Happy Tuesday 🙂
I’m now back in Manila after being in the Maldives for 9 days.
I miss the blue skies, clear waters, my huge room, my bike, the people in the resort, unlimited ice cream, laundry services, buffet… It took me 3 days to settle back in Manila. Hehe!
I usually receive emails from people telling me, “You’re living such a beautiful life.”
The truth is, my life is not all roses. I’ve had some dark, painful days, too!
I was in sophomore year in college in the University of the Philippines — Diliman when I experienced my darkest days, academic-wise.
I’ve dropped two major subjects.
At the rate I was going, I may drop more subjects and I may not graduate on time.
Worst, I may not graduate at all. Ouch!
It pained me to think I was failing my parents.
Here’s what happened.
Three days before our final exams in freshman year, the boarding house where I lived caught fire.
I lost everything — books, notebooks, clothes, floppy disk where I saved my paper for our Communications subject, etc.
In my former boarding house, our landlady was strict and sweet.
No alcohol, no cigarettes, no loud music at night, no going home late at night…
I loved that setup. I felt safe.
After all, I went to college to study and not to party.
When the boarding house was burned to ashes, I and my housemates moved to different ‘temporary’ boarding houses.
Those new ‘boarding houses’ allowed everything that was not allowed in our previous boarding house.
I loved my housemates. But I was culture shocked!
I was so shocked, I couldn’t understand my lessons as if my brain was blocked from absorbing any academic information.
Even Math which was my favorite subject became a huge challenge to me.
One day during my sophomore year, my groupmates and I were working on a project.
During our merienda break, I went to a corner, sat down, and looked outside the window.
One of my groupmates came to me and asked,
“Sha, why do you look so sad?”
I shared my dilemma with her.
“I know I need to move to a dorm so I can focus on my studies but I am worried because I don’t have any friends in the dorm.”
I was only 17 then. It was my first time to live away from my family and my housemates have become my friends and family away from my family.
Here’s what she said,
“Sha, you’re a kind person and you’re easy to get along with. You can make friends wherever you go.”
Boom! Her kind words cleared all my doubts.
So in my third year, I moved to a dormitory.
True enough, I met new friends.
They are still some of my closest friends up to this day.
With the right environment, I was able to focus on my studies.
I had so much clean fun!
Thank God, I was able to graduate on time.
Bonus, I also graduated as a Dean’s Medalist.
(I was .05 away from graduating as a cum laude).
Seeing my parents so proud on my graduation day was priceless!
I will always be grateful to my classmate for her kind and life-changing words.
Thank you, Tong!
Is there a kind word you want to share with someone?
Maybe you want to tell the waiter, “I like your smile.”
If you’re a parent, maybe you want to tell your child, “I’m proud of you!“
To a security guard, “Thank you for guarding this building and keeping us safe.”
To your parent(s), “I am so proud to be your daughter/son! Thank you for loving me.”
To your manager or leader at work, “Thank you for leading our team well and for treating us with respect.”
To your team members, “Thank you for your dedication at work.”
To a friend, “Thank you for making time to listen to me.”
To your crush, “You’re gorgeous!”
What would you like to add?
Don’t hold back those kind, sincere words.
You’ll never know how your words can change someone’s life.
Whenever I travel to a new place or go to an event where I didn’t know anyone and the introvert in me gets a little scared, I’d go back to what my classmate told me.
She’s right. I indeed always make new friends.
In my recent trip to the Maldives, I’ve deepened my friendships with old friends.
I also met new friends — speakers, attendees, organizers.
In the 5-star resort where I stayed, I became friends with the sushi chefs who made me the best sashimi and sushi I’ve ever tasted!
I’ve also made friends with the resort’s guests Geoffrey and Sheila from the U.K. who’ve been happily married for 60 years!
On the plane from the Maldives to Singapore, I sat beside John and Janice of Australia who’ve been happily married for 48 years! We became instant friends and they told me to let them know when I get to visit their side of the world so we can reconnect.
Making friends and keeping friends are so important.
I observed there are two types of friends:
Type 1: Friends who will be there for you when they have time.
Type 2: Friends who will make time to be there for you.
Did you spot the difference? It’s night and day.
Which type of friends do you have in your inner circle?
Which type of friend are you to your closest friends?
I wish you fearless possibilities!
P.S.2 Connect with me on LinkedIn. I post on LinkedIn almost everyday.
P.S.3. In case our Gen Z is wondering what a floppy disk is, here’s how it looks like. It’s where you save your files back in the day.