Earning Online

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Earning money is tough, especially in the Philippines where you have to work your asses off just to live comfortably.
Aside from my full-time job, I started writing bits and pieces online to earn a few additional bucks. Early this year, I attended a seminar and one of the spokespersons mentioned about ‘eLance” — which has Odesk as its predecessor.

Learn more about eLance here.

The registration process is easy, after which you can start bidding for projects. In my first week alone, I was already invited to bid for one project and was subsequently hired. Payment was $5 per article and so far I have managed to submit 3 articles to the project. While I would have loved to write more and thus earn more–my full-time work and my responsibilities there is preventing me to from working more hours online. Usually, I reserve my writing after I have arrived from work. There are days when I just can’t do anymore additional thinking after a very long and tough day.

I already transferred some of my earnings to my Paypal account:

First Paypal Withdrawal

I know it’s not much — about one thousand two hundred bucks actually in local money. But that is enough for grocery money and get the imperious cat her favorite nibbles. I would love to make more money online but I know unless I have enough time in my hands — time to bid from many projects and thus time to work on more assignments, it might take a long time until I make a sensible and impressive earnings online.

When this blog was more lifestyle-ish (read: mostly about Japanese celebrities, bits and pieces and reviews), I was asked if I would consider monetizing it. You know, get a registered domain, get Yahoo Ads, put my name out there to be one of the many bloggers who get to earn money just by writing online. But as much as it is tempting, I had to say no to the idea. I am not comfortable selling my reviews and thoughts for profit. I work for PR and I have seen first-hand and paid first-hand good money to some bloggers to promote the brand I represent. It’s a tricky process — something I’d rather not discuss.

Much respect to other bloggers who earn from their sites, but it’s something I am not. I am happy with whatever reviews I get from my readers and I do not see the need to earn my keep that way. Different strokes for different folks, I guess.

Hence, I am still on the look out for more projects, hopefully one with bigger pay-outs. I also accept freelance copywriting and marketing consultancy work — so I know that once I finally decide to quit the rat race and go freelance full-time, I am confident that I already have a head start.

Being Still.

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For times when I keep on questioning His presence in my life:

be still

I mentioned how I am pretty much in the dumps today. I mean who wouldn’t get depressed if you’ve just been told that you are grossly overweight, bordering on morbidly obese; that there is a probability that you can’t procreate because all the fat build-up inside your body is wrecking havoc on your ovaries and fertility; that you have zero balance in your bank account; you have to pay a lot of debts due to money you lost due to your carelessness… sorry, for ranting but this has been very therapeutic for me.

For times like this, I question why I have to go through all this shit. I think I am a pretty good person, so going through all these right after the high of going on a trip of a lifetime is pretty depressing for me. I am not an evil person — the most evil I can get is fantasizing on pushing a person off the penthouse floor of my office building, but that’s basically it.

I read somewhere earlier that maybe we should stop expecting the Lord to respond in our time, when we should accept that He works mysteriously according to His time, beyond our comprehension and beyond our time. Psalm 46:10 says, “Be Still And Know that I am God…” maybe I should listen to guidance. Maybe for this time, I need to shut up, stop fretting about things and just wait for God’s answer. I am sure even right now, He is helping me, guiding me and loving me — even if I am overweight and can be a bitch sometimes.

Be still.

Annual Physical Examinations

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Working for a health company means that the people I work for value health on top of other things. After all, the subject of health is where we earn our keep. Birthdays in our company is not only cause for celebrations — celebrating birthdays meant you will be given a cup to take home to get your icky samples and you will be scheduled for your Annual Physical Examinations.

It’s a chore, but a must-do and you can’t wiggle out of an APE because HR will monitor you like crazy. When I was younger, I used to dread taking the annual physical — after all, you will be required to submit your urine and poop sample, you will get poked and prodded; your itty bits handled and mashed to check for signs of lumps and potential health problems. The thought of undressing in front of a stranger used to scare the hell out of me. I guess it is different when you get older and you want to make sure that the parts are still in tip-top condition. After all, getting sick is very expensive in the Philippines. Unless you have health insurance — incidentally, only 10% of the total PH population has one — a consultation, or worse, hospitalization is enough to put a drain in you or your family’s finances. Sad to say, in this country, there are even people who pass away without even seeing a doctor during their lifetime.

photo not mine

photo not mine

Turning another year older also meant that I am now subjected to the “Full Menu” — so aside from CBC Blood Test, Urinalysis, Chest X-Ray and Medical History Taking, I was also subjected to ECG and best of all, OB Gyne exam. It’s a bit disconcerting but something that has to be done if I want to live past the age of 50.

