Welcome Home?

After 1 year, 4 months and 8 days I decided to write a post on my blog once again! Yey! 🙂

So what have I been up to this past year? A lot, actually.

One of them is even about writing. I’ve probably mentioned in one of my posts here that I am a frustrated writer and it remains that way up to this day. (Did that just rhyme?  Lol.) I still love to write but I have turned all my energy into songwriting instead of blogging  or even anything that is “literature-worthy”. There are so many things that I want to say, and I like to get carried away you know. I could go on and on and then just realize that I actually already have a good number of pages…majority of them you don’t really need…just like this sentence. Hahaha!

Anyway just to give you a run-down, here’s how my 2012 went:

January 2012 – I tried to start a new blog but sort of failed. Haha. I decided to join a songwriting contest and made new friends along the way because I recorded the music with them 🙂

February– Won the songwriting contest! Yey! 🙂

March – My brother got married on the day of our birthday! Then, the next day was the first time I ever threw a really big birthday party! Luckily, a lot of people came and they all fit in my house! It’s probably gonna be the last unless someone else plans a surprise party for me. (I am subtly telling you to throw me a surprise party next time. Lol.)

April – My mom left for the US and the news came that we had to immediately move out of our rented house. 😦

May – Wanting to prove that I can be independent, I decided to move into my own apartment but with a housemate. 🙂

June – Uhmm…I don’t exactly have my 2012 planner with me right now and I have poor memory so  I can’t remember if anything significant happened this month. Sorry.

July – My housemate moved out because her family misses her so much.

August – So I guess this was actually the time when I could say I have all the independence in the world.  I had to pay the rent, the bills, do the grocery shopping, the cooking (oh my gosh I started learning how to cook!), the dishes, the laundry, and the list goes on.

September – As far as I could remember, this was the time when a few things slowed down at work and I was able to rest for a while because  we just finished processing the last batch of hires. Honestly, since my mom left and I moved to a new place, I went through a really tough time. My activities drained me out and I got sick a lot. There were a lot of things that were bothering me and actually put pressure on my ability to make decisions. Then there were the matters of the heart. Again. All of a sudden I felt like all the peacefulness of my inner being had been crushed and I found myself back in the same position as I was 3 years ago – troubled, insecure, paranoid and distrustful.

October – Despite the tough time that I had been going through, songwriting helped me a lot. Since I won that contest, I made a promise to continue writing songs that would inspire people. When everything else was changing around me and making my life difficult for me, the only relief I ever got was when I would finish a song in the middle of the night…sometimes even in the early morning!

November – I think this was the time that I lay low in my activities and focused on my work because a lot of changes were taking place but then I got even more stressed out. I also started trying out something new in order to “search for answers”. I started to attend this once-a-week religious gathering where nobody knew me. I felt more safe knowing that I didn’t need to be as committed here and nobody pressured me into doing anything. I attended a conference and it was at that moment where I realized what I really wanted to do with my life.

December – Unfortunately, I was still weak. My interaction with certain people caused me to keep changing my mind and making me even more confused on what I should do with my life. So I found myself troubled again. But if there was anything that I was looking forward to, there was Christmas and New Year! The best part? My dream came true! I was invited to attend my best friend’s wedding in India!!! December 28, I left for India for an 11-day vacation. 🙂

January 2013 – During my vacation, I prayed that I would be able to finally make a decision. Should I stay in my apartment or should I go back? That was the biggest issue by the way. Well, as much as I had enjoyed my vacation, I still couldn’t make up my mind after going home to Manila.

February – I realized that I had to be true to myself no matter how painful things could get. Maybe my big mouth usually got me into trouble. Maybe I still need to learn how to keep quiet sometimes and not say anything that I really didn’t mean in the first place. Maybe I need to learn more about being patient. But there was something inside of me that I just had to say to some people and I felt like if I didn’t do it, I would explode. It was the only thing that kept me from taking that road and I was afraid that once I said it, it would either be the end or the beginning of something new.

