The Day Everything Changed

One full year isolated from friends and loved ones.

One full year out of work, out of school.

One full year of faces hidden behind a collection of masks.

One full year of life as we know it, thrown into complete disarray.

Exactly a year ago when the world went into a standstill, locked down and boarded up as we were thrown into a wave of uncertainty, unprepared and caught off guard, spiraling into a state of disequilibrium, a life characterized by fear and anxiety.

One full year since the day everything changed and away from a reality we will never get back.

Can we ever grasp the new normalcy we struggle to live with?

Will we ever become comfortable in the daily uncertain?

Will we ever see through the shadows of a dream draped with looming obscurity?

Will freedom be less defined?

Endless questions with answers held by a future that remains dimly vague,

With tiny slivers of hope only few seem to recognize, rejected by most as distrust blind their discernment.

Out of this chaos, may we realize that everything can end in an instant so focus on what is important and always be grateful for somehow, we are still surviving.

xx

DMV

Grey and Yellow

2020 was life-changing, it was exceptionally challenging that I can’t even put in a good word.

It was unremarkably heavy, a burdened weight unnecessarily shouldered for the past 10 months.

Suddenly, everyone had to forego with comfortable, we did not have a choice and that was frustrating. Life had to hide behind the mask.

Loss was a daily constant. The existential need to be seen, to be heard, to be held, was abruptly stolen by uncertainty and time was not on our side.

Anxiety continue to grow and you find yourself writing down turbulent thoughts on a fleeting lucid moment at 2 am.

I had to deal with so much the last year, I couldn’t cope. Gone was the strong facade I so easily wear, replaced by a throng of vulnerability and unrest. I feel like the chemistry in my brain fucked up.

2020 did not turn out how we hoped it would be, it was a cruel surprise. But somewhere in between the pandemonium was a window of realization that human as we are, we will instinctively survive.

If there was anything that I learned from the longest year of my life, it was gratitude, gratitude from the smallest of things: from keeping a job despite the economic collapse, home-cooked meals, discovering a hobby, appreciating my small circle of family and friends, new-age technology filling in the gap from being socially distant, waking up alive, healthy and somewhat sane.

May we leave the dust of the year that was in the past and may we learn that we could choose to drop these heavy loads and walk towards hope, no matter how small a speck, with empty arms making room to carry much better things.

Smile. It’s a New Year.

xx

DMV

Cliff glider

I never imagined getting affected by the flimsiest of things but here I am, a chaotic mess of sad, angry and feeling bad. Yes, I felt bad.

It never crossed my mind that I would develop anxiety but the past 10 months of uncontrollable uncertainty has turned me into a silent wreck.

Isolation and confinement has pushed me to reach out to people, recklessly exposing myself to be emotionally vulnerable and I’ve been led on and left out.

I’ve never done any of these things before and it’s overwhelmingly new and suffocating. And as soon as someone paid attention, I easily forget that expectation is paired with disappointment.

I used to be so good at refocusing my thoughts, blocking out bad memories, or just not giving a care but somehow, it’s been getting really hard to hold it all together and not being able to control what runs through my head is taking its toll on me.

Too heavy.

Too depressing.

Too confusing.

Too much.

xx

DMV

Vivid dreams

They say the moments that’s had the most impact in your life are the most vivid.

I remember the dining table was round. I ate eggs for breakfast that triggered my allergies. My elbows were swollen. The bathroom door was brown and open when I received the first hit from the belt’s buckle. I was 5.

I remember the Bengay ointment on the bruises on my leg, my back. It was a big tube. It didn’t soothe the black blue but instead stung the scratches the buckle left. I didn’t make the highest honor roll list that quarter. I was in 5th grade.

I remember being nudged to raise my hand and go up front every last Sunday of the month. We would sit on a wooden pew on the left side of the hall at 6:30 in the morning and I always had to wear a dress, she did not allow us to wear jeans. I didn’t go up front that Sunday and missed the month’s calling again. I was followed by a tirade of rants from when we got into the car up to when we arrived at home. She continued to lash at me during breakfast. I started to despise religion.

I remember the red altar lights above the piano when I came running up the stairs to my grandmother’s room wailing I did not want to go home. My friend dropped me off after feeling ashamed I was bawling at her house. She didn’t speak to me after Sophomore year.

I remember my Pop crying, telling my Aunt “What did I ever do to her” when he found out I was pregnant at just 18. That cry will forever haunt me. My grandmother was singing and hugging me as we listened from inside the room. She wore a green dress. I could still smell her.

I remember my grandmother, my aunts, my cousins crying as I walked down the aisle. The look of pity. They were all dressed in pink. My veil was suffocating. The red carpet seemed endless. My Pop looked 10 years older in my wedding pictures.

I remember moving to his house. It was small and quiet. I was mostly left alone. I kept the lights on that first night and tried to get some sleep despite the panic. He bought me a pitbull pup to keep me company. She was black and really tiny. She died.

I remember the spit in my eye. He pushed me to the bedroom floor. Tore my ragged cat. It was afternoon. The closet drawers were a faint blue with off white borders. I found out he was cheating on me, again. I was pregnant with his second child.

