This is a verse that I held on for as long as I remember. Thanks to Daddy Boy for implanting this verse on me.

During those times when it seemed like the world was falling down around me. “All things work together…”

When I was hurting (either physically or emotionally) so bad, that it seemed like a victory just to put one foot in front of the other. “All things work together…”

When the month lasted longer than the money “All things work together…”

In the moments of my life when things were the darkest, my emotions were swirling and my head was spinning, it was and is ONLY by faith that I could say through my tears..

“All things work together for the good of those that love the Lord and are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

And as time passed, I can look back at those same experiences and see the hand of God protecting, guiding and turning that which Satan meant for evil for His glory and my good.

Today I am thankful for:

The transforming power of His Love
That one day all pain and suffering will be gone
The gift of forgiveness as I am slowly recovering from the hatred I have on a family member

To God Be the Glory
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On the radio today, this guy called in and had a problem he wanted advice on. Seems he’s been dating his girlfriend for three years, and one year for Christmas they spent it with her family, and one year they spent it with his family. She told him a few weeks ago that she had made plans to spend Christmas with her family, and he could go ahead and make his own plans. Then, more recently, she said that, because of the economy, she thinks they should not buy each other gifts this year. They both have jobs, and have enough money that they can afford a little something, at the very least. He thinks she’s going to break up with him after the holidays, and he’s wondering if he should preemptively break up with her before then.

This blog post is NOT about this guy’s issues. Yes, she probably does want to break up with him, she’s doing it in a crappy way, but preemptively breaking up with her, just so you don’t get broken up with, is stupid. Sit down with her, talk about it.

HERE is what this post is about. The radio jockey asked if maybe she told him not to buy a gift because she’s worried he’s going to give her an engagement ring, and maybe she’s not ready for that and this is her way of telling him. When asked, “Do you think she might think you’re going to propose, have you guys talked about that?” he answered with a very emphatic “NO. NOOOO. No I’m not ready for that.”

One guy ended up calling in and saying, essentially, “Hey, dumbass, yes she’s breaking up with you, because it’s been three years and you haven’t even talked about getting married. If you haven’t proposed after three years, you deserve to be dumped.”

I’m always fascinated with the timing of a marriage proposal. Some people only date for six months. Some date for ten years. Who’s to say what the right timing is? No one, I think. Although, I will say that personally, I could never see myself accepting a proposal after six months, and I could never see myself waiting for ten years. But I think by three years, it should be discussed.

I had friends a long time ago who had been dating (and living together) for (I think) five years. She wanted to get married. He “wasn’t ready.” She kept saying she was going to give him until X date and then she was through. At the time (at the tender age of 22) I asked her how, if she loved him, she could just cut and run, simply because he wasn’t ready to propose. She looked at me and said, “Just wait until you’re older, you’ll understand.”

And I do kind of get it. I go back and forth on the whole thing. If I was with a guy for five years, would I give him an ultimatum? I mean, if he isn’t ready in five years, when will he be ready? But if I love him, shouldn’t I want to be with him, regardless?

Then there are the couples who never get married. What is marriage, but a piece of paper and a ring? Again, I go back and forth on this one, too. Because I agree with that argument – if I love you and you love me, why do we need to stand in front of a preacher and sign a piece of paper? Does that make us love each other more? But, alternately, if it’s never legal, it’s a lot easier to get out with no obligation. I think making it legal makes it harder to split up – you actually have to work through things, instead of just throwing in the towel.

So there I was, on a hot Wednesday night, saying to myself: “I really could use some cold drink just about now.” It was roughly around 11 in the evening…and I just got back from my trip to Bulacan. I left at around 9pm…so the next 2hours was basically me going through all the frigging traffic between Bulacan and Quezon City. I think my left butt cheek fell asleep during the trip. On the way home, I decided to stop by the local 7-11 to get some cold soda…or Slurpee…kahit cold water papatulan ko na siguro. As I entered the store (take note: I was in a short shorts and a tee, and I feel like I’m sweating) one of the clerks greeted me by saying: “A special evening to you ma’am! Coffee po?” Coffee?!?….Coffee?!!? Samahan mo na rin kaya ng Hot Choco…j**k@$$!

