What would you do if you weren’t afraid?

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When I first encountered this question, it was from a book my aunt gave me as a graduation gift. I brought it with me the very first time I moved to a different city because I figured it would help me. The book is called “Who Moved My Cheese?” It was a sort of children’s story that you, as an adult could learn a lot from.

The question bothered me so much, because I can never seem to figure it out on my own. Usually, I would require third-party assistance in the form of “life advice” or just a plain nudge towards the right direction: the direction that would lead me to answers rather than more questions.

What would I do if I weren’t afraid? Honestly, I have no answer. I can’t even begin to imagine how infinite my choices would be if I was, in fact, fearless. I have excuses for every little thing that could even become a slight possibility. Maybe I’m just being an ass to myself, or maybe, I’m not doing much of a job to self-motivate.

Sometimes however, you have these moments of epiphany, where you realize that the outcomes of your actions are better than how you usually expect them to be. That the means to these “ends” weren’t exactly daunting, all you need to do is take the first step.

Like, why is it really so hard to apply for a job you know you will love and grow in? Why do we fear going up the stage and being in front of a bunch of people even if we know deep inside that we have talent? Why would we not step foot to a place we have never been in, or eat food we have never tasted or even trust people we have never known? Why won’t we allow ourselves to fall for the wrong guy?

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Fear is in our every being. They are those little devils on your shoulder that whisper in your ear to step back when you’re too high up, maybe literally, sometimes figuratively. But is it so bad to be on top? Is it so bad to be so high up on everything that you could see yourself in every possibility? So high up that you can see what you’ve become just because you chose to make the first step. You’re in that certain place where you realize that getting there wasn’t exactly so hard if only you stopped talking yourself down from the beginning of your journey.

Maybe the company will hire you because they see potential in you. Maybe the people will love you because you decided to share your talent. Maybe you’ll fall in love with a place, discover your favorite food, turn strangers into best friends, maybe he may not be the wrong guy after all.

I know these “maybe’s” are not certain, but so are the other hesitations you have that scare you into not doing what you want to do. Obviously, I’m not saying that you should just do these things to call yourself fearless. I simply meant the things you’ve always really wanted to do, but prevented yourself because of reasons you can’t even remember.

Of course there will always be risks, but the positive outcomes usually make you believe that the risks were worth it. If you think you can’t do it on your own, do it with someone who is just as scared. You’ll realize towards the end that you are both pushing yourself to do it, and at the same time gathering the courage from each other.

The best kinds of fears are the ones that you conquered. Some of these take a while, some, you would need a support group or person for. But definitely overcoming your fears slowly will make you realize how tiny your worries were in the first place. It will make you a happier person in general, and that kind of happiness extends to other people as well.

I’m going to start making a list, and I’ll slowly be crossing off things in this list. Maybe you should too…

xx Gizel

Keeping positive

From my most recent post, I could say that a lot of things have definitely happened to me. It has actually already been six months, and I haven’t even noticed that time was moving.

Since then, I’ve already moved to a different city, gotten a new job, learned a new language, (well, still learning) and met a lot of new people that will probably make a difference in my life.

It’s a funny thing, time, sometimes it’s too slow, other times it’s too fast. It’s never just right. Nothing ever happens to you where you’d feel like “I want to stay like this for a while.” It would always either be “I can’t wait for this part of my life to be over,” or “Wait a minute, everything’s happening too fast.” No matter what the situation is, you’ll always feel like the rug is being pulled out from under you, and always, you’d fall flat in your scrawny little ass.

Aside from time, I have another qualm that seems to be laughing at me and my decisions lately: responsibility. Half your life, you wish to be given the chance to spread your wings and become independent- live on your own, with no rules, no curfew, no parents to tell you what to do. And here you are a few months later berating yourself because nobody reminds you to do this or do that and obviously, without that chiding guidance, you always fail.

So here I am now learning to walk on my own, like a little parent-less toddler, with no one to soothe my butt when I fall. But the thing is, this is normal, and I’m not the only one who is going through this. Millions like me are wishing we were back at our own homes with someone to cook for us, take care of us, and make the right decisions for us.

But this is what growing up is like, it is scary, it is daunting, and most times you’d feel lost along the way. You make the absolute worst decisions, you work for a job you didn’t choose, you hang out with people you don’t feel comfortable with, you miss the people whom you actually hated spending time with, you start becoming unhealthy, you spend for a lot of things you don’t need and you start thinking about things that shouldn’t actually trouble you in your early twenties.

