Three Words

How does one know when she’s found true love?

You see, love, like life and death is an entity that has become complicated in its simplicity. How does the heart know for sure? What beauty it is that occurs to the spirit on that second the heart finally wins over the mind!

Love is a very powerful element. It is felt beyond our kind. It is a very wonderful thing to see and hear of people committing and vowing to be together forever – to be for each other in eternity. Love… Desiring a lifetime and simply being unable to fathom a life without that person who was once a complete stranger. It is amazing and magical how God puts two people together – two people treading completely different lives – two people who suddenly realize they aren’t alone in the road and that this time they can take things slow (and definitely enjoy the steps) as finally there is another who can lend a shoulder, a hand and bestow you his heart. Finally, your shadow doesn’t scare you anymore. The universe becomes twice its hues. It is vibrant; refreshing even. Finally, the path feels safer even if and when it gets dark. Finally, there’s an echo of your chest’s lub-dub. Finally, the sighs and the hunching of the shoulders are shared. Amazingly, the laughter seems to be coming from your soul and has never felt this wonderful.

And you wonder, how is it possible in this world of hunger and poverty and racism to find security in fingers linked, in shoulders brushing, on a chin in the forehead, on a whisper on your ear, on arms in your waist, on nose to nose, on pupil to pupil, on lips to lips?

How can three words suddenly make this world a better place? #

The Ten Things I Promise Myself This 2016

I don’t think I ever was the type of person who made resolutions for each new year. I am the kind that writes goals, plans, reminders and grocery lists but NY resolutions weren’t really my thing. For this year though, I have made a list of the things I promise myself I would and would not be this year and since I haven’t been so active on my site in the past months, I thought about sharing my list as my first entry this year. So here goes:

  1. Be more grateful. Last year has been stressful mainly because of work and I am guilty of having allowed it get into my nerves so much that my attitude even outside work has been altered in a way or another. For one, I have become pessimistic, which is really so not me. How I have focused so much thought and energy on the downs at work have blocked the many other things in my life that I should be grateful for. I have let myself be so absorbed in it that there were so many times that I have not thanked the Lord that I have a job and one that gets me to travel and provide for myself and family. I have failed to see my work as a blessing that has taken me so far from where I was in my life the past year. Hence, this year I promise myself to bounce back and have my eyes set on the colorful aspects of my life. While I am aware that there will still be so many times that I will get disappointed about work and other parts of life, I resolve to count my blessings and will count them with a grateful heart.
  2. Spend less time on social media especially when I’m with my loved ones. Given the nature of my job and a lot of alone times (which I do enjoy), I can’t help but always be active on social media sites when I’m not flying. Like, you would know I’m on day off when you check on Messenger and see that I have been active for only a few minutes ago. I accept it as a part of my living overseas. I run to social media for news and entertainment. What I find unacceptable though (and I would admit it here first) is when I catch myself aching for Facebook and Instagram when I’m already with the people who matter. It’s a disgusting picture to look at when I’m browsing my Facebook feed and only be half listening to what my mother is saying or be less attentive to my nephew showing off his dancing only because I can’t put my phone down because of Instagram. This is a habit that I agree would be very difficult to give up but I know has to be done.
  3. Write more. I have always been passionate about writing but there were so many times I would put off a ‘moment to write’ just because I was so lazy to get up and turn my laptop on or be too much of a bum that I couldn’t even get my phone out to write a note about a great idea that came up. There were so many times I had the latter and I silently curse myself for all those brilliant concepts for my next article or future book that are now gone all because I was “too lazy” or I thought I could remember it when I get to actually be writing another article. Inspiration comes in different forms and they will never come by twice. I have proven that. So this is me saying hello to this year and to more vibrant and genius works of my pen because this year I won’t let any scene from my creative mind slip by without being written down. This year will be my writing year.
  4. Reconnect with Him more often. I promise to say my thanks more often than I already do and be more assured of His power in my life. It’s that simple.
  5. Stop the Manana habit. I am the kind of person who doesn’t like waiting and would do things done as soon as I can. Well, that is for most of the things in my life like doing the laundry, accomplishing a form for work, writing an important email and so on. But other (and more important) things like saving, renewing my professional license, fixing my insurance, learning how to drive and the like, I always put off. Like writing, I always postpone beginning until the next thing I know, a good number of months have gone by – a good number of months wasted. I should know how to drive by now. See?
  6. Be healthier. I wouldn’t pretend again by telling myself I will go to the gym (which is just four floors below my place) thrice a week. I have a much simpler plan. I will try to have healthier food choices, work out when I have the time and aim to not have the problem of opting to wear dresses only because none of my pants fit anymore. I may just start by purchasing that purple yoga mat I saw last week.
  7. Have a filter for my pessimistic words, thoughts and energy. This year, I vow to be the kind of person I wouldn’t cringe talking to. Positive people have always looked radiant and wonderful to me. I promise to be one of them. I would make sure that whatever I say and or do will not be utter negativity. Instead, I would live to inspire which is one of my many life goals, by the way. I would be more encouraging and uplifting and I would carry an atmosphere like that wherever I go.
  8. Be less of a know-it-all. I am not so conscious about it when this character of mine rolls but I am aware it happens and most often than not, it is after that I have the realization. I don’t know. This is just me. But I will put in effort to be less of it and be more of a person that lets people talk, actually listens and consider that they may be right and I may be wrong.
  9. Be kinder and be more active about this kindness. It’s not enough to be wanting to help when I see sad stories and videos of real life people online. Wanting to help is futile. The verb here should be the word ‘help’ itself. It’s very similar to what we see we or our friends do online. We share these heartbreaking stories about people with unfortunate cases in life but when we ask ourselves and look for an honest answer if have we really helped the person and we know deep down that the answers are ‘no’ and/or ‘not really’, then something must be done. If you too have this same promise to yourself, you may want to start looking at this link for starters, UNICEF Help for Children, and be of real help to another living being in this world. I swear, knowing you’re helping and being useful to God’s plan for the world is more than enough satisfaction.
  10. Cherish my relationships. Show the people I love that I love them. I came across this magazine article wherein one celebrity housewife said that her husband’s love language is service. I was inspired. And I can’t help but think that really, shouldn’t service all be our love language? The little things that we can do like making your partner a cup of tea in the morning or downloading Carpenters songs into your mother’s iPad as she never gets the hang of technology or doing the laundry for your sister who just doesn’t have the time as she’s drowned in exams or picking up your six-year-old niece at school after her class or driving your brother to the airport for his business travel. They all count and matter. This year (and the many more years to come),  the people I love will know I love them and they will know how much. #

