Crossroads and Boxes

Hi, everyone!

My goodness! It has been so long since I last wrote something here.  My cousin in Australia needed to remind me that I haven’t posted anything for quite some time.  Well, not that I have decided to stop writing.  The thing is, with so much on my plate and so much stress, how does one get both the time, energy, and inspiration to write?

Still, I’ve had a most productive few weeks.  Just finished 61 hours of training for different companies — which means, about 100 people with new skills to use to be more productive.  I also survived another grueling week at grad school.  And a lot of saving the world in between.  Whew!  Still, I got to cook a few recipes.  For the first time, in fact, I have a recipe backlog.  Meaning, I have cooked and photographed quite a number of recipes — but they have yet to be written on this site.  Huhuhu.  It’s a phenomenon in itself, I guess.  Before, my problem was, I had the time to write but no recipes to upload.

Oh, did I mention that I have gotten a bit sick?  Well, that’s what stress does to us if we don’t watch out.

On top of everything, I have done a lot of thinking on so many aspects, and found myself on several small and big crossroads.  Let me tell you about three of them.

Crossroad #1: To end speculation (hello, news cameramen),  yes, I politely declined an offer to go back into mainstream media.  Thanks again for the opportunity to be on television news again, but after several months of prayer, I realized that it was not yet time to go back.  More importantly, I do wish to honor and give importance to the people I am now with. It was interesting how, this time, everything was presented on a silver platter.  But if it’s not for me, then it’s not for me.

Cheezy as it sounds because there is no other way to perfectly capture it in concise language: my heart has indeed gone on and moved forward.  In any case, the offer was a good exercise to assess and re-assess, as well as validate past decisions that have been made.

Interestingly and thank heavens too, I have never received anything more specific in the bible, which I make sure to consult during important decisions in order to get wisdom and inspiration.  I discovered Sirach chapter 9: A man with training gains wide knowledge .  Of all the things to encounter!  And true enough, I would have to admit, the past two months have shown me why I made the right decision.  Bottomline is: the door is closed.  But just knock, and let’s see where it brings us.

Crossroad #2: Because of class these past few months, I reached another crossroad.  Well, when one learns about positioning and branding in business school, one realizes the need to always specialize on something.  I guess that includes this blog.  And I am at the crossroads.  Conventional wisdom would always say that a person — or a business — cannot be a jack-of-all-trades.  It’s been fun being able to write about anything under the sun.  This site, after all, is the world according to Ralph Guzman.  But then, the downside of trying to write about everything, as many would argue, is a lack of focus or specialization.

The decision then to be made is: do I just focus on writing commentaries?  Food? Giving advice?

But then, after spending so many years in an industry that dropped stories because they did not meet certain “requirements”, why am I now boxing myself in and in effect, dropping stories again?  So that I can make this site more “marketable”?  To have more recall?  I needed to remind myself:  this site is about the freedom to speak up — on anything.  And with this freedom, I trust, responsible expression would be my mission.

So I don’t want to put myself into a box and/or category.  But wait…so to whom am I complaining now?  Hey, the decision rests on me!  No censorship here.   Mabuhay ang pag-blog! Thank goodness for freedom.

Crossroad #3: I have one more major passion aside from delivering the news, which I had the privilege of doing for quite some time.  But there’s one more passion and one more dream.  With God’s grace, I made it to the mainstream media and I am eternally grateful for the opportunity.  Now, it’s time to go to the next level.  I’ve long hesitated to pursue it because of the lack of time, and not much passion to go for it.  But now, I have decided to go for it.  My next major major project.

And to make sure that it does happen, I want to launch it in November (hopefully earlier).  I’ve waited more than 10 years for this dream and I am now going for it.  I am looking forward to sharing it with you all.  If there’s one thing that best sums up what my life is all about, whatever I have achieved is a result of me creating new opportunities rather than waiting for them.  God has opened many windows when doors close.  But I believe I have also been tasked to build a new house or building all together — with more doors.  Something like that.

So I’ll keep everyone posted.

Enjoy your downtime with something you love to do! In my case, it's cooking, being with the people I love, and of course -- writing without boundaries on this site!

In any case, I would like to share some learnings from these past few weeks:

  1. We all want happiness but look for it in the wrong places.  So find it at the right place.  Not to be preachy, but it is true: only with God are we truly satisfied.
  2. Yes, working hard is good.  But working smart is better.
  3. There are things and people that are best, left ignored.  As I say from time to time in training, practice the art of dedma-tology.
  4. Love and commitment are not just happy feelings.  They entail doing what is difficult, inconvenient for the one you truly care for.  If love and commitment were limited to easy tasks, then they would not be what they are.
  5. Be wary of your senses and emotions.  They are oftentimes good liars that cloud judgment.
  6. In journalism, the truth lies on two or more sides to a story.  The same is true with life.  Relying on just one side of the story will not lead you to the truth.
  7. Prayer is one of our wonderful gifts.  Can you imagine a world without any prayers?  Then that would mean, we won’t have any relationship with God.  So I really beg to disagree with a famous author’s tweet about how prayers do not make saints.  Actually, saints are what they are precisely because of prayer — in short, a deep and real relationship with God.  And mind you, Mr. Author, saints are not just mere dusty statues.  They are people who existed — and exist.  And they give light to the world.  Prayers not working?  Then one must ask: A) Am I praying for something that may not be best for me?; B) Am I praying hard enough?; C) Could the answer be there but then, I am not able to see it?; or 4) Am I being humble enough when I do prayer?
  8. This one takes practice.  One must compartmentalize feelings — especially irate feelings — in order to spare people from a spillover or leakage of emotions (Eek! Am I actually using the term “leakage”?)
  9. If you’re happy and you know it, just clap your hands!  You are the source of your own happiness.  If getting approval from others is the source of it, then there may be a red flag there.
  10. It’s said that life is in the details, in the small things.  But don’t forget that there are small things that are better left ignored.
  11. Be careful about placing your trust on just one person or idol — and wanting to switch places with him or her.  At one point, you’d realize just how blessed you already are, and how much better your life is than that idol.
  12. If love is true and pure, there are no complaints.  Just remember to still be honest and assertive.  (Which reminds me, I’m running Communication Assertiveness on October 19 to 21.  Hahaha!)
  13. Clear communication is the best solution to conflicts and challenges.
  14. People come and go.  But the one you really love and the one who really loves you is there no matter what.  Through thick and thin. Through joys and through the most difficult challenges.

Good night, everyone!  Do make it a point to de-stress by doing something you are passionate about, something that brings you joy, and something that is good for your heart and soul.

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