Still, it’s a bit funny when you think about it…I don’t know…nowadays very little could dampen my spirits. Yes, there are instances wherein I feel ticked off…at work, outside work, at home…but at the end of the day, I just smile about it and move on. Part of my philosophy in life na rin siguro. Ok I have a lot of them, so it should be philosophies… here’s three that I use when I encounter something similar to the one that happened last Wednesday:

“Always maintain a positive outlook… never take life seriously. Nobody gets out alive anyways.”

“Anyone can hate. It costs nothing to love.”

“Always laugh when you can. It is cheaper than medicine…”

makes sense right?

Anyway, that made me think about the other funny stuff that I encountered as of late…here’s my list so far. Some are just funny lang (to me anyway), but not in the idiot range…and ‘yes’, I sometimes answer back…I can be very mean…but I always smile when I do it…it’s more annoying that way…hehe.

Upon riding a taxi in Makati at 2 in the morning on a weekday: 
Me – “Boss, sa Libis po.”
Cab driver: “Libis? Traffic pa po ba ng ganitong oras?”
Me – “Bumper to bumper pa siguro.”

with Edgar (my driver) at a gas station:
Edgar: “unleaded”
Gas pump attendant: “Sir, fuel injection ba kotse ninyo?”
Edgar: “Bakit mo kailangan malaman?”
Supervisor: “Pasensya na po sir, OJT namin yan eh…pinapag-aralan niya yung pagkakaiba ng mga makina.”
Edgar: “Ah ok, sige maganda yan.”
Attendant: “Sir windshield po? Water?”
Supervisor: “Baka po may gusto kayo?”
Me: “kape meron?”

Upon “winning” a “promo” from some company: 
“Ma’am, you DON’T have to submit anything. We just NEED two valid ID’s and your pay slip.”

Overheard at Astrovision: 
“Miss, hindi naman pirated ang mga DVD’s ninyo dito ha?”

While standing at the end of a five-person line in the ATM, a woman approached me and asks: “Nakapila kayo?”

On the phone ordering at Chowking…
Me: “One order of sweet and sour pork lauriat and…”
Operator: “Ay ma’am phase out na po yun”
Me – “But it’s in your menu.”
Operator – “Ma’am, baka luma na po yung menu ninyo.”
Me – “Ah ok, so ano pa yung phase out, so I could cross it out na.”
Operator – “Kayo ma’am, ano po gusto nyo?”

At Mcdonald’s:
Me: “Double Cheeseburger please.”
Girl at counter: “Ma’am, di pa po available. Would you like to order a cheeseburger instead?”
Me : “Couldn’t you just put together a double cheeseburger using the cheeseburgers that are available?”
GaC – “Ma’am, di po pwede eh.”
Me – “Ah…I see.”
GaC – “So, ma’am ano po? Cheeseburger na lang?”
Me – “Yes, two cheeseburgers please, but I want you to remove the bottom bun
of the first, and remove the top bun of the second…tapos pag samahin mo yung dalawang cheeseburger…”
GaC – “Ay ma’am, double cheeseburger po yun.”
Me – “Exactly…”

I’ve been in a few relationships where the guy and I were crazy about each other and the possibility of marriage was openly discussed. For various reasons, however, they didn’t ultimately work out. (I decided to go on a mission, for example, another love-of-my-life decided he wanted a certain lifestyle that in the end could never jive with mine—talk about long, drawn-out break up.)

So yeah. I know what it means to be in love. I know what it means to be head-over-heels. 

Sometimes I forget and need to remind myself. But I do know.

And I have yet to meet someone I feel that way about where the circumstances are also right. Basically, I haven’t met the right person at the right time.

A lot of us have been taught some variation of: focus on being the right person and you will find the right person. Or, become the kind of person you want to marry, etc., etc.

While I do think there is some usefulness to that advice, I think it’s very limited. It might well serve the selfish person who hopes to find a loving spouse. It might be of use to the loser who plays video games or gossips all day who hopes to find a spouse with depth.

But for a lot of us, while we’re certainly far from perfect, this advice is not only useless but perhaps even detrimental.

