imperfect dating

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Its been a while since I last wrote something for the single men and women readers of my blog. Remember my “Single, Joyful and Fulfilled” series??? (Click for the stories of Dar, Marge, Voica!)

If you don’t, you must be new around here and that’s fine! That series belongs to one of my first few attempts to talk to the single readers of my blog. Events mounted for single people usually invite my husband and I to share our love story, as well as the values we find to be helpful before one steps into marriage, and preparing for those messages inspired me to write about how singlehood is such an enjoyable part of life! :)

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Just this weekend, I was so refreshed to be with my husband’s female staff. I invited them for an overnight here at home while the hubby was away and they didn’t leave till it was almost midnight the next day. Oh how I miss those days — days when I had nothing else to think about except waking up early day after a late night!!!

Haha, this is not to say I’d like to be single all over again. I am a very happy wife and part of my cause in life, as a matter of fact, is to get a lot of single people out there to pursue their “happily ever afters”!!!

And perhaps you can call this blog post just that. :)

It actually started with the late night conversations I had with those women from the photo above! They asked me some things about dating and in one of those long-winded explanations I gave I found myself saying, “I married Joe for all the good things that he is, while knowing I will also have to marry some of the bad. Nevertheless I married trusting the Joe I married back then will not always be the same Joe I will be married to forever. He is only bound to get better.”

In our Christian faith, especially in our church, we are encouraged to marry a fellow believer — and not just any believer but one who really has a relationship with Jesus, values the Cross and evidently changed by it. The reason being — someone who lives by the knowledge that he himself is only forgiven by a great God, and is still in his fallen nature but finds hope of change in the name of Jesus can only get better and better over time.

But then far too many of us have ideals about the person we ought to marry, and yeah of course that is good! I mean if you will have to sleep in the same bed for the rest of your life, you surely don’t want to end up with a serial killer, right?

However we also have a tendency to idolize our list of must-haves and consequently fail to make room for grace. In dating I often see it translated this way: when a certain man or woman does not fit the list, then he cannot be “the one.” Or for some, an unattainable premium is put on being “a princess” that allows a chance only for god-like pursuers. Men on the other hand, are usually so satisfied with themselves that a woman must be so exceptional for him to give up his convenient life. 

But here is the thing and Tim Keller puts it this way: there is no such thing as a “soul mate.” He said that many people who marry for that reason, for that of finding the “perfect one” or the “most compatible one for me,” are found to be disappointed months into being man and wife because by then, they cease to be the soul mates they once thought themselves to be. He further says, “Ever since I got married my wife has been with 10 different men and all of them were me.” One of the most basic truths in life, that we are all subject to change!

So let me dare say this to all the single people out there — no one stays the same forever. Therefore do not fixate on the things that you see in the person that you like or don’t like todaybecause even that is not forever. While it is wise to do a thorough background check, and to keep an eye on histories and tendencies, make sure you also dispense grace for imperfections. Joe really was not the most generous person to our friends on Christmas time around the first year of our marriage, but now he gets the value of it and that is only largely because of my influence. For more serious character concerns, he has also (and I, too!!!) changed so much over the years with the help of our mentors and Our Lord Jesus. A practical tip? Get rid of your list of must-haves and keep only that of the “deal breakers.” Back then I knew that an unbeliever, undiscipled, unmanly, and poor leader were some of my few points on such list. Other than those, I was open to overlooking preferences!

The other thing about dating someone imperfect is that if you really think about it, you aren’t so perfect yourself, too! (Hehe, peace!!!)

So in short, really, revise your list and give that guy or girl a chance. By this I do not mean celebrate cheaters, liars, or hitters, but if it’s just a matter of disturbing facial expressions, a particular way of speaking, failure to show some style and more trivial things like that, only remember that the question worth asking is not “Is he the perfect one?” but “Is he/she the type to change for the better or for the worse over time?” :)

Have a great day, Single People!!!

 

Blogging Is Not the Answer

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Many times I get comments and mails that sound like this, “Hi Miss Rica. I love your blogs and someday I wish I can also just be a blogger/work-at-home-mom like you so I can be with my baby.” That sentiment is valid and oh how I wish all moms can have a flexible kinds of job like mine, too! However, I just want to be clear on some things.

When I began blogging, it wasn’t in the hopes that it would one day be income generating for me. I only did it out of an overflow — first out of the mountains my husband and I used to climb, to record characteristics and measurements of each, which eventually became all about my life as a mother because naturally, that was all I could talk about after a while.

The pick up of my blog also was faster than usual, I guess, because I was working for the Philippine TV and Movie Industry for about 20 years even before the blog happened. In essence, jobs that I get today are a “residue” of the name I have made for myself as a celebrity. And I think that whatever I write these days mostly matter in light of the old person that I was to the Filipino viewers, and appreciated further by new followers when they are given the proper context. In short, that is part of my unique story and helps raise my blog to the fore. (Not that I am a blogging superstar; I am far from it.)

But I say this today because I don’t want moms or any of my other readers to have a false idea, that blogging with the intention to prioritize your family automatically leads to a condition where we can all afford to lose our day jobs.