The 25-Year-Old Over-Thinker

There is plenty of fish in the sea, they say.

And growing up, she believed this.

Growing up, she knew there’s a whole lot bigger world, a whole lot more people, a whole lot of discoveries waiting to be unraveled.

So now looking back at the twenty-five years of her life – twenty-five years of her existence gone – she wonders, is that everything? Was that all she was made to see, to feel, to cherish, to hate, to mourn, to love, to trust, to doubt, to hurt, to touch?

Was that all?

Her toes in the white sand, the white sand sprinkled in her body like talc, her body slouched and carefree, her carefree hair being swept in tangles by the wind, the wind moving inside her lungs, her lungs expand after what seemed the deepest breath she took in her life, her life playing before her eyes in the aqua that crashes every three seconds on her toes.

Was that everything?

She drew another breath. She has never been conscious until this very moment about the deliciousness of air moving through her soul like she feels the life and the fire in the veins in her limbs or the comfort the roughness of the sand brings to her skin and all her senses. She feels so strong but at the same time so weighed down. She sees the vastness of the sea – its blueness, its tranquility, its horrors and augustness under and she believes all over again what she has always believed in. The world is so wide – and so complicated. And yes, so beautiful.

She wonders have all women her age arrived at this point in their lives? Are we all programmed to come to a stage in our existence to literally sit down and evaluate the kind of life we led and what we have become as people? Are we all meant to question our fate and our plans for the future? Was it ever written in our books of life – if there’s such thing – that we are to feel helpless and clueless and strange that we actually have to research life hacks and subscribe to self-help emails? Does anyone even know how to really and truly live a life? Has anyone lived an optimum quality of life?

Is she supposed to ask these many questions?

Another gulp of air. The sun has just began to set.

Is the sun happy? Does she feel contentment in what she does? For the gazillion years that passed, has she ever felt tired, bored, rotten? Has she ever thought about quitting? If it was at her own will, would she still come out as morning? Has it ever crossed her mind to trade places with the moon? Does she envy the moon? Had she ever?

The sun has fully kissed the sea – her goodbye grand in showing what’s visibly left of her in utter radiance. She showcases her strength and majesty one last time in colors the woman’s eyes will always attribute to royalty – to thrones and crowns and scepters. And then she’s gone.

The sun  is gone. But she’s going to be back in the morrow. She’s gonna show up regardless of how I feel about her and her presence. She will be there. She will rouse me to my senses. Her rays will tell me it is another day. It is another beginning.

And just like the earth, she will make me understand the meaning of limitless. She will have me comprehend without words. She will get me to think – again – as if I haven’t done enough of that in my lifetime. She will get me to digest that even if I am not as beautiful nor as bold as her, what we have in common is that we have unlimited beginnings.

