Living with Uncertainties as a Freelancer

Living with Uncertainties as a Freelancer

I want to talk about something that nobody is openly discussing. Freelancing is not all rainbows and unicorns. It’s not even all roses if that’s your thing. Being a freelancer is not at all dreamy. If you want to become a freelancer, you need to live with constant uncertainty.

I ended 2019 (and also started 2020) with anxiety. There were times when I woke up in the middle of the night wondering if I’ll make it. Then, I’ll cry and not get back to sleep. I would cry and get mad at everyone almost always in a cycle. I didn’t want to go out and hang out with friends. Furthermore, I didn’t want to talk to anyone about what I was going through. Every single day, I was living in fear. I kept my thoughts (and fears) to myself and I wasn’t holding everything pretty well.

Uncertainty is the norm for a freelancer, usually. Projects and clients come and go. Just like working in a normal nine-to-five, you have no security. However, with being a freelancer, the risks are higher. Some projects tend to be short-lived. There are times when your services are no longer needed or the clients’ needs have changed. You just have to be comfortable living with risks and dealing with uncertainties.

My story

One retainer project ended last year and I was worried as hell. I worried that I might not be able to save enough or pay my bills. But that’s not the entire picture. I still have two retainer clients and another on-going non-urgent project that I am working on. It’s not the end of the world, but I panicked because I might not reach my target income that allowed me to live (i.e., save and pay) comfortably.

A funny thing happened. When that retainer project ended, other projects came unexpectedly. I got short-term writing projects that allowed me to earn that same amount I lost (or even more). For this, I am thankful to the Universe (and to former clients who still trust me through the years). When one short-term project ends, another one came. Always. Then, I realize I panicked for no reason at all.

I also had emergency funds that covered the lost income. This allowed me to pursue projects that paid at a later date. Had I not saved enough; I would probably be fucked for real. However, I will have to replenish the funds I took out to prepare for a similar situation in the future.

The ebb and flow

Freelancing has its ebb and flow. There will be good months where you’re fully booked and blessed with paying clients. However, not everyone talks about the slow months where it takes you weeks to find a project that fills your work schedule and pays the bills. These months are real. They’re too real. You either learn to live and deal with these slow months or you let this break you.

Unless you’re okay with this, you should not jump into the sea of freelancing. Sorry to break it to you, honey. Clients and projects don’t just magically appear in your inboxes. You have to put in the work. You need to create your profile, build your portfolio, and be searchable. In short, you need to put yourself out there. Work has to be done.

Dealing with uncertainties

To deal with these uncertainties, you need to take measures. You need to prepare yourself. You should have money saved to cover for the slow weeks or months. Having three to six months of expenses as your emergency fund is a good start. This will give you enough time to search for another project while making sure that the bills are paid.

On the good months, it’s important to save all the extra for the slow months. Always budget for the worst. If possible save most, if not all, for your emergency fund. This is your top priority if you’re starting in the freelancing world.

Aside from that, you need to mentally prepare yourself. I thought I was ready for this to happen, but it turned out I wasn’t. I was devastated. Unfortunately, I still have this tendency to equate my self-worth with the work that I do. With one project ending, I battled with my demons. I thought I wasn’t good enough. I sulked and went on a rage. Later on, I realized that part of this ebb and flow is acceptance and letting go. It wasn’t as easy as meditating or practicing yoga. Real life can be harder than it seemed.

Getting by

To be honest, I am just starting to get out of my anxiety-ridden funk. It has been two months of sleeplessness and dealing with my demons. I have skipped dinners and gatherings with friends because I wasn’t “well.” I’ve been living in my head for too long. Then, I realized that things will work out eventually.

I am currently working on other projects that allow me to earn back the income that I have lost. I am still creating backup plans and striving to work my way out of this rut. It’s not easy but it’s not something I cannot do. I am trying to get by. I am trusting the Universe while making sure that I also do my part.

Nurturing Gratefulness

Nurturing Gratefulness

I’m taking a quick break from a busy day to write down my thoughts before I go mental. Life has been a drag. I’ve been hating myself more than usual. I haven’t been sleeping well. My anxiety is through the roof. However, I am doing my best to create space for gratefulness.

It can be too easy to write a list of every little thing I hate about my life. That is such a no brainer. I am especially hard on myself; so on a day-to-day basis, I just hate everything. This voice inside my head tells me I can do better or things should be better. It triggers me to hate the things I cannot have or cannot do.

