Im·prob·a·ble (imˈpräbəb(ə)l) is an adjective used to describe unlikely situations.
- 1 not likely to be true or to happen.
- 2 unexpected and inauthentic.
Synonyms: unlikely, doubtful, dubious, debatable, questionable, uncertain, unconvincing, unbelievable, incredible, ridiculous, absurd, preposterous, outrageous, etc.
I used improbable roads as the title of this blog because of the unlikely circumstances and the things I’ve learned all through my life. There are a lot of things that I never thought I could do, feel and say.
- I was doubtful that I would ever become a nurse because I already gave up my profession years ago. Yet here I am. I’ve been an ED nurse for almost five years now.
- It was also unlikely that I would eat vegetables because I hated them ever since I was born. I now eat veggies if I can, and has been a part of my meal plan every week.
- I find it ridiculous to work without being paid or getting any compensation. I volunteered in a public hospital at home for six months and even went on a 16-hour shift, free of charge.
- I’ve always found it absurd to work in Makati because of how densely populated the city is. I worked in one of the busiest ED’s in the Philippines and is in Makati Central.
- I have always thought I would never age beyond 30 because life was so hard. I thought I would die of poverty. Now, I am turning 31 years old, just got married and just starting my own family with God at our center.
- I’ve always believed that nothing good would ever come out of having a relationship with a coworker. My co-worker and I got married on the 9th of February this year in one of the most amazing places in New Zealand, Lake Tekapo.
These are just some of the circumstances in my life that I thought would never happen. I thought that the peculiar events in my life would come to an end when I got married. Yet, I feel as though I am just at the beginning of a bigger story. I used to dream big, that a lot of things I wished for was beyond my reach. All that ever mattered then was just survival. The luxury of choice was a mere illusion for me even after graduation.
Everything went black and white after I finished school. It took years before I finally understood that I lived in a fairy tale full of fictional characters with no super powers against evil stepmothers. It’s funny how a few words can either lift your spirits or break them completely. Fortunately for me, my mother’s words, “God has plans, and yours are different from His plans” were words that I lived by.
I believe that everyone changes every day, and as they age, they either shift for the better or the worst. And I have come to understand that maturity doesn’t come with age. It just happens.
I hope everything goes well with everyone who had the same sentiments as I had when I first wrote this blog. I wish you well, and may God bless you in your future endeavors. I pray that may you find your peace.
“It is never too late to start over. If you are not too happy with yesterday, try something different today, do not stay stuck. Do better.”
The First Step
Whenever I think of changing the workplace, I feel disappointed with myself for some unknown reason.
When I was young, my mother always told me that those who face their adversities and persevere are heroes who didn’t need recognition from other people to be successful. That’s why whenever something comes my way that I know that’s quite difficult, I motivate myself to push harder, overcome my limits and continue to do it till the end.
We all know that sometimes, when life requires you to change your course, God does something about it. Then the next thing you know, you’re moving on to your next journey. And I believed in this, and this is how I’m living my life since I started working.
Then for the last few months, I didn’t feel great and lost the motivation to go to work. I don’t know if I was being lazy, but deep within me, I know that my heart was at war.
I made a list of the things that are bothering me and the possible changes in my life.
I’ll write some of the most important ones because some are just random pestilence that doesn’t need to be on the list.
1. I don’t want to go to work anymore.
2. I want to finish the book I started two months ago.
3. I want to clear out my debt.
4. I want our savings to be more stable and financial goals to be realistic.
5. I want to start a new job or at least lessen my hours.
The above-mentioned have been in my head for the longest time. I don’t know if it was the night shift effect or what. I never had these problems before. It just began bothering me every day. I started reading books about motivation and how to retire early, etc. It didn’t help me. Whenever I feel something is bothering me, I always make a list of random thoughts. And that will allow me to check if I’m sane or if it was just my hormonal imbalance because my period’s due the next day.
After figuring out they were not seasonal issues, I started composing a counter-list.
1. Pray God for guidance.
2. Search online for new jobs.
3. Write one chapter or a few words every off or every day if you can. Set a target to finish the books.
4. Stick to your budget (I’m quite good at this) and go on overtime.
Again, work overtime to pay off your debt early. Tell yourself you can do it and finish your book so you can write another.
It was a feasible plan, to be honest. But planning and doing gets complicated when you’re at war with your heart and body. It doesn’t matter if a person’s list is undemanding if they’re conflicting with themselves. And I realised that it’s my number one dilemma.
For some reason, during the peak of my frustration, I received an email that my husband’s company is hiring one registered nurse for a Day Surgery Area. I was surprised and applied right away. To be honest, it didn’t feel okay. I finished my cover letter with a heavy heart and got sceptical if I should hit the submit button. Despite the rebellious thought, I click complete.
After that, I thought to myself — there, I did it. I took the first step.
