I think—no, I believe I haven’t written in a very loooong time. This pandemic has fvcked up my sleeping cycle, my body clock, my little to less routines, and totally drained out whatever is left of the creative ink circulating in my brain. I started this back last year if I’m not mistaken? And I guess stories of certain events and bent up feelings of excitement coupled with a little anxiety finally finished it. Soooo, yeah, here haha.
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.
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.
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.
Weekend at the mountains. Mahjong sesh leveled up 😂
Hearty lunch, happy hour started at 12:00 noon and even if I lost at mahjong, twas a really good weekend away from all the noise of the city.
Subscribed to this devotional recently and I’m just gonna leave Day 2 here. Just in case you stumble across this, read up.
Andy Stanley: Enemies of the Heart
Devotional Day 2
Scripture: 1 John 1:5-10
The first enemy of the heart is guilt. Guilt is the result of having done something we perceive as wrong. The message from a heart laden with guilt is, “I owe!”
Consider the man who runs off with another woman and abandons his family. Without realizing it at the time, he has stolen something from every member of his family. He has robbed his wife of her future, her financial security, and her reputation as a wife. From his children’s perspective, this man has stolen their Christmas, traditions, emotional and financial security, dinners with the family, and so on.
Now, the man who did all this doesn’t think in terms of what he has taken. Initially, he thinks in terms of what he has gained. But the first time his little girl asks him why he doesn’t love Mommy anymore, his heart is stirred. He now feels guilty. Dad owes.
Nothing less than paying that debt will relieve a guilty heart of its burden of guilt. People try to work it off, serve it off, give it off, and even pray it off. But no amount of good deeds, community service, charitable giving, or Sundays in a pew can relieve the guilt. It’s a debt. And it must be paid or canceled for a guilty heart to experience relief.
How do you get your guilt canceled? The answer comes in one of the first Bible verses I memorized as a child: 1 John 1:9. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (kjv).
Confession has the power to break the cycle of sin. And like most medicinal remedies, it works when applied properly. Proper application happens when we confess our sins, not just to God, but also to the people we’ve sinned against.
Guilty people are usually repeat offenders. And as long as you’re carrying a secret, as long as you’re trying to ease your conscience by telling God how sorry you are, you’re setting yourself up to repeat the past. However, if you start confessing your sins to the people you’ve sinned against, odds are that you’re not going to go back and commit those sins again.
Confess both to God and others, and you will slay this enemy of your heart.
What are you feeling guilty for? Confess your sin to God and to whomever you have hurt. Do it today.
“This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all. So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness; we are not practicing the truth. But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin. If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts.”
1 John 1:5-10 NLT
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.
I did not dream of having kids. It was never part of the plan.
I wanted to write and live in different places, experience this diverse, expansive earth everyone keeps talking about.
At some point, I even wanted to go to outer space, discover aliens, leave footprints on the moon, trek Mars, name stars.
But you see, life has a sick sense of humor and who would have imagined I’d end up birthing 3 boys instead.
I wasn’t ready.
Stuck in the mundane.
I think I’ll never be ready.
Fine, joke’s on me.
But I kept on, even when my mind was in total chaos. I still keep on.
I had the choice to get away, to run away as I always do, but I stayed.
And trying to be a mother, keeping up a facade of this supposedly strong person and parenting alone while my heart shattered into infinite pieces, was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to endure.
But oh, the laughter of children, the sweetest songs, such beautiful music to my ears, I could listen to for a lifetime.
The course of our lives sometimes do not play out like how we pictured it in our heads but somehow, we always end up where we should be.
And most times, much happier.
Sometimes you just jump, like off a cliff or a really tall building.
Drastically you just do, even if heavy fog blinds you and the only way is down and there is no way of finding out what lies beneath when you hit bottom, be it rocks or stone pavements or grass or sea.
Because for a split, staggering, unnerving moment…you fly.
Yeah I’m off work in two hours, yay for the long weekend!