Moving Forward

We’re four weeks into the year and yes, I’ve been radio silent. Not because I don’t have anything to say, but more like I have a LOT to say. I’ve already mapped out content until April, maybe even until May, but I’ve found it hard to start writing.

I came home more than a month ago, still bubbling with excitement from my backpacking trip. I was so inspired: I had the photos, the content and the timeline. But I found myself in the midst of the holidays, hopping from one gathering to another while squeezing in some gift shopping. I had to adjust and move back to my normal life while catching up with the hustle and hassle of the holidays. I didn’t really have the luxury of stepping back and processing my trip.

It feels a little late to create content based on my trips last year but I can’t (more like won’t) let go. I’ll follow through my content plan but for now I have to acknowledge where the year has taken me so far:

Travel

Surprise: I’m stuck in Manila, putting off any trips for the first half of the year!

I don’t want to, but I have to stay put, pay my loans and focus on building my clientele. I am, however, eyeing a huge trip later this year, hoping I get lucky with my first ever visa application. I don’t want to jinx it so I’m not sharing the destination yet, but hey, feel free to rally behind me!

Work

I still stand by this: freelancing is fun. I like that I have more time to do what I want, I don’t have to worry about waking up at 5AM and getting home at 9PM. I’m producing content that I love and I’m connecting with brands and people I want to work with. I can also travel and work from anywhere, as long as there’s reliable Internet connection and I can get things done.

Of course there’s always the other side of the coin. It’s not fun to wade¬†through taxes, health insurance and other government fees all on your own on a generally average salary. There’s also little acknowledgment that you’re doing a job well done because freelancers still seem like a second rate worker compared to fulltime employees. Clients (or potential clients) are a little hesitant to invest on you because you’re “just” a freelancer. I hope to break through that this year by providing top notch service and quality content – because my skills are worth paying for and I deserve to get a good pay.

Personal

I thought about skipping this part, but I promised myself that I’m going to be real and authentic no matter what.

My maternal grandfather passed away a couple of weeks ago, something that took the whole family by surprise. It was a peaceful, good death but you know how it is – it wasn’t easy, and the days that followed were¬†a mix of grief, confusion and acceptance.

I realized that, morbid as it sounds, this won’t be the last death in the family and yet, no one will ever be ready for it. There will be i love yous and goodbyes unsaid, promises unkept, things you wished you did or didn’t do. If anything, this death further emphasized the reality that I only get to live this one life and I better make it count.

My lolo has seven children, five in-laws and eleven grandchildren, hitting 82 like a champ. There’s bit of him in every one of us – probably the side who likes to eat and to cook, because he enjoyed both a lot. I’d like to think of my grandfather on the other side, watching over us with a beer on one hand and a bunch of chocolates on the other, probably planning to cook patatim.

Health

I kicked off the year with weird rashes popping up on my hands, arms and thighs. It wasn’t new since I experienced the same thing right before I left for my backpacking trip. I didn’t panic as much, chalking it up to pre-trip stress. This time though, it was definitely worse and I had to pay up for a trip to the dermatologist.

Turns out I have pityriasis rosea, which is caused by some unidentified virus. My body is supposed to flush it out on its own but at this point it has reached a gross level of drying out and flaking. I’m just hoping my body gets rid of it soon, before I meet up with my potential clients.

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So that’s it. It’s been an eventful 26 days and I’m hopeful for the things that are still coming my way. And if you’ve reached the end of this post, thank you for sticking around! I wish you love and more adventures this year.

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