When my husband applied for the RN position, they called him even though the job post was ongoing. I have a feeling that I didn’t get the job. I think they will choose a more suitable candidate than me, someone who works there already or an enrolled nurse. I didn’t know what to feel since I am clueless about what I wanted.
Then come July 6 2022. Our church holds a prayer and fasting meeting twice a year. I didn’t do the first one at the beginning of the year because I was lazy. I decided to do the mid-year maybe it will give me some answers to my questions.
That three days of prayer and fasting were the best three days of my life this year (too early to say, I know). I went to work motivated, feeling excited and more composed. Afterwards, I realised that applying to a different workplace is not the first step. It was listening to what God has for me and being sensitive to His plans. The first step was to pray for guidance. Be in peace with yourself and focus on what you want to do with your life. Never forget your purpose. I forgot what my purpose was.
God gave us a life to live, freedom to pursue our dreams and the body to work and the heart to be excellent in what we do.
He was waiting for me to pray that I may find my purpose again. He reminded me what the reason was why I wanted to be a nurse and what was motivating me before. Was it the world or material possessions? No, God and my family were my motivation. And I forgot all about that because I live far from them.
I think this is why people say choose your relationships over what the world offers. If you set your eyes on something, then walk the straight path. You may go astray, but never forget your way. Remember, all roads have paths we can follow, even if it’s in a remote area or somewhere off the map. It always give us hints on where to walk. If we lose our way, we can always come back and start over again.
The Night Shift Effect
I have been a night shift nurse for almost two years now. I worked as a customer service representative in 2010, where I worked for an American company till 2013. I tried a different job that offered a morning shift but ended up working graveyard shifts again at the beginning of 2016. Because of these crazy shifts that I’ve been to, my circadian rhythm is all over the place.
Circadian rhythms are 24-hour cycles that are part of the body’s internal clock, running in the background to carry out essential functions and processes. One of the most critical and well-known circadian rhythms is the sleep-wake cycle.
– Sleep Foundation (A One Care Media Company)
Most of my graveyard and weekend rosters were by choice. And I know that I’ll be able to get more money because of the differentials and weekend rates. But now, I’m starting to feel the long-term side / adverse effects of working my favourite shift.
I’M LAZY MOST DAYS. I have a long list of to-do’s, and they’ve been on the board for a week now. I’m getting lazier every day. I like to sit down and binge-watch or read whatever book that’s in front of me. I’m gaining expertise in procrastinating! I used to exercise every day, but now, I don’t have the energy! I’ll stretch for one minute and then sit down again.
I’M ALWAYS SLEEPY. I never had a problem with sleeping before. I used to be awake for 24 hours and survive by just eating chocolate and drinking coffee (6-8 cups a day! phew) I titrated my coffee intake from 8 cups to 1-2 cups a day now. I’d say that downgrading my caffeine intake was one of my best accomplishments. After my 32nd birthday, I noticed that I’ve become too sleepy to enjoy everything I used to love before, like walking with my husband on the beach or drinking coffee on the veranda while looking at the sunset.
There was a week when all I did was sleep all day on my three days off work, and I didn’t see my husband because he was on an afternoon shift. And since I’m always sleepy from sleeping too much, I slept early and woke up at 2:00 PM the next day! All I remembered was his kiss and three words — “see you tonight.”
I was so sad that I started re-thinking my life choices and what should I do about working night shifts.
I’M ALWAYS SPACING OUT. Besides being disoriented most of the time, I forget things quickly even though I remind myself. I tried studying something about investing one day and forgot everything the next day! It’s getting frustrating every day. Now, I’m solely relying on muscle memory (thank God for that!)
I’M AWAKE DURING THE NIGHT ON MY REST DAYS. Lately, I get sleepy at around 5:00 PM. I try to stay awake and hold off sleeping till 9:00 PM. Unfortunately, even if I sleep at 9:00 PM, 10:00 PM, 11:00 PM or 12:00 AM, I still wake up at 2:00 AM. Then I’ll be awake all night even if I close my eyes. After three weeks, I gave up and decided to get up and start my day if I’m still awake at 6:00 AM.
My husband used to work night shifts with me in the same hospital. Something happened at work that triggered him to quit and apply to a different institution. In that hospital, he’s mostly on day shifts so he can see the sun. After working for 6 months, he started asking me if I want to work with him and quit working on nights. That was 2021, I immediately refused because I loved my job in ED, and to be honest, I never see myself working in a different area.
But due to some inevitable circumstances, I lost my passion. Working in ED on days is going to be challenging for me. I want to, but my mind and body are something different. I hope that one day, I’ll find out what I want.
For now, I’ll continue taking iron tablets, drinking milk and eating healthy food so my body can keep up with the night shift. I’ll push myself to be motivated to exercise everyday, learn new things and acquire new sklls. Who knows, maybe one day I can quit nursing and live the rest of my life walking on a different career path.