We are the ones who have been in meaningful long-term relationships (romantic or otherwise) and know what it means to care, to love, to sacrifice. No, we’re not perfect at it, but we know how to and are willing to put forth the effort to make a relationship work.

We are the ones who have lives and interests of our own and are ready to share them with someone else. We’re healthy enough to not be needy, but still realize that there are times when it’s good to need.

We are the ones who realize that looks aren’t everything, but definitely work to maximize what we’ve been given.

We are the ones who are already right for someone. While there may always be room for the improvement of certain traits, we do not need to change who we are in essentials.

We have a lot to give. And when we meet the right person, we’ll be ready to give it.

written ages ago

The cliche about single people is that they’re single for one of the following reasons:

1. They’re afraid of commitment.

2. They’re too picky.

So yes, I am picky. But am I too picky? How picky is too picky?

I really don’t think there’s a satisfactory answer to that question.

We all know couples who pretty much fell in love at first sight. They had tons in common, were finishing each other’s sentences after the first date, and hey—they even kinda look alike. This isn’t to say their relationship is perfect, but there was never any doubt from the beginning that they were made for each other and would be sticking it out no matter what.

We also all know couples who really had to grow into each other—or at least one had to grow into the other. From the beginning they seemed to be polar opposites. The girl never imagined she’d be with a guy like that. Or vice versa. But somehow they’ve made it work. They’re very independent, have their own interests and friends, but there’s no doubt they really love each other.

Most of my relationships have been like the first kind. Obviously they didn’t work out in the end for various reasons. But the fact is, we didn’t ever really have to grow into each other. We were both hooked from the beginning.

For better or for worse, if I’m not feeling it after a first or second date, that’s it for me. I don’t like dating much to begin with, so if I’m not excited about it, I’m out. I also don’t like the feeling of trying to talk myself into things, especially when it comes to relationships. I’d rather just nip it in the bud before feelings get too involved.

But I’ve often wondered if I’m going about it all wrong. I mean, what if I’d gone on more third and fourth dates? Would I be happily married right now?

Illustration.

Sometime last year I met this cute guy. He was really nice, a lot of fun, and extremely confident—in the good way. He was leaving town that night, but got my number and said he’d call me sometime.

Sure, whatever, I thought.

You can imagine my surprise when he actually called that very night. We ended up chatting for almost 2 hours. (And I am not a phone person.) It was a lot of fun. He told me he visits my city a lot and would like to take me out the next time he was in town.

But here’s the thing. Even though it was surprisingly fun to talk to him, it was clear from the beginning that we didn’t have much in common. Our life backgrounds, our education backgrounds, our career backgrounds, our ideas of fun—all so very different.

I decided not to go out with him when he came back.

I know. But there were gaps that I felt were unbridgeable. Go ahead and judge me. But I did what I felt was best at the time.

So am I going about dating all wrong? Especially as I get older. There’s no denying that the already-small dating pool is getting smaller and smaller each year. If I can manage to find a nice guy who treats me well, is firm in his beliefs, and isn’t a loser, do I go ahead and try to make it work with him?

In the eternal scheme of things, is getting married to a good man and raising children more important than compatibility of interests and intellect?

I’m not looking for someone who’s exactly the same as me. I definitely value my independence in relationships and would need to have some space to myself. But there are a few things that are really important to me. These are things that majorly affect one’s lifestyle, but ultimately have no bearing on whether or not someone is a good person or would make a good spouse.

So how picky is too picky?

I think it’s different for everyone. I still don’t have an answer for myself, but am trying to figure it out. I have recently decided to go beyond a second date with someone who is not what I have pictured for myself. But I do find myself getting kind of excited when he calls. So, let the experiment continue.

FRIDAY, MAY 8, 2009

It’s ridiculously late right now which means I probably should just go to bed instead of blogging.

But I ended a wonderful day with a good guy friend of mine sitting in the car having one of those awkward car talks. You know, you’ve all had an awkward car talk. The kind that lasts till the wee hours of the morning.

Dear friend. Why, why, why do you have to try to change things? We have been good friends for 2 years and NOW you want to date me. Oh wait, you’ve always liked me? WHAT????

