Advice and RETREAT!!!

Here where I am, the Holy week has started. For Christians, it’s time to reflect on the life of Jesus. And, more importantly, on our own lives. How are we today? When we look in the mirror, do we like what we see? What have we become? Is change necessary?

I wanted to post today because I remembered two letters I created years ago. Some readers/friends know this already. Those were letters given to a then-very young man, as requested by his mom, as required by his school. He was going on a retreat on both occasions and I was one of those asked to write pieces of advice for him. So, I did my best to conjure wisdom (ha!).

Every time I read them (because I have them saved, okay?), they remind me to strive to be better myself. In times when no one is there to pull me up or to scold me when I need it, it’s nice to be reminded by a younger me to get my act together. I guess those letters were for me as much as they were for him.

Though posted separately and on different dates, both get constant traffic on this blog, particularly the first. And I believe that the nearer the Holy Week gets, the more traffic they also get every time. I don’t have the statistics but I’m pretty sure many people have read them and probably shared them, probably even plagiarized them. Chances are, they’ve been looking for samples so they can give similar messages to kids going on peace retreats. On regular days, the pieces still get traffic, and sometimes, I don’t even know why. I don’t really mind if the letters are copied as long as people don’t post and claim them as their own.

Here are Advice to a Young Lad 1 and Advice to a Young Lad 2, in one post, respectively.

advice-to-young-lad-letter 1advice-to-young-lad-letter 2

My Missing Random Post

A few weeks ago, since I was not able to write a proper blog post for maybe a month or so, I decided to post something about random stuff. However, when I tried to find the draft, I could not find it, which was a blessing in disguise in a way for it paved the way for a more personal post.

I decided to to post something in particular now as a page and where did I happen to find this? In the pages section! That’s why I could not find it before, I set it as a page, not a post!

Anyway, I decided to edit and continue with it…

Okay. I’ve been busy with work, family and foosball lately. That explains why I haven’t had proper time to write a proper blog post.  Just had my laptop fixed, ergo, I may be able to enjoy more time writing again. Meanwhile, there are some random stuff that I’d like to share to you.

Random#1:

foosball-play-doubles

What. this isn’t fierce enough for ya? 😉

FOOSBALL!!! I just mentioned it at the start. A foosball table came to my and my officemates’ lives just this June and we’ll never be the same again. It was just all for fun and then we decided to have a tournament. First, it was the doubles. And now, we’re playing singles — it’s every man/woman on his/her own.

It’s one of the funnest activities we’ve ever had in the office. Brings out the competitive nature of some, but it’s still all for fun. Winners get whatever the others have pledged (mine would be his/her choice of either a cup of Starbucks coffee or an order of milk tea at the milk tea store near the office).

Personally, I don’t think I’m winning anything except a few matches, but don’t tell them that 😉  I am up against kids who grew up playing fast games online and in the arcade. They have busy hands. Hey, I’m still learning from these experts.

In the Foosball World, I am Alias: Li’l Dove Feather:

Li'l Dove Feather

Check out my theme song…Fierce, too, eh? What I lack in skills, I make up with pretend, LOL!!!

Random#2:

You fictionists out there might want to try and join this contest! The Creative Writing Institute is holding a writing competition. If you love to write whodunnits (although they are open to other genres…Does genre have a plural form…?), this is for you. I’ll try to squeeze it in myself, but I’m not promising anything. I should have had my laptop fixed much earlier.

cwi-writing-contest

The CWI Contest Guidelines

Read the whole instructions and MORE from their site. Oh, and Happy 7th, CWI!!!!!

Random#3:

So cute and funny!!!

Random#4:

Dat be us from the office 😉

eversun-makati-jumpshot

The Office Jumpshot!!! Photo credit: Adjhan Penus

That was taken during our company outing at Laiya, Batangas. I’m not a jumper, not really good at it, it’s one of my frustrations, actually. So this was my best jump, like ever (I’m third from right)

Random#5:

Wise words.

Advice to a Young Lad [Part 2]

*NOTE: After two years, I wrote and posted this one. (The first one was posted previously)

 

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It was almost 11pm last night. I just said my goodnight to my Multiply bud with whom I had a very interesting “chat” about WICKED and Idina Menzel. I said I had to go home early. Then, I remembered a text message from my friend/ex-boss BOSSING Tuesday: “____ will be going on his peace retreat from Friday to Sunday this week. He is supposed to receive a package of love letters from family and friends during the retreat. Please take time to write him a letter. You can e-mail it to me by Thursday evening. I am delivering the letters to the retreat on Friday morning…”

So I tried to write with much sense. I don’t really know if I did. I just didn’t want not to write the letter. First of all, I felt happy that she would think of asking me, not once, but twice! Some years ago, I wrote my first letter to her son. This time, this was what I wrote:

advice to a young lad 2

 

Advice to a Young Lad [Part 1]

*NOTE: Sometimes, the best person to give you advice is yourself, if you’ll just listen to that little voice inside. I have been re-posting this piece not only to share my thoughts but just to keep reminding myself that I do know these and must apply what I know…If he happens to see this, the young man I gave this to will remember as well.

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For many weeks now, I have been communicating with my new friends. I must admit, I didn’t expect such deep conversations at first that would force me to evaluate myself, as I’m evaluating myself now.

Where do I stand? What are my views? Am I different? Do I belong? Do I make sense? Do people make sense to me? Am I naive or stupid or innocent? Am I intelligent enough, positive enough, practical enough, secure enough?

Thinking about these today, I suddenly remembered an actual letter I wrote years ago for a 12-year-old boy who went to a retreat that year:

advice to young lad part 1

The young boy, in truth, is the son of my former Boss who had/has been a friend to me. I was chummy with this kid, whose not quite the kid now. He was going to a retreat with his whole batch in grade school and part of the requirements was for parents, relatives and/or friends to write letters addressed to them. These letters were supposed to be given to the teachers who would hand the letters to the students on the last day of the retreat. To my surprise, my Boss asked me to write one for him. I was surprised because she thought of me that much. And I was surprised because she trusted me enough to give her son some words of wisdom.

You’d think it would be easy. The words of wisdom were required to help the children. So I thought long and hard until finally, I came up with this. What surprised me more, it gave me the chance to do a lot of thinking.

So now, I am again doing a lot of thinking. But now, I realize, here they are, the stuff that I, myself, said a person actually needs…Fortunately, I still believe. I am still growing. And will still keep these words in mind. 🙂

Copyright © J.Gi Federizo

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UPDATE: I wrote a second letter for him a few years after — Advice to a Young Lad [Part 2]