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Today on our trip back home, I realized that some laws of physics can be applied not only to physical objects, but also to people and life in general. The law of inertia stood out to me the most.

Remember what it says? “An object at rest will remain at rest and an object in motion will remain in motion unless acted on by an external force” (thank you, google).

Life’s version is a little bit different though.

In life, the object is you. Think of yourself as a little ball. Your birth sets you in motion and you go from infancy to childhood to adolescence to adulthood, and hopefully, to old age. You, as the ball, need to pass through all of these important developmental milestones in order to mature as a human being. You gain experiences in the process, some of which can be unpleasant.

Events that you experience are the external forces that act on you. Some push you forward, others pull you backwards. Some might be strong enough to “stop” you. These could be tragic events such as falling terminally ill or losing a loved one. Now when you do stop, you rest. That isn’t so bad because you might need it. For example, when you lose someone dear to you, you have to stop to grieve so that you can accept and come to terms with that loss.

Unfortunately, we can’t forget that the law of inertia states that you will remain at rest unless an external force acts on you. I think that this is the part that most people struggle with. Getting back in motion can be difficult. It takes a considerable amount of energy to start over again. Sometimes, even the thought of starting over can be too taxing.

This is also where life strays a bit from the law of inertia. We know that an external force must act on you in order for you to move. In life, that force can come from within. You don’t always have to wait for something to put you back on track because you can do it yourself. We have the ability to rise up when we fall down. This is what I like about the resilience of human beings. Again, it’s also the part where you might struggle the most, but don’t give up.

The trick to life is to keep moving. Avoid stagnation. You’ll die faster when you stop.

Am I making any sense?

It’s 2014, let’s all keep that ball rolling. Happy new year everyone!

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In no particular order:

  1. Receiving some impromptu help from my office mates so that I can reach my deadline by Friday
  2. A new friend!
  3. Being fortunate enough to have the means and opportunity to help others in need
  4. Being surprised by free snacks and food
  5. Meeting some very inspiring individuals
  6. This beautiful pack of chocolates on my bed
  7. My dad’s corny jokes
  8. Successfully selling a few items for my tita
  9. A new crush ❤
  10. My brother’s story about getting hit in the face by a bottle of iced tea

I went to the Pasig office of Operation Blessing to help sort medications that were donated by some very kind souls. It was my first time to volunteer for anything and I went alone after receiving a text from one of their staff. I worked together with another nurse called Psyche, named after the Greek goddess of soul. Man, I love her name. We grouped similar medications into four and removed the expired ones. After that, we also helped in sorting and repacking clothes.

Some might find it tedious but I really enjoyed it. I often forget how relaxing it can be to stay quiet and focus on the task you have at hand. There’s something very therapeutic about how it allows you to push your thoughts aside for awhile and rest your mind (of course, provided that nothing is pressuring you to finish the task ASAP, like deadlines).  It also helps to have a friend with you (though going alone isn’t a problem; you’re bound to meet a new friend there).

Let me just say that the people at the center are awesome. They were so friendly and organized. I’m grateful for the opportunity to help. I observed the way they operated and it was like watching a well-oiled machine with all the little parts moving to keep everything running. It was very uplifting to see how hard everyone was working, and how responsive people were to the recent disaster (their warehouse was full of donations and they had a lot of work to do with repacking and distribution). Good vibes everywhere. It makes me want to go back every day.

Yes, they need a lot of volunteers. If you want to give back in your own little way or restore your faith in humanity, please sign up.

Not all of us can do something as big as going to the affected areas and assisting victims in need, but a little goes a long way. Anyone who’s interested can visit their website and Facebook page. They have 4-hour shifts for volunteers (but you can stay longer with permission). They accept walk-in volunteers, but you will need to call their office if you plan on bringing a big group.