If you are like me who’s grinding during the night and you still have the chance to escape the graveyard shift, then do so. Don’t be like me. Focus on your health and shift early while you still can. You might feel healthy and energetic for now, but it’ll change in the next few years of your life. I can’t believe I’m saying this to think I’m not even at my 50’s.
I’m going to quit soon. I think it’s pretty hard to end a cycle when you get used to it, and it has become a part of your life for the longest time. I believe that everyone has the opportunity to change even though they find it impossible. I want to take advantage of the chance if I can.
A Life I Would Like To Live
It’s been a while since my last blog. I told myself that I’ll focus on my writing and make at least one blog every two weeks or every month. But since I’m lazy, I haven’t done anything and became just all talk. And now, I’ve forgotten everything I’ve learned the last time I focused on this website.
Now, I want to start writing again. I want people to read the books that I’m going to write. I don’t want to be rich as a writer, but I want to be a successful one. As I said in a previous blog, writing is a passion that people always come back to even though the world goes into chaos. This time, aside from making blogs each week, I thought I should start working on a dream I’ve long forgotten. It was an impossible ambition because my dad believed that writing as a job was a waste of time since it never puts food on the table. When I was young, he gave me crayons and pencils to write on the wall because he believed everyone deserved to dream even if it was deemed impossible. After a few years and inevitable difficulties, he started to despise the idea and threw all my poems and papers.
I wrote this blog to remind me that I have to continue. To prompt me to be better whenever I feel like I’m procrastinating and throwing my goal outside the window again.
I never thought that the day that I wanted to quit nursing would come. I work as an RN in a busy department every night, and I loved every second of every day. Until one day, I woke up and realised that I don’t want to be a nurse anymore. I tried researching different job posts and vacancies. But despite the numerous results, I just couldn’t get to decide where to apply. If only my phone talked, I can hear it shouting, “APPLY HERE NOW!”.
But I didn’t. Instead of checking out those vacancies, I thought maybe I’ll start writing and make it my primary source of income. Initially, it was a random thought. But that personal whim has haunted me for a month now. So, I sat down, drank my coffee and prayed for guidance — “Lord, what do I do?”
Publishing a self-made book was unthinkable when I dreamt of being a writer. You need to make several print-outs and send them to various publishers, pay the printing companies, get rejected and other impossibilities. But now, thank God for the internet — writers have begun to come out of their shells one by one. Various writing platforms have pop-up and taken the world wide web by storm.
Everybody became a writer! Some of the unheard stories were shared with the world. Moreover, some were even shown in cinemas or became a series. Nowadays, there are a lot of opportunities for aspiring writers, and the success rate is high depending on how motivated they are.
Hopefully, I can be one of those writers who dared to publish their first book and have the motivation to be a doer. As of the moment, I finished four chapters, and I think that’s a great accomplishment. I’m going to enrol in a writing class to be better. I know that my English is not that great because it’s not my first language, but I’m giving it my best to relay the message I want people to understand in my blogs. I’m also planning to read more books to improve my storyline. I love to read, but I mostly finish one book every month. I plan to read one book every week, which was my original goal, to be honest.
Thank you to those who kept reading my blogs and visiting my site. And to those who think my writing is a mess, thank you.
My Thoughts on Getting Pregnant
Well, lately our life has been quite complicated. When we got married earlier this year, we told ourselves that we’re ready to be parents. So, we pretty much did everything we can to get pregnant. There were days when we were not even sure if we want to have a kid, especially with what’s happening to the world right now.
Listening to the news have tricked my mind to believe that, getting pregnant is a selfish decision. I don’t know, but to be honest, there are days when I think it is. But of course, since women are complicated and annoying, there are days where all I wanted was to have a baby.
Then again, I never thought that getting pregnant is difficult. But, hey, life is short. Instead of focusing on the negatives, why don’t I think about the positive. I never wanted to be a stay at home mom, so I don’t even know what will I do if I get pregnant. Like, do I stay at home or work? I mean, I got a lot of questions in my head, so I think I’m really not ready.
So, we’re doing everything we can to get pregnant. We started living healthy, less coffee (which sucks by the way), sleep early, drink gazillion of vitamins, and pee on small excruciatingly annoying sticks just to see if I’m ovulating or what.
And I’ve been doing it for nine months, and one thing’s for sure — getting pregnant is expensive. I’ve come to realise that couples who are trying are emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually tough, it’s not easy! Especially for those who are trying for more than a decade! But of course, I believe that God has a plan for everyone.
I dowloaded an interesting app that focuses solely on pregnant and women who’s trying to conceive. It’s called Flo. To be honest, I thought the app will annoy me and make me impatient. But no, it actually inspired me and make me laugh everyday! It’s ironic how people can joke about their desire to have children, thinking about everything they go through — needles, lots of medications, carnival of emotions and a whole lot more needle in the vagina.
