I feel like I've just woken up

From a really, really deep sleep. I took the Advanced Leadership Course (ALC) for four days last week, from Thursday to Sunday. And I thought the first seminar, the FLEX, which I took last month, had already woken me up!

I sometimes probably sound like a crazed fanatic--I don't know if I've scared people with my gushing--but the world has never been as clear as it is right now. And I can't help but recommend this journey to people I care about. Which, thanks to the ALC, includes everyone and his uncle. Haha.

ALC 51

I don't have any pictures yet, but during the course, I fell in love with 32 other people I'd known for only four days--plus a smaller number of people who staffed for us. I didn't have this experience during FLEX, despite having mingled some as well, because we didn't really have to work as a team. But the ALC was something else. I felt the energy running through all of us when, on the last day, we finally gelled.

The most important thing I learned during that course is that whatever it is you are complaining about, you contributed to it. And having contributed to it, you have the power to change it.

Old job? New job?

I dropped by my former office, The Philippine STAR, today. I brought my former boss flyers for the OCCI seminars, gave a couple of impassioned testimonials, and said hello to former officemates. I also went to explore employment possibilities, although there's still nothing on the table.

Jing and I reminisced back to those days when the four of us (Nathalie, Nina, Jing, and I) would walk to Lawton. I now realize I had a lovely time working for them primarily because I found three lifelong friends. Sometimes I'm surprised at how I've managed to keep in constant touch with these girls, when I barely remember most of the other people I've worked with.

I still chat with Nina on an almost regular basis (and we read each other's blogs; hi Nina!), I've managed to visit Nat a couple of times in Cebu, and, well, this year, I've seen Jing twice, and I'll be seeing her again on Thursday for another job opportunity.

Four years since

It's also my father's death anniversary today. It's an event of my life that I also associate with The Philippine STAR, because I was working overtime there when I got the phone call informing me that my father had had a heart attack. I quietly went to the end of the office, called my mother, texted Juan, called my best friend, and wiped away my tears to finish my article.

I had to put my section to bed (I believe it was Femme), and to muster up the strength, I asked Nat and Jing to accompany me downstairs to smoke, and that was where I told them, out in the street, in front of that small wooden kiosk that sold instant coffee, boiled eggs, and Skyflakes to the men working the graveyard shift at the printing press. I remember it was Jing who cried, not me.

I was just about done with the lead story when I felt that he was gone. I hadn't been told, but I felt his spirit slip away. I didn't tell anyone, but Nat and Jing told me to go home, offering to close my section. I splurged on a cab straight to my house--and it was during the ride that I got another long distance call that confirmed my father was gone.

It doesn't hurt as much anymore when I recall it, though. Apparently, it's true that the pain goes, and love stays. I still miss him--but in the loving kind of way.