grAyson

grAyson

as far as parting words go
your “good night” hurt the most
exceptional was what it was
marvelous too in every sense of the word

because i,
never heard from you since then
i wonder, did the keys sting enough
to stop you from hitting send?
how could you leave me reeling
from all of these questions
left unanswered
stuck inside my mess of a head?

because i,
never saw it coming
didn’t you see the heartaches
that make up myself
as some beautiful silver lining?
you said all of it has lead me to you
i couldn’t care less if
any of those could be some lie or the truth

because all i know was,
i had you

and from then on i was met
with my ultimate fear
that i had someone to lose—
a perfect part of what has become
a whole of me torn in two

but you didn’t hold back
as far as parting words go
you were certain it pained me enough
to read there is no better goodbye
than leaving me with nothing else to know

as far as parting words go
yours was something
i could never forget
nearly a year has passed
yet you still hold power over me
like some string tied
onto my back called regret

as far as parting words go
i still wish you the best

you’re on the other side of my world now
living as you should

but i hope you still remember
that there was a girl
who once wished for closure
and wanted nothing more but for your return.

bonney lake

“take me out of this loneliness” you begged 
and with open arms i took you in 
i didn’t think twice 
of what will make us out of this 
so i said, “only if you let me”, 
are the only words that fell out of of my lips 

it was all a clumsy dance 
of getting to know you 
and getting to know me 
forgotten what risks looked like 
until your rain-soaked mornings 
met with my sun-drenched time 
from your mountain views 
to my city line 

everyday was 
an exchange of memories 
and future reveries 
how was i, was all you ever asked 
everyday it meant a great deal 
sadly, concern was all I could ever have 

we just weren’t getting further down deep 
though I was ready to jump 
if i took this leap of faith 
best believe i’d dive right in 
enduring even the tough 

no you didn’t seem ready 
i feel you losing touch 
you disappeared before me slowly 
funny how I never believed once 
in ghosts and such 

oh aren’t they real 
even when one is alive and breathing 
improbability is no longer what I’m seeking 
certainty from yours is all i want 
no more room for games, no kidding 

“i thought this was it” 
what an overused, hopeless sigh 
you’re just like the others who came before 
i’m beaten but i always try and try 

here’s the thing, i dont think i want another 
written story unfinished 
leaving me to start another chapter 
of a new book that drags on 
towards the ending 
i hope one day all this love 
would no longer go on to waste 
don’t want another sad poem rewritten. 

Adieu, First Semester!

I was overcome with a huge wave of hesitation and nervousness about four months ago when I was asked to teach classes this year. The fact that we were just coursing our way through this whole online working scheme back then, and then there I was being suddenly thrust into teaching Psychology classes, really made me anxious. I haven’t taught any classes before so the feeling of working on something so unfamiliar made me doubt myself. Other than that, I was painfully awkward and shy around people that having to face people online while they listen to you for an hour so, gives me an endless amount of jitters.

Our semesters are divided into two so when you look at it, it’s still pretty loaded. I honestly didn’t have that much time to pause and rest. If I do, it only ever made me feel guilty and all the more did worry about yet another workday. Teaching online really did take up so much of my time. I would study materials, prepare presentations and discuss them. When another class day would end, I’d have to prepare for yet another day or week of sessions. It really was a never-ending cycle. Never have I craved more for an 8 hours worth of sleep.

Part of the biggest hurdle that a teacher would have to get past through when teaching online, is getting your students’ attention. Now in the online world, you can only do so much. At times they’d turn their cameras off you and it would all feel like you’re talking to a thick, brick wall. It kind of is disappointing sometimes but you’ve got to make do with what you have. I try to shrug that feeling off so I could get past it, deliver my work and move forward. I have to say, not only did I learn from my students this semester but also, I did learn a lot about myself too when I was teaching. You see, I never really thought I could do it. Being the shy, socially awkward person that I am, taking a huge leap beyond my comfort zone always makes me feel apprehensive at first. The doubt and fear was always there at the beginning but as the days and months went on, I fought them over and did what I could do best. I learned so they could too even when it took time and energy.

