Tuesday Blues

 

Wasn’t able to go on a photowalk this morning. Wasn’t planning on going either. I had a hunch someone might report me for leaving our dog’s poop in the village park yesterday. Haha! Talk about being paranoid.

Plus, it also started raining, so I wouldn’t have been able to shoot anyway. It’s been raining since 7 this morning and the sun hasn’t come out since.

Also, my throat hurts again which sucks, but I wasn’t going to let that bum me out, not when I’m listening to Celine Dion‘s “I’m Alive” on repeat mode! I’ve been singing that to every karaoke night/day at home and it just makes me feel like I’m up on the clouds every time. Such a powerful, feel-good zzzong, isn’t it? (Can you share some of your favorite upbeat, feel-good, banyo-worthy songs as well? Say, JT‘s Can’t Stop The Feeling, Yes?).

So I made another project today, sort of a mantra for the year, inspired by that precious song.

To make it extra fancy, I translated “I’m alive and so are you” to French, with the help of the handy dandy Google Translate and voila!

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I always loved calligraphy in B&W, but I must admit, pink and black also look soooo good together, don’t you think?

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After having lunch, I had another light bulb moment and thought of making another project (ang daming time! Sorry na, sinusulit lang). This time, a short dramatic clip which was inspired by someone from Instagram. Note to self: find this talented human being after posting this! Apparently, I got the idea from his/her short clip of a pair of boots in the rain. It was brief, yet it was so beautiful and haunting at the same time, with the dramatic, natural lighting of course.

So I made a short clip myself and here it is. I’m glad I still have Ellie Goulding‘s cover of Kodaline‘s “All I Want” on my phone to listen to on days like this.

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A post shared by M A R S M E D I N A (@marsymallows) on

 

P.S. Our Daily Bread’s reading for today emphasized on:

“Practice random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty

– Anne Herbert

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Early Morning January Light

I really love the cool January breeze. All thanks to the countries north of the Philippines, it’s past 10 yet my feet are still cold and the air is still surprisingly pleasant!

I went up early to go on a morning photowalk with our dog, Charlie although it didn’t go exactly as planned. Apparently, there was an ordinance implemented last year prohibiting homeowners to take their dogs to the park especially to pee and take a dump. I thought it wouldn’t matter as I’m ready to pick up his poop anyway, and Charlie did his thing before we left.

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Unfortunately, he had to poop again, right before entered the park area and I couldn’t pick it up because it was semi-formed…..okay, it was slightly watery. So I had to cut short what would have been my chance to shoot some street photos and just bought Pandesal earlier than planned. Just my luck though, I bumped into a vendor who sold these beautiful, colored corn that he said was from Benguet.

I never thought I’d see this kind of corn for real. It was a curious thing I first saw last year on Instagram so I couldn’t help but buy some for breakfast.

So here I was, back home playing with food even though I was told not to. LOL. Well don’t worry, this is only for the sake of photography and nothing else. You know how much I love and respect food just as much as I love and respect those who worked hard to get them on our tables. 😛

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I’m planning to go on a photowalk again tomorrow and chase the golden light and maybe jog a little while the air is still cool and while I still have the time.

Maybe I could also be braver to take more photos of people too, but I wouldn’t mind shooting photographing animals like I did today.

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Creative Block and Renewal

The latter part of my 2016 was so jam-packed, I forgot what RELAX even means anymore.

Seriously though, it was so chaotic that I even missed putting up a review for our host in HK during the 14-day period Airbnb provides for their users, which bothers me terribly, but will probably just save that for a separate post.

So going back, when all the trips, adventures and all the holiday hoopla finally died down, I realized my body must have missed bumming around, writing, playing with watercolors, brushes, GIMP and all that shizz. That’s because for the last 5 days (January 1st not included), I have been doing nothing but catching up on some blogging and tenenenenen…

Designing!

Yeah, well, no biggie right? Well, it is for me!

You see, there were times when I silently panic because I thought I’m losing touch with meee artsy soul. It gets worse because sometimes I feel like I don’t want anything to do with art altogether. Could it be what they call the dreaded Creative Block? I’m not so sure about that, but fortunately, I realized soon enough that I could never ever get tired of ART.

