I grew up feeling alone and alienated. No, my situation didn’t put me on this spot, I just naturally felt as if I didn’t belong. Non-conformist was the word, as I spent years being thrown out of the class for questioning the professor’s lessons. Although this may be painful, it was also the reason why I got a head start in life. I didn’t finish college, left home and told my mother “Do not waste your money on tuition fees, I am certain I didn’t like going to school”… (P.S. This move might not work for everyone, and I am not promoting it)
I had a little savings from my summertime gigs of modeling (which I only did for money as I also didn’t feel like I belong there), and rented a room inside my college friend’s home. But I was not there most of the time; I hopped on a bus and went surfing in Zambales circa 2002. I had an eye-opening trip: meeting older people who I felt at ease with and realizing my love for the ocean. But let’s not forget I was also young and stupid, and as we all know-unsupervised! Mentioning that means I had my fair share of mistakes, I learned from it but I am not proud of it.
Years after, I met up with my family again for my little bothers graduation, and they saw that I was fine leaving home anyway. Hence had an unspoken blessing that I can just do so by myself. Three days after that, I woke up with a thought that literally rolled out of my mouth, I said, “today I will look for a job”. And the happy-go-lucky me finished a resume, did a drop box application at the best 5-star hotel in Makati, and just upon application I luckily got promoted and they gave me a higher-ranking job than what I was applying for. I was lucky yet questioned by people for having this luck.
I loved this job so much… But not long after I was convinced by colleagues to apply for a job abroad as a flight attendant. I was very hesitant; I was already in a good place. Yet again, curiosity wins and I went with them and rolled with the punches. I didn’t take it seriously – in which I think helped me get the job because I was so chill compared to others, it was a massacre…thousands of applicants with heavy sweats, eye and lip twitches, and loud sobbing. It was traumatizing. But hey, lucky me, I got the job! Sad part is, the four who convinced me didn’t… again I was questioned for that, this time, in one of those creepy silent non-confrontational girl things. They just went silent. So I moved on.
I traveled! Everywhere! I didn’t save my allowance and brought instant noodles in my hotel room on layovers. I actually went out almost every time and lived a good tourist life while I was on the job. I went with flight attendants who were either a local of the country or with the group who are willing to sacrifice a few hours of rest to explore the new place. I ate good food, saw beautiful places, and did adventure trips that cost me more than the allowance, including buying crewmembers a lap dance on one drunken night in Frankfurt. It was an amazing part of my life and I am not denying that.
But after so much booze and lonely times living in a place that seemed too artificial for me, I broke down. I was diagnosed clinically depressed. (Apparently this is common to the job hence the high salary). And so again a decision that I am not proud of, I left. I am not proud I said, but it sure was worth it. I went back to surfing right away and it healed me, but still, I knew there is a piece missing.
For someone who likes contact sport, I never knew I’d be thinking of it… I thought I wanted to try Yoga. AH YES, the big bliss, Yoga… It was year 2011 and my cousin who’s always been an angel to me, was into it. I had to talk to her. I was briefed, and not so long after, I found a teacher, and instantly, I fell in love with the practice and found myself in India!!! (The flight attendants’ worst nightmare. This also gave me a new perspective on viewing things as I saw it differently when I was flying compared to living in India).
I was guided beautifully and I practiced religiously. I was so happy that I started to write about it. And this is when I remembered to write. To write the words that you are unable to express vocally, things and feelings you are passionate about, ideas that you want to share, and moments you want to remember and reminisce…
From here on, I didn’t exactly feel like I wasn’t alone anymore, but instead, I felt at ease and comfort with being alone. That it is okay and wonderful to just listen to yourself and follow your heart. Get to know yourself and undo what you’ve been told and just learn, learn from other people and learn from your mistakes, to acknowledge is the first step to forgiveness and freedom. It feels good.
And so with this comes a gift… I’ve met wonderful people who are in-sync with my life’s journey and they are all talented. I have been blessed to have a connection to people who inspire others in special ways they can. And as for me, it is my chance to give back and share it to people who are willing to listen. Specially to change what we can for the better. From love, to birth, to lifestyle, to a better future.
We all grew up with different backgrounds, lifestyles, upbringing, hardships and milestones… thinking, why does it have to be me? Or why is this happening to me? But sooner or later, we find ourselves at the same place everyone has hoped for, and REALISE that we just took different routes. Just like how you may be thinking as you read this: we REALISE that we are all connected to each other somewhat, someway.
And this is the main reason WHY writing means so much to me.
For me, writing is a passion in itself that gives us the privilege to CONNECT on a deeper level and EMPOWER friends, family, and strangers. It entails a considerable amount of opening up to the world of the unknown, full of risks and opportunities, but this is what the journey is all about. And in this lifetime, this is one of the things I can do to help and reach out to others, including myself.