03072016

I lie awake in bed, staring at the ceiling. Here, in my rented room, alone, on my own with no one to depend on but a few friends. While my classmates and batchmates make something out of their lives, or maybe having family dinners or whatnot,  I lay here, in the solitude I found under the sheets, with nothing to hear but the sound of a distant dog’s bark, the stillness of the night, and the hum of my fan.
I still wonder, seventeen years after they asked me the same question in kindergarten,  what do I want to be when I grow up?
On one side, I want to be a teacher. Teach kids and touch younger people’s lives; show them there is much more in life than the numbers and letters on their test papers. On the other side, I want to research. Just study and spend grueling hours to find related literatures, trying to find out what to make out of the information I find — what do they agree on, disagree on?  Still on another side, I want to draw. I want to draw, paint, create — I want to put my thoughts into pictures, put colors in the gray areas of my mind. And yet, on another side, I want to sing. I want to grab the guitar and sing at the top of my lungs in complete abandonment; sing until all I feel are nothing but air I breathe in and out in time with the tune, where the words reflect my heart and mind without telling anyone because I’m using another artist’s song, because I’m still too scared to make my own in fear that it’d strike too close to home. And in yet another side, I want to write. I want to write of the things people have forgotten about, how my country has changed, how people have changed.
And yet, here I am, lying on my bed. Because I have made myself too small, too unimportant to think that what I think is of any important.  Because I have let myself believe that my voice is too small,  too soft, too sweet to sound good. Because I have led myself to think that I am nothing but a young adult, and I have nothing to show for it because people think I am wasting my talent, instead of getting out there. Because I’d rather lie in bed than face the fact that I might stumble ot get rejected or fail.
But no. I have done enough of that. Because I am on my own, I can do anything. I can write, I can sing, I can write, I can research,  I can teach. Because I take the reins, I decide what to do with my life. Whatever other people think, it matters so little now.
So yes, I’d pick up the pen and start writing, or drawing. I’d grab the guitar and sing my heart out — if my neighbors could hear me, might as well sing well to make it worth their time. I’d continue writing, and from now on, about anything I want to write on. I have done a great offense to myself, trying to sink all my ideas down the drain because o thought I was too inconsequential to voice them out anyway. 
I still have no idea what I want to be. Or maybe it’s because I was asking the wrong question all along. Maybe, instead of trying to limit myself into one thing, I could do all that I want. Maybe instead of putting myself into a box called “teacher,” I could put myself out there and be ALL that I want to be. Maybe instead of thinking I’m a Jack of all trades, master of none, I could make myself better to reach my full potential in all the things I want to do. Maybe I feel like I am a mediocre because I allowed myself to be.
So here I am, still lying in bed. I will get up, take a shower and make myself something to eat. Then I’d clean my room and do one thing at a time. And when it’s dark and I have done all the things I could today, I’d lie down in bed, again, feeling better, knowing that I didn’t do myself a disservice. And in the morning I’d wake up and do the same.
My dad once said that there isn’t a single path to where we wanna go. Others take a more direct path, others don’t. He said every person has his own path, and it is rather useless to compare yours to others. It has taken me years to fully understand this. But now, I am independent,  and my life is in my hands. I am on my own, and it isn’t scary — it’s amazing, it’s exciting, it’s crazy. I will never know what lies ahead, but what I do know is that I can make it through. And I guess, that is all that I ever need to know.

Dear Andy

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“For all that its worth I would have loved you until the end,
But I’m cold in your heart and you’re branded into mine.”
– Cold, Novo Amor

Your mom told me that you would love again, and when you do, you shouldn’t give it your all. Cliche, I know, but most of all, it just showed me how much I’ve grown apart from what she thought I am.

I love myself, of course. I try my best to be honest with how I feel, and I do try my best to love myself as much as I can. And part of loving myself is giving love as much as I can, not only to myself, but also to others.

What kind of person would I be, to think that I’d be loved fully, if I wouldn’t do the same to the other person? What kind of person would I be, to ask to be loved as I am, when I do not give my all? What kind of person would I be, to ask to be loved with no reservations, when I hold myself back?

