Thursday, April 22, 2010

Something to Think About: Posted in Starting Anew Blog last March 18

Death is something that really interests me. In the book Tuesdays with Morrie, one of Morrie's aphorisms is When you die, you live. You only appreciate life once you learn and accept your own mortality.

There is more to death than physical death. There was a point in my life that I have experienced dying - Emotional and spiritual death. I have always believed that everything that happens in life has a purpose. But what would be the point in living if there is no reason to live for.

You would come to a point in your life that you ask what if there is no such thing as purpose... how will you live your life then. Nothing to look forward to since there is nothing on the other side of the road.

Vast emptiness.. that is what I have felt before. Emptiness. Nothing, there is just nothing to look forward to. I have died during those months, emotionally. I felt no emotions, just numbness. And once you have died emotionally, you just become cold, void of emotions.

I did not actually care if I was hurting other people, 'cause I just did not feel anything. I chose not to process any emotions, I just died then. My first manager told me then that she has not seen me as cold and numb when dealing with the situation I was experiencing then. She was actually worried about me. But I just did not care anymore.

Then I asked myself would I choose to avoid getting hurt but living like a vampire, cold hearted, no emotions. Or choose to be hurt but learn and live life enjoying each kind of emotion, happiness, sadness, joy and sorrow, like Morrie has pointed out in his book.

I guess I chose to live. I spared myself living life void of emotions. Living life full of regrets. I made stupid choices but who doesn't. Life is to be lived by making decisions anyway. But you should live with those choices, right?

So for two months in UAE, I'm wondering why am I here? It has been a struggle for me. Getting really exhausted, dealing with pressure and a high maintenance colleague, having a humbling experience and other things. And this experience made me realize that I need to deal yet with certain emotions... fear and courage. Learning about these feelings a bit deeper now.

I will survive in this country, in this company like those who have struggled and conquered their fears and courageously rose from the pits of failures and disappointments.

I will survive and continue living.....


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Cooking 101, anyone?

It was an exciting day for me as I had my first cooking session this morning after so many years. I cannot even remember the last time I cooked. But today, I had decided to have my pots and pans do its magic.

But don't get too excited because I just cooked a very plain dish, tuna with egg sautéed in onion, garlic, and tomatoes. Hey, I need to have refresher course in cooking, right? As they say, start with something that you can do and this is what I thought about.

So I woke up around 7:00 am which is the unusual time I get up in the morning (I usually start my day around 8:00 AM), then prepared my cooking kit, the corn oil, eggs and the other ingredients I bought the night before.

While I was chopping the basic ingredients, I felt a bit nervous since I’m still recalling the basic cooking techniques. But it is something that I have decided that I need to pursue so I lighted the stove and went on. When I put in the garlic and sautéed it in the hot corn oil, the aroma was like to magic to my nose. I felt I was home.

Then while reminiscing on the scent of a home made meal, the delightful aroma of the garlic began to change. I almost got the garlic toasted, so I just put in the rest of the ingredients and seasoned it. As I was preparing the last ingredient of my specialty dish, my first calamity in the kitchen happened. I was getting two eggs from the box, and then the whole box fell on the floor. I was able to save two pieces of eggs, but four of my babies got broken and created a beautiful mess on the floor. I quickly cleaned it up while waiting for my dish to cook.

I really enjoyed one bit of that moment, the excitement, the mess and the slight exhaustion. And the product of course was a delight.

It is actually our lunch and my friend has no choice but to eat it as well. It was not that bad and if I continue cooking, I will certainly get the hang of it. So tomorrow, I have my thoughts on cooking Adobo. Bold choice but as the old saying goes, practice makes perfect. And if I want to be an expert with this dish, I guess I better start now.

Josh / 20-Apr-10

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Just One of Those Days

End of another stressful but great day. I feel so unaccomplished today probably because I was under scrutinizing eyes earlier. I was so conscious and uneasy because I needed to show that I'm busy where the truth of the matter is I am really busy. But it seems every person who visited us does not acknowledge the reality that we are understaff.

