Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart

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This year I have learned a couple of which in my opinion are the most valuable things in life…

“It’s easier to be smart than kind.” When I found out that my eldest sister must undergo another surgery, I was resolute not to help her financially. I was even forcing our parents to leave her alone, so she’d learn to be independent from us, and so she could finally sort her life out. but had I known that it would be her last surgery; that she’d be diagnosed with a progressive cancer; that she only has few precious months to live; I would have viewed her situation in a different light. I would have given her all the support that she needed. I would have been more patient. I would have been the sister that she hoped I was. I would have been kind. if I could only turn back the hands of time, I’d replace the harsh words with love and kindness.

“Don’t do something that you don’t like.” I was an emotional supermarket when I came back from my bereavement leave. I was hoping to bury myself with work just to forget all my regrets and grief, so I am not ready for change that time. But I came back and found another huge project to add on my plate. It was difficult for me to chew. I hate what I am doing. I found myself dragging myself to work to do stuff that no longer interest me. The change was overwhelming and stressful for me. One day I had an epiphany, I am too old to do things that I don’t like doing. I was considering my options. Should I resign? Every single day I try to convince myself that the situation will soon pass. And as though the stars aligned, I got an offer to work on another engineering firm. So, I left, and I got my peace back. Life is too short to be anything but happy.

“Always see the good in everything.” I’m single (literally and figuratively), I live alone, I travel out of the country almost five times in a year, and I still look young. I probably have ticked all the checkboxes for a potential Asian spy that every time I go out of the country I always got “randomly” selected for a more stringent security check. So, it didn’t come as a surprise when I got (again) “randomly” selected for a “QC” when I applied for my citizenship. I had to submit 5-inch thick of documents showing my footprint in Canada. Along with that, I had to deal with the chaos of purchasing a new property earlier in the year as well. Re-asses my financial security. Deal with another broken heart. See my sister suffer and grieve for her death. Be stressed with overwhelming work. And later move to another company. All these happened in the span of 10 months. I probably had a melt-down if I had so little fate. Every single day that I wake up, I look at how blessed I am; I am grateful despite my suffering.

“Carpe diem.” We’re still a few weeks away to a brand-new year. As much as I hope it to be as peaceful and happy as it can be, anything could happen in those remaining days. I wouldn’t label my 2018 as painful, rather it’s a strengthening phase. A cycle I had to go through to learn the most valuable lesson; seize the moment. The last time I talked to my sister, she was crying, and I can feel her pain. She was begging me to come home, but I was waiting for citizenship then. I was selfish and told her to wait for me and we would spend the Christmas together. I didn’t expect that it would be the last time I get to talk to her. Her final words resounding in my ears; to take care of her only daughter. I told her not to worry about it. She died hours after we talked. Although I know for a fact that to myself, I only make the best decisions, I also know that I could have done better. I could have seized the moment, fly home, hug her, comfort her and tell her I’m sorry. This is the possibility to live into; that it really makes a difference what we do or say. So never say or do anything that couldn’t stand as the last thing you ever say or do. Seize the moment and be the best person that you can ever be.

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Dear Philippine Airlines

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I just wanted to let you know how frustrated I was on how our delayed flight was handled (and I’m dead sure most of the passengers of PR117 on that day share the same sentiment).

Flight PR117 bound for Manila from Vancouver on August 02 at approximately 1AM got cancelled due to technical issue. I was informed through voicemail of the flight interruption on August 01 at around 5PM prior boarding a scheduled connecting flight from Calgary to Vancouver. I initially thought the voicemail was a scam and tried to verify the supposed flight delay at a Ground Stewardess located at the Calgary Airport who apparently wasn’t aware of the issue. I arrived at Vancouver Airport (YVR) around 7PM August 01; and people from the Information Desks weren’t also aware of the delay. I called the number 1-800-435-9275multiple times but was answered by agents who couldn’t direct me to the proper person handling the flight delay. I was also given a local office number to call but to no avail. There were also NO PAL REPRESENTATIVES at the supposed office room 401 of YVR airport NOR at any of the check-in kiosks. It was only a couple of hours later when the information board got updated for the new flight schedule (Flight delayed from 1AM to 7PM August 02); which is obviously contrary to what you have on your website where you are supposed to update the international airports of any flight delays at least 30mins upon learning about it.

