This is a lengthy update-type of post for my friends on Plurk, Dreamwidth, and LiveJournal. I pretty much dropped off the radar from those platforms without a word, and I just realized I missed them. This is a summary of the last ten months — what was happening in the background from July 2015 to March 2016.
This post somewhat tries to reconcile the persona I chose to present over those platforms and in this one. I am frankly getting tired of compartmentalizing my relationships and my character, and I no longer have the time nor energy to think about whether or not people will like me over what I post online. I am done with that. I am using my own voice, and that’s that.
I really do want to ask myself as to where I have been, and I’ve agonized over the past few months as to how I should address this — like, would people still care? Have I slighted them by just dropping off the face of the planet and that I shouldn’t even dare show my face here anymore? SHOULD I JUST START SINGING ADELE’S HELLO??
But then I thought, “You know, Cielo, you should just say what it is you’d like to hear if someone just up and went from your life and decided to suddenly sing Hello to your face drop by and say, ‘hi’.” One thing’s for sure, I would want to know what happened and I would want to know how they have been.
On the other hand, I feel that I should share, nonetheless. Perhaps my experience could be of some value to someone else, and that it could be a reminder that things will get better.
See, July of last year, I lost my job. It wasn’t by my fault. It was just that the position I was hired for was dependent on four countries saying “yes” to my company’s proposals, and they suddenly decided that they were having none of it.
It was the first time for me to get laid off. It came at such a blow that one of my first thoughts was, “What would my friends think of me now?”
In hindsight, it was probably silly of me to think of what others would think of me — but that was my struggle. Getting laid off became a floodgate for all of my insecurities to come rushing in, and lead me to questioning my worth as a person.
I honestly did not want to get on Plurk/DW/LJ and say, “Hey guys, I lost my job :D!” My pride won’t let me. I have crafted this ~cool professional oneesama~ persona so carefully for years, that anything that runs contrary to that standard was unthinkable.
I decided to run away.
I was unemployed for three months. The company that laid me off gave a pretty generous separation pay, so I was able to enjoy myself for two months — and I’m not saying that in a flippant manner. I reconnected with my family, my friends offline, I became more active in church — I actually made it to the music team \o/! It was these relationships that became my lifeline.
Speaking from the perspective of a person of faith, my “sabbath” took me down a road where my character was tested and honed repeatedly. It felt like metal being put through a forge — heated, beaten, then cooled; repeat — and worked on until I come out as a fine blade. The seemingly cliché adage of, “Money can’t buy character” became true for me. I didn’t realize how much I have made my work, my capacity to earn, and the approval of others based on those as my “functional gods”.
It was during that time that I learned that I can be loved — that I am loved; and because I am loved, I can be vulnerable, that I can ask for help; that I can cry on someone’s shoulder and that I can allow myself to be weak. I didn’t realize how deep-seated my insecurities were, until the temporal things I place my security on fail me.
As an eldest child, it was hard for me to tell my father and my younger brothers about what happened, and how I felt about it. It was hard for me to tell my younger friends who looked up to me. For a while, I had felt so invincible, that I forgot that I am human — I can bleed, and I am allowed to bleed. Whenever I told people — my family included — however, I wasn’t met with judgment or condescension, as my insecurities had lead me to fear. I was met with love and with words of comfort and encouragement.
For those on Plurk, I have ranted about my Dad quite a few times, but he was the first to take care of me and to support me while I didn’t have a job. I had to move out from the flat I was sharing and back with him. It feels nice to have breakfast and coffee waiting for me when I wake up, and dinner when I get home. I now remember how I enjoy having discussions about music, science, politics, religion, culture, and all matters under the sun with him. Breakfast isn’t even done, and my mind’s already challenged!
I have also reconnected with my Mom. The time away from work has allowed me to sit down and thoughtfully write to her. Despite us communicating only through email, I feel that I’m now more open to her than I was back when we were physically together. I’m now looking forward to her visit this year!
I have become closer to some of my relatives, most specially aunts from both sides of the family. It feels nice to be able to talk to these people who have known me since I was a kid, and I was reminded of what made me happy when I was little: drawing, singing, dancing. Through them, I learned that I talked a lot, and that I already had a knack for wanting to please people 😛
My insecurities, paired with my pride, only allowed me to craft this image that I believe to be pleasing to other people — be it online or offline. Losing my job became a catalyst for me to dig deep into what really makes me cry, to what really hurts me, and come face to face with it so as I can overcome it.
I can’t really say that I’ve got it made, but with the help of my family and my church community, I have a renewed hope and perspective.
Last October, I got a job as a Quality Analyst for a collections company. It was quite fun listening (for grading purposes!) to calls in Canadian French ;3 . I had to quit after four months though — the office was too far from my Dad’s house. I opted not to move out, not just because of financial constraints, but it feels right to keep my Dad company and just come home to a familiar place.
Last week, I started in a new company which is (thankfully!) nearer to my place of residence. I’m initially hired as a translator, but they’re looking into tapping into my QA experience and develop me as QA for their project. It’s a very good thing!
In between, I am learning more about non-choir voice, and singing so as to lead worship. It’s really different from having chorale sheet music under my nose, but learning how to harmonize using chord charts is really nifty! I’m also — slowly! — getting back into the habit of drawing, and I really hope to get back to practicing coloring. Maybe I can even go back to just drawing and coloring without abandon like I did before! I have the time!
I am also learning how to engage in business (the details of which will be for another day), and I have discovered the joys of free online classes \o/!
Contrary to what’s being shown here on DW and LJ, I am actually picking up a blogging habit /o/. I’ve been writing on WordPress, and over the next month or so, I’ll be copying my posts from there to here. I just need to get down with actually interacting with you guys here again, if you’d still have me (;’-‘)a
A lot of things happened, like: I now have a new nephew, Joshua. He was born last December 2 and waiting for him to be delivered had me experience being awake for 26 HOURS x_x!! My nephew #1 Matthew is omg TALL XD;; it’s pretty freaky to hear his growing voice, like, he’s turning FOURTEEN this year!! I’m like, “You were just a loaf of bread, what happened??”
My cat, Chall, is now a healthy big ball of fur :D! She runs like a bullet and I must show you pictures soon lmao. I realize I’ve been wanting to dedicate an entire blog post for her.
THAT SAID — I think that pretty much summarizes the past 10 months. I can’t predict as to how active I’ll be, but I should commit to at least a bi-monthly rhythm. That should be reasonable. I do need some habits and rhythms in my life outside of work.
I’m happy to be back. If you’re reading up to here: I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss you guys. I’ll take the risk of mush by saying that, in all this time, I haven’t stopped thinking about the friends I have made on LJ, IJ, DW and Plurk. I’m sorry for disappearing like that.