๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ

I wanted to give you the stars,

let you see what I’m made of.

But in this journey I discovered

that you are also a star.

It’s just a matter of reminding you

of your essence every day.

The you you’ve lost those lonely years

we’ve been apart, wandering aimlessly

through the Universe.

The same Universe that wrote

this Divine Symphony, orchestrating

our paths to align again.

We’re not as lost as we thought we were–

That day we found home

in each other’s arms.

Meet me at the bridge

The more you run away from and deny your own truth, the truth you intuitively know, the more difficult your life becomes.

It’s not someone else’s job to heal you, to save you, to tell you what you should do. No one knows you better than your authentic self–that beautiful soul who’s open to giving and receiving love, that inner child who laughs without any prompts and sees the sliver of humor and joy peeking through the darkness.

Remember that time when you loved unconditionally–without fear, doubts, and expectations–just pure love. Come back to that.

Maybe, we’ll meet at the bridge soon. ๐ŸŒป

๐Ÿ’—

Dear Heart,

Sometimes it gets tiring trying to keep the fire burning.

Sometimes it feels cruel to keep on loving with no tangible reassurance.

Sometimes you wish you were just like the others–anything but alone and vulnerable as you are.

It took you 33 years to learn that not everyone deserves your most precious authentic self.

Some people fear what it is they don’t understand–they don’t want the unknown messing up the status quo.

Not everyone can bask in your light and warmth.

Some people either want to devour it or to dull your shine.

Not everyone is worthy of your love, no matter how ready and willing you are to give it unconditionally.

Some people break pure hearts even without meaning to.

But dearest one, you still continue to do the work. You strive to shine, to show up, to stoke the fire at your hearth and keep it from going out, to love–because that is who you are.

And who you are is beautiful, worthy, and resilient a thousand times over.

Who you are is wanted and needed. ๐Ÿ’—

I Build a Home (excerpt)

One day I joined a writing class recommended by my friend. 

I knew I could write, but something else was missingโ€”

I had no voice. 

I was stuck in a rut, I couldnโ€™t fully embrace the gift of words I was given.

Old fears came creeping back to haunt meโ€”I wasnโ€™t good enough because nobody told me I was.

Nobody told me I was loved.

But within this circle of phenomenal women, I felt alive.

I clustered, I doubted myself, I pushed my right brain to its limits, and I put pen to paperโ€”

word after word filling up with conviction, with confidence, with clarity.

I found my voice. 

I felt myself grow in Ms. Tweetumsโ€™ writing class, in this warm cocoon of wise women who welcomed me. 

What does the future hold for me?

I donโ€™t know what to expect, but Iโ€™ll let every day surprise me.

I know now that I donโ€™t have to pretend to be someone I am not.

For years, Iโ€™ve been trying to repress myself, not realizing that the best version of me

is just allowing space to be myself, to feel more snug in my own skin.

That itโ€™s my birthright to shine and create magic out of the ordinary.

Not everyone is meant to go on the same road.

I have the power to choose, be at the helm of my own ship.

I will follow my heart wherever it leads me to.

I want to make my own rules and follow or break them at will.  

I donโ€™t want to feel embarrassed that I havenโ€™t been kissed yet nor kissed a lover back. 

I want to share my life with someone worthyโ€”who can handle my passions, accept me quirks and all, and makes space for my brilliance beside their own.

I want to laugh with abandon more often and smile at strangers.

I want to twilight and gaze at sunsets familiar and foreign. 

I want a small, bright house filled with books and a garden.

I want a simple, quiet life brimming with love and light.

I am a cat, the color yellow, dreams of raspberries, a butterfly emerging from its cocoon, a Vestal virgin, a constant pilgrim, the Star in tarot, a modern Bildungsroman, a writer.

I am a phenomenal woman.

And I continue to build a home for myself.                    

๐ŸŒป

You need to be made of sterner stuff, dear, before you can be ready to build a life with someone you love.

Love is not always lounging on a queen-sized bed during the weekends and making coffee the way she likes it. There will be days when the coffee spills and she’s late for work, and nights when you refuse to sleep on the same bed, just to prove a point. There will be times when you’ll do the opposite of what she tells you not to, just to get a rise out of her, and times you’ll be so frustrated with her stoic silence, you’d want to wring her neck.

No one ever said love was easy, but it’s also a rarity to find someone willing to dive into the darkness with you, and glide through the thoughts that cripple, and the words that ruin if you let them. All the things you sweep under the rug and never talk about unless the rug is bunching up already, you can’t hide the dust mound any longer.

