Tag Archive | "inspirational"

Are you tough enough?

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Are you tough enough?

Posted on 25 February 2012 by Liza Mae V.

My legal representative today asked me a very good question which made me question …

“Am I tough enough?”

This was prompted when I said I’m interested in being a paralegal so I learn about the laws on my own and protect myself as a landlord for the LTB & RTA (landlord tenant board and residential tenant act) is very skewed towards tenants.

Tough Situations Won't Break Us

This question made me ponder. if you know me I’m barely five foot, filipina, youngest & only female sibling, and more recently people call me ‘soft’. It is not that I choose to be but situations in my life has no reason for me to be ‘hard’. I was brought up with very protective parents and lifestyle which didn’t prod me to be ‘hard’. I fought two older brothers occasionally but since I was younger, I just followed what they said for they are 6 and 12 years older than I. I am one of the youngest cousins growing up and in the family I was very well disciplined and never was argumentative. Only in my recent years have I had to face battles, arguments, and stand tall to be heard. Especially being with an ex whom was damaged and argumentative, it put me in a corner and I had to argue back. I didn’t choose to be in this situation but was forced in to this role. No one likes drama or confrontation but some days you can not avoid it and you gotta fight back.

I realize I am learning to be harder! I don’t think people are born to be hard people but are put in to situations to BE hard, making them hard people. Take the example of someone who was brought up in a rough neighborhood vs. someone who was brought up in a posh neighbourhood, their level of hardness will be much different.  I had this discussion with a friend of mine who is from Brooklyn and how different lifestyles we had growing up.  You have to do what you have to do to survive the jungle out there and if you don’t want to be stepped on, you had to be tough.

I realize though that we all have different roles and purposes in life – some people are soft and some people are hard but everyone is different for situations shape you to be who you are.

I wasn’t built tough but in the last few years I have been through the most challenging times. I am finally being tested by God and I believe he doesn’t give us more than we can handle. Maybe everyone has to go through difficult times in different times of our lives and that time for me is NOW! It is something that I have to go through to finally grow up, and be a grown up.

To answer the question of “Am I tough enough?”


I am not broken. I am alive. I can still breath. Just with a little faith in the unknown and a really great support system of friends and family. I am surviving the tests of time and I am tougher than I ever have been. So bring it – pleasure or pain!

Tough situations won’t break us, it can only shape us!

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picking up the pieces

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picking up the pieces

Posted on 05 August 2011 by Liza Mae V.

“Every morning I jump out of bed and step on a landmine. The landmine is me. After the explosion, I spent the rest of the day putting the pieces together.”
– Ray Bradbury

The reality is that I am back in Toronto and I am no longer in New York City! So as I read through my last entry of ‘NYC breakup or just separated?’, I must confess that is only a piece of why it was so hard to leave New York City.

So it is not the question of why it was so difficult to leave NYC but the real question that should be answered is why did I want to leave Toronto?

I was unhappy with my life in Toronto and just needed to get away from it all. So I picked up my bags and just left it all behind. I delayed this decision for awhile for I had many responsibilities that I had to attend to, mainly the properties.

As reckless as it was, I just did what I felt I needed to do and a few of my closest friends were pushing me in this direction for they seen how unhappy I was. But what really pushed me to the brinks of this decision was the fact that J extended his stay in China. This really broke me 10x more than my previous entry, ‘missing you’.

His arrival was supposed to be right before my birthday but that didn’t happen and I just lost it. All logic went out the window and I just did what I felt I needed to do. When faced with adversity you instinctively fight or flight? I choose the latter, literally and mentally. I didn’t want to fight any more battles or struggle through the stresses of my daily life.

Some can say that my situation wasn’t that bad or it could of been worse but as immature as it may sound, I just didn’t want to deal with it. I wanted to find an escape and forget it all. Though it would of been temporary, at least I knew that some how, I can find a peace/piece of mind … again.

escape button

Taken with an iPhone and Instagram App

It is like I had a clocking system of my life in Toronto, and I had to mentally check out. I stopped thinking about my repercussions or my responsibilities, I just checked out.

