Blessed: Why I will never be successful as defined by the world

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According to Miriam Webster, success is “the fact of getting or achieving wealth, respect, or fame.” This is definitely not my definition of success. Simply put, my definition of success is honoring God and being able to live the life He wants me to live. Difficult, yes, and quite mystical if you don’t believe in God but I do and I believe that every single part of my life happens for a reason – mistakes and struggles and problems and all – only because God has a bigger and amazing plan for me (Jer. 29:11). I won’t always understand the ‘why’ but I choose to just simply trust Him instead (Prov. 3:5-6).
On the less ‘serious’ side, I acknowledge the fact that God has given me so much and that I guess for some people, I can be placed under the ‘successful’ category. But you know how society, your parents and even the church tell you that you’re destined to be someone big, like a leader or a world-changer, and/or be rockstar wealthy and known amongst the nations? I’m not one of those. I don’t want to be one of those. Can’t I just be a follower, one of those in the background, a simple passer-by? I know that’s what I want, unlike others who aim for fame and fortune, which is also ok if that’s what you dream of.

Aside from that fact, there are other ‘qualities’ that I have that aren’t exactly found in most ‘worldly’ successful people. I know I won’t be successful as defined by the world simply because:

1. I suck at networking. You know how they say that success is mostly based on who you know, therefore go and make friends with all the right people? Well, I am not a social butterfly. I’m more like a caterpillar that doesn’t reach maturity. Haha! I know of some people who can easily make friends. Ma-boka, ma-chika, ma-PR. I’m not like that (which is why I left Channel 2’s PR team). You know the type: “Hi. I’m Jacob and let’s be friends forever” and then they actually do stay friends forever. And it’s not that they’re even trying. It’s just that they are naturally friendly and have no problems in making the first move to getting to know you. I’m not like that. Sure, I can be friendly, I’ll small talk with you if need be but I don’t usually go out of the way just to network with officemates or bosses or whoever for “future use.”

2. I do not want power. Or responsibilities, for that matter. Spidey’s uncle was right in saying that “With great power comes great responsibility” or vice versa. I don’t want that. If I can help it, all I want is a simple life with the least number of complications. I’m not saying I am not responsible or that I can’t take on more roles. But I have no problem in simply following the leader or being part of a large group or living a simple, unexciting life.

3. I’d rather be in the background. Some people love being in the spotlight. I’m more of the ‘stay behind the shadows’ type of gal. Haha! Even at our church ministry, when they find out I signed up for the admin ministry which basically does everything behind-the-scenes, they would be surprised and say that I belong to the ushering team, those who are the frontliners during service. But no, I don’t want to be under the public eye (naks, feeling artista). I changed to this kind of person years ago, which in effect resulted in me no longer posting too much photos or info on social media as well as not divulging my life to acquaintances.

4. I do not kiss ass. I KICK ass, yes, but I’m no sucker. I don’t like lying. Some people have a talent for this. The type who easily praises their boss or colleague, expecting for a favor like a promotion or raise, even though they know their praise is not true. Sipsip, in Tagalog. I could never do that. I don’t easily give out compliments because when I do compliment or praise someone, I actually mean it. When I say you’re kind or amazing or pretty or talented, I really do mean it. I don’t give my words away. One time, my boss asked me if I was impressed with his presentation. I wasn’t but I couldn’t tell that to him, now could I? Instead of lying just to save my skin or get brownie points from him, I just said, “I think you and Mr. B make a great team.” Still a compliment and entirely true. I couldn’t bear kissing his ass just because he was my boss.

5. I do not aim to accumulate earthly things. I know what you’re thinking. What about all those bags and shoes and clothes and make-up that I keep on buying? Let’s just say there is such a thing as balance. As I always mention, I buy stuff not only because I want them, but also because I need them or they make me feel good about myself (case in point: make-up). And I choose those made of quality over mediocre items for its long term usage. I don’t plan on having 10 mansions, I don’t even want one mansion. I actually want to live in a bungalow with maybe maximum of 3 rooms and 2 baths. I don’t even want my own car (because I hate driving. Haha). I use my crappy phone until it’s already unusable. And so on and so forth. Because at the end of our life, we can’t bring all these earthly things to heaven or wherever you think you are going. I set my eyes on the more important things like family, friends and my relationship with God. Why should material things matter when all your relationships are crappy? Not easy to do but as I always say, I’m a work in progress.

