Today is another adventure.
You may be surprised to receive this letter in the middle of the year, when you always write yourself a letter on January 1st (so you can read it before the year ends). You always love re-connecting with yourself and your feelings. That is one thing I really like about you. You know when you are scared, you acknowledge when you are sad, and your voice kicks the highest pitch (even in digital writing) when you are the happiest.
Letters you wrote yourself (blurred out)
This is your present self. You are typing this letter in your room that has become your favorite place. Just like how you always live your life – enjoying the present, not worrying about the future, and only remembering the goods in the past – you live in the moment.
But sometime in March 2020, there was a moment that shook the whole world. Everything was put into a sudden halt because of the pandemic; then you felt that feeling that is unfamiliar to you – uncertain? worried? helpless?
Uncertain about what the future would be like without your little adventures that sustain you. Worried about your family’s health (living with 2 seniors, a frontliner and little one), that even if you feel strong, you might bring home the deadly virus. Helpless, while dealing with your parents’ anxiety, but praying.
You kept your luggage while you read flash reports of the bloating number of Covid-19 patients around the world. You watched news of how many people lost their jobs, while some people still went out because they needed their jobs.
You got to stay home, but you didn’t know when things would be okay. You found yourself looking back at the decisions you made in the past. You left a secured job at a big company to pursue your passion and seek new experiences. It sounds ridiculous as you you are typing it now. You know that people would kill to have that opportunity. But you are bold and young. You know that it was the best decision for you. Some people (even those who are closest to you) would think that it is a selfish and careless decision. Truth be told, you could have gone and live in another country, but you know you are not selfish to leave home.
When cancer hit the family, you want to have your time available for those who need you the most. You believe that you need to find yourself to be there for people who depend on you. Your passion will find a way to sustain your needs and heart’s desires.
This is how adventures looked like to you in the old normal
Having fun, having new experiences while working
But with businesses closing down, you felt that you were left with nothing, but creativity (and emergency fund). Pandemic gave you time and quiet that you needed. You got more in tune with yourself, your values, and what is most important to you.
You see everyday as a blessing – the sunlight in your room, banters with parents, and little heartfelt laughs from your nephew. You make everyday an adventure at home – even if it means failing at growing your first tomato plant, re-discovering your old hobbies, or building new habits.
Exercising everyday to be stronger and healthier for the family
Mid last year, you received an invitation to be part of the livestream roster of one of the biggest e-commerce sites in the Philippines. This was an opportunity that you previously haven’t thought of saying yes to. But you are lucky to have received the offer the second time. You accepted the challenge and learned the craft. You saw it as an opportunity to learn new things.
With every push of the Go Live button, is an adventure to share stories and learn from random usernames you get to interact through comments and floating hearts. Eventually, they became regular viewers, and they all became your “students”. They called you Teacher Ruth because of your everyday lessons , fun games and real conversations you introduced in the live stream (while helping different brand increase sales, and organizations and foundations raise fund). You found a new medium in #MeaningfulStoryTelling.
A teacher, was once a childhood dream; and you felt honored to fulfill the dream even through a digital platform. Armed with smart phone, and wit, you were able to connect with viewers, and you allowed them to get to know you, too.
At times, you wished you were really a Teacher, but your work history only notes that you taught Koreans English as their Second Language (oftentimes you wonder, if your former students are now KPop Artists). You have high respect for teachers and educators who have a great impact on the growth and life of an individual. You felt happy to be able to share in that mission during the time when everyone is feeling helpless because of the pandemic. Even for a short period, you gave your 100%. You know that it is one of the #JobsThatMatter.
Messages that are more meaningful than awards
You are happy to see the laughing emojis
Your inbox suddenly was filled with messages from parents, even students as young as your nieces, telling you that you made Quarantine Life fun because of your livestream. You never realized that you will get much love from these people just by being yourself.
You would be lying if you tell me you never dreamed of being in the leaderboard. But real winning is making a positive impact on people’s lives. The opportunity to make others happy during the pandemic is something you didn’t expect, but you always know how to make everyday an adventure. They say that you saved them, but in your heart, you know that they saved you. Funny how you sounded like a member of the biggest boyband in the world now 💜. But this feeling is a wonderful feeling that not everyone would have the opportunity to experience.
Caricature photo that they gave you during the Holidays. They are the sweetest viewers!
Meeting people who also love to write letters.
Personalized Shirt that they gave to you during your Last Livestream. They know you love FRIENDS. 🥺
Thank you to all the usernames that became part of my (pandemic) life #RuthDCClass
People you know would always see you as someone who would change the world – maybe hold a good job title under your name, or launch a global brand, but playing a small role in some people’s lives is a win, too. People you might never ever meet, or you would only know via their usernames.
As you pressed the exit button on your last livestream, you knew that the new learnings and experiences will help you as you navigate in the new normal.
You learned to be more adaptive to the ever-changing demands of skills in this industry you embraced. You learned that technology really connects people, and that connection helped you and your mental health. You learned to stand up for what you want in life (even if we are left with few choices). You learned that no matter how well you prepare your life, everything may change in an instant moment. You can only keep your faith in Him to keep going.
This year, as the economy is slowly recovering from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, you welcomed a new career and challenge. This is another industry that you know nothing about. But you know that being uncomfortable is the only way for growth.
There are relatives and friends who passed away, health problems and business challenges. You are still fighting battles that you pray you would win. Battles you are hopeful to write good stories about to share in the future – just like another good adventure.
Although you don’t know when you are going to board the plane again, or hang out with your friends, or hug your loved ones, you know you will survive this.
Keep the faith, and do good for tomorrow is another adventure.
Ruthing for you,
This story is an entry to ComCo Southeast Asia’s “Write to Ignite Blogging Project Season 2: Dear Survivor”. The initiative continues to respond to the need of our times, as every story comes a long way during this period of crisis. The initiative aims to pull and collate powerful stories from the Philippine blogging communities to inspire the nation to rise and move forward amidst the difficult situation. The “Write to Ignite Blogging Project” Season 2 is made possible by ComCo Southeast Asia, with Eastern Communications and Jobstreet as co-presenters, with AirAsia and Xiaomi as major sponsors, and with Teleperformance as sponsor.