2016: The Year of Wonder, Wander, and Faith

2016. WANDERing in Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom

2016. WANDERing in Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom

Ever since I started posting year-ender entries on this blog, I’ve always been amazed on how each post serves as a reminder of how blessed, at the same time, how humbled I was for the year that was ending, as well as on how each post serves as a “guide” for the year that’s about to start. Each year-ender post has its own unique “highlight” which I try to reflect on (“try” being the operative word! haha!) before hitting the “publish” button.

And this year, it’s WWFWonder. Wander. Faith. (not World Wildlife Fund, although I totally support that too!) 😉

WONDER

If there was a year that made each person on this planet scratch their head in wonder or because of WTF moments, it’d probably be 2016! Just take the “current events.” From the never-ending wars and struggles in some countries to the results of local and international elections, to Brexit, to a controversial burial, etc. — it seemed like everyone WONDERed (at least those that I know!) what the eff was happening to the world!!!

But you know, even if I don’t agree with some of the things happening now, I still believe that everything happens for a reason — just continue to pray and keep the faith that it’ll always be for a good reason and for the greater good! “Bad” or for personal interests just won’t cut it! But yes, it has truly been one big “WONDER” for all of us this year!

WANDER

As I’ve mentioned in a social media post earlier this month, 2016 was my second “travel year” — the time when I travel as much as I can using my own hard-earned money and making the most out of my work leaves and holidays. The last time this happened was in 2012 (four years ago!) when I found myself traveling to Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei in January; Bohol and Cebu in April; Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam and Siem Reap, Cambodia in May; and Hong Kong (for the nth time!) in June.

my 2012 "travel year"

my 2012 “travel year”

This year, it was extra special because I was finally able to achieve one of my lifelong dreams: travel to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (in short, the UK!) ❤ For those who are close to me, they know that I’m such an Anglophile (and British Royal Family fanatic!) and going to the three “lands” (England, Scotland, and Ireland) was really one big dream come true for me!

Wander Mika's second "travel year"

Wander Mika’s second “travel year”

But aside from that, I also went to other places I haven’t been to before (and two places I’ve been to before — can you guess which?! haha)

Anyway, it seems like my “travel year” happens every four years! So if I follow through with that pattern, my next “travel year” will be in 2020!? It’s highly likely! Like I said, one of my “secrets” on how I can go on travel sprees is pacing — which you can read all about HERE.

But you know, even if my travel years happen rarely just like the Olympics, I make it a point to travel at least ONCE A YEAR during my non-travel years. So yes, I will still travel in 2017, but not as frequent as I did in 2016! Wahahahaha!

Aside from the literal travels, though, the “wander” part of this entry also involves other things that unleashed my inner “Wander Mika” — my yearning to pursue my “impossible-turned-possible” dreams without really knowing what the future holds, but guaranteed with lessons to be learned! Hehe! This year, I also “wandered” in…

  • Starting a business

In July, I attended a basic jewelry making workshop without really knowing that it will lead to what it is today: Metallic Gems & Crafts by MGC — MGC being me! But connecting the dots backwards, it’s not that surprising because I’ve always loved all kinds of jewelry, fancy and real, and I realized that I just needed the right push to finally make it a passion project/business. So that “own a business” item on my bucket list? Consider it check! check!! check!!!

handmade, handstamped, and custom-made metal accessories by moi!

handmade, handstamped, and custom-made metal accessories by moi!

  • Registering a new domain name

In the first half of this year, I’ve rebranded my blog from The Lady Is In to Wordy and Worthy (WAW). I came up with the WAW theme more than a year ago actually, and I’m just really glad that I finally had the guts to “publicize” it, even name my blog after it. Why Wordy and Worthy? The answer is HERE! Hehe!