6. I am an advocate of work-life balance. I’m blessed to work in an organization that encourages this. I’m glad that I can leave work on time so I can go to the gym or have dinner with friends or have fellowship with my sisters in Christ. But I think generally, those who just work, work, work, work are the ones preferred by the bosses, hence, they are the ones given promotions and raises. Though I want to level-up in my career somehow, I would never compromise my health or relationships for it. I’ve done that before during my Channel 2 days but where did it get me? I’d do overtime work for the extra pay but my health suffered. I’d cover events during the weekends but skipped on family time. What’s the point of that? I won’t be useful to God if I’m always sick and my work won’t love me the way my relationships do. As I said, I’m keeping my eyes on the heavenly prize. But not to misunderstand me. I don’t necessarily think that those who work overtime or over the weekends are bad because I know some of them really do enjoy working that much. Some people are wired to be workaholics, I guess. It’s just that it’s not for me.

7. I don’t believe that work is everything. Some people obsess over their work to the point that they get extremely upset or depressed if things don’t go their way. Some work hard for their jobs and building their careers that they would do anything to keep it, even compromise their integrity and belief. I am not one to do that. I acknowledge the fact that I work because (i) God put me here and ultimately, He is my boss (Col. 3:23-24); (ii) we are called to work and be useful in our society (2 Thess. 3:10-13); (iii) my work is simply a means for me to bless others (Eph. 4:28) as well as enjoy life (Eccl. 3:12-13); and (iv) my work is a form of worship to Him (Col. 3:17). 

I’m pretty sure there are other reasons why I won’t be “successful” but these are the ones that I could think of. All in all, I don’t think I’ll ever fit the ‘successful woman’ as defined by the world. But I do believe I’m successful in my own way. Hopefully I can post a list of those too.

If you can’t buy ‘em, make ‘em

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My DIY BB Cushion. This was actually the main reason why I tried ph.alther.kr and it also cemented my belief that I could never be a beauty blogger. Haha! Look at my messy, walang-ka-art-art lay-out. BB Creams are quite expensive. When I saw this DIY BB Cushion Set, I figured I’ll just make my own BB cushion. Since I had some BB cream that was too light for my face, I tried concocting my own personalized BB cushion by adding some darker foundation to the BB cream. Added some aloe vera as suggested by some bloggers but it didn’t work for me. VCO was the key in making my cream more liquid-y for easier absorption by the sponge. Probably not as good as ‘professional’ store bought creams but still, a DIY BB Cushion success!

Another DIY that I did was my pearl watch. I’ve been eyeing this particular pearl watch from Swatch (photo from net) then upon checking it out at the store, found out it was just a simple nylon strand with beads. So I decided instead of splurging on a store-bought watch, why not create my own? I had an old watch head that I didn’t use anymore, bought some nylon and pearl beads from our local craft store and voila! My very own pearl watch, which I love because I’m a fan of watches that look like bracelets.

 

The practical in me will always try to look for the cheaper but ‘same quality’ product but if I can’t or if that doesn’t work, then I’ll try to create my own. Same results, only more affordable and with a splash of fun =)

Blessed: Kind words from an old friend

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A former colleague from Channel 2 suddenly invited me for lunch since she was around my area. We talked over our pork and chicken curry rice, shared about our lives and laughed. As we were going home, she told me how I was always nice and kind to her; how there was something about me that was different in our then world of harsh and dog-eat-dog world. She told me that I was always happy and smiling and how this served as my testimony as a Christian.
This completely caught me by surprise and I explained to her it was because during that time, I had some struggles in terms of my walk with God. I mean, I wasn’t even going to a Bible Study Group during that time, I wasn’t spending time with God and I was living a worldly life (more worldly as compared today). I explained that I am now in a better place, ever since I recommitted my life to Him 5 years ago.

But it was a pleasant surprise for me and I’m really glad she told me. I’m happy that somehow I was able to be positive around her and maybe even show her what an awesome life with God could be (she is now an amazing leader in CCF!), even though in my head, I wasn’t exactly an ok Christian then.

Thanks G for your kind words! It really made my day. Reminded me that I should always be sincerely kind and even aim to be a positive-influencer to the people around me (because a smile will always be better than a frown =)

New found love in Uniqlo

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Kikay alert and TMI!
 

I’ve never given Uniqlo that much thought. I mean, I always found the clothes a tad bit expensive for my budget and since I’m not much of a splurger when it comes to outfits, I don’t usually visit their store. But my relatives were all praise for this brand so at the back of my head was the idea that I should check it out. Someday.


