Well, it’s been ages since the last time I wrote something personal. So I thought to myself “why not?” I could stick into writing again something related to my 1-year old daughter whom is currently living her life somewhere far away from us. Maybe on the Marvel Cinematic Universe because at the post-credit scene from the movie Infinity War, she was called by Agent Nick Fury to face the mighty Thanos. She’s Captain Marvel after all (LOL!).
Although I already wrote a little draft on a post about her, I’m not gonna write something about our grief of losing her in this post… again. I’m also gonna set aside the things about the Marvel Comics or the Marvel Cinematic Universe here. Well, I could include a bit of both of them here as I’m kinda loving them. But the main context of this blog post is about something that my wife Quennie and I were currently doing and at the same time, struggling with.
(Read: Marvel Zane – vol. 1)
HERE’S THE THING.
My wife just resigned from work during the last day of the month of June. If I could recall correctly, it was almost 2 months ago. Currently, she just started her new career during the 1st week of August which is somewhat unrelated to the job that she just left behind.
As for myself, I decided to get really serious about finishing my graduate school and earn that Master’s Degree that I started long ago. As of this writing, I was able to finish all the academic units 2 years ago before taking a leave of absence but I guess the worst wasn’t over yet eh? I still had to write my master’s thesis or “research paper” in another term which I just found out was much harder and more complicated than simply attending classes. It takes a really huge amount of time, focus and concentration to just be able to propose a topic in which I wasn’t able to accomplish yet (hoping sooner though).
The thesis that I was able to accomplish when I’m still trying to earn my Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering was a different case though. There’s 3 of us in the group and the topic and specialization we chose was much more manageable. Take note that I’m ditching the word “easy” because the path we took during those days were long and winding. There were lots of arguing, revising, and defending that we did before being able to get that “Dean’s Signature” on our hardbound written book.
In my Master’s thesis, I had to experience the same thing we did but alone; no group mates to blame at nor scold, and to even divide the workload and deliverables that needs to be done. My specialization was much more complicated and somewhat unrelated to my Bachelor’s thesis as well as my current job. Taking this program on a different university somewhat made it a little more complicated for me knowing that the pressure was much higher. Let’s also include the fact that I need to juggle all the other things I needed to do like my time-consuming and uberly stressful job, being a loving and caring husband, my ministries, etc along with trying to be able to finish my thesis before my maximum residency period in the university expires which is I guess between 2019 or 2020. Thus, giving myself a deadline of proposing a topic even before this year ends. Before our next planned overseas trip coming January of next year.
YES THAT’S RIGHT
My wife and I had to somehow take a break from traveling until at least the year ends. Well, not totally unless I want to make my head explode for not letting myself rest for a moment after every stressful attempts to adult. At least the week-long vacations more particularly the going overseas since I guess 2 days are honestly weren’t enough to enjoy a country when I had to spend at least Php 4,000.00 (approx USD 75.00) for a round trip flight ticket per person. So yes, I also suck at securing a really cheap flight ticket despite the airlines companies are offering “1-peso fare” promos every now and then.
My wife, working full-time in the academe, securing leaves would be a little more complicated. But it doesn’t mean that we’ll stop taking a short but meaningful getaways.
Also, I think this could be the chance for me to write blogs about our trip to Borneo (Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia and Brunei) last June and that “almost an immersion” trip to Taiwan last July as well as some visits to the provinces of my home country, the Philippines, in between which is also another struggle and an addition to my hectic schedule. These are the binge travels that we did during the previous months to spend my wife’s remaining leaves in her previous company and the remaining free time before the classes officially start.
Currently, I’m still stuck in finishing those blogs I’m intended to make about our 2nd time doing the Kuala Lumpur – Singapore Trip. I just finished writing about KL and I’m now on the process to write blogs about Singapore.
HOW’S IT GOING?
I’ll be fooling everyone whose reading this or even myself if I said that “things were going great” because honestly, they were not in some cases. What were used to work before for both of us seemed to not working on our current set-up now. Especially on my wife’s part.
In her previous work, she can stop doing anything work-related after leaving her office at 5:00 PM. But now, she had to render additional time of her day when we arrive home for preparing her lessons, checking students’ school works, and recording it. Well, I’m already used to this kind of set-up in my current work (and my previous as well) especially when clients are being jerk. As a former instructor of the same university where my wife is teaching now, I also had to render hours doing the same thing.
Aside from those thing I just cited, my wife also needed to render hours for some training and extra-curricular activities which technically aren’t part of a teacher’s job description and usually were already outside the usual time a teacher should spend at the university.
Let’s also include the getting used to the new environment. Although in some ways similar, dealing with younger people aka students what made it a little more complicated. New colleagues, although mostly on the same age range as hers, aren’t an exception knowing that they’re not the same people you’ve worked with. My wife, had been able to make friends with people on her previous company after rendering 5 years of service, will need to make another set of friends on her new work.
I can imagine that difficulty knowing that both of us were introverts. But I, myself, didn’t able to last that long on a single company. It’s my 3rd time transferring to another job, but my current work, is the one I was able to tolerate for the longest time; rendering almost 3 years of service; started January 2016. With a terms of service my shorter than my wife’s, I could honestly say that I got a little used to working on new environment.
