Tag Archives: Life’s Choices

Seriously…I’m Kidding

img_8527_edited-2

I woke up unusually early today.  For crying out loud, it’s a Sunday, and obviously yesterday was a Saturday when most (if not all) – corporate people like me are finding time to slow down by spending time with family and friends, going out of town, catching up some series on Netflix, visiting art galleries, shopping. reading books. painting etc.

One second, I am not here today to tell you guys that I woke up unusually early today after falling asleep while watching a series on Netflix last night, leaving my TV – on till the following morning, which is today, and this was me – 30 minutes ago, after getting off my bed, (which by the way is part of my daily routine in the morning)

  • Tuning off my alarm clock at 5AM
  • Snoozing it at 5:30AM
  • Turning off the snooze
  • Praying…okay…I am guilty (it does not happen everyday, but I am trying to be better at it) so I play my favorite worship songs while I prep up for the day.  It makes me feel I am talking to God as He listens and understands what my heart is trying to let Him know.  While in my head, I silently tell Him, Oh dear God, where are You?  Please listen to what my heart is trying to tell You.”
  • Read the news (worship song still plays at the background) or in such cases…
  • Watch the news (then I need to turn off my favorite worship song) because I need to watch Obama’s Farewell Speech…No!  I mean, Donald Trump’s Inaugural Speech I mean.
  • Grab a cup of coffee…but today, it’s about a lovely cup tea!

Okay, I am not here to talk about my daily routine either….

Well, today, I am very excited to finally share with you all, one of my favorite books of Ellen DeGeneres, Seriously…I Am Kidding.  If my mind does not fail me, I have finished reading this book November last year, but failed to write, and share with you all about my thoughts about it, because I was busy at work.  Okay, okay, I know you will say, it’s all about PRIORITIES.  No one is too busy if one starts prioritizing, but I bet you will agree with me when I say, I was occupied building an empire, well, I still am…alright, PRIORITIES.

Anyway, I am very happy to share with you all the very first book, which I have finished this 2017.  I have been tagging this book almost every where I go that I get to have a click of it, and share it on my Twitter, especially when I am stuck in traffic.  See?

1

2

What I am about to share with you are some of the bits and pieces, and antics that is originally Ellen DeGeneres together with the life lessons that I found from each chapter as Ellen gracefully ended each with a wit.  I actually have a lot to pick, but I will try to squeeze them the best I can in order not to bore you.  My hope is that as I share with you all the things that I have learned from this book through words, you will also find time to realize that each and everyone of us is blessed with a funny bone, and that no matter what life is throwing at you right now, it’s not a bad idea to smile everyday when you wake up – in case of this book – laugh.

LIFE

  • I let my mind wander through some of the biggest moments in my life and then I realized what I needed to do.

BEAUTY

  • Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  Beauty is only skin deep.  Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart.
    • I believed that true beauty is not related to  what color of your hair is or what color of your eyes are.  True beauty is about who you are as human being, your principles, your moral compass.
  • Our age is something we have absolutely no control over, it’s just a fact of who we are.  I enjoy growing  older and wiser and learning from my mistakes every single day.  I’m happy for example, that I no longer eat paste, like I did when I was twenty-four.  And I’m happy that in a few years I’ll be able to get a half-price tickets to movies and museums.  Considering how often I go to movies and museums, I could serve upward of thirty dollars a year.
  • I know it seems easy and breezy for me to say, but trust me – it’s okay to be you.

PERSONALLY SPEAKING

  • We have to take care of ourselves as we age and that includes getting procedures done that are invasive, uncomfortable, and at times what many would refer to as “third date territory.”  One of those procedures is a colonoscopy.

THE SECRET OF LIFE

  • Kale.
  • …don’t look back and don’t spend too much time worrying  about the future.  Stay in the present.  There are few ways to do that.  Stop and smell the roses.  Wake up and smell the coffee.  Enjoy the sweet smell of success.  I guess just keep taking a big whiffs of stuff because it seems like the more we smell, the happier we are going to be.  You know what I mean.

FAMILY

  • But we should be grateful for them because without our family – the ancestors we descend from, the cousin we see once a year, the loves of our lives we see every day – life us pretty boring.  You don’t have to believe me, but you should.  I’m royalty.

WHAT WOULD JESUS DO?

  • We all spend so much time comparing ourselves to each other.  Everyone is running around trying to keep up with the Joneses.  Who are the Joneses anyway?  Why are we trying to keep up with up them?  I’m sure they’re not perfect.  We don’t need to keep up with them.  It’s hard enough to keep up with the Kardashians.
  • And who’s to say what’ better or worse anyway?  Who’s to even say what’s normal or average?  We’re all different people and we’re allowed to be different from one another.  If someones ever says you’re weird, say thank you.  And then curtsy.  No, don’t curtsy.  That might be too weird.  Bow.  And tip your imaginary hat.  That’ll show them all.