Now that I have finally checked back in, things started off rocky but I’m slowly picking up the pieces. It is like I have lost myself and trying to find myself again. Some days are great and other days are not so great. I’m trying to find the fine medium but at least I can see the pieces, just trying to figure out what pieces I want to keep versus leave behind.

One thing I am assured of is that everything I want in life is right in front of me. I just got to start believing in myself, as everyone has believed in me.

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Behind the May 2011 Desktop Calendar Wallpaper on LuxaVision

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Behind the May 2011 Desktop Calendar Wallpaper on LuxaVision

Posted on 01 May 2011 by Liza Mae V.

I designed May 2011 desktop calendar wallpaper on LuxaVision and it is getting quite the traffic and it really excites me to see such progress in such a short time frame.  I created this on PhotoShop CS4 – I know I should upgrade to CS5 but haven’t gotten around to it.  It is one of those things on my to-do list but isn’t on high priority, so it happens on a random day like today.  I was just gonna go to Timothy’s to relax and have a coffee with my MacBook Pro after a property showing and I walked by the Riverdale Mac store (which had such friendly and helpful staff – much better than the Apple store where it smells like foot funk) and it triggered a thought that I should get quote on how much it would be to get my DVD reader/burner replaced, which was a little bit more than I wanted to spend and made me inquire about upgrading my RAM.  This was something on my to-do list as well and thought the best time is now!  So I upgraded from 2GB to 8GB RAM awesomeness which will be 4x as fast!  I thought it was more important than a burner for I am on my MacBook Pro majority of my day and I burn a CD/DVD a few times a year.  So back to my point, I will eventually get to upgrading to PhotoShop CS5 but probably wait until CS6, knowing me, I mean I read that there aren’t significant changes between CS4 and CS5, so I’m not in rush, unless someone tells me something really cool about CS5 compared to CS4.

This is the May 2011 desktop calendar wallpaper but can be downloaded as large as 1440×900, just visit LuxaVision, or click on the image below to be redirected.

LuxaVision | May 2011 Desktop Calendar Wall Paper

Continue Reading

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75 Simple Pleasures of Life

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75 Simple Pleasures of Life

Posted on 16 February 2011 by Liza Mae V.

As I read through Zen Habits list of 75 Simple Pleasures I thought it would be nice to make a list of my own.  I have always made these lists in my written journal but why not share it with the world.  It is just simple things that make me smile and be happy.  It is not too complicated nor costly, just simple.  Sometimes these things are what keep me moving especially when the current is going against me.

Note: Not in any particular order, just random thoughts.

Red Lobster - A Simple Pleasure

  1. Waking up to a warm body
  2. Sunshine after the rain
  3. Sweet mangoes
  4. Kid’s laughter
  5. Hot coffee on a cold day
  6. Feet against the sand
  7. Swimming through warm water
  8. Snorkeling
  9. Dancing Mindlessly
  10. Making someone laugh Continue Reading

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Sea of Opportunities: Story of Expecting the Unexpected

Posted on 12 June 2010 by Liza Mae V.

Something happened to me when I was in Sipalay, Philippines which I thought was profound.   I went swimming in the beach and I decided to walk out in the middle of the sea.  I’m kind of paranoid of moving creatures or rocks I could step on especially since my cousin Karen had stepped on a sea urchin the day before.  The sand was brown so the clarity of the things below water were not visible.

I was really far from the shore but the water only reached my waist.  Then as I walked further I saw something bright white under water like a piece of paper.  So I stopped to take a closer look and stop the waves from moving around me.  The water is clear and I thought it was money.  I didn’t want to swim down for I was wearing my contacts and didn’t want to open my eyes in salt water.  So I called the girl with the ‘googles’, as she would pronounce it, to dive down to pick it up.  As she came up from under the water, she held a 100 pesos in her hand.  I was shocked for I thought it was impossible to find money in the middle of the sea.  She handed it over to me and I yelled over to the people on shore,

“I found 100 pesos in the water!”

In disbelief I swam to shore to show my findings to validate that it was real and it was.

This incident made me think, that anything is possible and  sometimes we just have to keep our eyes open for an opportunity can be waiting right in front of you.  In my case, I found money.  Maybe it is sign of fortune to come (crosses fingers) but whatever comes your way, expect the unexpected.