A lot of people say that guys cannot be just friends with an attractive girl without having an ulterior motive. Every now and then I think I have a friendship that proves that idea wrong.

And then I realize: Nope, I’m wrong. I give up!

This is so heart-wrenching. I don’t want to lose my friend.

Too often people want what they want, or think what they want at the moment, which is usually “happiness” right now. The irony of their impatience is that only by learning to wait, and by willingness to accept the bad with the good do we usually attain those things that are truly worthwhile.
I have a blessing which is sometimes seen as a curse. I am blessed with the gift of being single. For most of us thirty-something young professionals, or simply single people, it seems the world has already come up with its own sets of expectations on how we should live life. The world expects us to finish school in our early twenties, marry and have kids. But the thing is not everyone sees their dreams come true in the same way.

In this article, i shall try to endeavor to change the way the world looks at being single.

THE ART OF CONTENTMENT. For most of us, being single will be more of a phase than a final destination. This is the best place to practice the Art of Contentment. Someday, I am sure most of us will fall in love and get married. But the thing is, love will always be tested. Someone more handsome, more charming, richer, funnier, sweeter would come along. If you have not practiced the art of contentment as a single person, chances are you would be tempted to want that and not cherish your chosen one. Practicing the Art of Contentment as a single person means that you take what life gives you, good or bad, you’re willing to see it through. It means, you don’t walk away every time things get tough because it builds in you patience, perseverance, understanding and a hundred different virtue that people in a hurry will never have. Being single means you would find how it feels to be alone thus, allowing you to cherish every moment you spend with your chosen one. The Art of Contentment means you wouldn’t mind if life had to make you wait for so long to find the love of your life, because you know that the waiting would only make the finding much sweeter.

A TIME TO KNOW YOURSELF BETTER. Being single is a time of your life when you get to know yourself better. You can pursue different interests and passions without having to ask another person’s approval. It is a phase when you can keep focus on other things, discover your potentials and talents, and see yourself become more than what you expect to be.

ALLOW YOURSELF TO SURPRISE YOU. Stop wasting your precious energy trying to figure out why you’re still romantically unattached. It’s all in the mind. Take the time to go see your friends, spend time with your family, do charity work and you will realize that you are not, never for a moment, alone. Try to get to know yourself first before you try to get to know other people. To be truly loved means to be known and accepted for who you are. How do you expect other people to know you and to love you, when you don’t know who and what you really are?

A CHOICE BETWEEN GOOD AND BEST. Sometimes the dilemmas we face are not between what is absolutely bad and absolutely good. Sometimes, it’s between good and best. Treat this stage of your life as a phase to evaluate who is good for you and who is best for you. Sometimes you won’t hear music, or feel magic to know who’s best for you. The heart just knows and it doesn’t need any romantically charged scenario to decide on the matter. Trust in your heart, and trust that time will eventually lead you to, not to the perfect partner, but to the most suitable partner for you. Being single means our hearts have yet to choose the best one for us.

ALMOST NON-COMMITTAL. Jane Austen once wrote, that it is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man (or in our times a woman), in possession of a good fortune is in search of a spouse (just to be politically correct). Well, that was what the old school wanted us to believe in. Married life is a path most of us would take, however, it is not the only path there is. Relieve yourself of the pressure and stop making every single straight guy friend a prospect. You have no business “entrapping” them and asking (which is more like “putting a gun in the head”) them their exclusive attention, if you’re not ready for commitment yourself. Sometimes, when you spend too much time trying to find a boyfriend, you normally end up marrying the first loser who comes to your door. Take your time, the world will wait. Being married doesn’t guarantee anything at all. Sometimes, it only brings two miserable people together only to make their life even more miserable. Without the right intention, the emotional maturity, financial security and of course, unwavering love, you’re better off unattached.

LIVING LIFE. Don’t put your life on hold for Mr. or Ms. Right but don’t let it waste away with Mr. or Ms. Wrong. Life is about things that you do and happen every day. It’s not about the things that could have happened but never did, or things that you think would happen in the future. Live life NOW. Live it to the fullest and stop beating yourself up, trying to be perfect on a Saturday night date. Allow life to surprise you with its most wonderful blessing.