And the beauty of it all is that I’ve no other choice but take it. #

July 11 09:06 AM thoughts

There are moments when I wanna see the world with my family, with the love of my life, with friends..
And there are moments I just wanna be alone with the world..

to feel and listen to its heartbeat,

to listen intently to the message I’ve missed or have heard but forgotten along the way in life’s chaos,

to have a heart-to-heart talk on what this life is about or what the struggles are for,

to know my purpose,

to be reminded of my truth,

to renew my vow to Him who has made me when I was sent down from the skies,

to ascertain my actions,

to reconnect with my soul that I know has sometimes lost touch with my earthly body during the hard times that shook me,

to stabilize my standpoint on things that have bothered and continue to bother me,

to step on soil with my bare feet and feel I am part of this beauty,

to clear my head of what is essential and what are those that only seem to be,

to touch a petal with the littlest of my fingertips if only to find out that fragile is beautiful – that hardcore isn’t always the best way out,

to close my eyes and feel the warmth of the sun in my face or the passing of the moon,

to lay in the grass on my naked back,

to believe again in the idea of shooting stars,

to make out faces of those dear to me in the constellations up above,

to reminisce the madness and to reminisce the light,

to breathe freedom and feel my golden wings budding from my back,

to consider eternity a romantic fiction,

to have the biggest gulps of air through and within my lungs and to have them out,

to lean into a tree and find support but owing no one,

to see shadows and not feel afraid,

to learn how to be more human without the complexities brought about by no one but humanity,

to release my thoughts out into the universe without being judged,

to plan a future differing it from a fairy tale but still believing in magic and crowns and happily ever afters. #

Why You Always Have To Choose To Stay Positive

Surely there were moments in your existence that tested you to your core. Surely in those moments, a good deep-from-the-lungs scream gave you relief. Sometimes a good heartfelt cuss, maybe? (Don’t worry, you are not alone.) Surely in these instances, you’ve had different approaches. One was being a pessimist – like when things went wrong, you did nothing but add more anions in the already negatively charged vibe of your life. Second is you’ve been the Tyra Banks of your life – that is making (or trying to make out) good things out of disastrous situations, finding meaning in it, looking for the lesson this situation is supposed to teach you, learning from it and actually moving forward. Have you done a comparison of both approaches you’ve employed in your life? Which do you think is better? Which do you think has helped you move on and mature? Yes, sister, positive thinking has always been in every self-help book there is for that exact reason…it works! It is powerful!

I didn’t have to get to the second chapter even of The Secret by Rhonda Byrne to realize and understand the beauty and magic of thinking positively. She instantly got me in the page where she said that the energy you send to the world is the same energy that you will receive. It makes so much sense! Positive thinking just went scientific in that statement. Still, it’s not anything tangible where you can hold on to any formula, solution or a product. But then again, haven’t we been talking about positive and negative charges since grade school? It is scientific and simple. Positive thinking is the mind. It is an attitude that you use and apply to your daily living.

Another idea in her book that I think is really helpful was when she said that the universe doesn’t have any filter. Apparently, the universe doesn’t get it when you say, “I hope I will NOT fail.” The message the universe receives from you is the word “FAIL” so “FAIL” is what you’re most likely to get. You see the point? This may or may not be true but I truly find this a helpful tip in practicing positivity. Hence, instead of saying “I will not fail”, declare to the world that you will succeed by blatantly saying, “I will succeed.” Here, “SUCCEED” is  the message you send to the world so “SUCCEED” is what you’re gonna get. Claim it!