March – I continued to focus on my work and my music. Little by little I’ve decided to become active in a new community. I spent more time with my friends who really knew what was best for me. I couldn’t believe how much I’ve neglected them when they were the closest and the most real people I know. And as I said from last year, that was the last time I would ever throw a big party, but I’m still thankful that I got to celebrate it with the people I love. 🙂

April – Finally I got my answer, it was the end of that road. All my other prayers started getting answered one by one. Finally, I knew that I was going to stay right where I was, in my apartment, far away from the city where I grew up.

May – Right now, things are as busy as ever in the office. I continue to write songs in my spare time and I even took a free online course to enhance my skills. I met a few musicians who appreciate my work and that’s really exciting. Just last weekend, I learned that you really can’t wait for your problems to be over just so you can say that you’re happy. If you want to be happy, CHOOSE TO BE HAPPY.

I’ve made a lot of mistakes this past year and have gone through a lot. On the other hand, it wasn’t all negative. A lot of good stuff happened too and I choose to focus on those good stuff. I can’t change anything anymore but the only thing I can do is to move forward. Just like with this blog, there were a few moments when I would remember this and feel bad that I never got to continue this again. But then I guess my priorities have simply changed and I could no longer write.

For anyone who will actually read this, I doubt that I will ever write everyday again, not even every week. But because I started this blog as a source of inspiration to all my readers, I would love to be able to share stories or inspirational thoughts whenever I can. We’re almost halfway through 2013 and so far, I feel like this is the year for me to determine what I really want to achieve in my life, not just in my career but also in my personal life. I may have been thrown a bit off-track but I know that God is helping me to go back. But of course, I would love to share my passion and that is music. Here are other sites that I am able to update more regularly so if you have time and if you love music too, please visit these sites and feel free to comment or leave a note. 🙂

http://www.soundcloud.com/abiagamata

http://www.facebook.com/abiagamata

You can also search me on YouTube – Abi Agamata

‘Til next time! 🙂

 

New Blog

Check out my new blog at:  aaa52.blogspot.com

Happy New Year! 🙂

Year-End Post

Today is Friday – the last work day of the week, the month and the year!

I have actually been on vacation since the 24th but it only meant that I was not physically present at work. This week, I still had some obligations and responsibilities to fulfill outside of work. I went on an out-of-town trip for a wedding early this week. It was a really good experience though I wished I could have stayed longer just to enjoy the peaceful and quiet atmosphere without having to think about going home because I still had to do something for the next day. On Wednesday morning I created a list of things I had to accomplish before going back to work on January 3. I started accomplishing the very easy ones and for the whole afternoon I listened to 2 songs that needed vocal arrangement. In the evening, I already had to teach the arrangement. The next day was more laid back but because of the hot weather, staying at home wasn’t the best plan. I continued to accomplish the things in my check list but I have to admit that I got bored. Having to arrange my clothes in my closet and drawer was not the most exciting activity in the world.

Then finally, Friday comes. The last “work day”. I woke up late. Had breakfast. Checked my emails. Finished the vocal arrangement and lyrics guide (which took me quite a while to finish by the way). Had late lunch. Currently blogging.

I know it took me quite a while to say this, but after “abandoning” this blog for quite sometime, here I am again! You see, I’ve been really excited about the New Year but for some reason, it wasn’t like last year where I didn’t have anything else to do or worry about except prepare myself for the following year. These past few days, I still had to do things. It didn’t feel like a vacation at all. But right at this very moment I am creating a post for this blog because I want to reflect on what has happened these past few months and how these have changed my life.

