Dear Survivor: Contentment is key to happiness

Dear Survivor,

You have always been a survivor - surviving a dysfunctional family, overcoming betrayal, healing from failed relationships, making ends meet, and doing fine as a single mother. Through the years, you've been on the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. And every time, you just proved that surviving is a MUST!

It's overwhelming how your life is messed up by setbacks while trying to keep still during the pandemic. While you fight these storms, let your journey be a life lesson to bring out the best in you.

Changing careers
I resigned from my dream PR job during the most unstable time of the year. It was during the pandemic where businesses were shutting down, and people were being retrenched here and there. It was a crazy and scary decision, and without any assurance, I decided to shift to a totally different career. For five months, I've tried to fulfill the new role. I was new in this industry, and though I tried my best to succeed, things did not materialize. I was heartbroken and was lost for a while. Imagine leaving your dream job just to end up with nothing. 

After a year, I'm slowly getting back on track. I now have the enthusiasm to do things, and I'm lucky to have found a job that values my creativity and supports me. It will be a long shot, but I'm up for a challenging career and will do whatever it takes to be on top.

Adapting to work from home set up

I have been working from home since 2016, and I can honestly say that I have adapted so well to this setup. Or so I thought. When the pandemic started, my eldest son doesn't have a choice but to do online classes. And for a while, it feels weird to be seeing him at home from 6 AM to 5 PM, which is his usual time in school. Not that I don't want him home, but it feels new to me. I'm used to being alone the moment he was fetched by his school bus. And that would mean I'm free to work in cafes and be back before he goes home. 

Now, I need to stay at home all day long. I need to prepare his meals and attend to his needs. Don't get me wrong. I am fully aware that as a mom, these are all my responsibilities. I just needed time to digest everything that this is a new setup. At times, I feel that I am losing my "me time" and my own space. 
The good side is I can supervise him and see how he is growing. We have more quality time and I'm now used to have him while he attends his online class and I work from home.

Trying to keep my sanity
I still think that I'm lucky enough to secure a job during this crisis, and I feel grateful for being able to provide for my kids. One of the biggest challenges I had during the pandemic is keeping my sanity intact. I used to travel back in the days when everything is fine. In a year, I do at least two international travels. And as you may have guessed, all my travel plans have been pushed back because of the unexpected and sudden spread of the deadly virus. 

You know that feeling when you are just counting days before you take another flight, and in just a snap, everything changed. Some would think I'm selfish for thinking about traveling while people are barely making it. But I hope people know that we have different needs and satisfactions. I feel happy traveling, and going to new places keeps me sane. It's not selfish. It's all about self-love and giving yourself whatever can lower your anxiety. Beyond our physical needs, we have mental issues to address as well. You are important too! So do whatever makes you happy as long as you don't hurt others.

Balancing time with kids
I am a mother of two adorable boys, and before the pandemic, we used to go to malls every week. We go to amusement centers, look for new restaurants to try, and stroll in malls all day long. And although it may sound petty, not being able to do the usual routine with my kids added to my anxiety. Aside from the disruption of our bonding moments, I also feel that the kids are stressed out. It pains me to see them just inside the house and glued on their gadgets. 

Luckily, some parks and restaurants are now open to accommodated kids. Our mall hours have been replaced with biking, running in the park, and fishing. Not only that their screen time was cut short but they also get to appreciate nature and other activities aside from playing with mobile phones.

(Almost) Losing my passion
I can't emphasize enough how I love to write. I started blogging in 2007 and began covering events in 2013. I love attending events, and even if most of them are unpaid, I would still show up because blogging is my passion. As we all know, the events and entertainment industry have been severely affected by the pandemic. For a year, I haven't attended offline events. And I feel that there is a missing part of me. I missed attending media events and socializing with fellow bloggers. 

Good thing that virtual events are now being adopted by most brands. Although it can never replace face-to-face events, it's better than nothing at all. Thanks to the high technology that we have now for making all these things possible.

The key is to be flexible, embrace the change, and appreciate what you have for the moment. All these difficulties will soon pass. And when everything is fine, I hope you'll bring with you all the learnings you have. Be thankful for the bittersweet memories that made you into a better YOU!

As always,

This story is an entry to ComCo Southeast Asia’s “Write to Ignite Blogging Project Season 2: Dear Survivor”. The initiative continues to respond to the need of our times, as every story comes a long way during this period of crisis.  The initiative aims to pull and collate powerful stories from the Philippine blogging communities to inspire the nation to rise and move forward amidst the difficult situation. The “Write to Ignite Blogging Project” Season 2 is made possible by ComCo Southeast Asia, with Eastern Communications and Jobstreet as co-presenters, with AirAsia and Xiaomi as major sponsors, and with Teleperformance as sponsor.

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