A Six-Word Story

We don’t always get second chances.

3 A.M. Thoughts

Sometimes I wish there’s someone

I can talk with about everything.

About anything.

They don’t even need

to say a word.

No need to agree

or disagree

with what I say.

Allow me to laugh.

Allow me to breakdown.

And just listen.

Just listen to what I

Truly want to say.

What I’ve been through.

What I’m going through.

Or what I’ll be going through.

But there’s no one

I can trust these days.

Words always get twisted.

No one to lean on.

No one to listen.

Why?

When I just want to let it all out?

It’s sad, ain’t it?

Just sad.

To have so much to say

but not one soul to tell it to.

No one willing to lend an ear.

No one patient enough

or kind enough

to listen to someone

who is nothing but sad.

Here’s What Happened

It’s an ordinary day.

I met a stranger.

He was nice. No hint of arrogance.

He sounded smart. Indeed, he really was.

I trusted him. Opened up to him.

Built a friendship like no other.

Became my favorite person.

Some days I look for reasons why we’ve met.

Reasons for why things happened.

Perchance to save me?

To offer me wisdom perhaps?

To teach me a lesson?

To hold me to keep me from falling?

Or to protect me from deeper pain?

I knew I might love this person.

But I also knew he’s not mine to keep.

It may be he didn’t come to save me.

But just to teach me save myself.

And eventually I learned how.

Then he started to drift away.

Just like that.

No explanation.

No goodbye.

Until we’re strangers once again.

17 Things I Don’t Do Anymore

One thing I like when boredom strikes me is that I get to think about things I don’t normally think about on an ordinary day. I’ve realized there are a number of things I don’t do anymore, some I’ve stopped doing a couple of years ago, some I’ve stopped doing very recently. Over the past nine years, being a resident of this small, oil-rich Arab country, in a way, has changed me.

1. I no longer buy things on impulse.

Visit my home (specially back in the Philippines) and you’ll find lots of useless things there way, way too much more than those that are actually useful. I could maybe explain why I don’t use them at all but I’m not so sure I can explain why I bought them in the first place. Perhaps because I found it cute when I bought it? Or maybe because it’s purple. Or probably because it was on sale. I used to be the perfect example of an impulsive buyer specially when I lived in Manila. I’m very poor in handling my own money, seriously. I don’t know how to control and save. So I let my mom take over it. I try not to give myself access to my own money as much as I could and since I don’t have that much access to it anymore, I’ve stopped buying things on impulse.

2. I stopped eating junk.

Yes, I totally stopped eating junk! Fast foods, canned foods, instant noodles and the like. One day I just realized I want to eat “real” food all the time so goodbye junk foods!

3. I don’t avoid the dentist anymore.

I don’t like going to the dentist since I was small. I’d rather get bitten by a dog than visit a place of misery that is the dentist’s office. The needle, the drill, the pain, the smell, the long time waiting, etc. But the truth is, we need them in the long run. I’m not saying I love going to a dental clinic now but I don’t avoid doing so anymore.

4. I no longer party until wee hours then go to work at 7 AM.

I think we all reach a point in our lives when we just get tired of partying or drinking until late hours at night or early hours in the morning. I must’ve reached that point a couple of months back and so I decided to put an end to it… for now. 😉

5. I don’t shy away from the microphone anymore. 😅😁

Come on, guys! It’s never too late to be a singer!

6. I stopped checking my phone right away when I wake up.

It’s not healthy. And it just doesn’t feel right.

7. I don’t engage in online arguments any longer.

It’s head-aching and who wants that?

8. I realized I don’t memorize mobile numbers anymore.

Since college, I unintentionally memorize almost all the mobile numbers on my phone book! I don’t know why but yeah, I used to have all the numbers in my head. When, why and how I stopped doing this? I don’t know!

9. I stopped living in the past.

I should have done this sooner but it ain’t always that easy, right?

10. I stopped loving the wrong people.

The time I’ve spent loving them was more than enough.

11. I again no longer explain myself anymore when I say no.

I don’t know when did I start explaining myself to people when I say no. Why and when I started feeling guilty saying no to people. I guess I was trying to be kind to them? Or I don’t want to hurt them? Anyhow, I’m back to the old me, no means no.

12. I stopped drinking coffee like it’s my job.

I stopped drinking coffee not long ago. I used to drink at least five cups of black coffee everyday and I feel like there’s more coffee running through my veins already than blood. It wasn’t easy the first two weeks but I’m pretty much back to normal now.

13. I stopped apologizing.

Apologizing for not replying back to emails, not responding to text messages right away, missing a day at work because of health reasons, bombarding others with emails to catch a deadline, declining dinner invitations, refusing to go out with people, not being able to cook pretty well, talking too much, laughing out loud, being old school, etc. I totally stopped apologizing for such things. If people don’t like me the way I am, that’s their problem, not mine.

14. I stopped giving a damn to people who don’t give the slightest damn about me.

Need I say more?

15. I don’t write a journal anymore.

I’ve been writing since grade school but decided to stop since the beginning of the year. I’d still recommend others to keep a personal journal because it is actually a good thing and it’s been a great company to me for years. I wasn’t fed up writing or anything, it just occurred to me to stop and that was the end of it.

16. I no longer spend too much time on social media.

Not that I spend way too much of my precious time on social media, but my social media world is limited to Instagram and Twitter only. I don’t really post as much as before on Instagram anymore and I just started with Twitter a few months back which I hardly checkout, as well, except for tennis updates.

17. I don’t do things I don’t want to do anymore.

It saves me a lot of work, gives me a lot of positive energy and helps me keep a good mindset.