ART is one of the things on earth that makes me feel alive. When God brought me to life, He must have breathed a multitude of rainbows, unicorns and stars into me, much like the sparkly stuff you vomit on Snapchat, except that it’s the other way around. On a serious note, we all grew up surrounded by our Father’s majestic creations and I with my papa’s work, his passion and creativity, so I blame it all on those why art definitely runs through my veins now, and why I know I could never ever get tired of it.

So after climbing mountains, doing touristy stuff in a foreign land, downing heaps of Christmas sweets and then washing tons of holiday dishes, not to mention partying with the girlfriends and then mourning for a grandfather 2 days after, my body must have snapped because my hand just involuntarily grabbed a brush and started creating art once again!

If that was indeed creative block that I went through, then I’m glad I snapped out of it, all thanks to the inspiration I found throughout my [mis]adventures!

I looked it up and found out that creative block can be resolved by a change in the environment or a break from the routine, facts that aren’t new to us, and techniques that are undeniably effective. Two of the tips designer and writer, Tom May listed were (see the entire list HERE):

  • Don’t be afraid to step away
    • Completely open briefs can be the worst for causing creative block. Try to distance yourself from the project; take a break and come back to it with a clear head.
  • Look in unlikely places
    • Go and do something else entirely. You’d be amazed at where new ideas are hiding out. They’re often where you would least expect them to be.

He also mentioned exploring other creative disciplines which is why it would be helpful to have a hobby outside of your hobby (LOL), in my case, Photography.

I may have babbled more than I have to, again so before this goes entirely out of hand, I leave you with some of the stuff I have been doing lately to release the already overflowing creative juices I gratefully gained in the past months or so.

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This was my favorite line from the latest Disney film, Moana, which reminded me so much of my own grandmother. I also made this for me to keep in mind that God is always with us. 🙂

Also made this odd-looking (and definitely one-of-a-kind) dreamcatcher for the bestie!

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I must say that my year ended with a bang and even though it was overwhelming, I couldn’t have wished for anything better because it reignited my love for ART in more ways than one. Now, I’m back, feeling renewed and more than inspired to CREATE again, to spread optimism and of course God’s love through ART.

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Life Lately / 11

I woke up at 4:18am today and I don’t remember going back to sleep.

At 5:30am, just before sunrise, I went out to get some air, although a bit hesitant because of the cold.

Still, I sat outside in darkness and prayed.

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I’m getting anxious again for I know that in a few days, I’ll be getting on a roller coaster ride, I don’t even know if I’ll survive.

Then I talked to Him, like I always do–as if talking to a friend. I told him how much I want to be a photographer someday and I’ll do what it takes to get there.

I told Him even if He already knew that I recently spoke with someone who’s passionate about photography too and how in a way, that shook me out of a long slumber. I was wakened by his eagerness and enthusiasm. I was inspired to follow my own dreams just as he is.

For a moment, I was envious of him for he’s young yet he knows what he wants and he works hard to get it. For a moment, I wanted to go back in time and wish I could have been braver to do the same.

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I wish I could have figured this out sooner.

But regrets are useless to dwell upon. I value more the opportune chance I was given to clear my head and to see what remains constant and that is my dream. That is my heart’s desire.

I’m glad He allowed this to happen so I could see that this dream is within reach. I’m glad He helped me make up my mind and know for sure within the depths of my mind, heart and soul that this is what I truly want. I hope that this is what He wants for me as well.

I promise, that it will all be for Your glory.

Thank You for the subtle nudges You make. Thank You for sending angels time and time again.

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And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters”

– Colossians 3:17, 23

 

Trip Down Memory Lane | Resignation

In December of 2015, I made up my mind to finally quit my job in an Australian BPO company. No one in my family knew, but I told my friends in the office and my immediate supervisor whom I have grown close with.

Looking back, I knew I almost had the perfect job. It had a great basic pay. Their policies aren’t as strict as those of the bigger companies in the same industry. We were catering to Aussies so with the little time difference between AU and RP, our schedule was also very favorable. Office location was along ADB avenue, so the commute was very easy for me, not to mention that we were very near 3 of the major malls in the metro. People were nice and accommodating. Our supervisors were all very helpful. We had the perks of a typical BPO workplace. What more could I have asked for, right?