Most of the time, it is truly easier to slide into negativity than to lift your chin up especially when nothing seems to be going right no matter how much plans and preparation you got. I, too, am guilty of this. Recently, in the past months, I have been worried about the happenings at work – it is something no one obviously wanted to happen but then again it happened. These “happenings” dragged on from weeks to months that eventually led me to be depressed about work. In the earlier days of this unfortunate event in my work life, I have remained positive but as you can guess, my pills of positivity eventually ran out. And it ran out even faster because of other occurrences that had me more disappointed than I originally was. My sources of frustration piled up and I succumbed. I allowed myself to be buried under all the dismay. Slowly, I became the kind of person I wouldn’t want in my association. I took almost every opportunity to air my dissatisfaction which looking back now isn’t really anything to be proud of. Sure, everyone has the right to voice out how they feel and catharsis has been a proven therapeutic technique in dealing with stress but honestly, I think I’ve gone too far. I allowed the negativity to win. It wasn’t an instant win that had me become a pessimist automatically in a day. It happened over time but then again, I allowed it to happen. In retrospect, has my blabber helped? In a way, it may have helped me release some steam. But believing that I’ve overdone it, has it changed the situation? I wish I could say it did what with all the energy I’ve spent (wasted) on being nothing but a ‘negatron’. IT DID NOT! Now where am I getting at? Would being optimistic have changed the situation – like would it have stopped the series of sources of dissatisfaction for me? Definitely not! As I’ve mentioned in my previous post (10 Things I Wish I Could Tell My Younger Self), “Positive thinking will not stop bad things from happening but it will make bad things a whole lot bearable,” which at this point in my realization I am certain to be true. Hadn’t I been so absorbed in the negativity, I wouldn’t have gone to work (on many instances) already feeling drained. Hadn’t I been so absorbed in the negativity, I wouldn’t have regarded every subsequent negative situation happening to be another unfortunate event I had to deal with which you see is another tiring cycle of pessimism — you see a negative instance occurring, you talk about it negatively, everything in your world looks dry, sad and negative. It’s a vicious cycle! Hadn’t I been so absorbed in the negativity, I would have been happier in those days, have done happier activities, have thought of happier thoughts and have lived more happily.

I couldn’t be any more thankful of that week of rest and quiet I had in my hometown just a few days ago. Those days off from work and all the things and factors I left behind that were causing me stress gave me the opportunity to touch base with the real me, my ideals and principles as a person. That opportunity led me to recognize that I’ve become a different person – and it wasn’t the good kind of different! I realized that I’ve become negative – too negative – in the career aspect of my life. I realized that I (and the people around me) have enough of that and that I had to return to my usual self – the positive one, the one who always said “Think positive.”, the one who always searched for the silver lining, the one who doesn’t give up. I’ve always thought that I had full control (and when I say full, I mean 110%) of my faculties. I learned that I am wrong. Really, everyone is prone to becoming an unhealthy thinker. No one is immune. And it’s no one’s fault. From this experience, I learned that one really has to make time for self-evaluation. You constantly have to check on yourself. You constantly have to ask yourself if you like and are proud of the person you’ve become and becoming. When I asked myself this a week ago, I certainly felt in my heart that the pessimism has got to stop.

Now that I am back at base, I feel lighter and I feel more normal. I feel more me. I still look out for options or ways out (as the problem is still there and I don’t think it’s just gonna be perfectly fine any time soon) but I no longer spend most of my time talking and thinking bad about it. I vow to look out for the rainbow, as always. The situation is already unhappy, why make my entire life unhappy? After all, work is just a part of my life. It is not my life. I have a whole lot of other things going on and it’s unfair of me (or anyone) to dwell on the wrong when so much right has happened and continue to happen in my life (and yours).

This, like any other dilemma in life, too shall pass. And while we let God work on that dark situation, spend your time doing what you love. This is just a phase. Don’t let this phase be your entire life. Life goes on. Cliche, but true. Don’t let the situation change you – especially the good in you. Be the hero of your life story. Acknowledge the fact that life isn’t going to be perfect. No one has it perfect anyway. You gotta add some spice for it not to be dull. If your life ever gets published, you wouldn’t want a boring story, would you? Always remember that without the rain, there would never be rainbows. Keep that in mind, will you? Trust me. You’ll have an even more colorful life.

Can I get an amen? 🙂 #

10 Things I Wish I Could Tell My Younger Self

Were there ever thoughts that frequent your mind and made you wish you could travel back in time? Were there ever things you wish you could tell your younger self? Were there ever lessons you wish you could imprint in her heart and soul?

Dear so-much-younger Aly,

1. These hardships are meant to make you stronger. Yes, really. You will thank God later you went through all these. You wouldn’t be this determined, this headstrong, this bold if not for those instances in life that had you question your existence and purpose years before, that had you cry yourself every night, that had you second-guess if there is really a God, that had you experience the extremes of envy and self-pity at the same time. Now, won’t you give credit for the quality of person you are now to all those tough times? You weren’t born a queen. You were born a warrior. And looking back now, that sword truly got you through everything. That crown, no matter how polished and enchanting, would have never saved you.

2. Listen to your parents. That person they warned you about, those friends they have been wary of, the choices you took that they never approved…The list could go on and on. The knowledge you have of technology and the modern world could never compare to the wisdom of their years. And they gave you all those rants and sermons in the loving hope that you wouldn’t later on spend your valuable time feeling bad about having done the same mistake they had (which clearly could have been avoided), that you would hopefully make better choices (those that they failed to take), that you would have the most out of life as you are already handed a life blueprint. These people have been for you since the nanosecond you drew your very first breath. They would always want the best for you.

