Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The Filipino Way

It's been a while since I posted on here. Following the end of my mission (nearly a year ago), I didn't think I would have more to share that fit into this realm. I mean, no longer a missionary, I was no longer writing weekly emails to share my spiritual experiences and the things I was learning and the growth taking place in my life as I continued to strive toward Christlike attributes and figure out my Heavenly Father's plan for me and the steps He wants me to take. Regrettably, this means that nearly all of what I have been through in the past ten months or so has gone undocumented. I hope to, in some way, remedy this going forward. 
On October 9th, I officially moved to Bloomington, Indiana. I had interviewed for and accepted a position with Hanapin Marketing, a firm which specializes in PPC advertising. For the first time, I found myself alone in a two-bedroom, unfurnished apartment, feeling the most adult (both accomplished and terrified at the same time) I have ever felt in my life.
Over the past week, I've been able to make progress in furnishing my apartment and adjusting to my new life. I will hopefully get a chance to tell you about my Portland trip another time. Tonight, I just want to share a few of the things that have made me feel incredibly and overwhelmingly grateful for my new job. 
First, start with the welcome. 
Everyone that I met or talked to during my first day (yesterday) was so kind and positive! Their friendly and genuine outreach made me feel like I was truly joining a team, and they didn't care at all how new I was. I am one of them and that is all that matters. After a day full of meetings and jam-packed with information, I was almost sad to have to go home when 5:00 hit, and was already excited to come back. 
Today was just the same kind of feeling, although my schedule a little less hectic. In one meeting, the woman we were meeting with commented on my necklace (the outline of the Philippine islands) and my co-trainee, Joe, pointed to a place on it saying "I lived there." Intrigued, of course, I had to follow up on this, and soon discovered that he had lived in Davao, Mindanao from birth to the age of about 10. I asked if he spoke Filipino, and he affirmed. He was delighted (and shocked) to find out that I also speak it, and stunned even more that I'm actually more polished than he. But we were able to communicate in a lovely mixed Taglish throughout the rest of the day, and I definitely feel like we have a much more solid connection now than before. Maybe it's just my own perception that has changed, but I was forced to marvel as we discussed with our trainer the fact that Hanapin has (to his knowledge) never had Filipino speakers before (despite being a Tagalog word), and suddenly has two being trained at the same time. I feel like this is just another tender mercy from my loving Heavenly Father, and in a strange way, another confirmation that this is the right place for me and I am exactly where He wants me to be. 
I saw a post the other day with a list of the best things about being Filipino-American. I think I have decided, the best thing is that it really is not so much about your heritage, it is all about your heart. 
I never imagined that I would be living somewhere, so far from family and my closest friends, and yet be so happy and feel so secure. I never knew I could love a job so quickly and so fully, and find more gratitude for it every day. I am infinitely grateful for the blessings the Lord is showering upon me, and I hope that this blog will become the place for me to share those everyday miracles-- all the "little things" that make life so beautiful. 

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