September 07


Ako Lang

I’ve always been comfortable with being alone.  For example, I like to sleep.  Me, my bed and my dreams = Good times!  Being alone can mean physically or mentally and I’m comfortable with both. I’m comfortable with Danielle. Who I am and my life.  I love my life. I’m very blessed. My motto has been no pets, no plants, no people… no problems. No worries or responsibility for me. Just me and my shoe collection:)

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not antisocial. I’ve been in sales for 14 years, have a loving family and tons of amazing friends.  But I love people and silence.

I’m just comfort with me …so I thought.

But there is a difference with being alone and happy in your comfort zone with the familiar.  And then there’s being alone on your Pulse assignment in the Philippines. Alone .. ALONE!  I’ve been here 72 days and I’ve seen a total of 8 people that look like me to date. Nothing is familiar or comfortable! NOTHING! New language…. new people…. new home… new job…. new bed…. new food…. new money…. new…. new…. new everything.  Literally. Instantly new.

Ako lang is just me in Tagalog. Having just me in the Philippines is where my growth is happening. Where I’ve found more happiness. So far this experience has made me more faithful, adventurous, fearless and open.  More me. Being able to be happy and at peace with me in this place. Finding my comfort and the new familiar with myself in this assignment takes growth. It’s like pushing a rest button on yourself in a good way.

So…….How did this happen?  What have I learned?

In the past 72 days, I’ve done just a few things:

  • I’m leading a national fundraising campaign for a global NGO
  • Traveled in Southeast Asia alone
  • Visited Save the Children’s malnutrition program (CMAN) in Tondo, Manila
  • Ate food I’m not sure what it was
  • Made new friends
  • Got my open water scuba diving certification
  • Learning Tagalog (Filipino language) while boxing
  • Rode public transportation (that’s a big deal for
  • Had a home cooked Filipino meal with family I didn’t know I had here

This assignment took the limits off me.  Forced me to see what I couldn’t see or imagine before in myself, in my ability (personally & professionally), and in the world. Mentally and physically. No more limits on my goals, my thinking, my expectations, my vision of myself, and my impact on the world.

I’m no longer comfortable. I’m growing.  Ako lang:)