That day came last week. Don’t you just love it when things work out for the best? Basically, I found what I needed in a brand that boasted of high quality at a discounted price. I was in need of some innerwear and after checking my go-to brand – Wacoal (and Marks & Spencer for the bottoms because their seamless undies are really awesome!) – I couldn’t find any that suited my taste. For my ‘panloob’ spaghetti strap tank tops, I decided to wait for my upcoming Bangkok trip. Little did I know that Uniqlo has a wide range of awesome innerwear too! Too bad I didn’t check their innerwear collection when I went to Japan (I was too focused on finding The Bag) and just bought the body shaper. I tried on their bra and it was oh-so-perfect! Felt like butter on my skin! For the price tag of P990, it wasn’t so bad since it was along Wacoal’s range but the tipid-shopper in me thought that maybe I should wait awhile? Good thing I did because a few days after, I went back and found the same type of bra for only P590, in my size! It’s wireless (can I hear a yahoo from the ladies?), the band doesn’t hurt the skin, and it’s seamless with the softest yet durable material you could think of which still retains the cup shape. Sure the color was bright pink (haha!) even though I really wanted the deep wine maroon and dark forest green ones that weren’t on sale but hey, maybe I should spruce it up once in a while? Not only that, I also discovered their P190 Airism inner tops, perfect as ‘panloob’ for blouses and dresses! They had so many designs and colors to choose from, I really had a hard time to decide. But the practical in me decided to buy only those which I knew I would need: a nude and a black one. You might be thinking ang kapal ng face mo that I got the small black innerwear, which was the last piece. Here’s the thing: the material stretches but is still super comfortable! I could practically buy any size and it would still be fine! The nude one I got was in large and it was comfy too.

 

I knew these items were really good buys – great quality, very comfy and wonderful fit – so I went back again, this time to another branch and found another bra on sale in my size – very pretty soft lace in purple-blueish color. In love!


I still planned on buying the dark violet ‘panloob’ so I went back to Uniqlo Megamall and discovered they had a whole new collection of bras on sale! This time, the bras had no hook behind it but it was still made of the same super soft, comfy, and superb quality material. Colors were light pink, hot pink, mint green and bright green (P590 each). I went with the light pink which was the closest to nude. This was super perfect because I was looking for a bra that would go well with my backless tops – meaning I needed a bra that didn’t look like a bra. And with the no-hook feature of this new bra, it wouldn’t look obscene or tacky when I wear it with my backless shirts. Score!

 

I honestly had to consciously stop myself from buying all the items in different colors that had my size. Haha! I’m not much of a hoarder but these are really a great addition to my everyday needed basic items! Definitely adding Uniqlo in my list of favorite brands from now on.

 

Sip & Gogh Alabang

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My high school barkada planned on having dinner one Saturday and for a change, I suggested we have it in Alabang instead of our usual Makati or LB. Because of that, my other friend suggested we put our creative juices to the test through a painting session at Sip & Gogh Alabang located at Molito (shopping complex).

Based on the available schedules, we decided to book our appointment for the 4-6pm Open Session, followed by dinner at Omakase. We had the whole studio to ourselves!

Open session means you get to choose your own design for your painting, which is perfect because I didn’t want us to have the same paintings, simply because two of my friends – who already tried Sip & Gogh – were actually very artistic. Lugi ako pag nagka-compare! Haha! Kidding aside, it was fun to choose our own designs which would speak to us and reflect our personal preferences. There were so many to choose from! Two of my friends chose their design based on what would look good in their room once they hang it up. I chose mine because it would be a great addition to my ‘portraits’ collection, even though I’m not a huge fan of pink plus it seemed ‘easy’ to do for a beginner like me. This would be my third portrait; the other two were done by my friends.

 

Once seated, you’ll be given your blank canvass, the colors that you’ll need and while the teacher guides you on what to do first, some cheese and crackers plus your drink of choice (juice, soda, wine) will be served. So you definitely do the sip and paint thing like you’re a real artist. Haha!

 

Me and my friends would talk and laugh but basically, we were really engrossed in our art. My design is the simplest so I also finished the earliest. You have two hours though so no need to hurry.

 

My finished product! My friends actually said that my design was “sooo me.” Haha! Does that mean I’m vain because I chose a portrait? Ha! Your masterpiece will then be placed in a pretty paper bag for convenience.

 

Look at us (who also look like art. Haha!) with our pieces of art with our cool ‘teachers!’ No doubt this is a great experience for anyone. It doesn’t matter if you’re not artistic (like me) since it’s really an awesome experience. You’ll really feel like a bona fide artist. The staff were nice and the studio was clean and air-conditioned to boot. For only P1,000, not only do you get to keep your art work, nibble on some cheese, and sip some drink, but you’ll also have a fun bonding experience! 


Check out their site for more details since they also have sessions for couples and art work for kids.