Archive | December, 2012

What if the world really was ending tomorrow?

20 Dec

Amidst all the hype on my favourite stupid website 9gag about tomorrow being the end of the world, I can’t help but think ponder the thought of how would I feel if tomorrow were the end of the world and thus the end of my life.

I know it’s a stupid misunderstanding of an ancient Mayan way of distinguishing time, but I have a feeling I will be happy come Saturday and I still have time to do all the things in my life I wanna do and experience everything I have yet to experience.

Those same people misinterpreting the Mayan calendar on 9gag are also those who might say “YOLO” (you only live once)… I shudder at the thought that I might be giving a nod to that message and those kids who provide me with so many hours of entertainment on the internets, but internet sensations like this apocolaypse business remind me that you live as this being once and it’s short relative to the universe, so each present moment should be wondrous and joyful – and not necessarily in a grand way… just in the wonder and joy that you place upon each moment, because that’s all wonder and joy ever is.

I’ve done a lot of stupid things in my life but I am in a good place to day – everything is ok and it always is, so I have absolutely no regrets.

I also want to have share some specific things I am grateful for in my life. Just in case the world does end tomorrow, I want my last thoughts to be about all the blessings I have in my life.

I am grateful for my body which always supports me, through all the poundings I give it from surfing and yoga and going outside at dusk with no mozzie repellant on and spending too much time in the midday sun.

I am grateful for courage I can gathered from within myself to do big things in my life  like solo travel and further education and especially this experience, which I did at a time where the life I was living was ridiculously good.

I am grateful for my family who have supported me and from whom I draw my courage in every decision I have made in my life, big and small, and who have shared and been witnesses to so many of the experiences I have had in my life that have shaped me.

I am grateful for my old friends, who know me as the person I am now but who I was a year, and 2 and 5 and 10 years ago, and have watched me change and changed with me and inspired me to change, and for my new friends who encourage me to look at things in different ways and break old habits and also remind me of all the good things in myself and who show me all the good things I could enjoy in people I would have never met otherwise.

I am grateful that I always have a full belly and I know how to feed and nourish myself so that I can give more to those around me (even though sometimes I choose poorly – I’m not perfect!)

So I think tomorrow is actually the end of an old era and the start of a new one, so I want to set some intentions too.

I will practice practice practice at everything and strive to reach my greatest potential

I will give out everything I want to receive – in love and friendships and work and life and affection and gratitude.

I will keep learning in all the ways that are so easily available to me and always have fresh eyes to learn even from things I have practiced a million times over

I will spend more time on love – with my family and friends and myself

I will get better at emails (there has to be at least one tangible one in the list I think!)

It’s already tomorrow on Australia’s east coast and according to credible sources, life is going on. Phew. Like I said, no regrets, but it would have been nice to kiss my cat back home one last time!


6 in Melbourne, 0 in Philippines

12 Dec


Over the last few months, I have learnt that Filipinos don’t feel the need to hold back on personal comments. If they think your skin is too brown, they’ll tell you. If you come into work with your hair looking like a witch, you won’t go under the radar. If you look skinny, they’ll tell you, but they’ll also tell you if they think you look fat.

Herein lies the inspiration for my blog post today. Yesterday, when I came into work, a girl from my office yelled out across the room “Karen, you gained so much weight in Australia”. When I vented to my usually understanding friend she looked at me and said “well you did gain weight”. A few more if these comments through the day left me feeling pretty flat and understandably a little fat too.

I actually don’t care if I am fat or skinny in Filipinos eyes. They have a very skewed perception of beauty where a dull pink brown colour from Johnson’s baby powder rubbed all over the face is a nicer complexion than tropical tanned skin, they think chemically treated poker straight hair with just a tiny bit of wavy regrowth is better than full natural wavy black locks and girls with muscle definition are macho. If you know what I look like, you can see why I think I might be rated a 0 in Philippines.

The problem I actually have with this situation is that my colleagues are perfectly willing to tell me about my weight loss or gain, my hair shortcomings and the way too brown spot I have on my nose from wearing sunnies walking under the hot sun of Darwin, but they aren’t willing to talk to me about my work, which is what I came here to do.

A comment will be made about my appearance nearly everyday while work I have done will barely get acknowledged. I never get feedback and my only way of improving is my own deep self-reflection. I know my colleagues have lots of problems with my counterpart who is their supervisor but it is never mentioned and the team kinda skates on this thin ice with no one addressing deep seated issues but fixating on superficial ones.

The work isn’t going that well for me here so for someone so used to being capable and assisted in improving, my confidence isn’t at it’s peak. So people’s personal opinions about my looks which I wouldn’t normally give a crap about really bother me here, especially when thrown in interrupting a conversation about work which is what happened just an hour ago. I promptly got myself out of my seat, my laptop in my bag, into a tricy and up the stairs into the safety of my apartment where I can give myself love and go back when I feel better.

Darwin – it’s actually not that bad!

10 Dec

I’m back in the office after a week off work in the top end of Australia. Spent the week enveloped in 90% humidity and beardy love with beautiful guy. My bare feet stood in Australian grass and I heard familiar phrases like “any cash?” and I ate vegetarian food and cooked in a kitchen with a 4 burner stove and washed dishes where hot water came straight from the tap.

Dan and I

Dan and I

We drank a lot and walked way too much in the afternoon sun and spent time hanging out with each others friends and many hours up in bed talking about who knows what well into the morning.


Can’t really say much more except that it was easily one of the best week’s of my life.

jumping croc at adelaide river

Unlike last time I said goodbye to my guy, the tears only lasted a few minutes while saying goodbye. I’ll be seeing him again in just a few months for more than a week of nightmoves. And after all the love of the week, was way to be happy to be sad saying see you soon.

It also helped that when I came back to Philippines, I was greeted by a familiar face at the airport who travelled with me all the way to Bicol, the temperature was a soothing high 20s and people mam’d me all day. I spent the weekend at awesome events to say the first goodbyes to intake 33 and remembering all the things I love about Philippines, like top-loading jeeps, squash cooked in coconut milk, kids waving at us flying down the highway at super speeds, volcanoes and waterfalls… and of course my bachelor pad in Gubat.

volunteers gone wild