emotions from the core of my heart with the pen in my hand. Hence, I became the girl who reads and the girl who writes. Through it, I was exposed. It brought the birth and the continuous growth (in terms of content) of this blog. I wanted to vent out all my thoughts – on hope, faith, joy, grief, love, failure, life, God, or whatever else – and somehow, by doing so, hoped to make a little impact on someone’s life. The little impact that can be an entry point in planting seeds of trust (even just a mustard) to Someone Up There who makes everything happen for a reason.

And I want to tell you that I have always (and still am) insecure about people reading my stuff. Because, even though it is probably not a wise choice on my part, I write with my heart on my sleeve.

-Isabel Garcia

Yes, I was and still is insecure, but courage makes you do things as crazy as what you can do for love. I’m clueless if what I’m doing really matters to anyone (or even to just one someone) in cyberspace. I got no idea if I’m making any difference or if I am able to touch the depths of someone’s soul. But I got to thank those few who had been generous enough in giving me their appreciation, affirmation and support in this endeavor. My inner child in me always feels like being rewarded with an ice cream (triple chocolate, of course) every time I would hear those encouraging words. You might start to notice how much I value words. It’s kinda like my love language.

I still won’t know my impact nor my contribution to World Peace because of this blog, however, one thing’s for sure: I got to say what I got to say. There’s too much hope one could give to one’s self. :)

And with all these, I will end with my late Moodboard for August: Wake Up and Live. Wake up, do something for yourself, start over, make a move, live. :)

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The Day I Met Sarah Kay and Why the Scarecrow Got Invited to TED

During latter years in College, the love for words and poetry grown in me quite dramatically. It was, in my graduating year, that I’ve ventured on writing poems, particularly about admiration, fascination, hurt, pain, but above all, love. I never ever thought that I could possibly render a part of me – my heart, and then, my soul – on to writing. I never expected myself to find joy in that. Although I only have poems that you can count by your fingertips and you could notice how shallow, how girly and dreamy they are, I’ll still continue to write them if I need to until I can find another shades of greens or maroons or yellows and teals that could add another abstract of colors in my life.

Over the past few years, I have learned that writing is an art of the emotion. And it’s different too, with each and everyone of us – because of what we’ve gone through and what we’ve haven’t gone through. When I go about blogs after blogs after blogs, books after books after books, person after person after person and study how they are able to come up with a certain article, I always discover that each of them got different styles and that although they’re in the same topic, they would still all fall in the Distinct-From-Each-Other Department.

Writing is also similar to a kaleidoscope that transforms the many shapes and colors and sizes of where we fit in on what we call, life, into something more beautiful and entertaining and captivating. That although we think a candy wrapper or afternoon coffee or stuttering in front of someone altogether is not worthy of a poem, a short story or an essay, we’ll know that we’ve got it all wrong. Because in writing, life can’t be boring. You can always make sense of life when you actually got to write it. You figure out things, like, what does a candy wrapper really means when a candy was given by someone you deeply admire who bumped on you when you’re about to take your afternoon coffee in the pantry of the 39th floor of your office who, when you talk to, you all the more can’t help but stutter in every word you’re about to say.

And yes, writing is never meant for every audience in cyber space. I mean, some people dig what you say and some don’t mind at all. Don’t lose heart, though, because even when you think no one wanted to read you, there’ll be someone who always wanted to. When you didn’t write what you’re suppose to, you’ll lose these people who also hangs on strings of hope when you just keep doing what you do when you write. It’s like representing them – tapping them at the back when tides didn’t go the way it should; kissing their tears from their eyes after a broken heart; giving the biggest bear hug and telling them “It’s gonna be okay. You’re gonna be fine.” when they most specially need to. You cannot be there in person because maybe they’re from another part of the world but because of what you have written, they’ll know that they’re not alone. That Life is the same for everybody: unfair. It is, as much as it also bears the name Wonderful and Lovely.

And so, what is the connection of all that I’ve said to meeting Sarah Kay? I don’t know. Haha! I’m still trying to figure that out and let’s all see when I come to the end of my thoughts.