The thing is, I am fairly new in this world. But a lot of the other bloggers out there have been posting way before anything exciting was happening online. Say maybe 10-12 years ago they started blogging and have had that chance to develop a following and readership at an opportune moment, when the world wide web still wasn’t as saturated as it is today.

I, on the other hand, have been working on a name for myself since I was 12 years old. By the time I hit 25, my name was pretty established in the local entertainment scene and like I said, that helped a lot in gaining readership and traffic for my blog.

In one of my favorite books Lean In, Sheryl Sanders mentions something about the “pay cut.” That finding a job that allows for quality family life might have to mean “affording a pay cut.” Basically, that is kind of what happened to me.

After years of working non-stop I was finally able to tell myself, “Stop and get back to school” And I only did so because I knew I could afford the pay cut! Back then I had enough money to get me by the jobless years, money borne out of my years of hard work. And when I say hard work, that meant toiling big time for companies and projects that did not quite hit the right buttons in me.

I used to tell my friends before, “If you want to paint but can’t make enough solely from the passion, then find a job that will fund it.” Essentially, that’s what I did. I worked hard for years and when it was time to take the pay cut, I availed of it and used resources I’ve pooled to “fund my passion.”

This is not to burst bubbles of those who’d like to try blogging. I just wanted a reality check for all who think that it came “just like that” for me, or even for the other successful online celebrities.

The other thing I noticed about successful bloggers is that they offer a unique service or content that answers real needs.  Topics and things interesting to us apparently are not enough; if they end up looking like everybody else’s, and if readers don’t find anything helpful or exceptional about what we say, following and readership won’t happen.

The other thing is that our intentions are usually transparent to readers way more than we think them to be. Consider this answer from Naomi Davis, who is the successful person behind www.lovetaza.com, “Blog about what you are most interested in. Don’t choose a topic because you think it will do better or reach more people. The content needs to be something that interests you and be unique to you. There are a handful of people who can make a full-time living blogging, and they work really hard to get there. But if you go into it for that reason alone, readers can sense that you’re only in it for the stats or the money.”

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That quote is actually from the book of Joy Cho who is also herself the successful woman behind www.ohjoy,com. She put together the top bloggers of this time in her book: BLOG INC. (Blogging for Passion, Profit, and to Create Community), with their stories of rise to success and the science behind the whole blogging craze.

Might be a great read for those interested to learn more about blogging and figure out if it’s really for you. As far as this post is concerned, I only really want to encourage others to rethink blogging — if indeed writing and sharing is your passion and if this is the best avenue for your unique gifts or you are better off doing something else, elsewhere.

But I think the point remains and this is really what I want to tell all of you today: blogging is not the answer, but hard work is. Whether you do it for something that you love, or for a thing that is only meant to get you by, you will never go wrong with hard work. In the long run, it will earn you points and you can trust it to bring you a step closer to your dream, one job at a time. :)

Have a great Wednesday!!!

 

 

women making waves

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

I looked at the books I recently read and was surprised to find so many women authors in there. And when I say women I do not mean writers of devotionals and inspirational ones or Chicken Soup for the Soul type, but of concrete studies that could be life-altering for its readers — male and female.

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click to know who Marie Kondo is and her book the life-changing magic of tidying up

I do not mean to write this as a review but more like an appreciation of women who continue to pursue their place in their world. I had a similar revelation when I read the opening story of Sheryl Sanders in her bestselling book Lean In, where she talks about walking across the Google parking lot on the month when she was about to pop thinking, “Where is the special parking for pregnant women???” When she finally reached the office of her male bosses she indeed barged in saying, “We need parking for pregnant women!!!” To which the bosses replied, “Oh yeah.”

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click to know what Lean In is all about

This is a simple story but it tells a lot. Men don’t get pregnant and therefore will fail to be fully sensitive to the needs of an expecting mom. Whereas women will understand and be more than thoughtful about the whole thing. Each gender undoubtedly is privy to some things and physiology alone dictates much of that. Why men will never fully understand what’s so hard about getting your period, right???

Anyway, the premise of the book is, “Get in position women, not only for yourself but more importantly for other women!” Of course Sheryl never said it exactly like that, but that’s me paraphrasing her call for us women to embrace leadership, and to be “women for women.”

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click to know what the Quiet Revolution is all about — and I’d say click ESPECIALLY if you are introverted!!!

For history, earlier forms of feminism turned me off because it made equality as its central point — that we are like men or better than them. I have always thought of that as narrow-minded because I think that men and women will never be equal, and that we’ll always be different! Now I do not mean to say that we should stop fighting for equal pay, but I think that we should stop fighting for possessing similar strengths. For me, men and women are wired differently and it would do us good not to figure out who’s better than who but instead try to work together!

Moreover, I would rather we women push one another to fill in positions of influence, be self-assured and not measuring ourselves against men to gauge success, so organizations can be attuned to the needs of women and be challenged about systems that favor efficiency and comfort of the opposite sex.

And before I get carried away explaining the kind of feminism I am for (which I already partly did anyway…) let me just go back to my main point of taking this time to celebrate Sarah Cain, Marie Kondo, and Sheryl Sanders! Grateful to these women for pursuing leadership that are now making waves in the world. Praying more women will support these books they have authored! <3

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