I think there’s more to add on this list but I’ll stop at seventeen, besides, I have some work to do now so it’s your turn this time… What things do you not do anymore? What things have changed? Share them in the comment section.

Have a great day, homo sapiens!😊

Six Text Messages I Never Sent You

Hey!

1. It’s been months since the last time we talked. Really talked. The kind of conversation we used to have, the one I like, I enjoy. The kind of conversation that attracted me to you. It’s nice and fun reading those threads of text messages but it saddens me at the same time. Little did I know that would be the last day I’d enjoy a chat/conversation with you. If I paid more attention that day, would I have seen signs at least that it would be the last? I don’t know. I just think now that it’s a terrible thing really how we throw away people. A terrible thing, being thrown away. Why don’t we talk anymore? Why’d you stop talking to me? I wish I could get or come up with even a flake of an answer…

2. I have been wondering what have you been up to since then. Did you get a new job? Or are you still doing the same thing? Are you staying here or did you fly somewhere else? Do you still do the things I’ve known you love doing or have you discovered new ones? Many times I’m tempted to call you, I was so close to pressing that call button. But I’m afraid you won’t answer, afraid that you’d cancel. But I almost did. I always remind myself that if you want to talk to me, you will. I just kind of miss that personalized notification tone from you and the ringtone when you’re the one calling.

3. You know, there’s always something around me that reminds me of you. Whether I’m at home, at work, in a coffee shop, in a restaurant… There’s always something that makes me remember you. It makes me feel like an idiot sometimes. Some days I wish I’d bump into you in places we used to frequently go to but sometimes I also hope not to because I’m not sure how I’d feel or what I’d do when I see you. Every working day on my way home, I pass by the place that reminds me so much of you. It always leaves a smile on my face but lately, it makes my mouth curve down, too.

4. You’ll always be one of my favorite people. Always. I hope someday, you find it in your heart to forgive me if I, in any way, did you any wrong. I still wish we could be friends. I’d give up anything for a second chance. Damn, I miss you like hell!

5. Thank you and I really hope you’re happy. Well, I know you are. You should be. There’s nothing you want that you can’t have. Nothing you want to do that you can’t do. You’ve got everything and could have anything within your grasp so I hope all your dreams come true.

6. Lastly, I have never said this but yes, I love you. I really do.

If We Were Having Coffee #1

If we were having coffee…

… for sure we’re both having brewed.

If we were having coffee…

… I’d ask you how have you been since you left and how I’ve been since then.

If we were having coffee…

… I’d tell you what could’ve been if life turned out differently for both of us.

If we were having coffee…

… I’d tell you how difficult it was losing you and how it felt to be so lonely.

If we were having coffee…

… I’d thank you for all the years we’ve shared together.

If we were having coffee…

… I’d tell you to love her more than you’ve loved me.