I hate that I cannot work longer so I can earn more. If I work harder and longer, I can achieve x or y. I hate that I cannot do my headstand perfectly. If only I have enough arm and core strength, it might not be a problem to execute difficult yoga poses. I hate that I need eight hours of sleep to function properly. If I do not get enough sleep, I will just be grumpy the entire day. I hate how sickly I am. My immune system has always been bad since I was a kid. You get it. The list goes on.

I try to be kind to myself. I meditate and do yoga to remind myself that I matter in a space full of other people. Unfortunately, the inner critic gets the best of me. On most days, I tend to listen to the voice. I wallow up on my self-pity and allow hatred to take over me.

Today, I am taking the time to have a heart that’s full of gratefulness.

I am grateful for clients who have been nothing but kind. I am lucky to have found dream clients who send me gifts on my birthday or ask me how my doctor’s appointment went. My projects have allowed me to earn and save for my little wants and needs. Despite wanting more, I am lucky for having the opportunity to pursue my little desires and to have more than what I what need.  I am still able to travel when I can, purchase workout gear when the need arises, gift my family and friends just because, and eat deliciously when I crave for it.

I am grateful for the wonderful connections I have. Some of them have led me to projects and to people that shaped me to become who I am today. It seems that my path, despite how crazy it was, led me to a life that it is imperfectly perfect. I know I am better off now than I was when I began my unconventional path.

Ten years ago, I dreamed of having the things I now have. Back then, I never imagined I could achieve them. It was just a hope, a little wish. It was just a maybe, a thought that was floating around in my head. Now that I currently have more than I did years ago, it can be easy to take things for granted. It is too easy to want more. I forgot the rough road I had the take and the hardships I hade to endure to get me to where I am. I got used to the shiny object I once wanted that suddenly I just hungered for more. This downward-spiral of unhappiness and discontent drove me crazy. I was no longer counting my blessings. Instead, I was counting all the reasons why my life is “wrong.”

By writing this, I want to remind myself that life has been better. It may not be exactly how I want it to be, but I have what I need and so much more. I know I could do better. There is always room for growth and improvement, but I don’t have to be angry. Life unfolds when it’s time to unfold. There’s no need to rush and be so hard on myself.

I admit it can be difficult to have that wee bit of gratefulness when all I see are things that are not going my way. However, I try. I am human after all. I stumble. Then, I try again. Above all, I keep trying to make space for gratefulness in a heart that is weak but continuously hopeful.

Travel Alone

Travel Alone

Do yourself a favor. Travel alone. Go somewhere you’ve never been. Go someplace without a friend. You’ll have me to thank when your trip’s over and done with.You might have a heavy heart. You might not know which path to take. It might be a quarter-life crisis. It might be some needed soul-searching. No matter where you are in this life, a solo trip will help you get the clarity that you need.

How to travel alone

You might think, where to? You might think, how come? A solo trip will start daunting as it is. However, as you go on with your journey, you realize there’s nothing to be afraid of.

Take it slow, if it’s that scary. You don’t need to go too far. It also doesn’t have to take that long. A few days on an island five hours from your hometown might help. When you have the guts, take that plane ride plus an eight-hour bus ride to the paradise you’ve never been. What’s important is committing to that trip like it’s the only redemption you’ve got.

Travel alone, even if it scares you. Travel alone, even if no one supports you. Depend on yourself alone for once in your life. Then, you’ll definitely see that your worries are minuscule to that of the world.

Do it for you

You’re doing yourself a big favor. Travel alone for you and to you. It’s not for the ‘gram. It’s not for show. When you take that step out of your comfort zone, you see things you don’t normally see. You discover your own vulnerability. This allows you to be in new situations. You meet new faces. You see new places. This is where you start opening up to the world and the people around you.

When you travel alone, you get to be in your own thoughts often. You’re forced to address those things that you’ve put in the backburner. You’re able to see yourself in a new light. This pushes your limits.

What’s interesting is that there’s magic with every solo trip you take. It’s like leaving home a little torn, but coming back a little whole. You find the answers to the questions you never meant to ask. You discover the healing and rest that your weary heart needed. Sometimes, all these come from the strangers who are willing to open their arms for you.

Traveling alone is more about self-discovery. Once you’ve done it, you see the beauty in every trip that you take. Every journey is different. It is always unique. It brings you closer to yourself in different ways. You unearth a different side of you. Then, you’ll see it’s not so bad to be alone.

