present (lit. of a person; of a thing; existing in a particular place)

I feel like I haven’t written here proper for awhile now. I hate to be that blogger who uses ‘busyness’ as an excuse but truth is truth and nothing but, after all. So here goes. The short story? I’ve been busy doing life – I’m still working on a realistic work/life balance but honestly, I’ve really just been… living.

In the present; in real time; in the company of new, wonderful friends; in safe spaces…

I’ve been present in every sense of the word.

For the last three days too, I was offshore – my second since my first time as an intern four years ago, but really my first when we define a complete experience. Short though my visit was – only one full day there – offshore is a whole experience by itself, that I’m certain. I lived in a work barge; had to cross the gangway (look this up if you don’t know) to get to the platform; being at the mercy of the weather… it’s a man’s world out there, indeed, but ultimately it’s all about God.

And I say that because for all the difficulties and unpredictability, some things in life remain ethereal and humbling. Like… this sunset below. I deliberately took an early dinner then camped at the outer deck of the (wobbly, swaying) barge to catch it, having missed on my first evening. I was hilariously called ‘a romanticist’ for the effort I took to catch this sunset but hey, I’ll accept that anytime cos beauty like this is truly spellbinding.

sunset at platform from barge (April 2016)
Sunset offshore at an O&G platform located somewhere in the middle of the South China Sea, taken from a work barge (April 2016)

On the way back yesterday, I had to endure a (long and literally bumpy) 10-hour boat ride on the fast crew boat because Thursdays happen to be the day when they make the rounds to three platforms – just my luck, I know. I slept for six hours because what else is there to do? I’d actually woken up hungry so I went out to the outer deck to eat – there’s a makeshift wooden table with makeshift stools for chairs – and my goodness, what luck.

last light from FCB (April 2016)
Last light of the day, viewed from the fast crew boat (April 2016)

Yup, caught the last light of the day – I literally witnessed the roundness of the sun slowly disappear bit by bit, as if swallowed by the infinite stretch of the horizon. Then the skies stayed an array of red and orange hues for many long, soul-stirring minutes. If there was ever a moment I doubted the existence of God – I found Him right in this very moment.

sunset from FCB (April 2016)
God’s painting (April 2016)

The last four hours were spent sitting, occasionally standing, at the outer deck just enjoying the vast nothingness of the horizon that stretched on endlessly without boundary or border. I had a lot of thoughts with me last night, mostly about feeling stretched and grown and grateful all at the same time… but these thoughts have yet to mature, so I’ll keep them to myself for the time being. When I’m ready, I’ll write about them – I promise.

On all the other days prior to this impromptu offshore visit, I was busy working out… extracurricular – probably not incorrect to call it this – commitments at work. I made my official debut, for instance and so to speak, as an emcee at the launching event of the company’s annual big day. When I wasn’t busy trying to memorize my script and cues and just, you know, calming those damn jitters and nerves that are more frequent now, as an adult – I had to put on my project engineer (albeit still an amateur) hat and manage people including plenty of last minute damage control for a sketch we came up with for the event, which while true was frankly small in the scope of everything about the event, was still significant when successfully pulled off …which I genuinely think we did (yay!).

And all those other nights when I wasn’t staying past 7 PM for work and on those extracurricular activities – okay, especially on those nights – I was busy… being… happy. So cheesy and simple, but it’s the truth.

I enjoy – too much, frankly – being in the company of my recently made and established closest friends here, each of whom I think of as a safe space. In this largely superficial working world and environment where I never know who doesn’t think of another person as not competition – trust is so hard to attain nowadays, you know what I mean? – it is so nice… a blessing really, to have these three – four to five, if I’m totaling up –  friends with whom I think of as not competition but comrades. We’re allies, constantly pushing each other to progress higher, further, and better via encouragement and as safe spaces.

I am in a highly driven, annoyingly high expectations and at times stressful setting and I don’t always do and get it right – equally as many bad days to the good ones …but my goodness, I’ve never felt more at ease and literally, present.

I am, truly and sincerely, in a good place in my life right now.

 

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