I never knew I could appreciate teaching Psychology now more than ever by making my students love it as it should be– that it is one of the most interesting and promising fields out there. And one day, I hope that when they look back, they will have appreciated every tiny concept and know they’ve learned all of it even at a time as uncertain and as frightening as this. I am crossing my fingers I’ve made a difference even at the tiniest bit.

I can’t entirely say teaching is my most favorite vocation to pursue but I can attest that it is the most underappreciated yet most fulfilling job there is.

when they say you’re not enough

As a lover of words, I found them beautiful and most of the times, comforting. When I find phrases and statements that resonate well with me, I keep them at the back pocket inside my head and remind myself that words, even though they can never be touched, can most absolutely be felt. Though they are simply and purely magical, words can be as sharp as a knife too. They could point right at the spot in your chest and just like that, instantly break you.

Lately, I’ve been told I wasn’t really good enough. Those few set of words, seemingly so easily uttered put a heavy weight on my shoulders and stirred up something in me, allowing myself to be bothered by so many questions. What if they’re right? What if I hadn’t really worked hard enough to be the best I can be? What could I have possibly done for them to think this way? And wait, does it even really matter what they say? Tough questions they are, running miles a minute inside my head that still remain unanswered.

When you’re told you’re not cutout for the path you chose when you’ve been working day in and day out to be the best you can be, it is both painful and disheartening. I know what other people might think about me doesn’t matter but there’s this huge part of myself that makes me take things by heart. I am not as tough as I appear to be. Call it a curse but I wear my heart on my sleeve. I could state facts and say I’ve been treading in my own path carefully, behind the scenes. That I am working as I should, giving my one hundred percent even if it means losing sleep or giving up the comfortable. That I am not a loud person who thirsts for validation and approval by onlookers. That I don’t flaunt everything that happens in my life as others do. That I’m good enough if you really see what’s beneath all these. But I’m neither those things and God knows I prefer to remain in the shell of my quiet, gentle life. I wasn’t the loudest girl growing up– my timid character always put me behind the spotlight and that was my way of life. It was alright and I loved it. I didn’t have to be loud or expressive enough to tell others explicitly about what’s going on with me or what plans I do have.

I am reminded simply this time around that even when they say you’re not good enough, they’ll never see the entire picture. They’ll never see the good days, the bad days, and the days you’ve spent building up, climbing an uphill battle. They’ll never get to see that and that’s alright. That’s alright because you’re not brought out into the world to live for the ideals and standards of othersothers who have so much to say yet so little do they know. You live this life because you have a purpose and a calling you need to do. You go on, move forward, restart a day after a terrible one, because you have yourself and a few good people who stood by you and prayed for you every step of the way. And weren’t all those things what’s most important of all?

life, lately

I have been trying to look back on what the past months have been like for me and I can’t help but feel overwhelmed. To even say how exhausting it was is a big understatement. We have been in quarantine now for 6 months or so and I recall it was not the easiest phase of our lives. We had to stay home to keep not only ourselves safe but also other people. We were all used to moving out and about, living most of our lives outside of our houses. True enough it felt both somehow unfamiliar and anxiety-inducing for our mental health.

If you could clearly remember, we went through baking and cooking and reading and exercising just to keep ourselves sane during those times. And while those activities were enjoyable and kept everyone else distracted, I on one hand beyond everybody’s knowledge, was silently preparing to reach my goal of surviving my Comprehensive Examinations– an exam I need to complete for my Master’s. Knowing that this was the biggest hurdle I had to get past, it caused me so much fear and worry personally. I wasn’t the smartest but I always knew I was resilient and consistent so I had to put in effort twice more than what I did in class.

So everyday for those past months, I spent hours of study. I stuck to my schedule everyday even when my motivation was running low. Still, I had to push through. It was not the easiest, prettiest state I have been because studying took a lot of my time and energy as other than having that priority, I had to work. I have a full-time job I needed to focus on. Managing my time was also not the smoothest– it was clumsily waking up trying not to get late for work or it was a flurry of a never-ending to-do list. There really was no in between. Time management my friends isn’t at all a breeze.