The PAL Ground Representatives arrived at approximately 12AM (midnight) and asked us; the tired and frustrated passengers; to line-up for new boarding pass, meal and hotel vouchers. It was utter chaos. Because almost 250 passengers on a single queue would evidently equate to pandemonium. There was same queue for check-in passengers and those with existing boarding pass/es (passenger/s from connecting flight). After the long queue to get boarding pass and meal vouchers, we must queue again for the hotel vouchers. I got my new boarding pass, meal vouchers and hotel accommodation at 2AM. I got to my hotel and was told at the front desk (Sheraton) that I have to check out at 12PM even when my scheduled flight was not until 7PM that day (which eventually got delayed further to 10:30PM). Where and how do you expect all the affected passengers to spend that over 10 hours of delay?

SO, IMAGINE THAT. FRUSTRATION is an understatement.

You guys were already aware of the flight delay hours prior. So, help me understand why it took your company ungodly hours to send Representatives at the YVR airport to settle the issue? And why did we have to do TWO (2) separate queues for vouchers? Why do we have to check out of the hotel 10 hours prior our flight? I am not asking for any special attention, but the way it was handled was NOT SYSTEMATIC AT ALL. For a company who has been in the business for over 70 years yet acted like an amateur in dealing with such delays. You could have sent your ground representatives at the check-in kiosks the moment you found out about the flight diversion to Japan and the required technical clearance. Knowing that the flight is full; you could have separated the queues between check-in passengers and those with existing boarding pass. You could have given all vouchers along with the boarding pass on a single queue. You could have allowed the affected passengers to do late check-out from the Hotel. You could have done better.

I bought those flight tickets albeit the price because I have to be in the Philippines ASAP to attend a funeral. A supposed to be 12-days bereavement leave was cut 1-day short. One (1) precious day that could have been spent with my grieving family. I am not asking for your sympathy; along with the other passengers that day; I want you to know how very damaging the experience was. YOU COULD HAVE DONE BETTER.

Choose Life

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Today, I feel like a candle slowly burning down to my demise.

I talked to a close friend of mine the other day and opened about my issues. She acknowledged my problems and even agreed to the fact that I have too much on my plate. I told her how I don’t have much of a choice but to choose to stay positive every single waking day.

But come morning, I’ve read a sad news about a famous personality who died of an apparent suicide. It came as another epiphany for me. Here’s a guy who seem to have control in life, who possess a strong personality, and very intelligent to say the least; but then decided to end his life. Damn it. Life is so fragile and we never know what’s going on in the inside of another person. I’d like to think that there’s more to his suicide than depression. I’d like to think as though Anthony realized he already had a good life and he’s done so he decided to end it.

I too, wish science would acknowledge that depression is a sickness just like cancer. Once we came to accept it as that, maybe we can prevent suicide. Because you can’t fight a battle you cannot acknowledge as real.

I too, can feel depressed at most times, it’s a demon I struggle to fight on most days and hopefully it doesn’t catch up.

More than I never want to give someone the satisfaction of watching me suffer, I try to rewire my thoughts to have a more positive outlook in life. Because as cliché as it goes, choosing kindness and happiness can tame that demon constantly whispering in your ears to quit at life. So, stop trying to make sense of something that is incomprehensible. It’s a struggle. Instead, find your purpose. Find your meaning. Choose life.

After all, as Graham Brown put it “Life is about choices. Some we regret, some we’re proud of. Some will haunt us forever. The message – we are what we chose to be.”

What are you?

Find Me

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I can see your face in the clustered stars
And I can sense your presence in the rarefied air.
Although our paths have never crossed,
Our hearts seemed entwined in space.

