As I look back on the year that was, I can’t help but describe 2017 as a year that moved by fast enough. Funny how it seemed like it moved in a speed of light and now here we are towards the end of it. I can’t wait to tuck away 2017 in my back pocket and welcome 2018 with open arms.
Recalling, I’ve had quite a year, like most of you. It was something that I’d want to remember yet somehow also forget. I want to vividly remember the places I never knew I’d go to with the best people I could ever ask for and try to erase the not-so-good memories as if they went by in a blur. You could say that though there were great things that occurred, a lot of the time in 2017, I felt pretty down. I’ve had to go through too many tasks at hand, juggling things like I had four arms attached to my body. I’ve wrestled with the idea of wanting to stay through all of this and wait for great things to happen to me or just leave- giving up and foregoing everything else for my dream, because maybe then if I would do that I’d be happier, more content, but I guess that will all just be a part of a great mystery.
I’ve had days when I didn’t speak with God but when I did, I’d fall down on my knees and break down as though I’ve never surrendered before; He understands, He always does. I’ve had people try to break me like I was shock-proof. I’ve heard negativities than I would most days but I treaded on. I was criticized for my softness as if it was nothing else but a declaration for weakness, and was called out for my size, as if I was big enough to fit in. I grappled with my self-doubt, insecurities, and uncertainties. 2017 felt like I didn’t have a voice but I fought hard and won over, still.
Over the course of the year, I got to write beautiful things too without being disturbed by anyone’s approval. It was a year I opened up to my own solitude and held it like treasure in my hands. I met new people who I resonated well with and helped me nurture my ability to sustain passion projects- projects that cared about art and life in general. I didn’t fall in love romantically this year, but I fell in love with people I met, who’ve had stories inspire me to my core. In 2017, I poked fun at my love life, embraced my singleness, and most of all, learned that love comes in different forms and dimensions.
God knows how much I’ve laughed and shed tears in 2017. I was in a rut yet I got out of bed everyday to face life head-on. I don’t know what the next year holds but here’s what I know for now: it brings along a newfound hope that I can always start all over and begin again.
I know, I’ve been away from the blogosphere (if that’s stil how you call it these days) for quite a while. I guess this is my first entry in months, don’t you think? Well, a lot has happened actually and now I found myself towards the end of the year.
A few days back, I was nowhere near the city. I left for a while to spend the holidays over at my grandma’s house. Then I returned just a few days ago to spend 30 hours at a rehab facility. The last thing I would do is spend most of my holidays in on a rehab facility but that was before when I didn’t know half of the things I ought to learn now. Honestly, I wasn’t confident with the idea of having to immerse myself in any mental/rehab facility on my own, for 30 hours, as a requirement for my elective class this semester. I was hesitant and scared to be going to a secluded place such as this but I guess my self-doubt has knocked in on my door again because I think that after my four years of undergraduate studies, I still consider myself half-cooked and unprepared to face the harsh realities Psychologists have to deal with. I’ve had experiences in college but I consider those minor ones- just the tip of the iceber compared today.
I spoke with my client and got to know him over the past few days. I conducted lectures and activities to the entire group no matter how nervous I was. I’d spend afternoons with the persons involved with the facility, settled in well with them, and talked about great things. Man, I haven’t had good conversations in a while. After all of those, I feel pretty proud of myself for overcoming yet another wave of anxiety. More than that, I got to hear them out and listen to all their wounds, flaws, insecurities, past mistakes, and fears, that amidst those they’re trying, doing their best, to become better versions of themselves. To be able to know their stories, well, it does take empathy and an insane amount of courage. You see, it’s hard to make out who they are but when you dig deeper and look past their walls, you’ll know they’re just as beautiful and human in every way.
I think I had the best time to cap off the year! I’ve learned so much in just a matter of days and feel immensely blessed for the experience. Until now, I still don’t get it why others would think Psychology’s a piece of cake, when it’s far from it. Not even close.
