Pick Your Battle & Stick It Through

As a kid, I grew up believing that life should be easy. I was one of the lucky ones that was born in a well-off setting and got all the love and attention from being the youngest and the only girl in the family.

I wake up and there's always food in the fridge and on the table. There's someone to bathe me, feed me, drive me and read me a story. There's a nice car to take me places and a clean house to stay and sleep at. I take naps after eating cookies, wear pretty dresses, watch cartoons and play with lots of Barbies. There's always presents waiting on my birthday and holidays.

My only responsibility is to go to school, look cute, pass my tests, perform a song & dance number at family reunions and school events, smile at photos, be nice to everyone and give away hugs and kisses.

As I advanced to high school, I thought I'll magically learn in Math, Science and History class on how to sail smoothly through life, figure it all out (especially the future) and adulthood will just be easy breezy. After all, tuition fee is crazy expensive! They better teach me everything I needed to know about the grown up world.

In my perspective as a kid, I saw it as if humans just naturally have these things. Like a newborn fish, it just thinks water is simply given just because. It doesn't wonder or question if someone created or supplied it for them. It's just there.

I was blinded with the truth that my parents are actually working their asses way too hard to provide the illusion of an easy life for me. That loved ones go out of their way to think of a present to give me on birthdays and Christmases. That my brother had to wake up earlier than usual to drive me to school. That my nannies are sacrificing their time with loved ones by taking care of me because they needed money. That easy life I thought was naturally given actually required TREMENDOUS EFFORT from an entire village.

(NOTE: If you grew up in a happy childhood, be grateful to your parents and the people who created it behind your back. Give them so much love because they worked hard and sacrificed a lot just to make it all seemingly perfect for you.)

But despite realizing that, it still didn't fully sink in and I continued feeling some sense of entitlement in my 20s and early 30s. I thought, "Life can't be hard. NO WAY. Maybe for others. But not for me. I am born privileged. I'm good looking. I have higher education. I know the right people. Nothing should be difficult. If it is, then I'll go find something that isn't. There's always better, easier options out there. Always."

This "it should all be easy" mentality led me to constantly changing courses, jobs, lovers, friends and countries. Not that I regret all the adventures and experiences it gave me but I had to learn the hard way that as long as you're moving forward and thriving in life as an adult, there ain't such a thing as "easy breezy". Except when you're completely idle, retired, asleep or dead.

I wanted to take up Communication Arts in college but I didn't want to take their qualifying exams so I chose another course that didn't have one. I wanted to keep doing television in the Philippines but I didn't like the fake showbiz part so I left and chose to live "normal". I wanted to marry one of my ex-boyfriends but I felt like he still wasn't mature enough so I didn't. I wanted to live in Australia but it was complicated to get a permanent residency so I moved to Spain instead.

But guess what? Development Studies, the course I took instead turned out to be hard for me too because I wasn't into it. Living "normal" eventually got me bored because I couldn't express my creative, out-of-the-box self. Single life is liberating and fun but it gets lonely and isolating sometimes. And living in Spain came with challenges such as language barrier and the Euro crisis.

Bottom line, the "easy" options I went for didn't turn out as easy as I thought. But rather, they just came with a different set of problems and hardships.

Finishing a degree is difficult. So is being uneducated in a world filled with know-it-alls.

Being a middle class is difficult. So is keeping up with the rich Jonases where the pressure never stops.

Working at a 9-5 job is difficult. So is riding the ups and downs of doing business and freelance jobs. Marriage and children are difficult. So is the "odd one out" feeling from a single life. Living in a third world country is difficult. So is keeping up with the demands of a first world country.

With that being said, I learned that it's not about looking for an easy fix because NOTHING IN LIFE COMES EASY in the real world. You just gotta find the "difficult" that you can tolerate, enjoy and be great at.

Of course, there are always those people in the front pages of lifestyle magazines that are born with the silver spoon who seem to have it all together. But do they really? Chances are, they have their own difficulties in other aspects of their lives that we know nothing about. They've just learned the art of mastering their shit better. Some unfortunately, don't handle it well that's why some Hollywood celebrities and rockstars end up in suicide.

Starting out as a blogger/vlogger where there's no set schedule, no guarantee of income and my life and thoughts being put out there in the world is scary as hell. But can I tolerate it? YES.

Do I enjoy it? HELL YEAH. Am I great at it? I was told so but I'll keep working on being better because this is the difficulty I chose to stick with right at the present moment. I'll see where this path takes me eventually but for now, THIS IS MY CHOSEN CHALLENGE. Because the truth is, there will always be problems, complains and setbacks along your preferred path. But the good news? You have the power to pick a struggle that gives you a sense of excitement and purpose.

(NOTE: An exception is getting a health challenge. That you can't choose sometimes because it's one of those random cases of life's senseless jokes. But there are still ways to navigate the situation that will enable you to WIN. My story is one example. If breast cancer didn't happen, you wouldn't be reading this blog.)

Yoga is not easy and costs money. But I'm willing to invest and start from square one. Blogging/vlogging is time-consuming. But I don't mind because it gives me a sense of purpose. Living in a foreign country can be lonely. But I'm still here for a reason so I'll stay until I get it. Going through breast cancer treatment is hard as fuck. But I intend to live for a long period of time so I fought hard.

I challenge you, WINNERS. Pick a battle that appeals to you and stick it through whether it's in the context of career, relationship, fitness, habits and goals. Choose the "hard" you'd be excellent at handling and find a sense of fulfillment in doing so. Then stay faithful and patient as you invest your effort, time, attention and money in it.

The grass truly is greener, not on the other side but where you consistently water it with passion, dedication and determination. And I couldn't more.

(NOTE: I wrote this blog in this YouTube episode that I shot today.)

PS. Wish me the best of luck as I venture into the blogging/vlogging world FULL ON. It's time to get my epic legacy project on the road! I will be doing daily vlogs on YouTube (here's my channel link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCug0sNvj91MksgAfTPQTIuA?view_as=subscriber). I'll consistently write blogs in my website. Your subscription would mean everything. To those who are already subscribed, THANK YOU. Please help me spread the word. I will give my very best to create inspirations from my heart straight to yours. Together, let's keep WINNING! :)

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