Decade Review Part III: A letter from your future self

The third part of Marie Forleo’s Decade Review asked for our goals for the next decade. However, I cannot share my decade goals here, so I’m just copying the last section.

Hi Kayla,

I would like you to know that I’m proud of you. You made it! You will make it! As you declare 2020 as a Year of Blessings, you must never forget your roots and God. Surely, your 2020 is a year of blessing. It’s the beginning of an impactful decade, so stand up and face the next decade with hope. Consistency is the key. It’s going to be difficult, but life is never easy. As you grind offer everything to God. Remember, everything stems from God, everything. I want you to always put God at the center of your life and everything will fall into place. If God is with you, who can be against you? God is going to make miracles for you—remember He sees every action, every word, every thought and even if people cannot see it, live an honorable life. Honorable and full of integrity. There are a lot of philanthropists out there but always ask yourself how are you going to be different? How? The answer lies in your heart. Do you do it for glory? or do you do it out of love and true pain? Again, live an honorable life, so even if things happen not as you please you can find that courage again. God loves you so much, and God will always be there as He has promised since June 30, 2003. People will judge you along the way, but only God knows your true heart. Stop pleasing people and focus on God. Remember that you are doing this for others and for God. Have courage, and always think about how your actions can help and inspire people. You still have 10 years. Focus on your weight first and cherish and nourish yourself so you can give more. Be consistent. When it becomes tough, I want you to know that God is with you. God is everything, God has brought all of your greatest dreams into completion. I want you to dream and enjoy. The coming decade will be an amazing ride with your own family, and your amazing equally generous husband, a man of wisdom, integrity and faith. Be inspiring and impactful. I want you to feel it truly in your heart. I am proud of you.

From,
Your 2030 self (I’m 38 years old now)

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Decade Review Part II: Letting go | A Review of my 2010s

I’m now on the part 2 of Marie Forleo’s Decade Review. Today’s focus is on what I want to leave behind.

What old projects and goals am I letting go? I’m willing to let go of my orator site. My 2010s was focused on my public speaking, but it’s time to let it go. I no longer feel alive when I am on stage, and I know deep down it doesn’t serve me anymore.

The dream of having my plot produced in Hollywood, I let go of that too.

I also realized that I want to serve God in the church and not as a full-time missionary. I stop questioning myself  whether I made a bad decision for not entering the convent or volunteering to spread God’s word full-time anymore.

What resentments, angers and upsets

am I letting go?

Being a LET topnotcher wasn’t for me. I let that go. I accept that God knows I can advance without it, so I forgive myself for dwelling too much on “I should have…” cos honestly, I even became a hermit for a year just to learn all the math formulae and biology terms — for the title. But it’s just isn’t for me. I let it go, and I thank God for blessing me with so much more.

I let go of hating people who underestimated me. Being treated unfairly despite of effort makes life life. I let that go. Life is unfair. Period.

I forgive people who looked down on me, belittled, underestimated my story. I let go of the anger I feel every time people think I am just studying— that I am a recognition-whore. My friend Jacky was right, I should not be angry at them, cos they don’t know the whole story. However, to declare the real reason why I study. Yeah, I study a lot abroad because it’s a way of supporting my parents. I have been helping them so much through my scholarships– so my studying is still in essence for my parents. If I don’t give this much, I won’t be able to provide them. Sometimes I envy people who have to study only. Even while I was in Australia, I was always thinking about finances back home — and I am proud of it. I showed maturity and balance and confidence under pressure.

Life will always be unfair, disappointing. People will take for granted my sacrifices, kindness, love, effort, excellence. People will judge my story. But I have to stand up each time and accept that my only job is to press on even when it gets tougher. God is always with me, and God sees every effort, every pain and every love that comes out of every action I pour out on something.

 

What limiting beliefs, crappy old stories I choose to let go? I used to believe that I had it harder. Now I realize we all go through the same pain just in different forms. This helped me appreciate each person’s story and love and care for each person deeply. I give this feeling to God.

