On the job... again

After 9 months of unemployment, I finally got a job in the library of my university. It doesn't pay half of what I earned in Manila in my last (and first) job, but I find myself happier. I don't have to make a big adjustment because I already know the people and the work. Of course, its different that you are now a colleague and not just a 'former student', and you must learn to tread carefully with conflicts and other unavoidable issues.

 For two weeks now I've been... exercising! In an actual fitness gym! With an instructor. A librarian friend invited me over and since its free for staff, I just went with her. I find it fun and the instructor is great and you don't feel so self-conscious sweating with everyone because everyone is also working hard and catching their breath and feeling pain... Its not like losing weight is my sole goal (though I really also need to do something about that) but focusing on your body and your exertion, you also somehow forget the stresses of the day and as Elle Woods says in Legally Blonde:

"Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy!"

I've been in psychiatric therapy since August, and I'm glad to say that the specific treatment I've been undergoing for traumatic memories (EMDR) is near its conclusion. There are some memories left to 'process' - and for the ending sessions we will be having setting 'future templates', probably for unpredictable events in the unforeseeable future. I am happy with my progress so far, and while everyone at home seemed adamant of me seeking professional help at first, I didn't regret it.

I've also been more active in Church lately. We've been attending Victory Iloilo lately for the simple reason that its nearer to our house, and I've also been regularly meeting with a small group to discuss scripture and hold each other accountable in keeping our lives in line with God's will. I like them all so far, the girls in my group. I'm always looking forward to the Gathering every Thursday night. But I know that we also need to share with others, not just with people in our own small group or church. I'm still in the process of growing.

...and I'm also reading the Bible and I plan to finish the book before this year ends. So far, I just finished the Poetical Books (Job to Song of Songs) and I'm bracing myself for the next part, the Prophets (Isaiah to Malachi) which I know will be heavy reading. What I've gleaned from my readings, I'll be writing for another time. I actually tried reading it in college, I did finish the whole New Testament and some parts of the Old but I know that its not in the reading, but how you will use it. But in reading the Bible I've seen myself and my inner perspectives change.

Things will be busier for me again as the second semester of my Master's degree is on full swing and this sem looks more challenging than the last. But bring it on!

I just finished reading a cheesy kilig YA novel, This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith, borrowed from a classmate. Now I'm reading Suicide Notes by Michael Ford and up next it will be The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand, both new books I bought from Fully Booked BGC in Manila. So many books in the world, so little time!

...this all sounds like good news, but the past 9 months without work had been a hard time for me. I realized that its better to work than not to, because being unemployed makes all of us more prone to depression. I was so vulnerable and I wasn't aware of it, that I had to find real help for myself. I've realized that I need to distract myself with work and wholesome activities, because its very easy to trip over to that abyss again and its always hard work to climb back up.

Time and time again, I've seen that somehow suffering and dark times in life are necessary to bring us into a new level of productivity again. As in Ecclesiastes says, there is a time for everything, a time to weep, a time to be happy. In closing:
Sometimes the best thing that can happen to us is something we would describe as painful or difficult. This is because problems and crises are often God’s chosen tools to develop character in us. When He allows these situations in our lives, it’s not only to build our character, but also to build our character so we are equipped for the next level of destiny and greatness He has for us.
I’m convinced your best days are ahead of you, not behind you. I know this because 1 Corinthians 2:9 says, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him” (NLT). You can be sure God has prepared great things for you, things so good you cannot even imagine them.
Those things are prepared for you, so the question becomes: Are you prepared for them? In other words, are you ready to handle the wonderful opportunities that are in store for your life? Do you have the wisdom, the maturity, and the character you need to steward them well?
-The I factor devotional by Van Moody

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