Prior to Chingkee and Josh’s wedding preparations, the couple had personally asked me to write a short poem for their wedding invitation. Just the thought of it made my heart swell, so in an instant, I took the opportunity with zero hesitations. But I was somehow a little nervous about it since it was my first time writing for a wedding. I mean, this is their special day! The least I could do was make the words both perfect for them. So with some thinking, tossing, and turning, here came the final output of it.
Chingkee simply wanted something concise yest complete in its entirety, symbolizing their love story. What I liked most about working with the couple was that they gave me creative freedom with my words. More than that, I am just utterly grateful for this rare opportunity given to me.
For collaborations and other projects, contact me at: email@example.com
Photo by Michelle Kim
Wrote this poem for a friend.
There you go
going on and on
telling me about your dreams,
there is a wonder in your voice I hear
that sounds like a plan
I can only yearn to be a part of.
and my mouth pulls up too
but here I am by your side
dying little by little
haunted by the words
I could never tell;
held up by my heart
that has always been
enamored by every tiny speck
that makes up of you.
But I guess I’ll forever
remain this way-
torn between the fear of
me finally saying
so I’ll just spend
days and nights hearing you out
instead of freely falling
as much as I would want to.
The Story Of You (And I) // Alve Aranton
A few days back, Pearl was posting songs from a youtube channel called, TheLazyLazyMe, which features rare songs from independent musicians. Just a few minutes into the first song I clicked into, and I instantly fell in love. I listen to independent music more than I listen to mainstream music and upon discovering that youtube channel, I knew I was going to be floating above the clouds. Here are a few song recommendations I think you should listen to right now. They are a guaranteed ear-candy!
Dancing by Mellow Fellow
Listen when: you feel like slow dancing in a sun lit room with the one you love. Or just dance alone by yourself, that’s fine anyway.
Candy Wrappers by Summer Salt
Listen when: you’re out for a drive or a walk eating popsicle sticks on a hot and humid day.
Power of Love by Kacey Johansing
Listen when: you’re sad for no reason and you just need to hear something mellow.
I Love You So by The Walters
Listen when: you’re feeling so in love you feel you’re heart’s going to burst.
Stomp The Yard by Fantasy Guys
Listen when: you’re feeling lazy at home.
Glowing Brightly by Florist
Listen when: you’re in the mood to cook something up in your little kitchen.
falling for u by peachy
Listen when: you’re sipping your favorite cup of coffee.
Love these tunes? Tell me what’s your favorite!
Ah, I miss this- sitting in a coffee shop, people watching, and getting to write for my blog again. I feel really bad that I don’t spend as much time for my online journal now as I did before. I used to write so consistently around here but now that life has gone pretty hectic and my hands full, it’s a luxury to even find the time to do so. So now here I am, all giddy and excited to share how I’ve been.
In my recent post, I’ve expressed the stress and anxiety that I’ve experienced for the previous months. Well, apparently those things were true. Imagine having a day job, studying for grad school, and running a website with my friend? I had a lot of stuff on my plate. My body wasn’t reacting well with the stress I was feeling thus the frequent migraines I have felt. It was just terrible. Know the feeling of wanting to hit your head so hard on the wall? Yup, that was it. But amidst all those, I’ve held up pretty well, even though I still have a lot to learn from becoming a mindful and graceful person. I’ll get there, for sure.
I’ve also just recently cut my hair this short- one of the few, remarkable things that occurred. I was getting annoyed with how thick and long my hair was getting. Not to mention, I looked 5 years older than my real age with that hair so I was both excited and nervous to get rid off it. Originally, I had asked the hairstylist to just trim it an inch but she ended up cutting it all up shorter than I had expected. At the beginning, I was scared of how short it looked like but later on, I felt much better. Maybe a change of hairstyle wasn’t so bad after all. I was feeling a lot confident with the short ‘do I was having.