The difficulty of “getting used to it” were mostly on her side since nothing much was changed on mine; except on where should I pick her up after work; but were somehow affecting us also as a couple.
Also, what I cited above wasn’t the hardest part in this season of ours.
THE HARDEST PART
We started questioning if we really did the right thing or made the right choice when we started seeing others living the dream that we still have but knows that it’s not yet the right time. Yes, we just found out that various couples around us went pregnant. From our friends in church whom are also waiting like us up to our cousin who had a daughter sharing the same age as mine. We were trapped into comparing our really difficult life grieving for what we lost (and obviously not our fault) and trying to plan and conceive again from their “blessing” easily coming to them.
I honestly know that although valid, it’s wrong to feel this way and also to compare ourselves to others.
We also knew that although we really wanted to have our next child now, the Lord is currently not considering it at this very moment maybe because we still need to go through this one thing that we’re currently struggling right now. I said maybe because honestly, I can’t tell if what I’m saying is indeed confirmed by Him.
THE LIFE OF “GETTING USED TO”
We all know how important it is to had a smooth transition each time we move from one season to another. This transition term are commonly used by transgenders when switching from their biological sex to their chosen gender. But there are lots in life where this term is indeed, necessary.
As part of our church’s worship band, we were taught the importance of having smoothly transferring from one song to another as distractions must be avoided all at once. I was scolded several times for causing dead air or playing the wrong chord. Well, part of the learning process.
Applying what I’ve learned from construction, before going through with the construction, some necessary preparations must be done prior to it given that it will indeed affect the quality of work as time goes by.
On my “home” country’s politics, the tenure of office of the new President takes place a month or two after his / her election. This one or two months is what we call “transition period” wherein the outgoing administration shall turn over things to the incoming through the help of a mediator called the “transition team.” That’s what I learned when I watched TV and I guess that’s too much politics for now.
Including ourselves, maybe the same goes to you when a huge change come: feeling stuck into the wrong place, wanting to quit because it’s hard, burnt out, tired, depressed, disappointed, envious of the others who seemed to be living your dream, still waiting for your big break that seemed not materializing, wondering if the right choice was really made, and many more.
Well, there may be a possibility that you, my friend, similar again to us, were currently in transition.
WHAT TO DO?
My wife and I were currently on-process of going through this transition period so I’m not in the right place to give great advice on how to go through this transition period of ours; or what to do. Honestly, we’re still trying to figure out what should we really do during these period. But during this season, there are some principles about this season that I need to inject to my head in order to still trust this process of transitioning. Who knows? These could work to you too.
I. Transitions are indeed… hard
When my wife and I were newlyweds, we thought that everything were already going great. At least I did used to think that way. I kept on counting the days before we get hitched. But little did I know, it’s more than just deciding to get married; at least during our wedding preparation period. As the wedding date approaches, the preparations went hectic that I had to file a leave of absence in my Graduate School after finishing that specific semester during June of 2016 (Of course I can’t simply leave work).
After the wedding, both of us transferred to a new home. Although a few blocks from where I used to live, it was farther from where my wife used to live so it indeed took a lot to make things work. Aside from that, we also had to live independently from our respective parents (although I’m working at their company) and consider what will benefit us both as a couple when making decisions instead of what will only benefit us individually. Honestly, it’s a very difficult thing to do especially the difference that my wife and I had from each other. Even until now, we’re still trying to figure out how to smoothly navigate our marriage past our differences despite the fact that we’re now able to know things that will annoy each other (LOL!).
Fast forward to when my wife got pregnant with our first-born, lost her on the 27th week, grieved for the loss, myself re-enrolling in grad school, my wife resigning from her job, and currently enduring the few weeks from her new job; I found out one thing in common about them: the start were always the hardest one. Of course the starting point was that transition period I’m talking about. It’s like the story in between the chapters.
As time goes by, when we’re already used to the current set-up, things will start to run smoother. Us being able to develop our skill in making it work. Reiterating what I said above, there’s no such thing as “easy.”
You have to take note in mind that during the start of your “big life decision,” it will be hard. All the time.
New challenges, new environment, new people to deal with.
II. Sudden change or giving up quickly mostly causes harm more than good
When I transferred work in the start of year 2016, I was just assisting my co-worker / fellow project manager on all the company’s existing projects. Things were great; work on all our projects were smooth sailing. I loved my job. Until I was now tasked to manage my own set of project/s from another client. I was excited at first. But when things took on the winding path, I started dreading it. There are lots of reasons for me to quit my job: both my clients and my bosses were toxic. I kept on opening up to my boss about either myself resigning from this job or ask him to quit getting projects from this specific client of mine which both didn’t materialized.
Two years hence, I’m still considering the same sets of choices especially that we’re now doing business with their new engineers which are much harder to talk to.
Despite of that, I’m completely aware that I couldn’t just quit easily especially when there are lots of things at stake when I quit. The company being understaffed, the accreditation agreement between the client and my company; and even the future marketability of my company. On my personal part, I don’t think I can be able to provide the utmost necessities and convenience for my wife: our house and car which was issued by my company; our travels, finances, etc. once I’ve given up.
