BREAK-UP

I’m just a bit emotional. I felt like someone broke up with me. Though, I really haven’t experienced one. Haha! But anyway, I just feel like it.

Last 2013, was my first time to resign from the first company that I worked for more than 8 years. But when I left, it was a different kind of emotion. I felt free. Here’s a throwback. 😀

Just this Friday, I said my farewell to the second company I have worked for almost 4 years. And the reason I’m writing now is because I just needed an outlet of how I feel and let it be. I really don’t like dramas but you know what, this is my blog site. I just  want to be dramatic right now. LOL.

Anyway, leaving was my personal choice. It was time to move forward and explore other industries for my own growth. I had to choose growth over comfort. However, leaving this time was not easy.

In my years at the company, I had moved from one team to another. Worked with different people on different projects. Had multiple bosses. Change was super constant. But the last seven months were different. I became part of a team wherein we could all grow together. And to become a part of something that evolves and improves, it’s not just about work. It’s really about building relationship. It was just getting better. And that’s why it was sad to leave. And probably, it’s just me. It’s something I didn’t want to lose.

I just feel like a portion of my life right now got ripped. #drama … lol… But, that’s how I feel. It’s going to take a while. I’ll definitely miss our daily stand-ups and sometimes, excessive clapping. 😀 I will miss grooming  & retro sessions where everyone just really gets “passionate”.  😀  I will miss the crunch time moments when it’s close to end of sprint and everyone just jumps in to help. Just so many things going on everyday that I will surely miss. But most of all, I will miss the team and being part of the team. I will miss working with people who turned out to be friends.

Okay enough with this drama…haha… but those are all sincere words… I’m not going too far so I know I will still see them.

Next week, I will be walking down the hall, seeing unfamiliar faces. And I might still be sad. It’s going to be weird for a while, I guess. We’ll see…

National Leave the Office Early Day!

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‘Twas a good year

First blog entry of 2018! Wooohooo! I thought I would be writing more last year as I hope I would, but there was just too much to write that I can’t keep up. LOL…

But of course, I will never start the year without a recap of my 2017 and what to look forward to for this new year.

Last year was about taking more risks, as I wrote in my 2017 first blog entry.

As I mentioned in my previous shares, I am not the type of person that would really take risks. I always want certainty. Every time I make a decision, I always make sure that’s really what God wants me to do. And, God has been so gracious to me that He truly works in my life that way also. He does not allow confusion in my life. He really knows me well. 🙂 It’s always a Yes or No.

Anyway, the risks I was telling you were really more on taking bigger steps on things that I feel like I won’t really be able to do and hoping would have lasting value. And by God’s grace, He enabled me to take some. As I look back now, I don’t know how I could have done it. But He is a good Father. He does not let us stay the same. He wants us to walk by faith. And I always tell God, if He does not want it, then just stop me from doing it. So, I still have to see how things will be. But before I talk about the future, I’d like to share what I had done last year that really made me grow as a person. It may not be risks for you, but me knowing me, I just don’t know how I could have done it. Amazingly, God also uses people to just push you, walk with you, support you, pray for you and encourage you. And, I’m truly grateful for those people!!

My 2017 Risk list… LOL…

1. Push your limit

Every summer, my church friends and I would always try to do a lot of hiking as it’s really the only time of the year we can do a lot of outdoor activities. Years before, we’ve always wanted to go to Wedgemount Lake but the trail is difficult. But, last year we just had to do it. We kinda hesitated but still in the end we found ourselves hiking to the lake. And I must say, it was really the most difficult trail I have done but the view was worth it. Though, I don’t think I will ever do it again. I don’t know how we survived the last part of the trail. I was praying endlessly as the trail was really dangerous. Thank God we made it back down!

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Another physical activity I challenged my self to do was the Rugged Maniac obstacle race. I always enjoyed obstacle races, it’s kinda like Amazing Race. However, the obstacle races I’ve done did not require strength and physical endurance. Those were just for fun. Rugged Maniac might be the easiest obstacle race compared to the other ones – Spartan, Tough Mudder, etc. But for me, it was the most extreme physical activity I’ve done in my whole life. LOL. So, I was kinda scared because I didn’t know if I’ll finish it – whole and safe. It was good because I had girlfriends with me who also joined for the first time. This one, I might do again next time. I really had fun – all mud & falling.

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Another not so physical activity that I had been procrastinating was to take my road test. For one, I never drove in the Philippines. I had some lessons but that’s it. Growing up, our family never owned a vehicle until I graduated from university. But then, I left home and moved to Manila. And living in Manila did not really encourage me to drive also. I don’t think I’ll ever dare. But when I moved here, I realize it’s really about time. I always feel like driving is not for me knowing that I’m no risk-taker. I feel like driving  is a risk…haha! I’m too cautious. It took me a lot of courage. Finally, I took my road test. And of course, I failed. Haha! But then, now I can keep moving. I just have to keep trying until I make it.