Looking Back at 2018

Looking Back at 2018

The year 2018 is almost coming to a close. Looking back, it was filled with (inside) turmoil and a lot of struggles. I broke down quite a lot this year without my friends knowing. I was confused and I thought I was treading the wrong path. It felt lonely and heavy at times. I was insecure and anxious for the most part. However, I have no one to blame but myself.

Getting my cards read

There was a time when I had my cards read by a good friend. I was at the point of breaking down again and had no one to turn to.

It was interesting how the cards showed the pain that I kept denying. They unveiled the misery that I kept close to myself. I was at my heaviest and I wanted to be done with everything. What nobody could tell, the cards showed. However, it added that my pain was my own doing. I was my own monster and that needed to be addressed.

After that, I felt a sense of lightness. I felt new. It was like a rock was lifted somewhere.

What I learned

Sometimes, you don’t have to keep it to yourself. One of my biggest mistakes in 2018 was bottling up my feelings. I thought no one understood me. I thought nobody would give a damn. However, I had friends. They were few, but I knew I could count on them when shit hit the fan.

Do not underestimate the power of self-care. It is not just about bubble bath and massages. It is about noticing the little things. Sometimes, self-care can be as simple as being kind to yourself. We are easily kind to other people but are harsher towards our own self.

My friend told me “inaction can also be a form of action.” That hit home. For people who knew me well, I hate being idle. I hate not doing anything. I was that person who NEEDED something to do. At least a little something. I always want fast results. However, I need to take my damn sweet time. Trust the process, even if it is really slow.

My 2018 goals

Of the 12 goals I had for 2018, I crossed off seven. It isn’t too bad when you think about it. I was shocked to have accomplished more than 50% of the goals I set out for myself when I typically tend to accomplish just 30% on a given year. I thought I was a loser this year. Somehow, that definition of loser has to be changed.

Looking back, I’ve gone far from where I started. Sometimes, you need to be grateful and constantly look for the little things to see how truly #blessed (pun intended!) you are. We are often too busy looking for the bigger things in life that we lose sight of the little things that matter most.

Moving forward

Despite all those challenges, the year ended on a good note. I am beyond grateful for everything that I currently have. I am still not where I want to be but I am getting there. The journey isn’t so bad when you let the rain come through. It’s not as awful as you think it is when you see through the struggles. Looking back, I wouldn’t change a thing.

As 2018 wanes and a new year waxes, here’s to moving forward. With a little bit of hope and a little bit of joy, we take another step. Here’s to happiness, contentment, and love! Cheers!

Religion and Respect

Religion and Respect

Religion and politics are two things I hate talking about in public. This doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy discussing these topics with open and intellectual people. Most often than not, talking to close-minded people could end up in a mishap. Being open about my perspective on religion might not be taken lightly by some people.

I am an agnostic. This has been something my parents have wrestled with me through the years. They have called me every Sunday morning to remind me to go to church. They have also chastised me on my hospital bed to go back to god. It wasn’t until recently that they’ve given up. I guess they’ve finally sensed that they have a headstrong daughter. I just keep reminding them that despite how different my perspective on religion is, I do my best to live an honest and good life. It probably pains them to hear me reason out whenever I tell them that I don’t want to live a dishonest life by simply going to church and not practicing what I preach.

Gods in millions

The human race currently worships more than 33 million deities. This includes the thousands and millions of  Gods worshipped my polytheistic religions, like Shinto and Hinduism respectively. Monotheistic religions, in a historical perspective, have only been around more recently. We know for a fact that our ancestors have worshipped tons of gods and goddesses. Even in this modern world, polytheistic religions are still prevalent. How can you tell me yours is the only one that’s right?

What I hate about religion and what has gotten me to be open and free from it are people who push down their own religion and opinions down your throat without knowing why they believe what they believe in. I see both the beauty and flaw in every religion. Not one set of belief is more right or truer than others. Not one is mightier or even better than the rest.

At the core, most religions are the same. When you look at them with inquisitive eyes, you see that they teach the same basic values despite their differences. Once you peel the layers and the rituals, the basic tenets are the same.

Love is my religion

Like Ziggy Marley’s song, love is my religion. It really is. Take it or leave it. I believe I don’t need a religion to live an honest life. As long as I practice honesty and respect, I know I’m not doing anyone harm. This belief is personal, too. I am not converting anyone.

What good is a religion is when you don’t practice any of it? What good is going to church when once you step out of it, you turn a blind eye to the evils around you? I don’t see the point of religion when you don’t actually live up to it, when you don’t practice any of it, or when you live a totally dishonest life.