I have always been thinking “I’m not good enough” on loop. I believed that if I become better each day people will love and appreciate me a little bit more. Some people won’t and it’s not my problem, so trying harder and burning myself out doesn’t matter really. People who choose to love me will stay.

I let go of the belief that people are afraid of me. Instead I replace it with “I’m enough” and with trust and respect. I commit to respecting people and not expecting anything from them. I commit to thinking how I can help, how I can love, how I can be kind this decade and not worry too much about people’s reactions. What matters is I simply show up and do.

I refuse to let the old limiting beliefs crash me this decade. I declare that: I can earn money and save it. I can lose weight and maintain the habit. I can wear those clothes I am dreaming of! I can have a healthy relationship with food. I can be a master of predictive statistics and programming and linguistics. I can publish countless of meaningful journal articles. I can build a meaningful product. I do have what it takes too. If people can, I can. I only have to muster the courage to take that one step forward. I have a lot to bring to the table too — my knowldege of human behavior, language, my intuition, my negotiation skills, my vision. I have the wealth of resources within me, I contain multitudes, and this decade I declare I will finally tick off all the goals I once longed for.

I refuse to believe that I am worthless and unlovable. I am loved by God and people will also love me if I have the courage to show who I really am. I am open to love, and open myself to intimacy this decade. I am willing to step up and do something about my health, my appearance. I will move forward positively.
I am not yet old enough, I am still on the game — I will travel more, learn more, earn more, so I can help and make this world a better place. I refuse to believe that my dream of putting up my own orphanage, home for the aged, missionary fund, shelter and food for the homeless, millions of funding for disaster and calamity, education scholarships for students and jobs is no longer achievable. I won’t let it go! And I declare that I will! I will make this world a better place. I will not silence the deepest aches in my heart anymore and pretend I only care about KDRAMA to hide the anger and frustration I have with the world— I will face the world as I once dreamed of improving, and will make it a little bit better with the help and grace of God! With God, I can!

 

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Decade Review Part I: What You’re Proud Of | A Review of my 2010s

Thanks to Marie Forleo for the Decade Review guide questions! One decade, gone! Can you believe it? We’re not only saying goodbye to 2019, we’re seeing 2010s off.

What You’re Proud Of : Over the past 10 years, what have you done that you’re proud of? 

  I am proud of myself for not giving up and for always being with God all these years. Some people say I focused too hard on my grades, but the more I look at it, the more I realized that it’s because God has revealed himself to me more in my education journey.  He used my education to bless people, to bless and provide for my parents and family. Yes, I was using my scholarship to feed my family. However, I hope that He will reveal himself in another field in the next decade. (Lablaif Lord, Lab laif, heeheh!)

Year Accomplishments with God
2010 I won the National Oration champion. I remember I failed a month before when I competed in another oration competition. I thought that ended my oration journey, but God had another plan. I was wrong for exactly after a month of defeat, a new competition opportunity came.

During another competition I even told God, I wouldn’t do much, if it’s for me it’s for me. But I won, I got motivated so I practiced again until I reached the regional contest then the nationals. During the nationals, I remember being so aloof. My skirt’s back zipper snapped out. Everything was not working for me that day. I remember telling myself, just go home without regrets. It was so quiet, deafening silence while I was speaking on stage in that UP Diliman auditorium (I forgot the name). That’s what I loved when I am orating, I’m in this bubble of deep silence where I could freely talk about the issues that matter to me.

While they’re announcing the winner, I was praying hard. And then I asked Jesus, who are you going to listen to as I saw most of us bowing our heads. All 16 of us were praying for the same title. And when they called six, my number. I cried so hard, cos it’s another revelation for me. I felt God’s eyes looking at me, smiling and telling me, “I listened to you; I chose you”.

And that ended my oration journey.