2. BIG Decisions

I was never a big dreamer until God showed me that indeed nothing is truly impossible for Him. On the latter part of 2016, I started having the desire to start my own company. This desire started when I realize how unfortunate it is for IT graduates at my hometown, Bacolod City, to not have so many opportunities for them to really work using their degree when they have so much potential. And so, when I went home that year, I asked my college classmates if they are interested to join me. I did not really get any response.  Fast forward next year , 2017. Two of my college classmates wanted to do the same. And so, we gave it a try. March of 2017, we launched our start up company and had our first client. We don’t know how to run a company. But, we do know how to provide service. And for me, that was enough to start. Our start up is based in Bacolod City. It is still struggling but I’m hoping that one day, we will be able to hire so many graduates and help build the IT workforce in Bacolod. Last December, we organized a hackathon event to really see the skills of the IT students. And, I was just impressed of how much potential Bacolod truly has. I really hope more IT jobs will come to Bacolod. And if you know potential clients, please let us know! More clients mean more jobs for the fresh graduates!

I’ve always enjoyed organizing events. God has blessed me with administrative gift that I am able to use it not just in my day to day job but also in ministries. Such a privilege. Last year, I organized two events – one for our church and one for Beautifully Waiting. And of course, I can never do it on my own. The difficult part of organizing is the time of planning and preparing. Last year was really one of the busiest and most tiring at my workplace for me. I was working on a big initiative that I felt like it used up all my mental and physical energy that every time I come home from work, I just want to go to bed. However, I trusted that God would sustain me as I took a step of faith in organizing those events. The good thing about those events were those were God’s events, not mine. And so, I just really surrendered to Him everything. And by His grace, He carried me through until the end. And also very grateful, there were people who were always willing to help. Also, for Beautifully Waiting event, it was my first time to speak and share in an event. When the event ended, I looked back of the journey before the event started and I was just in awe of how God just made everything happen. He did it!

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2017 was just the start of taking risks. This year, God has impressed in my heart that I need all the courage I could have to face all that’s going to happen this year. New opportunities, growth of our start up company, more events to share Jesus and spread His love, bigger decisions, lots of challenges. I told God to allow me to go through so many failures and rejections so that I will be more courageous. I am still that person who gets a little cautious at times. Scared of taking risks. Doesn’t want to take steps of faith. However, with what God had allowed me to go through last year, God showed to me that with the little faith I have, He can use it to accomplish big things. Really, it’s not just me being courageous but it is also because I have a BIG GOD who can do things beyond my expectations.

I know this is a pretty long blog but I hope I have somehow encouraged you, that we can never stay the same as we were years ago. For us to grow, we need to take little steps of faith, take some risks. But make sure, that those are really well-prayed. Prayer is the only weapon you have as you make those decisions.

May you have a courage-filled 2018!  God bless your 2018!

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:9

Don’t Dream Alone

I’m just amazed how God has taught me to dream bigger. As He showed to me how much He can accomplish through me, I got more inspired to dream for greater things. But those greater things always start with small steps and that’s where I am at right now.

Having a big God is enough to dream big. But, God never wants us to do it on our own. He wants us to share those aspirations, vision, goals with people. And that’s what make pursuing dreams exciting.

I’m grateful that my family supports me and believes in me all the way. It’s just nice to be able to share my dreams with them and make them part of it. Aside from family, it’s encouraging to be surrounded by friends who cheer for you as you take those small steps. Having that kind of affirmation confirms that what I’m pursuing is a possibility, knowing that with God nothing is impossible.

How about you? Are you living your dream? Are you pursuing it? Always remember that you don’t have to do it alone. Share it to the world! You’ll be surprised there are people who share the same dreams with you.

Big GOD!Big Dream!

Pizza & Passion

I’m currently reading one of John Maxwell’s books entitled, “The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader – Becoming the Person Others Will Want to Follow” (thanks to a good friend for giving this book).  Past days, I was reading the chapter about the importance of Passion. Maxwell shared the story of how Papa John’s Pizza started and grew.  Maxwell describes the owner as, “John Schnatter not only eats Papa John’s Pizza; he breathes, sleeps and lives it.” The success of Papa John’s Pizza is because of passion.

As I continued to read, it made me ask myself what is the one thing that I am really passionate about? What is the one thing that I am willing to spend hours and hours to do it? What is it that I specifically accomplish that gives me a sense of fulfillment? Sounds cliche, right? But it’s a question that most of us are really finding it hard to answer.

As I thought about it, I realized there is one consistent thing that I always enjoy doing and is always present in all phases of my life – teaching/coaching/mentoring.