Note: Most of you may be familiar with the verse “…but when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,” and I try hard to take it to heart. I blogged this with some hesitation because I normally don’t talk about when I “give back” (and also because I went to Operation Blessing without the knowledge of my parents, who believe that the location of their office is dangerous. It seemed safe enough to me, though). I just really wanted to share my thoughts for today.

I’m starting something new again. I realize that I have been very pessimistic lately, so I’m going to post about what made me smile or whatever I’m thankful for each day. I want to practice gratitude more because it’s something that I often fail to do.

The following things made me smile today (November 25, 2013):

  1. Cute questions that my friend asked me about having a bum stomach
  2. Getting free office supplies
  3. Receiving my cardigan back after I accidentally left it on the jeep I was riding. A guy was nice enough to get down the jeep to return it to me.
  4. A funny tweet by John Mangun (click on the link he gave below):

Yesterday (November 24, 2013):

  1. Two sweet little Korean kids who were so excited to play with their dad in the park
  2. Finally getting my singlet for the Nike We Run 2013 race on December 1, 2013. The design is awesome
  3. The cute and inspiring videos posted by Stuart Edge and GivingBackFilms on Youtube
  4. Having enough time to rest by not joining this week’s race due to my own stupidity (lost my registration and bib number)

Last Saturday (November 23, 2013):

  1. Spending the day with my awesome high school friends to rest, relax and be treated to all-you-can-eat Korean food. The best
  2. The delicious eye candy at Blushing Cupcakes
  3. My friends’ stories about the most obsessive-compulsive people that they know, and deacons who can’t keep their hands to themselves
  4. Receiving a very honest and humbling text from an admirer
  5. The “rainfall acupuncture” water therapy that had me giggling nonstop at Ace Water Spa

It’s a great start to the week. 🙂

 

I was killing time by exploring the big blue sea of the internet (aka Tumblr), when I saw a post that said, “if you could unmeet a person, would you?”

I found myself asking whether I knew anyone who should be removed from my life, perhaps someone who has hurt me badly enough that I would want to go back in time and run like hell in the opposite direction (or maybe use a selective mind eraser a la Men in Black and delete that person from my memory forever).

Well, my answer is no, I would never unmeet anyone. There is no one I can think of who deserves that. Even if such a person did exist, my answer would still be no.

 

The Doctor

 

The Doctor said, “in nine hundred years of times and space… I’ve never met anybody who wasn’t important before.” Maybe I’m naive for believing this, but I think all people come into our lives for a reason. It doesn’t matter whether they become an integral part of our lives or whether we meet them only once.

The point is that each person has a role to play in our lives. He or she could be a game changer or a simple passerby. He or she could lift you up or pull you down, love you or hate you, help you or hurt you. The roles may be different, but the people you meet all have one thing in common, and that is to teach you something.

 

 

Mostly they teach you about yourself (and they do this more often than you realize). They ask questions. They push buttons. They catch you off-guard. They challenge you. They make you feel; they make your heart ache. They make you do things you didn’t think you were capable of doing. They are your mirrors; they show you your strengths and weaknesses, and help you understand how you can become a better person. You just have to be willing to learn.

Of course let’s not forget how some people can be downright cruel. They will do nothing but test your limits and try to crush you; they will stretch you until your breaking point. It can be difficult to understand how their presence in your life can contribute anything positive, but that’s where the challenge lies.

At the very least, try and get something out of all that suffering you did by learning from that experience. Without these people to shake things up- without them to make you risk the quiet order you’ve built for yourself, you would never know otherwise. And not knowing otherwise will prevent you from appreciating what you have and don’t have.

 

Don't waste your energy

 

It’s human to have regrets, but dwelling on them will drain you and leave you feeling every bit the victim. How you deal with them is your choice and no one else’s. There is no use in wasting your energy wishing to unmeet anyone. Carry on and you will be a stronger person. Someday you might even thank that person for what they did to you.

