Not everyone has the ease and confidence of speaking before a crowd. It is a stressful act for most people. Even if it’s just a short speech, a person can go through undesirable manifestations of fear— cold and clammy hands, dry throat, sweating and even nausea.
I am blessed with the gift of public speaking. I just love to talk with, to and for people. I still get cold feet before a talk. But I’d rather go through this discomfort in say a hundred speeches than go through relocation again.
I say again because in a span of 7 years, I’ve moved residences five times. From my own house in Minglanilla, I was given the privilege by our company to rent a house in Cebu City. I stayed in a flat in V. Rama. Transfer no.1.
I eventually sold my house to buy a condominium unit in the city. I said the subsidy from the company is not permanent so I braced for a transfer to my own condominium. But it didn’t happen.
The company shifted to a work from home operations but I had to manage a few people who need to continue working from an office. So it was agreed I would move to another house which can also serve as an office. Transfer #2 to Banawa.
After a year and a half, some of the office staff were ready to work from home but there were still a few people left to take care of operational stuff. With just a handful of staff, we moved to a smaller place, but still a home office. Transfer #3 to Gorordo Avenue.
Another year and half and our operation was a full blown virtual business and so we had to close down the home office. It was a relief for me to have my own private space finally but where would I go?
I had my condominium unit but I couldn’t live there anymore after acquiring a pet labrador. Big dogs are not allowed in the building. So I had the place rented while I started searching for a new house to live in.
I found the perfect place for me in Lapu-Lapu City. Quite far but it is my kind of living now —away from the bustle of the city and near the beaches. But house construction will take 6 months so I had to rent somewhere temporarily. Transfer #4 to Labangon.
The 6 months stretched to one year and finally last October 15, I moved in to my new home. Transfer #5. It was on the day that a 7.2-magnitude earthquake hit Bohol and shook Cebu as well.
We were hauling the last few boxes out of the house when the ground shook. In the next hour, I had to decide whether to push through with the moving out amidst risks of aftershocks. I had to cross the Mactan-Mandaue bridge to reach my home and that was a danger to face. But I felt confident everything will go well. So, armed with prayers and determination, we moved out and finally settled in my new home.
Who says moving is not stressful? It is. In my four relocations, my brain would get fried from organizing things, my back would ache from all the packing and unpacking and my heart would palpitate one week before and after the actual moving.
Imagine how I felt on that day last Oct. 15 when the earthquake happened! It was the mother of all stress and high blood pressure. I thank God for the strength and stability to have gone through it and still be sane enough to write this column.
From Minglanilla when I had a lot of big furniture and stuff, I now have only the basics but new things bought for my new house. Not a lot but new this time from the shampoo holder to our beds.
Every time we would relocate, my possessions would go. Either I gave them away or sold them. The packing was stressful but the unpacking was more stressful. In other countries, the stress is reduced because there is a moving company who packs and unpacks for you and even arranges the stuff inside your new house. In the Philippines, the trucking company just hauls your things. You will have to do the packing and unpacking yourself and maybe with some relatives and friends helping out, it’s a do-it-yourself experience.
That’s the saga of my moving out for the past 7 years. There will be no more relocations, please. This is my home now until I grow old. No more moving, please!
In this last moving out, I hang on to God’s promise of peace in moments of stress and anxiety in Philippians 4:6,7 –“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Indeed, my new home is a gift from God and I hope I am worthy of his generosity. It was my total dependence on His strength and wisdom that made me survive all the moving I’ve had to do in the last 7 years.
No more moving for me…at least on earth. There’s one more moving I’d like be in. My final destination to the place God has prepared for me. “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” (John 14:2)
That’s the best place I’d like to end up in, where there’s no more stress, no more fatigue. Just pure joy, peace and love with our Maker.
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