If we were having coffee…

… I’d tell you I’ve already forgiven you. I’ve already forgiven myself. And I’m completely and honestly okay now.

~~~

Some of the realest conversations I’ve ever had in my life were made over a cup of coffee (or tea for the other person) and usually last for hours. I’ve decided to do a series of this post where I’d be referring to different individuals I’ve met or encountered in my life. This first post for this series is for the person I’ve dated for a little bit more than seven years.

How about you? If we were having coffee, what would you tell me? Feel free to drop a line or two in the comment section. 🙂

Happy day, homo sapiens!

Mental Detox, My Way

There’s so much hype everywhere on how to detox our body from the food we eat or products we use that harm our health. Detox could probably be the most popular word in terms of wellness these days but to be quite honest, I don’t do any body detoxification thingy. Really. I know it’s essential to our bodies but I’d get to that some time later. I find detoxing my mind more necessary. Our brains construct what actions to take so I find it very important to take care of my mind.

I am blessed to have had the pleasure of living a carefree and adventure-filled childhood. By adventure, I don’t mean magic carpet rides and stuff, I just mean exploring the beauty of the vast outdoors. Hiking, boating, kite-flying, bicycling (though I only hitch with my dad because I never learned how to!), horseback riding, name it and I’ve probably done or tried it. Then life happened. Adulthood started to loom over me quite a bit early.  The stress caused by sudden life changes at that time almost had me lose control of my mind. I’m a girl who overthinks things way too much. It’s just me, that’s just the way I am. So I got used to working my ass off no matter what it takes whenever I want to achieve something or get things done. I have always been that stubborn, hard-working but still happy-go-lucky girl in my world full of chaos.

Fortunately, I’m able to learn and take better control of my mind soon enough instead of falling into the trap of overthinking and stress. I’ve developed doing a mental detox from time to time and I find it is just as important as a body detox. Here’s what I usually do to release toxic thoughts that cloud my mind…

Taking a break from social media.

Nowadays, whether you’re into twittering, or photo-sharing or simply sharing everything worth-sharing (or not) to the public, there’s just the right social media application right for you. That’s just the world today. (I don’t have a Facebook account. I’ve just very recently signed up with Twitter and I’m inactive most of the time. I occasionally post on Instagram which I’ve also set on private.) The thing is, social media is associated with lots of bad stuff BUT it is associated with lots of good stuff as well. However, people these days consume a lot more time on it.

I strongly believe that we need to take a step back from social media once in a while. Shut down. This gives us the chance to connect to ourselves and to the people around us more. I really miss going out for lunch or dinner with friends without a mobile phone on the dining table, having in-depth conversations with them, asking questions and thinking of answers without searching the internet. Connecting to the real world, creating memories, experiencing things for the sake of experience and not for the purpose of posting on social media.

Taking long walks.

Walking helps me a lot to clear my head. Whenever I’m stressed from work or had an argument with someone, I try my best to go for a walk. When my longest relationship came to an end, walking has been a vital part of moving on. I’d spent at least an hour walking early in the morning or in the afternoon after work in the exit stairs of the apartment building. When I was left hanging clueless, I can’t bring myself to take a walk to be able to move on and let go. Why? I really don’t know. Eventually though, I was able to pick myself up again and started walking up and down the stairs as usual.

Moreover, walking always changes/improves my mood. After a manic day at work, I sometimes feel stressed so I go for a walk. Sometimes, my weekends are so boring that I feel so homesick, I go out for a walk. Walking does change/improve my mood in such situations.

Saying goodbye to toxic people.

I’ve had my fair share of toxic people in my life. I find it unhealthy when I’m in the company of people who make me feel less than myself. People, even so-called friends, who create drama and act like poison to my mind. Thank heavens, I find it easier now to get rid of such kind of people. And whenever I get rid of them, I’m always happier and drama-free!

Traveling.

This is my  most favoured way of having a total mental detox. I don’t hold back on calories when I travel and I don’t feel guilty about it. Food makes my world go ’round! I taste every possible food there is in places I travel to and that way, I’m able to relax and clear my mind completely! Also, discovering new places is surely relaxing. It rejuvenates my mind and it’s uplifting. It gives me a different view of life, a different perspective. I always come back from a trip wiser, refreshed and happier.

Cleaning and rearranging my room.

I don’t really like routine, I find it lethal. So even in cleaning my room, there’s no specific day/schedule and I rearrange my room any given moment I feel like doing it but most specially when I’m feeling out of sorts. When I rearrange my room in such a way that it makes sense to me at that particular moment, adding or removing stuff, it gives me great satisfaction and lifts my mood. It also helps me to identify what I really love having in my room, what I need and what I don’t. (It’s not always easy for me throwing things even when they’re useless already so I keep them all in storage boxes and just open and reminisce whenever I feel like it.) So even though you like routine, a bit of a change here and there once in a while will do your mind a lot of good.

Reading.

Reading (books, in general) has always been a big part of my self-development and has always been my favorite entertainment. And though there are never-ending distractions due to the world’s advancement in technology, reading is something I can’t remove from my system. Books are very powerful that they’re able to change and transform lives. It still is my favorite entertainment and definitely one of the best ways to relax and calm my mind. Not only do I feel better and relaxed, I always learn something new, too. Reading feeds my always hungry mind, engages and broaden my imagination,  stimulates my mind, expands my vocabulary and a whole lot more.

Taking some me time.

For the past six months or so, I’ve been actually telling myself more often to be selfish. I just thought, sometimes, it ain’t bad if it has to be all about me. Self-care is a necessity so I don’t feel guilty pampering myself. From June last year until early January, I’ve cut my hair thrice and dyed it twice. (I don’t really cut my hair very often and never tried dying it until 2016!) There was also a time when I’ve had my nails painted different colors weekly. I was never a fan of nail polishing until middle of last year and it’s actually fun. So the main idea here is do what gives you joy, either doing what you’ve always wanted doing or trying something new.

Writing a journal.

Though I’ve entirely stopped keeping a journal, I would still recommend doing so. I’ve been writing a journal for years, I loved it and I must say that being able to get all my thoughts and feelings on paper, good or bad. is a very effective way to declutter my mind. Writing honestly about how I feel helps my brain overcome emotional upsets. Scribbling a few lines of poetry like six-word stories or haikus, which I personally do, also helps.

~~~

I don’t claim to be an expert on mental detox but I find this worth sharing with you because I see good effect and development on myself since I started doing a regular mental detox. I get to focus on positive thoughts more each day and able to reconnect with myself more and more.

Do you guys do a mental detox as well? Share your tricks, too, in the comment section. I’d be happy to read them.

Thanks for reading and have a great day, homo sapiens! 🙂

Quote of the Week

Your soul has fallen to bits and pieces. Good. Rearrange them to suit yourself.

-Hermanne Hesse

How I Deal with People I Don’t Like

In a perfect world, everyone is nice, cool, caring, mindful. In a perfect world. But then again, we aren’t in a perfect world and imperfections are all around us. There are those whom we just click with right away, some whom we can handle alright, and try as we might, some whom we just don’t care about. And then there are those whom we just don’t get along with, people we just can’t stand and sometimes it’s difficult to know the right way to deal with them.

I’m not quite sure what I’m doing is right but here is how I deal with people I don’t like…

Accepting that I can’t get along with everyone.

The thing is, we definitely aren’t going to like every single person we meet. But not liking someone doesn’t necessarily mean we or them are a bad person. It’s just that we have different opinions or personalities and we just don’t jive. So it’s okay not to like people. The best thing to do, I guess, is just accept it. I don’t need to like everyone (whether at work, in the apartment, etc.) as much as they don’t need to like me, so I’d better go easy on myself. 🙂 I have to accept that I’m not going to like everyone. I can’t change them and they’re probably not trying to be difficult, too.

Identifying what I dislike about the other person.

It’s very important to know what it is exactly we don’t like from a person. So I consider what’s happening and why. It might just be because I don’t like the person because of certain qualities which are socially acceptable but not for me personally and if that’s the case then that is my issue and not the other person’s. In a way, being able to pin-point what puts me off about this person is a way of bettering myself, too.

Releasing the need to be right.

