Settlers

Falling off the grid is my favourite thing to do when I feel like I’ve had enough of life, which explains my radio silence for the past month and a half. April was a month of letting go and making tough decisions, while May instantly opened up a new and good chapter in my life.

Here’s what went down:

1. I resigned! I finally tendered my resignation last April. I remember talking to a friend, and she told me something I would never forget. Life is so short, so I also figured that if you are going to burn out doing something, you better be having fun while you are at it. I want to do more things that emotionally reward me, and I want the people I love to feel it. My health was also deteriorating because of the stress and pressure, and it took a lot of humility for me to admit that I needed to let go because I’m the type of person who would fight (unreasonably) to show that I’m strong and that I could do it and I would also do a lot of pep-talks to validate my actions. But I reached a breaking point. When the doctor told me that I needed to listen to my body when it told me to rest, I knew that was it. Advertising just wasn’t meant for me, and I needed to accept that and let go.

2. I travelled. Following my last day of work, Andre and I flew to Melbourne to get some much-needed rest. Melbourne has easily become one of my favourite cities in the world because of its culture, its warmth, its accessible beaches and nature trails, and of course, its food. I’m also ecstatic that I went trekking in a rainforest and visited gorges and coastlines. We were there during early-May, and it was nice to experience the cold winter weather (no swimming because the water was freezing!) since it’s been sweltering here in Singapore.

3. I also got engaged! Apart from being the obvious highlight of our trip and the most life-changing thing that’s happened so far, this came as a very pleasant surprise. It was a very emotional moment where my yes came in a heartbeat. Now that it’s sinking in, I realised how much I’ve changed in the past two-and-a-half years. Before getting together with Andre, I didn’t quite believe in marriage, and it was tough for me to absolutely commit because I always had my doubts about love—but that all changed with him. Despite our differences, they are differences we can live with. We make a great team, and I couldn’t be happier.

4. I’ve got my hands full with food work. In the past year and a half, I’ve gained the clarity to know that I am happiest when my energy is poured into my passions—and that’s food and travel. And easing my way again into the food scene (but now, in Singapore), is a refreshing and exciting change.

5. I’m taking my first writing workshop ever. My friend Camille started 15 Days of Writing True, an online writing workshop with a setup that works perfectly for me because I’m based overseas. I’m still catching up with the modules because I missed a week’s worth of classes because I was in Melbourne, but so far, it’s feels great to dust off the cobwebs (in my brain) and rev up the engine once again.

For the first time (in a really long time) I’m excited and very much looking forward to the future. I’m anticipating the busyness of the coming days, weeks, and months—and I know it’s the good kind of busy. We’ve been taught to look forward to the next “big thing”, whether it’s a great escape or a new adventure, and to never settle. But for now, basking in the light of how things are settling down in the places they’re meant to be seems to be the right thing for this season.

Hope you’re ending your weekend on a magical note filled lots of lovely madness.

Hello on a Lazy Sunday!

It’s nice to be writing online again.

In fact, this blog is actually more than five years old already. I used to have my own “official” website in two versions – a .com and a .net – but things got weird, and I lost both domains. So I just took it as a sign to subscribe to my wordpress.com site again, which I think works better because (1) I am no longer pressured to write just to get the bang out of my buck – a huuuuge relief, I tell you! – and (2) it was also squeamishly nice-ish to reopen the treasure trove entries that I wrote during my early 20s (I’ve kept them private already, haha). Reading about all the angst, issues, anxieties, and adventures that I had seven years ago got me all introspective and it made me reflect on the past few years growing up post-university.

Now, I am turning 30 in a few years, and life has been good.

I went for a short trip back to Manila last week to rest and spend some time with my family, my friends, and my precious little one, Rocket. He turned 6 years old last week, which was also when this photo was taken. And yes, that’s also him tattooed on my arm! That way, he can always be with me wherever I go and wherever I am in this lifetime.

I’ve been living away from the Philippines for almost a year now. Time has been moving increasingly quickly the older I get – or so it seems. I live with two of my friends here in Singapore, and it feels pretty great to live independently and expose myself to these adult-y things such as paying bills, doing the laundry, preparing my meals for the week ahead. This is a great learning experience that I wish for everyone. You’re forced to grow up, and you don’t have a choice because you need to survive.

It’s also a Sunday today, and I was supposed to have a shoot for work, but it got cancelled due to the rainy weather; hence, poor shooting conditions. It freed up my time, so I cooked some monggo (mung beans) with tomatoes and Delimondo chorizo Bilbao that I swiped from the Salcedo Saturday market during last week’s trip. I’ve been craving it for so long!

I also finished my friend Isa’s book, Found, and I’m now starting on a new one: All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven. I’ve stopped reading Y.A. for a while (I don’t even know why I’ve stopped), so this is the first I’m reading in a reeeaaallly loooong tiiiime.

This is just a hodgepodge of stuff that’s been going on today, but the itch to write has been nagging at me since the year started. I thought that it was about time I scratched it, and it feels pretty nice to get the cogs turning once again.

Another lesson I learned was to stop taking my writing too seriously and to stop overthinking my thought process whenever I type. It’s seriously liberating to just let the words flow and treat this as my online journal of sorts, which what it really is meant to be in the first place. So that’s a rule I give myself now – no overthinking; just write mindfully and in the moment.

Hope you are all having a swell evening! Wishing you good vibrations for the week ahead.