After Hiatus | I’m Back!

I am back from a 6-month hiatus! So, hello (again) to you who is reading this from wherever you are! Just in case you are wondering why I took a break from blogging, you will know as you read on.

For the past 6 months, I chose to break free from all the chaos that was going on in the online world. Not that it’s all “chaos” but I chose to be in peace. Why? In order for me to heal – mentally and physically. The stress and anxiety that the pandemic brought me was too much for me to handle – especially as my duty calls for it. I have received numerous concerns (most of them were beyond my control) that I needed to cater to, acknowledge, and deal with. To cut the long story short, I have mostly tried beyond my best to give positivity and encouragement and in return, I mostly received (and inevitably have to absorb) negativity. It was a battle I needed to face even though I knew it was an internal battle between me choosing what is good for myself versus responding to the calling of what I believed was my purpose.

And boom! The moment finally came when I told myself to wake up and realize that it was not at all healthy. Entirely, it was not mentally healthy and it all manifested to my physical health. I was diagnosed with a condition (related to my monthly cycle) that was triggered by my stress, lost weight, I had sleepless nights, and even when I get to sleep, I dream of all the negativity and every waking day, it is what I immediately think of.

I tried to divert my attention to good things that I could think of – which included blogging, setting a little online shop that I could get busy with, and even enrolling to online courses related to my career. But they did not entirely help me get through. I decided to switch off anything in the cyber world – deleted some friends on Facebook that I don’t constantly connect with (from 1,000+ friends, it’s currently down to 357), I did not post so much on my Instagram and Twitter as well. I shifted to reading books and watching series just so I can take a time off from social media.

And eventually, as everything was becoming the new normal and everyone has adapted to it, I realized that healing is a decision one should make for himself/herself by putting things in its right perspective, having the right mindset, choosing the way one responds to different situations, and ultimately, reviving relationship with God through surrendering everything to Him. All of these I have done and have provided healing to my mind, heart, body, and soul.

Today, as I choose to get back up (and open my book again), I am praying that I continue to move forward and never worry about the future and to never let the fear get in the way (again) as I face the challenge in pursuing the journey towards where I am called for.

Welcome back to my journey! Hope to meet you along the way. 

Jhen

How I Started To Love Writing

how

Let me share to you how I started to love writing. Ever since grade school, English has always been my favorite subject. I believe my mother influenced me to love it because as far as I can remember (well, based on my mom’s story), even before I started going to school, she made me read books already. She always makes sure that all that I have written are in perfect grammar, she corrects me if I pronounced words incorrectly, and she always sees to it that I can converse well in English.

But in all honesty, I did not love writing right away. We had this daily required journal or diary in grade school. I dreaded it so much that I repeat the same entry every single day: “Dear Diary, I woke up at 5:30 AM today. I took a bath then I wore my clothes. After that, I ate my breakfast and then brush my teeth…..and so on.” Basically a morning routine that I believe my teacher was so sick of reading, she can close her eyes while putting check marks on it. Hahaha, I wonder if she can still remember me.

Anyway, so how did I love writing? It started in high school – the teenage years. You know, the “teenage emotions” which fuel every decision you make in life – the choices that would make you who you are today. I started to keep a personal diary where I jot down entries of how my day went, my secrets, funny things that happened in school, frustrations, basically anything. Unbeknownst to me, my daily diary helped me to practice my writing skills (and improve it) which also made my grades in English pretty high.

The fuel that started the fire. I did not make a big deal out of writing until my 2nd year High School English teacher, Ms. Selfa Aventura, personally called my attention. (I do not know if she knows how grateful I am to her or if she still remembers me.) She did a one on one with me and told me, “I have read your essays in our exams. You are a really good writer. If you want to improve more or to write more, I encourage you to join the school paper.”

Continue reading “How I Started To Love Writing”

Day 04: My Dream Job | 30-Day Blog Challenge

Picture2

If you have read my Day 03 entry yesterday, I once dreamed of being a dentist but it all changed growing up. My career as an HR Practitioner is already fulfilling and a dream come true for me but there is always a passion inside me that is waiting to ignite some fire – to teach.

I am never used to speaking in public but whenever I am given the opportunity to do some lectures at work (trainings, seminars, orientations), I would most likely volunteer – as long as I have studied and know what I am teaching by heart. This is the primary reason why I took up a Master’s Degree – to teach future HR professionals in shaping organizations’ most valuable assets – human resources.

They say teaching is a very demanding yet fulfilling job. It can be emotionally draining at times dealing with diverse individuals, making dynamic ways to make teaching a fun learning experience to learners, and the struggle to keep up with the changing trends. As you know, anything under the sun can become obsolete.