It just seems weird trying to justify your work load to every one who visits the office when I feel terribly exhausted after each day of work. Probably they are right, I may not be working smart. But what is really working smart? Is it delegating your work when you need to? But to whom shall I delegate it to? The empty chair beside me? Probably there is another entity there who is sitting and wanting terribly to assist me, but hey it can’t help me because it just cannot physically touch files.

Then there are the endless questions of the why’s, why didn’t you do this, why do you need to be here then, why, why, why? Then I just asked the same why question, why the hell am I here again? But I know the answer to my own question. I am here because I decided to challenge myself, get out of my comfort zone and explore other possibilities in my life. I don’t want be stuck in a life wondering about if I had done this or that. I have decided to move forward…

So while writing this and reflecting on this day’s event, I just thought that I’ll take the challenge, to push myself more, to do more and achieve more. Very well, if that is the case then so be it. I will not bother justifying my worth to others. I will take that challenge and improve myself, to make myself better. If it is still not the best for them, so be it. At least I was honest to myself that I gave it all.

Josh / 14-Apr-10

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Hot Green Tea

Another week in Abu Dhabi and I survived the tremendous work load and pressure in the office by myself. It was quite a challenge doing everything on your own and being left alone in the office. I am blessed to have been given this opportunity to learn new things in UAE.

Let me share with you the experience I had and things I have learned recently (most of these I knew already but I was just reminded by).

First, There are some people or circumstance that will never change no matter what.
Have you experience being or working with a person and you just couldn't stand them. You just hate their guts and wish that they be thrown away in some limbo then remain there for eternity? Well, I keep experiencing working with such high maintenance people. Probably I keep attracting them as I am high maintenance myself, hahaha. If the Law of Attraction is true then indeed I might be attracting these people in my life because these are people I am trying to avoid. And whether I complain and throw the stress ball on the wall imagining their faces on the target, it will not change anything. Such people will remain who they are because they probably choose to. And if this will be the case, what should I do then? Mope, cry, or get myself so frustrated until I loose all my hair! While thinking about it, I just remembered a quote from John Maxwell, "your problem is not your problem, your problem is your attitude, change them and it will solve your problem." He's probably right. I will just need to accept the hard fact that there are people who would remain difficult probably they chose to or because they have not understood themselves deeper enough to help themselves become better individuals. Important thing is to try to control my own emotions and reactions and not to let their negativity get into my system.

Second, Crying relieves stress and cleanses your eyes.
The past week that I have been by myself, I cried like a toddler for three consecutive days. The stress was up to my neck and everything wants to be attended to all at the same time. I was able to do most but not all. Hey, the last time I checked I am still human and I can only do most what the human mind and body can accomplish. So at the end of the day, when my boss had left the office already, I let myself cry and scream a little while typing my costings and emails to my clients. I still need to multi-task you know - while doing the art of crying, I was also doing the art of typing. I heard Chin Chin Gutierrez mentioned in her interview once that crying cleanses the soul. And it did help me cope with the challenging workload and felt relieved. It might have helped in cleansing my contacts as well, hehe. Nevertheless, it was all good experience. Once in a while I just needed to raise my left hand with the white flag while my right hand continues on writing my to do list for the following day.

Third, Pain is something you need to deal with and learn that it will fade away in time.
I had my hot green tea accidentally spilt on my left foot this week. The burning sensation was unbearable at first. It was painful that it bothered me through the night. But I just made sure that I put some ointment on it and let it heal on its own time. Guess, it's just like the emotional pain I have experienced (still experiencing) in my life. It is painful and it bothers you every time you think about it. Well, all of us go through such painful moments at some point in our lives, right? But the important thing is we acknowledge the pain, put some ointment and let time do its wonders of healing.
It was an indeed an exhausting week and I look forward to another week of challenge. At the end of a tiring day, all you can do is relax and try to think of the good things in life. For me, I relax my mind with a cup of my hot mint green tea and a short talk with God, thanking Him for the day that pass and asking him to help me get through another one tomorrow.
Josh / 02-Apr-2010