I’ve met all kinds of people who’s like me in that app. It’s a nice one cause it will not show anything about its members. It just uses cute animal avatars that don’t have names, so you will not have any idea who you’re chatting to, who the people are, and where are they from. You won’t have any idea who’s reading your story and comments.
The members open up and share everything to everyone, and it’s really nice! They support each other and share happy and devastating stories. I never had any idea till I downloaded the app. And because of everything that I read in that app, I’m now much more annoyed with people who keep on asking the when and why to couples who are happily married.
I salute women like me who’s trying to conceive and the future dads too!
It doesn’t matter if you make love a lot, if it’s not your time, then it’s not. But don’t lose hope, if you’re like me, then let’s believe. Let’s both hope that one day, we will have our time. But for now, let’s enjoy the life we’ll say goodbye to when we get knocked up.
There Are No Mistakes In Life, Just Lessons and — Blogging Failures
Well, I like to write. I started when I was, I’m not sure, 12 or 13 years old? I was using the basic pen and school notebook. Then after I discovered the internet, I started blogging. I was using Blogspot, which is now known as Blogger. Then, moving forward a few more years, because of a good friend who shared the same interest, I discovered WordPress.
I was pretty happy and contented. I write one or two blogs in a month, depending on how I feel. So, I thought — “why not make some money off it?”
So, I started binge-watching WordPress tutorials, studying different courses and spent hours working on the design of my website. I bought my first self-hosted site this June 2021, and I thought, “I can do this”.
After a few months of actively blogging, I got exhausted. Even my husband got tired of editing the blogs I’m sending him every day. I thought, maybe, posting or writing a blog every day is not good.
I tried writing three to four times a week. It went well at first but didn’t go so well in the latter. My husband told me, “I think you’re keeping yourself busy with that blog site, and you have forgotten how to relax.”
I got sad, but I thought, “I will not give up and will continue to write.”
So, I focused on my writing and started doing everything on my own. I proofread my articles and made sure that they will be interesting.
After spending hours in Canva choosing the right images, writing blogs related to the categories I’ve chosen, and chatting with Bluehost rep about transferring my domain, I got exhausted. I didn’t sleep well. I had a headache, got too stressed out and lost my focus.
I thought I can work on my blog while working as a full-time emergency nurse. Despite everything, I didn’t stop. I continued writing. I got obsessed with the idea that my blog will be successful. I got too consumed with the thought that I’ve forgotten the fun of writing and playing with words.
And unfortunately, because of my frustrations, I’ve forgotten all the great ideas in my head and my goal. I started struggling and started forcing myself to think about what to write than writing what I think. Before I bought my self-hosted site, I had a lot of unique ideas. Too many that I kept writing them everywhere. I wrote some of them in my notes, on the whiteboard and Ipad. But now, I’m left with nothing but regrets and questions like, “why did I buy the site unprepared?”
Then I decided, maybe I should stop for a while. Until one day, my husband told me, “I’ve been waiting for you to stop blogging. Maybe this time you’ll have more time for me.” I was surprised, and I got really sad. I’ve forgotten how we made a promise, that we’re gonna try to conceive this year. Moreover, he said that ever since I bought Bluehost, all I ever thought about was work.
It got me thinking, what did I do wrong? I followed everything that the groups told me to do. I focused on the important points, so I won’t miss anything. I made sure that I had the dedication to start and maintain the blog. Then after a few days of thinking and several cups of coffee, I realised — “you can’t haggle with time.”
It’s either one or the other. You can’t serve two masters at the same time, Jesus said so. I’ve forgotten that we only have 24 hours, minus 6-8 hours to sleep, and the other 8 hours to work. So, whatever I do, it will never work out, not unless I reduce my hours which is quite impossible at this stage.
I’ve decided, maybe, I should just go back to how I was before – writing articles once or twice a month and hopefully, find the joy of writing again.
I realized this is the first time I’ve checked my site after my last post on the 19th of August.
I know that I need to decide if I’ll keep this site or not. For now, I’ve cancelled my renewable subscription to Bluehost, deleted all this blog’s social media account and placed back all my social accounts just like before.
Furthermore, I realised that I didn’t want any of my co-workers to know that I write blogs, especially with how the term BLOGGER is misused lately.
I want to share my life, misfortunes and experiences with the world, but not tell anyone in broad daylight that I’m improbable roads! I don’t know, I’m odd, and I don’t like it when people say stuff that will make me feel like I’m on centre stage.
Before I decided to make this blog site public and earn from it, nobody knew I was improbable roads, and it was okay for me. But now, after everything, people have been calling me different names and using improbable roads as a way of calling me. I don’t know if I’m the problem or if I’m just too sensitive.
Well anyhow, I felt relieved and happy while I’m writing this article. For now, I’ve cancelled my Bluehost, and maybe I’ll just renew it next year so I can keep this website. I’ve left from all the blogging groups and un-enrolled from all the blogging courses.
