Category Archives: Adventure

The Sphere of Choice

I told him to get his heart checked multiple times. He never did. He died a few months later.

He had a high salary but he’s often in debt. I told him to save and to keep a budget. He didn’t. I lent him money, and tried my best to help him financially, but there was nothing I could do except helplessly watch as his cycle of spending and borrowing escalated.

I asked him not to quit his job. With his age, lack of experience, and job-hopping history, I knew finding another job for him would be hard. It’s more than a year now since his last employment.

The doctor told me the surgery wound would be closed in one week. But I could still go surfing that Saturday–3 days before the wound is estimated to close. Friday came and the wound is nowhere near healed and I could still barely walk, let alone surf. I had no choice but to cancel my long-awaited surf trip and find something else to do that week.

Expectations: Surf trip expectations (me last year)


Reality: Picture taken with comedian Gabe Mercado (Ok ka ba tyan??) after an improv class the next Wednesday (First time I was able to go out properly after surgery)

Why I know about control — or the lack of it

AT first, this entry reads like a rant. It’s not that simple though.

All these recollections are from different events in my past.

I have no control over my body. I can’t control people around me. I never did and never tried. These failures are my reminder that despite the best intention and logical explanations, people will act as they see fit. As for the body? It heals on its own time.

“We control our reasoned choice and all acts that depend on that moral will.”


I’ve internalized this stoic lesson long ago because I know that each person has to walk their own path and to make their own mistakes. The only thing I control are my thoughts and actions.

But I won’t pretend that I don’t get affected when things go wrong. Yes, stoicism teaches that the path to happiness lies in giving up all outside your sphere of choice.

Logically speaking, I understand this. Yes, it’s useless to be upset because of things outside my sphere of choice.

It’s easier said than done, however. It’s hard not to get affected when the person suffering is someone precious to you. The cancelled surfing trip, for instance, is easier to accept compared to the knowledge that someone I know still can’t find another job.

So I’m still learning this lesson. The best  I can do for the people that matter to me is to comfort and support them. I can help, but I shouldn’t get attached to the outcome of that assistance. Whether they follow through or not is up to them, not me. I’m not sure how that will affect the part of me that feels concerned when things go wrong, but at least this is a step forward towards detachment.


Dreams as Old as Me and a 1 Year Hall Pass

Ever since I watched Titanic, I wanted to have a nude painting done of myself. Just like Rose had.

Ever since I found out there were people who traveled the world and worked simultaneously full-time, I wanted to do it myself.

Every since I learned to cook, I wanted to travel and eat around the world. To learn to cook like a real Italian grandmother, shop and eat like a French woman, and cut fish with the precision of a Japanese chef were just some of the dreams I entertained as my love for cooking grew.

I’ve had these dreams for so long, but I couldn’t pursue them because of my health and limited funds. I’ve solved the funds problem about a year ago. Now, I’m solving the health problem.

Unexpected Developments

I was thinking of going last 2016. But then I met M.

I fell in love with the guy who showed so much emotional maturity, understanding, and potential. He made me laugh like no one can. He understood and accepted me– monsters, scars, and all the craziness in between.

I’ve said no to at least 4 marriage proposals. But to him, I said “YES,” even if we’ve only been together for a year and a few months when we talked about it last year.  It surprised the hell out of me, too.

So I postponed my dreams of long term travel. I chose to stay so we can build the foundation of our relationship. It’s almost two years now, and together, we’ve already started building the life we dreamed of. We’ve invested in our future, grown our income, traveled, and seen each other’s uglier sides.

We are ready to marry.

But first, I need to fulfill my lifelong dreams…

The bucket list of places and experiences I’ve been holding on to, and the crazy solo self-exploration I wanted to do long before I dreamed of forever with him.

Exploring the Dark Side

Yes, this trip is to check off several items in my bucket list before I say I do and start my journey of becoming a good mom. But this trip is also about who I am.

I’ve always been a good girl (at least I think so). I paid my bills, did my work, and everything else required to deal with the bad cards handed to me in life. But now that I’m financially, emotionally, and mentally (some people might question this point) stable, I want to explore the dark side.

I’m already well-aware of who I am as a responsible, nice, and loving girl. But I’ve only glimpsed at the dark or grey sides of my personalities a few times. For instance…

  • Why am I too analytical even in matters of the heart? I can love and get hurt, but it doesn’t come as easy for me.
  • Who am I without the constant goal-setting and hard work that defined my life? Who am i now that I’m no longer in survival mode, and can let my mind and spirit wander aimlessly?
  • Who am I without the responsibilities and emotional ties that bound me?
  • Is the filtering or grading system I designed, based on past mistakes and experience, to keep myself from getting hurt or wasting time on the wrong people in need of an upgrade? Or is the situation that caused me to question it a fluke, since the person who caused me to question it turned out to be not who I thought he would be? I was a victim of confirmation bias and black swan effect because of that incident. Is there enough evidence here?

These are just some of the questions I’ve always wanted to explore but couldn’t. Until now.

I Know Who I am

I’ve already answered the big questions about myself early in life. So this trip isn’t just a rambling child’s soul-searching mission.

Like everything in life, one must continue learning. New experiences and new learning should be used to deepen the current understanding we have of ourselves. And that’s what this trip is about.

One might think exploring your dark side is a bad idea. I beg to differ. For me, it’s better to know myself thoroughly, even the unsavory bits of my personality. Every person has a dark and light side, one can’t exist without the other, so I might as well get to know that side fully.

I need to know my dark side, not because it’s out of control but because I’m curious, and I know I can learn a lot from that side of me.

1 Year Hall Pass

Hence, the 1-year solo travel and “hall pass.” Starting today, I have one year to prepare for my Single girl bucket-list checking/dark side exploring escapade. While I can go with only two or three months preparation, I want to prepare well for this trip. I need to get healthier, establish systems for our rental business, streamline my writing business, and build the foundation of our future dropshipping/POD business, too.

After that, I will have 1 year to travel solo as a single girl with no emotional ties and responsibilities other than my own. Free to do what I want and to make mistakes.

M is okay with me going, which is a considerable win considering the guy before him never understood this dream. Understandably, though, he’s scared. He’s scared of what might happen or what I might discover.

Still, this is what I want to do before I tie the knot. I love him, but I’ve had these dreams long before him–long before any relationship I’ve had. I owe it to myself to see it through.

Anyway, I still have a year to plan for this.