2011 2011 was when I was awarded summa cum laude and the Notre Dame award. I was also the graduation speaker. Having the award was everything to me cos I really envisioned myself getting it, speaking before the crowd and bagging the title. Before the Notre Dame Award, there was St. Marcellin Champagnat, but they changed the title that year. In other words, it’s not really the first cos it’s just a change in title. But I think they gave that award 10 years before… so I was hoping for Notre Dame award more than the summa cum laude. I remembered one of the strictest Marist brothers telling me  “they said they finally found the person after all these years”. God was again smiling at me 🙂 He chose me for that award again after 10-12 years?

Then came the end of 2011 when I was pushed to the ground again. I did not top the board. I threw tantrums (I’m sorry if I sound like a toff), my mom even pick me up from uni cos she knew how important the title was for me. But it didn’t work out. I failed betrayed, I felt God didn’t listen to me.

 

2012 But  in March 2012 I competed for Your Big Year. That year, I represented the Philippines abroad. I didn’t win, I was silent. I felt God abandoned me… But I also realized, it’s not the life I wanted. God showed me the world, so I understand myself better. I thought I wanted to be a politician after having served as a leader all my life since elementary. But that Your Big year completely changed my outlook. Well, hey I got to see UK for free and my lola Annie!!! And for me, that was the end of my political fantasy — sad to say it was also the start of not caring too much of changing the world (but the fact that I’m thinking about the pains of people while typing this may be a sign that I’ve not given up on it)

In the same year, I started my first teaching as an English teacher at the newly built San Pedro College-Basic Education in Davao. It’s my first teaching. God brought me to SPC. I thought I wouldn’t like it there, but I was so wrong… The transfer led me to Gemma, Sir Nap, Ma’am Julli and the friends I still communicate with from time to time.
I also started my MA. As usual, I was a silent kid… I got good grades all 1’s, but I wasn’t the smartest. I thought God forgot about me… but I was enjoying my time as an English teacher. Everything was silent…This year I also began my Zumba journey. I would walk around the Victoria plaza and then dance every day!!! These simple mundane activities are really memorable for me. I want to do it again.

I thought I was living a simple life, but during my early morning walks I would still imagine myself being somewhere else…to the university I’ve always dreamed of.

2013 2013 was a silent year. I cried a lot this year. I was still dreaming, hoping… I would, as I always did, write my goals and dreams and put it on the wall to remind me. But no matter how much I tried to console and empower myself, I still sobbed every evening. However, I enjoyed my first university teaching at SPC as a speech instructor.This year was also the start of my anger management therapy. Silence was so deadly I admit I scarred other people by my words. I regret it a lot! We couldn’t really run away from who we were. I was so immature, I wanted to lash out and say what I always think as I always did—but life’s no longer that for me. Of course a teacher cannot say “you’re so stupid” which came so easy for me while I was still studying–maybe that caused the pent up anger. As I look back at it now, I realized God was busy working on my character. Thank you God. However, no matter how much we change the people we hurt, the people in our past can only look at us with the same eyes.No smile, no assurance, no care can ever take away the pain we caused them. Maybe that’s the reason why I can relate so much with Kenshin Himura.

Admittedly, I started volunteering at Sta. Ana Parish as a reader to find my heart and peace again.

 

2014 Then 2014 came. I was busy with my thesis. From being a silent student, I instantly received good remarks from my ADDU professors. I left another impression.

While moving on, another pain thrust my me again: receiving the news that I got rejected from Fulbright MA scholarship, and was offered the Fulbright Foreign Language Teachign Assistantship instead. I admit that I was hurt, I felt I was disposable, that I’m not enough. But I still said yes…

Like everyone else trying their best at life, I continued to enjoy my time with my kids… I was not the perfect teacher, but I did my best. Eventually I left to start another journey in my teaching career at ADDU while preparing for my US journey.