For someone who’s starting to write a blog site to earn money, I got three things to say to you:
1. ESTABLISH A PROOF-FOOL PLAN before you start a blog, or buy a self-hosted site. Don’t make the same mistake I did. List your do’s and don’ts properly so that you won’t waste money buying software or whatever that’s online that you won’t need.
2. SIT DOWN AND THINK THOROUGHLY IF YOU’LL HAVE THE TIME TO COMMIT. Creating a blog site that earns money needs a firm commitment and dedication. If you have a full-time job, either you choose or create a blog that can match up with your reality and not your expectations.
3. And lastly, always make sure that the topics you choose or niche is your forte. I’ve changed my categories almost five times. Now, I’m keeping the ones I like. Be yourself, and you’ll be surprised how far your ideas can take you.
My Thoughts on Emergency Nursing
Working in the emergency department has been my lifelong dream ever since I started walking the path of nursing. I’ve been to several EDs as a watcher because of my father who’s always sick almost every month since I was 9 years old.
I’ve seen the heroic acts of doctors, nurses, cleaners, radtechs and personnel staff. It may not sound right but whenever we go to ED, there’s this certain level of anxiety that excites me.
I never intended to be a nurse but it was the only choice I had then. So, after years of hard work, washing blood-blemished uniforms, dealing with stress because of exams and bringing big piles of books to school that I rarely opened. I ended up becoming a Registered Nurse.
I didn’t start in ED, I became a medical-surgical nurse for almost eight months before I got permission to do a departmental transfer.
As soon as I got the, “Congratulations! You’ll start next Monday” I was ecstatic. I started daydreaming, imagining myself to be the nurse that saves the day. I couldn’t help but think about the action, keeping up with the coffee and pumping that adrenaline that keeps you working. It was mind-blowing!
I woke up early, ate my breakfast, put on my make-up and went to work early. As I entered the ED, the smell of cleanliness, filth, dry blood and medication welcomed me. Then as I started on that very same day, as I became one of the staff, my mind went blank and all of the excitement that I had in my heart vanished.
Then I began to understand, emergency nursing is nothing like what I had in mind. It’s chaos with compassion.
My early years as an ED nurse could be summed up with a couple of words/tasks – brisk walking, mental health, attitude, bullying, working under pressure, ignorance, and numbness.
Brisk Walking – Never run or you’ll make everyone panic. Regardless if it’s busy or not, always try your best to finish what you’re doing because you never know what will happen.
Mental Health – Rest if you must, but never quit. Life is all about adversities. Work-life balance is not that achievable in this career path. Drink your coffee on your work days, talk with friends, sleep on your day-off and strengthen your mind whenever you get the chance.
Attitude – One thing is for sure, as soon as you start working in ED or in any other place that’s pressure-driven, your attitude will change. I’ll be 100% honest, it will not change you for the better but it will teach you how to survive life’s greatest predicaments. You will understand how non-stop perseverance works, that time dictates your patience and that there’s more to you. As bad as it sounds, it will bring out the good and the worst in you.
Up until such time that you’ll start asking yourself, “what happened to me?” or “when did I become like this?” I’m not sure about the others but that’s what happened to me.
Bullying – Others are there to help, but not all. Some are just tired of how broken the system is. And instead of helping you out, they burden you with their disappointments and frustration. They’ll make you feel that you can’t do it, you’re not for ED and you don’t deserve to wear the ED badge — but just like what I said, rest if you must but never quit.
Not everyone does it just because they want to. There are those who’ll push you to your limit, and help you to grow by teaching you their experiences and share the lessons they learned by failing.
Working under pressure – Sounds easy not unless someone’s life depends on it, like calculating drugs. Man I’m telling you it’s a lifelong challenge that I’m still working on to perfect.
Ignorance and Numbness – Life is unfair. It’s an inevitable fact that we can’t do anything about. There are circumstances in our life that we can’t change, what more for other people, or let’s say our patients. There’s an irrefutable fact that I’ve learned to understand for five years of working as an ED nurse, I can’t help everyone – especially with the long wait and financial assistance.
Even if I give my life, it will never be enough. I can lend someone money to buy medications but what about the next patient? We can’t, because as human beings, we’re limited beyond our capabilities. So instead, we just move on to the next patient as if nothing happened. Being numb to the pain that we don’t have control over troubling situations is the only choice we have.
The patients who come to ED are not just physically sick, they’re emotionally, spiritually, financially and mentally unwell too. So when nurses receive them, they’re wholly broken. Imagine receiving 20-50 in a day. But I’m not whining or anything, I know that it’s our job and we chose this ourselves.
Times have changed as well, people are getting sicker, accidents are rampant and with the pandemic, the communities are mentally exhausted. The world needs more nurses, but with how things are going I don’t think everybody wants to be an RN anymore.
To be honest, despite all the challenges, I fell in love with Emergency Nursing. I don’t see myself working in any other department, but I’m a thread away to shifting careers.
