500 words challenge, Writing

{Day 7} I Feel Like My Lungs Are Going to Explode Into Feathers & Words Tonight

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I’ve been using my words and my inner desires to figure out the person that I am right now and to create the person that I want to be in the near future. It’s not that those two personas are quite different. I think it’s like my current persona is in the puberty age, looking up to my future persona as her full-grown adult superhero.

I have passed the baby and the toddler stages. Those were the days when I learned how to write, how to blog, discovered other writers, appreciate and even envied a few, both living and dead. When I try to recall how I feel about my kiddie selves, I like my innocent scribbles during those times. I’ve written for myself, keeping all my thoughts a secret — both offline (notebooks, journals, password-protected Microsoft Word) and online (anonymous blogger).

That went on until I craved for recognition and interaction with regards to my writing. I wanted to be read. I wanted to be heard. I wanted people to slice my chest and take a look at what’s inside. I wanted to induce a reaction — mostly affirmation from them. So, I decided to come out in the blogosphere.

I took the first step.

I made a blogging mess obviously, writing about this and that, but consciously worrying of what people have to say about me or my thoughts. So I kind of filtered them. My high school honest, ethereal, dramatic writing faded on my current ink. I questioned myself on how evil of me to let that precious little writing pixie go.

Well, it’s just not me to blame. I took up engineering, trying to awaken the “smart and technical” side of my person because I always thought that I could be a better person if I could contribute like how the left-brainers of society do. I ended up being a test engineer, facing integrated circuits for breakfast, talking to them on coded words, on a level that they understand me.

I stayed in my company, you bet, but I couldn’t stop my fingers from hitting on the keyboard in an attempt to save my writer alter ego. So, after a brain-draining day, I would always write on my blog until I discovered that I could get paid for my writing. It was a prestige that I am not willing to keep to myself. I read more blogs, fished for more employees while keeping my day job. My personal blog transitioned into a Lifestyle and Finance blog. And I don’t know where to place

I have been writing, but I’ve been writing for somebody else. I longed for happy reliefs after a tiring heartfelt entry. I longed for writing for myself. I longed for writing and reading and reading more and writing more about what I have just read and reading more about writing. I longed for this kind of life.

I dream of this life while writing pieces (ie, e-mails) that I am not excited about. Okay, yeah, I often get lost in my thoughts in the office because I can no longer wait for the day when I can say that I’m giving up writing codes for writing on blogs. Repression breeds

Today may not be the day when my adult writer self should be awakened, but I can feel its faint breathing oh so close.

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500 words challenge, Writing

{Day 4} I Find Comfort in People Who Think I’m Crazy Weird

I have this realization (read the title) just a few weeks ago when life dropped me off in Limerick since early February with a bunch of people I only saw (not encountered) at work. Actually, life’s not really to blame. Let’s re-target the reason to my employer who sent me off for work here in Ireland. I have to do engineering work with these brilliant Irish guys, some of whom would make total hotties. And I am this Filipino lady who tries her best to walk as fast as she can just to keep up with her Irish counterpart when going to a meeting in another building while having to have the composure to bodily communicate that the 9 degree temperature is not bugging her.

Anyho, we’re getting a little farther from my topic so right now I’ll bring you back to my thoughts of why I feel happy knowing people find me a little cray cray. So, as I have told you, I have not officially talked with these officemates of mine back in the Philippines. I saw their faces, but we’re not even colleagues who share the floors. Imagine the horror of spending three whole months in a foreign country with people you know nothing but names about. I usually feel uncomfortable around new people and I have to adjust to this whole new thing.

But, a few road trips, lunch talks and grocery shopping later, I found myself actually enjoying their company. Although, of course, there are a few things which I find irritating on some. But they’re just purely nitpicks. Tolerable. I always see the good in everybody anyway. Can’t stay upset for long. As I was speaking, my bricks came  down. I mean, I talked to them. A pretty lot. I blab and blab about how Frozen, The Little Mermaid and Tangled can be related. I would do little money talks and one time, I have mentioned that I want to retire early and they looked at me like I’m dumb because normal people retire at age 60. (Just an FYI, I’m an Associate Financial Planner, but just for myself and my boyfriend first. Fairly new to this and I find money talks with other people a little hard to pull off.) I insisted that there’s a difference between a geek and a nerd. I told them I felt bad for Jamich, the real-life YouTube stars because Jam, the boy was diagnosed with a stage 4 lung cancer recently and they just shrugged it off because they don’t know Jamich. (You can help Jam here.) They are also reactive when my mood would hit the high scales when a male friend mentioned Pinterest —  I always feel a strong connection with social media-savvy people and I never thought that men actually linger on the site. And they kept on repeating my Facebook status (below) which I posted after a trip to Blarney and Cobh. I apparently enjoyed the trip, but I just didn’t show that super ecstatic feeling.

Today, my lips touched a stone many great writers have kissed, my feet walked the same path the last Titanic survivors have trodded. My heart is way too small and too weak for all the world’s wonders.

