Yes, this blog is still alive!

The year is almost over and I have been negligent of this blog and the commitments I made the past quarter. Plus, I’ve taken an indefinite leave of absence here. So today, I’ll catch you up a bit on everything that’s been happening and what to expect from here on out.

Going AWOL

For the 3rd quarter of this year, I committed to creating content for this blog. I made one, and that was it. I never got to follow through with the other content ideas that I planned, until such time that I got completely busy preparing for a ukulele workshop by August.

Even after the workshop, I didn’t pick up from where I left off, and just focused on the other projects I was working on.

Eventually, I completely lost interest in the plans I made for the blog.

I thought about it for a while then, and I realized it’s not really something I wanted, although it was something I wanted to see for myself doing. I was busy teaching as well and didn’t really have the luxury of time to look for a place with internet and write. I could make time for it, but I chose not to because the plan seemed irrelevant to what I was doing. It felt as if I was forcing the idea of me blogging.

I realized it’s something that I couldn’t do, right now. Especially now that my major roadblock as well is really the lack of internet connection at home. Maybe I’ll try it again sometime, with the right stories as well.

For the past weeks, I have been contented with doing long posts on my Instagram. It somehow relieves the itch to write, without the task being too daunting.

Deactivation of social media accounts several times. 

Before deactivating some of my accounts, I deleted the apps as well from my phone. I needed to do those for my own sanity. I wanted to avoid the toxicity and to stop myself from letting out toxins as well.

It became too much for me for a while last October, that’s why I opt to just close everything down for a while. I needed some peace and quiet. My head was noisy enough, I didn’t want to add any more noise to it.

As of today, I’m already back on Facebook. My social media apps are still deleted on my phone, though, except for IG, and yes, my Twitter is still deactivated.

In the Quiet

I finally did yoga.

I started September 17 and I’ve been making good progress, which I’m really glad about. I never tried doing home workouts before. So far the only workout I’ve done was kickboxing, while I was in Duma 2 years ago.

That didn’t last.

I bought a yoga mat after that in the hopes of starting yoga by myself but still was not able to do it.

And my yoga mat? I left it in Duma.

I got into biking after that. I bought myself a mountain bike and pretty much biked my way throughout the city. Dumaguete is pretty small so it wasn’t that scary to bike along the national highway and the city roads.

But, unfortunately, I had to move back to Cagayan de Oro, and couldn’t bring back my bike with me. So I sold it.

So you can see why I’m so happy about this. After months and months of not having any intentional physical activity, I finally have something that I actually love to do, and have been very consistent with, so far.

Aside from my yoga, I was also able to do and accomplish many things.Some are for school, some for my personal well-being and some for the family. I also got to meet new people, while I’m at it.

Here’s a quick rundown of everything:

  • Finished  2 Case Studies for my SpEd major.
  • Made a PPT game for my ICT class.
  • Went on a staycation at Marco Hotel with Q.
  • Visited an aquamarine park with Q.
  • Trekked the Mapawa Trail with Q.
  • Met up with The Purposeful Creative Girls CDO Chapter.
  • Family Gatherings (Antatico + DonDon Birthday + Family Lunch)
  • Reconnecting with a former student from Xaris to help him with his reading.

Some of these I’ll be talking about in another entry. So, that’s something to look forward to.

But, if there’s anything that I am so much thankful for in this quiet, it’s establishing my morning devotional again, that is, my personal quiet time with God.

But before that, a little backstory…

When most of your 20s life is riddled with doubts and insecurities, you live your life always on the defense, that is, keeping to yourself most of the time and just secretly doing things at your own pace, and being happy with the progress that you get to achieve.

That was me.

I am amazed at how much has changed since then. Yes, of course, I’ve changed! I don’t want to deny that just for the sake of modesty. I changed for the better, and I am proud of that change. From all those years of suffering from crippling self-doubt and insecurity, always finding myself questioning my worth, if I had anything good to contribute to my surroundings.

You see, I’m attracted with intelligence, creativity, and passion. In one way or another, I always find myself being surrounded by these kinds of people. More often than not, they become great friends, and I’m thankful for these friendships (though some of them had to be let go of). The only downside to that, especially when you have insecurities, is that you tend to compare yourself to these people, and in some ways, they DO tend to be better than you or be smarter than you. And you know, of course, that’s okay, right? There will always be people who are better than you. But somehow, it still stings. Sometimes, we project ourselves to these individuals or vice versa.

How do we react to this?

From my personal experience, either I balk, go back to my own little safe zone and do my own thing, OR I learn from these people, sometimes get hurt in the process, keep going, doing something brave again, fail, try again, do something else, get lost in it, rinse and repeat.