Unlike before, emergency nursing is now becoming the lesser choice for nurses. Everybody leaves, they choose a career where they can breath every once and a while. They choose to be employed in corporate world or anywhere that’s outside the hospital where they feel valued.
If this continues, what will happen to the young ones who were like me five years ago?
Experience is important when you’re working as a nurse, whether in ED or anywhere. At the end of the day, it’s always the lessons that you learned along the way that you pass on to the next generations.
Live A Debt-Free Life, It’s Never Easy, But It’s Worth It
I was born in a poverty-stricken family where debt is a necessity. Even if we don’t have the funds to pay them, borrowing money from friends and relatives is the only and last resort. I grew up with this kind of mentality since primary school.
And whenever I ask my mom how will we pay them back, she’ll just tell me, “God will provide.”
I sincerely believe in that, but I also know that it’s on a case-to-case basis. So, of course, as the eldest daughter, I’m always the representative whenever we loan money from other people, especially to my relatives (I always ask my sister to do the talking and bribe her with candies since they think she’s cute).
I had my first debt when I was in primary school. I started with $1, which I used to buy a pen. I thought, “well, that’s pretty easy. It’s just a dollar, I’ll pay it soon.” But I didn’t, I forgot about it and didn’t have any extra to pay that $1. Then when I remembered it after a few weeks, I ended up doing his assignment instead.
But I didn’t learn my lesson. I still had the urge to keep borrowing money from people because that’s the picture I saw growing up. It was frustrating, I was a kid, not merely 12 years old.
But we didn’t have any choice. We were poor, we needed to eat, thus didn’t have the money to support ourselves.
My debt grew as I age, I’ve paid some of it, and offered jobs for the others. I made my classmate’s projects in exchange for the money I owed. Then as I started college, graduated, got employed, and then boom! My debt list blew up from one paper to a lifetime.
Up until now, I still ponder on those times, so I’ll never forget them. All the debts, the humiliation and the determination to one day put an end to it.
I like how YourDictionary defined debt,
“Debt is defined as owing money, owed money that is past due or the feeling as if you owe someone something. An obligation or liability to pay or return something.”
So it’s not just about money. Since my family had a lot of debt, we spend most of our younger days working for the people we owe money to. Don’t get me wrong, I’m thankful for everyone who helped us, especially those who supported me financially during my college years.
But sadly, some of them asked for something too much to bear that created irreversible damage that only God can fix. I told my mom one time, “I think I was born to pay for all the debts we have in this lifetime.”
Because of everything that happened, I now get the feeling that whenever I borrow something from others, whether it’s money or some petty random stuff, I’m obliged to give them a part of my life.
I hated that haunting feeling. I wanted to be debt-free, that’s why I started working several part-time jobs. But whatever I do, it was never enough. I didn’t know what to do. I felt limited. I felt like I didn’t have many options because my family relied on me.
Plus, I have loans on my own because I kept buying stuff and pay it in instalments! See, I had this mentality that, since I don’t have the money to get what I want, maybe I can buy it by paying it off in small portions. But no, It was not a good idea.
So, I had a mountain of debt. I’ve lived my life like that for years.
Then I met my husband (well, I didn’t know that yet at that time)
His family used to be well-off, but due to some problems, everything went downhill, and their family ended up paying for the majority of the loss. They filed for bankruptcy. They lost everything and ended up having an enormous loan that they didn’t even spend.
He said, “give it some time, talk to your family and start living a debt-free life, get your debit card, I think it’s time”. Just to tell you a bit of a story, there’s this person that lends financial aid to people in our office. She will give you what you need regardless of the amount, but you have to give your debit card to her.
She’ll be the one to get your salary in the machine, minus your monthly payment, and hand over whatever’s left. She had my card for two long years. Every payday, at least 10 of us go to McDonald’s and wait for her.
When he told me that, I got scared. I don’t think I can live without debt. It saved me a million times. I started having doubts, re-created the scenarios where we didn’t have something to eat and reminisced the stress of not having enough money to pay for the bills. And the fear of begging our relatives for money again.
But I followed his advice. I sold the mobile phone he gave me as a gift. He was sad at first, but he said, “you have to promise me, if you’re going to sell that phone, you’ll start cutting the rope that ties you up with that human ATM.”
So I sold the phone and paid some of the extra side-debts I had. It was awful, unforgettable, but was a life-changing experience. My parents were quite confused about how come I can’t provide more than usual anymore.
And to my surprise, we got through our financial hardships, and they even helped me produce funds for my sister’s college. I didn’t even know that it was possible.
After that day – I forgot what day it was, but it was the 15th – I think it was 2013. I promised myself that I’ll never borrow money again – not unless it’s an emergency, of course.
The next few months didn’t go well as planned. My mom kept hoarding debts, and I’m the only one who’s paying for it. But despite all the stress and the sleepless nights, I didn’t apply for any loan. I’ve lived on coffee, didn’t go out, or buy food in the pantry.