The more I think I am right, the more I struggle dealing with the person I don’t like. So I try to just make my point and walk away. Agree to disagree and try my best not to be judgmental.

Finding common ground.

Sometimes this is difficult but when I look hard enough, I sometimes find some common ground with people I don’t like. It helps to know something we have in common and try to develop it from there instead of focusing on things they do that annoys me.

Checking my expectations.

Sometimes I take a moment to check on myself. I get irritated because the other person doesn’t do what I would do if I were on his situation. Expecting others to do as I’d do almost always leaves me disappointed. We are all different individuals, raised in different ways, believe in different views so we devise ideas and solutions for every situation differently as well. So I guess it’s normal, besides, I also don’t act the way people expect me to all the time either. So I check on my expectations and try to be tolerant of different approaches.

When all else fails, ignore them completely.

Yes. Sometimes, or well, more often, it’s best to just ignore them completely. I do try to avoid them as much as I could until eventually, I can completely ignore them. This isn’t easy when I have to work with these people but in cases where I don’t need to, it’s really not an issue.

~~~~~~~~~~

How about you my dear readers? How do you deal with people you don’t like? Feel free to write them on the comment section. I’d be glad to learn from you!

Enjoy the day, homo sapiens!

12 Things I’ve Learned from Working in Kuwait

It’s almost nine years since I boarded the Etihad Airways flight leaving Manila a few minutes past midnight. I haven’t been home since then. But for as long as I can remember, working overseas — specially in the Middle East — was never part of my plans growing up. Moving to a foreign country could be a scary stuff for many but not for me. It’s just that, at that time, I didn’t see myself working abroad. But to borrow the words of Jamie Lannister (or George R.R. Martin to be more precise), “…the things we do for love.” So off to Kuwait I flew…

Jumping into life as an expatriate was a decision I made for love. When I think about it now, I still somehow think it’s one of the most stupid decisions I’ve ever made. I had a rewarding job back in Manila, was earning good enough, have a wonderful family and friends. So why leave? Love. Yes, love. But that’s not what I wanted to write about today though here’s a spoiler… it wasn’t a happy ending. It wasn’t all easy but I can say I still have been very fortunate and blessed after that. What happened then opened new doors, challenges and opportunities for me. Thus, here I am now.

Personally and professionally, these long years of working in Kuwait and living on my own has taught me a lot of things. Allow me to share some…

1. I’ve learned to become totally independent/self-reliant. Arriving in an unfamiliar environment by myself, I didn’t have a choice but to find my way around and rely on myself completely. I have already moved out of my parents’ home a couple of years before I came here but it’s always easy to go home to them whenever I want to or need to. But moving to another country, clueless, is a totally different thing. I learned to cook my meals, treat my wounds (physically & emotionally), going to the doctor when I’m sick, making my grocery list, paying my house rent and bills — I have to do it all on my own. (Thanks to technology I am able to pay my bills or order food online just by clicking this and that, click, click and click then it’s done, as sometimes it’s not easy calling due to language barriers.) It’s amazing to realize that I was able to adapt pretty quickly. I’m glad how I’m able to improve an independent mindset and was able to enhance my decision-making skills. Of course I still make mistakes, but it’s from these mistakes that I learn to be wiser and stronger being on my own. Being able to do things my way is a very liberating feeling!

2. I’ve learned that nationality matters. Well, we always hear that we are all global citizens but in reality, nationality matters here. It does. I understand this connotes a negative meaning, however, sad as it seems, people are paid according to what passport they carry. An Indian teacher can never get a salary equal to an American teacher though they have the same qualifications. Nationality determines the salary for different job titles.

3. I’ve learned a great deal of patience and balance. I always try to be as optimistic as I could about life, however, patience was never really my virtue. Coming here though, I’ve learned to be patient with myself and other people or else, I’d better go back home. It just hit me one day to just take it easy and be patient for a while, balancing my work and social life and give myself a chance to learn how things work in this country.  It is definitely a big adjustment, seriously. But being patient and knowing how to balance things helped me adapt to these differences.

4. I’ve learned that culture shock is a real thing. (It can happen to anyone.) And homesickness, too. Coping with culture shock I think was one of the most challenging aspect of moving overseas or even just traveling. Every traveler I think feels the same way to a certain extent but for most first-timers, I think it’s more serious. First thing that strike me was the language. I felt dizzy listening to people talking simultaneously and very loudly in an unfamiliar language that pretty much sounded like noise to me in my earlier months here. Next, the way people stare at me made me quite uncomfortable, too. (My mom told me it’s bad to stare.) A lot of men stare at women differently that it makes it awkward and unpleasant. I don’t know how to explain this well so I’ll leave it at that. I’m sure others who have worked in the Middle East will understand me. Another thing that still shocks me even to this day are the times when some men drop a piece of paper on your table with their mobile numbers on it. Seriously. You can decently ask for my name and my phone number if you want to be friends with me but dropping a piece of paper with your number and expecting me to call you or send you a message?!? Hell, no. I don’t know if this is okay with other women, but for me, definitely a no-no.