I remember the kitchen’s window grills were iron black as my head smashed into them, three window panes and an aluminum door with a torn screen, his hand on my throat. I did not eat the chicken nuggets he brought home.

I remember my new born son crying, wanting to feed. I’m alone in the hospital room and I can’t reach the small plastic crib where he was put, I had to endure the pain from all those procedures that was still fresh from the day before. I got up. I had to. I could still feel my back burning. We were both crying, we were alone. He got back the next day smelling of liquor and cigarettes.

I remember him packing up to leave and I’m begging him to stay. I just got out of the shower, my hair dripping wet and electricity was out. There was no stopping him, like as if he couldn’t wait to leave. He left 3 days after his third son was born that November, after one of the most tragic typhoons passed. I wasn’t able to sleep for almost 2 months.

I remember taking my kids to the center to visit and he was fussy and wanting to bail. The pots at the front were ceramic and blue and broken. He threw a fit that morning, so they said. I was begging him to stay and finish the program but he still left. Why am I always the one begging anyway.

I remember a liter of rum and pork barbecue and a Pomeranian puppy. And I don’t even drink rum. I was sitting on my best friend’s porch, looking out onto a rotunda, mind blank. Woke up to a splitting headache the day after, emotionless and numb. Never knew I could love a hangover that much.

I remember my kid’s face, holding back tears when he didn’t show up, yet again. My son was really excited that morning but when I got back home from work, he was still in the living room, waiting. He was 10.

There is just too much, too many, the chaos inside my head, that writing about it would be a novel. A sad one.

I’ve mustered blocking out ugly moments. Moments so vivid, so real, so fresh, they hurt.

Because although these moments have permanently scarred the back of my brain, purged the little left emotion from my damaged heart, leaving a level of pain that is almost indescribable, I am not all that.

That is not my life and I will live through this. I always do.

I am well set into this world to thrive. Just need to remaster this blocking thing and put my mask back on.

 

xx

DMV

Rainy Friday Afternoon

When everyone is used to running towards you, expecting you to fix their cracks and you try to seal it, feigning wit and refreshing humor, to somehow complete whatever it is that they lack.

You have this way of making things better after you, it’s hard to explain. The sponge so they say.

But who extracts the water from the sponge when it is full?

The glass is overflowing but they still continue to pour, fumbling for your lifeboat as they drown in the turbulent seas they ceaselessly create. You also give away your life jacket.

When you are gagged to even feel broken and muted so as not to be judged, the words bleed out of your mouth and drain you empty.

The silence is almost, always deafening, amplified by the sickening reflection you see when you stare at yourself in the mirror and find that there is no one around but you.

The world could seem like a complete nightmare sometimes.

I asked if you were okay and you laughed a little too loud, smiled a little to hard and held a little too tight when you said “I’m perfectly fine.”

 

xx

DMV

See

You say she is okay because she has the life you desire and yours is as miserable as fuck.

But you fail to see the truth behind the walls she puts up to shield her self from her cruel reality, high enough so no one, not even she, could penetrate through.

She masks her face with a plastic smile, wallows in apathetic laughter and puts on too much makeup to cover those bags.

Unearth it all, look beyond and maybe, just maybe, you would notice that there is a certain sadness in those tired, brown eyes. Something you would only see when you try to look closely.

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xx

DMV

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End Results.

Our mind is a treacherous place. Trust is a fantasy. Monsters we have returned to. Malevolent we have become. We speak without knowing. We act without caution. We are selfish. A dark lore looms just above sanity; a sudden push might cease us to exist. Our epiphanies come to be catatonic. Everyday a catastrophic calamity of thoughts. We are broken pieces of glass. A bleeding inevitability of being incomplete. The predicament of wanting to be at all places at once. The dilemma of being stuck in between, having to choose between what is right and what is good. A far reach to sanctuary, a silent cry for comfort, a hopeful breath for relief.

Persevering patience for an ideal. A longing for normalcy.

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xx

DMV

(Photo courtesy: Tumblr)

Ideal vs. Real

Those mental images, concepts, ideas of perfect…

When we were young, we believed we had it all figured out. The ideal life, the ideal job, the ideal boyfriend, the ideal husband, the ideal house, the ideal car, the ideal family…

You work at it, then life begins and you suddenly realize you got it all wrong. You try and try to reach that ideal but then reality strikes and you find out you just can’t win. So you build up this fantasy world to shield yourself from the pain, to guard against a mind about to collapse, a heart ready to explode.

Some shy away from everything they know, trying to avoid keeping up a brave face because truth is, everything is just broken.

Some stand at the edge of the rail, looking back and contemplating to jump.

Others put a bullet through their head.

Sometimes you have this fluttering feeling, a kick that says someone’s life depends on you and all you are left to do is lock yourself in some secluded place and start to cry.

We then start to ask, how did we end up here? Would we rather live a boring but normal life or a colorful but complicated life?

Where we end up are the results of the choices we’ve made while we journey on. We need to recognize the difference between what is ideal and what is real. We are the authors of our own books, we write our pages. If your ideals fail you, refocus. See reality, make do of what is in front of you, focus on things that matter most. Block away the trauma and move on. Easier said than done but realize it’s just tears and rain in a day of your life. There is still a great chance tomorrow might be sunny.

xx

DMV

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