My Purpose Driven Journey

A few days after Ash Wednesday, my longtime best friends, “the CKhristines”, Juci (Kristine), Chris (tine) and I embarked on a 40-day Purpose Driven Life (PDL) journey.

I’ve always wanted to read the book (papa’s copy has just been sitting around the house after he read it a couple of times — wonder how he found it though bec my friends and I had some significant reactions towards Catholic vs Christian teachings), and I’m glad Juci invited us to read a chapter a day and to meet up via Zoom every night to discuss.

It was a 40-day virtual bible sesh that I have been craving for since I stopped attending my doctor’s group bible study due to the pandemic.

A couple of weeks back, we finally ended the nightly PDL meet ups (we had to push back a couple of times due to our work commitments aka e-numan sesh with clients lol) and I think I am having withdrawals, not only from my friends, but also from the new learnings about FAITH and GOD.

This PDL journey, although not perfect has taught my friends and I valuable (some are hard to swallow) truths about our faith and Christianity. I want to re-read the whole thing to understand it more or perhaps to discover hidden messages that I might have missed out the first time, or see teachings in a new light.

Nonetheless, here are some of my key takeaways from the book that I will be forever taking with me wherever I go:

  1. It all starts with GodThe purpose of your life is far greater than your own personal fulfillment, your peace of mind, or even your happiness. It’s far greater than your family, your career, or even your wildest dreams and ambitions. I’ve read something similar before and I wrote about it HERE. Our beginning and end is God, but somehow, due to our worldly ambitions, we kind of forget that and we try to make our whole life revolve solely around US. We fail to see things in a bigger perspective which is why we are so engrossed to making more money, making projects that aren’t for God or doing things for the glory of us. We can be so focused on finding our purpose, which we think we will discover when we find ourselves; when the one Being we should be looking to get closer to is God. When we do that, we discover our PURPOSE. Mic drop! Char!
  2. You were made for God, not vice versa, and life is about letting God use you for His purposes, not your using Him for your own purpose. Yes, it can be really trickyyy! *cue Tiktok This or That challenge. char. Answers will not become clear to us, unless we first accept that we were made for God’s purpose. All our mundane accomplishments on earth are mere mini-games in our life of a campaign mission. I brought this up to my friends early on during this nightly meet-ups and I asked them, “How does an fetus who died before he/she was born able to fulfill his or her mission?” Similarly, “How can we tell if a street dweller who dies in an accident was able or not able to fulfill his/her mission in God?” These might not be clear to all of us, but regardless of the length of our lives on earth, we all have a purpose and we will get to know it, once we become closer to God.
  3. You are not an accident – Your parents might not have planned you, but God did. – When I read this, I felt a warm, comforting feeling inside of me. It made me feel special, knowing that we were conceived in God’s mind way before we were conceived by our parents. How does that make you feel? You are that important to none other than God Himself! Every part of your body, your race, gender were all thought of by Him. And He created us not because He was lonely, but because He wanted to express His love! If you’re feeling unloved or sad or even depressed, perhaps you can remind yourself that you are loved by God and that He is a god of love. The very essence of His Being is LOVE.
  4. Benefits of knowing your purpose: 1) It gives meaning to your life, 2) It simplifies your life, 3) It focuses your life, 4) It motivates your life and finally 5) It prepares you for eternity – This chapter also specifically emphasizes that “Many people spend their lives trying to create a lasting legacy on earth, yet, what ultimately matters most will not be what others say about your life, but what God says. You weren’t put on earth to be remembered. You were put here to prepare for eternity. When you die and stand before God on the judgment seat, two things you will be asked are: “What did you do with my Son, Jesus Christ?” and “What did you do with what I gave you?”
  5. When you live in light of eternity, your values change. – We are given a fleeting moment here on earth. Somehow, because of the problems and challenges we face on earth, we feel like a decade is too long or 80 years of living is too long, but when we focus on the life in eternity, we might think otherwise. We will begin to see these problems as trivial and insignificant. I remember watching lots of the outer space movies which have been a fad in Hollywood for a time and seeing the world from outer space feels like your problems don’t matter. Seeing the world from a plane’s window makes you feel insignificant in a world this big. This is how we should look at our lives. Our time on earth is too short to waste on anything less than loving God and loving our neighbors. Easy to say, right? That’s what I told my friends that I want to achieve for myself after our 40-day session ends. It is hard, but I want to be reminded of how we should live our lives here on earth.