 

2015 Then the Fulbright Journey began! Woop woop! I am thankful to God for giving me the opportunity to travel to New York, Chicago, Michigan, Maryland, Washington, California… It was a gift and a bit of a break from the hustle and bustle. I admit I started to feel small when I was there. I thought I was displaced, that I shouldn’t be there. However, I enjoyed my trips to Barnes and Nobles every day where I read all the books I wanted and lazed around at StarBucks while chugging my Salted Caramel latte and enjoying their cheesecake. I could stay there forever!!! It’s also the year when I started my Orator site. It didn’t work, but it gave me hope at the time.

All the books I read this year built my character, so I realized life is really like this — we need the silence to recuperate and build our character because God is more interested in our character than our dreams.

2016 While in the US, I got accolades from my professors cos of my work and my public speaking, but I still felt small. And eventually I went back to the Philippines. I was unemployed for a few months. I remember it to be the worst days of my life — I had no money that I couldn’t even eat my favorite G*** lasagna or go to the cinema. I only had 1500 to spend each week. I remember Danzelle and I were crying while we’re in that sad place in our life, in that stinky but comforting room on top of a run-down house.

Until I was finally hired by CHED, which I also left after a day (and reading and summarizing all the university’s budget proposals) I was questioning God why. Why I felt I don’t belong there. I thought I wanted to be a commissioner or an Education leader, but God know me more than I know myself. He sent me there so I become more aware of what I truly want. (The same with the UK experience). I looked at the supervisors ( the two highest officials know me and took care of me) but I was thinking, I do not want their life.

Then Appen came. It was an unknown company to me. To be honest at first I was ashamed of leaving my position for the industry… I couldn’t understand God! From being small in the US (despite of the travels), then it seemed like God wanted to slap me again. But soon I began to love my work: the regular expressions, the excitement whenever I get a new project with new conventions. I LEARNED A LOT FROM APPEN!

2017 I continue to build my skills on programming and project management while saving money and enjoying and being happy. Then I decided to apply to Australia Awards. The process was long, I thought I wouldn’t get in. I even thought I bombed the interview because I felt they were not satisfied especially Will, the hot Australian-Chinese DFAT representative. I really bawled my eyes out until I received the email from them the next day!!!!

 

2018 I began my journey to ANU. Before, I was told I might not have a chance at ANU. But God again told me, nope. Apply! I did and I made it! I was crying when I received the response from ANU! I couldn’t believe it. I am finally going to study in a top university. At the time, I was just contented. While working for Appen and submitting my papers, I realized how God did not give up on me. I was taking my PhD at ADDU that time, I even forgot about my previous dream. I just wanted to have a degree, but God had a different plan. God was looking at me, and he was faithful to His promise. God did not leave me. If I finished that PhD, it would have been over for me.

When I forgot who I was and what I really wanted, God did not. He opened the gates so I could freely walk through it. Aaah, I can’t narrate all the miracles He had done this year: from getting the highest score in the hardest exam (according to the professor), to getting invited by a professor to be his supervisee… I couldn’t believe everything.

If I hadn’t been at ANU, will I ever know I am not disposable? That I would make it there? Nope. But God DID NOT GIVE UP ON MY DREAMS EVEN WHEN I DID!!! God did not give up on my dreams. I was preparing for a different path, but he opened the gates!

Remember when I said I didn’t understand why God put me at Appen, the linguistic Australian company? At first, I really thought I brought it upon myself… for being too picky, for being not enough. But this year, I finally understood. God prepared me- Was preparing me for Australia when he placed me in Appen. I got to work with them remotely even after getting the scholarship, so I got paid a lot for an hour which helped me saved a lot for my mother and for our trip!!!

GOD knew I would need Appen. So now why should I worry right? God already knew what’s next. I may not see it now, but he’s up to something. I’m sure about it. I have faith in You, God.

2019 I finished my master’s degree this year, and I’m proud of getting the uinversity medal. To be honest, I wasn’t really expecting it. But I did dream about it. I remember when Flora mentioned this award for the first time, I suddenly felt some excitement and I couldn’t understand why cos I thought I was not even qualified.

