Breaking Through a Life Crossroad and Overcoming Self-Doubt

Sunday, March 03, 2019

This is a very personal story.

Last year, I had a breakdown. I cried in front of my boss when I told her I wanted to quit my job. I knew it was very unprofessional to let your emotions take over you when you are at the workplace, but at that moment, I just could not take it anymore. After our one-on-one meeting, I hurriedly went to the restroom with tears streaming down my face. Debilitating self-doubt took over me. I was stressed and burnt out that I wanted to quit. And  I almost did
My recent trip to Japan was a much needed break for my mental health.
I was burnt out but that did not happen over night. I was burnt out since December of 2017. You see 2017 was not a good year for me and my family. My father had a stroke and my mother had a cancer scare (thank God it was Diverticulitis). But the most devastating thing that happened that year was when I had to put down my best friend, my 12-year old dog Gerald, because of kidney failure. The moment he stopped breathing, I felt like a part of my heart was already dead. I won’t lie. Even after almost 2 years, I still think that I will never get over my dog’s death.

"I felt like a part of my heart was already dead."

To escape the reality at home, I considered work as my safe haven. At work, nothing can ever hurt me because I could control my environment. I could afford to travel and occasionally buy things I like. I worked hard and did my best. I said yes to every opportunity. However, work took over my life in a way that left me extremely exhausted and unhappy. I was unhappy at home and at work, the two places where I should be thriving and living. That’s when the thought of quitting my job and being a freelancer came up.

I told my plan to quit my job to my friends. Some said “If that’s what will make you happy, then you should do it.” But one said, “Bakit ang dami dami mo na bang pera para umalis ng trabaho? Yung savings mo pwedeng maubos. Kapag freelancer ka na, wale kang security.” She was right. I am the breadwinner of the family, an only child, and more than anything else at that moment, I needed financial stability. I have savings, sure, but what about future medical needs and hospitalisations for me and my family? My father’s medical bills when he suffered a stroke almost exhaust my savings in one fell swoop.

The truth is, I wasn’t prepared for a life of a freelancer. Call me coward for not rocking the boat but when you are at a life crossroad, you will not only think about yourself, but also about your family. Driven by sheer necessity, I decided to stay. But all those months spent on worries thinking about how am I going to make ends meet when I finally leave my job took a heavy toll on my health. The negative thoughts when I was at work and the constant worry about my parents (there were times that I was too scared to check my phone because I was afraid that another emergency happened at home) manifested physically. My life has gone downhill.

Like a light at the end of a long tunnel, an opportunity to travel to Japan presented itself. I was allowed by my employer to take a month off work to heal. That much needed break from all my worries helped me managed to pull through somehow. I realised a lot of things while I was away. And as cliche as it sounds, solo travel has healed me. Away from the hustle and bustle of life back home, I found peace. Not only did this life crossroad reveal to me what I was truly passionate about, but it helped me realise that I have so MANY things to be grateful for. It was one of the most pivotal learning experiences of my life.
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I came back to the Philippines with a hopeful heart after almost a month of traveling. At the beginning of the year, I started a health and wellness plan to help me jumpstart a healthy change in my lifestyle. The body and mind work together so I had to make conscious efforts to improve on both. I’m currently undergoing a few wellness treatments at a wellness clinic in Quezon City. I brisk walk 30 minutes a day to compensate for the months I have been sedentary (I can’t run just yet because of my neck issues). Also, I started to take Ultima Vitamins to give me enough energy and boost my immune system.

"I started seeing it as one of the ways that could help me pursue my passion with abundance and joy." 

In the office, instead of seeing my work as a way to pay the bills, I started seeing it as one of the ways that could help me pursue my passion with abundance and joy. And you know what? I got recently promoted! I could never thank my employer enough for all the opportunities given to me. At home, I spend time with my family and pets and I let go of that constant state of anxiety (I used to worry about our next trips to the hospital). It’s crazy how everything changes with a positive mindset.

To anyone who’s at a life crossroad, embrace it and think of it as a doorway into an entirely new way of life. Take care of your mind and body because how in the hell are you going to chase after your dreams and fulfil your crazy goals in life if you are not ready? Be grateful for every single thing that come your way.

Be the ultimate you, always. #BeTheUltimateU

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