Work ethics and social interactions are far too different from where I came from so it’s really a big shock for me, too. Life doesn’t move as quickly here but life doesn’t end when you don’t get a reply to your email the same hour or the same day, but still. Unanswered phone calls are annoying as well. Some things that I can’t really get used to.

Alongside coping with culture shock, I also learned that homesickness can hit even the most independent of people. It was only less than a month since I arrived when I started  missing everything about my country already. I miss my family, my friends, the food/restaurants, my dog, my mom’s voice (specially when she’s angry (: haha!), my hometown, our home, my bedroom, my books, our village, the markets/shops/malls/bookstores, the public transportation, the pine trees, the fog, the weather, the rain, the discos/bars, alcohol/beer, the people, the fun. I wanted to go back home. But I thought better of it so I stayed. I realized it’s okay to be homesick. Some people I’ve met here make me forget homesickness every now and then. I just try to enjoy the time I have here with some good people I’ve met or by myself most of the time. Home will always be there when I return anyway. 🙂

5. I’ve learned that it helps a lot to learn the country’s language and culture. Communicating with people from different countries without a common language was something really irritating for me at first. I actually expected them to at least know basic English, however, that wasn’t the case. Many people I’ve met here don’t speak English at all. It’s surprising specially in places where English-speakers are expected. So it was (and is still) pretty difficult to communicate. Like in restaurants that serve Arabic dishes, of course as expats, we expect someone who is able to explain to us the dishes in English. It’s frustrating that the staffs aren’t able to explain these things to you. So my experience in a Lebanese restaurant helped me a lot about Arabic food. Anyhow, as days and months and years went by, it became very interesting to experience communicating without a common language! Yes, believe it or not, it’s possible! This happened almost everyday in my first two or three years and even these days, though rarely. But it’s not easy of course. It sometimes leads to miscommunication so it really helps a lot to learn the spoken language in your host country. I’m not saying learn everything but knowing the basics certainly made my life better and easier. It’s pretty annoying coping with a language difficult to understand and I never had the will to learn actually but it goes a long way to know at least how to greet or say thank you in other people’s language.

It’s also a big plus knowing cultural taboos and how to avoid them. I surely found some pretty odd things at first and many times, I disagree about something, but taking a step back and trying to look at things in their perspective helps a lot in understanding their culture/behavior and gradually I learned to understand and respect them. Nothing really comes out good for being an idiot abroad so I try to learn whatever possible things I can learn about the place, the people, the culture and gain understanding of whatever situation I’m into. I’m sometimes appalled or amazed or surprised but it all contributes to how I survive here.

6. I’ve learned to be flexible. I can’t always get what I want and people are not going to adjust or give way for me all the time so I always try to be flexible. Back home, I mostly work things my way and I’m mostly in control of situations but here, I’ve learned that life can’t always be like that. I certainly can’t have all things my way and not every situation is under my control. I’ve learned and understood that there’s always more than one correct answer. I always try to be open-minded and to be prepared to change my mind once in a while because things don’t just fall perfectly on my lap. Even in everyday experiences like eating out with friends/colleagues, being flexible and open-minded will make the experience better, happier and worthwhile. Trying unusual and never-before-heard dishes because it’s the only place open at that time of the day/night actually introduced me to new different dishes and new favorites! So being flexible lead me to different adventures.

7. I’ve learned to manage my expectations. It’s good to think positive but it’s stupid to underestimate how difficult it can get to live in a new place, a new environment, with different people, different climate and a new culture. It isn’t all fun and easy so give big enough room for disappointments, irritation, discouragement and tears. Don’t be overconfident as well but learn to find your niche in your new world and it will be satisfying and beneficial later on.

8. I’ve learned to ask for help. Being independent doesn’t mean you won’t be needing help. Though I can figure things out on my own most of the time, there are situations where it is wiser and more efficient to ask for other people’s help like asking for directions or how things are done here and there. It’s pretty annoying sometimes because of unnecessary talks/comments but hell, there’s no harm in asking for help.

9. I’ve learned to just smile and not to sweat the small stuff. Seriously. A smile always goes a long way. (But still be cautious and use your common sense, of course!) Smiling just feels good. Smiling makes me happy and it could make other people happy, too. Remember that smile is contagious. 🙂 Moreover, don’t sweat the small stuff. Life could be way much worse than we could ever imagine so I learned to appreciate what I have and what I don’t and life as a whole. Really, life ain’t that bad.

10. I’ve learned the value of money. Since I started living by myself, specially when I started working here, the way I look at money started to change. I realized I can just buy a ticket to somewhere and enjoy a lot of different, wonderful, crazy, mind-boggling and extraordinary things instead of buying shoes and bags every so often. (I still don’t mind spending money on books though!) I’ve been able to travel to a few countries during my annual vacations and I was also able to see how people spend (or waste) their money and how little a lot of people have. I also don’t have much but I feel really blessed living the life I have now. I get to realize how much money I’m wasting on things I don’t really need when a lot of people don’t even have anything to eat. I’ve seen poverty in places known as tourist destinations but it’s saddening, heart-wrenching even, to see the reality behind these beautiful and astonishing places. Since then, I promised myself to spend my money wisely and find ways to help the less fortunate in my own little way.