It’s a new chapter, and no matter what happens, you will come out of this a changed person; and as long as you know that you’re strong enough to handle all the new things, you’ll be okay, and you’ll be prepared for the next chapters to come.

xx Gizel

 

Yes and No

After graduating, (yes I already graduated, finally!) I had hoped to have at least a few months to unwind, relax and RECOVER from 17 years of education. But life apparently has other plans for me. Not more than four days later, I was offered a job at sales. I did not look for it, it came to find me, and as much as I understand how it is an actual opportunity to at least try, I can’t shake the feeling that I’m too afraid to.

The fear of the next chapter is too real for someone like me.

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This is now a time for job hunting, embarrassing interviews, new kinds of stresses, failed relationships and an even more extreme dependency for coffee. But here I am looking for great places to get lost to in a short period of time .

And I know EXACTLY what people will say about it.

“That’s not practical.”

“What are you going to do with your life?”

“Do you even have goals?”

“How do you expect to feed yourself without money?”

“Find a job first, then travel all you want after.”

 And I also know EXACTLY how to answer those questions; I know it’s not practical but I still DON’T know what to do with my life and I’m hoping that this bit of soul-searching will lead me to my actual goals. I’m not too picky on food but I’m more specific on experiences that will feed my soul and my being, and I’d rather travel and call it a job, or find a career that revolves around that. You see I am a restless wanderer, and keeping me stuck in a routine will literally make me crazy.

But I know this answer is selfish, so usually to the people who judge my decisions I’d just shrug and say:

Yesterday was the second day for the Panaad Festival which featured a concert where Joey Ayala and Gary Granada will perform.

If you don’t know them, I have no right to ask you if you’ve been living under a rock because they seriously are not that popular, IN THIS GENERATION. But during their time, they were basically legends.

And how is this connected to my current post-grad-quarter-life-crisis? Well, I just happened to spend the whole day with them. (Sometimes my volunteer work in the culture and the arts industry has its perks!)

Yesterday was a fulfilling experience to my heart, mind and soul (and tummy!) The food and company was amazing in a place where nature was overwhelmingly welcomed.

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I was again in the presence of people who knew what their passion was and it resonated in everything they did. Sure they were a bit eccentric, talking openly about marijuana, depression, mental disorders and hippie life in the 80′s but being around them made you feel a sort of freedom. Their openness was welcoming and a bit, liberating.

We had this conversation about the educational system in the country; Sir Joey said something about the difference between training and education that “training was teaching you what exactly you’re supposed to do in an organized routine” and that “Education was actually learning by yourself how to handle the surprise attacks of life.” It was pretty deep, and I honestly can’t remember how our conversation led to that but it made me ponder and share my thoughts to the group as well.

“Then in school, we were not being educated, we were being trained.”

“Exactly.”

I felt cheated. 17 years of “education” which was actually training for employment.

And now, I don’t know what to do next.

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The talks about their experiences became sort of life advices for me who is just trying to start out in life. Whatever career I want to pursue, all actions of today will lead to that.

I will still be looking for my passion, and whatever feels like it’s not right for me, I won’t do it; and all the things I think I could maybe do, I will. Yesterday I was told that, I shouldn’t study deeper into the things I’m already good at. It’s there and will still be there for me to improve on and excel in. What I should try to learn will be things I haven’t tried yet, coz then, that’s how I will find my passion.

Learn to say no, and at the same time, don’t let your fears stop you from saying “Yes.”

 

xx Gizel

Seeing the bright side.

I avoided writing about this topic for a few days. But I finally caved in and did anyway.

Ever since last Thursday, everything I saw and heard in the news or from countless social media sites are about Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) that struck the Philippines.

I can’t go three minutes online without finding out the recent rise in the number of deaths in the country. I can’t watch the news without seeing somebody crying, stealing, or worse, dead. Every facebook post is about the families that lost their homes, places that were destroyed, or communities that are now suffering because they haven’t eaten in days.

No, I am not being ignorant or apathetic about the calamity. It’s just that, I’m a Filipino, and hearing and seeing all these devastating things that are happening to my fellow Filipinos around me is simply just too heartbreaking.

The country hasn’t even risen from the recent earthquake disaster, and now we have this?

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In times like these, people are quick to be filled with rage, and judgement; and usually, they wouldn’t know where to direct those feelings, so they tend to blow up on everything. They hate the government for being unreliable, they blame their religion for what is happening, they even start believing in the apocalypse.

I wish the news don’t show just the half of what’s happening around the country. It’s painful enough to watch all of the negative things happening around us being sensationalized and focused on. Why don’t they show the family members that finally saw each other? Or the volunteers that are willing to do anything for strangers? We badly need positive news to lift our spirits.

It’s too tiring to feel angry. It’s time to finally start working. Complaining about what’s happening won’t help them, doing something will.

And I’m proud to say that today, I did do something.

(Going out of my Tuesday Cooking schedule because I want to blog about this.)