3. Go after what makes you happy. Fvck the expectation of the world of what your next step’s gonna be. Every step you take should be a step towards your happiness. That course you have been forced to take, those friendships you tried so hard to fit into, those relatives you have been compelled to respect…they wouldn’t make you happy. Go after what your heart tells you. Your gut feel is there for a reason.

4. Have fun. Slow down. Don’t be too eager to grow up, to finish college, to get a job, to go overseas. Live in the moment. Every year of your life is a year for something. Don’t jump over stages you essentially have to go through.

5. Never allow yourself to be a pushover (yes, even over the most minor of things). Let yourself be heard. If you think you are being abused, bullied or deceived, speak up. It is never wrong to stand up to people even older than you if it is as clear as day that they are not right. Don’t turn yourself blind or overly considerate just so you can avoid confrontation. These people will continue being abusers to others, most probably even to those who are weaker than you. Teachers, older schoolmates, relatives, acquaintances…don’t ever let them shame you. Stand up to them. Do not become another of their trophies.

6. Have faith. Pray every night. Pray as much as you can. Never falter. Never give up. There is God. He is looking at you.

7. You will fail. And it’s absolutely okay. You won’t graduate with the honors you thought you would because of a lone subject you have always disliked that caused your final average to be short of point something disqualifying you of that honor. It’s okay. You will be unemployed for the first six months after you graduate from college. It’s okay. You will find yourself broke most of the time. It’s okay. Cut yourself some slack. No one’s judging you (No one that matters, anyway.). Use all these failures to your advantage. Learn from them. Promise yourself to come out even more successful.

8. Be kind. Be positive. Always. Be the kind of person you would want in your presence all the time. Cultivate an air of good vibes. It will not stop bad things from happening but it will make bad things a whole lot bearable.

9. If they don’t like you, who cares? Don’t be trapped in the illusion that making them like you is the ultimate goal of your life. If they don’t let you sit with them, don’t cry over it! There are so many possible friends in this planet. The world doesn’t revolve around their whims. Don’t ever change yourself and never be embarrassed for who you really are just so you can be with them. Real friends don’t need any convincing.

10. Do not be afraid. Do not be afraid to be the first. Do not be afraid to move mountains. Do not be afraid to defy gravity. Do not be afraid to fly. Do not downplay your dreams and aspirations just because someone hasn’t done it yet. Do not limit yourself to what society thinks is possible and achievable. Do not. Release your inhibitions.

With so much love from 2015,

the older (and hopefully wiser) Aly#

25 Ticks On Your Quarter Life Crisis Checklist

You dab that moisturizer on points of your face and apply it – slowly, silently – your eyes seemingly focused on that image of your face that is reflected in the mirror. It’s not about the effectiveness of this new product you’re trying that’s causing this blank stare though. In fact, your mind has gone haywire again with anxiety-provoking thoughts that have you unconsciously breathe deeply. That’s all you could do as you perform (for the nth time this year) a mental assessment of how you’re faring as a twenty-something adult in this fast and crazy world.

  • Have you gotten your dream job?
  • Have you tried pursuing (at least ) your dream job?
  • Have you opened a savings account in your name that really is for “saving”?
  • Do you consider yourself independent? Responsible? In all aspects?
  • Are you pleased with your current job? Does it give you fulfillment?
  • Have you pursued your passion/s?
  • Are you passionate about your partner and your relationship?
  • Have you found friends for keeps?
  • Do you have your own place? Your own little sanctuary?
  • Can you keep a pet? Like for a lifetime?
  • Are you confident with your skin?
  • Would you say you’ve taken good care of yourself? Are you in good shape?
  • Have you seen one of your dream destinations?
  • Have you experienced air travel? Sea travel?
  • Have you learned that language you’ve been wanting to be fluent in for ages?
  • Have you made your parents proud? Have you made yourself proud?
  • Have you invested on improving your skills/talents?
  • Have you gone on what you’d consider your most thrilling adventure yet?
  • Do you like what you see in the mirror? Is she beautiful?
  • Have you finished that book that’s been sitting on your bedside table for years?
  • Have you outgrown your teenage shitty habits?
  • Have you done half (or been half) of what you’ve resolved to be your New Year’s resolution/s?
  • Have you stood up to your bullies?
  • Have you forgiven those who hurt you?
  • Are you happy with the person you’ve become?

