Christmas in transition

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CARLA BIANCA RAVANES-HIGHAM

CARLA BIANCA RAVANES-HIGHAM

At the beginning of December, a colleague of mine shared that 2016 is a good transition year for leaving jobs, starting new relationships, and moving to a new place. On paper, being “in transition” seems like a beautiful idea, however, when you’re right in the middle of it, it’s nothing close to pretty.

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Just ask Liezl Yambao, a young twentysomething who moved out of her comfort zone to brave the waves in Australia. The daughter of a high school educator and a retired communications officer, Liezel has always had the heart to travel, “I grew up in a small town in Pateros and that was where the desire to see the world stemmed from.”

She then pursued the opportunity of a lifetime when she was asked to work in Maldives but came back home to Manila to treat her carpal tunnel syndrome. She then pursued a career as a corporate communications head in Manila but her heart always longed to be somewhere else, “I knew I needed to move out of the country if I wanted to grow and learn more so I applied for scholarships. After several scholarship and visa rejections, I finally moved to Melbourne last September to study in Kaplan.”

While it may seem like the ultimate dream come true, it does come with its own sets of challenges, “It has definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone. I thought I was prepared for it because I have had three years experience of working abroad. I overestimated myself on dealing with the acclimatization period.”

Though constantly reminding herself to be mindful and thankful, she found herself crying due to homesickness and anxiety over her finances and studies.

Not only that, new waves of challenges came her way, “It took me about three months to find a job, I was rejected over fifty times but finally I found a job as a Sales Consultant in an IT company. However, it turned out to be a scam and the entire team was scammed of over 20,000 AUD. A week before that, my younger brother got into an accident and he had to undergo surgery to replace the broken bones that support his eye muscles. It was also during this season that my father discovered that the company that he has been serving for ten years signed him as a contractual employee instead of a regular one therefore not giving him the opportunity to claim his pension rights. We as a family are continually fighting for this as well.”

Liezel Yambao

Liezel Yambao

All these challenges led her to start a Kickstarter fund, which is a global crowdfunding platform for personal causes as inspired by her friend Loretta.

She is quick to say that having a Kickstarter fund doesn’t mean that she would rely on others to help her but simply get the jumpstart she needs to catch up on life after its many storms.

From the looks of it, Liezl has every right to cry and not celebrate the season but in her heart she is hopeful that this is only one season and not permanent.

“God reminded me that these setbacks are being used by God as a set up for Him to do great things. He reminded me that just because my progress isn’t obvious doesn’t mean my faith isn’t working. During the tough seasons, I just remind myself of why I’m doing this, I remind myself of my family and I always tell myself that God has always been gracious and He won’t fail me now.”

Despite what seems like the darkest season of her life, Liezl looks at the season with hope, “I am hopeful for tomorrow because my hope and trust is in God and in His love for me. His love is more than enough for me to know that it will be indeed a happy Christmas.”

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https://www.gofundme.com/liezls-project- mba-recovery- fund
www.carlabiancaravanes.com

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