In fact, a few months after I decided to rebrand this blog, I got a prompt that it was my 7th blog anniversary on this site. And to commemorate that, I also officially registered the domain name WordyAndWorthy.blog (yes, dot blog — which WordPress proudly started!). So whether you type that or my main domain name, MikhaelaGeorgette.com, either way, you’ll still end up HERE on my little happy place on this big, big worldwide web! I do this whole blogging thing mostly for myself and no one else (so yes, even if nobody reads it, I’ll still continue to do it), so despite that, I want to thank you for still taking the time to read (hopefully you get something meaningful in whatever post you end up reading, btw! haha)!!! 😀

7th Blog Anniversary last December 9, 2016

7th Blog Anniversary last December 9, 2016

FAITH

And of course, the highlight of my year: my renewed self and relationship with the Lord!

Most people would probably think that my travels this year are the most memorable in my 2016 “life” book. But to be honest, you’d be surprised to know that my travels take only second place. The first place goes to the silent retreat I attended at the start of December. 🙂

In the last few months of 2016, I “struggled” with my faith. No, I didn’t become an unbeliever. After all, I know that I believed, believe, and will always believe in God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The struggle I encountered was more of not being satisfied with my then “walk of faith” that instead of working harder to find my “answers,” I chose to become complacent instead. I knew that I still had the belief, but I thought that was enough. I started missing Sunday masses, almost became tired of praying, blah, blah, blah. In short, I had a lot of “excuses” — deep inside, I knew I could do more, but the enemy really was trying to make me believe that my then state was okay. My soul, as per one of the novena intentions in the Divine Mercy Chaplet prayer, had “become lukewarm and indifferent.” It could also be called sloth or something else, but the bottomline is, there was a struggle, and it sure as hell was very real!

But you know what, God really works in mysterious ways. Sometimes, things happen in our life — good things and unfortunately, bad things — as God’s way of waking us up from our ungodly way of life. This meme here from the Internet pretty much sums up what I realized:

5/7, I think.

5/7, I think.

To make the long story short, after that beginner’s silent retreat (which lasted for one entire weekend), I came out renewed and refreshed. That’s what you call soul searching! The real kind! Not traveling!

Of course I’m still human, there are still struggles in bettering my ungodly way of life, and changes for the better don’t happen overnight. But the important thing is, I’m more discerning now than before. For example, if someone has wronged me, my initial reaction before was to blow up in anger (either obvious or hidden), think of revenge, and pretty much anything that’s opposite of being Jesus-like. Now, when someone has wronged me, I still feel anger (again, it’s a human thing!), but I already take a step back, think that if I stayed angry, the only person who would be dragged down by that anger would be me and not the one I’m angry at, PRAY, and then I would slowly start to relax and release the anger — even forgive, not just the one who wronged me, but also myself.

I’ve also started reading the Bible again (which is why my social media contacts can now often read Bible passages/quotes on my feed/timeline!). In my current walk of faith, I still chose to belong to the Roman Catholic Church and supplement it with the guidance of the Light of Jesus family (e.g., Brother Bo Sanchez‘s ministries, The Feast, etc.). This is my personal choice, and each person has his/her own walk of faith, but in Catholicism/Christianity, reading God’s Word is really a must!

And again, God has reminded me that He really just “woke me up” this latter part of the year because when I saw a photo of me from seven years back (see below), I realized that reading the Bible has always been a “me” thing. I just really kind of lost my way.

Featured in Candy Magazine, July 2009 issue

Featured in Candy Magazine, July 2009 issue

So yeah, I guess now, you can say that I was a lost daughter that has been found — AGAIN. It’s easier said than done and the whole thing’s a process, but yes, I realized that it’s not impossible to feel inner peace despite all the outer chaos happening in my life. It’s really just all thanks to Him!

And there you go. 2016 has been a year of wonder, wander, and faith FOR ME. Life goes on this coming 2017. I’m grateful for all the lessons I learned, learn, and will learn along the way! As I mentioned in another social media post, in this journey called life, my own definition of “wandering” is living without knowing the future. This kind of wandering is continuous. And that’s where FAITH comes in. Luckily, in this wandering of mine, I always have the best travel buddy: God.

