Tag Archives: Life

Are You Ready For The New Year?

I know, I know. We’re halfway into January and I’m here asking if you’re ready for the New Year. But hey, it’s a question that you have to ask yourself again and again if you want to make this year count.

More often than not, people can get into a type of Rambo mode wherein they just go full-force towards the New Year without caution or preparation.

But I get it.

Don’t you feel empowered when the New Year comes along? Don’t you feel that sense of hope? Don’t you want to make this year mean something for a change? Are you one of those people who says those ill-fated words “Bring it on 2015”?

Of course feeling that sense of empowerment is normal. It’s human nature to look forward to new beginnings and fresh starts.

For some of us, a New Year can be like a big eraser, eliminating our past in one swoop, and a new page can be written in our lives.

For others it can be like a big bright green “Go” signal. The New Year symbolizes a start to finally begin your goals or dreams.

I get it. I like New Years too.

But can you ever be ready? Or should you even be ready?

By March this year, I’m sure most of us have already forgotten about our New Year’s resolutions, our goals, and our promises. I’m not being pessimistic; just realistic. Even if we do keep them in mind, circumstances might have changed this or that about our goals.

Are we just keeping the façade of a fresh start brought by the New Year? Are we just fooling ourselves? Are we trying to be hopeful despite the inevitable challenges that will come our way?

In a way, maybe getting ready for the New Year is a constant state of mind. Maybe we should always be ready.

Then again, maybe we’re putting too much pressure on ourselves. Maybe a New Year… is just that: a New Year. People change in a course of a very long time and they certainly don’t change from December 31 to January 1. It doesn’t happen overnight. I’m sure the aspirations you have this year will eventually happen one way or another. It may take a month, six months, or even twelve months.

The point is that whether we are ready or not for the New Year, life will come at us. Life will hurt us. It will beat us down repeatedly and without mercy. Life will uplift us. It will inspire us on our darkest days. Life will give us joy. The people who matter to you the most will stay because they love you. Life will let us experience whatever it is we have to experience in one single year.

Just let life be life and you be you.

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What Have You Learned This Past Year?

A single day can offer multiple lessons. When you consider this, it’s amazing to realize what an entire year can bring.

Amidst 365 days, you’ve probably experienced all the human emotions this world has to offer. A mixture of happiness, satisfaction, love, regret, pain, disappointment, depression, and whatnot, have all crossed your path one way or the other. A year is too long and at the same time too short not to experience everything you needed to experience.

From these wide range of experiences, we all learn.

We learn to be a little bit more cautious when trusting people. We acquire skills we never thought we could through our work. We rekindle passions and yearnings in life that we thought were long gone as we grew older. We learn, we develop, and most importantly, we grow.

On one hand, it may be difficult to pause and reflect everything that’s happened to you in one year. Some keep a journal or maybe even a blog, but somehow, no one can truly capture a year’s worth of experiences. Instead we remember moments and the emotions that stick to them. We remember them not just for this year, but these are memories that we will remember for many years to come.

It’s okay to forget the details. What’s essential are the lessons we’ve learned along the way. This may all sound cliché, but you have to admit the learnings we’ve all gathered do mean something. We might have forgotten the exact day or the time, but we won’t forget who we were with or what we felt when we were with those people.

As we move forward into another year, now is the time to look at the lessons we’ve learned, and think of ways on how to apply them moving forward. This isn’t merely undertaking a New Year’s resolution or a vow or anything (although those will help), but the way you approach the upcoming year’s challenges will be a testament if you’ve learned your lesson or not. Inevitably, you will fall. In the same way, you will also grow and rise from your mistakes and failures. The unending cycle of learning will not or should not cease.

As humans, we continue to grow, we continue to move forward.

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Are You Still Messed Up?

Sorry for the quality of the video. But this scene from Adam Sandler’s Reign Over Me still gets me every single time.

Sometimes it’s scary to admit that we’re messed up. It’s weakness. It’s humility. It’s admission to failure.

When you’re young you tend to think and say to yourself, “When I’m 30, I’ll be all set up. I’ll have a decent job, a family, a house, etc.” But then you get older and realize things don’t often go as planned. They just don’t. Sometimes you get messed up along the way and you spend the next few months, or even years trying to get back on your feet.