I started walking home instead of riding the bus. I believe that someone needs to be that first domino tile that needs to fall so that all the other tiles will follow.
I started working hard and slowly noticed that my family and my attitude towards money has changed. We stopped buying things I didn’t even know we didn’t need and quit overspending on groceries.
Moreover, my mom stopped talking to our neighbours that owe a lot of money to several people that kept referring her to lending companies or asking her to be their co-maker.
I took the responsibility of handling our finances. It was pretty hard, but I needed to stand up for our family. I became strict with how our finances come and goes. I made a list for everything, for groceries, debts and bills. I’m not an accountant, but I learned different strategies by reading, watching videos and seeking advice from financially literate people.
Then our lives and perspective changed. Everything I feared didn’t happen. We didn’t live luxuriously, but we had what we need. We never had the chance to eat in fancy restaurants, but we had food on the table.
We had more predicaments and misunderstandings as a family, but at least we felt free from the chains of continuous debt or that feeling of obligation that we had to give a part of our life to someone else.
I realise that if you have the perseverance and the DISCIPLINE to stop buying the things you don’t need and prevent adding extra monthly bills or expenses in your life, you’ll have a stable financial run. I always remember what my preceptor tells me, “never spend money you don’t have yet.”
Lately, I’m watching videos that will help me more in achieving my goal. I like Rose Han, she helped me a lot – and no, this is not an advertisement for her channel.
Anyway, I’m trying to pay off some of the multi-debts I had at home. One by one, and in time, i’ll be debt-free. I have quite a few. Hopefully, one day I can be debt-free and let go of that rope that ties me up to that heavy feeling of always owing something that’s not rightfully mine.
8 Disadvantages of Rushed Writing
I started writing when I was 12 years old. I’m not an English native speaker so my posts were terrible back then. My grammar was annoyingly incorrect, my vocabulary lacks substance, and even my sentence construction was incomprehensible. I’m not saying that I’m a pro now, but at least I can write an article that people can read and understand.
Then I took a long break cause my dad doesn’t like the idea of me writing. His brother ended up broke because he took up journalism in college and became a reporter after. He thought that if I pursue my passion, I might end up just like him.
Well, I think he was successful. It’s just that he didn’t push for fame and glory like his fellow journalists. He helped a lot of people, and now he prefers to just stay at home and relax. Both his children finished college and have jobs of their own.
Then I decided that maybe I can go back to writing again. It was quite okay but not satisfying. But I still think it’s funny when you re-read your old posts. After reading one article after another, you can’t help but ask yourself, “what was I thinking when I was writing this?”.
After a few years of neglecting my site, I knew that I needed a comeback. And I think writing is one passion people should never forget. It’s like a time capsule that you can access 24/7. I was using Blogger before changing to WordPress. I started by writing one blog a month, sometimes every three months.
I got satisfied with the articles that I wrote back then, I thought it was good. Then after re-reading it, I realised that most of it were remarkably terrible. I suddenly remembered that when I started writing again, I was always rushing. I was aiming to finish it quickly, read it once, and post it, cause I thought I need to be efficient.
So, I asked for help.
It went well in the first few weeks cause my husband was revising my blog posts. But he got busy because of an important sport, so I had to do it all on my own. After the match, he read some of the articles I made.
He said, “what happened to your writing? It’s long but it doesn’t have any substance. Stop rushing to post one article a day. I’d say, try to sit down and re-read them several times before you post it. Always put yourself in your reader’s shoes.”
I was taken aback. All this time I thought I was giving it my all. So, I sat down and read all the articles he polished and the ones I made. After re-reading some of it, I began to understand how he found out that I was hurrying to finish the articles.
- The grammar lapses are obvious.
- No explanation nor excuses. I’m working really hard on this, that’s why it’s in number one. I’m now working on reading more books and listen to podcasts.
2. My train of thought is just all over the place
- I think this happens when I get too excited about a topic. So now, I try to write a set of drafts and then just pick which one is the best. Then I’ll think about it on that same day I wrote it, then read it again the next day.
3. I’ve been using the same words several times in one paragraph. The vocabulary is nonsense.
- I intentionally use the same words when writing, and thinking that I’ll just go back to it after I finish the entire article to rectify it. But since I get too excited most times, I end up forgetting about it. Then I will just find out maybe after a few weeks or several months.
- I don’t want to get used to this kind of bad habit. So now, I make sure to fix whatever the lapses are and modify it right there and then.
4. The words are too deep that he thinks some readers might not know what it means, and it doesn’t even fit in some of the sentences
- After taking the IELTS exam, I got stuck with the mindset that utilising highfalutin words is a must to produce a high-quality article. But after reading some of the best blog posts in Reader in WordPress, I realized I was wrong. Using basic and simple words that’s easy to understand helped me more in expressing myself than utilising unfamiliar words.