I can almost feel my psychiatrist stare at my nape, knowing that I am fully aware of how risky it is to my well-being. My idealism, that is.It’s almost self destructive, I know. Self destructive because I am setting myself up for days when I could probably end up hurting again, and there isn’t much assurance as to how well I can handle it every time. Almost. Because if it turns out well in the end, I know I’d be happy. Perhaps it’s just that I have been hurt so many times by so many people in so many ways that I know that it is just part of my life now, that it is totally inevitable. Perhaps I have come to terms with the permanence of pain in my life. Not as a constant companion, but an old friend who visits me from time to time to remind me that I could only get stronger whenever I go through times like these. Ultimately, I have accepted that getting hurt would always be there, and that I shouldn’t be scared of it. And if pain would come and go, it would be nothing compared to the happiness that I could find different places, different people, and different circumstances.

I have also come to terms with myself. That this is who I am. That I would dive headfirst into something that I am passionate about, unafraid of getting hurt, if necessary. I might be an idiot for putting so much on the stake in the hopes of getting what I want. I am an idiot, I admit. Overly optimistic, even. And that’s fine, as long as it is my conscious choice to be one.

Someone asked me once why I’m so jaded with love, considering that I am still young. Well, it’s because it’s not just about love, giving and receiving it, the lack thereof, and such things. Mostly, it’s because of the things that come with it. It includes the kind of openness I give and ask. It has something to do with the vulnerability that comes with that level of openness. It has something to do with letting someone in after someone left and stormed the whole place.

I’m not in a hurry though. I am enjoying the solitude. I am enjoying the independence. And honestly, I have learned to appreciate my friends even more. I really do. Someone once told me that I have a bad habit of keeping things to myself too much. He is right, of course. But with what happened recently, I have realized how good it could be if I let others help.  I have realized how lucky I am that I have them in my life, and that I have found my people– those who understand me as I am, those who know my faults and everything, those who’d accept and be there for me when their idiot friend comes back running to them.

So yes, I am an idiot. My mind thinks I am strong enough to get hurt, and I won’t get scared, as long as it’s worth the risk. And life has compensated that idiocy with the amazing people I have in my life.

Andy, you and I both have no idea what went wrong. Or maybe you do, and you just cannot face it yet. Or maybe you know, yet you still continue to blame yourself even when he said it wasn’t about you.

Regardless, you know that you are a brave girl. Do what you must, and go through all the pain, shed all the tears, and when you stand up under the covers, you know that you are braver and stronger than you were the night before.

This wasn’t written on a particularly good day, but you know that you need to do this for yourself. You need a reminder, somehow, that you still haven’t lost your mind, and as long as you have that, you shall never be defeated.

You are a brave girl, you’ve been through a lot, you’d be through a lot more, but you are not alone. When all else fails, you know who to call. When you can’t take it anymore, you know who’d fight your fight for you until you can do it yourself.

Only you can help yourself, Andy. You know that. But don’t push people away from your life. Just let them love you, let them care for you, because it might not be the solution to your problem when time is , but still, it’s something you can’t live without.

Be brave, because you are. Trust your friends, because they are dependable, and you are lucky to have them as much as they are lucky to have you.

Til then, Andy. Til then.

Wednesday, Jan 20 2016

A lot has been written about this subject that I feel that me writing this is redundant and moot at this point. However, I feel the need to do so because it seems like writing things down is the best way for me to communicate with myself. So yes, I am writing this mostly for myself. Perhaps for some selfish reasons, but also because I don’t expect this to help anyone in anyway. I just don’t think I’m inspirational enough for that.

Living with depression is like constantly being at sea, with no assurance if and when the next wave comes back, if you still have an anchor attached to your ankle weighing you down, if you can swim on your own this time, if you need help– and if you do, how much, and ultimately, what happens after. Of course you’d want to survive, but the question is, would it change you this time, and if it does, to what extent and how?

It’s been almost a week since I felt it creeping in. It was about the same time, coincidentally, when I received an email from one of the psychiatrists I was considering to consult, asking me if I still need help. I haven’t replied yet, until now, because I’m not completely sure if I do. So here are the things that I have learned to do to keep myself functioning well, to say the least.

First is to tell yourself that things are probably just normal and that they’re just a lot worse and scarier in your mind. I’ve had paranoid thoughts about almost everything, and the first time it happened to me, I literally left a place because it was too much for me to handle. I was physically unable to do everything because the thought of everything going bad was just too much that it leaves me unable to move or do anything  productive at all.