As I said, I read blogs – from friends to total strangers. Reading them became one of my mentors in how I attack or play with something I want to write. Isabel Garcia is one of those writer-blogger who I follow and I made sure that I’ve read her new posts everyday (also re-tracking what she had written all the way from when she was just starting). She is one talented writer. She is very open with all her cracks, broken pieces and all. She is open and when you do write, I think you have to be like that. Plus, one thing I like about her is I can quote her. For all the love I have for quoting people. :) She has these vast statements where you can go right ahead and quote it because you grasped it and felt it and connected with it. She’s ohhh-some like that.

One day when I was browsing her new post Love Will Be, I was drawn to the video she posted about this girl (Sarah Kay) and a boy (Phil Kaye) who are performing something-I-can’t-explain entitled When Love Arrives. They were good at it (read: SUPER good). I was tracing back where I have read the name of the girl at the video. I remember reading it somewhere Isabel’s blog, but anyway, I googled her and found some interesting things about her.

Sarah Kay is a spoken word poet where she performs poems that she had written to entertain, educate or simply inspire (I wonder if I can do that to my poems too). Phil Kaye is someone who she encountered in College and who is sharing the same art of spoken word poetry as hers. As I’m doing my research on her, I found out that she also had an opportunity to showcase her two cents worth on TED Talks.

After watching this, I was determined on searching for her other performances of spoken word poetry! And I did. I watched a lot more of her performances and there were a few I kept on my iPod (Worst Poetry, An Origin Story, Jellyfish, Toothbrush to a Bicycle Tire – and yes – When Love Arrives and her TED Talks talk).

She’s writing poems and performing them in a way where she can be the best when she’s the one doing it. It’s about her pursuance of what she loves and is passionate about. It’s about going to life open-handed even when everything around you just blows out of proportions. Sarah Kay is so inspiring in so many ways I don’t even know where to begin praising. And it’s true what she said about the scarecrow being invited to TED, because she’s out-standing in her field. (read: Sarah Kay’s mastery of spoken word poetry)

There will be times that you got to follow your dreams even if the current takes you to the opposite side of the sea. It might be scary and you might think that you can’t do it, like Sarah. But she took her first step, she said I can. And you know, we can too. And yes, I say I can to writing because I realized this has been my dream – to shed bliss and inspiration to people through art form. And I think spoken word poetry would be another dream to chase like a kite running free in a windy day of May. I wonder if I could, like the way I did in writing, find it within myself and do it. :)

Jacob and I

Do you know how certain things, ideas or concepts sometimes doesn’t make sense in your point of view? Like no matter what angle you take a look on the sides of the coin, you don’t see a totem that was supposed to be there? It’s just wasn’t there and your perplexed mind then don’t see how much that coin’s worth?

If there’s someone in history that I can’t comprehend or sympathize with for quite a long time now is this Genesis-28-guy, Jacob. I don’t really get the point of him being chosen – at all. I don’t get it. I don’t accept it. I really don’t understand it. When I heard preachings about Jacob, I got mood-blank verges. I never enjoyed discussing him, BUT, I tried.

Miles Halter of Looking For Alaska once said,

But we can’t know better until knowing better became useless.

I tried my hardest to cope up with my I-don’t-quite-like-this-Jacob-guy protest because I know there’s something in him, in his story, that sets the tone on a different note. I don’t wanna risk the opportunity of not giving the guy a chance. After all, it might be that I’m on another chapter of the page that’s why I don’t see any significant narrative scripts at all. And yes, I wanna know better details about him now before I regret not knowing these details later. Ha! Are we still communicating? In other words, do you still get me or what I say? Pardon me, I’m hazy somemost times.

Alright, you might wonder why am I treating Jacob like this anyways? I got two reasons.

For one, he is chosen. If you’ll go through his account and story in Genesis, it will show you that even before he was born, he was already chosen by God (Genesis 25:23). He is the youngest, but he was bound to be blessed than his older brother.

Secondly, he is chosen but he seemed not worthy of a choice. He is a liar, a schemer and a deceiver (Genesis 27). To get the blessing dedicated to his brother, he deceived his father. It’s awful, right?

I am actually debating this in my mind. See, God is the God of Justice – He is fair to everyone. But, why does He need to choose? And between Jacob and his older brother, Esau, why choose the younger one? Why did God has this plan of the younger leading the older? Another question that pops out of my mind is that, yes the Big Guy already chosen someone – but then, how can you be choosing someone who is like him? I felt like in so many ways, Jacob doesn’t deserve to be chosen.

