Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Why Should You Go For Your Dream Job?


"Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle." - Abraham Lincoln

Are you currently working at a job you are highly passionate about, or at least you like? Are you happy at the direction where your career is going? Or are you stuck at a crappy job that you've been dying to get out of but can't due to various reasons?

I have to be honest here. This post is inspired by an article in a site full of relevant and relatable writing, titled: 10 Reasons To Go For Your Dream Job written by one of my favorite writers there. You may want to check it out because as Lindsay Lohan put it in Mean Girls, it's "Grool."

At 25 years of age, I can say that I'm happy with my job. It may not give me tons of money to sit back and relax for a whole week or travel the world without caring about my expenditures. But it gives me the right amount to make both ends meet and afford a little pampering every now and then. And since I'm keeping track of my income, I'm making a point to increase it month after month. Plus, it allows me to take a break at for at least three days if I want to and work on my own time schedule without worrying about a boss berating me for logging into Facebook or Twitter during office hours.

My job is to write. And with writing comes learning. I can't write a topic without conducting a thorough research about it. So I can safely say that my job is pretty multifaceted. One day I could be a relationship guru, the following day a medical practitioner, the next an MLM leader, and the day after that, a novelist. If you ask me, how the hell do I manage to pull it off - I have no idea.

Most important of all, my job gives me a great sense of fulfillment, self-worth, and a purpose in life. So you can say that I'm reeking with so much positivity right now. But like any other ordinary person, I got stuck in a crappy job with a low paycheck too. For two full years, I stressed myself for doing something that I don't even like. Good thing I came around and now I couldn't be any happier for choosing the career that I've always wanted.

Wouldn't the world be a much happier place if every single person is working on a job that he/she loves regardless if it's fully compensating him/her or not? You may be wondering, "why should I pursue my dream job if my current job pays me thrice as much as my dream job will ever do?" Then nothing to see here, baby. Kidding.

Going after your dream career is not easy. You may not get it after your first try or you may fail over and over again, finally resolving that that path may not be for you after all. Or you may be compelled to put it on hold due to financial and other personal reasons. And of course, there's this fear of getting criticized and looked down on by your family and friends for choosing a job which for them is not worth giving a try. Now, that's a total downer. But should you really let these hindrances get to you and win you over? I know, easier said than done right?

But you know what? If you really put your heart into it, you'll realize that it's not that hard to accomplish. Sure, you'll meet a few bumps along the way. You'll probably get bruises too. But that's what make the road to your dream job more fun and exciting. Nothing is more unchallenging than getting a job without having to sweat for it. Trust me, been there, done that.

And you know what? People will always criticize you anyway. The saying, "Damned if you do, damned if you don't" holds true in every aspect of your life. So just let them criticize you. But instead of letting it get the better of you, take it with a grain of salt. Use that criticism to improve on your craft. But don't do it for them, do it for yourself.

When you feel like you're going nowhere and on the brink of giving up, hey, there's always a tomorrow, which means you have more chances of working on it. Just don't get too excited. Breathe and take it one step at a time.

After all, it's never too late to go after what you want. Now, get up and start chasing your dream.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

A Trip To The North: 4 Days of Awesomeness

The trip actually happened two and a half weeks ago. Since I've been busy due to: (1) food poisoning, (2) work, (3) common cold, (4) social events here and there, and very recently - like, two days ago recently - (5) a full bed rest on my 25th birthday, I wasn't able to blog about it immediately.

So here it is - a first of the many future trips with my good friends:

Day 1: Vigan & Pagudpud

After almost 16 hours of driving (on Yves' part), we finally reached Vigan. And this is what welcomed us when we set foot in Calle Crisologo to take a good trip down our historical roots a band of marching students. Not bad, huh?