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance." -James‬ ‭1‬:‭2-3‬

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.” -James‬ ‭1‬:‭2-3‬

So yes, in all that I’ve been through this 2016 and all that I’ll go through this 2017, to God be the power, kingdom, and glory!!!

2016, signing off…

short hair_wacky

HAPPY NEW YEAR, friends!

Let’s all start 2017 with peace, joy, and of course, looove! ❤

Of Dream Chasers, Invisible Crowns, and Yes, Pia Wurtzbach!!!

It has been a great week for the Philippines and yes, we’re still on a high! If you haven’t heard about the news yet, let me be the one to break it to you: the Philippines’ representative to the prestigious beauty pageant Miss Universe, Ms. Pia Wurtzbach, just won the 2015 crown (albeit “with reservations” — if you already know what happened! hehe)!!! But overall, I’m very happy. Call me biased or not (since I’m Filipino), but just based on her final answer alone, #PiaPinas truly deserved to win!!! 😀

"Pia Wurtzbach Miss Universe 2015" by Melvin Villacote - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikipedia [click image]

“Pia Wurtzbach Miss Universe 2015” by Melvin Villacote – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikipedia [click image]

But more than the “destination,” it was Wurtzbach‘s “journey” to the crown that’s truly inspiring. Luckily, I found this viral screenshot from Mr. Dex Galban (I don’t know him personally, but we have common friends) on the Internet, which basically sums up everything. He said:

Pia Wurtzbach joined the Ms. Philippines pageant for 3 consecutive years. Only on her third try did she win the Ms. Philippines-Universe. And now, she’s Ms. Universe.

To everyone who has been repeatedly heartbroken, delayed academically, denied a job, or lost confidence in one’s self, keep fighting the good fight!

You just won’t be back. You’ll be Wurtzbach! 🙂

#MsUniverse #Philippines #PiaPinas

Credit goes to Mr. Dex Galban :)

Credit goes to Mr. Dex Galban 🙂

That made me look back in the year that was (2015) and the years before it (FYI, this is my year-ender post! hahaha!).

Have I been heartbroken before? Yes! Many times! But it’s true that it’s better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all (as Alfred, Lord Tennyson once said). Besides, if it weren’t for those past heartaches, I wouldn’t be where I am NOW: happy, in love, and definitely loved back. ❤

Have I been delayed academically? Errr, not necessarily. I actually graduated college at the age of 18. However, graduating early also has its own CONS. But I can say that I’m already past that, so let’s move on. Harharhar.

Have I been denied a job? A BIG YES! Heck, that’s even the gist of this post and how I came back, rather Wurtzbach-ed, after it!!! 😀

Have I lost confidence in myself? Every. single. day. But I don’t let the feeling linger because I know that there’s more to me than my flaws and imperfections. Which brings me to the next question…

Have I been fighting the good fight? Yes… and no. Of course I’m not perfect (who is, anyway?), so I also have my fair share of pathetic moments when emotions come in to play. The important thing is I KEEP fighting the good fight. It’s a struggle but as long as I know that the people who truly matter and God always got my back, I continue to bounce back from every setback life throws at me — stronger and wiser!

Having said those, this year alone, I’ve been through A LOT. I’ve felt both happiness and sadness. I’ve made tough decisions in my personal and professional life (probably my highlight of the year). I gained new friends (as well as felt distant to some old ones). I learned new things (self-publishing, surfing, cooking, etc.). And the list goes on…

Just take my 2015 highlight — my dream workplace — as an example. Like what I recently posted on my Facebook timeline, I can’t help but relate to Wurtzbach. No, I can’t relate to her sexiness (ahem!) and pageant experience (especially what happened in the end! hehe) — but I can relate to how she never gave up with her “dream.”

