My son caught me staring out of the window of my high-rise condo overlooking Manila on a rainy day. He peeked over my shoulder to see what I was looking at. But there was no way he would be able to. What I was seeing I viewed through my mind's eye. I reminisced on some of the crazy episodes and life changes I had experienced in this short span of life. As rain trickled down the window, I was reminded of the times when dark clouds formed above me and life's pressures became too heavy to bear.

I thought about how many times I wanted to throw in the towel. I remembered that nauseous feeling in the pit of my stomach every time I realized a situation was out of my control and heading south. I'd literally fight, claw, and break things in an ill attempt to get things under control, only to make things worse.

However, despite my shortcomings, I was able to stand when my body and everything in it wanted to give out. With God and a vision for a better future, I kept moving forward. And now my goal is to help others move forward when they want to give in and give up.

Yeah, it's great to tweet "#risehigher" and pair it with some inspirational quote on the internet. But that wasn't always the case for me. I had to find my own way and make a path where there wasn't one. Some who I considered close even turned their noses up and turned their backs. It was part of my journey, but it's also brought me here in front of you, encouraging and motivating you to keep going.

So, when the stuff hits the fan, don't expect anyone to save you from hitting the ground. The greatest family and friends in the world won't make a difference if you're not willing to pick yourself up and dust yourself off. Under the weight of tough times, you don't have to stand tall, you just need to stand up. Never stop. #risehigher

Now all I need to do is figure out how to explain all this to my four year old, who's probably wondering what I find so interesting about the tops of these buildings.  

Much love.


Posted on July 4, 2014 .