Due to budget constraints, I wasn’t able to push through with my volunteering stint in Tacloban for the All Hands Volunteers last April 17-20. I contacted the organization and told them that I would be rescheduling to June, but at the rate things are going, I doubt if I can still save enough for it. Aside from the plane fare, I have to buy a set of clothes and some other things to be used there. Plus, I’m also saving for an out-of-the-country trip sometime in October or November.

It has been really frustrating. I’ve been looking forward to going to Leyte, but I’m tied to fulfilling some other financial obligations. Since budget has been really tight, I even had to cancel a couple of travel plans.

It’s not to say I was at home all the time (except, of course, when I’m at work) and that I’ve been bored to death. In fact, this month has been filled with pleasant surprises. Last December, I wrote this as part of my parting shot for my old blog before I transferred here in WordPress:

First off, don’t go searching for [happiness]. Let it come. In other words, don’t force yourself to be happy all the time. It’s impossible. Life is what it is. Instead of trying to find happiness, try to find contentment. Decide to have a positive attitude towards life. Learn to deal well with difficulties and criticisms. It doesn’t mean being overly unrealistic and allowing yourself to be swallowed by idealism. It simply means riding out the storm, knowing it will come to pass and the sun will eventually come out.

I’m not sure I want to write here what those surprises are in detail, but let’s just say those involve a new job and, well, someone.

Maybe next time. Maybe.

And then there were the youth camp and the overnight retreat. Two weeks ago, I joined our church’s youth camp as a facilitator in Tanay, Rizal, and last week, the facilitators went to Bulacan for a spiritual bonding. Those certainly were a welcome break to the tediousness of work. More than a chance to have fun, these activities gave me a chance to reassess myself on where I stand spiritually, fix strained bonds and create new ones.

Although I tend to gripe so much about my work, I enjoy self-sufficiency and the fact that it gives me the ability to spend my own money.  And it’s this mindset that has made me take for granted some other aspects of my life. But lately I’ve had to come to grips with the fact that being with people who share my faith is important.  I have been given certain attributes that are meant to be shared with others.  If I remain selfish and keep myself to where I’m comfortable, I’m not exploring the ways I can be a blessing to others.

To be honest – as in really honest – I think I struggled with depression last year.  I’m not sure if that would clinically qualify as depression, but I really felt like the world crumbled. One thing didn’t go the way I expected and before I knew it, a lot of things have gone awry. As a result, I kept to myself, and clung to just a few things. I refused to see the big picture until it was too late.

It was then I realized that I need to make more of an effort to touch other people’s lives.  And it was during the past two weeks I was reminded the importance of spending time with the people who matter. Sometimes, that requires sacrifice on our part, whether it’s time, financial resources, or other things. The great thing about life is you can move things around and sacrifice less important things for the more important ones.

Sometimes you have to just get less sleep.  Sometimes you find the willingness to let go of a chance for a double pay to… well, to make time with someone others. Because there is always that person you have to spend time with.  And you need to ostracize yourself for the sake of others.

Because you never know how valuable your company might be to someone else’s day, or even life.

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