August came by so swiftly again, and with it came many lessons and things to be grateful for:
- That one lost coin – It was the first day of the month. It was dark and drizzling when I left from the office. When I went out of our gate under the giant red umbrella we got from work last Christmas, I noticed three young boys on a bicycle (or maybe the other boy was walking because I can’t remember how they fit on one bike). Then I crossed the street and continued walking away, but while I still was a few meters away from our building, I heard someone cry, “Ate!” Then I heard it again, so I looked back. One of the three young boys came running towards me and said something which I cannot recall. Maybe it was along the lines of ‘Nalaglag niyo po (You dropped this)’ or ‘Sa inyo po yata ito (This must be yours).’ He held out a one peso coin. This moment – or this boy, rather – taught me something about honesty and going out of one’s way to give back something that somebody had lost. It wasn’t a 20-peso bill or even a hundred but a small amount, and it truly mattered. It is the thought of returning and leaving the bike to his friends for a while as he chased an absent-minded person to give something back. This child is special to see the value of that 1-peso coin and the virtue of honesty in this world. I am reminded of the parable in the Bible where a woman would seek the one coin she had lost in her home, and how excited she was to tell the others when she finally found it.
- Sleepovers – My good and artsy friend Denise slept over one Wednesday night, and I’m thankful for the trust and friendship and stories that we shared. She also spoke at a Passion Pitch in Ayala Museum during their Inspire Every Day event. There’s so much thought, purpose, hopeful and beautiful words, and art that this young woman will produce and have made already.
- Working late into the night – The last time I would work late into the night was in college. As I get older, I find that our body adjusts too. What was easy before is no longer easy for the aging body and a mind that longs for sleeping in early and waking up early. But I had to work. There were a few more days before the due date for our submission of artworks for Ang Ilustrador ng Kabataan’s (Ang INK) 25th Anniversary Exhibit “Tinker Tales.” I still had to color in the three artworks I made. God sustained me, while I sleepily poured out the little energy I had on those nights through music… I don’t know, but I just searched for the songs we used to sing in choir before in elementary school and the songs we heard at Church. Then they became my constant supporter, my hope, my anchor to finish those artworks on time.
- Ask for help – It’s okay to ask for help. Independence has its good sides, yes, but there will be times when we need to ask for guidance and suggestions. On the day of submission of our artworks, I asked Kuya Don, a senior INKie, and a new friend and batch mate in Ang INK, Misa, where I could have my illustrations printed. I’ll always be thankful for that, as well as the helpful people in the printing place that Misa recommended. Looking for their building, I couldn’t have done too without asking kind security guards and a diligent custodian. When I found the place, I met Lauren too, another batch mate and fellow newbie in Ang INK! I am grateful for him when he graciously offered me envelopes where I could place my artworks too. We saw each other again when we passed our artworks in Cubao to Ate Joza, another INKie!
- Embrace corrections and revisions – When my Mom and Dad asked me to revise something several times, I found that I became more impatient and annoyed with myself too because I couldn’t do it right. This is something that I’ve felt too when I had to revise something like a video at work, because it’s not an easy task. But no work is ever or should be perfect even at the first submission. One must have the humility to accept that there’s bound to be things to improve on. Don’t take revisions personally too – they will help you improve your work, your character, and your attitude as well.
- One of Pope Francis’ messages in World Youth Day – I watched a montage of video clips on the happenings in World Youth Day in Krakow, and in the background are the words of Pope Francis. I remember the lesson getting up the sofa of comfort and start working, start serving, start being responsible.
- Ignacio de Loyola – I have a deep appreciation for this film and the life of San Ignacio. I’m thankful that when my boss, my teammate, and I got to attend an exhibit in Pasay and we saw the equipment and costumes that were used in the movie!
- Seeing a rainbow along NLEX and three white birds… And the three white birds reminded me of peace and the Holy Trinity
- The sound and comfort of light rain
- The warmth of hearing about my Mom talking about something that excites and challenges her
- Reading Mother Teresa’s The Beginning of Holiness
- Old friends who share us things they think we might like
- The thought of needing to be healthy, because God needs me to serve Him, my family, and others in a healthy body
- Hearing kind and encouraging words
- Our team in the office staying late too to help one of our teammates with an exhibit
- Cooking lasagna – the one we planned to cook since a few weeks ago! – with my Mom
Thank You, Lord, for August.