keep the faith

book review + blog tour

It was two in the morning, in the cold hallway of Medical City’s ER, a girl was sitting beside a hospital bed, face buried in front of a device with tears in her eyes. She was trying to hide her face from passing nurses, doctors, and patient’s relatives because they might think she’s having an emotional breakdown over a serious medical prognosis. Given the place where she’s in, crying means something terrible has happened but no, she’s just reading a book.

That was me reading Keep the Faith.

I have not cried over a book for a long time. I actually haven’t read romance and chick lit for quite some time, but even in the days where I read nothing but romance, I can’t remember the last time I felt so connected with the lead character, how the story felt like home. I had that with Faith and her journey of healing and moving on.

Continue reading “keep the faith”

my year in books

one hundred in twenty-sixteen

Who would have thought I could read one hundred books last year? Compared to the years when reading 100 books for me is typical, completing my reading challenge for 2016 is a feat. I had a bad reading slump the year prior so I wasn’t very keen in finishing the challenge. I wasn’t even expecting to finish ten books! With the baby coming, work and all changes that comes with being a mother, I knew finding time to read is next to impossible so whenever I have a miraculous me time, all I do is read and read and read and viola! I finished a hundred books!

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Most of the books I read were fantasy, science fiction or dystopia which is surprising because I don’t read those genres so much before. I can also count in my hands and feet the romance novels I read last year, a shock to my reader friends since they expected I would go back to gobbling up romance novels but after years of reading too much romance, I outgrew the genre. I find myself reading genres I don’t read before, books you wouldn’t think I would ever read and more of locally published novels. 2016 is a year of discoveries both in my life and reading. Continue reading “my year in books”

january is not very nice

she’s being a bitch

This used to be my favorite month because it’s my birthday month but this year proved otherwise. She’s being a bitch and a major pain the ass. Oh,  I can’t wait for January to end.

whispers to self, “grace to choose joy”, repeat

To be fair, my woes for this month started before 2016 ended when my previous nanny didn’t even have the grace to properly tell me she doesn’t want to stay working for me anymore. She only sent me a text message on the 29th of December to look for a replacement when in just a few days I would need to go back to work. I was very pissed. I would never hinder her if she wanted to work somewhere else, all I ask is for her tell me in advance if she doesn’t want to stay anymore so I could look for a replacement before she leaves. If she told me earlier and not with a very short notice, I would have been less agitated and furious. Imagine the stress I had at the beginning of the year thinking of where would I leave my daughter when I have to go work. It was a hellish two weeks.

To add to the stress, office work is not being friendly with all the changes that needs to be implemented immediately. (*drops head on my desk*) Then when I came back to the province to get my daughter, I found out she was sick. We had to get her checked and was on antibiotics for a week. Again, I had to adjust my work schedule to be with her. A few days ago, my phone gave up on me. Yesterday, my eyeglasses broke.

What. The. Hell. January.

Despite of those not so nice events for the past weeks, I know there are a lot of things to be grateful for. I’ll try to list it down:

  • I found a new nanny. Hopefully better than the last and with delicadeza this time, please.
  • My daughter is well. She recovered easily and is back to being makulit.
  • My boss was very understanding with my situation and I was able to have leaves with pay.
  • Work is still stressful. I can’t change that but it gave me a new perspective and goals in the future.
  • I got a new phone (which is a year overdue).
  • I had a new frame for my eyeglasses (a year overdue too).
  • The expenses for travelling from the province to work and all my unexpected purchases put a hole on my pocket. I still have work to get those back. It would just take a few more months to save up, again.
  • I get to spend time with my parents and siblings longer for the holidays and our town’s fiesta.
  • Spent my 30th birthday with them.

It wasn’t all bad, right? I know there are people who are having more problems than I do. Harder struggles. Greater priorities. There are far more things I have to be thankful for even if this year started not very well.

Writing helped. Putting my emotions and thoughts into words made me feel better. We still have a week before January ends but please, please let me have a break.

with love,
-A.

Thank you Lord for listening when I rant whenver I feel like I can’t take it anymore. Thank you for always reminding me to choose joy and for giving me the grace to do that in Your name.

dawn-nature-sunset-trees

life doesn’t start when heartaches end

you wade through it
even if it hurt
you move on
you wake up every day
go through the motions each day
you eat
laugh with friends
cry in the corner
and then laugh some more
no matter how crappy you feel
or how crazy you think
you are alive
you might think it doesn’t seem much
but you’re still breathing
you have a life
just with a broken heart
it feels different
like something is missing
like there is a gaping hole where your heart once was
but deep inside you know it’s an excuse
because even if you don’t accept it now
at the end of the day
you know that life
doesn’t start when heartaches end
it just goes on

there’s nothing big with the big three-o

well, except for me?