I’ve tried both. But you can tell which of the two can help you grow as a person.

I’m nobody, I don’t have much to show for, nor do I have any achievements worth mentioning, but if there’s anything that I’m VERY proud of, it’s how God has carried me through all the years of my 20s, and be the person that I am today. I take no credit for how He transformed me, it’s only by His grace that I am finally okay with me.

I had to work on these too, of course. Like I mentioned above, for the past weeks, I have re-established my personal quiet time with God. I pray when I wake up and read the Bible. There are some mornings I do skip it, especially when I wake up late or I have plenty of thoughts in my head that I just get up and start doing the things that need to be done. I make up for it in the evening, sometimes I don’t get to at all. But, another morning comes, and I get to try again.

That’s the beauty of all this, about God’s faithfulness—we get endless chances, even if we sometimes give up on ourselves. But God doesn’t.

He never gives up on us.

He didn’t give up on me.

He’s not giving up on me. 

So, for all those weeks, I’ve had many pleasant surprises at how I am so at peace with everything. It’s strange for me to experience it, I am not new to it, but it’s been so long for me. I don’t understand how or why it happened, but all I know is that God is at work in my life.

And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:7  (ESV)

I’m also quite thankful that Q has also started doing his own devotional time as well. It kinda helps in keeping up with the habit. Haha! And also, from this, we develop a common alignment to our principles and the truths that we learn from God. I’m thankful that we get to do this journey together. It has been my desire that we both grow together in our personal relationship with Christ.

Tuning out the worldly noise that social media brings was also a great thing. I’ve also been feeding my thoughts with the good things as well, that is through God’s Word.  I remember we have this concept before in Computer Science, GIGO (Garbage In, Garbage Out), which simply means, a bad input will result in a bad output.  By inputting only the good things, the righteous things, the output will also be the same. I wanted to get rid of the bad output in my thoughts, in my words, and in my deeds, and you think it’d be easy to just stop it, to create that habit, but no, it’s not enough. Only when we input good things, do we yield an output of good things, of beautiful things, as well. I’m not there yet, but I’m continuously working on it.

Delight yourself in the Lordand he will give you the desires of your heart. – Psalm 37:4 (ESV)

This Bible verse makes even more sense to me now.  As we delight in the Lord, He just doesn’t grant our own desires. While we align ourselves with Him, He puts the right desires in our hearts.

Through this as well, I’ve become more mindful of everything. Every time a negative thought comes up in my head, I try to quickly nip it in the bud, so I don’t  dwell on it and manifest it in my words and actions.

A similar learning can also be derived from this short tale I remember reading years back.

“An elderly Cherokee Native American was teaching his grandchildren about life… He said to them, “A fight is going on inside me, it is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One wolf is evil—he is fearful angry, jealous and negative. The other is good—he is happy, peaceful, positive and content. The grandchildren thought about it for a minute, and then one asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win, Grandfather?” The Elder smiled and replied, “Whichever wolf you feed.””

I don’t think I need to explain that further. 🙂  That tale pops up in my head every now and then, when I struggle with negative thoughts.

What now? 

So, I have 3 things that I have to do every morning before I start anything, or as Arriane Serafico puts in her Braver Goals workbook, the non-negotiables: my devotional time (prayer + reading the Bible), yoga time, and breakfast.

I also allot some white space in my day to decompress my mind.

As for things to look forward to from here on, in this blog, I’d probably be talking more about my adventures with Q, my journey in pursuing a sustainable lifestyle (finally going zero-waste! *gulp*, and a side project with Q on this), updates on The Happy Strings Project ukulele instructional booklet and 10-week program,  my Pilgrim Rondalla life (I got in! YAY), and just generally more crazy ideas and projects, that all support me in my quest to be a good and well-rounded educator.

Oh, it’s delightful to have ambitions. I’m so glad I have such a lot. And there never seems to be any end to them– that’s the best of it. Just as soon as you attain to one ambition you see another one glittering higher up still. It does make life so interesting. ― L.M. MontgomeryAnne of Green Gables

If all else fails, you can always look out for my stories and long posts on Instagram. Find me here,  @mistykaren for my project updates, or @missladyfelinity for personal and random things in my life.

I’m just committing everything to God all of my plans, for the remainder of this year, and for the next. I’m excited about 2018!

With all your heart you must trust the Lord and not your own judgment. Always let him lead you, and he will clear the road for you to follow. – Proverbs 3:5-6 (CEV)

There are still so many things I want to talk about here. It’s been so long, and you can tell, just by the length of this entry, that I am brimming with many things to talk about. But, I’ll save those for another day.

So, yes, world, this blog is still alive.

 

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