Summer Team

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I’ve gotten myself excited for Sunday’s team building activity with The Feast Rizal District Singles Ministry, and it didn’t disappoint as much as I feared it would (because I was really excited for it. #BerylLogic). I had a great time, though I did have a couple of moments where I began wondering when and why it has become difficult for me to socialize with people, only to come to the conclusion that: that’s just how I am.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. I’d really like to be detailed about this since this is pretty much the whole purpose of keeping a blog.

So, Saturday night, I attended the Feast and anticipated mass that followed in Sta. Lucia. It was my first time and I really enjoyed it. One of the many things I love about attending the Feast are the worship songs. Back when I was teaching in St. Paul College Makati, there was a priest there that told the students that singing worship songs is considered praying twice. I just love that idea, and I love singing, even if I know I can’t carry a tune (for now).

Now, I attended the FSL not only to miss a part of the series and the mass, but also because I wanted to familiarize myself with the eventual meeting place. I received a text message that we should be by the Tropical Hut beside the mall by 5 AM, so I went to bed as early as I could (ended up telling myself some stories just to put myself to sleep) and woke up by 3:15 AM. I was out of the house by 4:15. I was THAT excited.

Needless to say, when I got to the meeting spot, there wasn’t anyone there I knew. I was early, but even then, I didn’t really know anyone in the ministry. Truth be told, I only know a couple of people by name, and some are familiar by face. Also, I am still adjusting to the terms “bro” and “sis”, which is how they refer to each other. I believe it’s one of the (many) reasons I was having a hard time communicating with people. I know that’s a workable area, and I’m taking my time, but it’s still a little difficult to admit just how difficult it is to be around people.

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But I wanted this. I want this. I’ve been seeking for a community that I will belong to for such a long time. I haven’t been brave enough to be honest about my need for it, but now I am, and I know it’ll take work and time and effort and adjustment. And I am willing to give it all I’ve got, and with God on my side, I know nothing’s impossible.

So, I introduced myself to the first couple of people I saw: Ate Viva and Paulo Valera. The latter actually asked me if I was an OLOPSCian because I looked somewhat familiar to him. It turns out he was a year ahead of me back in grade school, and he was the batch valedictorian, so I knew of him as well (as it is traditional in my former Alma Mater and place of employment to identify batches by their top students). We eventually joined up with the rest of the attendees from Bluewave Marikina and the Rizal chapters. FBM pretty much dominated the numbers, and to be honest, this made a bit overwhelmed, but in a good way.

Later we got to Phillip’s Sanctuary and had our breakfast. I got to meet some people, only I’m not really good with names so I only recall a couple: Kevin, Doris, Charry, Tolits, Sandra, Margarette, Gio, Aleysa (?), Roarke, Jerold, Edz, Richard, Abby, Glieza, Harley. Most of them I remember because we were in the same team: the Red Sandugo.

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We went through the day playing team building games and listened to Bro. JPaul’s talk that centered on building a discipleship. I kind of regret now that I didn’t took down notes from the latter, but I do remember feeling inspired. It also made me think of my plan to become a catechist before. Maybe I’ll be able to make that happen this time.

Now, the games. I’ve attended a couple of team building activities back in college, so I was pretty familiar with most of them. It has been awhile though, and as I’ve written, this time socializing has become a little bit more challenging. I think it could be because I’ve gotten so used to being on my own for long lengths of time, especially this summer, that when I’m around people, I tend to remain comfortable by myself, and I don’t think a lot of people get that.

That said, the activities did help me to at least feel like I was part of something, even if still detached because I was so aware of myself, which can be a burden, apparently. Still, the games were hella fun and the facilitators were also very charming and friendly. My team mates were very fun, funny, supportive and perhaps not as competitive as I am used to with my other teams in my other team building experiences, which makes them refreshing. We didn’t win any of the ‘special awards’ but we did finish 1st runner up, which is something I’m personally very proud of.

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I may not have made long lasting friendships just yet, but in time, I believe I could and would. The thing is, I know myself. I know I can’t stand meaningless small talk, and I don’t start conversations with anyone at random. I need some common ground to use as foundation, or a good vibe from the person, which is, unfortunately, rare. I’m not saying they’re mean people; it’s more coming from me, to be honest. I have to be comfortable enough to open up, and that’s not so easy to do with so many people, and such a short amount of time. It’s takes too much energy from me, introvert that I am. I’m not shy or anti-social; I’m just very… particular with who I spend my very limited socializing energy on. I’m trying to work on this, especially since I’m about to start in my new job in a week’s time. Also, I know it’s not very healthy or smart to remain by myself, no matter how comfortable I am. It’s okay to get comfy, just not complacent. I’m doing my best to widen my comfort zone, by going outside of it from time to time and testing the waters, facing my fears. And I think I can be proud of that.

That said, I am very grateful for the opportunity to meet new people in an environment that fosters acceptance, kindness, generosity, tolerance and love. I am thankful for the time that the organizers put into making sure that everyone enjoyed themselves and went home blessed. I am in awe of these people who are from different walks of life, but somehow, we all came together, praised God and learned to work with each other. I look forward to making new friends, learning from other’s experiences, being enriched by the time and trust that they give me so bravely. I admire them for that, and they inspire to be braver myself. I never planned to join the Feast this summer. It just happened, and I truly believe it was part of God’s plan. I’ve never been part of a ministry and I don’t know what else is in store for me here — I’ve only been active for a month and a half — but I remain hopeful and positive about it. I welcome the possibilities.

