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It’s been a year this month and the beginning of 2nd quarter 2019 has seen me settle here. Surely, i didn’t think about it until it happened, really. All I know is we’re processing the papers, got that reasonable amount of worries thinking what’s next, doing our best with all our purest intentions.

Over time, as good as things have gotten, the newness is slowly turning into familiarity here. Even though that trip from Philippines was quite rough. That flight from Manila to China was delayed.

As a result, I was left by a plane (that connecting flight) from China to Chicago. Barely managed to catch that changed flight, but the minute i situated on the United Airlines entrance, I’m SAPPY ( sad and happy). After a minute, I am soooooo grateful. I am alive and I freaking did it. God saved me again after that boat accident back home. Family and paradise i forever love, got a lot of longing from. It sure always in my heart and mind.

A lot of remarkable experiences and advises that stick with me, taking it by heart. In dealing outside, these are my behind-the-scene voices. It’s like within me a new seed is planted. Roots are weaving into the very fabric of me.

This remarkable spin in my life gets me excited for what’s next, be it here or anywhere as i continue to be a seeker of everyday magic.

Surely, being in a new environment, you don’t come away the same person. It changes you to see it, to actually be there. I am living through this power of the present. Giving me the chance of finding myself in American society. I stay being me regardless, trying to connect, keeping my eyeballs focused.

Everyone has a story to tell. And I know i got a story to share.

With that in mind, I tried to compile some of the strongest impressions from my months here. And US? Especially Nashville, is so ripe with stories. But you know sometimes I get restless and scatterbrained. I just chilled waiting for that momentum to be able to organize and write. That kind of energy that feels not entirely me usually, liking and not liking it when I had to be pushed out of my shell.

It’s been a journey.

But it’s guiding, teaching and commanding me for everything in between. It’s like living in a world for a few minutes or hours that existed in my head. That kind of strength that once seemed smooth-flowing and boundless. I gotta take advantage when that moment comes.

And when it comes… there you go, that voice within is turning into letters and words.

I appreciate…

1… how quickly this place can feel like home

People are so welcoming here, I felt at home right away. Yes the best of Nashville is absolutely it’s people, the history and it’s connection to each other.
Like home it’s freeing.

I am enjoying the process of marinating myself with the spices of this culture. Taking my time. Loving the place. Looking at the window, that view across the golf course that i see everyday? It makes me feel grounded and steady. I don’t wanna look at what I don’t have instead of what I have and be contented. That first sight was one of the moments that speak volumes. I am humbled.

A lot of growing and learning along with an open mind to be taught. Constantly building a foundation that will help me stand with the test of time here.

2. … the food

More than anything, speaking of food, I wanna tell you that the smell of that boiling rice in the kitchen is still… still the happiest smell I know. That aroma, always shift me into that happiest mode. And of course, a good morning coffee still remains a comfort.There are many selection of food. Surprisingly, some unusual menu was just as delicious as I had hoped.

And the noontime meal was sometimes called dinner, it became the main meal of the day. Just in terms of food, I get more delighted and it’s the greatest thing that unites any nationality.

Aside from Supermarkets, Asian stores as well as Farmer’s market are super convenient. All the fruits and vegetables, meat and everything you could need are there. Always blows me away for what I can find.

Overall, that feeling of “at home” is just comforting.

3. …how they speak their mind

Right of speech is something everyone value a lot. Some say it’s better to speak up than to regret that you did not.

BUT, know when to let things slide.

No beating around the bush. If you want something, say or do something about it. Do not assume that the other person will always read between the lines.

There is no magic person in the world that knows what is on your mind.

However, there are things to keep something at bay and take some as a grain of salt. I listened hard and their points are well taken by me.
Oh, and by the way… they line up, yes they stand up on line, they take turns but do not get too close, you need to take a distance from another and still on queue.

They practiced putting things together in particular order and follow.

4. …things are not promised but… promising

You can be what and who you wanna be.
America has a lot of room to do, choose and write and build the masterpiece of your life. As we always hear, in the US, you’ll have more opportunities of trying to live your dream/dreams.

The famous Statue of Liberty signifies it’s iconic symbol of new opportunities in life. It serves as a source of inspiration for Immigrants.

Being here is such an honor to also pass a great honor for the Statue’s intent to welcome immigrants. The backbone of the United States is people who believes that progress is possible.

But it just depends on the person, it depends on you, it is really up to you. If life gives you tea, it’s up to you if you will make it unsweetened, sweetened, hot or cold. If it’s beer or wine, then it’s up to you if having a party would be cool or not.

Like a ball. It rolls. Sometimes you’re up, sometimes you’re down.

So, it is really up to you. It’s not easy, not everybody that comes made it, knowing some stories around.