Second is to allow yourself to be honest with how you feel. There were times in the previous week when I would just feel sad or start crying without any reason why. There probably is a reason for it, but I haven’t worked that out yet, so the most that I can do is to admit that I am crying for reasons completely unknown to me, and that’s okay. As long as I just let it out and not dwell on in, I should be fine. Sometimes, pain is just too much that there are no words for it, and all you could do is cry. I try to write it down, and still, after years of trying, I haven’t completely encapsulated it into a single piece. But that’s kinda what makes it beautiful, isn’t it? The fact that the attempt to write it down, and the failure to do so, is what keeps me writing, and as long as I write, I feel better. Sometimes I listen to really cathartic songs, and after crying, it just makes me feel a lot better and a lot more motivated to stay happy and afloat. There are times when I just want to sing, or draw, or write, or play the guitar, or read while listening to music, I don’t know. As long as it is a positive activity, I think it’s ok . The same goes for any emotion, actually. I guess the key is to find what works for you– any way for you to let your emotions out.

Third, as always, is to appreciate the small moments in life. As I promised myself a few years back, I do not want a glamorous life, or an extravagant one. I just want a quiet life for me and my loved ones. And that means finding the beauty on the simplest things. I have learned to slow down a busy day by finding time to eat a hearty meal and having a cup of tea. I have learned to focus on that small feeling in my heart when my partner holds my hands (which hopefully is not heart arrhythmia hahaahahah).

Fourth is just be yourself. I have a weird way of saying things, slightly dark humor, and a whole lot more, and I know that not everyone could tolerate me as much as my friends and family do. That’s why it’s important to be yourself especially around people who know you. This way, you’d know that you may feel down, or you’re not completely alright, but that’s okay because that’s what our relationships are for. It might not be the case for everyone, but a t least for me, the mere thought that I have these wonderful people around me just makes me feel that no matter how deplorable I see myself to be, there are still those who think otherwise, and would really stick with me. And what better way to show my gratitude by trying harder to love myself? Yes, it is true that we must love ourselves, but it’d be hypocritical of me to say that I never needed another reason to do so. I sometimes feel like I cannot even live with myself, and it is only for their sake that I try my best not to let myself down. Again, it possibly isn’t the case for anybody else, but it works for me, and at least is an interesting perspective to look at.

Fifth, take care of yourself. There is nothing like a nice shower to start or end your day. Sometimes, I feel so lifeless and unmotivated so I just lay in bed doing nothing. Then things change when I get up and take a shower. Just take time to take care of yourself. Doesn’t it feel good to feel so fresh after a shower, then eat something nice or read something interesting afterwards, preferably with a nice drink of your choice? This also includes reminding yourself that you might not be completely alright, but the world doesn’t stop for that. There are students to teach, evaluations and plans to write, I have an indoor plant whose little life relies on me, and people who’d worry about me if I don’t take care of myself. So yes, again, if I cannot take care of myself for my own sake, at least for this time, I must do so for others’.

Sixth is to allow yourself to make mistakes once in a while. For the past few months I had gotten a pretty good standing in my job, and I can say that I’m doing pretty well. However, it came with a little more responsibility and a little more stress. It gets me at times, but I have to remind myself that as a young individual, I am bound to make mistakes. Not as an excuse for anything wrong that I could possibly make in the future, but because I know that I am just bound to. I tend to rush into things sometimes, or get into something too much, or anything else that could possibly screw me up in some ways, and I have to accept that it’s gonna happen. Just like this time, I’m just rambling on and on and I totally lost my structure but heck, I just wanna write. I’m not planning to submit it for anything whatsoever soooooo yeah.

Seventh, is to not push yourself too much. Yes, we must persevere to achieve what we want, but anything excessive is bad. Case in point is this very thing I’m writing now. I cannot think of anything else to write about, as these seem to be all that’s in my mind for now. I’m stopping here because there’s no use in pushing my mind to think of things I’d pretend to help someone else. And also because I have a class in a few minutes.

To anyone who managed to read up to this part, thank you so much. I really have to stop writing now. Please do share your thoughts if you so desire. Have a good day!

TLDR

Turns out, you get an anniversary greeting from WordPress when you hit one year. Noob here.

Anyway, realizing that I’ve been here for a year made me look back and realize how far I’ve gone since a year had passed. I realized that I learned some things, and that these are the things that we always see or hear anywhere, but you’ll never truly understand them until you’ve experienced them yourself.

1. Being happy is a decision.
I used to whine about this. Why can’t I just be happy? Why do I have to decide to be happy? As it turns out, experiencing things makes someone think and feel deeper. It makes us more attached to things, and more affected by them. And so, whenever something happens and affects us negatively, we can’t be happy. But it shouldn’t end there. Everyone has the power to get up and decide to be happy. Sometimes it feels like you are a tree being uprooted from the ground, and it feels weird and unnatural, and you’d rather stay in the comfort of your misery because changes hurt and are hard. Sometimes it feels like you are trying too hard to even smile. Sometimea you hear your own voice saying you’re not fooling anyone. But the important thing is, do it anyway. Decide to be happy.  Decide to not get stressed by every little thing. Decide and understand that you may overthink a little, but that’s normal, then move on. Don’t stay where the bad thoughts are. Imagine how much you can do if you transfer all those energy you spend making yourself miserable into making yourself happy and better.