There was nothing more that I wanted than to have my me-time with a book. Nothing really compares to the comfort of having a book with you so I bought one after being swallowed up by all the academic papers. It’s a new book by the famous John Green. Man, the sound of every page flick and the smell of every page, is enough to make me fall in love. It’s the little things, you see.
I’m returning to work tomorrow after a few holidays out of the office. I don’t know if I’m set out again to see my desk but for now, I’ll sip my favorite Southern Blend Tea, and write like I used to.
I can’t even begin to explain how exhausting the past few months and weeks have been. Apparently, trying to balance my day job and pursuing graduate school has taken a toll on me. All the demands from my work and classes clash in all at once. It was too much to handle and it’s true what they say, at some point, it would make you go crazy. I can’t imagine what the next semesters and years have in store for me. I mean, this is just the beginning of it all. Phew.
I was doing my best to handle everything in my own hands; foregoing rest, not getting enough sleep, and cancelling on other plans, but I simply ended up feeling mentally, emotionally, and physically drained. My anxiety and migraine was acting up frequently. There are days when the headaches were unbearable and I would just sleep off to ease the pain. Truly, there is nothing glorious about stressing yourself out for working a lot. I’m used to challenge ever since college but I guess things have changed now. Self-care is too a familiar word yet I can’t seem to take a hold of it.
I got by with the help of friends and family who constantly pushed me to move forward a busy week ahead. I prayed so much to God that He sustain me. His strength was all I needed, for certain. Now I’m getting back on track, regaining some strength, as it seems. Days at work keep me engaged and occupied but I’m finally done with all of my papers and tests in school. I can’t wait to start on my reading list and drink a cup of coffee peacefully at my favorite coffee shop without worries clouding up my head.
Someday so soon
you will pour out all this love
without a doubt;
you will love
and be loved
like owning the world
right in your hands
and it would no longer feel like
but every piece missing
but now found
When I look at you,
I am always reminded of the one thing
most old people say,
that the best is yet to come.
And surely you did
right in time when I least knew,
like a surprise-
making my heart beat twice more than it should.
You came in,
never leaving me
a thousand hesitations
like the ones who came before
certainty was all you could give.
I now look back
this must be it
what they say,
because I have never heard love
more reassuring than yours.
Best // Alve Aranton
Photo via Brooke Carli
Most days I feel alright, but some days like today, I don’t feel quite my best. In fact, I’m starting to lose motivation in my tasks. I keep looking for motivation elsewhere but my lazy bum ass can’t seem to find it. You see, I’m at a point in my life where I’m starting to ask questions yet again; about my job, my career or just simply where life will take me in general.
People who know me well that I live to write. I’ve always imagined it- writing articles for a newspaper or famous magazine, starting my very own novel in my apartment, but that is far from where I really am now. The dream job is elusive to its dreamers. It’s been a year working behind a desk, in an office, for 8 (or more) hours a day facing students, working on statistics and numbers, research and other stuff the administration demands of me. And I can’t really help but have the urge to stomp out of the office, scream my lungs out to the universe and beg for a little chance encounter with writing. I wanted to write if I could most days but I couldn’t. I want to spill out fully but when I do, it seems that my words aren’t really there or that I’m just exhausted from a hard day’s labor. My heart and my head are all too noisy arguing, contradicting, which makes up for really terrible writing, I must say.
So many what-ifs surge upon me and I am brought back to the thoughts buzzing inside my head again. What if I had lived an entirely different life than this? What if I flew to a different city and followed where my pen and paper will take me? Had I been courageous enough, would I be happier and more content? Would I even be mulling over the possibilities so far out of my reach like what I constantly do now? The answer to those questions, I’ll probably never really know.
I thought that by now I had figured things out on my own, settling with what I have and accept that this is just how things are but no, we will always feel this way. The uncertainty will always be here, looming above us all, going on and on.
Maybe the dream is still a faraway thing and I’m left with waiting for now. If this is what God sees appropriate for me then I’ll just bloom and grow right where I’m planted.