Career & Finance

In The Middle of Life’s Voyage

I’ve been experiencing a great influx of change in my life recently. Change, like the eternal waves in the sea, is always flowing. However, for me it’s been greater than normal these past few months. Let me start internally, where most things in life should start. In November of last year, I felt a sudden urge to make a change in my life. Not that I was unhappy with the way things were going but I felt like I needed to do something different, go against the current, and find a new direction.

I was happily, comfortably living in Sydney for the past 6 years, working the same job for a Marketing agency in the pharmaceutical space. I woke up one day, worried that my life was passing me by too quickly. Living and working in a city like Sydney felt monotonous at times. It’s an amazing city, one of my favorite places on earth, but I felt that I was getting too comfortable at a fairly young age. I knew deep down I needed a change. I figured it could be symptoms of ‘early onset midlife crisis’ or that it was the Manila Man in me, wanting that bit of chaos and uncertainty in my life, always looking for action. Some people thought I was crazy moving back to Manila at this point in time. But I knew I had to. I resigned from my job shortly after, met with some contacts in Manila, and in 3 months I was back living in the place I was born. Just before moving back I figured, Why not make life a little more exciting?” I asked the love of my life to marry me.

We moved back to Manila together, ready to face the challenges ahead, hand-in-hand.

Today, roughly 3 months have passed since my move back to Manila and I am happily spending my days working with a local Marketing agency. I am happy, but deep inside there is still that yearning for excitement and change. I sat and wondered one morning, just before getting ready to leave for work, What does it mean to be satisfied with one’s life?”

Ship happens

Often, people wait for change to affect them. But these past few months I’ve come to realize that the good kind of change, the life-altering change that affects us, comes from the decisions we consciously make. Decisions we sometimes fear, but deep inside know it to be right. The times when we take the wheels with intent and steer the ships of our lives with purpose. We must be aware of where the wind blows and ensure our sails are up, with our hands on the wheels ready to face whatever storm life blows in our way. A wise man once told me that life is like sailing. The waves of the seas are like the obstacles that we face daily. We must learn to navigate these with confidence and respect, always ready for the worst, but always fluid, never too rigid else our sails and ships would break and sink.

I’ve realized that satisfaction in life comes not from succeeding, but from trying. If you have something in your life that you want, you need to make a the decision to grab it. There comes a time in your life when you need to shake it up, break the monotony, and change the sail’s direction. Only you can decide the outcomes of your life. Waiting does not work.

Once you make that life decision and commit, there’s nowhere else to go but forward. That is the beauty of making big decisions and sticking to it. It creates a kind of momentum that keeps pushing you forward as long as you remain open and aware of where the winds of life are blowing.

Aye Aye Captain

These past few months have taught me a lot. It has taught me to be thankful and to cherish the moments that life blesses us with. We are all just passersby, voyagers on our own journeys. Sometimes we find people that want to take that adventure with us, and sometimes we lose people along the way. I don’t know what’s at the horizon but I do know I am the captain of this ship, ready and willing to challenge that next storm.

About the Contributor

Martin De Guzman is the managing director of Elevation Partners Inc., the leading marketing and media group in the Philippines.

Photo by @chelsonduty. For more of her works, visit her Instagram.

See all of Martin de Guzman's posts →

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