Despite the struggles, I still find the beauty of teaching – in sharing knowledge, ideas, and thoughts to others. Why? Because of the following reasons:

Teaching can transform lives. Students do not only learn academically but also through you, they can also learn emotionally – to handle responsibilities, to grow up exploring new things, and to discover their potentials which may contribute to society.

Teaching can unleash undiscovered skills and talents. Teachers are often expected to give various methods of teaching. Gone are the days that students focus on the ordinary lecture sessions. They are more engaged when they are entertained. Thus, teaching makes you bring out your creative juices that you did not know you have.

Continuous learning. Learning does not stop when you teach. Our constantly changing world drives us to keep up with it. Thus, doing research, seeking opportunities to grow and learn, and to develop professionally make teaching more fruitful for yourself and for students.

Continue reading “Day 04: My Dream Job | 30-Day Blog Challenge”

Day 03: 20 Facts About Me | 30-Day Blog Challenge

Picture1

Hmmm… Twenty facts about me? This kind of question is always difficult to answer on the spot as everything I know about me suddenly turns into a blank page. I am an HR practitioner and my job includes interviewing job applicants. I usually ask them, “Tell me something about yourself that is not written here in your resume… something that’s interesting about you that you would like me to know.” And now that I am asked of the same question, I now understand why sometimes my interviewees take a lot of time to think about what they want to share. Oops!

The past few days, I have been thinking about what I will share and I still have not come up with a good list so I am randomly typing in right now any fact about me that I could think of.

  1. Japanese food. I have been craving for Japanese food since this morning. I love this cuisine especially Ramen, Sushi (California Maki is my favorite), Katsudon, Gyoza, Ebi Tempura, Chicken/Pork Karaage, name it! Before, the sight of these food made me cringe, but when my boyfriend introduced me to and  made me try this cuisine, I loved it since then.

authentic-japanese-cuisine

  1. I love chocolates, dark ones. A Kitkat dark chocolate is always a go-to purchase whenever I am craving for it. I also love ice cream. Any flavor will do as long as it’s ice creeeeeeaaaaam.
  1. I suffer from severe menstrual cramps every month and my only remedy (aside from hot compress and pain reliever – only when it is too painful) and comfort are dark chocolates and gummy bears.

Menstrual-Period-Cramps

  1. I love splurging on skin care and hair care (CGM) products. Whenever I have the money to splurge, I always go to Watson’s and purchase skin care products. Not that I have clear and beautiful skin, I just like how it feels to have a skin that is well taken care of. Also, I purchase a lot of hair care products because I have naturally stubborn curly hair. I just discovered the Curly Girl Method and I am trying my best to consistently follow it. Girls who are strictly following it makes me envious of how good their curls are. — This item gave me an idea to share my skin care and hair care routine, soon!

skincare

  1. This is a secret I have been keeping ever since. My childhood nickname is “Epew”. I entirely blame my elder brother for giving me this nickname because when he was around 1 or 2 years old, he cannot pronounce my real name (Jennifer) right and said “Epew” instead. Haha. I only started revealing this after I graduated college – when I was mature enough to face this truth. But only those who are close to me can call me this nickname. Just because. If you call me Epew, I could hate you all I want. Hahaha!
  1. The one item I always bring with me when I go out (aside from money and phone) is an umbrella. It is a habit since grade school. I guess this is because my mom let me get used to it. (I got it from my momma!) She always tells me you will never know when the sun strikes hot or when the rain pours.

umbrella

  1. I love collecting notebooks and colored pens. I believe they are my prized collection.
  1. The first job I wanted as a kid was to become a dentist. It was because my parents always bring us to the dentist and I admire the dentist so much, I wanted to be like her. What made me like her were the treats she gave after being so behave during check-ups.
  1. There is always a story your barkada speaks of you. Mine in particular is when I once fell off a tricycle. We were on our way to my best friend’s house after we were done with our research from the City Library. I was seated at the back of the tricycle, eating Nova (snack food) while having a conversation with my friend when suddenly, the driver drove past a broken part of the road (with a puddle of water) which made all of us lose control and I went straight to and literally lied down the puddle of water. I was stunned for a few seconds and cried so hard; I did not know what to do. I did not cry because I was hurt but because I knew my mom would scold me. Years after that incident, my friends always tease me for falling down a sikad. Hahahaha no hard feelings though. For me, it is always actually a funny thing to recall.
  1. I do not know how to swim. Again, I lied to a lot of friends before that I knew how to swim. Sorry! But honestly, I love going to the beach, snorkel, island hopping, among others – as long as there is a life vest and someone near me willing to assist and pull me anytime, I am okay.

beach-bikini-blur-1797375

  1. My favorite color is blue – all shades.

Continue reading “Day 03: 20 Facts About Me | 30-Day Blog Challenge”

Day 02: Quote I Live By | 30-Day Blog Challenge

Day 2 - Quote

We all have a quote we live by but mine is not necessarily a quote but a Bible verse. I grew up in a Christian home and my parents have influenced me to always read the Bible, have my daily personal devotional, and always put God as the center of everything.