5. I keep using complex sentence construction because it sounds neat and intelligent.
- I tried using SKELL, it’s a website that tells you if you’re using the words correctly in a sentence. Whenever I tried keying a word, as long as it sounds fine, I use it right away without thinking about it. But now, I’ve come to understand that quality articles should be written using the KISS method – Keep It Short and Simple.
6. The sentences are quite long that it doesn’t make sense sometimes anymore.
- I think I get too excited that I always write the first idea that pops up in my head without having second thoughts. And because of IELTS, again, I thought that writing long sentences is the key to success in blogging. Well, based on research, a lengthy blog post focused on SEO can help a blogger grow its network and gain more readers.
- Therefore, I’ve come to understand that writing long posts just for an article to look good is a big no-no. It needs to be interesting and knowledgable. I also learned that if I want to write a lengthy article, it needs to have SEO. It has to have substance and should concentrate on the main topic to avoid going astray.
7. There are instances that I even contradict myself.
- I write in Thought Catalog too! But this is a comment I got three times in a row from my editor. It’s beginning to be an awful habit. I now try my best to re-read it several times, and sort out my opinions by writing it in my I-pad. Sometimes I read it aloud to understand it better.
8. I rely too much on Grammarly.
- It is a good app, but I’m utilising the free one which means I don’t get the most out of it. I just found out from a friend who purchased the complete package that it helps, but not entirely. The majority of the work will still depend on the writer. The sentence construction, the vocabulary and the presentation of ideas.
- There’s also another app that helped me a lot when I was working as a content writer, it’s for free too, it’s called Polish My Writing.
I’m not saying that I write like a pro now. I realised that if I want to produce a quality article, I need to give it some thought. Read it at least five times, constantly have the persistence to do it, and find someone who will also have the patience to read it and edit it articulately and accurately.
See, I used another complex sentence! Well, I’m working on it. Thanks to everyone who still reads my blog. And thanks for reading this one as well! I hope you will still keep visiting my site 🙂
Why Is God Strong When We Are Weak?
When I was young, my mom always tells me, “God is strong when we are weak” whenever we face difficulties with life. And it is a phrase I never understood not until recently.
I haven’t posted anything for the past few days because I participated in our mid-year prayer and fasting. I had a few prayer requests, but I mostly focused on giving thanks.
I’ve been partaking in our church prayer and fasting for almost 10 years. Of all, I felt that this mid-year was the most challenging. It was so hard to put my focus on God alone. Apart from the fact that my head is a spaghetti junction of troubled thoughts, I also work as an ED nurse.
After so many years of doing it, this is the first time I’ve become too distracted for some reason, I’m not sure why. I struggled cause I didn’t know what the problem was. Then I remembered the seven words my mom keep telling me whenever she feel troubled.
God is strong when we are weak.
So, I sat down, drank coffee and ponder on those words. Then a few heartbreaking thoughts came into my head.
I realized that I’m distracted because I’m doing pretty well. Yes, I still have problems, but it’s manageable compared to the issues I had before. I’m much more settled and content with what I have. In contrary to the life I had for the past few years, I’m doing way better this 2021. Unlike before that I had to rely on God alone for everything.
But now, my selfishness is starting to take over my mind, soul and body. My heart is full of greed and my thoughts are all over the place. All I ever think about is my job, blog, wife duties and responsibilities to my family.
I don’t want to be that someone who prays just because I need something. I want to be that person that does not forget God even when the circumstances are not in my favour.
I think this is what happens when we’re doing okay. We don’t seek Him anymore, and give Him the attention He deserves to have. I pray to give thanks, but sometimes I get the feeling that I’m just chanting empty prayers just to say that I did.
I believe that God is the only light that can take us out of the dark. So, on the last day of prayer and fasting, I tried to remember different scenarios in my life that I had to call out to God desperately.
And surprisingly, it did help me to connect with God. But it doesn’t mean that it only happens when you’re sad, lonely or broken.
I remembered some of the random stories my friends told me. They find it surprising that whenever they feel that there’s no hope or when there’s overwhelming joy, their heart tells them to pray to God. I think recollections like these are reminders that whatever we do, God is always in control.
He wants us to be happy. He doesn’t want to see us suffering. He always wants what’s best for us. But unfortunately, as soon as He begins to answer our prayers, we disregard Him and ignore His plans for us. We begin to forget the days when we were desperately praying for the blessings we now have.
That’s why God is strong when we are weak because we only call out to Him sincerely when our problems are out of control, when our selfish plans have failed and we have exhausted every last bit of hope this world offers.
And most days, instead of seeking Him first when trouble comes, He becomes our last resort 💔
I hope that may we all remember Him every day. Even when times are good, even when we have what we need. I pray that may we always find the hope and the joy that comes from Jesus Christ alone.
Thanks for reading! God bless you ❤