While I was working, I went home and diligently studied even in the late nights and in the wee hours of the morning. I was so painfully tired most of the day because other than losing sleep, I had to wake up again to face another day delivering lessons online. Before focusing on my own studies, I had to study classes I had to teach and prepare those lessons to be taught in class.

You could just imagine the stress and the amount of pressure I had to deal with privately however, with every silent prayer and plea uttered, I had gotten through. I successfully survived my exams! God sustained me still. I could not have possibly made it through everyday if it weren’t for my faith and my friends and family who stood by me and prayed for me.

Teaching, on the other side of the spectrum, was entirely new to me. I haven’t taught classes before and in the beginning it felt really daunting. I was already so socially awkward around people and I had to put myself out there for students! But they say there’s no fun without a little struggle. I went by days teaching and interacting with students and though it was online, I was able to complete the first half of the term. I can’t say yet that teaching is my most favorite thing in the world but I can attest that it is a vocation that is most valuable and fulfilling.

In the short span of time I get to teach and learn from my students, I saw potential and the interest to learn their subject despite this online scheme. It’s a whole new environment that requires big adjustment. To pass on knowledge I have learned from my own teachers back in the day is both a huge honor and cliche as it may sound, a gigantic amount of responsibility. I can’t help but be proud of myself for having to successfully do it. A good pat on the shoulder from me to myself is something that I highly deserve for now. The second term is about to begin and I am once again thrown into another set of challenge which is to teach but I have high hopes it will be as good as it was in the first term.


Life, lately for me was a bunch of different things crashing in all at once– a packed schedule it is. Having managed all those is beyond me but I’m grateful for the blessings I get to do to fulfill these things for the dream and path I have chosen freely for myself. Here’s to wonderful opportunities ahead, one day at a time!

Hey Teach! Newbie Teacher in The New Normal

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You could imagine the horror I felt when news broke to me that I got a teaching position for this semester. Honestly, I never saw myself as a teacher. I delivered speaking engagements here and there, but those were temporary opportunities which also induced some kind of anxiety to me. You see, I’ve always been a socially anxious individual who’s perfectly fine doing all the work behind the scenes. My timid personality always got in the way and now that I was to teach, I was just scared and anxious about the whole thing. Getting to speak in front of people for  long hours? Yikes. Worse? I must be the engaging, funny type or else students may get bored to their core. Other than that, what feared me most about this teaching stint is this whole new learning scheme. The online world is not the kind of classroom we’re used to and suddenly we’re all thrust into it because of the pandemic. Dark, dark times indeed.

Working and learning in the online world brought out a different kind of stress to me and certainly, for students out there. For once, I couldn’t distinguish where work and home was. If this were any normal time, I would’ve easily gone home from my 9-5, cut out all work-related stuff and go about with my usual routine at home or catch up with friends over dinner or coffee to rant about our daily stresses. But this time, it’s as if work never ends. It’s like it latches on to you day in, day out. And with the added responsibility of teaching, I was just mentally loaded. Preparing for classes, pre-recording sessions, studying complex materials to make things understandable and interesting in a short span of time– what a challenge! This is why I have mad respect for teachers. I’m so new to this environment that I purely recognize I’m merely standing on the shoulders of giants– giants who are our teachers, born to be educators, who make teaching seem easy breezy to onlookers. What real heroes they are. 

While it requires teachers to make double effort to make learning accessible for everyone, it also is quite a major leap for the part of the students. With our current economic climate and our highly monetized yet slow internet connection, not everyone has the same opportunities and privilege to fully commit in an online learning environment. This is one more reason why I’m both worried and concerned about online learning– not everyone is as privileged to have equal resources. Knowing that, for sure, students may feel some level of frustration and anxiety.