How exactly can I relate? In May 2012, I wrote THIS blog post after not landing a job at my dream workplace. Fast forward to today, I can’t help but SMILE. Two weeks ago, I just “celebrated” my sixth month at the said dream workplace! 🙂 Sure, I’ve had a few more “rejections” here and there in the years that followed before making my dream come true, but I sure realized that those rejections were just “redirections.” I needed to experience those for the lessons I learned along the way — which surprisingly prepared me for where I am today. #everythinghappensforareason

And that’s probably one of my takeaways this year and what I’d like to impart to you as we start another new year. If you think that only “famous” people can make their dreams come true, think again! If an ordinary citizen like me proved that it can be done, YOU can too! After all, it’s true that the only time you “fail” is when you give up and stop trying. Kaya basta walang involved na “agawan” at talagang paghihirapan mo, i-push mo lang ‘yang dream/s mo, friend!!!

#TiwalaLang, darating din ‘yan sa #TamangPanahon! 😉

Most importantly, keep dreaming, especially big dreams. As David Cook once said (or sang), “if you don’t dream big, what’s the use of dreaming?” Because it’s true, our “dreams” in life, whatever they may be, fuel us to continue. Combine that with your faith in the Supreme Being and your surrender to His mighty hand, and you’ll be making your dreams come true in no time! Believe it, I’m a witness to this!!!

"Always wear your invisible crown."

“Always wear your invisible crown.”

Of course once you make your (big) dreams come true, don’t get used to always having your chin up, up, up. Stay humble. Learn to touch the skies when your knees hit the ground (#HillsongUnited).

So to all of you reading this, especially to my fellow ladies, always wear your invisible crown — always be classy! (Your laugh is an exception, though, just like me! That’s probably the only unladylike thing about me: my laugh! Just ask my friends! WAHAHAHAHAHA! But hey, that’s one of my “classy” advocacies: learn to always LAUGH your heart out while you still can. Many people don’t have that privilege.)

Anyway, I can feel that I’m already rambling. So before I completely make you lost, I’ll end here and bring you back to DREAMING. No, my other dreams don’t involve titles and crowns (except maybe my dream to see the British Royal Family in the flesh — but who knows what can happen next year?! *hint, hint*). But if there’s one thing the Pia Wurtzbachs (yes, plural!) of the universe and I have in common, it’s that we’re all dream chasers. We know what we want (dream). We work hard to get what we want (act). And we definitely don’t give up, despite challenges and setbacks, until we succeed (persevere/persist). So again, if we did it, YOU can too! Let’s all aim to make more of our dreams come true this coming 2016! Again, claim that you won’t just be back, you’ll be Wurtzbach! #push 🙂

“Disappointments are just God’s way of saying ‘I’ve got something better.’
Be patient, live life, have faith.”

Join me in my 2016 adventures! HAPPY NEW YEAR, Y'ALL!!!

Join me in my 2016 adventures! HAPPY NEW YEAR, Y’ALL!!!

Clean Slate

More than two years ago, Erwan Heussaff of The Fat Kid Inside told me that my blog’s “too dark.” And he sure was right. As to why Erwan and I were exchanging e-mails, I’ll keep that between the two of us. Mwahahahahaha! But trust me when I say that I’m NOT close to him (so let’s get that out of the way already; he’s just really kind to reply to a fan like me!), and that screenshot above is LEGIT!!! 😀

So anyway, for a little over five years since I’ve had this blog, I was using the same old “too dark” theme. For some reason, I didn’t want a bright/white background. I don’t know… In those five years, I was happy with it. UNTIL NOW. Haha.

So yes, as you can see now, my blog’s “bright” with a hint of pink (which is one of my favorite colors; the other is green, btw!). And I think it’s also good timing as we enter the New Year! 🙂

I know that I haven’t been a diligent blogger for the past two years (sorry!), but since 2011, I’ve been writing year-ender posts.

And for 2014, THIS IS IT. I’d like to keep it short and simple — just like my new blog theme!

I just promise to TRY to blog (and save what’s left of my writing talent!) more next year.

So goodbye 2014 and hello to my “clean slate” 2015! 😉

HAPPY NEW YEAR, y’all!!!

May we all fill in our “clean slates” in 2015 with nothing but HAPPY memories and all things POSITIVE!

Mikhaela Georgette of The Lady Is In (ahem!)