AMERICAN IDOL, OR “IF YOU DON’T HAVE ANYTHING NICE TO SAY. DON’T SAY ANYTHING AT ALL”

  • And I know there’s such thing as constructive criticism, but to that’s still criticism.  It’s just criticism with a jaunty hat.
  • It’s the same with every career and life decision.  You just have to keep driving down the road.  It’s going to bend and curve and you’ll speed up and slow down, but the road keeps going.

COMMON COURTESY

  • What I’ve realized is that people don’t care about common courtesy anymore.
  • How many times  have you held a door open for someone who walks right through it without saying thank you?  How many times have you let someone into  your lane of traffic without receiving the courtesy wave?
  • And not only are people rude, they have no boundaries anymore.

LABELS

  • Unfortunately, I get labeled a lot.
  • The problem with labels is that they lead to stereotypes and stereotypes lead to generalizations and generalizations lead to assumptions and assumptions lead back to stereotypes.

I AM NOT LAZY

  • Humans aren’t suppose to be lazy.
  • Let’s all challenge ourselves today to get up and move a little more.

Happy: Then Officially Sick, but still happy

IMG_8486.JPG

Taking advantage of the weekend before my coming week goes really crazy. Don’t get me wrong. I love my job, but I bet you guys would agree with me that when you are passionate about what you do, it makes you forget about your phone, and that means no Social Media except when you need to pick it up for corporate reasons, which by the way is – so me at work.

I welcomed the first day of the year with a very bad cold, the next day, was swiftly knocked down. My head split in two, I think, “That’s what you get for letting your guard down”. It was raining badly during the fireworks display and I was among the very few crazy people left welcoming 2017, dancing under the rain. I thought at the time, it was an awesome experience, I mean, dancing under the rain with a beautiful fireworks display gleaming in midnight sky, I said, “Why not?” It was fun. I don’t regret it. The idea was inspired by Christopher Poindexter’s poem, “She Was the Rain”, and I was thinking of it the whole time. It’s beautiful though this cold gives me a lot of mood swings. Brrr…

Now here I am officially sick for almost a week now, enjoying a fresh cup of honey lemon tea by Steuarts seasoned with fresh honey. Yes, I made the bees all the way from San Pablo City a little busy. Makes me miss home. Hmmm…

Oh, by the way, don’t be fooled by the book. The prep isn’t Martha’s, it’s from my dear friend Kapil.

One suggestion though, for those aspiring entrepreneurs out there, this book is perfect. Maratha Inc. by Christopher Byron, you should check it. You should also try Steuart’s Tea, it’s affordable, and it’s lovely!

Happy Sunday everyone.

 

Random Thoughts: Sundays Like This

Processed with VSCO with hb1 preset

Can you spot the blank space in this photo?  I wish we all knew how okay it is that part of each of us, is a blank space.  That the world is filled with questions.  That there is a force out there greater than us.  That we don’t know everything.  That we never will, and it’s okay.

Sundays Like This

The past week’s been very long for me.  It’s Sunday, and earlier today, I needed to come to the office to work.  Work makes me happy.  My erratic schedule keeps my blood warm, and motivated.  But today, I have decided to make a change – just basically for fun.  I have decided to bring my laptop with me and brought it to one of our new rendezvous, called, Cafe’ Enye, and decided to work from there from 10:30AM till 4PM.   T’was fun, aside from the serenity of the place, the panorama made me feel I am not working at all.  People watching, visitors of the resto, and passers by always amaze me.

Today, I really wanted to do something different so, after pulling off from work, I have decided to buy a small box of cake, and took a bus ride to Tagaytay City – alone.  Road trips are fun, it makes me drain and flush my anxiety, and stress.  It refreshes my thoughts, and make me think bigger.  The marble cake from Tous de Jours was awesome company by the way.

It was almost sunset when I have reached, so I thought, “Why not click a snap?”  I have always been a big fun of sunsets!

5

I spent most of the time contemplating about work, and personal life, while reading this old book, which I bought from the book sale called, The Elephant, The Tiger and The Cellphone (Reflections on India, The Emerging 21st Century by Sashi Taroor ) while repeatedly played one of my new favorite Indian songs, Yeh Hai Meri Kahani (This Is My Story).  Very beautiful song.  It’s among the few that touches my soul, and makes me feel alive.

Being alone once in a while is beautiful.  It tells me who my real friends are.

