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Here's to looking ahead and moving forward!

Manila, Metro Manila, Philippines

There will always come a time in our lives where we find ourselves in the middle of two choices or in some instances the lack of it. And most of the time, this specific period in our lives brings out the best and the worst in us. We start to question a lot of things, look back at a lot of choices that we've made and go through a process of repetitive self-evaluation that will always seem neverending and could get frustrating in the end. That's just how we are as humans, we doubt a lot, we fear a lot, but in the midst of all these things, that ray of hope still shines; and the more we let the light in, the more we see clearly and realize that difficulties, success, life, loss, joy, and sadness are all beautiful things because they form us in more ways than we can ever imagine.

This is quite a long read as I really wanted to start this one by pouring out a bit of my heart and mind to you. But if you are here just to freely go through my project, you may scroll further down and I will fully understand it :) And if you are willing to sit down with me for a while and read a bit of a back story, thank you so much! I truly hope that you're doing well wherever you may be.

A photo I captured during an early morning stroll in the empty streets of Ginza during the New Year holiday. I loved how the light cast over the buildings as it somehow represented warmth and light in the midst of the cold wind and harsh textures before us.
This year is indeed one of the most challenging years that I've ever witnessed and I know that most of you would resonate with this a lot. I was talking to my husband and a few of my friends about how we never really imagined that we'd get to see the day where a pandemic would actually cripple the world in a lot of ways; yes, even our future. I see a lot of people expressing their fears and doubts, all of which are valid reactions to a phenomenon as traumatizing as this.

When the pandemic hit the Philippines last March and we all went on lockdown, I initially felt really optimistic thinking that just like the other ones that hit us years back, this wasn't going to last really long. I looked forward to flying to Seoul for my best friend's wedding, celebrating my husband's birthday in Taiwan, and even having the possibility of going on my first exposure trip to witness how the Lord works in the lives of people from a completely different culture. Lo and behold, seven months after, I am writing this to you while still under strict community quarantine guidelines. I am but again reminded of the one truth, that we really have no control over the events that take place in our lives, what we do have control over, however, is how we treat and view these small pockets of events in our storyline and try to find the value on each scene.

It's not as easy as it sounds, we do have moments of doubts - actually a whole lot of them. Most of us here were bred to be independent planners, with our lives set before us the moment we start sitting up on our own up until we uttered our first words. Our parents have trained us to the best of their abilities to become responsible and self-sufficient so that when trying times come, we get to fight and survive. But what happens when in our adult lives we find that some or most of our plans fail? How do we actually react to this kind of event; do we blame ourselves? do we move forward and keep trying? do we weep and wait for a while to settle? There are a whole lot of possible reactions when we feel like our plans do not go our way.
These are some of the many thoughts that I've had during this time in confinement. Somehow, when things do not go along with our plans, we shake and falter to pieces. In some angles, we were made to believe that failed plans equal a failed future; but honestly, in this imperfect material world, who really has the right to say this when all of us actually fail at one point in our lives?

Isaiah 40:3-5 (NIV)
A voice of one calling: 
"In the wilderness prepare the way for the Lord; 
make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; 
the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain.
And the glory of the Lord will be revealed, 
and all people will see it together...."

When I was going through a period of doubt during the lockdown, God has been gracious and merciful enough to allow people to come into my life and remind me of His truths and goodness. I remember one vivid passage in Isaiah 40 that really encouraged me and reminded me of God's characteristics as a God of comfort and peace. At the same time, I was also greatly rebuked and reminded about how immense his reign is over our lives, it was truly humbling and I still go back to this passage time and time again so that I get reminded about how we should really be looking at life. There are actually a lot of beautiful passages in the Bible that illustrate God's goodness over the lives of His people even when they were journeying the desert, facing danger, or being in the wilderness. Time and time again, we will get to read and be reminded that our God is present at all times, even in the darkest hours and coldest nights.

I am writing this because I know that at one point, there is someone out there who, just like me and most of us here, are struggling to find a sense of clarity over things ahead of us. I am writing this hoping to extend comfort to you, yes you, because I know that we're all different and we have different ways of coping, but at the end of the day, we cope because we got a sense of comfort, of purpose, of hope. We cope because even though we know that we do not have the best, we have more than enough. We cope because we know that even though we cannot get the approval of everyone, we are assured that we're not alone and that someone journeys with us. We cope because we were made to, we were designed to thrive and persevere in the midst of triumphs and defeats.