What’s sad is how we use religion and belief to discriminate others. Just because someone else’s belief is different from yours doesn’t mean they’re bad. Moreover, this has been used by man since the dawn of time to conquer and kill. Sometimes, we use religion as an excuse to do what we do.

I try to look at religion as a way of living. Often, it is a journey. It’s a guide that people use to live their lives. I admire people who live their faith. I see beauty in how they live their lives and I respect that. Sometimes, I wish there were more people like that. Instead of constantly being critical of others, why can’t we be more accepting and just live our lives accordingly?

Respect others

We’re all different. Shouldn’t we just revel in the beauty of difference? People have different perspectives, whether that’s religion or something else. What’s important is to respect that even if you don’t agree with it.

I guess it all boils down to learning how to co-exist with others and respecting differences. Just because someone or something is different from what we’re used to doesn’t mean it’s bad. It’s just different. There’s nothing more to it.

Don’t just sit there with your pre-conceived assumptions and prejudices. Make an effort to understand people and their beliefs even better. Religion and spirituality are both personal. One shouldn’t be forced to take one up because society or people dictate you to. You shouldn’t pressure someone to take your own set of beliefs, either.

The Art of Detachment

The Art of Detachment

Detachment is often thought as a negative word. It could mean losing touch with the world. It could also mean being aloof or separated. However, detachment is a skill as it is an art. There is nothing inherently wrong about this. On the contrary, it can be a saving factor towards having inner peace.Throughout our lives, we have this urge to find what’s ours in this world. We were taught that this toy is ours while that one’s someone else’s. We only play with what’s ours and that we can’t touch other people’s stuff. Ownership is an important governing factor in life. And, with that ownership comes attachment.

Attachment is deeply ingrained in us. It is human. We attach ourselves to things, people, ideas, beliefs, and even in ourselves. However, this attachment can bring us despair as it brings us happiness.

When we get too attached to objects beyond our control, we lose ourselves. It’s because we’ve attached ourselves towards impermanent things. This can mean losing people or material possessions will make us go off track. When we’ve attached ourselves to an idea, losing that thing could mean losing our peace.

A useful reminder in stoic philosophy is “Everything is ephemeral.” Everything in life comes and goes. Plants wither. Emotions switch. The weather changes. We die. Nothing is permanent. Those things are beyond your control. Attaching yourself to an impermanent object is a sure way towards pain. This is why you need to detach yourself from those things and people.

Think of detachment as a loose grip on objects that will disappear anytime. It’s not an excessive choking hold, but a gentle one that allows you to be free any time. When we detach ourselves from objects, we become more self-sufficient even once they’re gone.

We need to remind ourselves of the ephemeral nature of the world. We need to make the most out of the time that we have while enjoying the presence of this object or person. This allows us to nurture gratitude in our hearts. Take care not to view the ephemerality of life hedonistically, though, as there needs to be a balance. There is a fine line between #YOLO and making the most out of every moment.

Another way to look at impermanence and detachment is to focus your limited time towards the things that you can control. Although you can’t control how people treat you, you can control how you treat others. Instead of worrying so much what people think of you, focus on being a better person. No matter what others do to you, you know for yourself that you’re living an honest life and you’re bettering yourself.

Detachment, just like mindfulness, takes practice. You can’t just magically apply in all aspects of your life. There will definitely be some sort of resistance. However, you need to note it, let it go, and try again.

Unfortunately, it’s easier said than done. I’ve been trying my best to detach myself from things beyond my control. What people think of me is out of my control. Therefore, it’s none of my business. When I try to attach myself to an idea of how people should perceive me, I become a slave towards that idea. Similarly, when I attach myself to friends who will change and will possibly lose touch with me, I am setting myself up for a major heartbreak.

Instead of focusing and attaching myself to people, situations, and ideas, I just try to focus on making sure that I am becoming a better person. I focus on my craft and my productivity. I ask myself, “Will I be happy five years from now?” What I do is that I try to become a better friend, a better partner, and a better human. I’m not perfect and there’s no easy way to go about it. I focus on these things because these are within my control. I’m still trying to discover what will bring me satisfaction in the long term.

Trust me, I don’t have everything figured out yet. There are times when I catch myself getting angry because a plan didn’t go my way or one person treats me badly. Once I recognize that thought, I note it, understand it, and let it go. Often, it takes days before I realize that I’ve sacrificed my own peace for something I have no control over. So, I just fucking let it go. It’s not worth it, honestly.