2. You have to make things happen for yourself.
The truth is, the world does not owe you anything. It is under no obligation to make life easy for you, or to leave you out of the nasty parts, so you can enjoy all the good stuff. But all’s fair since it applies to all. So you need to make things happen for yourself. You need to work for yourself. You need to make do with what you have. You need to push on, because if you don’t noone will do it for you. Yes, some people help  but all will be in vain if you don’t help yourself.

3. Smile at the world and the world smiles back at you.
The world in this part, as opposed to #2, is the world of people, and all the things we interact with. I remember greeting people before asking questions or anything, and if you do, they’ll be more accommodating. Courtesy goes a long way. Look at things in the positive light, and you’ll see things as good. Treat people respect, act repectfully, and they’ll do the same for you. Learn how to ask for help, and know when to give a hand.

4. Value relationships
Over the course of time, I lost and gained friends. And only time will tell who will stay and who will not. Of couse this means that we all are lost and found friends. Somebody lost us, in some way, which is humbling. But for the relationships that stay on, learn to appreciate them. I still feel weird talking about feelings and emotions with my bestfriend, but I’m sure we got each other’s backs. My sister and I are closer than ever, after we lost our dad. We lost are dad and it saddens me to remember, but I’m happy to say I made the most of our time together. Nothing lasts forever, so make sure every moment counts.

5. Take leaps of faith.
Most of the time, it’s scary. But once it works, it’s worth the scare. It’s wonderful. It’s good. Sometimes it feels like a jump into the void, but is there any way to know where it leads? Is it enough to live vicariously, afraid that something horrible might happen? Yes, something horrible might happen, but what if, in its place, something wonderful happens? It scares me, too, I admit. And most of the time, I’m unsure of what I’m doing, if I’m doing the right thing. However Letters from the Future ends, I’m going to see it through. Note: Take leaps of faith. Don’t jump into everything. Know the difference. I think some people call it calculated risk.  Probably, look it up first.

6. Don’t believe everything an internet post tells you.
As I always say, I know I am yet to experience a lot of things. I’m not yet near the end of my life (unless I die next week) or even half of it (unless I die at 40). So all these things are just my reflections in the things that I went through. It may or may not apply to you, dear reader who put up with my internet litter and managed to not give up reading this post. But more importantly, take time to reflect. Maybe you’d burrowed your face too much into the details that you forget to step back a little and look at the bigger picture. You’ll definitely have different observations and reflections, and that is awesome. Things like this, as I said, are not learned vicariously. So you must do it yourself. For yourself.

So to you who read all throughout, thank you very much. I don’t often upload lengthy post and I don’t expect people to read it, so your effort is much appreciated. I just feel like I need to share these things. And don’t we all? My infinite gratitude to you, and if you are in trouble as you are reading this, my heart goes out to you. QED.

Coming Back

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seven types of ambiguity|elliot perlman

On my absence.
I know not the time when I’d see this posted.
And that time I won’t pretend that I had been in a soul searching journey. I had been not. Or at least I am not, consciously. I won’t pretend either that this is the universe conspiring for bigger things to happen or anything, I don’t know. Or more accurately, I don’t know what to believe in anymore. So with these posts and the incoming poems that I managed to write down on infrequent moments of lucidity and possibly mediocrity… (I lost train of thought so I don’t know how to go on with this).

So yeah. That’s probably it. I guess.

I’ve been re-reading this novel, and it gets me everytime. The level of identification that I have for this novel and for its characters is really suspicious for me. I highly suspect that it is quite too much for my own good. But I’m not my own psychiatrist.

Ambiguities.

Your are, and n…

Your are, and never will be in complete agreement with the world, as the world is never in complete agreement with everyone, and you with yourself.

I never was, and never will be. And now I don’t even know if I should still speak up or just live inside my head. I no longer know if it’s still worth the effort, worth the pain. I have to confess that I am at one of my lowest point in life, once again (I don’t know how low it could ever get) and it’s just that this is the only way for me to exhaust each and every thought that kill me slowly inside.

PS. Poetry, please come back. Bring your friend music along.