Now, here are some pictures I grabbed from Facebook, for chronicling purposes: (CTTO)

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Unity Walk

I confess: this was the first activity we did and the hardest for me. I am guilty of getting confused on which is left and which is right, and there was a moment I got a little frustrated by the lack of understanding between the group, but it doesn’t really show in the picture. It just looked like I was having fun, which I guess I was.

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Caterpillar (?)

I remember doing something like this during P.E. class back in grade school, only that was more fun. The difficulty here fell on the fact that the people in front weren’t very aware of the people behind them. This was clearly processed once we were done with the activities, and it made me appreciate the game even more. Hopefully, one day I can incorporate it in my class (somehow).

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Lunch with my team mates

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This is Harley. 

He’s the new leader of the Rizal District Singles Ministry. He participated in the events the whole day, wearing that white shirt and looking clean, fresh and quite frankly, too adorable. Yes, he’s my first legit crush in the Feast. I’m a sucker for those mukhang mabango looks, and he can sing too! Looking forward to getting to know him better somehow. 

#inspired #motivation #lolJK 

I just find him really attractive.

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Acid River

This was after we had lost twice to white team, so we were pretty psyched to get a win. We just had our lunch and it so happened that one of us was an architect, so the game that required to build a bridge with planks was a bit too easy for him. I didn’t participate in this, clearly, and I’d like to believe my absence was also a factor to our win… in some way. 

Pagbigyan.

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Poles and Tires

I really enjoyed this one, mostly because I was merely acting as a support, though from my experience with the cheerleading practices I proctored for last December, being a mere support is a VERY IMPORTANT job.

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The Before Shot

This was taken by the last obstacle course we went through, pre-mud crawl. Before this we, went through a rope bridge, the spider web obstacle and the low ropes obstacles, all of which reminded me of my time during high school, when we had our Citizen Army Training and that time I attended a Red Cross Youth Council team building. I did get a little anxious when I was being carried through the hole during the spider web osbtacle, and I still regret reaching out to the strings. Need to work on my trust issues…

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The After Shot

See me in the right side, pink shirt, bun on my head. Don’t I look so happy?!

MUDSLIDE!!!

We were given a discount to try the mudslide so of course I grabbed the opportunity since I was muddy already anyway. Suffice to say, one of the most exciting four seconds of my life. 

#achievement


Over – all, this experience has given me a clearer insight of what I want from being a part of the Feast, and of the Singles Ministry. I’m surrendering it all to God. All my fears, all my hopes, all my dreams, all my wonders. Whatever is in store for me, I am His. I know He’s got me. 

I look forward to more experiences like these, and more opportunities to widen my comfort zone and meet new people. Hopefully, and I do believe, that I will find what I’ve been looking and praying for, for so long, here.

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The Good Life

Life has been really good these past few days, and I have gotten lazy in updating this blog, now that I have nothing to really rant about. A part of me says that I’m just choosing to live in the moment. Since writing most often than not tend to make me overthink about, well, whatever it is I am writing about, I am afraid that if I dwell too much on what has made my life better, I’ll end up messing it up.

But then, it really isn’t as fragile as I thought it was. It’s actually very sturdy, because for the first time in a very long time, I am clear with what I want, which is basically what I have now.

I am content, my dear blog, with who I am, with what I have done in my life, with what else I can do. I am at peace.

It’s a weird, scary feeling, but at the same time, it’s also very… freeing. I am happy. And I’m not just writing that to make myself believe that I am, as I used to do. I guess I have finally convinced myself that I am. At last.

I do have to credit this feeling of bliss to the fact that I have left Angelicum College, officially, though I am still not done with my clearance. I plan to go back once I have a new job, which I believe to be just around the corner. It’s no secret how unhappy I was there, and I’m just thankful I got to go through that and learn from the experience.

I also think my plan of working out for six days a week, though I’ve only had one week completed for now, has helped my state of mind immensely. Walking and jogging, feeling my heart beat and my blood flowing, reminding myself that I am still alive even when I feel like dying (I still haven’t mastered the proper breathing, but we’ll get there) — these have all made me realize how precious and beautiful life is, and more importantly, how awesome my body is, with its curves and strenght and power.

Today, I also attended my first ever Feast in Bluewave Marquinton with my friend Pami and her friend Katrina. I’ve always wanted to attend the Feast, but never really got a chance. I mentioned it to Pami and she invited me to today’s meeting. I was really excited to attend that even if I slept really late last night, I was wide awake before 6 this morning. It was very well worth it. Today’s talk was all about mediocrity, and it hit a bull’s eye with me (for obvious reasons). I’m hoping to make this a Sunday habit from now on, and maybe, one day, I can have mom and brother join me.

I’m not rushing into things though. Not with anything. I have plans, yes, but I want to take my time and enjoy each step that leads me closer to that goal. I’m also being mindful of the balance and routine that I crave, but I don’t get to hard on myself when I falter. It’s an on going work in progress, and I’m just glad that I am a working progress.

For now, I think I’ll have some lunch and maybe take a nap after. It’ll be a little tricky as it is really, REALLY hot in the Philippines right now, but we’ll see.