A Thanksgiving Post in August

You, dear reader, may notice that I’ve been amiss in updating this website since… my birthday post last year?? (YIKES!) I haven’t been really particularly regular in posting here at all, but I will strive to change that despite my massive case of writer’s block. Seriously, every sentence feels like pulling teeth — bloody and painful. Perhaps, if I can regularly post, the block gets chipped away until it’s a manageable pile of rocks that I can push away.

Block aside, I’ve been pretty okay, despite all the horrible, terrible things happening in the world. There is much still to be grateful for. There is much still to feel hopeful for.

Things to be grateful for:

#1 – Home is where the heart is

It’s almost September 2021 now, I’ve been back in the Philippines since early December last year. After practically a full year with my mom and other relatives in California, I was fortunate enough to catch a flight home back to Manila. I love my mom, but to be honest, I really can’t imagine myself living permanently anywhere but the Philippines. Even with the sad state of affairs here, home is home.

Home, also, is currently at my older brother’s house south of Metro Manila. It’s quieter here and with the strict lockdown in place, gets too quiet and boring. Thankfully, I got something to occupy my mind with.

#2 – A Mind at Work

So, yes, dear reader, I’m back at the daily grind. I’m currently a UI/UX Designer for a Singapore-based company working on several projects for the web. It’s interesting work, I’m learning a lot from the projects and the people I collaborate with. I’m grateful for the opportunity to work with great people who do excellent work.

#3 – Not Going to Throw Away My Shot

So UI/UX Design is a bit of an expansion of the work I do as a web designer, and I’m fairly new to the field. I’m augmenting my skills with online learning. I started last year with the Introduction to User Experience Principles and Processes course in Coursera. Then, earlier this month, I applied for and received financial aid to take Google’s UX Design certification. I’m really happy and thankful for this learning opportunity.

#4 & #5 – In good (online) company

Despite all the good fortune with the opportunities that came my way this year, I would have gone off to the deep end without my family and friends. I may not see them all the time, but thank goodness for technology that we can still catch up online. I’m doing weekly K-Drama watches with a friend in Switzerland (we watch at the same time using different streaming services and yak on Telegram), talk to new-found friends on Discord, and share memes and pet pics on Messenger and Viber. While disinformation has become rampant because of social media, I am still thankful for it and for all this cool tech that lets us stay connected despite the miles.

#6 – (Mental) Health is wealth

I’m really grateful for all the above things because they’re contributing a lot to the stable state of my mental health, despite the pandemic and all the crazy, terrible things happening every day. Even my doctor in our last consultation said there’s a marked difference between how I had sounded before and how I have been talking now. I do feel like I’m less prone to melancholy and the depression is at bay.

All in all, 2021 has been good to me, relatively speaking. I know it’s hard to find things to be grateful for when everything seems to be heading for disaster, but we mustn’t give in to despair. Take it from a person with depression, it gets better. Count the good things that we still have, and ride out the bad days to fight for another, better day.