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After class today I joined another Relief Operation for Yolanda Victims with Operation Walang Iwanan by GK Team Negros Occidental.

Despite the miserable things that are happening in our country, it was great to see a diversity of volunteers from different rivaling schools today gather and work together for a common cause. Most of these volunteers are the youth who didn’t come for attendance or because of a grade requirement, but because they just wanted to help.

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I’m so proud to say that I got my sister and her boyfriend to help out and join me in the things I like doing.

Today we were able to pack 1,206 relief packets to be sent to some parts of Northern Negros Occidental and Bantayan.

I know most of the people are donating to Tacloban because it had the most casualties, but let’s not also forget the places like Ormoc, Coron, and Sagay who suffered almost the same fate, but didn’t get as much media coverage.

There is too much sadness in the Philippines today and I want to make it my life mission (for the time being) to spread positivity and share any type of light-hearted news or stories about the typhoon that would lift up the spirits of every Filipino.

 

These stories made me smile today:

Two L.A. Girls sell lemonade for typhoon victims
Japan returns favor to Philippines

 

If you have any positive news you’d like to share, please do.

xx

Gizel

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The girl in the white room. (old blog)

I had a dream,when I was young. It was not that special. It was complex, but I remembered it vividly, up to every little detail, almost..

It was about this girl. I don’t know her, I don’t remember if I knew who she was but I remembered that she was trapped. In a very large room with white-tiled walls. Water was slowly raising up to drown her, although I’m not entirely sure where the water was from, but there was a lot of it. It almost filled up the large room.

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This room was hidden in a very, very large house. It was overwhelmingly wide and it had many secret doors and hidden rooms and passages. It was a an old victorian-themed chateau with a mix of hidden modern technologies. Secret elevators and entrances that open up when you press buttons that are disguised as light switches or ordinary closet knobs. It was all so surreal, but the whole thing was flowy and almost, genuine.

I’ve never seen this place before. But I was there, I was supposed to protect her, I think.

Although I have never been there, I walked easily through hallway after hallway and staircase after staircase that led to God knows where. I didn’t get lost, I knew where exactly I had to go, and it was towards that room where she was, trapped.

I knew where all the buttons to press were, whenever needed. I knew where all the keys were hidden. I reached that room just in time. I knew the what the code was to the silver door that separated the two of us. I twisted the dial until it could open. I never really understood how I knew the combination, but I did. The door unlocked, and I swam towards her and pulled her out of the water.

I saved her. We ran as fast as we could to escape that beautiful yet, haunting place. I don’t remember what followed after that. and then, I woke up.

It was a very odd dream. I don’t know what triggered it. But it had stayed with me for a long time. I never forgot about it.

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Last night I had the same dream, although, a few things this time were different. It was the same big house, and it was the same white-tiled room that trapped the girl. She was wet now, her dress was soaked and she managed to climb on top of something, I didnt know what it was. Water was dripping down her hair as she hugged her knees. She was shivering, and the water was already creeping up to her ankles.

I wasn’t there to save her.This time, there was a boy. He struggled to find his way to where that girl was. He didn’t know where to go unlike I did. He didn’t know the secret doors. He didn’t know the house, but he had to do what I did when I first had that dream, and that was to save the girl who was trapped in that room.

He got lost a couple of times, and he still couldn’t find the door to that room.

The water was now at the girl’s neck. She had just a small space left to breathe in before he could find the door. She was so close to the ceiling and she felt so scared.

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Eventually the boy found his way towards the door I found when I had the same dream a few years ago. He tried, but he couldn’t open it. He didn’t know the code. He didnt know how to unlock it. So he gave up.

Many times I have tried to tell him what to do, but he couldn’t hear me.

I couldn’t be there to save the girl. It was because, this time, the girl that was trapped in that white room, was me.



*THIS IS A TRUE STORY

xx

Gizel

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NaBloPoMo

National Blog Posting Month.

For November!

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So basically, it’s a month for posting every single day. Hmmm. The first time I heard it, I thought, why not give it a try? Even though it’s a little bit intimidating, I still wanted to do it.

I mean the thought of thinking out content to share part of yourself to the world each day of the month, was pretty scary. But, knowing that I had a few (or even none at all) readers anyway gave me confidence.

It is a challenge, and I’ve accepted it, because it’s a commitment, and I’ve always want to commit myself on something and not quit on it, because I know just how much of a procrastinator I can be sometimes, and I want not to be like that anymore.

tumblr_mtfoa8tpwk1sg3u26o1_500I don’t want to be a quitter! I want to be able to do this, and have the fulfillment of actually finishing something that I started, and be proud of myself for doing so.

Okayyy, I’m getting ahead of myself. But this is just the first day. Good luck for the next 29 days to come.