Wishes and dreams that I have been praying for but not really expecting that they would come true in the near future have come true. Many of my goals for this year, though not all, have been accomplished. I met a lot of new people and gained new friends. I traveled to quite a few places within the country. I was pushed to my limits and was put to the test. But I was able to face and conquer them. I learned a lot of lessons along the way. I discovered both the beauty and the complication of human life. When I was a little kid I thought it was cool to be busy. I thought that those who were successful in life were always on the go. This year I experienced the hectic and busy life. For the first time I actually got to write on my planner for the entire year! The year hasn’t ended and I can’t believe I’m already plotting appointments in my new planner! I didn’t really do it on purpose but I guess I didn’t notice that I was already taking on so much that I didn’t realize it was taking too much of me already. But I still thank God for the experience. He must have wanted me to learn something from it. I have kept my promise to Him. It was definitely not easy and I know that I stumbled in so many ways but in the end He still helped me keep my promise. I also learned that so many things could happen in a day. It has 24 hours after all. Any hour, any minute, and any second something could happen. When it comes to love (oh everybody my age loves this topic!), I learned some very valuable lessons. There is simply no equation. Ideals are merely ideals and ironically, you sometimes find out that they are really not the person you need or want in your life. Instead, you could actually end up with someone who is completely the opposite of the person you’ve been wishing for. Simply put: Love is unpredictable. It is always good to be the one helping others instead of being helped. And it is true when they say that the more you give, the more you receive.

And the list goes on. Because of all these experiences, though I am still having trouble organizing my thoughts, there are some things that I hope to accomplish next year. I no longer want to be busy; instead, I want to be PROACTIVE. I want to make sure that I’ve got my priorities straight and I have time for everything I need to do, people who need me, and of course for myself. Abandoning my blog was already a lesson. Next year I want to make sure that I can continue something that I’ve started at a reasonable pace. I will no longer keep saying YES to everything if it would mean consuming all my energy and not have enough left for myself. I do have a lot of things that I would like to achieve next year but I would like to keep that between me and God for now. 🙂 But there’s one more thing I would like to share, especially to those who have been following this blog and motivating me to continue it, I plan to continue blogging next year!!! Yey! But of course, at an attainable pace…so watch out for that. 🙂

This has been a wonderful and fruitful year. To those who have read this post, I hope you were able to relate to it. Thank you again to those who have followed this blog. Thank you for your comments and suggestions. They truly inspired me to go on during the times I already felt tired and demotivated. Thank you to everything that happened and to everyone that made things happen whether positive or negative.

And most importantly, Thank You God for the life that You have given me. Thank You for always being there for me. Thank you for all the blessings and the gifts that you shower me with everyday. Thank You for always making me feel safe and loved. Though it might not be enough, You know that You are the Only One who is in control of my life. I am forever Yours.

Amen.

This is my last post for the year. See you in 2012!

A Blessed and Prosperous New Year Everyone! 🙂

“You crowned the year with Your bounty and goodness…” Psalm 65:11

Take Action

“Life is not what happens to you. It’s what YOU DO with what happens to you.”- Didache

The Advent Season

For most people, this simply means that Christmas is almost here. For Christians, it is the time when we prepare for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Is there something special that we need to do while waiting for Christmas? Although employees tend to slow down in their work during this season, people are generally still busy preparing lots of lists – the grocery list for the Noche Buena (Christmas Eve dinner), a shopping list of gifts to give to children (especially to inaanaks or what you would call in English, god son/god daughter) and Christmas cards, a wishlist for the gift exchange (a great way to get gifts from people even if you’re no longer a kid!), a list of activities (a.k.a. program) for the Christmas party and of course, that special wishlist for Santa Claus. So as you can see, we really still spend a lot of time, effort, and money even if we call it the “Holiday Season” not to mention the planning and the expenses involved for those who like to go on out-of-town trips during this time.

But more than all of that party stuff, how do we really celebrate this Advent Season? How do we prepare for the birth of Jesus? So I read this misalette I got from today’s Mass and here’s what it said:

“We prepare by responding to God’s words and by exercising discipline. Let us not squander this time of preparation by engaging in activities that distract us from our focus. It is time to return to God. It is a time to show that God is in full control of our life, and that we can say no ‘no’ to the world, which entices us to violate God’s commands…As Christmas time draws near, we are again being lured towards consumerism and commercialism. We are tempted to satisfy our appetites at different Christmas parties. Consumer goods will be dangled at very low prices. With the little bonuses we receive, we might be tempted to spend beyond our means…Prepare rigorously. Exercise discipline. Pray. To welcome Christ in our midst, let us make Advent a season of discipline and prayer.”  – Fr. Cielito R. Almazan, OFM (Sambuhay, November 27, 2011)

I’ve been so busy thinking about a lot of things lately and I was actually surprised to find out that it’s already the first Sunday of Advent! Today’s mass definitely gave me a wake-up call. I must regain my focus. I must exercise discipline. And more than anything else, I must REALLY pray. I pray that I won’t let my activities get in the way of my preparation for the coming of our Lord. I pray that I won’t let consumerism get the best of me. I pray that I can make people feel the warmth of Christmas not just through gifts but also because they see Jesus in me.