Over a million dusts that covers the earth,
I can see the tiny fleeting crumbs that steers your way
As though a thousand bliss will be carried by fate,
If only we choose the same destiny to take.

You mean more to me that I could ever explain,
Like two souls that are preordained.
But is it not now, nor at this life?
Is it a battle lost before we begin the fight?

If you search me in the stars, feel me in the air,
And look for the crumbs I left in the trail;
Listen to my voice that whispers your name,
You’ll find that heart waiting even when it rains.

Fallin’ for Utah

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“Every long-lost dream led me to where you are

And others who broke my heart they were like northern stars

Pointing me on my way into your loving arms

This much I know it’s true

That God blessed the broken road

That led me straight to you”

A few years back, my then boyfriend asked if there is a place in the US of A that I would love to see. I told him about how I have always wanted to hike the Delicate Arch and The Narrows in Utah. Long story short, he booked a ticket and a hotel in Utah… it would have been a fun vacation except I stood him up. My lousy excuse? Work; so, we broke up. Too soon old, too late smart.

It was only a year after that I was able to check Utah out of my bucket list. ‘Did the 17hr drive from Calgary and it was worth it. The fall foliage at US-6 is beautiful, the hike to The Narrows and the Delicate Arch is nothing compared to the views itself.

As for the ex-boyfriend, we still talk as close friends. I consider him as the one who got away. I can say I am happy with where he is right now and how he has found someone else. I too am happy with my current relationship, no matter how blurry it gets sometimes. He is my good karma. Just like the Arches, a tiring 17hour drive but at the end of the hike is a place worth it all.

Kolob Canyons

Delicate Arch, Arches National Park

The Great Wall, Arches National Park

Hiking in The Narrows, Zion National Park

The Narrows, Zion National Park

Ute Indian Petroglyphs, Arches National Park

No Vacancy

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Early this morning I was having a chat with a friend who used to work at my current company. Apparently, he got a call from one of the department managers and they wanted him back. I asked him if he has decided on it yet. He said he hasn’t received an offer yet. I told him I can send him an offer if that’s all he wants. 😂 Here’s my offer letter:

—-

Dear [first name],

I am pleased to offer you a role as a “bowa (boyfriend)” at CShella Foundation for the Single yet Cute Boylets. I trust that your experience and skills will be a valuable asset to my company.

If you are to accept this offer you will be eligible to the following in accordance to my company’s policies:

  • Immoral and emotional support applied any time required.
  • Up to 30% of my annual gross salary may be given to you as a gift
  • Standard benefits including:
  • Free hugs
  • Sweet nothings
  • Love notes
  • Care when you’re sick

To accept this offer sign and date this job offer letter as indicated below and email it back to me by 08September2017.

If you accept this offer, your hire date will be the 08September2017.

I at CShella Foundation for the Single yet Cute Boylets hope that you’ll accept this offer and look forward to welcoming you aboard. Feel free to call CShella if you have any questions or concerns.

Sincerely,

CShella

——

😂😂😂

Neverland

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I got home from a weekend camping trip decided to leave him. The condo unit was oddly silent giving me a mixed sense of relief and loneliness.

I checked around the unit; I could still smell his perfume in his room, his wallet sitting on the bedside table, meaning he hasn't left long ago and he won't go far either. I packed all my bags while my friend tried to call him so we could talk to him one last time; but we couldn't reach him. We got a hold of another friend who apparently received a cryptic message from him earlier that day. His phone was then turned off.