I remember when I was in grade school, I would play pretend as a teacher of an imaginary class. When I was in high school, I remember I did tutorials to some of my classmates. When I was in college, I volunteered teaching kids on a Saturday as well as did tutorials for Korean students. I also tutored my younger brother on his Math. When I started working and grew in my career, I learned and enjoyed coaching/mentoring people in my team. Currently, I volunteer on some Sundays to teach kids during Sunday school. As part of my ministry, I’ve been doing discipleship with group of single women that allows me to encourage and mentor them as we all grow together in our walk with God.

I believe God has cultivated in my life to have a heart for people’s growth. If there’s one thing I can see myself really being patient – it is on people who are willing to learn and grow.  However, this so-called passion that I think I have is something I still haven’t really thought about deeply. I just know that I enjoyed coaching people at work or teaching kids but the pattern since I was young never occurred to me until recently.

This is something I really have to think through in the coming days, weeks, months. I must stop ignoring and really start not just thinking but also praying and seeking wisdom on how I can pursue it with an end goal in mind.

As Schnatter’s philosophy goes, “Concentrate on what you do well and do it better than anybody else.”

Also, just like Jesus when He was here on earth. He is the perfect example of what it means to pursue your passion. He never got off tracked of what He needed to do. He did the one thing that was expected of Him. And because of that, His passion (suffering) and resurrection made way for us to have the hope of a new life and be reconciled with God.

This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! 2 Corinthians 5:17

How about you? What are you willing to suffer and spend long hours at night? What is the one thing that excites you and you will never get tired of doing?

A conceptual image representing a focus on passion

#ToastmastersJourney:Gaslight

It was a good and a little bit “gaslighting” first session.

One of the things I wanted to work on this year for my personal development was to improve on leadership skills and public speaking. I’ve been looking for Toastmasters club within the area, however, my schedule never permits me to attend. Until just recently, our company hosted one as part of the learning and development programs we have. I was so happy when I knew about it! Indeed, God cares about us improving! And it’s very convenient because it is held in our head office. Really, really happy! I have decided that I will keep a journal of my Toastmasters’ journey to see how things will change for me in the future. We’ll see. 🙂

Anyway, back to the “gaslighting” moment. That word by the way was our word for the day during our first session last Tuesday. If you are not familiar how Toastmasters club works, you can check the video I shared below.  During the Table Topic part of the session, the Table Topic Master will randomly ask people in the room with questions and each will be given two minutes to answer. I am never good with impromptu speeches. I do a lot of meetings and presentations at work and even when I am prepared, I still feel nervous and struggle at times. How much more unprepared speeches? When I was chosen, I was really nervous.

The question asked went like this, “How do you extend having fun being at your best in your home life?” If you have time to think about it, it’s not a tough question right? Being put on the spot made me realize how tough indeed it is for Miss Universe candidates to do the Q&A. 😉 I just gave my best shot but I am not sure I really did a great job answering the question. I knew I was going in circles with my answer. However, I got a very encouraging feedback on how I speak and how I had good gestures. So, somehow I still did good for my first session. Yay! But definitely, so many things to improve on.

This is an existing journey for me as I am really looking forward to one day be able to speak in front of an audience of women especially the young women, wherein I can talk about things that are very relevant to them. #doingthedream

Toastmasters is an international organization. So if you are interested, there might be one in your area. 😉

 

#GoogleGoals

As a Computer Engineer graduate in a third world country, my only dream before was to be able to work in a company where I can use my degree. I got blessed with an entry position and eventually grew in my career in IT. A lot of opportunities happened and one of which was to work abroad at our client site. Such experience allowed me to explore things outside my comfort zone.

Then, I ran into this movie in Netflix – “The Internship”. If I’m not an IT person, I might not be interested on this movie. Who would have thought that this movie would trigger me to dream to work at Google? Working at Google never crossed my mind until this movie. I’m in a good place right now but I’ve been learning to challenge myself to dream bigger. When I saw this movie, it somehow opened my eyes to a different, more interesting, more innovative world out there. I don’t know even know if I will ever be qualified for any position they have. But I will never know unless I prepare and try. It’s a good challenge. 🙂

Last year, I had the chance to check Googleplex in Mountain View. It’s a vibrant place out there. The colors speak for itself. 🙂

Let’s see what will happen in the next 6 months? 1 year?

Never stop dreaming!

Springinspired!!

I’m excited for my inspiration this week. I borrowed books from the library and from my church friend that I am going to start reading this week and targetting to finish reading by end of May. 
 

To add to that, some fresh tulips which I bought so cheap from Abbotsford Tulip Festival. So unplanned, few of us from church went to see the tulips farm today. Beautiful!  

 How about you? What’s your inspiration for this week?