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However, when the group needs somebody to act as the spokesperson, they all look at me. They demand that I use my communication skills. Hey, they’ve never been disappointed. I got them 2 bottles of free soda when I ordered pizza over the phone. I was perceived as a student by the tour bus driver in Dublin and was offered €16.00 for an €18.00 ticket. When I told him that I was no longer a student, he said, “Well, you are a student of life still.” Yeah, so that’s how I got the discount. And they did too. *wink*

Well, I’ve done a lot more things for them to think of me as this quirky, dynamic, audacious, silly, high-pitched girl. I enjoy the title. Because it’s a validation that I see things differently from what normal people see. I have visions that they don’t have. I can trod farther than people who settle to be ordinary because I go over the fence when they think that it’s the border people were not supposed to cross. I see service and happy errands when they see burden. I appreciate the light when they choose to be blinded by it. I find comfort in being called crazy weird. I find it heartwarming when they laugh at my wisecracks. This simply tells me that I am out there to create something, to instigate emotions and to kill the doldrums, to inspire, to open minds to a lot of braingasmic ideas and ideologies.

As Steve Jobs would have put this simply,

Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… the ones who see things differently — they’re not fond of rules… You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things… they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.

People, sorry not sorry for being a Millennial Hipster.

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500 words challenge, Writing

{Day 3} Selling Point

I grew up to be a quiet and quite a lady. I am an only child, usually independent and too hesitant to ask for help from others that I was used to do things by myself. Asking favors from others put me in an awkward light. Gawd, I hate doing those stuff that I made myself believe and swear that I am not going anywhere near the marketing industry. I would die of hunger if my work involves selling something. I think I’m going to make zero sales, one maybe the maximum when I ask my mother or one of my close friends to help me.

I managed to stick by that mentality and I ended up in the engineering industry. Yay, so I work on one project by myself, asking very very small help from others, giving in to others, making sure that I don’t make myself a burden to them like I do things quickly because others might be needing to use the equipment that I am using.

So this went on and on until a fellow Ultimate Frisbee player from work introduced me to financial freedom. He invited me to this talk where I have to listen how money works, why we need life insurance and how could I earn more. The first time I went there, I shrugged it off. I thought, oh, here goes another marketing scheme. But, I kind of didn’t take uhm Peter as a networking agent. Peter, let’s call him that. You know, the guy from work who invited me to this seminar.

That afternoon went straight into my boring weekend archives until he invited me to come listen to him again months after. This time, it was him who spoke about the same principles and the same concept. I didn’t know, but I suddenly got into it. I realized everything that he was talking about after a months of paying the healthcare of my mom. Apparently, all that money go to waste because, thankfully, my mom’s a healthy senior. But, I still buy her the short-term insurance that my company offer for its employees’ extended families. I then joined him in this group whose mission is to educate people of personal finance.

Picture us. Engineers who are happily exploring the world of insurances, life policies, credit, IPOs, mutual funds, stock markets and other thingamajigs. At first, I was dazed and confused and overwhelmed. There’s just too much to think about and to learn. But, then I slowly learned and through Peter, I began inviting people to come hear what we got to say.

One time, I swallowed my guts and think of the lives I can change just by inviting a few of my friends. I managed to invite a couple and they were ecstatic about the healthcare product that we suggest that they immediately asked for the forms to join our groups. And I was thinking that this could be the first sale of my life! And two at that! However, months passed (with our product, you have to decide fro months really) and the girl got pregnant and oh well, I failed to make a follow up. Peter was not around to encourage me to do it.

So I just let go first, slowly pulling back the thought that I am not really meant to be joining the marketing circle.

However, two MBA classes later, blogging offers and 2 payments into my healthcare premiums later, I noticed how influential I get when it comes to blogging and building passive income online. I talk about my blog all the time that my closest work mates created their own blogs and there was a time that we were all blogging our hearts out. I’ve also introduced some basic money making activities to them and they have earned a little somehow. Then, there was time when I went cube hopping and I chatted with a colleague about website building and there I go again, talking about my self-hosted website and the vision I have for it and the finance blog that I’ve put up with like-minded people. He got interested and told me he wanted to learn more about it and asked me if he could like earn money out of it. Of course, you would have predicted. I talked nonstop to him.

I may not have made my first sale in my entire existence, but I have managed to sell ideas to friends, myself (I remember marketing myself as a writer even though I am an engineer by profession) to this beauty company looking for a copywriter and my Motivation report in business school (Named as one of the two best reporters!).

Yes, so maybe I am changing. Maybe I am on the way towards my first sale of financial product that could help other people, not break their bank accounts. Maybe I just lack the confidence and passion on these things. Maybe, if I could bring the same energy that I have with blogging and writing, maybe I could help my fellow Filipinos in their finances. Maybe then I could find my niche. Maybe then I could people out. Maybe then I could teach them to earn more in order to give more.

To my future first sale, cheers.

