Breaking Free: My Journey from Routine to a Life of Fulfillment and Growth

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Previously, I couldn’t imagine escaping the routine of working 8-9 hours a day in an office, commuting for 3-4 hours, eating dinner at home, sleeping, and then repeating the cycle. I grew weary of society determining my worth, calculating the value of my time by dividing my monthly salary by the number of working days (my worth in a day) and then by the working hours (my worth in an hour). I often wondered if this was how I would spend the rest of my life. Eventually, I realized that the world is vast, offering countless experiences, cultures to explore, foods to taste, and people to meet. I discovered that life is not about what your position is in your company nor about how much your salary is. It is about how happy and satisfied you are with your life.

While I was still trying to figure out how to break free from the routine that society had set for me, I started traveling. I took DIY trips around the Philippines, and step by step, I worked towards finding opportunities to leave the four walls of the office and switch to freelancing. These travels not only helped me see new places but also inspired me to take control of my own life and career.

Make Things Happen

Sting ray

I started my career in the news industry, excited about a job I had once imagined would be fulfilling. However, the reality was far from what I expected. Instead of encouragement, I faced daily mistreatment and constant yelling, which severely affected my self-esteem. I began to doubt my abilities and felt incapable of achieving anything worthwhile. The toxic environment left me hating my job, sinking into depression, and dreading each day at work. Even on weekends, I couldn’t escape the anxiety of feeling like a failure. Despite my dedication, I never felt valued or appreciated. Eventually, I made the difficult decision to let go of my college path and pursue a fresh start, believing that there was another opportunity out there for me.

I started this blog to encourage people not just to strive for greatness, but also to prioritize their happiness. I’ll be sharing tips and ideas that worked for me, hoping they might help you too. It’s all about taking a chance and evolving from being scared to being brave.

From News to Digital Marketing

Taking this major step means my college learnings and accolades might seem irrelevant now. My Latin honor and awards won’t carry the same weight as I embark on a new journey. Shifting from the news industry to digital marketing might seem like a leap, but my approach was simple: I just said, “Yes, I can do it.”

Keep Learning and Stay Ahead of the Game

Never stop learning and getting ahead of what’s in demand. I searched for jobs or careers that would be useful in the future. I never really settled for one thing. I know I am not settling for a job but I am settling for a career.

From 2018 to 2020, discovering the world of digital marketing ignited a spark within me. I learned how it revolutionizes businesses, shifting them from traditional to online platforms. From SEO to social media, email marketing to website development, I eagerly soaked up knowledge and practiced every day to improve. Investing in my own domain and website allowed me to experiment and apply what I learned. What started as an interest quickly turned into a passion as I made digital marketing my own, driven by the excitement of learning and growing in this vibrant field.

In 2020, when the pandemic struck, there was a massive surge in online business. That’s when I realized my decision to go freelance was the right one. While I’m not happy the pandemic happened, I’m relieved I didn’t settle for something familiar but unfulfilling. As a freelancer for business owners, I’ve built websites and online shops, managed social media accounts, crafted content, and more. It’s been a journey into the unknown, but it’s where I belong.

From Digital Marketing to Data Science

From 2021 to 2023, I discovered Data Science. Yes, it is the sexiest job on Earth. I studied and took online courses. I learned programming languages to manipulate data. I learned SQL and R, programming languages that are useful for big data.

This is my era as a digital analyst. After diving deep into digital marketing and honing my skills, I ventured into the realm of Data Science. I pursued a Master’s degree in Data Science at UP Diliman, although I haven’t completed it yet. Now, I’m at a crossroads, unsure whether to finish the course or dive straight into pursuing my dream career. Meanwhile, I’m already showcasing my statistical prowess to my employers. I craft data dashboards and offer insightful ideas that have the potential to reshape the trajectory of the business in the future.

Embracing Freelance and Remote Work

Remote Work

These careers offer immense potential for freelancing or remote work, giving me the flexibility to go wherever I please. I earn a living while engaging in activities that bring me joy. The possibilities are endless, and I feel liberated to explore various opportunities.

