Have you ever been jealous of heroines who would pack their bags, drive off, and disappear for days at a time? I have. I have always believed it to be a brave and bold thing to do. To be able to leave everything behind and reflect on someone’s life – “Am I still in a life that I would want for myself or that God wants for me?” And always, when the heroine comes back, she has this clarity of purpose and action. She always does what she was supposed to do, what she wanted, what she felt was right for her and not what others think is right for her. It leaves me with a surreal feeling that I committed to making it real for me.
Finally, after putting it off with my reasons, I commuted off (sorry, forgot my driving lessons) to a not-so-far-off place before 2015 ended. It’s the perfect spot for relaxation and reflection – Tagaytay!
My commute was not easy because it was practically still Christmas season. I rode a bus from Buendia going to Tagaytay proper which amounted to Php92 only. After my 3 1/2 hour commute, I arrived at the hotel by 6pm and suddenly felt a bit anxious of sleeping alone in a far-off place but I just told myself that God is with me every step of the way, guiding and protecting me from harm.
Adventurous and curious as I am, I had to first enjoy the beauty of Tagaytay before reflecting on the year that was. My first stop was Sky Ranch because I wanted to see the attractive lights while enjoying the cool breeze. As I was strolling the amusement park, I was attracted by minions as prizes for whoever can shoot the basketball in the hoop. I did not want to empty my wallet though for the cute and adorable minion, even though I wanted it badly. While waiting for a jeepney going to the restaurant chain in Tagaytay, I met a local there who asked me where I’m going and who I’m with. I said I was there alone (not a smart thing to say, people!). He seemed surprised because it was already night time and I’m still outside looking for somewhere to eat. He said it must be lonely being by myself which I responded to with “Ang saya kaya! Kailangan natin maging magisa every now and then.” I remember that very vividly! While I was having dinner at Army Navy, I felt awesome eating alone while listening to chill music and having a book by Bro Bo (Life Manual 101: How to Make Your Dreams Come True). Being an extrovert, I thought I’d feel alone amidst several tables of families and friends but I just felt relaxed and happy being with myself. 🙂
It was past 9pm when I got back to my hotel where I finished Bo’s book, which I was thoroughly inspired by. For almost two years now, I’ve been reading Bro Bo’s books and I have yet to come across the idea of adjusting your dreams to fit your resources – this means you downsize your dreams to fit what you have right now! Yes, that may sound totally bollocks (frustrated English here) to you now and you’re not alone. All the while, I thought reaching for your dreams will be simple and same as Globe’s battlecry: “Go lang nang go!” And being a passionate preacher and believer of dreams, I thought Bro Bo would just tell me to go achieve my dreams no matter what it is, no matter how high it may seem, no matter what the cost. That’s why his NEW PARADIGM on making my dreams come true surprised me. He said that if the dream comes from pride, adjust your dream to match your resources. But if it comes from your purpose, adjust your resources to match your dreams. Your purpose, your life’s masterpiece, can only be determined through discernment, which as Bro Migs Ramirez puts it is “making your heart one with God’s heart.” I would say that I am ambitious when it comes to dreams. It’s not enough for me to have a house with my He-who-has-yet-to-be-named husband, I wanted to buy a condominium this year. It is not enough for me to become a trainer, I want to design my own curriculum for personality development. Dream 1 partly comes from pride. Dream 2 comes from purpose. I say that Dream 1 comes partly from pride because I wanted to buy one this year and have an asset under my name, proof of my hard-earned labor for several years. However, because of personal problems, it is unwise to push for that dream unless my personal problems get resolved. So now, I am adjusting my dream to match my resources. I can still have my dream condominium but I might have to adjust it to a later year. I say that Dream 2 comes from my purpose because this is what I have wanted since I realized that God is leading me to this path. I am most inspired and excited when affecting people and God has given me core gifts of leadership and altruism to use for this purpose. This year, I am planning to take a graduate program in MA Personality Psychology and seek mentors to help me achieve my curriculum.
The next morning, I had a conversation and surrender with God. Of course, the beautiful backdrop inspired me more to give thanks to him for the year that was and to hear his voice despite the cacophony of my doubts, worries, and insecurities. His voice was plain and simple: “If I was able to paint such a beautiful picture of my creation, just wait for my life’s masterpiece for you because I love you more than everything else you see.” While reflecting, I also wrote down my 30 highlights for 2015. I realized that the best parts of last year were definitely being able to serve God more through His people, being accountable for my actions, inactions, and for my continuous improvement (Kaizen), being able to reach out to my family and friends more and lastly being able to enjoy the journey more as I see God in every situation, may it be a success or failure.
My 2015 was not perfect. There are things I hope I could have handled better and there are situations that challenged me to stretch my patience, my understanding, and my courage. But it taught me so much faith – that God is here even in the smallest detail of my life – even as I brush my teeth or I browse through Facebook. Even when people say mean things toward and about me or when someone tells me they love me. It also taught me about hope – that even if I was not able to do my best today and people are disappointed, there’s always tomorrow. Even when I go astray, I can always find my way back through prayer and guidance. And lastly it taught me so much love – knowing Jesus more and his sacrificial love for me made me love myself more and in turn made me love others more. I learned loving others must really come from the knowledge that you are loved unconditionally by the One who made you.
To cap off my solo adventure, I had lunch in the plush restaurant called Bag of Beans (budget at Php300-400) where I had a little more alone time. I truly enjoyed the beautiful garden restaurant while basking in its romantic and airy ambiance. Their fresh seafood pasta coupled with their refreshing watermelon shake is to die for.
My last stop was in Puzzle Mansion, Tagaytay where I enjoyed taking pictures of life-sized puzzles of different shapes and sizes! One was as wide and as tall as a lobby room! I thoroughly enjoyed looking at different wonders of the world, miniaturized into 3D puzzles. I also did not know that our country is home to the biggest puzzle ever completed in the whole world! And it was done by none other than a Filipina! #proudlypinay
There are a lot of places I have been to, some with different sights from Tagaytay. Some are more spectacular, more thrilling, more adrenalin-pumping. Every trip I had was memorable and worth the books, more so trips where I’m with my closest and funnest friends to be around. But this one will always have a special place in my heart because it showed me parts of myself that would not have been awakened if not for my first solo trip. It showed me that I can befriend a stranger. It showed me I can be by myself in throngs of people and not feel alone and actually enjoy just being by myself. It showed me that I am brave enough to chart the unknown without anyone to depend on. Lastly, it showed me how much my faith has grown with God and consequently with myself – because I did not have faith with the latter when I lacked faith in the former. So my declaration this 2016? Believe. Do. Surrender. And the result will definitely be a masterpiece. ❤
Jesus in Me loves you!