Even when sometimes you think everything is pretty okay at one point, there’s always that one instance that makes you reflect and realize maybe you’re still not where you want to be. I guess that’s okay. It’s alright. Maybe you need a little more time. Whatever it is you’re going through, you are where you are for a reason. Feel whatever you need to feel. If you feel you need to be sad, then be sad. If you want to fight the feelings, then fight it. The point is let this issue of your life take its course.

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When Was The Last Time You Encouraged Someone?

Have you ever been on a race? Or at least seen one? Like an actual running race, not some horse race or even NASCAR. I’m talking about a bunch of people gutting it out and running till their brains splatter on the pavement.

It’s a human spectacle just watching people in a race. You see the agony and the desire of each participant wanting to finish strong. You could see in their faces the pain that’s coming from every limb in their bodies, but at the same time their endurance to tell the pain, “No, not yet legs. Don’t give up just yet.”

Each individual is so consumed with finishing the race that there’s little time to look back. Obviously, since it’s a race, one could care less if the person behind got injured or even got into an accident. However, I recall a friend of mine who did just the opposite of what racers do in a race: he stopped and cared for another racer.

It was a triathlon here in the Philippines almost two years ago when my priest friend stopped in the middle of the race and helped somebody out. Granted he was a priest and maybe he was supposed to help, but still, it’s not everyday you see someone stop in the middle of whatever they’re doing and reach out a hand.

Sometimes we can get so consumed about doing our own thing that we often miss out on the opportunity to help others. I mean really go out of our way and help.

The truth of the matter is, life is already difficult as it is, and it gets even more complicated and frustrating when we don’t have anyone to talk to about it. And even if we do get a chance to talk to someone about how they are doing and all that, sometimes it’s just small talk or a courtesy reply that we get. Maybe it’s social media. Maybe people only post the good stuff that’s happening in their lives and leave the drama out. Like a food picture on a Saturday afternoon suggests that person had a good day. We don’t know if that person has been having a rough week or even a rough year and this day was the only break he got. Maybe he’s dying in his current job and a simple Saturday meal made things a little bit better.

Encouraging someone is one of the greatest things you can do to someone. Sometimes, we don’t notice how much we can impact a person’s life. I mean, there are days when I feel like absolute crap and that nobody cares for me (See? Drama stuff really. Disgusting). But then there are days I get a chance to talk to my former colleagues, and in our small talk, they had seemingly meaningless words for me but I took them to heart. We talked about what I was doing now and how are things back at the old office and they just said that things are hard but they were also thinking and rooting for me in my goals. I guess I needed to hear that. I needed a pat in the back or even a kick in the head to get my life going again.

People everywhere are hurting. They may not show it or they might not even admit it, but let’s face it, everyone’s a little bit dissatisfied. A simple, “how are you?” can mean the world to someone. Trust me. Don’t be afraid that the other person might be busy and won’t even reply. When the time comes they need a friend, they’ll remember you somehow. They will.

An alternative would be, why don’t you pray that God will send someone you can bless? Of course we can pray for someone from afar and all that but this is different.

I remember a couple of months back when I prayed that God would send me someone who was in need. I honestly didn’t know what got into me when I prayed that. Maybe I was feeling a little less selfish that day. Lo and behold, that very afternoon I got a message from a friend who was working all the way from China. From China! We started chatting and our conversation lasted till the wee hours of the morning because she was going through something. I felt like my priest friend who placed everything aside to accommodate a friend. I hope I can be better at this and more chances like this arises. Until then I can be just a friend who prays and is waiting for the right moment to help out no matter how busy I am racing. And who knows, maybe someone will encourage me too. It’s about giving back and paying it forward.

 

 

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How Do You Approach Death?

Death has always been a taboo subject. And for good reason. Nobody really wants to talk about death and even if they do, they always want to push what they think death is all about or the afterlife is supposed to be like.

The funny thing is that no one can really justify or rationalize death. It just… happens. More often than not without reason, remorse, or conscience. It just happens. Death leaves out nobody.