The results, sad to say, is heart breaking.

LOSING THE BATTLE AGAINST THE BULGE
In spite the fact that I hardly ate, that I have the appetite of a bird, I am sad to announce that it seems to be that I have lost my battle against my continued weight gain. I have already seen the signs but until I saw the figure (which is above 160lbs – my former weight), I have never been so disappointed and depressed.

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I am now severely overweight. From my weight of 100lbs during university, my weight have tipped the scales so badly that I am now told that it is affecting my capability to breed. Apparently, the excess fat might be wrecking a havoc on my reproductive system. I am trying to make light of the situation because to mope about it is just useless and will just make me more depressed than what I normally am. I did not know how I get myself to fail this miserably. I am fat, childless and currently, miserably penniless. To mope about it will do nothing to get me out of this pit I have put myself into.

After I saw my new weight, I was immediately ashamed especially since the people who measured me were my officemates. Unlike other patients who were names and numbers on the appointment sheet, I was a person who worked with them and interacted at them. They knew of my struggle on infertility and the fact that I am now at my heaviest has validated my incapability to breed. Mostly, because I was fat.

weight gain

THIS IS NOT A PITY PARTY.
I chose to relay my descent into FatVille not because I want you to pity me but because I need to see, in words, in black and white, how low I have come. I guess I needed the wake up jolt to see that I will never become a mother unless I do something about my body.

At the end of the day, no one is responsible with my health but myself. I was the one who didn’t took care of my body and now I am suffering from it. I am just glad that I was able to be see it before it was too late. I still have time, I hope.

New Beginnings and Following Your Dreams

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I was able to finally do it.

Dreaming about going to Japan since I was 18, and now more than a decade later — I was able to put this dream to reality. I literally went through the eye of a needle and back again just to make this dream come true. I plotted, searched, planned, sacrificed, cried and broke into maniacal fits of laughter and joy (many times over) in the course of six months until the time I am finally standing at the arrivals area of Narita Airport.

Me, finally seeing Tokyo for real gave me the realization that if I set my mind into something, I can make it come true. My single-mindedness, my determination and sheer chutzpah to make this thing happen has brought me to the amazing streets of Asakusa. Maybe it’s what they say from the book, “The Secret” — you have to will something to happen and it will. The Universe will give you what your heart desires.

Well, thank you Universe — but sorry for the bluntness — I still have a dream pending. Motherhood, having a child — please take note of this in our next timeline.

A part of me badly wanted the Tokyo Trip to happen because I promised myself that the trip will be a catalyst for me. This trip — and I will start saving, plot my resignation and then prepare for the family that the Hubby and I should have. Yes, I am tired with the rat race and planning to take a sabbatical. The Tokyo Trip serves as a start to this series of events.

A big part of my reason to finally throw in the towel is my decision to take all possible efforts just to have a child. Sorry to be rude, but I don’t get why losers and teenage delinquents got to procreate so easily while I suffer through monitored fertility treatments, medicines and the like. The irrational part of me would say that, I deserve to be a mother than any of these kids (most of which, will abandon or force their kids to live and earn from the streets).

Yes, I know. God might have a plan — but I will appreciate if I can be given a bit of redress.

The trip allowed me to take stock of what is really important in my life–and to work hard to reach my dreams.

Just you wait, universe. I am ready for you.

…to Life’s Little Choices

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How’s this for direct? On my last visit to my OB, I was informed that I may need to come to a decision to stop working in order for me to have a child. It was due to the fact that I am overworked (I worked the whole Holy Week and even on Saturdays and Sundays) and the treatment I have been taking might not work if my body remains bruised by working too much.

photo not mine

photo not mine

A part of me was sad upon realizing that eventually, I will have to put my so-called career in a backseat and concentrate on trying to be a mum. I find it so f*cked up that jobless kids half my age are procreating while I have been guzzling one fertility drug after another just to have a healthy working egg. I worked tirelessly for fifteen years, without nary a rest or respite. But at the end of the day, I will never be measured by how much I earn or what’s written as my designation. To the people I know, I will always be known as someone who “just kept on trying to no avail…” And it’s no longer amusing.

A part of me has decided that I am ready to walk away from my job and the career I have literally wasted half my life trying to build just to be healthy and fit enough. This early, I have looked at options that await me should I finally tender my resignation. I have drafted a timeline as well as a savings goal which will see me live comfortably while away from the corporate world.

I started working with eLance, having my first client as a writer last week. For my first week, I earned USD20 (PHP900), not a big amount but it’s a start. Navigating the world of freelancing is scary for someone like me who always had the safety net of a tenure or a company holding me back. I have never backed out of a challenge and I am a stubborn little girl — so, yes — right now, I am trying to increase my cred online in order for me to continuously win clients.