Rant

For the past few weeks I have been trying to figure out what was wrong with me. Was I simply tired because I wasn’t getting enough sleep and it was making me cranky? Is there an underlying issue that I am trying to deny? Or is there something more?

Being the person who always needs an answer to everything, well almost always, I became restless. Everyday, the thoughts of wanting to know what was happening in me really bothered me. Sure I was able to get up in the morning, take my meals, and commute safely to and from work. When I was in the office, I accomplished what I had to do. But everything felt really heavy. It wasn’t normal. I was trying to dig into the root of the problem. So this feeling went on for days and eventually weeks. I found temporary happiness in the company of some friends who made me laugh. But then many times something would always trigger the “crankiness” in me. It would either be a comment, a joke, or anything that would remind me of something unpleasant. I found myself reacting very negatively and would soon feel really bad. I’ve been very sensitive and it made me very uncomfortable even if I couldn’t help it.

Eventually I found myself in a situation where everything and everyone was happy around me and I also knew it within myself but for some reason, I could not feel what other people felt. And that even bothered me more. What was wrong with me? This couldn’t just be stress from lack of sleep. I tried to dig deeper but there were no past issues that I did not resolve. My thoughts drove me crazy. I wished I would just wake up one day and feel that the burden was gone but that didn’t happen. I wanted to isolate myself from the world, retreat to some place peaceful and quiet, just so I could have more time to just relax. Maybe that would help ease the pain. Maybe I would be able to figure out more quickly what was happening to me.

Suddenly it hit me. I was being put to the test. This was more than my physical condition and my past. It was about what was happening at present and how much it was challenging my personality. It was about the things I have decided to ignore and let go but now it was getting the best of me. Maybe it’s a signal that I should not have let it pass. I should have been more of myself so that it won’t reach this point. Should I have said something? Or should I have just kept quiet and not have said too much?

I got to a point where I couldn’t understand why my being nice and trusting in others was being taken advantage of. Let’s just say that I let things pass because I was okay then. But now that I have my very busy schedule and I was trying to keep my focus, I could no longer be patient with those who keep bringing back the past. I feel like everyone is now demanding too much from me because they have gotten used to it. And now they think I’m weird because I can no longer give them what they want. And I am just too tired to even explain what I’m going through. Do I really have to explain? So then the thought of people not understanding what I’m going through bothers me again. And some demand an explanation. It’s not fair, really. But I guess I really can’t do anything about that. Maybe they really don’t know me that well to even understand. Or maybe they are not willing to understand because they just want to believe in what they assume.

Last night, another realization made me happy. When I thought that everything was going wrong in my life, there is one place that is safe from all those negative feelings. A place where I am free to express myself and be surrounded by people who have the same frame of mind. A place where I don’t feel the pressure of doing my best because I already love what I’m doing. A place where I can forget everything that makes me feel bad and focus on just one thing. And more than anything else, it was a place where I felt that Jesus was with me and that He was in every person around me.

Maybe another reason why I haven’t been blogging was because I didn’t want to talk about my negative feelings. After all, this was supposed to be a source of inspiration and not a venue for personal ranting. But you see, one cannot say that he or she is inspired or has been enlightened if one has not gone through a problem. Right now, I am still in the healing process. I am still trying to cope up with the sources of pressure and stress and I am struggling to be very patient with things that can easily irritate me. But I believe that as long as I trust in Him, I will get through this.

He will guide me and strengthen me. He is forever patient with me. He is my Savior. He will never let me down.

Reflection Prayer for the Week

Dear Lord,

Though my time to rest is limited, please help me get through each day with patience and understanding. Help me focus on just You. Please help me to see You in everyone.

Amen.

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