Tag Archives: Reflections

The Happy Introvert

introvert

And they wonder how I can spend a long weekend holed up in my room doing “nothing,” not realizing that despite my three days off work, I still feel I don’t have enough time to enjoy my books, writing, series and movie marathons, and arts and crafts.

I am often asked about how I can enjoy shopping or watching a movie by myself; I wonder how they cannot.

They marvel at how I can travel alone and be fine with it when I have always thought of travel as a journey of self-discovery, reflection, and learning.

It’s not that I don’t like people. I do (well, at least some of them, heh), and I love spending time with these people, but being introverted, I have always needed an alone time to think things over and recharge.

For me, being alone is not synonymous with being lonely. One can revel in being alone without feeling like s/he’s missing out on anything.

I am the happy introvert who is comfortable in my own company. I’m not anti-social, just selective of the company I keep and enjoy. And while some spend a lifetime chasing after their happiness, I have always found mine within myself.

———-
photo taken at Cornell University’s Botanical Garden using a Sony Cybershot RX 100 II.  Contrast edited via Snapseed.  Frame/border is also Snapseed’s.  Text added using Phonto. 

Where to?

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Follow your heart… it may not be always right, but it did tell you what you wanted at that moment. Never regret that you paid heed to its calling for the worst regrets often come from the silent, unmet needs of the heart.

If you had to be wrong to get it right,
or get lost to be found, be so.
Make the experience worthwhile.

———-
Photo taken at Surfers Paradise in Gold Coast, Australia using a Samsung Galaxy Note 5.

Thoughts on Turning Thirty

About ten years ago, I included traveling solo on or before I turn thirty in my list of to-do’s. Early this year, it dawned on me that I have only until this year to fulfill this goal and so as planned, I packed my bags a day before I get the big three-O and headed to Camiguin for a much-needed respite.

Away from the hustle and bustle of city life and the demands of my job, I spent my first two days volcano trekking and falls-and-cold-and-hot-springs-and-island hopping, while the last three days were for “me-myself-and-I” moments as I did nothing but nap on hammocks while my favorite sound of the crashing waves lulled me to sleep. It was a truly unique experience, especially since during this trip, I went on “digital detox” (read that as going “offline” from the world), and lived on a treehouse and by the beach without television, or even electricity at some point (more about these in my future posts).

celebrating the gift of my life in captivating Camiguin

celebrating the gift of my life in captivating Camiguin

As I had a lot of time on my hands, I was also able to reflect on what the past three decades of my life had taught me.

Faith is everything. In myself. In the people I love. In others. In God. Because I wouldn’t have gone this far if I didn’t believe in myself. And I wouldn’t have stuck to my loved ones if I didn’t trust them. My faith in people makes me believe in their capacity to be and do good, while my faith in God keeps me grounded and going.

Family is love. Yes, we did not choose them, but because we did not have a choice, we learn how to accept and love them as they are. Stitch said, “This is my family… Is little, and broken, but still good. Yeah, still good.” My family has had its share of struggles, but it’s the same family that has and will always be my home.

Friends are the family we choose. So Edna Buchanan said. And it’s true. I have been told many times that I am choosy with people, but this same trait is the reason why I am surrounded with TRUE friends who share their lives with me in whatever moment of happiness, sadness, craziness, etc. we find ourselves in.

Life, like happiness, is a matter of choice. While we do not have control of life’s circumstances, we always have a choice on our attitude to everything. It’s not about the cards dealt to us, but what we do with them. I’ve had my share of “bad cards,” but I did not let them cause my defeat. I even emerged a better life player because of them.

Be yourself. I know this is a cliché, but this is one challenge everyone goes through. We all want acceptance of or at the least, understanding for who we are. I have done things – even bent myself out of shape at times – to please people, but this is not really necessary. As Dr. Seuss said, “Those who matter don’t care, and those who care don’t matter.”

Any relationship entails risks, and pain. Just because s/he loves you doesn’t mean s/he won’t hurt you because wittingly or unwittingly, s/he will. More often than not, our loved ones are even the ones who cause us our greatest heartaches, and we have to forgive them for this, and move on. After all, the world does not stop for our grief.

Truly loving a person sometimes entails excusing the inexcusable in him/her. It is not turning a blind eye to his/her frailties but seeing beyond the imperfections and beholding something totally beautiful.

It’s not enough to be kind to others, we must be kind to ourselves too. We all make mistakes. And despite our best efforts and most fervent of hopes, we fail. I used to be overly critical of myself. I was my worst enemy, but over time, I learned to do away with self-blame and self-pity. They’re self-destructive.

Expect nothing. For someone who grew up aware of people’s expectations of me and who has had her share of disappointments, I know that expectations place unfair restrictions on people and ruin spontaneity. Live without expectations and you will find that life and people are full of pleasant surprises if we only let them be.

Keep peace with the person that you were, are, and will be. In 2010, I wrote, “Closure isn’t just about putting an end to the vexations of the mind, heart, and soul. It is also coming to terms with the difficulties of the past and from hereon, beginning a life of acceptance, gratitude and learning, and in so doing, achieving the serenity we so long for.”

Age is just a number. I am thirty, and I may live to the ripe old age of ninety, but there will always be a child in me who will view the world with childlike wonder and still believe in happy endings. I will act my age, but I will not let my age hinder me from doing what others think I cannot do.

It’s been a good three decades for me, and now I look forward to more years of living life to the fullest.

Cheers!

God is Greater than my Heart

sunset-jesus-crossphoto credit

My Lord and my God,
I have sinned.
I have again succumbed
to temptation
and now I am
enmeshed in guilt…
I feel unworthy
to be called Your child
because I know
just how many times
I’ve been in a vicious cycle
of I’m-sorry-forgive-me…
My heart is heavy
with this burden I carry
but always,
I offer everything to You
and set my heart
to rest in Your love
for I know
that in times like this
when even my own heart
condemns me and my sinfulness,
You are greater than it
because In Your love,
In Your mercy,
even a bruised
and guilt-ridden heart
like mine
is renewed
and redeemed.

Each Day is a New Day

I once wrote about how Plantation Bay’s Galapagos Beach and Wharf is my favorite spot come sunrise since it has the best view of the rising sun in all of Plantation Bay.

Today is no different. I was temporarily sidetracked from jogging/walking when I saw this splendid view.

Colorful Sunset

I have an almost similar picture of Plantation Bay’s boat during sunrise posted here. While the subject is the same, each photo is made unique by their different composition, which brings to mind the caption I wrote on my Facebook page for the above photo.

It’s amazing how we can be on the same spot every day but see different views because God chooses to paint the sky in a different set or shade of colors each day…

Here are two more shots from today’s sunrise.

photo-1

photo-1 (2)
Photos taken using just my iPod Touch since I normally don’t bring my camera or mobile phones with me when I jog.

I’ve been living in Plantation Bay for nearly four years now. I’ve watched sunrises in the same spot countless of times. Still, I don’t (and never will) tire of looking at such beautiful creations. For in the same way that no two people are exactly the same, so too are God’s everyday painting of the sky.