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Dara David Roa: Unlearning to Learn

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The pandemic was a formidable teacher that taught Dara David Roa to find joy and fulfillment amidst an era stricken with grief. 

The past few months were as much a time for reset as it was for rude awakenings. In early March 2020, the fast-paced life of single mom and Collab Contessa Founder Dara David Roa was unceremoniously put on a halt. It was then that she realized, control was nothing more than an illusion. The delicate balance she had created between work and family life crumbled, leaving her in a state of survival mode

The Learning Curve

It was during this time that Dara endeavored to unlearn what she had spend a lifetime to master. The brand and event strategist recalls “It felt so unreal. Instead of our usual evening family bonding time, we were stuck together the entire day and night in a groundhog type of situation. We didn’t know how to be together 24/7. Being at home for months and months was a different ball game for us.”

But the experience of being stuck at home for months on end paved the way for new perspectives and ideas. Hard as it was to swallow, Dara reconciled with the fact that the events business was changing and evolving. She opted to focus on her family instead, creating a safe space filled good energy, kindness, understanding, and respect. She intimates, “The silver lining? There’s just so much to be grateful for. On the home front, we’ve turned chaos into harmony. I am grateful for the efforts from each one of us as we all have learned to pick up on each other’s energies, complaints, and angry words.”

Learning to Unlearn

Dara’s family has evolved into a loving unit that is wholly present for each other. From half-hearted, distracted-by-the-phone conversations, they’ve become more engaged and involved. “We’ve become one solid family with our own quirks and culture. I was never the hands-on type and relied a lot on our yayas, especially when it came to my son. So, feeling the amount of growth we’ve had as a family makes me feel so much joy and gratitude.”

She has gone from grieving a pre-pandemic life to finding new joy and gratitude in her family. Dara has transcended the collective trauma of the pandemic, as she now chooses joy and fulfillment each day. This new mindset has also inspired a new endeavor, Today’s Folk. The start-up jewelry brand on social people is a reflection of Dara’s journey towards unlearning grief and learning joy. 

As seen on Modern Parenting: The 100 List Anniversary Print Issue available on OMG Newsstands on Lazada and Shopee. Digital copies are also available through Magzter, PressReader, Readly, and Zinio.

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