The Company That You Keep

I read somewhere that you’re the average of the five people that you talk to everyday. It struck me so hard that I got to thinking about the company that I keep—and after more than an hour of reflecting on this thought, I can say I am relieved and happy.

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In my line of work(s), I talk to people everyday, even when I don’t feel like it. Although people close to me know how talkative I am, there are days when I can just bury myself in reading and writing and not have actual conversations with another human being (yeah I am weird like that I guess). So it took me a while to actually determine the people that I talk to the most on a daily basis. I have listed them one by one and took into account why I love talking to them so much, they flood my phone’s messages, Viber and call logs:

1-      My sister, Joana: For a time, I can say that I “raised” Joan. I was her legal guardian during a few of her teen years and as my dad would always say, I greatly influence her. It is because of this that I still keep tabs on her, even if she’s turning 25 in a few months. But more than that, I actually enjoy talking to her because I learn a lot from her too. Moving away to finish college blossomed her into a beautiful person, and what I love about it is that she managed to take her time in everything, including her growth in faith. She didn’t let the big city or the diverse culture eat up who she truly is, instead, she used every experience she got to make her the best that she can be. Even if I am older, she would share with me her honest opinions that would make perfect sense. She is hardworking, determined and is never shy to show me her vulnerability.

2-      My closest cousin, ate Janis: Not too long ago, I have written an entry about her and how much she has changed my life because of her great relationship with God.  (http://fetebyjanina.com/have-you-ever-met-someone-whos-changed-your-world/), and I guess this just shows why she is a crucial part of my day-to-day business.

3-      My boss, Ms. Erlie Lim: I just have to hand it to this lady. My boss just has this impeccable work ethic that I truly admire. Her dedication and sincere love for her work and our company are big parts of why I was able to keep my goals in check, and although we do not agree on everything all the time (I think we all have this type of relationship with our bosses), I would always remember of how much she has trusted me and pushed me to go for what I believe in. This makes me certain that I am very blessed at work.

4-      My mom and/or my dad and/or my kuya Pj: Yes, I guess our family’s closely knit like this, and not a day passes by that I am not grateful for it. Whenever I’d get sad thinking that we’re not the conventional family who would eat and go to church together, I am thankful that the distance has not kept our relationship from growing and growing over the years.

Kuya Pj, is my work-and-life balance. He would almost immediately notice if I am pushing myself too much, or would remind me to slow down for a bit. Unlike my uptight self, he is able to go through life dodging and managing stress as they come. I always envied the way he took things lightly, or how he doesn’t care about what others would say—except when they say something bad about his family, which guarantees me that he always have our back (and vice versa).

5-      My best friend, Allan: My best friend over the past how many years, Allan has always been able to show me life’s silver lining whenever I am down and out. He never fails to make me laugh, but also lends a sympathetic ear whenever I need one. He is also never quick to judge, and that’s probably because I know more about him that will make my hair curl haha!  They say the opposite sex can never be true friends but I beg to disagree: it may have taken us years to build this trust and friendship, but I sure know that this is for keeps.

Talking to these people enrich my life on a daily basis! Now I love them more because if I can be an average of all the good traits that they have: sensible, dedicated and sincere, has a relationship with the Lord, ever-loving, great at managing stress, sympathetic and never quick to judge, then I guess I am really wonderfully made!

I know we should always be cautious of the company that we keep, and once in a while we can reflect on things like this not just to keep ourselves in check, but to also remind of the values that we need for ourselves that are very evident in others.

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