11. I’ve learned to take risks after risks after risks. (Or else, life’s a bore.) I think my decision to quit my job back in Manila and come here was one of the riskiest thing I’ve done in my life. Less than a month since I got here though, I started regretting that decision. Everything was not what I expected, nonetheless, I stayed. Then I needed to take far bigger risks after that. As it turned out, what seemed to be a wrong decision almost nine years ago, turned out to be one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life.

12. I’ve learned to embrace diversity. It’s important not to stereotype. Everyone of us is a masterpiece. None of us is exactly the same as someone else. We were raised in different ways, we have different cultures and beliefs, thus, we have different opinions and way of life. Sure, some (or a lot) of things were strange, peculiar or unusual but overtime, I learned to accept and respect these differences as others accept mine. This diversity makes it all beautiful. We become more passionate about other people, it helps bring about a healthier lifestyle, it enriches our knowledge and opinion and it makes us closer.

These are the most notable things I’ve learned thus far living as an expatriate. (This decision I’ve made for love ain’t that bad after all.) Years ago I thought working abroad wasn’t for me. Not anymore. It has opened a lot of exciting, challenging, rare and unexpected opportunities, both personally and professionally that I think working abroad is a choice I’d make again and again. There were years of happy, delightful, wonderful and satisfying moments. There were weeks and months of tears and despair. But all these contributed to what and where I am now.

Kuwait is not a place for everyone. Countless times I thought it’s not for me, too. It’s certainly not the life I’ve wished/imagined when I was younger but it undeniably helped me in a lot of ways which couldn’t have been possible if I just stayed back home. I am pleased that I’ve learned a lot about myself and that my life had been better in one way or the other. For this I am glad for the experiences I’ve had here. Sure there are negative aspects of the country and sometimes I myself find it unsafe in some areas, but it’s not all war zones here or in the Middle East. We can’t ignore the fact that terrible things happen every now and then, however, we have to keep in mind that tolerance and respect for people and their culture is a two-way process. I still always tell myself and believe that there are far more good people here. Perhaps, I just have to give it a try to reach out again. I don’t want to be left wondering what if and if only.

Thanks for reading. Happy day, homo sapiens! 🙂

Get to Know Me Tag

Hi there! Today is the Get to Know Me Tag day! This is another first for me and I’m so delighted to be tagged by Shayra! (At least I kinda feel like someone’s interested to get to know me more somewhere out there! Haha!) Thanks for tagging me Shayra and do visit her blog here.

Let’s get started!

download The Rules:

  • Thank the blogger who tagged you.
  • Answer the questions asked.
  • Nominate/Tag 5 or more bloggers & let them know by commenting on one of their posts.

The questions and my answers:

WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY WEARING?

Black slacks, brown top with puff sleeves, black windbreaker and black doll shoes.

HAVE YOU EVER BEEN IN LOVE?

Hell, yes! 😍😊

DID YOU EVER HAVE A TERRIBLE BREAKUP?

Yes and I think any kind of breakup is terrible if the person means a lot to you.

HOW OLD ARE YOU?

A little older than you are, Shayra! 🙂

HOW TALL ARE YOU?

Less taller than you…

HOW MUCH DO YOU WEIGH?

I stopped checking!

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DO YOU HAVE ANY PIERCINGS?

Ear piercing.

DO YOU HAVE ANY TATTOOS?

Nope but I think of having one sometimes. Though I’m pretty sure I won’t do it just the same…

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE DRINK?

Beer! And whisky or any alcohol! But since it’s not allowed here, black coffee.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE SONG?

I have a lot but recently All I Ask.

WHAT’S YOUR ZODIAC SIGN?

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HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE YOU TO SHOWER?

15-20 minutes on weekdays. Longer on weekends.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE SHOW?

Game of Thrones and House of Cards.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE BAND?

The Beatles, Green Day, Maroon 5, Backstreet Boys, Coldplay, Eraserheads.

SOMETHING YOU REALLY MISS?

Disco!

WHERE DO YOU GO WHEN YOU’RE SAD?

Here in Kuwait, I just lock myself in my bedroom when I’m sad. In my hometown, I used to take a walk in Camp John Hay or go to a bookstore or the public library. At night, I grab a drink at a bar or something.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE YOU TO GET READY IN THE MORNING?

Excluding shower, 15 minutes.

HAVE YOU EVER BEEN IN A PHYSICAL FIGHT?

No. Never. I don’t like fighting. Haha!

WHAT TURNS YOU ON?

Kindness and intelligence.

WHAT TURNS YOU OFF?

Arrogance and stupidity combined.

QUALITY YOU LOOK FOR IN PARTNER?

Kind, intelligent, sweet, good sense of humor, PATIENT.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE COLOR?

Recently, black. Read here: https://happymesshappiness.wordpress.com/2018/01/24/the-mystery-blogger-award

LOUD MUSIC OR SOFT?

This really depends on my mood.

FAVORITE QUOTE:

You don’t have to compromise convictions to be compassionate.

-Rick Warren

FAVORITE ACTOR:

Jack Nicholson, Michael Caine, Bruce Willis, Tom Cruise

DO YOU HAVE ANY FEARS? WHAT ARE THEY?

My mom and an empty fridge. Earthquakes. Spiders.

WHAT’S THE LAST THING THAT MADE YOU CRY?

When I was left hanging… clueless… I felt stupid and worthless. 😢

MEANING BEHIND YOUR BLOG NAME?

Here -> https://happymesshappiness.wordpress.com/2017/06/20/liebster-award

LAST TIME YOU SAID YOU LOVED SOMEONE.

