The Decade: Working, Knowing, Traveling, Home and Trust

2010s has been a special decade for me personally. It has made me realize who I am and the virtues that are important for me. These virtues have influenced how I decide on things, how I solve problems and how I socialize with people around me. This decade is the beginning of my adult life. How unique this decade has been will be the interest of this blogpost, which will be divided into five sections.


This decade was about me working like there was no tomorrow. There were there 3 working period in this decade:

1. Working to be recognized

To be recognized is the ultimate goal of the early phase of this decade. I was struggling to be relevant at all times. That was exhausting because I easily learned I actually did not need to do that. I knew I had something to offer to others. I can do the work I am given, and I do not need recognition just to convince myself I did a good job.

2. Working to survive

Survival was the goal after I moved to Norway. It was the most challenging for me. I was not mature enough to assume both personal responsibilities when I came to Norway. I was very naive, and easily manipulated. Fortunately, I woke up from hibernation. I fought and never gave up. I will never give up. I can say I am surviving. I will survive.

3. Working to reach goals

In terms of work, the last two years was quite fruitful and stable. I am able to save more. Work has enabled to have the means to buy the things I need and want, and travel to wherever I planned to go. I became more conscious financially to be meet my goal of owning a place for myself in the near future.


This decade was also characterized by special relationships with people who I consider to be important until today.

1. Knowing more oneself

The first true relationship I had started in the beginning of this decade. That was something I never planned. It was very enriching such that I was very sad that it had to end after I moved to Norway. However, that relationship made me discover who really I am. That was the start I had the courage to be true for myself. I no longer care what others would say. The most important is that I know who the true Paul is.

2. Knowing another culture

One of the most notable relationship I had was just after I moved to Norway. Just few people knew about this. Bu tyes I had that relationship. It helped me get to know Norway more, the language, the customs and traditions, and even the bureaucratic system. I am very thankful for that relationship. It ended though. I know it was my mistake but I learned a lot from it. Something, I could improve in the succeeding years.

3. Knowing what lies other than myself

I guess this part is the most secretive. I will not give any details here, but yes this happened. Currently, I am still trying to close this chapter of my life. However, this relationship made me appreciate the value of the other in a relationship. To be more sensitive of their feelings and needs. Now, I no longer see myself as half of a pair, but a whole in two. I regret some things in this relationship that I was not so vigilant enough. Should I have been so vigilant, then I am not as hurt as I am now. But thank you anyway.


This decade was a decade of traveling and new experiences.

1. Traveling for the first time

The first time I traveled outside the Philippines was in Hongkong. That was an unforgettable for me, because I experienced first hand how things are. I realized that traveling is not a right, but a privilege. Without the necessary means, traveling would easily become stress. I realized immediately that for me to travel I need to have sufficient financial means to maximize the travel experience.

2. Traveling to find my new home

This decade has become unique, just me living in Norway. I have never imagined I would taket hat big step. I was immature. I was unprepared. I traveled to Norway without knowing the difficulties I would face. Those challenges were way tougher than those I experienced in the Philippines. I can say I traveled to Norway as a boy, and later on I became a man.

3. Traveling to escape

At the end of the decade, I have traveled to 38 countries in 94 various non- Philippine and Norwegian cities. For some, that is an achievement, but I see these travels as sort of escape. An escape from reality – reality that I still struggle of finding where my home is, where I belong, how difficult the struggles being alone and working like robot almost everyday. Some people do not see that. Unfortunately, some individuals see only the financial gains they will get from my effort, without thinking I am still in constant struggle to escape hard realities.


This decade was also a period where I realize where home is.

1. Home is who you were with since birth.

I always felt at home. My immediate family made me feel secure at home. I could be the person I could be. I am not the kindest person at home. All my frustrations I burst out at home. This is something I am not proud of. But my point is that the people who saw the worst of me is part of what I call home. Behind that facade is the real person who can be angry, exhausted and dissatisfied.

2. Home is who you can be yourself.

The last months before I went to Norway was somewhat very different. It redefined the concept of home for me. I discovered there are things I can not show my family, such that some individuals could see it. It was very fulfilling to be just oneself. I was not afraid. However, I was always thinking of the consequences. To those who saw me at this time, yes you are part of my home.

3. Home is who makes you feel unique.

In Norway, finding a home was the most challenging especially in the last two years of this decade. I was alone in Oslo. Literally, I have no home to identify. I knew some Norwegians who are welcoming to me. I am thankful to them. However, I missed something. I was feeling no longer unique. Sometimes, I even do not know whether I am still a Filipino or a European. I managed to combine some values from two different world, but I sometimes felt empty and worthless – a person who could easily be manipulated. Some made me feel unique, but later turned out to be just part of a decoy. Sad, but I realized that home is a place where one could feel the unique person he or she is, no matter how challenging the environment around.


This decade is also when I realize how important trust is.

1. Trust is tested in hard times.

The decade started in the Philippines while I was working in three different educational institutions. This has created conflict of interests several times. That time I began to realize not all people are to be trusted. People have their own interests that would somehow compromise mine. I began to sort out people based on how they supported during hard time. Then, I knew who to trust and who are just there when they need something in return.

2. Trust is difficult to find nowadays.

When I came to Norway, trust is very hard to find. Some people are obviously not trustworthy, but we did not have a choice but to deal with them. No matter how we influence them to change their ways, they still the same. In the end, it was us who had problems with others due to them. However, we did everything we could but unfortunately we failed.

3. Trust is something can be broken easily.

The last two years of this decade revolved around trust issues involving the significant people in my life. I realized that trust is like a glass that could easily be broken. A single wrong action, or lie would ruin everything. This both applied to me and them. Unfortunately, this decade made me realize that the only person I could fully trust is myself. Most of the time, hunches are correct. I just need to be sensitive and vigilant at all times.

Honestly, this decade has been a combination of many extremes. I have experienced the most difficult, challenging, fulfilling and satisfying moments so far in my life. The experience was not perfect, as I have planned or expected. I am not perfect either. There are still a lot of things to be done in the future. There are still a lot of things to be done. I want to travel more. I want to build a home for myself. I want to trust someone again, and work smarter such that I would have more time for myself and the important people that matters to me. These are the things I look forward in the next decade to come.


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