Maybe I got fed up. Maybe I just wanted to feel secure. Whatever the reason was, I wanted to change my lifestyle, my habits, my perspectives, my way of consuming, and a lot more in 2019.
I feel so proud of myself for coming this far—from losing my purpose bit by bit, every day, to finding a small glimmer of hope on some days (that’s a lot to me). Hopefully, with this, I hope to impart lessons from what I have learned from my experiences this past year.
Accept That Change Is Necessary
I liked editing and the office per se, but I couldn’t see myself spending six hours every day in commuting to and from Makati. It drained me even if I had times when I was assigned to work from home. I felt unfulfilled because I no longer had time for my hobbies; I gained weight from stress-eating, which affected my health; I didn’t have time to serve my community; and, even though I was working, I was still living paycheck to paycheck.
Finally, last December 2018, I resigned from my editing work. Before deciding to do so, I listed the things I wanted to do in 2019: (1) rest for a week, (2) fix my room, (3) find another job. However, things didn’t go as planned, but at least I knew that it was a start.
Start with What You See Every Day
By the end of 2018, I was dissatisfied with my job, anxious because I just resigned, and was mostly stuck at home. Some somber days, I did nothing, literally staring at my walls, pondering what to do next. Change is overwhelming, but I knew I had to start somewhere.
I first renovated my room and transformed it into a place I would look forward to seeing every day. The next I took care of was what I was becoming anxious about more often: my health. To cut the long story short (because I’d share my fitness journey in another blog), I lost 10 kilos, and I am now, I think, living a healthier lifestyle.
Find Places That Fit Your Personality
Being healthy is expensive, I tell you. (But why though?) Just when I was gaining back what I had spent for my room, I was losing my money buying healthy foods. At the same time, I didn’t want to go back to working and spending 90 percent of my time in commuting and 60 percent of my earnings in stress-eating.
I was only looking for three things in a job: (1) I had an experience, (2) it should be near my home, and (3) the pay was right. The first one I applied to (an editing job) had 1 and 3, but it took two hours to commute (it was supposed to be an hour or less); plus, the interviewer (the team supervisor) doubted published authors who started on Wattpad, so that was a big no for me. The second one I applied to was an assistant project management post. But I wasn’t sure if it was the lack of experience or the salary I was requiring that they didn’t call me.
Anyway, putting these ideas together, plus the fact that I was too timid to interact with a new set of people for work anyway, I decided to find a work-from-home job. I was aiming for an editing post, but I landed on content writing. I don’t regret it though. I now have time to work for my creative pursuits and earn money by doing something I had experience with.
Utilize Resources to Make You Better
My routine, however, was something to improve on. Ang daming distractions sa bahay. But thanks to Timetune (routine), Money Manager (finances), and Ticktick (things to do), I was able to make most of my time. I’ll elaborate them in another blog, but you can try it by yourself. They are life-changing, I swear.
Learn and Keep Learning
What made 2019 different from the other years was I learned to unlearn certain habits. Before, I often delay the things I wanted to do. Sa January 1 na lang, sa birthday ko na lang, Sunday na lang, 9:30 p.m. na lang—I always “round” the time, if you know what I mean, and I end up not doing anything. After unlearning this attitude (that I got used to for decades), I saw things differently. Tipong, wow, I can learn a new thing on a Tuesday, start a story at 4:13 p.m., exercise whatever day of the week is. I did my best to start the change I wanted to see now. It’s not perfect; I mean, I still experience anxiety attacks, but life has become more bearable than it was before.
I was also able to practice moral consumerism. As much as possible, I don’t go to places established and supported by the Villars and Dutertes. Weird lang kasi, di ba, na ang dami kong political hanash on Twitter pero ang hypocritical ko naman kapag dating sa pagiging consumer ko. I started supporting local cafes, eating local and organic food, and buying only what I need (I only bought like 2 sets of clothes last year).
At pagdating sa pag-a-unlearn, what gave me the most peace of mind was giving a fuck only to things that matter. People misunderstood the phrase “the art of not giving a fuck.” It doesn’t imply that you have the right to be apathetic to the underprivileged. Utang na loob. Help the needy, comment your political stance—I think these things matter. But turn your back to rumors and ignore trolls. I mean, anong naitulong mo sa pambabash sa isang artista? And when it comes to opinions and personal preferences (books, music, art), my daily mantra has been this: “Breathe, remember that to each their own, and let it go.”
This should have been posted on January 1, but I thought of posting it today—my birthday, my new year—instead. I’m not sure what 2020 will bring me, and I care less now, I guess. I just have to keep in mind that every day is a chance to be stronger, a chance to be better.
Happy new year, self. I love you, and I hope you keep on loving yourself.