It’s been a while since I had guest bloggers and so I couldn’t be more giddy to share this platform with this woman who I’ve shared life with from her fresh grad days to these pandemic months! Just like you (and me), she went through a lot this year. Her year started with an out-of-country trip which meant that she went on quarantine before the rest of us did, and then she flew to visit her family in an LGU that imposed strict quarantine regulations. She practically started and almost ended the year on quarantine. Oh, she’s an extrovert.
And so I asked her to write about her year, and encourage us how we could live our best life now (vs. waiting for the pandemic to end before we do).
This is Jia.
As her supervisor, I am fond of giving her projects and tasks beyond her knowledge and experience because she allows herself to be stretched beyond what she can bear on her own. I am not worried to fill her plate because she always knows where to get her strength from. She always bounces back, learns, and grows, opportunity after opportunity, challenge after challenge. One of the leaders we both love and look up to, and is very good at profiling staff, told me that “She’s a gem. I hope we get her again.” That’s when she moved back to her hometown and had to resign from working with us. For some reason, I stayed connected with her, even helped her with Excel for her new job. Haha! Lo and behold, when we had an opening in my new team, the Lord was also preparing her to move back to Manila. Now we work together again and I couldn’t imagine going through these past months at work without her.
As her “ate,” I am always so proud of how she has allowed the Lord to lead, direct, and mold her, even when it’s inconvenient. She also makes time to help other young women grow in their relationship with God. She’s a sweet friend, even when you’re not. Haha! She is one of those you’d love to have around to keep your spirits up in the midst of whatever pressure and challenges you face. Being around her is a breath of fresh air not just because she has a jolly personality, but because from the inside-out, the joy of the Lord that she has is just contagious. When I read what she wrote to share here, I just knew it will help a lot of us live our best life now.
Written by Jia Enrile
Part 1 of 2
Hi, my name’s Jia. I moved back to Manila, April last year, to start a new job. The first year was an exciting ride and there were so many things I learned but how my second year back here is going was absolutely not what I expected.
Just to give you a brief background, my quarantine started two weeks earlier than most, March 2 to be exact, because I had an overseas trip in February and by the time I arrived back in the Philippines, it’s already a requirement to do a 14-day self-quarantine if coming from the country I visited. Since it’s the protocol and it’s for my safety and the safety of everyone I’ll be encountering at work, I joyfully obliged. What caught me off guard was finding out that the last day of my self-quarantine will be the first day of Metro Manila’s Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ), and we’ve been in different types of community quarantine since then.
During that time, I didn’t think it would greatly affect me but ten months later, I can say it has changed and grown me in ways I never imagined.
When ate Pam asked me if I’m interested in guest-blogging and sharing something, I immediately said yes because I just recently had my breakthrough. If she asked a day earlier, I would’ve declined. So now, I’m going to share with you some of the things I did to help me arrive at a place where I can say that I’m all right, and hopefully this can help you somehow.
1. I accepted my reality.
Both adapting to and accepting changes do not come easy to me. When there are changes, I have to take the time to feel what I feel, process the change and how it will affect my life, and mentally prepare myself for the time it’s supposed to happen. I didn’t have the opportunity to prepare emotionally and mentally, none of us really, and since work got busy, I decided to set aside my “processing time” for as long as I could. I also knew I wasn’t ready to face my reality yet. It was only after seven months that I decided to intentionally pause and reflect. It was difficult, but I knew I had to go through it. A series of podcasts and well-being webinars enlightened me to accept the reality that I lost the life I was used to before the pandemic hit, but this doesn’t mean that I won’t be able to live a life full of joy and hope. This also encouraged me to take mindful and practical steps that will help me heal and move forward.
2. I took the time to get to know myself better.
I keep a journal and while I’m not as consistent in writing entries as I want to be, I do this as often as I could because it helps me understand myself better. Even when I was yet to accept my reality, I still wrote down my thoughts and feelings. I write things that made me happy and things that worry me, then I would write a verse that I can hold on to, declaring God’s word and trusting that even when I don’t feel it, God is taking care of me and everything that I care about.
I also tried new things, let go of things that didn’t excite me nor add value to my life, and did more of the things that bring me joy and lift my spirit. These are writing in my journal, reading the Bible (sometimes I listen too, you can download the Bible app on your phone as well), playing my ukulele, and doing a coloring activity while listening to music or a podcast. Podcasts that helped me this year, especially during the quarantine are Fight Hustle, End Hurry, Victory Devotional Podcasts, New Every Morning, Anything Goes, and Real Talk with Janina Vela!
3. I asked for help.
Asking for help when I’m going through something is not second-nature. I had to come to a point where I realized I needed help and guidance on what to do with what I learned the last seven months about myself, and what I can do to overcome what it is that hinders me from experiencing freedom. I reached out to someone I know and who knows me, loves the Lord and lives a life of faith, and much more experienced than I am. Some beliefs/mindsets were corrected, and it was graciously done. I felt heard and loved. I also started talking to friends again, slowly.
Jia shares three more milestones from her journey in part two. I cut this here because just with these first three things, we can already reflect on our journey and how Jia’s experience can help us continue to face our own challenges, as well as the collaborative challenge the pandemic is causing our families, organizations, cities, and nation. While each of us have different circumstances, there’s a certain similar pattern to the journey forward. Acknowledging where we are and understanding our own selves is the start, and asking for help is much needed. We don’t have to go through this season alone.
Disclaimer: Jia does not know about this P.S. Until she reads it. LOL!