In the end, both teachers and students are simply trying to cope up just to meet in the middle. Right now, my fear of failing from my anchored responsibilities is what really drives me crazy. I just hope all of the work I’m putting in on teaching online, as a newbie teacher, won’t ever go in vain no matter how small those contributions may be. Most of all, there is nothing more I could wish for than for all of us to survive this tough year unscathed. 

 

cycle

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tired is my heart

that goes on living

with every love lost

never found

 

i end up asking myself

wondering,

 

how cruel could this be?

they take my heart away so easily

but it’s never returned

the same way i gave it

was i just unlucky

or will this ever be fate for me?

 

i go on fighting battles i never win

pouring my glass half full

to ones with cups just as broken

and just as empty

staying for ones that never do

 

because all they’ll ever know

is leaving

packed the suitcase

left right outside the door

didn’t want to seal the promises

so here i am,

left dealing with questions

and questions they’ll be, forevermore.

 

tired is my heart

that keeps on going

wishing for it to be brand new

could it hurt any worse than the last

or will it ever find

something as good as dreams do?

harborside ferry

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how is new york city doing?
is it the loneliest it’s ever been?
does it feel drearier
from the last time we spoke?
has the sunshine gone out
now that i’m no longer your safest cloak?
still i wonder from here
i don’t know the answer though
but i bet i’m your greatest narrative untold

there’s an email of yours buried deep
fought the urge to write back a letter
kept rewriting a perfect version
it’s no use, i shake it off,
i’m probably just sitting here
feeling blueblack and miserable

do you ever sit down at a table for two
right across from her and yearn about
how it could’ve been better
if i was holding your hand
fighting tornadoes with you?

i hate the image of you i once knew
but what completely breaks me
is now we’re just each other’s
memories of what was once good
of what was once true

how is new york city doing?
does it feel better now that she’s returned?
has the sun shone brighter
or does my warm smile still lingers?

how is new york city doing?
i hope you’re just fine
if it’s not too much to ask
i hope you think about me
and my words
from time to time.

2 hours past 8

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it’s always 2 hours past eight
here i am waiting for your return to where we left off
as we continue past the previous page
one hello from you
was all it took to wake me up
from this mundane life
i wondered about what lies ahead of us—
will you stay or leave
or should I just quit reading the signs?
we went on about our days
with your tired nights,
darling they were mine
my mornings held on to you;
time zones and ugly distance apart
yet here we are, we stood ground
paying no mind
you save lives for a living
i was the girl with a pen
who’s watching far back so you could shine,
there i listened to your murmurs
seemingly never worried
it didn’t matter what my own
harsh realities were like
you were magnificent for me
to just give up to
you never asked me this
but everyday without question
i always dared say
that i, “choose you
and i kept waiting for 2 hours past eight
that maybe some slight chance
would the stars make
as i was longing for you to say the same too
the anticipation lives for 2 hours past eight
poor girl who never saw this coming;
you being honest was so cruel
staying when all you wanted was to leave
as if doing me any favors
no more waiting for 2 hours past eight
as i say goodbye to a love sticking like stain
two paths meet me, i pick only one
you’d be surprised it isn’t you,
i’ll stand taller here even when you’re no longer standing on the same ground.

roosevelt

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No one will know about

how our story unfolds

in unusual magnificence

they won’t know a thing or two

about how it ended

so I’ll just settle for the memories

now reminiscing.

No one will know about

how far my heart resonated

in a city you call New York

you told me it was always beautiful

but lately it hasn’t felt like home.

Those inside jokes

all the secrets spilled

I tried to do what’s best and erase them

but they chose to leave a mark

still lingering here.

We were “two kindred spirits”, you said

you didn’t seem like the one to lie

they won’t ever know that I

was the girl naive for words like yours

reveling in all of it

believing that with you I had a lifetime.

One day I’ll tell them all about it

how ours was a story

worth telling as it was tragic

for now I’ll keep it right where it should be

in the safety space of my mind

where the possibilities run free

never a trace of your steps leaving

or me walking away from all of it

we’re only floating in the surface

of a glass half full

there was no worry, no end in sight

you were mine

and I

was simply and inevitably

yours.