When I’m pondering on these thoughts one day, reality hit me like a train on a rack. I don’t suppose to question God’s choice or His decision because I cannot fathom the mind of Christ at all. He knows what to do, He is God. And then, I realize I am categorizing Jacob as a “bad guy” in my mind. If you’re going to choose someone to make a difference in the world and lay out your plan for mankind, you should pick the better guy instead. Yes, I was so judgmental on Jacob that I forgot that indeed, God is the God fairness and equality. I didn’t see that I was trying to be told here that even out of Jacob’s ugly past, his imperfections, God chose him just as He chose you. Just as He chose me.

You know, Jacob at the end, understood God – His presence, protection and favor He gave him. After he experienced a taste of his own medicine when he himself was the object of lying, scheming and deceiving by his father-in-law, he was astound by how God kept him. And right there and then, he chose to follow God.

I was mad about God picking Jacob that I forgot that if that’s the case, I should be mad about why God picked me as well – a worrier, doubtful person, no talent, ordinary, a wallflower, failure in many ways and a bad girl stained with imperfection. Upon realizing that, I understood now why Jacob was chosen. God wants me to see that He can use even a schemer to impact the present with that story of his past. It won’t happen that way, though, if Jacob didn’t choose God. But gratefully, he did. And there’s something we can look back to now.

God loves and chooses us first before we love and choose Him back. He is a perfect gentleman, he’ll take ninety steps towards you but you gonna make that last step to Him. He will not force you or me to go to Him, He will wait there. Patiently.

Wouldn’t it make you extremely joyful that even you’re not an all-time good person, God chose you despite of it? I think it’s comforting to play in the arena if your Team Captain chose you despite the fact that you cannot even dribble the ball properly. It’s like, you’ve been allowed to play in Miami versus Thunders NBA Finals even when your field of expertise is something very far from it.

I don’t know about you, but knowing that I’m chosen even I’m me (translation: imperfect), that means a lot. And I hope I do the right things in bestest way to make my Coach proud. After all, He saw me as someone worthy of a chance when I, myself doesn’t see which side of me is that. :)

Happy First!

For the record, writing-slash-blogging requires Effort. Haha. It’s very challenging to write sometimes because it consumes more of your time. Instead of drowning yourself to sleep, you pound the keyboard and pouring out your treasured moments for the sake of the chronicles. Writing is like talking non-stop and not caring if you’re showering an ample amount of your saliva to the person in front of you. But still, you write/you talk, because that’s where you feel you’re freedom. :)

College. The four years I spent studying under a Mass Communication course at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines was a sweet scent of vanilla and maple syrup as well as big bites from the bugs’ life in the woods combined. I mean, it’s the same principle of everyone – there are happy, cloud9 moments (especially with strangers who became your friends); there are stormy, I-am-not-expecting-this-to-happen moments (when friends become like strangers again and a bit annoying). College is more than just the friends you’ll meet, though. It’s about being invincible, being carefree, being confident, being vulnerable, being in the state of falling for a friend, being in the decision of sticking to just-friends. It’s about learning. It’s about dreaming for a future, your future, a wonderful future.

Fast forward to today. You graduated. It would be your time to grab the future you wanted. And yes, the world – real world – is not very kind, however, Someone is beyond the world. There is that Someone you can hold on to. Someone who you can throw all your worries, fears, disappointment and tears to. Someone who you can share your achievements, successes, goals and ambitions to. There is that Someone – you can find Him somewhere deep inside you if you longed to.

When I graduated, I always thought of working in a corporation – be on Advertising or Marketing just because I thought the coolness of such works. Or maybe, if not there, I would be in a firm, a research firm since I graduated a Communication Research course – maybe I could learn more of researching once in the firm. Or maybe I could be at your major network stations, getting interesting stories to be featured for different programs. Or maybe somewhere else I won’t expected I’d be in. And of course, the latter opportunity came knocking in weeks after my graduation day or what we call the bumming stage (crucial stage on the hype of vacation and the pressure on finding your first job).