6

I dug so deep in moment of silence that I didn’t notice the time.  It was wonderful!  In spite of my being friendly, I really do not have any issues being alone.  I love having new friends, but as I have said in my previous blog, I am also in the process of knowing the ones for keeps. 🙂

4
…and that moment when I thought I got free from you (at least for one day), when you are my way of fooling myself that having a doze of you a day, will keep me productive all day.

5:45AM, Monday, 2 February 2016, from sunset till sunrise!

I love how the start of each new day brings with it a wave of good intentions, and purpose, and positive belief that this will be the day when I can actually do “this and that”, and achieve “this and that”.  I feel like 365 days is too long a time to have just one goal.  I much prefer to think of words.  And this year I’ve decided that my word would be COMMIT.

Commit to my intentions.

Commit to drinking deep of life.

Commit to seeing a new corner of the world.

Commit to work that I’ve started, and the plans I’ve shelved for ages.

Commit to my family, and waking up an extra early to spend a little more time watching the sun rise from my window.

Commit to becoming a more wonderful, loving, and trustful version of myself.

Commit to exercise (again).

The list is as endless, and the world is vast, and as you can already tell, there’s so much I can do with that word alone.  I love how one “word” can change more in my life than an entire sentence.  Sometimes, it’s really the smallest things that make all the difference.

…and as much as I would like to stay back, and share my random thoughts, I need to travel back to Manila, for a long day with Sir PK, my Chairman, and my boss.

I’ll see you guys later.

Feeling Small

Building

The fact that you are here today means that you’ve conquered every pain, and hardship, and obstacle that littered the pathways of your past.

A giant feat you can repeat over and over again.  Let’s not forget our strength in the moments when we feel small.  Because in the grandest of schemes, we were always small.
But we are always capable of great things.

On a side note, I am counting the days before I go back to one of my favorite corners of the world where serenity resigns, and dreams will be sweet, for sure. Goodnight everyone!

Things My Feet Dream About

image-f30e928ce60cbadacd95e044fd042af0c283aab9ca51a95761436d3bbeb75bc0-V~2

…and since December means AJ, the Birthday celebration continues.

You see, we had been trying to be adults since we were 15.  When we have finally reached 18, nothing changed.  It wasn’t until we were lying on the bathroom floor – drunk, and high in two different states that we realized, age is just a number, and reality is learning that there is no such thing as being adult, you only grow older, and if you are lucky, maybe a little wiser.

I believe I did…so – stop telling me to act my age.

Beach…this is the life.

Freedom – finally!

On Learning To Prepare Chai

Okay, so today, I am busy catching up with my books and paintings after a short visit in Batangas for the weekend.

Things are getting a little bit crazy both in my personal and professional life that I needed a break and find some time alone.  When everyone else would look for company when sorrow overwhelms them – not me.  Most of the time you will find me at the roof, finding some time alone, or run a getaway to my hideaway to recharge and regain my focus.  (If you know me well, you’d know where to find me, but definitely not at the Fort.)

COMPASSION – to help you accept others whose ways may be different from yours, with gentleness and understanding, as you move with them or through them or around them on your own way.

I should say that I am blessed to have found people whom I can call my second family through the loving arms of my Indian friends – yes, they are my family.  Reasons would rob me of reasons if I will start counting the “Whys”.

India – all I know now is that it’s the sweet , sweating smell of hope, which is the opposite of hate, and it’s the sour. stifled smell of greed, which is the opposite of love.  It is the smell of gods, demons, empires, and civilizations in resurrection and decay (as I was thought).  It’s the blue skin-smell of the sea, and the blood-metal smell of machines.  Its smells of the stir and sleep and waste of sixty million animals, more than half of them humans and rats, five thousand temples, shrines, churches, and mosques, and of a hundred bazaars devoted exclusively to perfumes, spices, incense and freshly cut flowers.  The smell of India that lingers in my mind – that welcomes me and tells me, “AJ, I’m waiting for you to come home.”

With my Indian friends who consider me as family, I can be just myself, regardless that I am different – from my culture, to my thoughts, beliefs, my liberalism (as no ordinary Filipino would think), to the way I  move, and way of living, my religion, my language, to the color of my skin, and my look.  With them, I have felt accepted and loved, without being judged.  My second family accepted me as me, and I think that is what family is all about.

Alright, so today, while I was painting, I was also trying to figure out how to prepare English Breakfast at the back of my head.  You see, I promised a friend that I will be preparing one, and I opt to keep my word.  It became a little more challenging because I have NEVER prepared or cooked for any of my friends in my life.  Wonder why I am going to cook for a friend this time?  It’s all because NONE among my other good friends have ever dared to ask me to prepare a meal for them, and here came one who has the nerve to request for English Breakfast – and I am happy to oblige.  I am unpredictable, you would never know when I will be doing extraordinary things for you. 🙂

I am a bachelorette.  I spend almost 95% of my time at work, thinking of how I would be able to expand my company, since that is the reason why I am hired and being paid for.  Most of the time, I eat outside or  have my food delivered to me at home, enough for me to survive.  In short, no time to cook or learn to cook.  I have been through two serious relationships in my life, the first man normally cooks for me, while the latter, being a licensed doctor – who also doesn’t know how to cook, was contented that we are together during the “slow downs” and have the pizza delivered and we were okay and happy.

