StoryWeaver Stories: Curveball

You keep telling people that “when the student is ready, the teacher will appear.”

You were right. But you never counted on the teacher not being you. 

When he was ready, his teacher DID appear. But his teacher was not you.

It was me. 

Leave a comment

Filed under Secret Life of Bees

Early Morning Madness

Dear Kuya na Katabi Ko sa Shuttle,

Sana maging familiar tayo sa concept of seat sharing. 

Times like this make me wish that I were like Jane (Twilight reference – desperation has gotten me to this point). Then I could simply look at you, whisper, “Pain”, and watch you writhe in agony. 

At ngayon lang kita nakita in the 4 years I’ve been taking the shuttle every morning. Ano ka, giant mushroom?

Love,

Me

Leave a comment

Filed under This So-Called Life, World Domination

StoryWeaver Stories: I Teach Life

Someone recently asked if I ever get tired and frustrated when I engage with a company for years only to teach the same thing over and over again. 

Truth? Yes, I get tired. But it’s the physical kind, brought about by all the walking around, making sure everyone’s on the same page. It’s because I don’t sit on my ass at the back of the room, leaving them alone and making that incredibly dangerous assumption that they’re doing it right only to shoot them down in the end. 

It’s also the mental kind of tired, from learning their past, understanding their present and trying to knit all those bits of information together so I could make sense of their future. It’s the constant turning of the wheels in my head, trying to find ways to make a complicated concept relevant and easy to understand. 

It’s also the emotional kind of tired, from listening to the stories that they’ve been secretly dying to tell. It’s the bringing of their experiences home with me, because their lives begin connecting with mine – when they cease to be random faces who will eventually evaluate me in the end and become individual persons with individual stories, each of which is important. 

But most of all, it’s the spiritual kind of tired – from standing aside and allowing them to go through what they need to go through in order for them to bloom after being broken. It’s from being secretly sorry for causing headaches and stress but understanding that it is a requirement so they will understand that they are capable of succeeding on their own. 

So yes, I do get tired. But frustrated?

Never. 

Not when I get to read their messages when the course is done. Not when I get to see twenty-somethings or thirty-somethings grow in a span of three days. Now when it sinks in that for a short span of time, in moments that sometimes feel so fleeting and temporary, I realize that I had somehow made a difference. 

When people ask what I teach, I give them the usual answers: I teach leadership, I teach wellness, I teach concepts and I teach frameworks. But this is my real answer: at the end of every course, of every topic, of every hour of every day, I teach life. 

I always find myself playing the part of a proud mother, basking in the reflected glory of my children’s triumph. In the many, many years that I have been doing this – as a consultant, as a trainer, as a tutor, as a mentor, as a leader, as a friend – and with the many, many pieces of myself that I have given, I find that I am forever grateful for those pieces of them they have also left with me. 

And when I see my group photos, when I see my batch pictures… Honestly, how could I not?

Leave a comment

Filed under This So-Called Life

When a Little Knowledge is a Dangerous Thing

It’s funny how access to any kind of social media platform miraculously turns people into political analysts. 

Leave a comment

Filed under No Man's Land

The Truth About Tips and Trust

It’s become a habit for me to take a cab from where I get off the south shuttle in the morning to the office. The building isn’t far – I could close the distance in 7 minutes. 5 if I walked with a purpose. The cab ride isn’t necessary, but I’ve found it to be a luxury I could let myself take if only in exchange for more time to do the things that need to be done. 

Today I handed my morning driver the amount needed to cover my fare, with about a little under 20 to spare. As I reached for the door handle, he turns to me and says, “Ma’am, may sukli pa po kayo.”

Change. It’s been a trend. Cabbies are more observant to give change back when it is warranted. How different from that cabbie from more than a decade ago, who blatantly asked for extra payment when I had the audacity to give him the exact amount. 

Maybe change has come. Not only from them, but from me. I, who asked first if they had change, before giving my payment. I found myself saying that it was okay. I knew I had overpaid – albeit not by much. But still. 

I wonder if the cabbies zipping around the Metro have noticed this – that people are now more willing to give what they’ve asked for, simply because they stopped asking for it. 

It’s surprising, sometimes, how I find the thread that connects all things in my rather colorful life. Today marks the fifth graduation I’ve held for a course I researched, designed and launched one year ago. The second for this year alone. Despite not being as popular as our older, more established courses, we’ve never had to cancel a class yet. 

I am fiercely proud of it – this program that was researched from the ground up, built from a framework that originally contained material I found to be unusable due to either lack of clarity or lack of relevance. This was my first design and it hasn’t failed me yet. 

As with any product, it has gone through many, many iteration cycles, each shorter than the last. No design is perfect. No design is permanent. With a perpetually evolving world, I have come to realize that all designs must evolve with it. 

But I digress.

In one iteration cycle, I decided to strengthen the topic on Relational Trust. Finding that I could not clearly delineate it from Organizational Trust, I eventually found a way to merge the two concepts in one: Building Trust. Trust is a universal belief. It is a truth from which all relationships stem – personal, professional or organizational. Graduation day is always the day when trust is discussed. 

Funny how, in all places, I found today’s thread between tipping a cabbie in the morning and discussing trust in the afternoon. 

Trust, I realize, is similar to the tips given. The less you ask, the more people are willing to give it. 

Leave a comment

Filed under This So-Called Life

Echo

I suddenly realized that I tried too much to be like you that I forgot to be myself. 

Leave a comment

Filed under This So-Called Life

2016.1: Starting Over Again

So obviously I haven’t been writing as much as I’ve been wanting to. There are days when something pops out of my mouth and I think, “That sounds awesome – that would look awesome in my blog!” And then I would completely end up NOT doing it. 

Or, like last night, when I hap opened this app (I’ve decided to try mobile story-creation), typed in “2016: Dear My 22-Year-Old Self” and then, after 5 minutes of not writing anything, I discarded the offendingly empty post. 

And so here I am, trying to restarts my journey into writing. Let’s hope this works out.  

Leave a comment

Filed under This So-Called Life