Unlike most of my batch mates, I didn’t really look for, find, or search for a job that hard. I received a call from my OJT trainer one of the chilly nights of May and he told me that I should pursue an interview to this certain organization who’s looking for new personnel. Because he’s my trainer and he’s quite mapilit (in English, persistent), I ended up going to the interview. When I was there, I thought that I would take an exam and all that but the interviewer (my boss now) was like orienting me on the nature of the job already. And she wanted for me to start first day of June. See, after graduation, I told the people around me that I would have a job by the month of June and May would be a month of rest and vacation. Lo and behold, it happened.

Today, I celebrate my first year (!!!) working as a Program Officer (or coordinator) at Christian Convergence for Good Governance – CCGG. It is a faith-based organization that aims to equip, advocate and help in good governance and nation-building. It has three core programs: Corruption Prevention or Integrity and Accountability; Voter Education and Micah Challenge.

I could sum up my first year as in I-never-expected-all-these feelings. Before, I don’t have any idea why, how or what they are doing. I can’t comprehend. Today, there are times that I still don’t, but, I got a grasp of what it is. It’s about doing something for the country – doing God’s work for your country. I got a patriotic cry also, although, I never expected it to be like this. I mean, it’s an effort. What I see in my boss, trainer and the people in the office: it’s a passion. I don’t have that high of a passion yet. And there are times that I just wanted to quit because I felt that I might not be helping them or I’m an added burden. I still think of quitting, however, I know I shouldn’t. It’s not yet the time.

I am thankful because the Big Guy gave me a job career, perhaps, that I needed. All talk saying you love your country but there’s no action is just a waste. You got to find what you want to advocate for while you’re young – that’s what I’ve learned from them. There would be a lot of skills like coordinating events, popularizing in-depth topics, bringing services to the marginalized groups, networking with other organizations, making budgets and proposals, and many more – those are skills, my boss said, that I should grab while staying in the organization. I might not totally be engrossed with all the things that we do, at the very least, I should get all the skills that’s gonna be in front of me. It’s just so fulfilling, however, when we got opportunities to bring the message to whoever: youth, pastors, corporate people. And I love that fulfilling feeling. :)

I thank Him also for my boss. I’m sure if I work in other company or what not, they can never be as patient as my boss is. She is one true genuine patient individual when it comes to me. I could be very stubborn and not do my best at all times and earn not-so-good outcomes, but, she’ll give me chances to recover when I fail. Sometimes even I’m afraid to talk to her about some things, she gave me unsolicited advices – they’re unsolicited, but it’s what I need. I think she is the kindest boss and I’m thankful that she is and that she is my boss.

There a lot of things at work I am thankful for:
•the way we all eat together at lunch, even with the adjacent org – ACDA
•the food that we are eating especially during birthdays, special occasions or just when Ate Nonette’s brings a lot of ulam from their supper last night
•the clothes that Ate Nonette, Ate Rose or Miss Joy (my boss) gave me surprisingly
•even the chocolates and other simple gifts we receive at Valentine’s Day from the ACDA people (Ate Nonette and Miss V)
•the staff devotion my boss facilitates and all those prayer time that we have – I really felt the Lord is teaching me to be more prayerful; hence, I’m in CCGG
•the many other wonderful things that sometimes I miss out or ignore
•and other many things that I can’t write down anymore :)

There’s a lot that I learned and there are more to come. With that, I would end (again) by my Moodboard which is for the month of May (I’m just so late again on posting): Far Better Things. Photo (source) credits: Happy Things and Bubbly Kat.

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Because there are far better things that lies ahead, far wonderful and even more blessed than the year had gone in celebration of my first year in this career. :)

Be on the edge of a miracle. Depend. Believe. Cheers!

Celebrate Good Times, Come On!!!

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Gifts I bought for myself because of spontaneity + Gift from Mom + Gift from Brother and his girlfriend + my first Sketch on my Sketchbook because come 2012, I am to do something epic (I cross my fingers) + some sugar rush on the Oatmeal Cookie + Reading or not and eating while waiting for mom (this instant).

I dunno if the caption I did went swak to the pictures. HAHA. But you know it already, you’re a grown-up!

I can count the stars and still it won’t equate to the joy, grace and love You’ve given me. Thank You for another year. :) Fistbump, Big Guy! I love You!

XOXO,

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