(Sidenote: just as other people teach us about life and ourselves, we also do the same for them with every action we take. So let’s be mindful of the things we do and how we treat others too.

Sidenote 2: The source of the Doctor Who is image from the big blue sea called tumblr)

 

 

If you have 3 minutes to spare, I highly recommend that you watch the video posted above. It is a very short but insightful piece on life, love, and the struggles we have within ourselves.

This was directed by filmmaker Jonathan Bregel. He said the following about the video:

‘The theme for this film was sparked through an e-mail I received from my Godfather earlier this year when I had reached out to him for advice during a transitional period in my filmmaking career. His e-mail stated something so obvious and true to my foundation that I immediately felt shame amidst the incredible awakening effect it had on me. The following sentence in his e-mail struck me like a lightning bolt from above:

“Your highest purpose in life isn’t to be the greatest filmmaker ever, but to become as human as possible.”

What this meant to me was that the “work” I was striving so hard to accomplish was blinding me from what really matters most in life; the joy that comes from loving and truthful relationships I carry with me until the day I die. To this day I firmly believe that without truth or honesty, and love of self and others, we are failing to experience all the joy that life has to offer.’

Read the rest of the video description here.

So I deleted that last post I wrote because it sounded like I wasn’t going anywhere. I was just rambling.

My brain has been waterlogged for the past few days. I feel like I have hydrocephalus.

There’s been too much to process lately. I can’t think straight. Everything is going way too fast and I just keep on lagging. Work, family, friends, futures, commitments, my own faults. I want to clear my head but I can’t seem to do it. It feels like I’ve been drugged or something. It’s really frustrating.

What is wrong with you, brain? Wake up, you need to catch up ASAP.

A couple of days ago I had palpitations for no reason (I was just sitting in front of my desk). I couldn’t keep my eyes open and had to put my head down to nap during lunch break (it’s weird, I never sleep at work).

I know it might be because I’m overdoing it. I’ve recently been formally given the task of managing a very, very large project, and failure is not an option. While I am thankful for being trusted with something so big, the pressure and anxiety have been growing slowly. It’s like a balloon that can burst at any moment. What’s worse is that I am having trouble focusing on the things I need to focus on. I have a bunch of worry areas that I need to get rid of, and I don’t want to bite off more than I can chew.

All this stress is translating into my other activities.

Take my aikido classes for example. Our teacher had to keep reminding me to relax. I can’t seem to enjoy doing ukemi for throws like I used to. Those are my favorite but now I can’t even do my forward rolls properly. Last Tuesday we did some very basic kotegaeshi and irimi techniques and I kept hesitating in receiving and executing them. I think that my old fear of falling is back. I was so comfortable with ukemi before. I can’t believe how 5 months of no practice has set me back so much. Now, instead of looking forward to practice, I am beginning to dread it.

The drive to keep on moving is my sugar, and I’m sugar crashing.

I went and tried to relax by going to a spa (which I highly recommend doing), but that seems to have been defeated by all the things I tried to accomplish over the weekend.

Maybe I just need more sleep?

I know I’m not alone in this as I have a few friends who are in the same boat. The only difference is that, while they like to talk about their problems (and I like to listen to them), I hate talking about mine.

What I want to do now is drill a hole in my head, let everything spill, and then pick out all the rubbish and throw them all away. I want to scrub the inside of my skull clean. I want to dive into a pool of energy drink and absorb it through osmosis. I want to start fresh again. Reset. Reset. Reset.

Running at Bonifacio Global City

Fellow runners at Bonifacio Global City

So I ran for the very first time in a race yesterday. It had to be a 10k one too because I am stubborn. I ignored all advice on taking things slowly and gradually increasing distance (don’t be like me, I do a lot of stupid things). I did have a month of preparation though. I nearly backed out at the last minute, owing to the fact that I felt like I was going to come down with the flu and I was banking on only 4 hours of sleep the night before. Still, I am proud to say that I went through with it to the finishing line with no injury or accident (probably because I walked half the time).