Truly, opportunities are not given, but they are taken when they present themselves.

Just trying to do the best I can everday. I learned, learning and a lot hopeful.

Everybody deals with one fear one way or another. It makes us do the things we wouldn’t usually do. We can do whatever we wanna do in this world, it’s all very out in the open. Like internet is there for whatever and whoever we wanna reach and know.

You know I’ve lost focus some time in the past, I get caught up in all of the reasons that I can’t do some things. I guess it had to happen at some point. Sometimes thinking of “should haves” are a waste of time, don’t you think? We all have them?

But now, whatever happens I told myself that I have to look at myself in a real world in a real way.

5. …they are not just communicators but huggers

Some don’t just accept handshakes but a big hug. That first-time meet ups with family and closests friends. Their welcoming words, hugs and friendly smiles mean a lot to me.

Small talk is everywhere. Starting a conversation is normal. At first, I am lost for words. Distant courtesy is so amazing.

A lot of “Hey, how are you doing?”. At restaurants, stores, etc. At the mall, they are always in a “how can I help you mode” then leave you to enjoy your shopping. Just letting you know they are there if you need them. Cashier’s talk to you too.

Some struck you a harmony of friendship. Some, I just decided to just settle for politeness over friendship.

6. …fishing and football

Early morning weekends, most of the time, we were up and ready to go. In fishing, surely it’s the flora, the fauna and the solitude.

For him, there is no better plan to get away from life for the weekend than fishing, sometimes hunting.

And it’s true.
It is about playing nature’s game, on nature’s way. It’s a trial and trial after it happens. Trying more, believing we are much closer to getting there. To catching some or none at all.

The not-so-fun part for me is him throwing or releasing those fishes back because it didn’t pass the required length or is not the target fish while for me, that would be a good meal.

Well, those were the times when I just silently cheered him for catching not for keeping. It’s a sports for many of them, a catch and release game.

After a while, there came a twist, he and we were bringing fishes home for food.

Those first few moments of me catching. I was so confused. I thought he was saying “Really, Really???” then I was trying to argue saying ‘Why you’re saying that, when you actually seeing me catching fish?He responded back, I was just laughing when he actually was saying “Reel it, reel it!!!”, that fisherman’s way of not losing the fish.

In some ways, it reminded me of an inspiring book that I’ve read, Thomas Edison gave an advice to young men “Learn to be a good loser, never be discouraged when things don’t work out – keep at it!”
In football, sat with him in front of tv and shared with his enjoyment. Football is really a big thing here. I was surprised about this sports phenomenon with a tremendous amount of national following. I was just surprised that there are many major league sports other than basketball here.

Parents are grooming their kids as early as 4 and 5 years of age. Football is obviously a physical game but is also a mental one. It’s fun to watch as everyone is working for a common goal, that touch down and the likes.

7…. i can’t keep up with the Southern drawl

Southern accent is distinct.

I am amused. I couldn’t understand some of the words exactly. That vowel breaking and some heavily stressed syllables. Sometimes the words are too strong. There are times I found myself trying to piece the words together to figure out what they mean, and most of the times I can’t keep up.

But whether or not that accent begins to kick in from my words I guess it doesn’t matter. Nobody will judge. What I know is communication matters, regardless… in whatever shapes and sounds. Diversity is so much recognized.

8. … I can’t resist the plenty

Now, we’re trying to serve just enough and eat what is left. Both love to cook and not waste. Trying very hard to control this life’s great pleasure of eating.

9…i was teased

Part of their sense of humor is teasing each other. It’s like teasing is one of their favorite sports. Some find sarcasm kind of funny too.
I really don’t like it at first. When I first arrived I am a little bit of a softy especially to my husband. Glad that it didn’t take me too long to thrive through.

Now, I tease back, more than he thinks I can. Enjoying it. Playing it cool. Some are silly jokes they used since their childhood. There are times that we could already read each other’s minds and finish each other’s jokes.

9 … they take Vintage cars as their babies

Many are very passionate about Vintage cars.

Old cars are a piece of the past. Trophies of our history, of our parents. A reminder of the times when things were slower or not as complicated. Also a representation of quality craftsmanship but yet made to last where in today’s times, things are made in quantity.These Vintage cars continously appreciates it’s value.Walking into this world, I am ready to be amazed. Ready to enjoy.

Truth be told, I learned as I go. Things doesn’t have to be perfect, it just needs to be enough. I am keeping my faith, taking these experiences as the substance of things hoped for.

At the end of the day, I am the one who’s controlling what i take in and out of this plate of life.So much was beginnings and will be beginnings here.

But even more than the how’s and why’s, is about the experience.

I am meant to accept that I can’t have all the answers.

And… some things are better kept only for myself for the time being.

Stay safe everyone.

Thanks for reading.

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