The One With The “No Longer Needed” Word

I went to HongKong last week. I needed the break. The breather. But all it did was to remind me of how sad I’ve been lately. I couldn’t help but compare it to the last time I was there, which wasn’t even a year ago. The last time I was quick and generous with the laughs. This time, my chest hurt from struggling to smile. The last time I felt like I had everything. This time, I was grasping at things to feel as if I was full.

And so I walked like I usually do until I was too tired to feel anything else. And I told stories and listened to some until I no longer had words to say anything else. I put on my mask and played my part well. And I was glad for when sleep finally came.

I’m looking forward to the day when I no longer have use for the word “sad”. For when it’s overused its purpose to me. Someday. For now, I’ll borrow words I can’t seem to come up on my own. For now, I will hope.

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The One With The FRIENDS Reference

Sometimes I wish I just got off the plane. And walked back to the apartment.

Then I remember that my life isn’t a TV show that ran for 10 seasons. So here I am. Trying again today. Woke up much earlier than usual, and fresher than I’ve ever been in the past few months since I left the last time. I’m going back again in April and it really does feel like going home. Except there’s something missing. It feels like somebody moved a furniture in your apartment but you’re not quite sure which and how — it’s just that there’s something wrong now. Out of place.

 

The One With The Weird Things That Need To Be Operated On

Blogging about these because it’s hard to talk about it, really.

I went to another doctor of ours today. An alternative, holistic doctor. Sceptics are going to raise their eyebrows at this and traditional medicine purists will as well. But I did. And our doctor’s advice was not to get the surgery.  Everything she said was the exact opposite of what my godfather said yesterday (who is a Cancer surgeon). Thyroid operation is a high-risk procedure. And one that will require for my very healthy thyroid to be sliced and halved — just to remove a 1cm nodule.

Since I’m scared of going under the knife, I’m siding with our alternative doctor on this one. It makes sense, to me at least. Surgeries should be last resort and not preventive. What I need is a change in lifestyle. Nodules, lumps, etc, get smaller and smaller everyday for other people once they’ve chosen to embrace a healthier lifestyle. And I will now.

My dad died after he went after the knife when he didn’t want to. I don’t want to either. So I won’t.

The One About Setbacks

Because I just can’t win at life completely:

I went to my godfather this afternoon to have 2 things checked. My ear, which has been needing an operation since 2 years ago to remove a nodule in the anterior part of the outer ear. And my thyroid, which has recently developed a nodule on the lower right lobe. Nice right?

So now I have to have 2 operations. One for my ear. And one for my thyroid. Both to remove nodules.

Oh well. I think this is the universe telling me to step up my game when it comes to manifesting only good things. I’ve been slipping.

The One With The (FINAL) Decision

So I guess I’m taking the job in Barcelona. So I guess that means I’m moving to Barcelona too. In April. Holy shit! I can’t express my excitement into words.

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It was a difficult choice though. All 3 jobs were exciting. Both cities were tempting. And the offers were all pretty sweet. So I spent the last few days really mulling over this (both sober and over beer). But ultimately, Barcelona won. Factoring in that I already know a couple of people in the new company and in the city made it a little bit more practical too. But just thinking about how they speak better English in Berlin compared to Barcelona is making me nervous. I guess I need to level up my language skills. Learn Spanish and Catalan at the same time? Why not?

I have to avoid some places though in Barcelona, lest I end up a bawling mess everytime. Lols. While trying to “window shop” for apartments online, I found one that was reasonably priced at Gracia… right beside Plaça del Sol. Haha. Ok nevermind. No, thank you. Memories are going to be a bitch when I get there. But I’ll probably be too busy to realize they’re there. I hope.

But holy shit! I’m super excited!

The One With The Decisions

I remember 2013, I was supposed to go to San Francisco to pursue an MA with HULT. AyosDito happened, I didn’t go. But the need to pack up and go never went away. At AyosDito, my passport got quite a work out. In just 2 years, I’ve been sent to 8 countries for work — with pleasure on the side! 5 out 8 were in Europe. And I guess that’s when the love affair started.

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Postcard from Helsinki

There was a 2 year plan. The plan was to stay with AyosDito, present in one of our Functional gatherings, study as much as I could about becoming a better Product Manager and a UX person, launch a new app, do some consulting on the side, and build a credible brand for me online. 2 years of preparation and then I can go out. Either try my luck at working at Mothership in Barcelona or get my ass to Berlin and work at one of the startups there. It seemed like such a solid plan, right? I even made a schedule!

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Then AyosDito closed. And I’m not sure if I was being brave or just being stupid. I pretty much just told myself that “there’s no use waiting for 2 years! no day but today!”. And I convinced myself to agree. It made sense really. What’s the difference of now from 2 years from now? There wasn’t any company here that I was interested in working for. So I said “fuck it!” and just started applying for opportunities abroad, and none in Manila. I zeroed in on companies in Berlin.

I must have sent out 20 direct job applications, signed up for job marketplaces (Zartis, Xing, etc), participated in Product-related discussions (on Twitter and LinkedIn), and over all just became a lean-mean-job-hunting machine since December.

A lot of people have told me that it will be difficult. And it will be a long wait. Work visas were hard to support and EU has a pretty strict policy when it comes to hiring people outside of the EU-union. And that I should just take a job here first while I look for a job. But I know myself — once I take a job, I’ll be too busy being into it and will end up shelving this personal project of mine. Exactly what happened with San Francisco.

So I made job hunting in Europe my full time job. And not even 2 months later, it paid off! I got 2 job offers in Berlin both in great companies! Then an opportunity in Barcelona came knocking. Gave it a shot and it worked out pretty well!

I didn’t have time to stress out about being unemployed. I was too busy looking for employment in Europe. I made researching about life in Berlin/Barcelona a project so I could figure out how I’m going to adjust to life there even before moving. Make the transition a little bit easier for me. And I didn’t listen to naysayers. Yeah, it’s going to be difficult, but so what? If it’s important to you, then it must be worth all the effort and then some.

I still haven’t decided where to go just yet. I have to, by tomorrow. And the next few months are going to be really scary. But l got what I wanted, and what I wanted was adventure. :)

The One With The Comeback

Writing back here (but keeping old posts private) because it’s 2015 and a new life is about to begin.

The 2nd half of my 2014 was exactly the opposite of the first half. The 2nd half was one day fantastic, the next day hell. And it was pretty much consistently like that for 6 months. However, I still wouldn’t ask for do-over. Everything that happened in 2014 was still beautiful, despite the heart ache that some things brought with it. My insomnia has gotten worse but hey, at least I have more time to read my books. There’s always a silver lining, right? :)

But it’s 2015 now and it’s time to write a new chapter. Or better yet, a new book.