#NoteToSelf

Living is rarely easy. It means suffering because of mistakes you didn’t make. It means accepting that there will always be times when you can do nothing about people and circumstances being unfair. It means enduring another blow when you’re still trying to get back up.

While it is true that the universe doesn’t owe anybody anything and that life is as beautiful and incredible as it is tragic and messy, there will always be days when nothing can make you the least bit happy. And I think that it’s okay. It’s okay to stop trying to find happiness once in a while. It’s okay to allow ourselves to wallow in our loneliness and pain. It’s okay to be sad and angry. It’s okay to not get over it and move on. It’s okay to feel and to be human.

And during these times when your ugly shows, when you’re a big mess, when you’re being difficult, I hope you have someone who still sees you for the amazing human being that you are. Someone who lets you be vulnerable and weak. Someone who doesn’t get uncomfortable with the stream of your tears and the whirlwind of your emotions. Someone who knows how to dance in your storm. Someone who understands the complexity of your character.

And while you’re waiting for this person to enter your life, try to be that someone to yourself. And be that someone to others, too.

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I See You

In bus rides
In coincidences
While standing side by side
In stolen glances
In ebony hair
And snow-white skin
Despite trying not to stare
Feeling like it’s a sin
In words unsaid
And chances not taken
Knowing how it ends
But wanting to see you again

Fourth

Amazingly, it has already been four years since I started seeking refuge in writing- the one of the very few things that allow me to step back and detach from life and at the same time delve deeper into it. It would have been utterly nice to celebrate this feat yet I am still at the very same position of sitting here bleeding and wanting nothing but for everything to be okay. Truly, there have been ups and downs, a roller coaster ride of emotions, tragedies, and victories. However, I cannot help feeling as if the ups are merely detours and being on the lowest point has always been the destination. Nonetheless, I still am fortunate for having something to run to where I can be free to be my own self regardless of the misery, frailty, and vulnerability woven into the fabric of my being. I still am fortunate to have this, and to have me. I may be all I have, but maybe I am all I need.

What Isn’t

I believe that in life, rarely is anything just black or white. Something cannot, and should not, be easily tagged as right or wrong, good or bad, is or isn’t. There is always a sea of gray whose depths can sometimes be difficult to fathom. There is always a story behind everything- a story waiting to be revealed, a story demanding to be read. And in the complexity of life, it is easier to recognize something for what it isn’t than for what it is. Like knowing you don’t love someone than being certain you do. Like realizing who aren’t your friends than recognizing who truly are.

So once you finally find what’s real, who you love and who loves you, hold on tight and don’t let go.

Among the Many Firsts

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Yesterday, I was able to escape the curse of my overly long break once again. That is for the second consecutive Thursday, thank God. This time, it was a first time. And this time, it was going back to my one great love- films.

Travelling from one city to another, riding jeeps and trains, I was finally able to see Dagitab. It’s been years since I’ve longed to see this film. The first time I saw the trailer, I fell in love right there and then. That moment, I knew I had to see the film. That moment, I knew this longing was a void I should fill. And the moment I had the chance, I did.

I’d love to talk about Dagitab but I won’t for now.

Instead, let’s talk about Cinema ’76. It was where I found the chance to finally see Dagitab. I know I’ve waited too long to see such a beautiful film. But it was worth it. After my Cinema ’76 experience, I was glad I hadn’t seen Dagitab someplace else. I was captivated by its intimacy, which made everything a whole lot more personal. When I left, I knew it wouldn’t be long before I would want to come back.

On Suffering v2.0

Kaya mo pa ba?”

We all suffer. And often, our pain seems to linger. Even after so many days, so many months, so many years. Eventually, we get tired. We want so badly for it to end, but it seems like it never would. We cry out to the Lord to free us from all our burdens, to free us from the cross we carry. And when our prayers seem unheard, unanswered, we begin to doubt, to despair, to fall apart.

I guess it’s okay to feel this way. I guess it’s okay to allow ourselves to be human.

Even so, please know that the Lord sees everything. The pain we endure won’t ever be in vain. The Lord will reward our suffering. Maybe not now and not here, but in His own perfect time. More so, how can we ever follow Christ if we refuse to carry our cross?

All my life, I’ve been asking the Lord liberate me from my pain, from my suffering, from my cross. Today, I ask the Lord to give me the strength and the courage to carry my cross and to follow Him no matter how difficult, no matter how painful, no matter how long.

My suffering is my offering.

More of You and less of me.

Kaya mo pa ‘yan. Jesus loves you more than most.

 

 

Thank you for a wonderful mass, Fr. Hans. Right at the time when I needed it most.