If God did not guide me through, I wouldn’t have finished my degree this way. I almost did not apply for the advanced version because I was discouraged by my scholarship and some people. However, I felt this tagging again. I finally decided to take a leap of faith when my coordinator told me I can do it. During my thesis writing stage, I was crying a lot! I was so confused and my friend Lois was a witness to it all. I had to learn modelling for the first time, I had to understand concepts quickly. I was literally swimming in the ocean. But God assured me, “I am the Lord, your redeemer, I will teach you what’s for your good and lead you on the way you should go”.

That became my strength! But at times I still felt it wasn’t going well. But he kept on telling me, “I will help you!” there came a stage where I had to stand up independently for myself… My editor failed me, I had two days to edit my own work! Imagine, of course I would cry! Just look at how I write in my blog! I have bad grammar, I am not a good writer – I always just get away because of the content.

But then the Holy Spirit encouraged me. I told myself that night (after eating Dominos with Lois), I am not giving up. I still have that sheet of paper which I plastered on my wall. I wrote “Even when people gave up on you, I will not. With God, I can”. So I edited my thesis with God. And I did it! With God, indeed!

This year too, I am proud to say I achieved another dream of mine to tour my mom. With my Appen salary, I was able to bring my mom to Australia in January then to Korea in July. I spent a lot, but it’s all worth it! It’s a dream come true!

A week before my graduation, out of pride, I resigned from Appen. My manager accepted my resignation. I was crying because I really did love my work. It’s the kind of work I love, but they didn’t have a full-time job for me. At first, I thought I was to be blamed for being too emotional and for sending that resignation email right away.

But because of that, I was able to apply for Cambly. I was cashing in a lot!! LIke a lot! Every week is enough to sustain us. In fact, I could fulfill my remote life fantasy and become a Hikikomori. What’s also amazing is that I get to practice my profession again: helping people, becoming aware that this is my talent especially when people would book a lesson with me again after the call. It’s a rewarding job, but I want something fixed to be honest. While I can earn 18k a week (God, I can’t imagine how hard that’d be), I had to really force myself and motivate myself. There were times I only earned 3000 pesos a week because I was lazy.

Being someone who thrives in productivity, this relax environment is killing me so while teaching, I was also learning advanced stats and modelling and python programming and machine learning on the side. (So yes, I was not only watching Korean dramas).

And exactly in December, God opened a path I was not expecting-a path I was willing to take next year, but it’s been done. I’m excited for the next year… I can’t share it yet, but it’s definitely what I have been dreaming all my life.

By writing this decade summary, I have faith that God is preparing something again! The same God who brought me victories will be with me in the next decade. I just wish He will reveal himself to me in other areas of my life as I hopefully bid goodbye to my education (after this PhD).

Thank you God in advance for your gift of the decade! What a journey! Thank you for being with me all these years God!

Forever,

Your Kimkim

Next: Part 2: What I will leave behind!

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Random Thoughts

This is the most special award for me…

(Thought of it while cleaning up my documents)

Not only because I am the first and only awardee since 2011 (can’+ believe it’s that long), but because it is a testament of my hard work back then, balancing leadership, academics and service. I sometimes think I have used up all my voice and energy back in uni tha+ I no longer want to hold any high leadership position since then. Yet I still feel guilty for not achieving anything (to prove myself I am.worthy of this award), and for not even trying…

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Photo Diary #399: July 26, 2019 Friday, Kipot

Focused on cleaning my website and youtube channel

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Photo Diary #398: July 25, 2019 Thursday, Kipot

Criminal Minds Korean Version

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Photo Diary #397: July 24, 2019 Wednesday, Kipot

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Photo Diary #396: July 23, 2019 Tuesday, Kipot

Of course, cheap pedi is the best

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Photo Diary #395: July 22, 2019 Monday, Kipot

Back in Crossing Kipot and spending quality time with Aya, my niece

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Photo Diary #394: July 21, 2019 Sunday, Yakimix

Thanks Holiday Inn 😊😊😊

Siempre una gid kaon sa Yakimix with ate Kar, mama, and Jan

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