There are still so many things that have been pointed out by Rick Warren on this book and I have to admit that some of them we already know, but we tend to ignore.

I remember sharing to my friends some sentiments about my faith. I told them that whenever I watch the film, “The Passion of Christ”, I feel a huge amount of regret and guilt after crying my eyes off during the second half of it. Then, I start thinking to myself that I should really change my ways after seeing this film. And that has been my initial reaction whenever I finish watching the movie and I think I’ve seen it several times. But what I fail to do is to follow through on those realizations. When problems arise, I lose all of what I have learned and realized during the film and go back to my old ways. What a waste!

Now that our PDL sessions have ended a couple of weeks back, here are some of the things that I want to achieve for myself:

  1. I want to be closer to God – in order to achieve this, I need to learn more about Him and the best way to do this is by READING THE BIBLE. My friends and I agreed that Christians are waaaaay over and beyond Catholics when it comes to understanding the Bible and that is one thing I wanna be better at as well.
  2. I want to fulfill my purpose, which is basically, loving God and loving others. Easy enough? Not at all. It is hard to do this when you aren’t completely in love with God. I can be a complete hypocrite and I want to change that. I don’t want to do all of this for show, because after all, when my life comes to an end, it will just be God and I and there is nothing I can hide from Him. He knows everything.
  3. I want to live my life for God, for in God, problems, loss, failure will all be bearable. With God’s grace, we can get past whatever stumbling block we have in front of us. I remember offering God my greatest challenges at work lately and I know some of those seemed impossible to achieve with the time constraints and all, but because He allowed it to, I was able to fulfill this work duty with excellence.

3 simple things yet I find so difficult to fulfill. Of course, I know I wouldn’t be able to do it alone. This is why I want to always be reminded of the things I learned in PDL and to ask for God’s grace to help me to these things before I die.

Funny, how a change in our mindset can also change our priorities and goals in life. Perhaps soon, I can finally let go and say “Thy will be done, Lord!”

Dig Deep πŸ’›πŸ’›πŸ’›

Currently listening to two well-known, Asian MUAs, Veronica Chu and Christine Cho on Instagram Live talk about Asian hate, which has mostly been a recurring topic among my friends and I on social media for the past days.

If you have been spending time with loved ones this Holy Week and chose to get off social media for a bit, you might have missed the latest occurrences that shookdtdtdt the world and the Filipino/Asian community the past days. The news is already bad as it is, but with the sudden rise in attacks on Asians today and the plague that is Coronavirus, one would think that the world might really be coming to an end. Or it’s probably just me.

Just a few days ago, a 65-year old Filipina walking to Church in NYC was brutally attacked by a man in broad daylight. The security camera footage released by the police was harrowing to watch as the man kicked the Filipina several times; and the 2 men who witnessed the assault closed the door on her.

And last week, a Pakistani Uber Eats driver was killed in a carjacking incident by 2 teenage girls. It was filmed by one of the girls and just as the NYC incident, was also very painful to see.

I talked to my Indian friend about this, who was watching the Day 2 trial of Derek Chauvin (who else thinks that he might be living up to his name?) at the time; and unlike most of us who get our news on Twitter or on online platforms, he gets his on traditional, mainstream media. He insists that he wasn’t aware of the fact that Asians are being hugely discriminated against now, more than ever. He did, however confirmed this with his friend who currently resides in NYC. Said friend did say that it has been going on for a while now, but he observed that the attacks were mostly on East Asians, whom these attackers might be blaming for the global pandemic.

I also talk to my friends about this constantly and somehow because of these discriminatory crimes lately, we can’t help but air shared sentiments of completely aborting plans to migrate to another country in the near future. This brings me back to this episode on Racism by one of my favorite podcasts, “Long Distance Radio”.

Around this time last year, they published an episode called “Racism in the Time of Coronavirus”. It was not long since the countries were put on lockdown then when they released the episode, but thinking about it now, this AAPI hate has really been going on for a while now, maybe even prior to when this virus blew up, just not as violent as it is today.