Then again, this afternoon, I was reminded when the mom of one of my good Indian friends told me that, “AJ, at the end of the day, you are a girl, and how lovely it would be if you would learn how to cook, and prepare no matter how simple it is for your man.” and I was like, “Auntie, that is so Indian, and I am not seeing anybody right now.” and she said, “You do not need to have a man to learn to cook, you don’t do it for anyone, but for yourself.  Start by learning to prepare tea.” and I am like, “Oooowkey.”  But then again, I became too occupied at work and technically ignored her advise.

So today, I told myself, well, I would love to invite my friends at home, and being able to serve them something, which I have personally prepared, not by the nanny.  I thought, I do not need to start with the complicated ones.  Let alone learn the rudiments – let me learn how to prepare chai, but then again, I thought, I am a Filipino, why would I need to learn to prepare chai?  That is so Indian.  AJ can easily buy tea from Starbucks.  Duh?

..,and then again, that thought that auntie said,

“You do not need to have a man to learn to cook, you don’t do it for anyone, but for yourself.”

So, what I did, I messaged one of my sisters in India, Sneha, through Skype and requested her to send me step-by-step process on how to prepare chai, and because she is warm hearted and thoughtful, it did not take her an hour to send me the steps, but because she is one of the sweetest creations of God on earth, she said, “AJ, imma go show you a demo through Skype so you will easily learn.”

Then my heart melted.

Now you understand why I love my second family so much.

One thing that inspired, and made me try learning how to prepare chai is because I feel strongly about change.  I can’t understand why people aren’t  just dying to learn, why it isn’t the greatest adventure in the world – because it is the process of becoming.  Every time we learn something new, we become something new.  And so I have changed.  I am no longer the person who woke up this morning.  I’m something  new because I experienced something new.  I have tried learning how to prepare chai.  Isn’t that wonderful?

Setting aside what my Indian aunt told me that if only I would learn how to cook, with my free spirit behavior, and liberal mind, a genteel young lady, would make me a good wife.  She said, “…and yes, AJ better marry an Indian, ’cause only a man from our race can handle your tough personality, not a Filipino.” and I am like, “No Indian family would ever approve me.” and she said, “Believe me, there is.”  Well, I still do not believe her up to this time.

Well going back to Sneha’s demo on how to prepare the chai.  It is overwhelming because her mama-in-law, Aunt Neelima, helped her on doing the demo for me to ensure that I will learn to prepare it perfectly.  She was holding the pot, and showing me how to prepare it, while Sneha was explaining the steps to me.  So sweet!

You must have an idea by now why I love my Indian family – and why we term ourselves as “family”.  At times I wonder why my friends and their families love me so much.  I must have done something good – I think! 😛

I am very happy to share with you all the screenshots of the demo.

2

3

1

Pretty tough to figure out, but I think there is no harm if I am going to try.  It makes me more excited serving the parents of my husband to be than my husband to be himself.  Nerve wrecking, but I guess it is pretty exciting.  Hehe.  I remember, when my sisters, Pooja and Padmashree would teach me how to be graceful on serving food and how they would oblige me to practice by serving them, but at the end of the day, I am still a bachelorette, I am accustomed to being served. In short, it was always an epic fail.  Prolly in time, when I am ready to surrender, and become submissive, I would be able to perfect it, for now, let me enjoy learning how to prepare the tea.

Right now, the only reason why I giving myself space to learn to prepare chai is because it challenges me, and because I think it’s fun, and yes, I have plans of throwing tea party at my place.  That’s it.

Change and growth take place when a person has risked himself and dares to become involved with experimenting with his own life.  Isn’t that fantastic?  A person has risked himself and dared to become involved with experimenting with his own life, trusting himself.  To do this, to experiment  with your own life, is very exhilarating, full of joy, full of happiness, full of wonder, and yet also spooky.  It’s also frightening because you are dealing with the unknown, and you are shaking complacency.  You can sit back and say, “Everything’s all right with me, got a good job, got a car.” but then you decide you might change, this may no longer be your value – so you are shaking complacency.  Isn’t this wonderful?

Good luck to me on learning how to make chai, and double good luck to  me on preparing the English Breakfast, and yet my excitement is overflowing.