Calle Crisologo

St. Paul's Metropolitan Cathedral & McDonald's Vigan Style
A bunch of Cam Whores, that's what we are..=)

A sneak peek of Plaza Burgos

Walking the streets of Vigan to St. Paul's Cathedral
On our way to Pagudpud

Bangui Windmills with creepy, HUGE waves as its backdrop

Muse of the Windmills

Cape Bojeador Light House north of Laoag

Inside the 120-year old light house

Checked in after a loong first day of our 4-leg road trip at Hannah's Resort Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte

Late Dinner at Hannah's Restaurant before making a quick dip in one of their swimming pools

Day 2: Pagudpud & Laoag

Don't you just love infinity pools? I know I do..=)

Still in infinity pool

LEFT: the Banga Pool at Hannah's.. RIGHT: what it looks like from the inside
Because, secretly, we're still kids at heart

Muse of Hannah's Resort

Leaving Pagudpud, back to Laoag City
Saramsam Ylocano Restaurant at Laoag City where the food is to die for

Day 3: Laoag & Vigan

Leaving Balay da Blas Pension House, Laoag back to Vigan for our supposedly last  day trip

My own brand of Cam Whoring.. Bwahahahahahahah
Inside the Marcos Museum in Batac City

St. Augustine Church near Vigan.. LEFT: frontal view, RIGHT: what's inside the church. Upon entering, you'll see a left wing mini-chapel that looks and feels utterly creepy.. I think I had the worst goose bumps when I walked halfway through that chapel..

Trip aboard to downtown Vigan aboard Manong's kalesa with bonus historical trivias

Day 4: Baguio Side Trip

LEFT: aboard the Gondola (choz), I mean the boat in Burnham Park, RIGHT: with baby Margo/King in Mines View Park
Our ride to Mines View Park because we just love arriving in style

With my two equally cam whoring friends.. Don't we just love to pose?
The last stop of our 4 day trip.. It could have been fun if not for *cyber crime law*

All in all, the 4 day trip was fun and truly enjoyable. It was a great break from my busy freelancing schedule and a perfect way to bond with my good friends. And who says this is the last trip of our barkada? Palawan, wait for us.....=)

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Of Faith And Religion

I grew up in a family of God-fearing people.

In fact, up until a couple of months ago, I was a firm believer myself. Or was I really?

I don't know what changed. All I knew is that I realized one day that I no longer share that belief.

I became an Agnostic. I begin to question. I begin to search for answers.

But let me just get one thing straight - an Agnostic is neither a believer nor an Atheist.

Wikipedia defined it to me clearly:

Agnosticism is the view that the truth values of certain claims—especially claims about the existence or non-existence of any deity, but also other religious and metaphysical claims—are unknown and (so far as can be judged) unknowable. Agnosticism can be defined in various ways, and is sometimes used to indicate doubt or a skeptical approach to questions. 

In some senses, agnosticism is a stance about the difference between belief and knowledge, rather than about any specific claim or belief. In the popular sense, an agnostic is someone who neither believes nor disbelieves in the existence of a deity or deities, whereas atheist and an atheist believe and disbelieve, respectively. 

In the strict sense, however, agnosticism is the view that humanity does not currently possess the requisite knowledge and/or reason to provide sufficient rational grounds to justify the belief that deities either do or do not exist.

It's not an easy process, you know. And it definitely didn't happen over night. It's one long, painful process. When the realization dawned on me, I struggled with it.

For the last 24 years, I was led to believe that there's a higher power out there, acting as my security blanket, watching over me and keeping me safe from harm. Now, I simply don't know.

I guess, that's the truth isn't it? We never really know. We can only guess. We can only surmise. We're young and ignorant of a lot of things. And we can only pretend that we know. But we can never confirm the absolute truth. That's the reality that's most of us still find hard to accept.

My brother and I actually share this kind of belief. My mother, on the other hand, is a firm believer. And she finds it unfathomable that my brother and I decided to change path, nagging us to go to church and pray at night. At first, I thought she was cool about it.

But when I brought the subject up again, she expressed her fear of what's becoming of us, her own children.

Though I find her reaction rather unsettling, (I'm NOT going to join a CULT, k? How ironic!) I understand where she's coming from - she grew up with the same belief. She has a strong emotional attachment to it, the same way I had when I was still sitting on the same boat.

It's not something that you let go of easily.

I also tried to share my thoughts with my friends, but alas, like my mother, they gave me the same reaction. That or they just didn't take me seriously. In fact, they seemed to forget the fact that I just told them point blank that I'm an Agnostic.