You can listen to the said episode here:

I do get that people are tired of the pandemic, the crisis, wearing of masks, the loneliness, of unemployment and the of the hunger this entails. And when we are hungry and tired, we say and do inexplainable things; but those should not justify the violence that has gone up to a point of normalcy. It has gone mainstream and people, even kids act as if these actions don’t have consequences anymore.

I am truly sorry for everyone in the world right now. We are all victims of this pandemic, but despite being in a difficult situation myself, I cannot just go around blaming random people on the street just because they’re Chinese. Otherwise, all these fight for equality are completely pointless.

I cannot wait to for all of us to be in better circumstances soon. As the Lenten Season comes to an end, I really pray that when we find ourselves brimming with negativity, with hopelessness and even hate, we dig deep within us and look for that one thing that Jesus died on the cross for us ALL! πŸ™πŸ™πŸ™πŸ˜‰πŸ’–

I’m Just a Girl, Sitting in Front of Her Laptop, Asking it to Write for Her

Char!

It took me a whole season of Bridgerton to finally put up a new post. It’s been a while and I’m pretty sure I was inspired by Lady Whistledown or by some strange surge of energy at 10 in the evening after a long, busy day at work. By work, I mean, field work. Yes! I am no longer trapped in the constraints of my bedroom and glued to my computer screen all day. I can finally breathe fresh, contaminated air again. Char! (again).

I wanna say I had a blast of a Christmas vacation, but toned down to about a hundred notches lower, but still, family time is all I wanted and I’m very glad I got it. Mama couldn’t bear the thought of having a Zoom party, so despite the risks, we still celebrated Christmas physically together! Glad everyone was healthy and happy even though the closest thing to a family holiday roadtrip we had was when my brother and I picked up our relatives in Novaliches. Oh, but we did get our quick roadtrip pala to Tagaytay a day before we went back here in Cebu and when my barkada celebrated our annual Christmas party at my friends’ place in Antipolo. Also got to meet my constant Christmas date, my good friend from college for lunch, at our fave date spot, Makati. Plus, I got tons of film rolls processed, so I must say, I am soooooo lucky I am still Covid-free to date.

Now, I am back in Cebu, but assigned in a different territory. Got myself a printer, finally, which I bought in less than half an hour due to limited choices (to which I am so thankful for). I’ve been printing, scanning and photocopying so much stuff during the first week. LOL. Also got an internet broadband installed so I’m looking forward to saving lots in the coming months! Got highlights for my hair for the first time back when I was at home and I couldn’t be more in love with my new look. Had a dental appointment last week and explained my situation to the dentist and she agreed to continue my treatment for the next 6-8 months as long as I get my old records from my former orthodontist. I’ve also been working out consistently since last year, so really hoping to trim my tummy a bit, with the help of our 15 RF + Cavi sessions. Got myself one of those laptop stands and a pair of 6-lb dumbells. Arriving in a few days are my Wheatgrass and Barley seeds, new Yoga mat and a resistance band, and my hydroponic seedling trays. I have got to write about my Shopee haul on a separate post and how I managed to control myself. LOL. So much happening these days, I didn’t realize til I wrote them all down now.

That’s my 2021 so far. Met a lot of people too so I am almost always talking to someone on the daily. Assigned to a new team and a new boss as well, which was a breath of fresh air. My new counterpart told me once that he has a good feeling about this year and I agreed, not just to agree, but because I genuinely felt the same way. Things are looking up for me and in writing all of these down now, I realize that I cannot let that one bad thing that happened to me this year at work pull me down. I have so much to be grateful for.

I have this pinned tweet on twitter dated January 3, 2020 and it says:

And it all went downhill from there. Lol. Kidding aside, I have been actually doing more this year rather than just telling myself to do them. And I keep this tweet pinned to this day as a reminder of the things that I still want to improve on.

I know we’ve heard a lot about TOXIC POSITIVITY in the past year. If it wasn’t the official phrase of 2020 then it’s probably Tiktok, Sushi Bake or Free Shipping; but knowing that it exists isn’t going to stop me from hoping for the best. I am still hopeful for a beautiful life, not because it will be picture or IG perfect but because I have learned a lot from the past and I am determined to keep my shit together and pray for grace, gratitude and peace pf mind for whatever is up ahead. I hope you do too!