Apart from my family? Hmmm… maybe 2016? I loved someone after that but I never really got the chance to tell him. My bad…

LAST BOOK YOU READ.

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck.

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THE BOOK YOU’RE CURRENTLY READING.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith.

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LAST SHOW YOU WATCHED?

Game of Thrones Season 7.

LAST PLACE YOU WERE?

Office.

LAST SPORT YOU PLAYED?

Tennis.

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WHO’S THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO?

My boss.

LAST SONG YOU SANG.

Swept Away by Christopher Cross. Check it out here, it’s a beautiful song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZZQwf7kaFuY

FAVORITE CHAT UP LINE.

Hey!

DO YOU HAVE A CRUSH?

Oh, yes!

THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN YOU AND THE LAST PERSON YOU TEXTED?

Colleague.

FAVORITE FOOD.

Korean and Japanese food.

PLACE YOU WANT TO VISIT.

A lot! But I’m looking forward to Egypt and India this year. And a second visit to Jordan.

LAST TIME YOU WERE INSULTED?

Can’t remember…

FAVORITE FLAVOR OF SWEETS?

Chocolate, of course!!! Anything chocolate!

WHAT INSTRUMENTS DO YOU PLAY?

Drums.

FAVORITE PIECE OF JEWELRY.

I’m not a fan of jewelries but a ring or an earring is fine.

LAST TIME YOU HUNG OUT WITH ANYONE.

Last weekend with the flat owners of the apartment where I’m living. They pretty much treat me like their youngest sister. 🙂

I’m tagging:

Ushnish

Dilip

Elly

Samita

Queenyasa

Mahin

And everyone reading this! Or you can answer some of the questions on the comment section! Let’s get to know each other more, homo sapiens! 🙂

Thanks again, Shayra and let’s all have a wonderful day!

A Random List of Loves, Likes and Dislikes

I thought of writing something to kill time yesterday so here’s a random list of my loves, likes and dislikes. Read on and see what we have in common. 🙂

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Loves:

  • Food
  • Books
  • Roger Federer
  • Adventures
  • Kisses on the forehead
  • Traveling
  • Alcohol
  • Singing
  • Having a strong mental connection to people
  • Black coffee
  • Shoes
  • Cuddling
  • A good sense of humor
  • Bags

Likes:

  • The word “darling”
  • Talking to strangers
  • Tulips
  • The 90s
  • Starry nights
  • Dogs
  • Libraries
  • Winning
  • Late nights
  • Debates
  • Listening to other people’s love stories
  • Long walks
  • Pine cones
  • The British accent
  • Cool wind blowing to my face (and my hair)
  • Numbers
  • Gays
  • Wagasa
  • Thrift shops
  • Bamboo
  • Museums
  • The smell of cinnamon, freshly-baked bread, books and pine trees
  • Magic
  • Happy endings (but I like tragic endings, too, in books/series/movies)
  • Hoodies
  • Postage stamps
  • Vintage stuffs/designs
  • Airports/airplanes
  • Long travels
  • Window-shopping
  • Spontaneity

Dislikes:

  • Being late
  • Needles
  • Milk and cheese
  • Long queues
  • Noisy housemates
  • Strong scents
  • People trying to control me
  • Invasion of privacy
  • Spiders
  • Bad customer service
  • The sea (or any bodies of water)
  • Lazy people
  • Arrogance and stupidity combined
  • Ironing my clothes
  • My favorite character killed in a book/movie
  • Two-timers
  • Hospitals

There’s the list, so far… 🙂 Share yours, I’d be very delighted to know!

Happy day, homo sapiens! 🙂

Ask Me!

Hello, everyone!

First of all, thanks a lot for your wonderful birthday wishes yesterday. I think I received a lot this year than any other, from here on WordPress, on Twitter, and everyone who called and sent text messages, wow! Thanks a lot, guys! You all made it extra special, thank you!

1_Ot2ffVKd-_gwF5zaZz5lAgAnyway, I’ve decided to write this post as fast as I could before I continue with my work again… I’m giving my readers a chance to ask me one question each. I will try my best to answer them all. Then maybe I can ask you back one question, too. I think it’s a good way to get to know each other.

So guys, let’s get started, ask me! 🙂

Photo credit to the owner, I just got this from Google!

Just Me and Some Lessons Learned

Guess what? I think it’s the best time of the year to give my readers that chance to get to know a little bit more about Just_Me, yes, that’s me! Today’s post will be a minute of random facts about me and some lessons I’ve learned in the past twelve months. Here we go…

1. I am a big fan of Roger Federer. I love Roger! 😍🎾

2. I can play the drums and it’s the only musical instrument I can play.🥁

3. I love to sing but I’m way, way, way out of tune.🎤👩‍🎤

4. I’m not comfortable on the beach, on a river, lake or whatever bodies of water. I’m not afraid of water, just not comfortable with it.

5. I have a bad habit of overthinking things waaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyy tooooooo mooooooore than I should. 🤔😔

6. I am frequently misunderstood.

7. I can be wickedly sarcastic.

8. I’m a rebel. (Even just for the hell of it!)

9. I’ve tried meditation several times for the past one and a half years but failed. I think I need  more time.

10. I don’t have an appendix since I was 13.

11. I fell from a horse when I was 14.

12. I like Game of Thrones and House of Cards.

13. I’m a fan of X-Men (specially Wolverine/Logan!) and The Lord of the Rings.

14. I have a bachelor’s degree in Accounting.

15. I do not wear make-up.

16. I always wake up 10 or 15 minutes earlier before my alarm. ⏰

17. I love beer/alcohol and I don’t easily get drunk. 🍺🍻🍸🍾🍷🥂

18. I drink coffee like it’s my job and I want it black and no sugar. ☕️☕️☕️

19. I can eat a jar of peanut butter.

20. I’m a big fan of solo travel. ✈️🚕🚇

21. My dream job was to be a lawyer. But I really wanted to be a singer/performer, too!

22. I’d choose vegetables over meat.

23. I feel very much at home in libraries.

24. I’ve been keeping a diary since grade school though I don’t really write every single day. Since 2009 though, I made it a point to write daily and I was consistent with it until some time last year where I stopped for a while and continued again after a couple of months. I’ve decided to stop writing though since the new year.

25. I would love to do volunteer works in Africa or anywhere I haven’t been to.