Then you head to your bed. You tuck yourself in along with all these questions. Along with all the feelings invoked in every question. It’s gonna be another long night. #

The Ten Things You Gotta Have to be a Flight Attendant

Countless ladies want to become a flight attendant and I personally think this is because of the image that has long been associated with being one. You know, the breakfasts in London and dinners in Rome, the luxury living in hotels, the lipsticks and eye palettes you get to experiment with, the heavenly scents of creams and perfumes, shopping, croissants and chocolates… I could go on and on about everything desirous but let’s cut to the chase and just say “the posh life”.

I too have fallen victim of this dreamy aura of being a flight attendant. Before I became one, I would excite myself with the posts of the flight attendants I know and don’t know. It appeared to me that they were truly living THE good life! How colorful and vibrant their lives appeared to my eyes! When two of my high school friends and I have been discussing the chance of becoming one (which in all honesty, it was only then that I figured that I didn’t have to have a particular degree or training to become one) four years ago on a random swimming in the pool (you see, the memory is so vivid to me), little did I know of the behind-the-scenes goings-on of an FA’s life. It isn’t one of those jobs that you can relate “what you see is what you get”, truly. There’s more to #crewlife than meets the eye, I tell you.

While every wannabe’s Open Day preparation checklist mainly consists of facials, dental cleaning, eyebrow threading and going to the gym, there are other (more important) things you got to have with you when you go to the next CV submission.

1. Confidence

You gotta own you’re pretty. Even during that first day of recruitment in that four-star hotel, you have to have poise and you must exude confidence even in your fingertips. When you already have that uniform, all the more that you have to consistently and consciously check the way you carry yourself. The way you walk and pull your luggage around the airport will always attract people’s attention so even in this minute act, you got to do it the “right” way.

2. Believability. Credibility.

When a pax asks you if they could catch their connecting flight and you answer them that you really think they could (honestly) given your estimated touchdown time. Of course, your words and facial expressions must go together. Especially the eyes, yes,  the eyes! Your eyes are your greatest asset, more than your words, in relaying this trait of a flight attendant. Besides being accurate, you must be believable.

3. Patience (lots of it)

“Tom Yam or Curry Laksa?” With a Colgate-worthy smile, you ask your passenger this only to receive an answer and be prompted to say, “No, we don’t have chicken. Sorry. Tom Yam or Curry Laksa?” And you say this with a smile still plastered on your face.

4. Grooming (tirelessly)

Even after a five-hour delay and being stuck in a very hot tarmac in India, you still have to look the part of a flight attendant just signing in for a flight. No oily nose, no cracked lips, no smudged mascara. You have to look the part. And that you must maintain while handling passengers who have become ill-tempered and peevish because of the weather, delay or that toddler who just wouldn’t stop crying (and screaming) even after all the cajoling with toys and chocolates that you’ve no idea how you came up with.

5. Multi-tasking skills

“Prepare cabin for landing,” says the PA announcement and you haven’t collected those bassinets from those six mothers because you’ve been so busy attending to a nauseated UM. You can always delegate, sure. But let’s face it, everyone suddenly becomes busy upon this announcement. The passengers automatically start queuing in for the toilet, numerous call buttons have been pressed and no matter which aisle you pass, everyone seems to suddenly and urgently need something from you.

6. Genuine smile

Even when your pax just exasperated, “This is the worst experience ever!” when you courteously asked her five times to please push her handbag under the seat in front of her as you are about to take off. Even when you ask your seemingly able-bodied female pax if she would kindly help you carry her luggage and put it in the overhead compartment and she agreed but when you counted from one and reached “three”, her hands suddenly were nowhere to be seen in HER luggage and you just successfully proved how superwoman you are again. Smile.

7. Agility

You are setting a pax’s tray table and are in the midst of serving him his hot chocolate when the aircraft encountered some clear air and the Fasten Seatbelt sign automatically turned on. Talk about a close call! Plus, did you ever dream of a track record of 10 seconds of walking (or sprinting) from Door 4 to Door 2 for Safety Demo? Go figure!

8. Preparedness for small talk (anytime, anywhere)

a) Seated across a middle-aged couple when they suddenly tell you they have a niece who also works as an air stewardess and that she’s currently in Paris and that they’re gonna visit her soon in her base and they ask you if you’ve flown to Paris and how you like the place. b) Standing in your door for disembarkation, all the passengers are up and queue for exit in the aisles while waiting for the door to open and just in front of you is a passenger who asks how long you get to stay in the city. c) At the airport while waiting for the inbound aircraft, you seat along with the other crew and passengers in the waiting area and have to do a Q&A about the country you’re flying to – the pax doing the Q and of course you the A end.

9. Stay in tune with the layman ‘port’ and ‘starboard’

You’ve just landed and are walking towards the departure hall when a pax stops you and asks where the airport premium lounge is. You have to stop yourself from saying, “On your starboard side, you would see an escalator leading to the second floor, turn port and that’s it.” Stop yourself.