JOIN ME!

NaBloPoMo November 2013

xx

Gizel

I’m not hopeless after all.

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There is a big difference between the things I want to do, the things I like to do, and the things I CAN do. And I don’t know why these three groups of things; just don’t go together in the same circles.

Maybe the things I want to do and like to do go together in the same category, but usually it’s coupled with the label: Thing’s I CAN’T do. So basically, I’m hopeless.

But before you could understand how this is all like this, let me introduce myself first.

I’m Gizel. I’m a nineteen-year old student majoring in Communications, but dropped out just a few months before I could graduate. Yes, I’m nineteen, that’s too young for a graduating college student. I am aware of that, but those ages are normal where I’m from. We start school early, and we don’t have to go through extra years.

Just four months and less than twenty units left before I could get that diploma, I made a decision of stopping school. A lot of people really got disappointed with that choice that I made, most of them were my family, and close friends. They were mad, thwarted, and primarily confused. Confused, because I, myself couldn’t give them a proper explanation as to why I stopped.

Maybe I already had an idea then, but I found it hard to explain myself to people who weren’t very accepting of how I saw things.

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The thing is, I’m an artist. As to what specifically, I can’t answer. Simply because I haven’t figured out yet. But I know I have something, that I can grow passionate about, and share to the world. This is how I know I’m not hopeless, because I still believe that even though I’m already too old to start something that could fuel me until the next hundred years, I still look for it.

Chasing after your passion is tricky. You’re open to doing a lot of new things, but there usually are complications that go along with it. Which is how I finally understood the difference between the things I can do, want to do, and like to do. (See? This blog has a point after all.)

For example, after I stopped, I wanted to try out a lot of different things.

Ballet, for instance.

Funny, I know. An awkwardly tall and inflexible nineteen-year-old wants to try out a sport that requires balance, flexibility, and discipline. Three of the things I don’t have.

But I told myself, if this may be the thing for me, I’d give it my best.

So it’s a thing I WANT to do, but it’s a thing I CAN’T do. I can’t do it because in order to enroll myself, I’d have to ask for money, and I couldn’t because when I opened it up to my family, my grandmother told me to be sure that it’s what I really want to do and promise to put my heart into it.

What if I wasted all that money, and it’s not actually the thing I’ve always wanted? That’s what scared me. Adding more disappointment to the people I’ve already disappointed. So, scratch off ballet, and dancing, and probably all the other things that might seem as a passing interest.

Let’s face it. No matter how beautiful I think ballet is, I don’t see myself actually enjoying having it as a career.

Things I can do and like to do:

I used to be really good in photography. Being part of the photography club and its vice president in high school could show you how much I was dedicated to it. I’m even part of exhibits and got top portfolios until I reached college.

My love for film also got me joining filming workshops and getting me high grades in classes like film & TV, Editing, Film Criticism, and more.

So you could say that my hobbies and “talents” include photography, and film making.

But now, it’s not anymore in my list of things I want to do, and LIKE to do.

The depressing thing about it, is when I finally had photography and film making classes, I lost interest. Everything was too technical, and by the book, that you start to lose the art and the identity. It becomes just another good photograph, not something you want it to be.

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Maybe that’s just me. If you ask me what the thing I hate the most, I would probably answer conformity. Conformity, and wet shoes (but that’s another story.)

I started hating going to school, learning stuff I didn’t care about, and learning the nitty gritty of the things I loved. I lost interest, I lost spark, and most of all, I lost passion.

I promised my mom I would go back to school, and finish my last remaining semester. No matter how much I hated wearing the uniform, and coming in to class, I’d go back, and finish what I started. Finish university, graduate, and get my diploma. For my family, I would join the norm.

But at the moment, I’m going to rest. Relax before I go back to school. Call it a “gap year” although it’s probably too late to call this stage a gap year, but what the heck.

I will travel, do philanthropy work, and just find my passion. I’ve done quite a few in the five months of “resting” I have a few to go and maybe, this time I plan to take it seriously. No more bumming. My goal, as of the moment is to “find my passion.” I’m not saying I’ll find it in the middle of the time frame I created, but I’m pretty sure I’ll discover and explore new things along the way.

I started this blog because this time I’d like you to join me.

I’m opening up myself to a world I’ve always closed off to, and now I’m sharing it with you. My old blog (http://31overratedhugs.blogspot.com) was more, come-what-may, and it didn’t really have that much readers, I made gizelonline because I want it to be more personal.

I’m not saying this should have lots of readers, but hey, if you’re lost,  just as I am, maybe you’d enjoy reading about the things I’m currently trying out, and you’d also try them out yourself.

Let’s find our passion, together.

xx

Gizel