26. I enjoy reading and I have more than 50 books unread on my shelf. I like historical fiction and surreal works like the books of  Haruki Murakami. 📚📚

27. I don’t like being late.

28. I’m almost always open to trying something new.

29. I love food. Food is life.

30. I don’t know how to save/control my own money so my mom does it all for me. 💰💰💰

31. I like long hours of travel.

32. Today is my birthday. 😊😜🤭🤫

And some lessons that I’ve notably learned this past year are:

1. Even the seemingly perfect relationships end.

2. Letting go of whatever painful baggage we’re holding onto allows us to feel better, be better and it makes us stronger.

3. Talking to strangers is one of the best ways to meet wonderful people.

4. Change is always possible, any time, any moment.

5. Embrace rejection.

6. Forgive everyone everything.

7. I’ve loved. And that’s all that matters.

8. The only people we need in life are those who want us to be in theirs.

9. Mean words can scar a person for life.

10. Some people can stay in our hearts, sure, but not in our lives.

There you go… I also feel like I’m in the mood to answer questions today so if you have any, feel free to ask in the comment section.

Enjoy the day, homo sapiens! 🙂

The Mystery Blogger Award

I momentarily stepped away from work to accept this nomination for The Mystery Blogger Award! A first! How cool is that? Huge thanks to Jyoti for nominating me and sorry for doing this so bloody late! Make sure to check out her blog here. She’s got tons of wonderful stuff to enjoy there.

mysterybloggeraward

The Rules:

  1. Put the award logo/image on your blog.
  2. List the rules.
  3. Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  4. Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well.
  5. Tell your readers 3 things about yourself.
  6. You have to nominate 10-20 people.
  7. Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog.
  8. Ask your nominees any 5 questions of your choice.

The Mystery Blogger Award was created by Okoto Enigma where he says:

Mystery Blogger Award” is an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging; and they do it with so much love and passion.”

Three Things About Me:

1. I’m a frustrated singer.

2. I can’t whistle.

3. I’ve consistently been writing a diary since 2009 until I stopped writing for a while some time last year. I started to write again a few months later and finally decided not to write anymore since the new year.

Jyoti’s Questions and My Answers:

1. Are you happy with your life? If yes, explain your happiness in one word.

I don’t have everything I want in life and things turned out differently the way I planned my life to be but I’m certainly happy as to what and where I am now. So if I were to describe my happiness in one word, it would be: blessed.

2. Which is your favorite color and why?

I’ve had several favorites at certain moments in my life. Like when I was in elementary school, I was so obsessed with green. I think I was really into nature at that time. In high school, I liked white a lot. Most of my shirts were white then. When I was in the university, I was into gray. I was a bit uncertain of the things that were going on then. So I always settle on things in between. Decisions weren’t too easy to make. I don’t know if that makes sense to you but it does to me during those years. After graduating though and until now, I find purple lovely and I like black a lot. Most of my clothes now are black. Helps me look a bit slimmer, too! 😉

3. Explain your way of life to your viewers.

For those who have been following me for some time now, you know I’m currently residing/working in Kuwait. I go to work Sundays thru Thursdays and have my days off on weekends (Friday & Saturday) which I usually spend reading, writing or sometimes watching. There’s not much to do around here unlike back in my country so it’s a bit boring actually. I have a very laid-back lifestyle and I don’t concern myself with fashion or the latest trends. I mostly eat out or order for delivery  because I’m not a good cook.

4. What do you fear the most?

My mom and an empty fridge. 😂

5. Do you think the one who nominated you is a good writer/blogger?

Definitely! 👍

The Nominees:

Laleh Chini

Pankhudi Singh

Bethany

Chhaya

Swalia

Jeni

Tashnee

Pradita

RoughBandit

Yaskhan

My Questions for the Nominees:

  1. Space or ocean exploration and why?
  2. What’s your dream job?
  3. The first thing you’ll save from your burning house?
  4. What’s your current favorite song?
  5. If you could be anywhere else right now, where would you be and why?

There you go! I hope you all enjoyed reading and I’m looking forward to the answers of the nominees as well, I hope you accept the nomination. 🙂

Once again, thanks a lot, Jyoti!

Have a wonderful day, homo sapiens! 🙂

A Six-Word Story

There’s something about coffee, something personal.

A Six-Word Story

I should’ve left it at hello.

The Silence Between Us

I sometimes wonder
what is it you hear in the
silence between us?

A Sunday Haiku

You broke my trust from

the start. Now you ask why I

don't give you my heart.

Happy Two Years!

Well… it's really a surprise to me that I've now been blogging for two years. I am pleased that what started out of boredom turned out to be pretty much an outlet of many things and feelings. I didn't really think I can keep this up for a month, let alone two years!

2-cake

It's amazing to look back and see how much have changed and how much more left to do. Part of me wants to think that I'm improving in this blogging experience and I hope my entries are becoming better as well. My life has also changed a lot in the past two years. I'm blessed to have visited new places, try new things, learn new stuff, meet new people though I lost some, too. Well, it's all a part of life so I'm just very grateful for every experience.

Also, I think this is one of the best time to thank all my readers for always taking time to read my entries. Thank you to everyone, wherever you may be. I am glad to have come across your blogs and to have met some of you as well. I hope you'd still enjoy the entries this coming year and I'm always looking forward to yours, too.

Thank you and Happy Sunday, homo sapiens! 🙂

I Stayed

I was faced with two choices:

the choice to leave

and never see you again,

or to stay and feel the pain

of you not loving me.

Maybe it’s wrong,

maybe it’s stupid,

I don’t know…

but I stayed.