Another thing was, I remembered Pastor Chad Veach were saying, during that time we went to Hillsong Sydney, to “be more committed in staying rather than going.” as contrary to what our bodies were made to believe: “the grass wasn’t always greener on the other side.” In some cases it was, but “the water bill could be higher.” I also remembered him saying that “we’re not gonna flourish if we’re not planted,” which coincidentally was preached by my pastor at our home church last Sunday.
(Read: Our HILLSONG takeaways)
It was a relief that my wife was able to make good terms with her bosses before finally submitting her resignation letter. Although there are times wherein she wanted to quit her current job. But I know that she should not… at least at this moment.
I also believe that quitting without a backup or contingency plan could lead to more dead ends so I guess doing the opposite may help you know what to do in case you finally… call it quits.
III. Transition periods vary from one person to another
It’s okay if you’re only going to test the waters then quit after a while if it’s really not worth it. How long would that be? You’ll know. It varies from one aspect of life to another. You can give yourself several months or a year for your job. I’m not into quitting marriages but I believe that as long as it’s not a life-and-death situation, it can still be worked out; ask couples that were married for years now how did they able to stay for a very long time.
What could take another person few months could take a year or two for you. Each person are unique. Some may want to get married right away after being engaged; some wanted a baby right after getting married; some wanted to find another job after resigning; and some wanted to do the opposites. But it’s really necessary to know when to hold on or to start letting it go.
IV. No such thing as a perfect transition
Way back 2013 when I’m about to take my licensure exam to become a Civil Engineer, I reviewed for 6 months after my graduation. Despite of questioning whether I’m really ready to take the exam. I learned that regardless of how long we prepare, “we will never be truly ready.”
It’s the same way with transitioning in life. There will always be instances wherein we’ll encounter rocks on the road. No matter how much we plan it out, it will always be subjected to change. Well, as of this moment, if I’ll grade our performance in this transition period, we’re bound to fail. But few steps at the time, we’ll be able to go through; and I know the Lord will help us in this matter.
V. Frustrations are valid.
Well, who doesn’t? I get frustrated every now and then on the set-up that we have now. I’m really eager to cross out things that I want to accomplish this year. Not just this year though as I knew that we only have few more months before this year ends and it seemed like I wasn’t able to accomplish anything.
If you had read my year-ending blog post, I wrote there the goals I wanted to accomplish for this year. The results were partially disappointing as it seemed like I wasn’t seeing any milestone-worthy progress. Maybe I wasn’t looking enough or at the bigger picture. Also, there still few months left for this year so maybe it’s not yet too late to have that remarkable progress.
Maybe some other people were doing better or worse than you are. Still, you can be frustrated. You may freak out or be scared. Yet, we should keep on going and don’t unpack or camp on that feeling. Although this frustration will continue to follow us wherever we go.
(Read: GOODBYE 2017)
VI. You still made the right choice
In the midst of questioning whether the big choice that you just made was right, remember what you’ve endured to finally live with it. I’m not saying that “sinning” is good.
Well, I’m not even pertaining to choosing to do what is wrong. Remember what the bible said about “everything being permissible – but not everything is beneficial;” and oh let’s say you did messed it up and regretted it. But know that you can still take some learning from those mistakes. There may be inconveniences out of those mistakes and of course, God didn’t caused those mishaps but was there on times of restoration.
On cases of choosing the right thing but still on the same level of questioning, I’ve also been there. There were times that I shouldn’t had chose to do it especially that some of these right things costed me my own convenience. I also compared myself to those who did things wrongly yet had that blessing that I kept on asking. But don’t regret. Instead, be proud of it. Also, the blessing is already on the way. Keep pushing.
VII. Focus first on what’s in front of you.
If anyone will ask me any advice if they should keep on going or should stop already and move on to another big life decision, my advice was “dont quit… yet.” Test the waters like what I said above. Give yourself some time to endure and focus on what’s in front of you; on what you need to do. Refer on my previous statements; if after the certain time, and it’s still not worth it, maybe it’s really time to let it go. For now, especially if you can’t make that big change, the only thing you do is to tailor it into something in favor of yourself.
Like what I wrote on my previous blog post about waiting, “some things really take some time and I know that soon enough, it will work out on your favor.”
(Read: WAIT Thing)
This is the most important thing of all for me. Much more important than the “don’t quit yet” advice. Ask God if you should stay or already quit. He can give you some confirmation on what to do. But the choice is still yours. Either way, He still helps us.
Although at times, I’m honestly struggling to really do it right. Coming from a church servant. I feel like a total hypocrite saying this. But no regrets.
Again, there are still more learning that I have when it comes to living in transitions. But I guess these were enough to help you (and ourselves as well) on what to do when things seemed to not turn for the better. Except on the “don’t quit yet” part, I cannot provide any other pieces of advice but these principles may help you provide your own system to make things work on your favor.
PS: Another thing, I really find it hard to consolidate my thoughts about it so there may be more. You can ask me regarding those. Send me an e-mail or leave it on the comment section.
Thank you for reading!