Resilient at 36

I turned 36 over the weekend! Just like before, I planned to spend my birthday in Baguio, but I felt like the universe was so against my idea. A lot of things happened which prevented me from going with my plan. Instead of sulking, I just decided to embrace the stillness in welcoming my 36th birthday. I booked a hotel at the last minute, and that was where I celebrated my birthday with Tatay, Zayne, Mama and Papa. I took the botched plans (again) as the universe wanting to send me a message.

Since the beginning of January, Facebook memories have been reminding me that I'm always, as in ALWAYS sick around the third week of January, just days away from my birthday. I blogged about how I ran out of luck on my 34th birthday. I thought that was already the worst, but I was mistaken. I started 2019 with a trip to the hospital. I was never the same again after that as my health just continuously went downhill. I felt like my hospitalization was just a prelude to a long list of health issues and heartbreaks that I had to endure throughout the year. My immune system was so weak that I ended up getting sick almost every month despite having a very clean lifestyle. From my hospitalization a few days before my 35th birthday, I ended up battling anxiety. My TMJ issues returned. Maygahd, even my eyesight wasn’t spared. I got too busy realizing my goals and chasing after the kind of life I thought I needed that I didn’t realize that I was already compromising my health.

There are still a lot of days when I had to drag myself out of bed, but I still get up anyway. I’ve somehow learned to be more giving and forgiving to myself. I stopped worrying about what other people would think of me. I stopped feeling bad for all the opportunities that I chose to let go because I prioritized my mental health. And most importantly, I stopped feeling guilty for taking a break.

I thought I was starting to recover, but I was wrong once again. I was rushed to the ER two days before Christmas. It started with an itchy throat and a cough that wouldn’t go away. I went to work only to throw up endlessly. It turns out I had a bad case of GERD. It still bothers me up to this day. I also started having red patches on my skin which our company doctor said is atopic dermatitis. I would get flare ups when I get so stressed out. And to make my life even more exciting, we had four failed cycles of fertility workup last year.

2019 broke me. (My keyboard is now soaked, btw.) I was exhausted. My mind was always all over the place. There are days when I question why I was so scared to try the things that I have always wanted to do. On most days, I feel like I’m slowly turning into a horrible wife and mother. But I realized that there’s beauty in being weak and broken. I gained a few unexpected friendships the moment I showed my vulnerabilities. The tears I cried gave my eyes a clearer view on the things that really mattered in my life. The opportunities I lost made me realize that God has been constantly reminding that He didn’t want me to pursue the things that I can’t put my heart to. I woke up one day feeling so down, and that made me realize that I had nowhere to go but up.

I took a lot of breaks last year. And just like what I said, I stopped feeling guilty about it. I accepted the fact that I cannot be available for everybody all the time. I worked on being the kind of wife and mother that my family truly deserves. There are still a lot of days when I could feel darkness looming around me, but I crawl back to light. Notice that I used the word CRAWL because I recognize that more than the speed, it’s my effort that matters more. I don’t think I’ve ever been this appreciative seeing a flower budding in my garden, arriving home thirty minutes earlier, receiving home-cooked meals from my mother, having deep and meaningful conversations with my best friends, sparing even a very short time to blog and vlog, and getting good night kisses from Boyet and Zayne.

My struggles are not yet over. Last November, our little family had a spontaneous trip to Singapore. I was initially very against the idea because I looked at it as an unnecessary expense. Our trip was so abrupt that we ended up paying more for everything, starting with our fare tickets. But deep in my heart, I knew that our family needed this trip. My husband and daughter had to go through a lot just to keep up with me in 2019. We all deserved that trip. We were in Singapore when I found out that our fourth cycle of fertility workup failed. But I appreciated all the time Zayne and I spent together while Tatay was attending a convention.

It was in this trip that I finally found the courage to slowly reconcile with the probability that I might never have another child again. God also surprised us with so many favors during this trip – ticket discounts, being able to reconnect with old friends, and getting something out from our travel insurance. It was also in this trip that I learned to value my resilience.

Again, my battles are not yet over. I will remember 2019 as the year that broke me. I will always remember being a lost, weak, exhausted and broken 35-year-old wife and mother. But I will also remember it as my season of hope, gratitude and restoration.

But he said to me, 
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 
Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, 
so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
2 Corinthians 12:9


  1. Belated happy birthday, Je! God bless you! I once read that resilience is the new happiness so keep being resilient not only for yourself but also for your loved ones (they love you so!). Basta laban lang tayo sa hamon ng buhay, okay?! :)

    1. Thanks, Edel! All the best for you and your family!

      P.S. I miss your weekend stories! :)


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