In everything that I do, be it a simple or a complex situation, I have always set my mind and heart with my life verse:

Day 2 Verse

This verse has always been an uplifting reminder to me that God is the only One that makes things possible as He leads, guides, and directs me to the right path. He is the one that supplies me with strength to endure whatever circumstances and trials that come my way.

I first encountered this Bible verse as a memory verse in Sunday school but I never really understood its context heartily until our church’s Youth Camp in 2011 which has this exact Bible verse as its theme. In that camp I have learned that Apostle Paul is saying in verse Phil. 4:12 (KJV), “I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.”, that we shall know how it is to be in need and how it is to have plenty – we shall know how to be contented in any situation – whether we are in need or in abundance.

It is a realization that when we do not get our desires or goals, we must not allow these circumstances or disappointments to cause us to turn away from God or to lose faith in Him. Most often, these are the times when our faith is tested and revealed. The whole point of this verse is that being contented can be felt and revealed in situations after we have learned to let things have its way (according to God’s will) when things don’t always go our way (personal desires).

Whatever life throws at us, just learning how to be content in everything is what helps us through our journey in life while we are going through it and that in Christ, we can do all things. Wherever I or you may be at in your journey through life, always walk with the Lord. Never doubt that we are already victorious through Jesus Christ just as how the hymn goes, “He arose a victor from the dark domain, and He lives forever with His saints to reign.”

We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.

Carpe diem,
cropped-erfefe.png

Midnight Thoughts 03: Never Enough

Time check: it’s 12:48 AM and I am not sleepy yet. My surrounding is so quiet, lights are off, and everyone is asleep.

At this hour, I am thinking about the way I lived my life before this health crisis entered the scene. I wonder if I have lived it worthwhile or did I neglect the things I needed to be grateful for.

I realized that no matter how I thought I was doing good with my life, I fall short of too many things. I have not been productive enough, I was not the person I envisioned myself to be five years ago, I have not been very appreciative and thankful for the things that come my way, and I am not contributing enough to the society.

And I need to change it NOW.

This Covid-19 pandemic really has its own wonders of making people realize what we have been doing wrong when everything was normal.

Jhen

Day 01: My Blog Name | 30-Day Blog Challenge

City Real Estate Blog Banner (1)

I know it’s the 26th of April and I am just starting the challenge for April when it’s almost month-end. Well, they say, it’s better late than never, right? I finally have the time to take a break since a lot is going on due to the current world’s crisis (Covid-19).

I started blogging circa 2007 (Tumblr days) and I have considered it as a place for me to let my feelings out – an online diary. I have tried several platforms – WordPress, Blogger (Blogspot), Tumblr, among others. I find it difficult to maintain a blog especially when I have too much going on at school and work. However, one of the silver lining of the current crisis for me is that I have realized that this is something I have always loved and that I made so much excuses of not pursuing this passion. I knew I have so much time to do this if I just didn’t let my laziness and procrastination get in the way.

So, I thank my friend, Little Misadvencha, for inspiring me to be back at it again.

For Day 01 of Little Misadvencha’s 30-day blog challenge, let’s get into the bits of this blog and why is it named the way it is named.

Picture3

Continue reading “Day 01: My Blog Name | 30-Day Blog Challenge”

Midnight Thoughts 02: Fighting Inner War

Almost giving up. But when I give up, what will it cost?

Today, in the midst of uncertainty, God asks me, “What are you here for?” I was hesitant to answer. I am honestly not as strong as everyone else. I try not to take in and absorb any harsh, sarcastic words of falling short of my part – which already increases my anxiety. In effect, I wanted to distant myself from everyone as I thought my time and effort to are of no use.

However, as I am trying to sleep tonight, God spoke to me and He is saying that all of this is temporary. It is only Him who knows when this will end and that something better will take its place. He reminded me today that a lot of people did not give up yet – the frontliners.

God tells me that at this time, the more I am needed. If I allow myself to quit and allow all fear and negativity sink in, it will last forever – it will remind me for a lifetime how giving up costs much more.