I don’t know when I’ll tender my resignation. My goal is to save money at least six times my current salary. Originally, I wanted it to be a year from now. But I don’t think that’s still feasible. With my luck, I hope I will be ready to resign by December and sustain myself online instead.

Wish me luck and send me a ton of prayers, please. I really need it.

The Daily Grind – 4.8.14

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It’s another forty minutes trapped inside the cab that is (unsuccessfully) navigating Manila’s infamous traffic.

i’ve been doing this for more than a thousand days–that it has become an automatic habit for me. Wake up, take a bath, kiss the husband goodbye, rush out of the house, work like a robot, finish what I can, catch a cab, go home, spend whatever waking hour I have left with the hubby, fall asleep, Press repeat.

There are days when I am okay. But there are also days, like now, when I am convinced that real life is more mortifying than a Steven Seagal movie.

The only wind pushing my sail is the impending trip on my birthday–God willing I’ll get a visa. Going away somewhere great can be quite difficult for normal citizens like me whose parents don’t work for the government or have a trust fund, at least.

Work… is great, as long as I don’t think about my salary grade and the office politics. Work is great because I am learning, getting recognized for what I do and earning my own.

Everyday, I think about how my friends started building their families, of having kids and all, while Hub and I remains a family of two. There are days when it’s okay, after all we are happy, the two of us. But there are also days when sadness creeps in and I am left with ugly thoughts like, “God seemed intent on giving children to everyone I know except apparently, me…” Today is one of those days, aggravated by a callous remark made by one of my friends who deemed she is more “inconvenienced traveling because she has a kid, something that I childless person like me won’t understand…”

I tried giving her a piece of my mind bit what for, really? After all, she is partly correct.

…finally reached my office building. It’s kinda amazing/pathetic that I am pouring today’s emo thoughts on my iPhone. Whatever happened to good old journal keeping?

Confessions of a serial dieter

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It has come to my attention that all perceived weight and flabs that I have managed to lose due to exercising like a mad woman during the last quarter of 2013 has been slowly creeping up my flab-riddled body.

The warning signs were there: clothes that felt a bit too tight around the middle, difficulty in running as part of the office’s running club and the slowly expanding gut. Sometimes, I say no to invitations for drinks and get-together because I don’t want to see old acquaintances and hear them say the usual line, “what happened to you? you gained weight! you used to be so thin in college!” Yes, I can deflect it with my usual tough girl lines but it kinda eats me away inside–especially when I am already at home, looking at a pile of clothes that no longer fit me.

While I do my four minute work outs during weekend, I have also begun to collect flimsy routine just to get out of my exercise routine. This–and the lack of discipline–are some of the reasons why I managed to gain back the pounds I managed to shake off.

Now, I am in panic mode.

Like the serial crammer and dieter that I am–and faced with the thought of looking pudgier than I was before–I started looking at my options.

1. Replace coffee with green tea and stick with it – after reading somewhere that tea is a good anti-oxidant and that it helps you lose weight, I started impulsively buying various green tea variants in the market and leaving it anywhere: in my room, the office and a sachet in my bag. My reasoning is that I will replace my coffee intake with green tea. I managed to do this for about a week and then stress hits me and I am chugging coffee again like a fiend.

2. Salads, hard boiled eggs and eating healthy – When I was still doing the fitness boot camp, I was eating salads, vegetables and fruits, drinking milk everyday and staying away from sweets (aka “my weakness”). But after the boot camp and the stress of work reappeared, I was downing cup cakes and fudgee bars every chance I get. I blame this for the bloated feeling.

To address this, I started eating healthy again — but man, trying to lose weight is very expensive. I was spending almost a hundred bucks per meal for my salads! Fruits and veggies also don’t come cheap. But it really needed to tone down. So, I am temporarily breaking my frugal ways in order to sustain my “healthy lifestyle”. If you have suggestions on how I can eat healthy and on the cheap – let me know!

3. Get my chair off the butt and start running again - I wasn’t able to run as much as I like due to my very hectic work sched. However, deep inside, I know that I am using work as a reason to procrastinate on my running and exercise. I have to stop this. I already left my running gear at work, reasoning that it will allow me to run if I want to.

4. Explore gym membership – I noticed that there’s a small community gym a block from my house. If I don’t have the discipline to do the work outs on my own, maybe it’s time to hit the gym and hire a trainer to bully me into submission.

God knows how much I wanted to lose weight. I don’t want to acknowledge it but gaining weight is already affecting my self-esteem.

:(