One of the ways I got to cope during the lockdown aside from talking to people I trust the most and seeking counsel and prayer would be through creating things that I enjoy - I've made a lot of art during this period whether it be through taking photographs, creating collages, and painting landscapes and objects. I found myself enjoying this alone time and being able to start and finish something I can call my own. 

I found myself looking back at travel photos a lot as well. I longed for the idea of just allowing myself to wander and appreciate scenarios before me whether it be locally or abroad. I really do miss traveling as it is something that I truly enjoy with my husband and it became our form of annual bonding. It was something we looked forward to every year, working hard felt rewarding because we knew that there was something exciting waiting for us in the middle or end of the year. But in as much as we miss this activity, we also have come to accept that staying here is the most responsible thing we can do to help our government and health workers until everything is safe and settled for the rest of the world.

I thought about the number of people feeling the same way as I am. I wanted to have some sort of medium to connect all of us together, and so the idea of reviving the Heydays Calendar for 2021 came to place. I know that most of us are longing to see places familiar and unfamiliar to us and I know that we're also doing our best to find different ways in making staying at home more creative and exciting all at the same time. With most of us taking our workplaces to our homes, I am fully aware of the fact that it is also starting to take its toll on us in a lot of ways; time management, communication gaps, keeping track of days, and even creativity and efficiency. With the concept of longing and memories in mind, I decided to create two versions of Heydays Calendar designed to accompany us through the rest of the coming year.
Clean Slate and Wandering With You; Both designed to touch a certain sense of wonder and inspiration for all of us who are longing and missing.

Clean Slate celebrates the idea of exploring universal experiences, textures, and scenes; morning light, enjoying a cup of coffee, lingering in bed, resting in, looking out the window, looking up and down our surroundings, noticing mundane details and its simple beauty.
Wandering With You exhibits a series of photographs that I personally love. This features places that I found myself resonating with the most, from iconic buildings to well-designed museums, to chasing afternoon lights along with the moment and place, and interesting sculptural installations, I wish to take you to these places from my own point of view and hopefully inspire you to appreciate every single detail of wherever our feet and pair of eyes take us. We capture these beautiful details and experiences first in our hearts and minds and take them with us forever.
Clean Slate and Wandering With You Desk Calendar:
5x7 inches, 14 pages, matte bevania 300 Paper, black spring binding, and folding sintra board backing 
Wandering With You and Clean Slate Individual Prints:
5x7 inches, 14 pages, matte bevania 300 Paper
I wanted to give you guys the liberty to choose which kind of calendar do you wish to use and with that, I decided to come up with a version that is spring bound with a foldable stand and another that is individually printed so you can freely place it on a wooden or acrylic stand or stick it to your wall.
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PRE-ORDER YOUR 2021 HEYDAYS CALENDAR HERE
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I thought long and hard on whether I would launch this because, surprise, I doubt myself a lot. But I realized, if I keep getting ahead of myself and trying to withhold my ideas no matter how simplistic they may seem to others, I will never be able to thrive in my craft and I will never be able to maximize and improve the gift that was given to me. Let's face it, after everything that happened this year, a lot of us tried to do things we never thought we would do - baking something, playing an instrument, streaming your game, learning a language, building a business, growing in general. And with that thought here I am, bravely crossing out create a product in my very short list of goals for this year (short because as I aged, I learned that it's better to keep your list short and learn how to accept adjustments and re-routes along the way!) and sharing it to you, my dear friends, family, and newly found blogging community.

I hope that by opening up a little, you won't feel so alone anymore. And if and when you need someone to speak with or pray with you, know that I am here. To close, this has to be one of the most notable years in our lives, and even though things might seem bleak at the moment, there are still a whole lot of things before us and all we need to do is to keep the faith, journey with the right people who can support and journey with you, look ahead and move forward.

Love, light, sorrow, joy, faces, places, and the memories they hold - these are the elements of our heyday. And with this, I wish you all a Happy Heyday!

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PRE-ORDER YOUR 2021 HEYDAYS CALENDAR HERE!

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Comments

  1. I love this post ate Hanna! This is so inspiring! I'm so happy that you launched your very own product! I love love love the designs. Do you ship overseas? I would love to order! I'm so happy I came across your blog. Every time I visit it's just overwhelming positivity and inspiration <3


    Keep in touch!

    Ann | http://annchoi.me

    ReplyDelete
  2. this pandemic has been hard on everyone including myself. congrats on your product! x

    erin | littlesipsoftea.com

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