When everything is ready to be loaded to the car, I checked every inch of the unit again hoping I'd find another hint of where he might have gone to. As I opened the door in the walk-in closet leading to the washroom, I saw him. His face; imploring me not to leave. All those times we were trying to locate him; he was just there hiding behind the bath-tub curtains. In my surprise, I let out a little shout catching the attention of our friend. He then tried to lock himself in the washroom, threatening us that he would inject himself with high dose of insulin. I tried to talk him over, as we attempt to fully open the door. I could see him almost pushing the needles to his arms… I panicked leaving our friend no choice but to call 911. The police and the paramedics came; and as much as I don't want to leave him in that situation, I had to. I am sick and tired of all the drama. The paramedic told me he's old enough to handle himself and I wouldn't be held liable should anything happen to him. They brought him to a psychiatrist after we told him how he tried to kill himself. I left the building with the ambulance and police lights glaring in the background…

It took me a while to recover from all of it: the chaos, the drama, the physical and financial abuse, much more the emotional torture. At first, I didn't understand how my prince charming turned into an ugly beast. Then I thought maybe he was always a monster after all, and I just learned to mask all the red flags with a beautiful perfect image of him. I guess it happens to the best of us.

All these had occurred four years ago, and I still remember every detail of it. I used to feel pain every time it would cross my mind, not anymore. It has now become a distant yet vivid memory of a dramatic past. Where once a year, I would walk down that memory lane to remind me of how I came through a lot of struggles and moved on. It all didn't go in vain. In my fragmented past I learned what it is like to love and let go. Like a kintsugi; it became more beautiful for having been broken.

DCCXCII

under the big sky our story unfold,
a perfect dream set in an imperfect world.
like a junction of two rivers ending at a tangent at infinity;
one great love engraved deep in our soul.

in a hundred times and a thousand-fold i fall
to the infinite depths of your gaze,
to unending trail of your thoughts,
and whispered i love yous at the eclipse of dawn.

forehead kisses and locking pinkies,
trailing the mountains without care,
subtle touches that erase bitter histories,
yet the word "stay" we dare not say.

we've said goodbyes more often than not
yet still end up at each others arms.
so never leave, never let go;
for if forever exists, 'promise forever i will love you so.

Huntsman

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Look to the left, right, behind; be very aware of the environment… this was me, totally paranoid, after a guy admitted to stalking me.I met him at one of the company I used to work at. I was a new hire and had to attend a two-hour safety orientation. He was my seatmate and became a partner at one of the orientation activities. He seems nice, a typical mixed middle-eastern-European guy.

After that day, he sent me emails… and then calls… eventually I would “chance” upon him at the lobby or the hallway far more often than usual. I didn’t give any meaning to it until one day; I was alone sitting at the bus stop when I saw him walking towards me. Right in that very spot he proposed to me; his exact words were a mental torture. Of all people, why me? See, the thing is, I don’t remember him asking me out on a date. He just popped the question just like the movies and I am a very realistic person, I don’t fall for that. The bus arrived right before I could weave the politically correct way of saying no.

His emails and calls became incessant, and I became creative in finding ways to avoid him. He would leave me voicemails detailing his plans for the day with me which I would politely decline.

I was at the cafeteria when he spotted me and joined me in for lunch. I barely finished my food because he wanted me to explain why I wouldn’t give him a chance. Eventually, I ran out of excuses and just told him a lie, that I already have a boyfriend. He went berserk and accused me of being promiscuous.

I felt harassed and was about to report him to our HR group when I found out that he was about to be laid off. He said sorry for everything that he’d said and wanted to meet up so he could make things right before he leaves. I blocked him on everything.

A couple of months forward, he could reach me out. My contacts reset when I changed my phone and didn’t notice it until his message went through. He professed his undying love and admitted to stalking me. It sent me shivers. For the nth time, I rejected him. And for the nth time, he couldn’t take it.

I became paranoid after his confession. I would barely go out alone. To top it up, he was being pushy. For four years, he would ask for a chance, but I would always choose someone else. For four years, I would try and explain why friendship is the only thing I could offer him.

I guess what he couldn’t accept is the fact that I am not the type of girl who would settle for someone who’s available. I am not the type of girl who would fall easily. I am the kind of girl who sticks to what I know is right for me. I am the type of girl who waits.

So, my dear stalker, thanks for the love and attention. Sorry that I couldn’t force myself to loving you back. I hope that you would keep your promise, that you will forget me. I wish that you meet someone else. Someone who would appreciate you. Someone who would love you back. Someone who would be happy being stalked.