Let us all do our part, pray, and work together to fight this virus.

Carpe diem,
cropped-erfefe.png

Writing Back in Trying Times

It is never unknown to anyone that a pandemic (Covid-19) has taken its toll in the world nowadays. Some people were forced to stay at home while some continued working – for the welfare of everyone – which include health workers, security guards, janitors, armed forces, and employees of companies that provide the most essential needs of the community. I belong to a company that manufactures one essential human need – food. Thus, our company continues to operate and produce food so that the local community and the neighboring areas will continue to have a supply of food. It is never an easy task, especially for me, an HR practitioner for my company. You are either loved or hated (mostly) by employees at these trying times. You are sandwiched between compromises and choices that can either make or break them and you.

Honestly, I cannot count how many times I’ve cried because no one was ever ready for this. No one saw this coming. No one wanted this. This situation is not only physically draining but also mentally. Everyone is surrounded by anxiety and fear already and it is expected that as an HR, I must have the strongest core. I admit I don’t have it. I am easily carried away by everything. And I thought to myself, I need a break. I need to shake this off so I can serve both the company and the employees healthily. What shall I do so I can turn myself away from all negativity (which I cannot totally avoid)? What shall I do that would be of help for myself so I cannot be carried away by fear and anxiety?

I kept thinking and I found my answer. I should go back and give time to one thing I love – WRITING (through blogging). It is my best avenue to express my thoughts and I remembered how this became my only outlet during the times when I have failed miserably. It is now a high time to do what I have put off when everything was normal. It’s at times like this where I realized that it is also important to make this time worthwhile because we’ll never know what’s going to happen in the next few days or months.

So today, I am starting again. I got inspired by a close friend of mine (Cha Esper) who started her blog in 2018 and still running it up to this time. She influenced me to blog again. Please do visit her blog HERE.

I read all my past entries and it’s funny because most of them make me cringe (I deleted some, by the way). I cleaned up the blog and I hope it’s never too late for me to ask you to join me (again) in this journey.

Welcome me again at my Version 3.0 Haha!

Carpe diem,
cropped-erfefe.png

Photo Credit: Positive Psychology

Getting Back on Track

Okay… I felt kinda embarrassed with myself as I opened WordPress again (after 2 months). I know I have committed to write more often but turns out, I haven’t. And so here I am trying my best to update.

What was up? I THINK I am probably the busiest, if not, laziest person I have been the past few months. Busiest – because I have too much stuff going on with my work (as I am still adjusting and in transition) and school which I have too many requirements and paper work to deal with. Laziest – because honestly, whenever I come home from work, I hurriedly prepare myself for bed and neglect any pending things I need to do. I JUST WANT TO SLEEP RIGHT AWAY. I know it’s not a good thing. I am pretty well aware of that. I procrastinate a lot and I admit I somehow have lost my time management skills and it is totally not helping me. I even forget (intentionally, most of the time) to do household chores.

This week, it may be weird for you, I looked at the mirror and told myself, “When are you going to wake up, girl? It’s you, you alone can get yourself back on track. This is not your usual self. Go and find yourself  again.”

It was amazing how God works because while I was looking at the mirror, I was actually kneeling down – which reminds me that I am in the right position to start everything anew again. The first step was so clear to me… and that is to pray. Oh how great God is! After I prayed, I received a message from my mom on Messenger. She was sharing how her day went. Our daily random chat consists of anything we can talk about. But that day was different as she suddenly shared to me something about being an inspiration to others – on a daily basis or if not, even in the smallest things we do. She continued, reminding me how important it is to glorify God in all that I do because everything that we do for God’s glory could inspire others.

I admit my heart melted at the moment. That was what I totally needed. I remembered a bible verse saying exactly that. As I grabbed my bible to check it out, an old bookmark fell. It was a bookmark given by our team leader during our church’s Triple “S” Baptist Youth Camp in 2011. And oh how God spoke to me that day! The bookmark says:

1 Corinthians 10:31 “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.”

That day, I have decided to get myself back on track and do everything for God’s glory… and to avoid complaining just because of restlessness and keep in mind that complaining will not do me any good and it will not glorify Him.

So far, I have managed to cope with the stress life brings and just be optimistic about anything that’s happening around me. Being spiritually-guided helped me get back on track.

I am eternally grateful for God’s presence in my life – be it through my family or in the smallest occurrences that happen in my daily life.

I am inspired again… because God is my eternal inspiration and I should hold on to His promises for with God, all things are possible (Matthew 19:26).

Carpe diem,
cropped-erfefe.png