What I Learned From These Career Shifts

We’re capable of learning anything when we set our minds to it, especially when we’re enjoying ourselves. Life is constantly changing, and no situation is permanent. Just because things aren’t going well today doesn’t mean they won’t improve tomorrow, and vice versa. Changing careers doesn’t mean we’re locked into that decision forever. Life offers the opportunity to pivot back to our original path if the new one doesn’t suit us. That’s the beauty of life – as long as we’re alive, we have the chance to redefine ourselves, rewrite our story, and chart a new course whenever we desire. Even if we’ve shifted our career paths, our previous experiences remain valuable and relevant. The ten years spent as an engineer and the three years as an accountant are part of our personal history. They’ve shaped us, imparting valuable skills and insights that can never be erased or invalidated. It is already a history that no one could deny. Every chapter in our professional journey contributes to the unique tapestry of our lives.

Embracing a Life of Exploration

Cowrie Beach Palawan

One of the most rewarding aspects of my journey has been exploring new places and cultures. Traveling broadened my horizons and sparked a sense of wonder and curiosity within me. I realized that, in the grand scheme of things, no one is more important than anyone else.

Every destination, from the bustling streets of Manila to the serene beaches of Palawan, brought unique experiences and lessons. Each trip reinforced that life is a grand adventure to be experienced, not a series of monotonous routines to be endured.

The Power of Mindfulness

Incorporating mindfulness into my daily routine has been a transformative practice. Taking moments to pause, breathe, and appreciate the present has greatly enhanced my mental well-being. Mindfulness has taught me to focus on the here and now, reducing stress and increasing my overall happiness. It’s a simple yet profound way to cultivate a deeper connection with oneself and the world around us. Though I still overthink a lot about the future, I am trying to be more mindful little by little.

The Joy of Learning New Skills

One of the greatest joys in my journey has been the continuous process of learning new skills. Whether it’s mastering a new language, picking up a musical instrument, or diving into the world of coding, the thrill of acquiring new knowledge never fades. Learning keeps the mind sharp and opens doors to countless opportunities. It’s a reminder that we are never too old or too experienced to start something new. Embracing a mindset of lifelong learning has been a key factor in my personal and professional growth.

Celebrating Small Wins

Eating with friends

Celebrating small victories has been crucial in maintaining motivation and a positive outlook. I eat cakes, drink Iced coffee, eat in Samgyeopsal restaurants, and have unlimited chicken wings with relatives and friends. Every step forward, no matter how minor it may seem, is a testament to progress and growth. By acknowledging these achievements, I’ve built a foundation of confidence and resilience. These small wins accumulate over time, creating a momentum that propels us toward our larger goals. It’s important to take a moment to appreciate how far we’ve come and to use that as fuel to keep moving forward.

The Ongoing Journey

Mount Ulap Hiking

The path to a life of fulfillment and growth is an ongoing journey. It’s not about reaching a final destination but about continuously evolving and adapting. Every day presents new opportunities to learn, grow, and make meaningful connections. By staying open to change and embracing the journey, we can create a life that is rich with experiences and joy. This journey is unique to each individual, and it’s up to us to make the most of it, savoring every moment along the way.

This ongoing adventure has taught me that life is a canvas, and we are the artists. By daring to break free from the confines of routine, we can paint a masterpiece filled with vibrancy, passion, and purpose.

What Happened is a Prerequisite

I’m not certain if everyone shares this perspective, but in my journey, I’ve come to realize that everything that unfolds in life is preparing us for what lies ahead. Often, the skills we unexpectedly acquire or the knowledge we stumble upon later prove invaluable. Rejection from interviews, for instance, has sometimes led me to even better opportunities. While the reasons behind each event may not always be clear at the time, I believe that every experience, whether joyous or challenging, equips us for the future in some way.

Don’t be afraid to start living the life you’ve always imagined for yourself. You’re not late, not early—you’re right on time.

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