As of now, I’m here again at my favorite thinking place, the rooftop. Sitting in a comfy chair while sipping a cup of tea, I can see the calmness of the sky. I’m also with someone here for a while, I guessed he is an Indian. The clouds above is like this guy, smiling after I greeted him good morning. The breeze is telling me how great this day would be again.
Yep, I’m a weird guy who needs to feed his introversion. Isolation is a necessity to me. I’m not anti-social though I got some tendencies sometimes. This is the only way that I can think of to bring myself the most of my relationships.
Being a Catholic, Jesus Christ is my best model. He always has time to pray. I believe everyone needs to ponder. We need to stop from time-to-time and appreciate the divine beauty of our surroundings that we don’t usually recognize.
This is completely unexpected, Islamic culture convinced me more the value of having time to yourself. More specifically, of having time with God. I saw it with myself the commitment of the Muslims with their faith.
Equipped with the perfect environment and free from distractions, I’m ready to go. I have to digitize my thoughts with my listening friend and priest confessor — my electronic tablet.
Doubt Your Doubts
My first sandstorm experience is not as harsh as I’m expecting. The wind is strong but that’s nothing compared to the tropical storm wind that I got used to in my country. Maybe, I just got beginner’s luck. Outside, is an almost zero visibility environment.
The chilling temperature at sixteen degrees Celsius (google told me) last for only a day after the sandstorm. For me, that was bone-chilling enough. But now, I’m falling in love with this fair weather. I’m even disillusioned that this will last forever. The truth is, nothing last forever especially the weather. Especially, this time of foreboding (I guess it’s happening) climate change.
I never leave my country until more than a month ago. I doubt all the negative news I heard about the place. Some are authentic concerns on how I should behave once I’m out of the Philippines. Then news outbreak of incurable MERSCOV added some fear as well.
For a month and four days that I’m living here, the colorfulness of the culture and the peacefulness of this place pleased me. I barely see police cars, and not once did I saw an ambulance or a firetruck. People are fully aware of how heavy the punishment here for disobedience of the law. Here, we just need to be law-abiding, and we can all live a decent life. Actually, I think almost anywhere we need to be obedient with the state.
A week before I depart to Saudi Arabia, I was so scared I got frequent thoughts of backing out. But, on the day that I have to go, I’m calm. In fact, I felt like I’m just going to a friend’s house. Before I go inside the airport, I hugged my mother and wave goodbye as if I will come back in two days. I’m quite acquainted in hiding my emotions but this time, I’m truly calm. That’s strange compared to what I had watched on television drama series, am I have heart of stone?
I’m also doubtful that my fellow Filipinos that I’m living with will make fun of me because of this blog. I eliminate with great mental effort all the justification that I’m not a writer and just a pretender. Then I gave my tablet to read my blog to one of my roommates and I said “Basahin mo ‘to” (“Read this”). He read it for about twenty-two seconds. He said he’s not fond of reading. Another one overheard our conversation and told me that I must be a poet.
Wow! What a relief! All this time I’m so pre-occupied with the things that I shouldn’t be afraid of in the first place.
Before that, I also sent a private message on the Facebook account of a friend in the Philippines. He was amazed that I got quite plenty of articles. Well, ten is plenty enough. Now, this is my fourteenth. More than the numbers are the lessons. People don’t really care about me and I’m positive about this. I think it is just my ego again. Too much self-pity is bad, worrying to death I think is much worse.
My other doubt is that I would never get along well with my Filipino comrades here if I give too much time in writing. A newcomer arrives so we are now seven people with different stories. We all have different personalities and ways to express ourselves. We also have different ways to cope up with this new day-to-day lifestyle. Fortunately, as I can see it, they all understand (or don’t bother to understand) my chosen past time.
Fears and doubts won’t go away. They could be a good sign though that we’re doing something good to ourselves and to the world.
Be fearful for the absence of fear. Be doubtful if you don’t experience self-doubts. All of us are tempted, but we don’t have to sin. If you did, then be stronger and wiser next time.
What You Don’t Say Might Be More Important
I’m fond of listening to Jeff Goins’ podcast “Portfolio Life.” Jeff is my mentor in writing online. I admit I’m a cheapskate, I never bought a thing from him and yet I had the guts to say that he is my mentor. He is just so generous in his art. I hope I can be at least one percent as generous as he is.
As I frequently say, I’m not in a hurry. I’ll buy from him (I’m not sure when) and I believe he doesn’t need it, but I will out of respect for him. Obviously, it was really me who needs to buy from him to hone my chosen craft.
Jeff, with his podcast partner, Andy Traub caught my attention. They say that…
“The things you neglect to say about yourself say as much, if not more, than the things you really do say.”
Slowly but surely, I’m starting to say things that I’m not used with telling to other people. Things that might be my real identity, in my case — being a writer. I’m also a friend of Jesus — another thing that took me years to say even to myself.
Sometimes we take our dreams so personal that we protect it so much. From years of blogging anonymously, I never give my friends and family the chance to be part of my dreams. ‘Til now, I didn’t inform them about this blog. Not to protect my dream, but to protect them. I worry that they may get worried about me when they learn the details of my life here.
Just to end this article. Either you do this slowly or not, just be the person that you truly are and let people know them. You can start from one person. In my case, with one friend.
Doubt your doubts.
Give the people the chance to understand you. Not to explain yourself, but to share more of yourself on them.