Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Burning the Midnight Oil

Settled down in my little nook at home to do some work past midnight and thought I'd drop by this oft-forgotten repository of thoughts for some writing therapy. Browsed through it, too, and realized I feel like writing most when things are not going well. Most of the entries bear the themes of burn out, tiredness, a seeming lack of sense of achievement - that even I got tired of my own drama.

2015 has been relatively okay. And by okay I mean it has its highs and lows but nothing to be shaken about. The past few years have been good travel-wise. I'm at a phase where I'm really keen to see the world. Sometimes, I think that perhaps I'm not in a relationship because I'm meant to enjoy life without baggage first before getting sucked into the romance and the headaches that come with it. And I'm fine with that.

Come to think of it - I've been very blessed. While my life is nothing spectacular at this point, I think I've got a pretty good one.  

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Don't Look Down

I worked on a project with a brand I handled and have come to love since day one at work almost 11 years ago. It turned out to be hugely successful that the execution of our team was deemed better than the other countries in Asia. I was on a high, albeit a short ride, and I think it's because I've missed that feeling - that sense of accomplishment and the delayed gratification that came with it. 

We've had several other projects before this but all of those were mired by problems, exposing weaknesses in the system, challenging our leadership and testing the mettle of our people - some of whom, unfortunately, did not live up to expectations. After that string of near-misses, I was determined not to screw this particular project up and committed to handle it personally instead of endorsing it to a manager and an executive. Suffice to say it went well. I learned a wealth of things that I wouldn't have given a damn about, hopped between airports, endured the traffic and the dirty air in Manila, and struggled to hear through the thick accents of the people we were dealing with. For weeks on end, I soldiered on until it was necessary to involve the rest of the office. I could not have done it all if it weren't for the great support I got from my colleagues. From the superiors who willingly took on the load I had to sideline to focus on this one, to the young professionals who were fast learners and handled their responsibilities efficiently. During that three-day period, I saw our team work at its best and I was reminded of the Perceptions that I've always known. The fire was back, spirits were up and the momentum was so there. 

Of course, something had to happen that brought me down from the high, and I wasn't able to bring myself back to it. Hurtful words were exchanged, bringing to question the sincerity of the intentions and all the actions that came with it. I was bawling in the presidential comfort room at the airport on day two, forcing myself to stop when I realized I had been inside for some 20 minutes. Why couldn't we have just enjoyed the ride, up to now I still could not comprehend. The conflict was resolved a few weeks later, but it still could not bring back the moment that was lost. 

All is well. At the end of the day, I'm still proud of what our team has accomplished. I'm proud of my colleagues. I sent messages to each of them to make sure they knew how much I appreciated them and their work, and it also felt good to see them bask in the glory for being recognized for their individual contributions.

What I learned from this experience is that no matter how given it is that people are good and no matter how many times they have been told that they are doing a good job, we should not hold back on showing them over and over again how much we appreciate the dedication, hard work and sacrifices that were made to deliver a job well done.

Because sometimes, the only thing a subordinate really needs after a long period of working her heart out is a good, sincere pat on the back from the people she looks up to, and not a weak, customary fist bump that's half 'good job!' and half 'goodbye!'.


Friday, December 26, 2014

Christmas Day Funk

Not to rain on anyone's parade, but I'm seriously not feeling the season. 2014 has its moments, but it's certainly not the best year for me personally. 

My issues, which seem trivial to some who feel the weight of the world on their shoulders, are taking a toll on me. Just because my problems are much smaller, it doesn't mean they are not significant. I'm in a rut, the kind where I've never been, and there's no one who understands because I also couldn't fully articulate it all.

Guess we play the cards we're dealt with, and this I'll have to figure out alone.

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Working on a Saturday for the second time in the last two weeks.

I think about my to-do's and I just get tired. There's not enough time to accomplish everything and neither is there enough brain to accomplish everything well.

I don't mean to turn this blog into a rant bin but I don't think anyone really wants to listen to my sorry work tales, even my colleagues.

Beach, please.


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

"I don't know"

Days like this, I ask myself --- why do I have to endure this? To what end? I'm just really, really tired. Not physically tired, but spiritually and emotionally tired. And I'm really, really thinking of taking my dad's offer to have me rest for a few months and study something, anything that I want to learn. I think I need it for my sanity.

I looked up burnout online, and I do have half of the tell-tale signs. Fuck that.


Monday, October 21, 2013

They make it sound so simple.

"Love what you do and it will love you back."