Now I carry the bill with me and it will remind me of the lesson I learned plus it smells like the sea.

– Liza Mae

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My Journey | Leave it All Behind to Live Life to the Fullest

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My Journey | Leave it All Behind to Live Life to the Fullest

Posted on 09 June 2010 by Liza Mae V.

It is my last day in my birth place, Bacolod City, and I am not anxious to leave at all. I feel my time here has just begun and now it is ending … for now. Many people back in Toronto believe that I’ve been away a long time but 3 months isn’t very long when you are having fun. The adventure has to start somewhere and this is just the beginning of the journey.

Liza Mae

- Sipalay, Negros Occidental

When I first arrived I did not know what to expect nor did I know what I was going to do. So whenever any one had asked ‘when’ or ‘where’ I was headed, I had no answers for them because all I knew is that I go back to Toronto, Canada on June 20th, 2010 from Shanghai, China. I booked my flight to Manila the night before and the same for Bacolod City. Now I have booked my flight for Manila yesterday and will be leaving tonight at 8:25pm. It seems things have been moving faster than I anticipated but I learned to let the wind blow and let my heart follow.

The first few weeks I was here I thought things moved so slowly here but I realized I was so used to things moving so quickly that I didn’t know how to keep my mind still. Sometimes when life is fast-paced you don’t really have time to think or appreciate your days. Consumed in my 9 to 5 or more like 7 to 6 Mondays to Friday, I never really had time for myself and being in a place where things are slower I have become more aware of my surroundings and realized how beautiful life is. I used to dread waking up in the morning but now I wake up refreshed at 6am because there is so much beauty to experience that I just don’t want to miss out on living.

As I gaze through my friends photos on Facebook of their 1 week vacations costing thousands of dollars and compare my 3 month mini-retirement which probably cost about the same, I would always choose the latter. I don’t believe going away for a week is an actual vacation for when you get back to work, your workload just piles up and once again you become stressed out and overworked. With companies limiting the number of employees, most likely the amount of time you were away equates to the amount of work you have missed therefore your ‘vacation’ is just a distant memory which you want to relive. I say why make it a distant memory when you can decide to live that life daily. That is our current goal – to live life to the fullest!

Though this chapter is ending, a brighter chapter is ahead.


- Rainbow in Sipalay, Negros Occidental

For more pictures you can view them in my FaceBook Album.

– Liza Mae

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Quote of the Day

Posted on 10 July 2008 by Liza Mae V.

Funny that I found this in an email from work.  It seemed to fit the moment (blog about later):

“You do not have VICTORY if you do not have problems.
You have VICTORY if your problems don’t have you.”

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Smiles are Free … So Smile =)

Posted on 17 December 2003 by Liza Mae V.

Yet another day at work.

It was rather the same as working yesterday, same customers, same management, same atmosphere BUT a different mind state. For some reason I was in such a giddy (happy) mood. I smiled like someone gave me a piece of ass and I chewed it, swallowed and liked it. It was a rainy but sunny day in my eyes and even as I write this, I feel so happy. I haven’t had this kind of high since … hrmm … I last kissed someone I was passionate with, damn I am smiling back at that moment but there is nothing in the world I can do but … SMILE … because frowning will eventually lead to tears in my eyes which drowns the logical side of me. I just liked being in this mind state, it opens my eyes to things which I/we take for granted.


Today, I saw a girl with a disfigured face. She looked like she suffered from severe burns including her hands because she had no fingers. Sometimes we take looking ‘normal’ for granted and don’t appreciate the face we stare at each morning, there are always imperfections which we constantly bicker at and I look into this girls eyes and she just seemed so perfect with her imperfections. I smiled because that moment was beautiful because she was beautiful. There are a lot of things that we take for granted but one thing I realized today was I love making people smile. It made me feel good about myself because I know if I was in their shoes, that person whom smiled at me would of made a difference in my life. Just that simple gesture … will make me happy … and I this entry is dedicated to all those … understated people that put a smile on your face … even just for one instant.

– Liza Mae

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About Liza Mae

I am a twenty-somethings female photographer in search of love, the meaning of life, and adventure. I am passionate about anything photography from the snap to the click.



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