Who am I kidding? I live in a country where being an atheist is not acceptable, where nonconforming people like Lady Gaga are considered as blasphemous, where people who dare speak/act outside the confinements of religious doctrine are deemed offensive and irreverent.

And don't let me get started on the issue of Reproductive Health Bill. Not to mention the threat of losing the freedom of expression. I guess our country will never be ready. Sad, isn't it?

This fact, alone, makes me want to live some place else where people will respect your beliefs and won't go shoving their own beliefs down your throat. Ever heard of the phrase, To each his own? If you want to believe, then by all means do.

Who am I to dictate you where to place your absolute trust and confidence in? I'm just as good as any of you.

If you want to live a life believing that there's a higher power out there, then be my guest. It's your life, after all. You're free to make your own choices and decisions.

You're free to have faith in whoever you want to believe.

And the same goes with me. Whether there's a God or not, whether there's a higher power out there that's weaving my destiny or not, one thing is certain:

I'm going to live my life the way I want and believe anything that I deem preferable.

I'm taking control of my wheel and I'll take it wherever I want to go.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Believer, The Agnostic and The Atheist

The Believer

You're a little girl. Your mother would always tell you to say grace before meal time, to pray at night and ask for guidance. 

You do so, being an innocent child as you are, you ask for more. 

You ask for guidance, you ask for strength and for material things to be yours. He's listening.

You end your prayer. You praise Him and profess your love and faith, like a good daughter would do to her father.

You look up at the sky and mutter a prayer of thanks. 

And it would feel like a security blanket is being wrapped around you, guiding you and shielding you from pain. 

You smile. There's Someone out there watching over you.

The Agnostic

You're growing up. Your mother would always remind you to say grace before meal time, to pray at night and ask for guidance. 

You do so, being an obedient daughter as you are. Only now, you ask for more.

As  you ask for guidance, for strength and for material things to be yours, you began doubting His existence. Is he really there?

You don't finish your prayer. The praise, the profession is left hanging in mid-sentence.

You look up at the sky and get lost in your train of thoughts.

And it would feel like the security blanket that is wrapped around you is slowly freeing you from its grip. 

You frown. Who's watching you now?

The Atheist

You're an adult. Your mother no longer tells you to say grace before meal time, to pray at night and ask for guidance.

You're old enough to say NO. Because now, you know the truth.

You no longer talk to Him to  ask for guidance, for strength and for material things to be yours. He doesn't exist.

You don't pray anymore. No praise, no profession is heard.

You look up at the sky and smile at the realization.

And it would feel like the security blanket that was wrapped around you is no longer there. 

You shrug. You're on your own.

Monday, September 3, 2012

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Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Joys and Sorrows of Being a Writer (A Personal Take)

"Reading and weeping opens the door to one’s heart, but writing and weeping opens the window to one’s soul." ---M. K. Simmons

I absolutely love writing. In fact, I've been writing since grade school - from personal journals to essays to short stories. It started as a hobby and had remained so until last year when I decided to embark on the uncertain and ever competitive world of freelancing. Since then, it had become my bread and butter.

It's only been a year and a half since I become a freelance writer/blogger/part-time copywriter/internet marketing newbie. And it's fun. A whole lot of fun. For some, writing sounds like a boring job because you do nothing but write. Most people even criticize it and say that it's not even a real job. Instead of lashing out a good argument as to how much the contribution of a writer to the print and television media, the internet and to the world or the generous income opportunity it entails, all I can say is this: it's not for everyone.

Others just don't understand the kind of satisfaction you get when you manage to produce not just a good read but a great one. They probably don't know the amazing feeling of getting lost in a world full of swirling and swinging words that only you can understand. Writing is more than just art. It's a way of life.

Okay, what I really mean is: unless you put yourself in my shoes and walk a mile in it, bug off and let me be. I didn't comment nor I care on how boring your routine-based and highly uninteresting job is or how low your fixed salary is so stay out of my goddamn business.