I mean, I can be typing this entry right now and before I even finish this sentence I can suffer a heart attack or something so maybe I’ll try to prolong this sentence and make it a run-on sentence just so that it won’t have to end and I won’t have to suddenl—

You know what I mean? You can be the healthiest person in your family and still the hand of death can reach over and touch you.

Personally I don’t think I’m afraid of death. I often believe that death is an escape; an escape from this world. Away from stress, heartache, debt, pain, and all the fleeting moments of happiness. For as long as I can remember, I always viewed it as an adventure to somewhere no living person has gone before (well obviously). What I am afraid of is where I go when I die. This is not just merely heaven or hell, but really, what happens when we die?

Do you believe the stuff that’s written in the Bible? Like the moment when we die will be an absolute shocker. Whatever view of God we have in our minds right now, it’s not big enough. It’s just not. Right now we can talk about death or life with our friends and nobody really has a clue. I think the moment we face the guy upstairs it will be just absolute terror and downright shame. Right now we can hide ourselves from other people. We really can. No one needs to know what we do in our spare time. Good, bad, or just plain nothing, nobody knows. We are all individuals floating through this place waiting for the right opportunity or the right moment when everything makes sense.

Or is the afterlife something totally different from what we’re told? Maybe it’s like in Ricky Gervais’ movie, The Invention of Lying where we all get mansions when we die.

I think what bothers me the most is that a lot of people don’t think about death as much as they ought to. I mean, we always say life is short, time flies, and all that crap, but if we really believe what we say, it should change us. It really should. We would live our days differently, view the world differently, and definitely view everything in a whole new light. It’s like we’re always bothered by something – work, love, parents, friends, etc. I think the moment we die, all that goes out the window. I mean, in light of death or even the idea of facing God, what else matters? The brevity of life is hauntingly staring at us and we always look at another direction.

How do you approach death? I don’t really no. That’s why I wrote a 500 + essay in ten minutes just to air all this out. Thank the high heavens for alcohol. Live long and prosper friends.

 

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Have You Got Everything Figured Out?

As we all age, we all slowly realize the dreams we have failed to achieve, dreams that we have already achieved, and the dreams that we have yet to achieve. Life’s gravity pull has weighed down on us more than anything else and we just want to find that sense of peace. It’s nice to think you’ve gotten everything figured out right? I bet that would be an awesome feeling. It’s that fleeting moment when you think that you’ve got one step ahead. Even for just a breather, you’d like to think everything is pretty okay. There’s no shame in looking for that moment or realize that you’ve never had that moment in your life.

We always want to look at something or someone who seems to have life on the reigns, someone who exemplifies who we want to be someday. But do they really have everything figured out? You can look at celebrities, politicians, your parents, your significant other, or whoever and maybe they do have everything figured out. Maybe they understand life a little bit better than anyone. Maybe it’s age, experience, or whatnot, but it seems they’re ahead of the game. Just maybe. 

Then you look at your own life. Whether you’re a teenager going through life with all your angst and rage, a young fellow who doesn’t really know what kind of person you want to be, a middle-aged man who’s undergoing a midlife crisis, or an old man who’s now looking back on life, we are all on different stages and these stages give us the perception of what life ought to be or what it should be. Somehow in whatever point in our life we just want to get it – to finally understand everything that’s going on.

We want to understand why a brother died. Why your mom got sick. Why a lover chose one over the other. Why you got fired from your job. Why you’re having trouble all the time to pay rent. Why a prayer may seem just words fleeting our mouths. Why a single mom is struggling just to make ends meet. Why we never did that thing we said we’d do years ago. Will it ever end?

Probably not. I’ve realized that as much as I know everything happens for a reason, I know there are certain things that happen with no specific reason. Oddly enough, maybe having no reason is a reason in itself. And we all know that life has all those moments that seem to have no reason.

So what if you haven’t figured out life? Who has really? Young or old, we may never truly understand why some things are the way they are in our lives. We think that by a certain age when you’re 30, 40, 50, or 60 that the hurting will stop or the questions will stop coming. But it really doesn’t, right? And that’s okay.

We’re all just looking for that moment when everything makes sense and that life isn’t that hard after all. Even for just a moment, then we can all say, yes, we’ve got everything figured out.

 

 

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