I am telling you now, it would be the stormiest night before our dawn
And hardships would be twice the load of normal
I know all these things before they even come
What I want to know now is am I made of sterner stuff?
And are you?
I would need unlimited supply of patience and compassion to make room for you,
To reassure you every day that my love doesn’t end in the words I write,
It fights to live in moments when to trust is to risk everything we’ve known
And meet the aftermath, hands clasped together
But I’m your poison apple, your weakness, they’d whisper into your ear,
The one thing that’ll ruin your ambition
And with little thought you’d drop me like a hot potato on asphalt
I wouldn’t know what hit me before I got up

If you can’t be strong on your own, might as well be content to tell yourself, yes I love her, but I’m not brave enough to build my love a home. Then let go. Release it to the wind. Instead of fumbling around in a playhouse of sticks that crumbles at the slightest pull.

Gypsy girl turned Queen of the night

For a kid who secretly enjoyed being scared out of her wits and playing “dress up”, Halloween presented a whole new world full of possibilities.

Obviously, it isn’t a local tradition, but little me during the 1990s looked forward to watching Magandang Gabi Bayan’s Halloween special and horror movie marathons, egging classmates and friends to tell ghost stories, and re-reading my Edgar Allan Poe collection. I was particularly thrilled with Fall of the House of Usher (What was the cause of Madeline’s mysterious illness? Why did Roderick feel as though his fate was entwined with that of his sister’s and their ancestral house?), The Cask of Amontillado (Fortunato being buried alive was really morbid!), and The Tell-tale Heart (the narrator/murderer and the old man with the “vulture eye” was REALLY CREEPY).

It was Halloween on my tenth year that I remember wanting to be a beautiful gypsy girl. To have smoky hypnotic eyes, dance as though in a trance, read tarot cards, and pronounce fortunes. That was around the same time I read Isabel Allende’s The House of the Spirits and was very much fixated with Clara Trueba and her mystical prowess. Clara was also a diligent writer and keeper of notebooks which she painstakingly organized and kept bound with ribbons. In fact, she inspired me to do the same–to keep track of my life and thoughts by writing it out in journals and notebooks. From the moment I read the first line in The House of the Spirits: “Barabas came to us by sea”, I was instantly mesmerized. It was also the same year my sisters gave me an illustrated children’s classic edition of Victor Hugo’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame (which I read before the happy ending Disney version came out). The image of Esmeralda, the gypsy girl, was so exotic and mysterious, I couldn’t help but be drawn to her character. (Spoiler alert!) I remember crying at the end when Quasimodo’s and Esmeralda’s remains were uncovered years later. Of course, they died tragically.

Back to being a gypsy girl wannabe, I had aspirations of going trick-or-treating. I raided my mom’s and sisters’ closets and found a peasant blouse, a long flowing skirt, a kitsch scarf that became a turban, bangles, and hoops. For my “bolang kristal”, my sister’s heavy angel snow globe served me well. I decided that I would go barefoot, for lack of matching footwear. But there wasn’t any costume party or trick-or-treat to go to. Still, I managed to entertain them at home with my resourceful prowess in putting up a costume from scratch.

It was only the following year when my friend Jens invited me to their village Halloween party that I was able to go all out on the trick-or-treat experience. And the best surprise of all: I won consolation prize for my costume! It wasn’t the gypsy costume, though. I was a queen in a scarlet dress robe with faux fur and gold trimmings. I had a crown of gold cloth with cheap plastic jewels stitched on it. My mom didn’t have as much imagination. She bought it ready-made from SM Department Store. For extra horrific make-up, my sister painted my eyelids with black and grey eyeshadow. Despite the costume not going my way, it didn’t stop me from having such fun! We were chaperoned by one of Jens’s older sisters while we went door-to-door around the neighborhood, expecting treats more than tricks. My plastic pumpkin pail was filled to the brim with candies and sweets of all kinds. But I also remember there was this older guy in a corpse costume we kept bumping into every now and then, which I thought was weird, and he would always mock me with a “Good evening, your Highness”, while letting me pass first with him making a bow. I just chalked it up to creepy-attentive vibes and hoped I never had to encounter him again for the rest of the night.

My friend Jens was Wednesday Adams of the night and won second prize. She did look the part with her fair skin, enormous beady eyes, and long and sleek black hair in pigtail braids. She even had a headless doll sticking out of her chest pocket! Knowing Jens back then, she was the more charming, nicer version of Wednesday Adams for sure.

I had such a lovely time being Queen of the night. And being the only one who wasn’t in a typical scary/monster Halloween costume. I took in every happy moment I could and committed them to memory. And as for my treats, well, they didn’t stand a chance against my sweet tooth. They ran out in a week or so. ๐Ÿ™‚

Originally written: November 6, 2008

An exercise in honesty, part 2

If ever I get to see you again, I will not hesitate. I will hug you twice, for as long as I can, even when eyes are on us, and feel every second I’m close to you. Because I love you but I don’t know if you love me too. And I don’t know if I’d get to see you again after. So many uncertainties and the unknown scares me too, but there’s one thing I am sure of: as long as I’m alive and feel the love, I will never pass up an opportunity to let you know how I feel. I will brave storms, ego, and thoughts of what others would think and say, just for a slim chance to be with you if you want me too. โค