I was very conscious with my age when I was in my early to mid-twenties. Like any other young adult, every passing year then makes me feel literally old. At some point in my late twenties, I finally embraced the idea that age is just a number but I still fret whenever I think about turning 30.

I turned thirty a few days ago.

I am not fond of birthday celebrations so that day passed like any other regular day apart from the not so normal notifications I get on Facebook. Nothing really changed lately except maybe for my weight because once you reach the mid-twenties bench mark, your metabolism changes and you have to watch out for whatever you eat because you don’t burn those calories as fast as you used to.

It was the first time though that I made an effort to spend the day with my family. If my birthday is on weekdays, I would most likely be in the office but since this fell on a weekend and the brouhaha I have to endure with my previous nanny stressed me to levels that I should only feel when I’m at work, I deserve a freakin’ break so I said to my mom we’ll have a swimming party on my sister’s birthday. Hah, that confused you ‘no? My youngest sister was born a day before my birthday while our bunso was born 3 days after New Year and most of the time our birthdays fall on the same week. We decided to have one party for the three of us to save time, money and effort.

I tried to think of my life for the last ten years but after all the anesthesia I had when I gave birth I can’t remember exactly what I want to remember. All I can say is, the past ten years was a tough ride. There are things I haven’t experienced that normally single individuals do in their twenties. As a young professional my priorities back then was to support my family. We aren’t born affluent. I have siblings to send to school, bills to pay, and a life to live as comfortable as I could. My twenties weren’t bad, probably not as remarkable like some if we are to put it in a CV, yet it was colorful. It’s a series of achievements, failures, successes, disappointment, heartache, love, friendship, local travel, health, work and family issues, and a baby. I can’t remember the little things like how many times I changed phones and numbers or even list down the places I visited because, hello, old age. The past years were challenging but I get by, I know, better than most and I have God to thank for that. He never gave up on me even if at one point I gave up on him.

There are things I haven’t done that I hope I’ll be able to do in my thirties even if my priorities are different now. Thirty is a new life for me. A new beginning. My young adult years made me strong, brave and mature though there are still a lot of room for improvement like losing all the fat I have now.

Must. Practice. Control.
(looks at that delicious cake, *cries in the corner)

If someone asks, I’m forever twenty-eight. Ganern.

Ola ariba, Trenta!

with love,
-A.

related posts: twenty three + five27january-ish

what God’s perfect timing really means

when your perfect timing is not His perfect timing

One day I was reading my emails in the office when I happen to see the monthly email the corporate recruitment is sending for job openings across all sites. I saw the same position I have now in the site I was considering transferring to two years ago. The only time I was seriously looking for a lateral transfer was in January 2015 when everything that had happened for the past 16 months never crossed my mind. Well, it did though I wasn’t giving it much thought because I didn’t think of it as a possibility. Then again we all know how fate could be funny and mean at the same time, right?

As what I was saying, I wanted to move to Baguio early of 2015 for reasons my closest friends and my readers from Off the Wall knows. I was physically and emotionally drained living in the busy, crazy, fast paced life in Metro Manila for seven years. I was waiting for the right time to move somewhere else, away from the life I built here in the city. That time I wanted so much to just pack my bags and leave but for some reason, I always held back. I would talk myself out of the crazy idea of leaving a secure job and would have a thousand and one reasons of why I should not make hasty decisions. Maybe it’s not what God had intended to happen yet. Maybe in God’s perfect timing, it will.

It never happened. A bunch of things did happen but not the one I was hoping for.

Someone told me, “God sometimes give you what you really need than what you think you need. You may not see the wisdom of it now. Believe me, later on you would.” A friend also said when I mentioned the job opening to her that it wasn’t meant to be.

Seeing that email after everything had changed made me think of what God’s perfect timing really means. He knew that I would jump at the opportunity if I saw this before without thinking of the repercussions of my abrupt decision. At the back of my mind I knew that my wanting of moving away was a result of my cowardice. I was running away from things I don’t want to face back then.

Continue reading “what God’s perfect timing really means”