Half of 2016 Updates

The BIG QUESTION is… where is Kayla now after her Fulbright stint?

My shocking response has always been: In the house.

While many expected me to do BIGGER things, I have been staying at home since June, reflecting on the experience and planning the next five years of my life. It’s not that it’s my choice. My entry was late, so most universities no longer have vacant posts. Instead of fretting over the unexpected disadvantage of a late return (I admit I cried every night), I decided to revisit my goals and list down my priorities for 2016. Not only that. I resolved to find joy in the WILDERNESS, believing that there is a lesson that God wants me to learn and that He wants me to experience. In the process, I discovered it to be that of humility, total surrender and faith.  Before I left, God showed me a very powerful verse Genesis 25:13. He promised that although I might not understand, He is working in the background and that He will fulfill His promise. God already sees this coming, I failed…Who am I then to control my own life? I can only surrender then. Also, I realized that no matter how hard the waiting is, there is joy – in my case, the joy of rest, family time and me-time.  Life. Life. Life is Hard but that makes it beautiful too. Knowing that I no longer can control the situation, there is hidden a deep profound joy and hope for what is to come. Build my character first. That’s it. Learn the value of money and family, that’s another. It’s been a tough yet joyful two-month wilderness. When August comes, I’m sure I’m ready to face the next awesome five years of my life because I ensured that I get in touch with my emotions by writing on my journal often and connecting with Jesus and asking for His Will for my life. In the end, I know nothing… I can’t control everything. I can only pray hard, work smart, be happy, and remember the main reason why I am striving: to get to Heaven and bring others there.

I might not have a job but two big positions have been waiting for me. The other one has always been a dream, and I cannot believe at this age I was even qualified for it. Sometimes, I would imagine myself carrying the title. Again, I can only hope and do my best. The interview is underway. In fact, I’ll be facing the heads of this country for that. Scary.

Has 2016 been abundant? Yep. There’s an abundance of friends, experiences and travels.  I can’t wait to set foot in Europe in November and in Indonesia in September *fingers crossed*. While battling the urgency to dive into a job just for the sake of the job, I came across a quote that says, “A short stop in the journey can lead to tremendous discoveries”. True enough, I discovered more and more about myself, more about the needs of my family (I can’t wait to materialize all of them) and more about Jesus.

Have I been so optimistic all this time? H**** no! I cried for the first three weeks, on and off, day in day out. I even felt like I was stuck in a rut and the Fulbright experience was just a waste…the effects of depression you know. But here I am again, optimistic, moving forward.

The next question is… What are your plans for 2016?

I drafter 22 BIG GOALS for 2021. In fact, I write them every morning and every evening before I go to bed. I cannot share them here however because it’s like a sacred agreement between me and God. Now, they’re part of me that I can easily recall them word for word. Listing them helps me prioritize what’s important. Remember, I’m only giving myself five more years left to fulfill all my unfulfilled plans. I want to devote the next 5 years after that for my new family. In fact, I envision myself homeschooling my children and be a hands-on mom and in order for me to do that, I must build a fortune now and build successful businesses. “You can ask your husband for that!” one friend commented. Honey, I cannot just depend on my own husband. We should work for it together. I might be wrong, but that’s how I see marriage.

What have I learned and improved on for the past six months?

Well, I became….

  • self-reliant.
  • optimistic and admirer of life after the many hurdles I surpassed.
  • understanding and empathetic. I see people, situations in a different lens now.
  • patient especially when things aren’t going as planned.
  • humbe. I no longer brag about my accomplishments. I zip my mouth if it does not benefit the others.
  • more loving towards myself. I put myself first this time and give it the respect it needs. My low self-esteem can be traced back to the 1990s and hasn’t left ever since. However, I am doing small things like daily appreciation and celebration for my accomplishments to show my self the love it lacks. Let’s just say, I’m not hard on myself anymore.
  • respectful towards my parents. I serve them now and no longer answer them back.
  • asssertive. I am no longer taken aback by a person’s accomplishments. As long as I know I am right, I will say my points with respect.


Also, I started…

  • doing my daily online journals with self-checks, celebrations, prayers, etc.
  • my own project in youtube (reading bible verses and posing reflection questions)
  • my OraTOR book which I will publish in December and give as a gift to myself.
  • reading the bible according to book instead of according to Church readings. In this way, I don’t lose the entire message of the book. I finished Proverbs, Sirach, Wisdom, Song of Songs and Job.
  • listing my 22 goals every morning and every night to take them to heart.
  • saying “JUST DO YOUR PART” every morning and every night to feel the urgency of the five years.
  • writing summaries and application notes in my BOOK notebook to ensure that I remember what I read, the quotes and what I learned from what I read and the actions I need to take after reading them. In fact, most of the changes in my routines are products of the suggestions in the self-help books I’ve read from Ziglar, Maxwell, Warren, Baker, Stanley and Ruiz. I so miss Barnes & Noble. Reading without a change in behavior is not true learning. At least when I remember to do the best I can with what I have with whatever situation I am in, I will remember Maxwell’s Intentional Living. When I say, “Just do it/do your part”, I will remember Ruiz’s “Five Agreements. When I list my 22 goals, Ziglar’s The Power of Goal Setting will come to mind. Whenever I ABSGG (Address Past Issues, Break Bad Habits, Set High Standards, Go Save and Go to God) and respect the five-year retreat, Stanley is recalled. Whenever I pray and memorize verses (tons of them), I will remember Warren and Baker. Applications make me remember authors best. Plus, I can review some of their key points.


Most are self-transformation and not the acquiring of material wealth. Although that’s part of the plan, I am more determined to develop myself.

Sending smiles and hugs,





Categories: 365 Photos Journal, Lessons, Musings, Successes, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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