10. Excitement for new (and old) places

You really gotta love it to a point that you do your research about the details (transportation options, directions, expenses, hours of attractions, etc) of the place before flight. You gotta have that burning wanderlust in you. You gotta have that hole in you that you’re certain only travelling can fill. Because if you’re just gonna stay in the hotel in all of your layovers and depend on room service for your sustenance, what a waste that’s gonna be. #

The Five Ideas That Are Stopping You From Going After Your Dreams

Every woman has her own list of goals that she wants to achieve in this lifetime. For the more specific (and maybe goal-oriented) of us women, we also set a timetable. I would like to believe that every woman has, at some point in her life, written these dreams down on a sheet of paper or in somewhere she lovingly calls her ‘goals notebook’. Now, how many of those dreams have you actually accomplished in the many years that passed?

I had my own notebooks for these sets of dreams (and still have) that I randomly came upon in the past weeks. Evaluating the words written on those notebooks against what I have actually achieved in real life brought me to conclude that really, all our dreams are valid. There are some in those pages that I have already achieved, some that I have not and some that I have achieved but surprisingly a little later than I have imagined. If I hadn’t been a bearer of one or two (or more) of these ideas before, I honestly believe I would have so much more ticks on those lists.

1. “I’m not smart/pretty enough.” I honestly think most ladies suffer from this notion and I am certain even right now, there are some of you harboring this ill thought which is really really sad. Most, if not all of us, would of course want to be at our 100% when we go for our life-long dream. All of us would want to be perfect. However, how are you even gonna feel confident about pursuing that dream when you have already judged yourself of not being good enough? Who else would have faith in you? You well know that whatever it is that you think, you radiate. Hence, if the seed of being inadequate is unfortunately the seed that’s blossoming in your heart and mind, then you are definitely doomed. Ever heard of The Law of Attraction from The Secret? The energy that you send to the world is the energy you’re going to receive.

2. “I am used to being in the sidelines so in the sidelines I must stay.” I know some ladies who are used to being in the background because of them being fixated on the high school social hierarchy. They must have forgotten that mostly everyone has moved on from high school and that now everyone’s living in the “real world”. While this is truly happening, I also know some women who had the courage to step out of the shadow of their high school social identity and go after their dreams. I am certain they have never regretted that transition. Just because you weren’t in the editorial staff of your high school paper doesn’t mean that you have no right to pursue your dream of being a writer. Just because you weren’t prom queen doesn’t mean that you don’t have what it takes to be a model. Just because you didn’t make it to the debate team cut doesn’t mean you can’t be a lawyer. Go and defy gravity!

3. “(Name of someone you deem better than you) wasn’t even able to do it. What makes me think I can?” Exactly. What makes you think  you can? That’s a question you have to answer. You know yourself better than anyone in this planet. You know your weaknesses (which are most of the time magnified). But also, you know your strengths (which are most of the time overlooked). You know what you are capable of doing and you know what you and you alone can bring to the table. Competition is okay so long as it drives you to be the better, if not the best, version of yourself. A healthy competition isn’t supposed to make you feel less for yourself. So if that person whom you regard so highly of wasn’t able to achieve it then that should propel you to believe YOU CAN – all because you are not the same. You are different! You must never pattern your successes and failures with someone else’s because you have your own life story. And may I remind you that you have the lead role in YOUR life story. You are not a sidekick, for crying out loud.

4. “People are gonna think me proud/boastful/arrogant.” So what? You don’t need anyone’s approval on how you live your life. Again, you know yourself best. It should be enough that you know who you really are – that you are not the kind of person they say or think you are. Whatever you do in this world, there will always be bashers. Even saints were ridiculed. You should know by now  that if you carry on living a life seeking everyone’s approval of your actions and decisions, you will never be truly happy as you will never accomplish anything for yourself. You just have to learn to do it Swiftie style, shake it off!

5. Mañana Habit. This perfectly shows how most of us always say that we aren’t ready to do ‘it’ just yet. My favorite line from my favorite TV series, Gossip Girl, was from Blair Waldorf. She said, “Destiny is for losers. It’s just an excuse to wait for things to happen instead of making them happen.” It has been my mantra ever since. We have a tendency to delay – either due to fear of coming out and actively going for our dreams or fear of the outcome of our quest. When was it ever the case that the late bird got the worm? Please tell me. You are not getting any younger. If you still think that you have a lot of mañanas to come and you really are gonna go for it mañana, then you’re wasting nobody else’s mañana but yours. #

