Hoping

Hello. Here I am. I am ready. Am I too late?

I’m sorry I didn’t reciprocate before, but I liked you back then. I was just confused and so unsure. I thought it was a joke. That I was being punked. And if I went in for the bait it’ll be jigs up–haha! Fooled ‘ya! You can never be too careful. I just didn’t want to get hurt or give someone the chance to fool me. I learned early on that to survive in this world, I must protect myself and guard my heart.

It took a friend’s death and two extraordinary selfless acts from you for me to realize the kind of love I needed and deserved. Why I even felt the pull to reach out to you and took that risk is not a mystery anymore. You were kind and you were true and you made me feel special. Back then and now.

Is it too late? I want to tell you so many things without the prying eyes of another. I want to hear your stories. How have you been all these years we weren’t sitting beside each other? I want to make you laugh and smile again. I want to hold your hand and hug you until I am ready to let go. And maybe, find out we’re both not ready to let each other go.

Image credit: George Pagan III on Unsplash

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Aftermath

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Photo by ORNELLA BINNI on Unsplash

Was it my words, so sweet and deliberate?

Was it the way I dress, all whimsy and feminine grace?

Was it the way I looked at you when you talked–intense and doe-eyed,

as if no one else mattered in the world?

How was I to know that you would block the freight train force of my love

And leave me alone along the tracks of a wild, strange place

To navigate on my own

Walk off the shock and disbelief on my face

Was it all a lie–one confusing puzzle of misread signs and over-analyzed lines?

I was never one to lie

My only fault being an open book for anyone to read

Then why do I feel as if the same freight train knocked me over

and left my heart on the tracks, bleeding?

You are alone in your grief

angel-2910215_640Nobody tells you this when you lose someone close, but you really are alone in your grief.

Yes, you grieve with family and friends you share the loss with. But it’s in processing and dealing with this grief every day that you’re left on your own.

People will tell you they’re sorry, send brief messages with their sincerest condolences. Some will pat you on the back, give you a half-hearted hug, tell you you’re going to be okay. But what you really want and need is someone who would sit with you for a while, hold your hand, and just let you cry it all out. Someone who wouldn’t hesitate or think you’re too fragile and just hug you until you can’t breathe and you’re ready to let go, and not a moment too soon. It might sound selfish and serving only to your needs. And it definitely will not banish the hurt and loss in your heart. That takes time. But it will be a huge comfort and reassurance. It will help you heal one day at a time.

40th Day

After recently losing a friend to lung cancer, I had a reality check.

Am I living the kind of life that I want? What am I really doing with my life? Is it filled with meaning and purpose? Does my work make me excited to get up in the morning and create? Does it make me feel happy and fulfilled despite the late nights and the stressed-out mind? 

My friend, Carla, was an advocate of following your bliss no matter what it is and living the kind of life you want to live. Being the kind of person you’re inspired to become. Continuously working at pursuing your goals while navigating “adulting” moments.

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Remembering her is still raw and hits me unexpectedly–I could be on a car ride and in my mind I’d be on one of those late night parked car conversations with Carla, gushing all about how my love for this person inspired me to write poems. And she would tell me to keep on writing, that what I’m doing is a wonderful thing. Then I’d snap back to reality and the grim realization that we would never have an intimate conversation ever again or trade adulting notes. I would never hear her laugh or see her crinkly-eyed amusement at my stories.

Loss teaches us the hardest life lessons. Losing Carla gave me the guts to look at mortality in the eye and be afraid of her less. Because the only way to keep soldiering on every day is if you treat mortality as a collaborator, and not the enemy.

Life goes on and must go on despite loss. And in moving forward, I realized that I need to do work–not just any work–creative work that makes me happy every day, that inspires me to grow, to be a better and kinder person, to help others, to be more compassionate, giving, and loving. To be more than just surviving from payday to payday. To squeeze out every little ounce of potential and possibility I have in me. To share my gifts with the world. To live with no regrets. Yes, even when there are people I loved and trusted, and decisions I’ve made that make me feel like wiping the slate clean. To look at problems, hurts, and setbacks as learning experiences, not mistakes.

Losing Carla was a wake-up call. Of the briefness of life. Of the certainty of death. Of the unfairness of loss. But mostly, of the need to live with more purpose and authenticity so that when our time comes, no matter when it is, we can leave behind everyone and everything we hold dear with no regrets.

Maybe that’s my friend’s biggest legacy. To constantly be an inspiration to us, we who were lucky to have known her and to have spent time with her. To spend our lives doing what we love to do. To pay it forward by doing good to others in whatever way we can alongside the pursuit of our goals and passions.

