It’s nice to finally have some time to sit down and write again. I just recently came from a two-week holiday in the Philippines, the last leg of which was a trip to an island called Siargao – known for its laid-back locals, their simple living…oh and their world-class surf spots! It was raining intermittently and most days were windy the whole time we were there. January is not really the ideal time for surfing, although, we were blessed with a good enough surf session one day at this spot called Salvation. The trip was still all good because less ideal conditions for surfing gave us a chance to explore the island, especially since it was my first time ever to visit Siargao.
Anyway, as insignificant as it may seem, it’s the forty-minute drive from our resort to the airport on the way home that I value a great deal. With the car window down, the fresh country breeze on my face, my windblown hair – I felt like a little girl again just mesmerized with the sights and sounds of every single thing from that open window. Lush mountains, swarms of trees, rich green rice paddies, very simple houses made of wood nestled within endless rows of coconut trees (which as pretty as they are, always made me wonder with worry what becomes of them every time the area gets hit by a typhoon), little piggies in front of the houses leashed as if they were pet dogs, carefree Filipino kids running around with smiles of contentment for the simple pleasures that they have. I recall telling myself “remember this Karen”, while taking a mental snapshot of the wonder that was before me. I was more than mesmerized. My soul felt full and fat taking in the picturesque beauty of this speck of an island. The Philippines is beautiful and this is just one side of it.
With so much beauty to take in comes a whole lot of emotions to feel and perpetual thoughts running in my head. Well you know me, always thinking, always pondering, always feeling…
This beauty of Siargao just strengthens that yearning to travel around the Philippines and around the world. I downloaded this iPad app – 1,000 Places to See Before You Die – and found myself constantly pinning destinations with an “I Want to Go” tag. I have one enemy, though, and that is time. I just do not have time to do all this traveling. With my corporate job, all I have is fifteen days of vacation leave a year to do as I wish with my time. That’s just a measly 4% of each year of my life to go on holiday. Yeah, well, you can actually include the hundred and four Saturdays and Sundays in a year but those days are not movable. 15 days + 104 days = 119 days which is still just 33% of each year of my life. So I am limited in terms of time because of my job but then again I need my job because it sustains me and enables me to have the financial capacity to do the little traveling that I could afford with my time. The worst part is, I just love my job too much that it is a pain to even think of giving it up. I guess it’s just not possible to have everything. Or is it?
What I would give to have pure, unadulterated freedom. What I would give to have the time, freedom and capability not just to travel but to pursue my different interests and passions..even those that I have not discovered yet. So this brings me now to thinking what I really want in life. Since it is January and the start of this awesome 2013, let me put them down in writing, that way, they can be more concrete.
Goal #1 I want a career that will give me both time and financial freedom. I want to be able to travel for a month at a time and consume myself in different cultures and experiences. There is so much I want to see and so much I want to do and I know all these are achievable. Dear Self, you wait and see!
Goal #2 I really want to write – maybe be a writer for a magazine or even an author of a book. I want to touch people’s lives and ignite within them a spark of hope to push forward and find purpose in all things. This passion of mine just keeps growing each waking day. I do have a plan for this but just not the time to focus on it.
Goal #3 I want to partner with a charitable foundation to put more less fortunate kids to school. With my skills and enthusiasm, I know I can do heaps in helping these foundations get more pledges from individuals and business entities. I firmly believe the world has enough money to help every single being have a better chance for a brighter future. It’s just a matter of having the right people with genuine passion to make a bigger difference. The challenge is, to be able to do this means I should be self-supporting and with sufficient time to devote to it – something I cannot do without #1.
Goal #4 I want my own family. I want kids – two adorable and (as a friend puts it) caramel colored ones. I want to obsess in their angelic laughter while I try my best to overcome the strong urge of slathering them with oils and sanitizers as they run around barefoot, play in the dirt and grab every bacteria-infested thing they could put their hands on (yes I am a self-confessed germaphobe). They will be so beautiful it will bring you tears just by looking at them. I will be the best mom and the best wife. And so yes, I want unconditional and eternal love too, to be loved without fear of the unpredictable future nor a haunting past. I want to be loved and needed the way that I love and need – like the earth needs the sun and like Edward loves Bella (say what you want but admit it, you like Twilight too).
These are the top-line things in my bucket list. So what is my game plan then?
I am pretty much dead set on these goals but I am not in a hurry too…well, at least not for this year. My 2013 will be all about making the most out of all things I have in my life right now, including my job. I love my work and I will make this year such an amazing one that it will be one for the books – significant company growth & expansion; a series of successful quarterly events ending with one hell of a spectacular regional convention; more valuable education, motivation and support for our distributorsand growth and development for my precious team. My measly 15 days of vacation leave will be put into optimal use immersing myself in all things new to me starting off with the Bali Spirit Festival in Ubud and a weekend of solitary (and maybe spiritual) confinement in Koh Samui. My trips to the Philippines and that place down under will be nothing but purposeful. As I have been pretty lax the past year of being in Singapore, now I will get off my butt and start exploring this wonderful Little Red Dot. I will enjoy every teensy weensy second of this year and I am already very excited.
2014, though, will be a different story. I will open myself to whatever fate has in store for me or wherever the cosmic river brings me. It will be the year I focus with intent, unlock my passions, turn a blind eye on any fears or worries, take colossal leaps of faith and start making major ticks off my bucket list. The Universe knows all things my big, fat heart desires and is just waiting for the perfect timing to release each one to me. Always at the best time. So I need not worry for now.
The same goes for you.
I do not know if you have already thought about what to do with your life but I hope you have or, at least, are starting to think about it. Now is the best time actually – set new goals for the new year! I know it is not always easy to get what you want and there are even times it would seem impossible but it does not mean you can never have it. What always gives me hope is Kentucky Fried Chicken – okay, not the chicken, but how Col. Sanders gave birth to (what now is one of the strongest global fast-food brands) KFC when he was already in his 60s. This only means that nothing is impossible and it is never too late to start anything. Do not just settle with average happiness. If you think you could be happier, let me be bold and tell you that you are right. Remember that the One up there gave you this precious gift of life not just to make something mediocre out of it but to actually cultivate it into something more meaningful, significant and beautiful so pursue your dreams with intentional focus. Keep in mind that your thoughts and intentions are powerful and you will always receive what you believe you deserve.
Happy New Year!
© Karen Cornejo, January 2013