“To be a star, you must shine your own light and follow your path. In the darkness, the stars shine brightest.” —Ralph Waldo EmersonIt’s that time of the holidays again, wherein the culmination of an entire calendar year naturally pushes us to think about all the things we want to change in our lives. As we embark on a brand-new year with more hope and clarity, we arm ourselves with the wisdom and courage gained from all the challenges of 2022, and we march on toward the promise of new beginnings.
Life is just like school; the higher the educational degree we attain, the more advanced our growth is in all aspects of our human existence. We may not always want to learn the lessons assigned to us, but unfortunately, life doesn’t always give us what we want.
When life is easy, everything seems to flow smoothly—that is, until a total curve ball from left field can destroy the gentle cycle. Normal routines are disrupted with relationship breakups and other life-shattering events. But when change happens, we are forced out of our comfort zone, and true growth occurs.
This festive season, my thoughts have been filled with all my spiritual mentors, legal counselors and emotional warriors who have made me stand proudly and firmly back in my true core. This journey back to myself after all the doubt and fear has been tremendously challenging, but the outcome comes with so many blessings.
Our mother-daughter trip to London to do university tours would have not happened if I didn’t need to step up my single-mom role. London changes every second of every minute. And I was so delighted to have a brief trip to experience this bustling city, in between all the tours of colleges where my youngest daughter Athena Valdes might go for her university degree. The campus tours of University College London, King’s College London and SOAS University of London were quite interesting and hopefully exciting options for Athena.
Since the pandemic, London is once again thriving. It’s been a brilliant 2022 for the theater scene where so many West End shows are pulling in the punters. The world of theater is ever changing and shows come and go. We were able to catch “Matilda” and “Frozen” while we were there.
Surrounded by mostly little girls in costume, I was so moved by the lyrics of the “Frozen” musical. “The past is in the past, so let it go,” sang Elsa. I also have a theme for my 60th birthday next year! Hopefully, my good friend designer Rajo Laurel will come up with a spectacular gown to showcase my new glorious life.
After all the healing and wisdom gained from therapy, I have realized the value of living mindfully and focusing on the loving tribe you surround yourself with. Living with an encompassing purpose that fulfills personal growth is achievable if you have a moral compass that guides you accordingly. Making a difference creates more value in life, too. Spend some time as well to reflect on this important goal for next year.
Life for others
In living a life for others, I have been given so much opportunity to share blessings. Aside from helping with The Pink Ball for the benefit of breast cancer survivors, I joined I Want To Share (IWTS) Foundation in distributing donations to their benefactors.Since 2013, IWTS Foundation has consistently showed significant ways to help others, like during calamities, or by providing scholarships, as well as helping other foundations that benefit children.
Founded by generous philanthropist Sheila Romero, the foundation has spread their support to even more channels. In 2015, the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) Pediatric Hematology-Oncology department became the major beneficiary of all fundraisers of the foundation.Last September, the foundation gave their quarterly donation to pay for medicines and tests outside PGH for children diagnosed with cancer. Together with other members of the foundation, actor Dominic Roque and I gave away gifts, groceries, toys and neck pillows to the families. Adult patients were also given wigs from donated hair through the “I Want To Share My Hair” program. Lastly, they announced the kick-off of the renovation of the Infectious Ward and the Childhood Cancer Helpdesk.“We are all here for a reason. Be a source of love, kindness and generosity, and watch it create a ripple effect around you,” Sheila said at the IWTS graduation ceremony of 100 children who finished their chemotherapy treatments on Dec. 17.
There was the induction of the board of trustees as well during the ceremony. Lunch followed with entertainment and gift giving to their graduates.Life does get hard at times, but we will always be equipped with God’s divine grace and love. I must be a stubborn student in the School of Life, but I have finally done my homework and have passed with flying colors.
I was broken, but have now awoken to the reality of this new chapter. I was asleep to all the smaller, less noticeable signs sent to me before, so life pulled out a sledgehammer and hit me so hard! Finally, the signs have been right in front of me. I am a star!
I lost my own light temporarily and didn’t want to get out of my dark hole. It took me a year to shine my own light on all my broken parts and truly live again. But here we are now. Whatever you are going through, make today Day One!
Happy New Year to all! INQFollow @seaprincess888 on Instagram.