Short Reflection on the Taylor Issue

In a world filled with “From Adele to Taylor Swift, how fast can you move on?“, slut-shaming, and hate, let us take a moment to ponder upon some reasons why we should probably stop judging Taylor Swift’s make out sesh with Tom less than a week after the announcement of her breakup with Calvin.

  • Maybe Taylor and Calvin were already completely over each other even before their breakup was made public. Maybe Taylor’s moving on wasn’t as swift as we thought it was.
  • There are a lot of ways to cope with loss, tragedy, or pain, and it varies with every individual. It’s not one-size-fits-all, just like our varying notions of happiness, success, and fulfillment. Some people may be able to cope better when they have someone who’s there for them.
  • We don’t know the entire story, we most probably never will, and we don’t have to. Maybe we should spend less time formulating opinions on how other people choose to live their lives and spend more time actually living ours.
  • This is an opportunity to stop talking about Taylor, Calvin, and Tom, and to start having worthwhile discussions on relationships, romance, moving on, and their psychological implications.
  • And maybe we should really just stop judging people. Period.
  • Dang, I’m not even a fan. I’m just so tired of everyone always having something to say about other people’s lives. Aren’t you?

 

I would always rather be happy than dignified.
― Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre

On Suffering

I won’t dare romanticize suffering. I won’t tell anyone, including myself, that it happens for a reason, that it will make sense, that it’s beautiful. People suffer without a reason. Most often than not, it never makes any sense. It’s nowhere near beautiful- it’s crying yourself to sleep, it’s feeling like your life is worthless, it’s being angry all the time. It doesn’t always make someone stronger or better. It doesn’t always make a person grow. Often, it breaks you. It takes and takes until you have nothing left. It makes you lose sight of everything familiar, of everything that makes you feel safe. It destroys every inch of you, makes you a ruin beyond repair. It isn’t their fault they made their end their choice. Because for people who suffer, that end is the flickering light in a long, unending night.

Into the Wizarding World

Sitting at my office desk and bored to death, I didn’t know that I was a few moments away from embarking on the greatest adventure of my life.

I’ve known Harry Potter since high school. Hold your horses, my childhood didn’t particularly suck- it was actually a fun and simple Filipino childhood that I’m proud of. It’s just that it didn’t have anything to do with Harry Potter. To begin with, I wasn’t even into reading novels during my younger years. I was into reading but only trivia books (preferably with pictures) and short works like essays. Then again, just because I didn’t initially love reading novels doesn’t mean that I love it less than those who did. The same goes for Harry Potter.

Of course, I had peers who were solid fans ever since the beginning. The way they talk about it, it seemed utterly interesting. So I began catching up by seeing the films (which isn’t too difficult for a movie buff). To be more specific, I binge-watched the first five films then waited for the rest to be shown in theaters. Expectations were shattered and a new love was found. Then some months after I saw the last installment, I thought the flame died out. Maybe I wasn’t exactly a big fan after all. Nevertheless, during the height of my love for Harry Potter, I told myself that I would read the books. But apparently I didn’t read them right away. I guess I was afraid.

I was afraid because even after discovering my love for reading novels, I might not do well with series. Well, I’ve read The Hunger Games trilogy before. But that’s the only trilogy I’ve ever read. I was more into standalone novels- The Perks of Being a Wallflower, The Alchemist, and The Little Prince to mention a few. Anyway, my THG adventure is a whole different adventure (and it’s here). I was afraid that I wouldn’t like it much, and if I already started, I would feel obliged to finish the whole thing. And it’s seven books! The way I see it, deciding to read the series is a serious commitment that I can’t just break when I feel like I wanted to stop.

The moment I began, I realized how foolish I was to ever doubt. The moment I began, I knew it was the beginning of something good, something unforgettable, something beautiful.

What’s funny is that even after the seven books, eight films, three supplementary books, and Pottermore, I still can’t get enough. I want to read more, know more, discover more. I want to talk about it, to write about it, to dream about it.

In Harry Potter, I’ve found another world that isn’t only an escape but also a world which gave me a deeper and better understanding of the one I’m in.

Thank you, JK.

 

I intended to have an in-depth account of everything Harry Potter- largely consisting of my musings and my feelings. I even already prepared an outline of the characters I would like to talk about. However, due to recent realizations, I decided to put it off for some other time. I just figured that if I am going to make a thorough Harry Potter post, I wouldn’t want to it to be half-cooked. So I’m saving it up for a time when my head (as well as my life) is less of a wreck. I just want to give it my best, which I know I can’t give now.

PS
Someone take me back to The Nook, please.