Clarity

I can say now that every potential love who came before you–I didn’t love them. I thought I did. Maybe I did, for a while. What I know for sure is that I loved their taste in music. How I was this person’s “Yellow” by Coldplay, and our connection was “Just Like a Splendid Love Song” by Orange and Lemons. But they were full of “Excuses” by The Morning Benders even if there was a time we both “saw the light” like that romantic Todd Rundgren song I used to play on repeat because it gave me the butterflies.

I loved that they can play the guitar because when I was 13, I told my best friend with much juvenile clarity that I would fall in love with someone who was kind and smart, played the guitar, and wrote me poems and letters every day. But it was only a teenage girl’s fantasy.

I didn’t expect you. I didn’t expect to fall in love with you after all those lost years, and I never expected it would hurt like hell.

You are kind and true, smart and so humble, and I know for a fact that you can play the guitar. But it’s also unexpected that I’m the one who’s writing poems of love, longing, and heartbreak because I couldn’t tell you these things even if you were sitting beside me. And if by some unexpected twist of fate you get to read this, I want you to know that I’m like that Binocular song, “Deep”, and that my love is like that Zooey Deschanel song that goes like this:

Don’t look back, all you’ll ever get is the dust from the steps before.

I don’t have to see you every day, but I just want to know you’re there.

I wish I can just tell you, “Follow your heart and everything will be okay”. But I don’t know what’s in your heart or if you even feel the same. If the burden of what-ifs and things left unsaid also keep you awake some nights. All I know is that if you trust me, I’ve got you. And you’ve got me, my heart, and my hands–both of them, to hold through everything.

You would always be that James Taylor song that still gives me the butterflies. And yes, it would be so sweet to be loved by you.

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Love is a choice too

Las-Casas-Filipinas-de-Acuzar-beach
View from a home away from home: the beach at Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar, in Bagac, Bataan (2018)

Make decisions based on love, not fear. 

Fear is the easiest and safest choice, the path of least resistance. Love requires sacrifices and putting yourself on the line–being vulnerable. It’s a road paved with jagged rocks that cut you, and trees that obscure your path ahead. And let’s face it–sometimes, things don’t turn out well. But sometimes they do, and when they do, they’re worth all those shitty decisions you made before. I do believe that something true and worth it doesn’t come too easy or cheap. You have to earn it–you have to be willing to put in the work, and you need to understand that if this decision matters a lot, to the point that it’s even life-changing, this will test you and things you hold dear. And sometimes, it will define you.

I am no stranger to decisions based on fear–fear of losing control of myself, fear of making mistakes, fear of losing respect, fear of judgment, fear of disappointing people, fear of losing friends, fear of losing love. I have made them over and over again, so many times I ran the risk of putting fear on autopilot. But now, I am finally awake and a rosy halo of light is all around me. I don’t want to go back to a safe but unremarkable life where fear is the invisible captain that runs a tight ship.

Now that I’m awake, I discovered that the peace that comes from choosing love instead of fear is just like the relief you feel when seeing your beloved’s face after a long, weary day. All your worries just melt away. It feels just like home. And that is a choice worth fighting for, a decision worth making again and again.

Karmic release

Ace-of-Cups-Morgan-Greer-tarotDecember is the month of celebrations. It’s also the month where you take inventory of your life so far–an assessment of your overall performance, whether you touched down on your major goals and crossed off at least half if not more than half on your to-do list. Then you also declutter physical mess as well as mental and metaphorical clutter. Chuck and sever ties with whatever doesn’t serve you well–destructive habits, attitudes, thoughts, and people.

December is also a month for healing. To retreat and spend more time with yourself–getting to the nitty-gritty, the heart of the matter, your genuine self and asking:

How are you, really? Are you happy? Are you content? Do you feel loved, fulfilled, and secure? 

These are the most important questions that we sometimes forego asking because they require us to dig deep and be honest with ourselves. It asks us to be vulnerable when most of us are scared shit at the mention of the word and don’t even want to go there. Outside is safer–in the company of friends, putting on our carefully crafted “social media smiles”, knocking off drinks to numb how you really feel about another person who’s been on your mind lately and can’t quite shake off, or that workhorse of a job that gives you all that prestige and promise of power but takes away your soul and freedom in exchange. You wake up one day and realize you’re a slave to the world’s whims and society’s norms. A cog in a wheel that never stops turning nor stopping for anyone. Being true to yourself and your heart–they don’t have a say in this matter. That’s just the way it is if you let it. Never has a silence sounded more deafening.

Patience, love, understanding, and trust are overflowing in a cup I am ready to offer. This cup comes from nothing less than a place of purity, honesty, and faith. But when your cup is denied, there’s nothing left to do but to take it back and guard it more fiercely than ever before. Hold on to it until the time comes when the Universe sends you someone potentially worthy again. But even until then it’s an intricate dance with free will.

Nothing to do about it but soldier on, hope for the best and release the rest. Hoping 2019 will treat you better.

——–

Image credit: Albideuter

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

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.

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 were 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