I guess what I’m trying to say is to detach yourself from the external ephemeral parts of the world. Instead attach yourself inwards and towards the things that you can control, like your values and principles. These are the things that are more worthy of your time.

Catching Up

Catching Up

2017 is coming to an end soon and with that, I’d like to wrap up the year that was. I know I haven’t been up in this part of the internet that much. Busy is such an over-used excuse, but it was what I’ve been the entire year. This is my version of catching up on things that I haven’t updated you on.

This year culminated a grueling quarter-life crisis that I had. It was tough, I tell you (and details to come in another post). 2016 wasn’t pretty and all the garbage spilled over the start of 2017. I felt worse than ever. My self-esteem took a huge plummet and I was in a more confused state. But we learn to rise from the ashes, don’t we?

Despite all the sadness at the start of the year, I’d like to say that 2017 was a good and definitely one for the books. I finally was able to quit my corporate job and become a freelancer full-time. It was a hasty decision since my health was failing at that time. I knew I had to do it. Although there are things that I could have done before jumping out to the open sea without any plan, I wouldn’t have done it any other way.

2017 was a year of realizations for me. It was in 2016 that my life started to shift 360. This year, everything came in full circle. I became pescatarian for health, animal welfare, and environmental reasons.  I grew disenchanted with the city life and the daily traffic. Then, I started to purge my belongings and realized I owned too much. I decided to give up my online store, Stills Analog, to focus on the bigger things in my life. I discovered that happiness cannot be achieved in a how-to guide prescribed by society. Happiness comes in various shapes and sizes. This year, I learned that some things had to happen no matter how painful or traumatizing they are. Lastly, I realized that it’s okay to be different. Just because you’re on a different path than the rest doesn’t mean you’re wrong.

This 2018, catching up will be a priority. As a freelancer, it can be easy to let time slip in front of you. It is way too easy to get side swept by the little things. You can easily forget to focus on the bigger things. I have to constantly remind myself that my hobbies and passion projects are important, too. Often, we need to carve in time for the people who matter and put in the time for catching up. Lastly, I need to realize that I’m important too. Burnout is real for freelancers as much as slacking off. Self-care should always be on top of the list no matter what.

I’m pretty excited about what’s to come this 2018. Mostly, it’s going to be about #adulting and getting things right. However, it’s also about riding the waves and cashing the horizons. You’ll definitely see me often in this part of the internet as I revamp and start coming up with ideas for my little internet home. What are you excited about for the new year?

Accept Where You Are

Accept Where You Are

Once you open any of your social media accounts, it is easy to fall into a rabbit hole. You start scrolling down your newsfeed looking at the latest travel photos from friends. You start liking photos of their pets or of their newest gadgets. Their selfies look amazing, too! Although there is nothing inherently wrong with social media, you start comparing your uneventful life to theirs. It is easy to fall into this loop. It can somehow feel like a trap.

Though it’s natural to compare yourself to your friends, you know it’s doing harm than good. Before you start diving into these thoughts, just stop! It might be difficult, but accept where you are. Your own journey is unique and cannot be compared to others’.

Life is a journey and not a destination. It is fine to want a certain degree of happiness, success, and material possessions, but don’t derail yourself from the real essence of living. Life is all about growth, experience, and contribution. We all have different experiences that all add up to who we are and who we become. Each has his own path to take. At the end of it all, in life, it’s the trek that matters.

Like most journeys, each one is unique. Some get the direct trips, others have pitstops, but most get detours. A friend might be currently living a carefree life globe-trotting for years while another might be trying to settle down with a good career and a new house. Each has his own unique journey and you have yours, too. It can be easy to feel envious, but you don’t have to if you know the path where you’re going. If you are aware of the direction you’re heading, then there’s no need to be jealous.

You might be struggling right now, looking for the answers. But, we’re not in a time-bound contest. It’s always okay to start all over. It’s always okay to be struggling, as long as you’re progressing in some way. Accept where you are and accept your struggles. These are the things that make your own journey unique.

It might not be easy, but respect yourself enough to accept your journey. Be busy looking at the road while you’re driving. You don’t have the luxury to check other people’s roads. Your life needs to be lived and experienced. It’s yours and yours alone.

Success: Make it your own

Success: Make it your own

Success is mandatory. Or, is it? We all hear and read about how to be successful before you turn a specific age. We’re bombarded by articles, books, and podcasts on how to be successful. It’s the same story in a different format all the time.