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500 words challenge, Writing

{Day 2} Is personal blogging cloning self-centered earthlings?

Everybody has his or her own dreams they hold dear to their heart. The mere mental slideshowof those desires bring a smile on their faces — an obscure one, a sinister one, a happy one. Desires ought to bring a certain pleasure to the thought owner and they are not limited on the good side of the shelf. Desires seduces and are believed to tag along happiness to ones self and not necessarily to others. It’s a little selfish, I know. 

My religious perception of desire was bugging me while I was attending mass earlier. I inhaled the Catholic scent of St. Augustine’s Church in Limerick, while my ears were struggling to avoid silence by magnifying even the faintest sound my floral boots make on the tiled floor. I came inside thinking how selfish I have been for most days, or for all of my life. I always think about my goals, my family, my boyfriend, my friends, my job and my financial security that I just started to build. Thanks to the internet and my personal blogging, I have never been this “lustful for life”. I have never been more empowered than me creating life lists and crossing out things that I’ve done and filling in new ones again.

I’d have this moments when I virtually fast track to the end part of my life, pretending to have reached all of the desires of my heart. At the end of my journey, I would ask myself, “What now? Are you happy that you have published one book? Are you happy you have two lovely children with curly hair, big eyes and fair complexion? Are you happy with the financial kingdom that  you have started for your bloodline?” What will happen to all of my earthly desires when I leave the soils of the earth?

Sometimes, I feel guilty for eating a lot when a lot of the people go hungry. I feel guilty when I go buy things for myself and I cannot give a portion of my income to the needy. I feel guilty of just planning out the happy life ahead of me when girls get raped everyday over and over again on different parts of the world.

I don’t know what difference I could do or what charitable organization I could join. I don’t know where to put my efforts on — me enjoying the world built by our Creator and helping my family or sacrificing a little to help the needy. I feel like Barbie most of the time — nurturing my compassionate self sparing a moment for the cruelties of the earth, but giving in to my inner material girl who just wants to have fun.

I know I don’t need to absorb all the negatives in this world, but sometimes, I feel like a sponge — easy to soak in those emotions, easy to squeeze them off. Squish, squish. Just like that.

So, tell me should I feel guilty for blogging out my dreams and the life that I want to live? Should I feel embarrassed for spending too much time on my personal blog and skipping out the news section? How could I give out to the world? How could I change the life of one miserable soul? How could I help all those who need me? Starting with my family is acceptable, but I think it is still selfish enough.

Sometimes, the conflicts posed by heaven and earth are just too hard to fathom.

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500 words challenge, Writing

{Day 1} The Write Commitment

Define writing. 

— something I love

Define commitment.

— something I sort of loathe

Define ‘The Write Commitment’

— something far too lovely for me to loathe

So by now, you probably have an idea on how I feel about this challenge. Just like every other people. On challenges. I would do things that I hate so that I could achieve something that I want or I desire or love. In my case, it’s just clashing responsibilities and priorities which make me kind of I’ll-comply-though-I’m-tired attitude with this Write Commitment. I mean, I absolutely love free writing, but hey I have a day job and some creative writing sidelines which I need to have a second stream of income.

So, why have I signed up for the 500 words challenge?

Sometimes, I just want to write for myself. On my personal blog. On this blog, my literary poop tub. And our finance blog. And my online portfolio, but I think I just can’t. So maybe this is why I’ve joined the 500 words bandwagon. To help me help myself. To help me do the things that I love. Or maybe I am just taking much more things that I can actually can, but hey, I love to be able to do things that I love. 

Do I swear, really really swear to finish the 500 words challenge?

Yes, I do! Really, really do. As my co-internet-frenzy writer friend told me, I should do some CPR on my blogs. Because I want my writing to be heard. And talked about. And linked to. You know, that kind of stuff. And, besides, Jeff says I could skip a day. (Oh, so me, procrastinating eve before starting!) So, if I stick to my Write Commitment, I am about to through 31 days of pure writing. That would be a total bliss. Not to mention, productive.

Am I willing to be hard on myself and have expectations?

I’ll say yes. I have been missing my writing days so yes, I am going to encourage myself to go write everyday. Before I go to the shower. Before I sleep. Any time just as long as I am alone. I am usually pesky when someone talks to me while I am writing. My boyfriend can attest to that.

Yep, so back to my expectations. Here it goes:

Myself, I expect time-worthy blog pieces on your personal blog, literary blog, finance blog and the Finance Pinoy blog. I also expect you to make this time as a chance to go find prospects on which sites to write for. Take the plunge. Make it bigger. Online-preneurs have been coming to you without you reaching out to them first. I believe you could take heaps more if you begin to reach out to them. And most especially, I expect you to write helpful posts. Those that your readers will find inspiration from, find technical help from, gain financial wisdom from, and most especially, anchor God’s surprising love from. I know you have your tone and voice of writing developed by now. But, I know you could do so much much more. Build a blog that captures, darling.

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