Then again, I grew tired of a lot of things. There was a major factor which I can only keep to myself. Then there were reasons that in a sense helped me think things through and then eventually helped me reach a final decision.

First, there were the changes that the management have  constantly implemented. They are a very young company and I get that they have to build new strategies every now and then, but those changes drastically increased over time and affected not only their employees, but a lot of their clients as well. We saw how their company’s own clients took advantage of one another to avoid the burden of the said changes. Plus, they also made changes internally including some employee benefits that were one of the major reasons why I took the job in the first place.

Changes were also made with our schedules so my little group in the office was broken apart, at least in terms of having lunch together and all. Not to sound such a baby, but I admit I was a little clingy and I loved talking to and bonding over food with them. Made the already stressful work easier. Although that didn’t last long as I unexpectedly found new people to have lunch with, including my supervisor who has become a friend too.

Second, I knew that when I took that job, it was only going to be temporary. I had a plan to save up for a camera and workshops so I could go on in becoming the next America’s Top Photographer. Charrr! Seriously though, that was the plan all along, ever since I quit my job in the hospital. Unfortunately, I didn’t save enough as I splurged on my film photography hobby and on food. Yes, FOOD! I still couldn’t figure out why, but I didn’t have any savings at all.

Third, I was getting tired of talking to irate customers, which grew in number along with the changes that the company implemented. There even came a time that we honestly didn’t want to take the calls anymore because the customers were getting so impatient and rude that it became traumatic for me (callcenter virgin). And to think that Aussies are the most polite customers.

Lastly, one of my office friends offered me a home-based job and even though it wasn’t a sure thing, I took the risk, thinking that it was a sign for me to finally quit my job. So I quit when I got back from the holidays last year.

I finally told my parents a few days before my last day at work. My mother was surprised, but I knew I had to make that decision on my own. I knew I couldn’t tell them without a back up plan, so I told them I wanted to work full-time from home.

I applied for the home-based job, waited for 3 months for the whole application process to finish only to be turned down in the end. To be honest, I was led on to believe that I will get the job. My friend’s friend who referred me had to tell me that I had been an unfortunate victim of their manager’s power trip to console me, but I had to pick myself up as well and went back job hunting. To no avail, I failed to find a job, because I was either extremely picky or unqualified.

That, along with my grandmother’s death and break up with the ex, all happening simultaneously were 3 of the most devastating things that happened to me last year. Those almost pushed me over the edge and I didn’t know where else to go. My office friends were half-kidding that I take my job back, but thanks to them and their insane updates on even bigger changes in the company, I knew I wasn’t going back.

So there I was, devastated, heartbroken and broke. I didn’t know where else to go but to Him.

Then soon, I realized, working in the said company wasn’t all bad. I had really amazing supervisors and trainers that were not only very patient and helpful but kind people as well. I also got to work with colleagues that were very welcoming, extremely funny and equally helpful. Lastly, I met friends I never even thought I’d be friends with. They made me laugh, they chatted with me during and outside work, they taught me so much about life and they bonded with me over FOOD! (Have I not emphasized that enough? LOL). They all made my experience in a BPO company worthwhile and they helped me adjust easier with all their horror stories from their previous BPO companies and tips in providing great customer service.

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photos grabbed from Xuxa’s IG account!

Also, everyone was telling me I was very lucky to have worked for that company as it wasn’t the typical contact center with the strict KPIs, and all that shizzz I’m glad I never experienced.

Looking back, I didn’t think I’d reach such a low point in my life. I didn’t know I could go that low. I’m pretty sure it was my worst year, but like I said, it definitely was my best as well. It was a real roller coaster ride for me with all the ups and downs, but I’m glad that not once did I feel disregarded by God. I’m just glad that He was there with me all along. He made sure that it wasn’t going to be all bad for me so I’m even more sure now that He will hold my hand through the good and the bad times, in all the days ahead.

 

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TRIP DOWN MEMORY LANE: I’m traveling back in time to write about those 2016 moments that I haven’t had time to in the past year. This is mainly for my own benefit as this blog has been my personal diary for the past 5 years. If you happen to have a chance to share in the joy or to empathize with me, I will be more than grateful as life is better lived when shared. Have a great 2017! Cheers!