Now, as a writer, I have my fair share of joys and sorrows. There are good days and there are bad days. The good days are when I find myself getting motivated and inspired that I can finish three articles in an hour or two in a single sitting. Good days are also when my productivity level is on an all-time high that I refuse to waste a single minute for procrastination.

The bad days, on the other hand, are the ones when I'm at my worst - procrastinating, demotivated and have no idea on what to write. Writer's block sucks! And sometimes, it's information over load more than anything. I'm telling you, these days are way too many. They often give me the nagging and guilty feeling of not doing anything. Since I'm self-employed, my income depends on my productivity. So you should know where I'm coming from.

Like right now, I have three articles that need to be written tonight, a short story for my new blog to be finished, and a novel to be continued. And I'm not doing any of that at the moment. I'm blogging, remember? What's more, I probably won't do any of them tonight. They could wait tomorrow. Did I tell you that I'm such a procrastinator? Well, now you know.

Anyway as a writer, I don't want to limit myself in a single genre and form. I don't want to write non-fiction and niche-based articles, e-books and reports alone. I want to venture out, to be a multi-faceted writer. My dream is to become a successful fictional writer - at least in the kindle world - like that of the likes of John Locke, Suzanne Collins and James Patterson with Sci-Fi/Thriller as my genre.

I'm actually in the process of writing my first novel on this genre. It's just that I can't seem to get the inspiration to write three scenes a time or how to keep the plot on the right direction. I'm a good writer with lots of potential. At least, I know I am. The dialogues are fine. The direction where my mind and imagination is going is the problem. The plot would start off real good then it would become "What the fuck?"

In fact, in one of my unfinished short stories, my lead character was written as putting her daughter to sleep, to being called by her mother, to seeing her father holding a bloodied knife with a dead man at his feet, to being convinced by her parents to not call the police so they can bury the body themselves. It may sound as an interesting story line, but really, it sucked. Why? (1) I had no definite plot in mind (2) I was just making the scenes as I go along and (3) I really had no idea what I was writing.

But writing is not all "sorrows." I mean aside from the writer's block and sometimes stressful nature of writing, it has given me a lot of "joys." It lets me express myself freely and let my thoughts out without forcing anyone to listen. It allows me to let go of my emotional baggage, if any, and acts as my sounding board when I need someone to talk to. Did I tell you that writers are sentimental, eccentric and emotional in nature? Again, now you know.

Another joy is that writing allows me to explore new horizons and open new avenues. It makes me learn, learn and learn. You can't write without learning. Learning is a part of writing. It makes you a credible and efficient writer no matter what your genre is. Plus, knowing that you've provided something of value, engaged your readers, and sent an informative message across - Now, that's priceless.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Bound (A Cassidy Swann Novel)


"I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live by the light that I have." -- Abraham Lincoln

Sector 5, West Industries

    Maria was running as fast as she could. She had to get away from that area. She needed to. But she’d been at it for what? An hour now? Or two? She couldn’t remember anymore. All she knew was she needed a safe place to hide.

   But where? The street was deserted. It was dark, save for the feeble light coming from a couple of lamp posts scattered loosely on the area. The buildings on either side weren’t helping either. They showed no sign of any living entity.

   She slowed down a bit. Her body was getting tired. It was already telling her to rest. Maybe she could find shelter in one of the buildings for a while, think of an escape plan, regain her strength, then keep going.

  But as much as she wanted to, she couldn’t. If she stopped now, they’d get her. And she would turn up dead on the news tomorrow. She couldn’t allow that to happen. Not tonight. She promised her son that she’d join him for dinner.

  Jacob, honey, wait for Mommy. I’ll be home soon, I promise. With her 5-year old son in mind, Maria ran faster, using up the energy left from her.

  Then she heard it. The sound of passing vehicles, honking. Filled with people, she hoped. She turned on the alleyway on the right, doubled up her speed, and followed where the sound was coming from.

  She's right. At the other end of the alleyway was a buzzing street. She ran some more. Catching her breath, she stopped on her tracks when she reached it. She heaved a sigh of relief. She’s safe.

  Just as she was about to take her first step to safety, two strong hands grabbed her from behind, muffling her screams with a cloth pressed on her mouth.

To be continued.........  For the updated version, click here!