Film photo by yours truly. Art inspired by Geloy Concepcion.

xoxo,

Life Lately / At My Worst

My boyfriend and I had an argument the other night and it took a turn for the worst or best (depending on how you look at it). I thought it will be the end of our month-old relationship. It was a wake up call for me and I’m grateful that we had that fight; otherwise, I wouldn’t have this huge epiphany.

I’ve been single for 4 years and this whole dating thing has always been just temporary for me the past years. I never met anyone again who took me seriously which I have long accepted, as well as the fact that I might end up in a perpetual state of singleness. I was so afraid to let my guard down and I wouldn’t let anyone come close again as I don’t want to get fucked up even more than I already am.

Then came this person whom I never thought I’d end up with. If you remember, a few entries back, I was talking about a different person whom I was head over heels smitten by, and back then, my boyfriend was just someone I talked to casually, never even flirtatiously. Who would’ve thought he would have all the things I’m looking for in a partner, including being able to help me out with my personal issues.

So two nights ago, he brought up some of those issues, which he observed about me in a span of a month and I was caught off guard. That semi-stressful conversation was WHAT I NEEDED to help me think through some of the things I needed to improve on myself. It was an intervention I never thought would slap me hard in the face, at least not this early into the relationship; but I’m glad it did.

So in order to make things better for us and more importantly for ME, I’m listing the issues I need to work on:

  1. My negative and giving-a-fuck-about-everything attitude/mindset
  2. My insecurities and self pity
  3. My immaturity (turned 31 years old a few days ago, need to keep up with my age lol)
  4. My PDPG attitude (I need to really and only SAY WHAT I MEAN and MEAN WHAT I SAY)

I also listed these things in my private journal when I woke up this morning and I am 101% committed to be better!

And that’s me, basically at my worst and just as Pink Sweat$’ lyrics say, “I need somebody who can love me at my worst and know that I’m not perfect but still see my worth” and I think I found him. Not to jinx this or anything, but really I am blessed to have met this beautiful person!

P.S. Discovered this song through him!

Liebster Award

I’ve never been nominated for a Liebster award. **looks it up on the blog search tab** Yeah no. Never! But I like the idea as it is similar to other blog challenges I’ve taken part in before. I also looked it up to see where it originated and apparently, this has been going on since 2011. And according to The Global Aussie, Liebster is a German word that translates to: beloved, sweetest, lovely, endearing and all the fluffy words you can think of. Never thought a word could mean so many things. Anyway, I am excited to do this and I wanna thank Aysa for including me on your list (can I tag you back?) haha! I enjoyed reading yours and I would love to read everyone’s entries!

HERE ARE THE RULES:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  • Answer the 11 questions given to you.
  • Name 11 fun facts about yourself.
  • Nominate 11 other bloggers.
  • Ask your nominees 11 questions.

11 questions for you:

  1. What makes you so nervous?
    • public speaking! Forever and always! And being in front of a screen with my camera turned off doesn’t help.
  2. What makes you laugh the most?
    • Funny people and memes!! Some of those who have made me LOL the past weeks are the late Lloyd Cadena, Alex Gonzaga and the instagram accounts of @luckymanzano and @kabulastugan!! The best!!!
  3. What would you sing at Karaoke night?
    • I’m a Michelle Branch, Taylor Swift, The Corrs and Mandy Moore kinda girl! Gustuhin ko mang magpaka-Avril Lavigne eh sadly, yan lang ang kaya ng range ng boses ko! So mga “Goodbye to You” and “Everywhere” ni Michelle, “Lovestory” ni TS, “Runaway” and “All the Love in the World” by the Corrs, “Crush” and “Cry” ni mareng Mandy! And maiba, “ALWAYS” by Bon Jovi (in fairness naaabot ko to!)! Yan ang first set ko usually! HAHAHA Kapal!
  4. If you could choose to do anything for a day, what would it be?
    • I cannot do this in just one day, but definitely, to climb Mt. Everest (basecamp). Still dreaming about this or to go around NYC (my dream city).
  5. Do you like or dislike surprises? Why or why not?
    • I like good surprises, but hate pranks, if you consider those as surprises! Why? — because I love surprising people too!
  6. If you could go back in time to change one thing, what would it be?
    • Hmmm, I’d like to say none, but thinking about it, I would most definitely love to go back in time and take up an Art course instead, but then I wouldn’t be able to take care of my lola the way I did, so wag na lang! And based on time traveling movies and series I’ve seen (like “Umbrella Academy” or the movie, “See You Yesterday” also on Netflix), any changes you make in the past would most definitely bring about consequences in the present time.
  7. What’s the most daring thing you’ve ever done?
    • hmmm nothing any of you haven’t done like getting tattoos (without telling my parents), cliff diving, mountaineering, spelunking, surfing and SOLO TRAVELING, all for the gram. Chos!
  8. What’s the craziest thing you’ve done in the name of love?
    • Not sure if I should be writing about this now, but I semi-lied to my parents that I would be going on a beach trip with my former colleagues. Truth is, my then boyfriend was with us. And I kinda always semi-lied when I was going out with him. That was the only stage in my life when I lied to my parents.
  9. What three things do you think of the most each day?
    • my job/career
    • the future, in general
    • and of God’s plan for me
  10. What song would you say best sums you up?
    • This is hard, but perhaps, my favorite song of all time, Oasis’ “Stop Crying Your Heart Out” – Coz I’m a dreamer and optimist—not always, but I guess, forever!
  11. Who would you like to meet for a cup of coffee? (Could be a celebrity, politician, athlete, etc.,)
    • If possible, pwede si God? Yung medyo chill coffee date with Him or with Buddha, the Dalai Lama, or some of my fave writers like Mark Manson (you could tell that I am obsessed with him lol), or Thomas Oppong (whom I also look up to), or financial and career advisers like Chinkee Tan or Stanley Chi!! Ang dami! Basta anyone who I can talk to about having peace of mind!

11 fun facts about me:

  1. I am a certified DIY-er and a jack of all trades!
  2. I am a DIVI queen! Lol! Well, I used to be! I could never, ever get enough of finding treasures at very affordable prices! And even if I get lost like a needle in a haystack, I still find my way back! (yehes hugot?)
  3. I love driving fast! I used to love playing games like GTA and Forza Horizon and those racing games in arcades when I was younger. I also love observing how my dad drives when we go on road trips (and he drives extremely fast too), so when I finally learned how, I indulged myself in long drives out of the city, and all the games I used to play came to life!
  4. I am not picky with food and I eat almost everything except Avocados, raw Octopus and Peanut butter, not unless you put it in Kare-Kare or Caldereta.
  5. I still haven’t read 85% of the books I bought, but I would love to get lost and read all of these without a care in the world. Selfish much?
  6. I’ve always dreamt of becoming a freelancer (artist) and working from home even before the pandemic came about.
  7. I love adventures and always will!
  8. I hate speaking in front of big crowds, but I love talking to people intimately. I love getting to know people deeply and learning from each of them. Ironic right?
  9. I love attending art, filmmaking and photography workshops, classes and even webinars!
  10. I wanna live a minimalist life and I will, hopefully soon! Given the choice between a huge mansion and a tiny home, I would choose the latter!
  11. I am currently obsessed with Illustrators on Instagram!

11 NOMINEES:

Like Aysa, I also nominated the last 11 people that appeared on my notification tab! You don’t have to pa

Micah Gonzales (micahriezl)

Maria Cristina Gino Baroso

Jeff

Mermaid

Narayan Tushar Kaudinya

aubu22

RheaAngeline

nataliesmartfilmphotography

Leah

April Rodea

Lin Rios

11 QUESTIONS FOR YOU:

  1. How long have you been blogging and what was your favorite entry to date?
  2. What is the last movie you’ve seen and tell us one good thing about it.
  3. What is your go-to feel good song?
  4. How would you want to spend your retirement?
  5. If you’d be given an all expense paid trip as a gift for when the pandemic is over, where would you want to go or go back to?
  6. Tell us your favorite line or lesson from a book you’ve read.
  7. When are you genuinely the happiest?
  8. What are you struggling with the most?
  9. What is/was the best decision you’ve made in life?
  10. What would you tell your future kids or the future generation about the year 2020?
  11. What do you honestly feel is your purpose in life?

Cheers!