Hello, it has been a while. :)
I apologize for not writing sooner. Life had been a bit of a whirl wind since 2016 started. A meet up with my colleagues in Bali in January 2016. Preparing for the roll out and implementing the items discussed during the Bali trip for the rest of the year. Preparing for the almost month-long Bangkok-Myanmar trip in October-November. Catching up with missed work after that, together with additional responsibilities almost as soon as I came back from vacation. I promise I am going to write in more detail about the trips I took and the reflections I had out of those experiences. :)
At the start of 2017, I also battled with an internal struggle and had a bit of a health issue – both definitely contributed to me choosing to revisit and redefining my personal and professional goals.
As you might know, for almost three years now, I have been working from home for an online travel company, who provides opportunities for professional and personal growth for its team members. I work with the smartest and kindest set of individuals you would ever meet. And, the level of communication between team members, despite and because of our diversity, always amazes me. Every day, I would wake up with the intention of serving the people I interact with. I want to make a difference in the lives of the candidates I interview and the team members we hired. I acknowledge that I am at that perfect space to start a ripple of lasting impact in them and in the people that they would in turn serve.
However, in the beginning of this year, I caught myself on the brink of updating my resume and seeing the possibility of moving jobs. For people I have shared my dilemma with, this came as a surprise. They all knew these – how much I love my job, what I do, the company, and the people I work with. And, yet, I was not happy with how things were going and felt like I couldn’t do anything about it.
As you would have noticed, I was speaking from the space of surrender. It was disempowering, to the point that I was crying for no apparent reason. The question of “What do you like about working with your company?”, which had always been such an easy question to answer, became quite a struggle to respond to. I knew what I loved about my job. And, yet, that very thing that endears me to it is also within the same sphere as that which makes me want to let it go.
I mustered the courage to speak with my supervisor. I knew that I needed to share what I was going through with her so that I could give her the opportunity to support me. Being part of the HR team, I knew how much we care for our team members. And, as a member of the HR team, I also knew that it was my responsibility to sort this out, so I would be able to serve our team members in the best way possible.
She listened. I spoke with her about the probability that I may not be the best person for the role that I had recently taken on. That maybe someone is better equipped to deal with the demands of the job. She didn’t have it, though. I got it that she understood and got where I was coming from. And, she still had faith in me that I will be able to perform the role that I said yes to.
After several conversations (including a very honest one with my boss) and a lot of soul searching, sensibility took over me. I realized that I indeed still love my job. And, I still see myself contributing to the company and to our current and future team members. I realized that it was really not about the job, the company, or the people, but more about my perception of what should and shouldn’t be. I realized, too, that my life revolved around work. And, that was not helping. As with everything, balance is important. I wanted to be generous to other people. I also needed to be generous to myself. One is not exclusive of the other.
So, I made a choice to switch perspectives. I chose to find balance in my life – be at my best with work, invest time and attention to it, and also to make sure that I will create time and energy for myself and the people and things that are important to me.
After this shift, things transformed. I noticed that I was happy again. I found my voice again. I could again answer that question with so much joy, transparency, and fluidity. I felt like I was again ready to represent the company and what we stand for. And, as a result, I received a very good news that I will share about in the next posts. LOL. But, this I would say – it has something to do with traveling to a life-long dream destination. :) Interesting that when you send out positive vibes to the universe, the universe will not back down and throw more back at ya. :)
While I was readjusting myself and finding my bearings once again, I encountered another roadblock. One Saturday afternoon, I felt an intense pain from my back down to my foot. I couldn’t move because of it. Even getting up to pee took me 30 minutes. And, just finding the position that will allow me to sleep was a struggle. I had myself checked and it was lumbar muscle spasm that caused for nerves to be compressed and deliver pain.
Because of that, I found it challenging to sit and therefore work on the laptop. I was in so much pain for over a week that I was questioning if I would still heal. The prescribed pain relievers weren’t working. The yoga poses that normally would alleviate the pain were poses that I couldn’t perform because the pain would again shoot up just on my way there. I was just grateful that I work from home, that I was doing mostly interviews and meetings via Skype calls, and that I could do these things lying down while having the heat pack attached to my back. If I was working in an office setting, I would probably have already lost my job.
It was only after I got a massage one evening that I found hope that I could still heal. That night, I was able to sleep soundly. I consider it a miracle, after a week of not having enough sleep at all.
The following day, though, the pain came back. It was disappointing, I admit. Nevertheless, I was already aware that there was still hope for my case because of the experience the night before. So, I contacted my friend, who is a body worker, and also my cousin’s wife, who is a doctor. I explained to them my situation and asked for their help. I am so happy and grateful that they agreed to help me in my time of need. Angels do exist.
Around the same time, I also realized that I needed to help myself to heal, especially if I still want to continue exploring the world. I resolved that I will start moving until I regain my mobility, so I will be ready to do long walks, climb steep steps, and enjoy the places that I will be visiting in the future. I found it interesting that my love for travel also sparked my desire to improve the quality of my life.
I started with riding a car again, seeing my family and receiving their love, having coffee with my buddy and attending service with him, and walking (with a cane!) around the pool area of our building for 3 rounds. All these things, I made an effort to sustain. For the walking bit, I just kept at it and increased the number of rounds every time I would go for a walk. I did this until I stopped counting the number of rounds and just kept walking until I met the number of steps I have set for myself.
They say that when life throws you lemons, make lemonades out of it. Cliche as it may sound, the challenges I encountered in the first quarter of 2017 molded me into the person that I am now, 3 months after. I am on my way to full recovery – work-wise and personally. And, I am grateful that I experienced those challenges. Otherwise, I don’t think I will find the necessary push to improve my quality of life and start loving myself again.
Well, thank you for reaching this point. It is a long post and I appreciate it very much that you took time to hear me out.
Thank you that you are still here. That despite the many changes in this space and in my life, you are always available for me to write to – like my committed listener, dedicated journal, or a piece of paper I would just grab when something is bugging me, seeking perspective.
You may not read this as soon as this is published, and it’s fine. What’s important is that this is documented somewhere. And, there’s something you and I can refer back to when things turn sh*tty again. :)
That’s all for now. In whatever space you’re in, I hope that you got something from reading this. :)
Sending you love and good vibes!
Liked what you read? Share the love! Follow See ya, Monica on social media to get updates on my recent travels, with tips and a lot of shares on what I got during my trips. Plus, some barely edited photos to give you the most authentic feel of the place. (I do not know how to use Photoshop, and what I can only do are cropping, adjusting brightness and colors the way I remember it):
Thank you! And, in whatever space you’re in now, I hope that you get something from reading my articles.