I hope that as I continue my journey here on Earth, that I can live with purpose and meaning, love and happiness, and with satisfaction that I am on the right path to pursuing my dreams and building the home I’ve envisioned for myself.

Thank you, Carla for being a light to us. For knocking some sense into me before it’s too late. Even from the other side, you’re still sharing your pearls of wisdom to us.

We miss you and we’ll love you always.

Ms. Brightside seizes the day!

One of the best things about being sick is you have a perfectly acceptable excuse to stay in bed all day and not be interrupted except for being told it’s time to eat and the food is ready. I don’t even have to cook my own food. Such a relief.

I work from home and I don’t have the luxury of being left alone most of the time. I get constantly interrupted for a dozen reasons within the day. So it’s a godsend when I’m finally blessed with pure, uninterrupted ME time. I got to sleep off a headache and stuffy nose, got to watch TED talk videos featuring my writing inspirations–Anne Lamott, Liz Gilbert, Amy Tan, and Isabel Allende. And, this is the best thing ever–I got to write almost non-stop in my journal and filled a dozen pages within a day! Despite the feeling of coughing my lungs out and a still lingering heartache almost holding me back, it was still a good, productive weekend for me.

If I could choose a song as the soundtrack of this whirlwind of a weekend, it would be Louis Armstrong’s “On the Sunny Side of the Street”. Frank Sinatra’s version is catchy too. I love both versions since both Armstrong and Sinatra captured the whimsy and spirit of the lyrics. That ultimately, choosing to see the bright side of things whatever your circumstances may be, makes all the difference.

I used to walk in the shade
Baby, with those blues on parade
Oh, but I’m not afraid, baby
My rover!
My rover crossed over! 
And if I never have a cent
I’ll be rich as Rock-e-fellow, hey
With gold dust at my feet
On the sunny side of the street 

What is the sound of a heart breaking?

“Your heart breaks, that’s all. But you can’t judge or point fingers. You just have to be lucky enough to find someone who appreciates you.”

–Audrey Hepburn 

I wish it was as simple as that. And not me, walking around in a daze and bleeding all over the place. Because whenever my heart breaks, no one else is left to pick up the pieces but myself.

You take risks but sometimes they don’t turn out how you want them to, not even close to what you’ve imagined. But that’s why they’re called risks. Rarely am I ever a risk taker, but this one that felt like the risk of my lifetime, I went all-in and lost.

I chose my cards (and my words) carefully, and with the obssessive-compulsiveness of an inner editor. I thought I read the signs right. I thought the Universe had my back.

But maybe it isn’t me. Maybe the other half of this equation was scared shitless, so hung up on keeping up with appearances, letting peer pressure win. Maybe the other half has trust issues, doesn’t believe in the Universe, or doesn’t think I am worth the risk.

I don’t believe in the last lie.

I am worth all the damn risks in the world. And if I was brave, and yes, crazy enough to take a risk for you, then I damn well deserve someone as brave and crazy (even braver and crazier, welcome) who would take the risk as well.

I only wanted to be true to myself and I was. I have no regrets. Every risk you take is a learning experience. At least, I tried.

——–

Image credit: Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

The Universe and You

The Universe has a way of teaching us the life lessons we need to learn, sometimes in contradictions, but mostly in ways only we can understand and make sense of.

These past few months alone, I feel that I’ve learned the equivalent of what I have in 8 years combined. A few weeks ago, I’ve had an angel card reading by this lady I bought bracelets from and who felt overflowing with good vibes. She told me that my creative proclivity is a gift and can benefit many people, not just myself.

So here I am, sharing a few things I’ve learned through what I do best, in the hope that these simple nuggets of wisdom will be of benefit to someone, even to just one person. I’ll be happy with that.

🖤 To find a true friend, you need to experience betrayal and hurt. 

🖤 To see a person’s true character, you need to be thrown into conflict together. 

🖤 To savor every moment and be grateful for the gift of life, you must experience loss. 

🖤 To trust (again), you need to let go and release your fears. 

🖤 To get answers, you need to take risks and be patient. 

🖤 To achieve your dreams and goals, you need to be the flow. 

🖤 To be at peace, you need to accept and not expect. 

🖤 To find happiness, you need to realize that it comes from within you and doesn’t depend on other people and stuff. 

🖤 To find meaning and purpose in your life, you need to declutter and simplify. 

🖤 To get what you want, know how to ask for it. 

🖤 To be with the right person, you need to let go of the wrong ones. 

🖤 To find the love you deserve, you need to wake-up from the illusion of love you’re settling for. 

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