Then how come I'm freaking miserable?


Thursday, October 03, 2013

It's true what they say: just when you think you're fine, it just hits you. Again.

Since I have not blogged for quite some time, I re-read some of my posts again and came across one about mom. Couldn't help but cry, loads, at the thought of happier days, of never getting to hear her voice again or see her gestures of approval or that half smile that tells me everything will be ok.

I would give anything for just one hug. Just one more hug.


Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Saw Cinderella in a Party Dress but She was Looking for a Nightgown

And the decades disappear like sinking ships, but we persevere
God gives us hope but we still fear what we don't know
The mind is poison
Castles in the sky sit stranded, vandalized
A drawbridge is closin'
- A Dustland Fairytale
Funny how music can express the feelings we're unable to articulate. Sometimes I feel like I've hit a wall with nowhere to go. Alcohol does not do its job like it used to. I go to work in high spirits, pumped after a vacation, a dose of good news, cyber laughter with friends or just plain self-motivation, but lately the work day ends with me feeling like crying and just defeated. No matter what I do, I can't seem to get out of the slump. And it sucks because I do not only fail in managing people, I also fail in managing myself.

It's when you know you try but you feel like crap. I don't want people to listen to my drama or see my tears and I hope they don't come across this blog (the world is really so digital I can't help but blog instead of write in a diary or something. That's just so outdated).

People like me do not know how to cope with failure. We hold ourselves in high regard that we cannot accept that we fail. That we have to fail and that success is hard work coupled with failure.

The signs are all around. Glaring, even. I want to let go of the baggage and start with a clean slate, and by clean slate, I mean brand new. Like, I don't want a fabulous update to my phone's OS. I want a new phone with nothing in it, where I'll install new apps and store new numbers, make new conversations and playlists. I think I'm tired of this one for so many reasons I can't even zero in on one.

I'm tired of going home feeling like crap or needing a vacation right after getting back from one. My glass is full and overflowing and the floor is flooded.



Saturday, March 02, 2013


Of all the days of the week, it is on Saturdays that I'll miss you most, Mom. For the past three years or so, Saturday has always been our bonding day because I get to have my turn in taking care of you. On good days, we get to have lunch at a place that you prefer, go around the mall a bit to shop before heading home so that you can rest.

I woke up early today as I've been accustomed to, and when I went out of the room and saw Dad tinkering with his iPad on the dining table, I realized today was unlike our Saturdays because you're not here anymore. I willed myself to fall asleep again so that I won't have to feel the void too much. When Don woke up, he immediately said that he misses you because he looked forward to Saturday mornings at ATC while we wait for you to finish treatment. He, too, feels the emptiness.

We looked for ways to busy ourselves. Dad played golf, Jenna went to work and Don and I had lunch out and saw a movie.

Thank you for enduring the pain over and over to prepare us for this. You are the bravest soldier I know.


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

I like friends who, when you tell them you need a moment alone, know enough not to stray too far.

It's true what they say: you'll find out who your real friends are in times of need. I am grateful to be surrounded by a bunch of people who genuinely love and care for me as I grieve the passing away of my mother. These are the people who rushed to my side on the first night of my mother's death even when I told them I'll be fine. These are the people who, without thinking twice, took a 45-minute joyride from the north to have coffee with me at 10 pm on the first night after the burial because they know that's when I'm going to start feeling the brunt. They know me too well. They know me well enough to know that the thought of them nearby would be enough to comfort me.

These are the people who went out of their way to be with me even if I wasn't asking for anything. Even if I couldn't sit with them at the wake, they would be there each night, for 2-4 hours to show support. These are the people who thought less of what a hassle it would be for them to make an extra effort for me. I feel so loved. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Lord, for these people.

On the other hand, there were also some people who I thought would be at my side through most of the ordeal but were not. I had a wrong impression of my value to them. It manifested in the things they said and did and didn't do. The sad thing is, I make an extra effort for these people. I go to them, even if it means driving far away from the south, because I know that they'd need someone to hang with. Someone to be there for them no matter how trivial the conversations turn out. One of them even pointed out that he/she will go if there's beer... Or if there's a new restaurant to try, just to make the trip down south worth it. Really? I'm not needy. This is a rare period in my life and one of the few times when I also want it to be about me, and not just the beer.

You see giant proclamations are all very well, but love and true friendship are louder than words. In my world, expensive, material things easily get trumped by the simple gesture of just. being. here.

And I'm grateful to know how much I matter to most of the people who matter to me.