We all get swallowed by societal expectations. Sometimes, we lose ourselves in the process. Our own personal world gets muddled up with the ones around us. The Minimalists’ essay, Successfool,  gives great insight that the cushy paycheck or nice car does not define success.

Ask yourself the hard questions. What is it that gives your life meaning? Is it working that 9-to-5 and bringing home the bacon to your family? Is it climbing up the corporate ladder and being a C-level executive by the time you hit 40? If it is, then it’s well and good. Just don’t confuse what you want with what the world expects of you.

However, don’t be afraid to want what you want. Do you want more dogs to make you happy? Then, go for it! Do you want more time with your family and kids? Surely, you have to make some adjustments. Do you want to become a hermit and start your own bee farm? Then, start inching your way towards that journey. Just because something different from what society tells you, doesn’t mean you’re wrong.

But, knowing what you want is one thing. The doing process is another. Once you’ve identified what success means to you, then do something about it. You don’t have to make drastic changes. A little goes a long way. Sometimes, a little pivot allows you to grow exponentially.

Dare to define your own success. Find a version that sets you free. You don’t have to fit in a mold just like everyone else. Later on, you’ll just find yourself miserable. What’s important is finding joy and meaning in your life. That is what’s life about, isn’t it? And, you do have to accept that this can be different than most people’s.

I guess this is me talking to myself in a way that I should’ve years ago. As my birthday draws nearer, I am quite at peace now than I was last year or the year before that. Previously, every birthday was a roller-coaster ride of emotions. I was always depressive, contemplating how I don’t measure up with my peers or with my own expectations. But, I didn’t realize those measurements were non-existent. I can choose whatever measurement that I want. I didn’t realize that until I quit corporate.

My success now means being able to focus on my health. I thrive in the flexibility that my projects afford me. I can easily leave the city for some nights out-of-town. Today, I can accompany my mom to her doctor’s appointments. I am able to find time for the things that really matter to me. Unfortunately, this is a more difficult road. However, I am not in any way regretting the path I took. I know I am truly living the life that I want.

The bottom line is find what feels right. Find what it is that resonates best with you. Make success your own, not someone else’s. It may not be easy, but at least it yours.

I Just Quit

I Just Quit

I am writing this at my favorite co-working place in Ramos sipping my coffee and waiting for the long weekend to come. I have just rendered my last days at the office and starting tomorrow, I will be working for myself. Yes, I’ve quit.

For those who know me and who have seen me switch companies and careers over the last three years, this might come as a shocker. Yes, I’ve met a few former co-workers who have expressed disbelief when I told them I have talked to my boss and given my resignation letter. I am expecting others to be shocked with this decision. Even my own family has stopped talking me out of my decision to quit. Somehow, I am even appalled with my own decisiveness. The me last year would’ve been horrified and would’ve talked myself out. But, the decision has been made and I’m embracing the risks involved.

I have quit. But, not like the usual quit-then-move-on-to-the-next-company kind of thing. I have quit corporate life. It seems so unlike me to do this. Last year, I have set up some goals for myself: be a manager (ticked off), take MBA, and so on. My crisis last year has led me to focus on my career and in climbing the corporate ladder. As I slowly ticked off my list, I started to become emptier. I felt that the more time I spent at the office, the unhappier I became. I looked forward to weekends where I can write and do something more creative. My health was also affected. I was sick more often and my voice was hoarse longer than expected. My unhappiness and my degrading health were not the things I aspired for. I wanted to be happy. That’s all.

And as I started some side projects and met with other people, I realized I have abandoned the dreams that I have dreamt years ago for myself. I forgot that my main goal for this year was to have time for the side projects that fueled me and kept me going. What is life when you’re perpetually unhappy? And so, I took the plunge. Here I am now, scared with the unclear plans I have for myself but I’m just winging it.

Who am I pleasing by reaching my goals? Are those the secret to happiness? Are those really what I want? Is it what society is expecting of me? Will that give meaning to my long sleepless nights? Those questions keep running in my head. I have now decided to live life on my terms. I am now in charge of my life and of where I am heading.

I remember the moment my mother gave up on talking me out of my decision, she said: “Do what you want, as long as you can sustain yourself.” I think that was all I needed to hear. As long as I am happy and sailing myself to the life that I want, I guess it’ll all work out. If it doesn’t, then I can just adjust my sails and keep on trying.