The Upside Of Living And Working Abroad In Your Twenties

I’ve talked about the struggles of someone my age residing abroad to earn a living in my recent post. In the couple of days that passed after the publication and after reading the comments and emails I received, I felt that I also have to discuss (especially for the benefit of those who have plans to go overseas) the joys of being outside my mother country. Just like anything in this world, being abroad gets its fair share of sweetness and bitterness. Truly, every cloud has a silver lining.1. You learn more about yourself. Even during the first week of living abroad, believe me when I say that you don’t only discover new things about your new country of residence. More importantly, you unravel more details about yourself that sometimes you never knew existed. It may be because abroad you are sometimes tested to your limits by being tossed in extremes of situations that require you to be independent and solely liable for yourself that causes one’s suppressed attitudes, abilities and/or values to surface. Back home, you get the jitters when you speak to foreigners but then later on, you learn that you enjoy conversing with them and that you are actually good with small talk. Before, you hated the idea of going out solo but have learned and mastered the art of it and not cower when you come across intimidating individuals.2. You learn that your world is a “small world after all”. Back in college, my Psychiatric Nursing instructor, Sir G, would frequently give advice on love and relationships to the whole class. He would always tell my single and brokenhearted classmates this, “There is plenty of fish in the sea. Girl, nasa kanal ka pa lang!” (There is plenty of fish in the sea. Girl, you’re just in the drain!”) I would like to use this metaphor to make my point. Simple?3. You become financially mature. Since you are far from the security and accessibility of home, you are left with no other choice but to fend for yourself in almost all aspects of living especially in your finances. When you were working home, there would be times that you can’t make both ends meet. But that never worried you because you can always ask mom or dad to loan you some cash exactly when you need it. Abroad, you MUST make both ends meet. There’s no other way but to do it. There’s no mom and dad to rescue you when you realize that you no longer have enough for another working day. Again, you gotta be responsible so you become responsible.4. You develop a stronger connection with God. I vividly remember the scenario in the aircraft when I landed in my work base coming back from a week of my first visit in the Philippines. My thought bubble exactly was, “God, it’s just me and you again.” You have developed a more mature and warm level of confidence in God that your prayers aren’t all too formal anymore. You pray when you feel like it no matter where and when you are. Talking with Him has never been more consistent and this easy in the past. You clutch to the One who has brought you there. You hold on to the belief that for as long as you have Him, everything should be okay.5. You value your relationships more. When you were still working in your home country, text messages and email exchanges with your family and loved ones are mostly brief and precise. Saying “I love you” to your mother was cheesy and it takes so much of your guts to say it out loud. Now that you’re a thousand miles away from your precious ones, the “How are you?”‘s, “Take care”‘s, and “I love you”‘s have become more meaningful than ever. Now you can display a little bit more of affection confidently in public because of that unwanted but possible thought that you may never have the chance to do it again.6. Money can’t buy everything but it’s definitely something. This is something I am most certain of. Money will never ever be everything in life but let’s face it, it really does make the world go round. Besides love, that is. But don’t get me caught up between love and money. You know the answer. However, isn’t being able to provide your family the best life you possibly can say something? Isn’t being able to splurge on your dream perfume good? Doesn’t knowing that you can now afford both your wants (unlike before that you make do of your salary just for your needs) and needs make you feel proud of yourself?7. You realize that you no longer have time for unnecessary and forced friendships.Remember those times you made an effort to pattern with other girls’ likes and attitude just so you can fit in and be friends with them? Remember feeling obliged to make small talk, say nice things and be overly polite to someone just so you can be friends with him/her (or maintain that hallucination of a friendship you thought you had)? You no longer have the energy and the time for those. You’d rather spend both of it wisely on those who matter and those who you’re sure are true.8. You become more ambitious as you see more of the world. Seeing more innovation especially in first world countries have opened your eyes and mind to more possibilities of this world. Your imagination widens and so do your dreams. You see more beauty by the Creator and so in the amazement of it, you can’t help but wish your family were there with you sharing in that moment of awe. And so, you make it possible.9. Your inner wanderlust is activated. As you encounter different cultures, you tend to imagine what’s more in another world..what’s different in another country. You become naturally curious of the world and the world that’s there to find. You ache to see more and learn more. And both will lead you to become wiser and smarter about life which is another profit on its own.10. You become proactive. Having spent your present abroad, you develop a habit of thinking and planning for the future. Now, you are able to sit down and talk about what you want your life to become five to ten years from now. And you have confidence and mastery in the manner you aim it. Now, you grab life by the horns. And you grab it good. You have learned to always seek and lay out the pros and cons of the major decisions and chapters in your life. You have become in charge of the present and so you’re assured you’re gonna take over your future — and you’re gonna rock it.#