Adidas King of the Road singlet and their awesome finisher's medal

Adidas King of the Road singlet and their awesome finisher’s medal

Anyway, here are some tips I received from my officemates who regularly join marathons (helpful for a beginner like me):

  1. Don’t forget to stretch and warm up before each run.
  2. A bar of chocolate is a good energy snack/breakfast food if you think you can’t handle anything heavier before running.
  3. Wear a pair of spandex or cycling shorts underneath your running shorts to prevent chafing.
  4. Use thicker socks for a long run.
  5. Land on the ball of your foot, not your heel.
  6. Hydrate and eat a recovery meal within the hour after the race.

A few more things that I learned throughout the run:

  1. Start slowly and progress from walking to jogging to running.
  2. Get a pair of good running shoes to avoid discomfort and injuries.
  3. It’s okay to walk. Just go at your own pace.
  4. Check singlet sizes beforehand. If it’s in a European size, get at least one in a size smaller than your usual size.
  5. Don’t forget to wear sunscreen!
  6. Bring a cap to protect your face from the sun.
  7. An armband pouch is an important accessory to own, especially if you have no pockets.
  8. Get enough sleep the night before, and make sure your body is in the proper condition.

I never realized that running could be so much fun. Joining a race is also a great motivator for training regularly.  I’m really looking forward to the next run soon! I’ll definitely be more prepared when that comes.

Geometry

The point is one of the the most basic concepts in geometry. It takes up a defined position on a plane surface. To get anywhere, whether it’s a graph, a city, a goal, or in life, you must go from one point to another point.

Say you’re sitting down in your room as I am sitting now. Think of a place that you want to go to (a tangible one, please. We’re not ready to deal with concepts like heaven or happiness yet).

For example, imagine you have to meet a friend at a cafe located 5 blocks away, and you have to be there in 15 minutes. Drawing a straight line between you and that cafe is the fastest and shortest distance that you could travel. Assuming that taking that straight line could get you to the cafe in 5 minutes, you’ll still have 10 minutes to spare. Hooray for you!

This is a map that has  absolutely nothing to do with what I'm talking about.

This is a map that has absolutely nothing to do with what I’m talking about.

Unfortunately, reality is not like that at all. Most of the time, we don’t have that option to take the straight line. This is what could happen in reality:

You set out to walk to the cafe. You don’t take the straight line because there are walls and buildings in the way. You have to go around an entire block because there is some construction going on where, for some reason, pedestrians aren’t allowed to pass by. Halfway through, you realize you forgot your wallet at home, so you rush back to get it. You get your wallet. You break into a weird, half-walk, half-run, forgetting about traffic regulations because you were in such a hurry. A policeman catches and fines you for jaywalking. You arrive at the cafe 15 minutes late.

Yup, that my friends, is life. There are so many twists and turns and circles everywhere, it’s almost like straight lines don’t exist (and if they do, they’re blurry). It doesn’t seem so comforting when you think about it, but that’s what makes life interesting.

You never know what to expect when you turn around a corner, and that’s fine. The next point you need to reach may not be so clear, and the path may be obscured by smoke and fog, and that’s fine too. I believe the smog and dust will settle, and as you progress, you will learn to fan out the fog.

From here on I’m going to keep this in mind: there is little adventure in taking perfect, straight lines. Deviations from the straight line open you up to experiences you would never have encountered; they help you discover new things, new people, and most importantly, yourself. Just as Ellie from the movie “Up” would say, “adventure is out there!”

Remember when I said that I would write a post for this blog every day for 30 days? Let’s see how I fared.

From May 23 to June 23, I have written a grand total of… 13 posts!

Hooray! That is 43% of my target number of posts. I totally failed the 30-day challenge. I didn’t even reach half of the goal (but at least 13 rhymes with 30), Still, I do blog regularly now. Sort of.