An open letter to the current you

Dear You,

You have to let go.

You have to accept that things between the two of you will never be the same. You have to learn that when you ended your relationship, your friendship will eventually fall apart. You have to see things through his eyes and not just what you want to see. You have to stand up on your own. Stop finding reasons to hold on to something you have let go.

I know you don’t understand why your friendship has to suffer when you are willing to fight for that friendship without second thoughts. I know you consider him your bestest friend not that you have many which makes it even harder for you. But you hurt him when you chose to walk away and the pain is far greater than being your friend. You have to think not only of yourself but of others as well.

Change is inevitable. It’s bound to happen. You want to go out of your comfort zone, right? Isn’t this your comfort zone? All changes are scary. You aren’t used to it but you have to be brave and courageous and have faith that everything is going to turn out right. Save yourself from disappointments. It’s not the same anymore.

It’s hard to say goodbye to a ten year friendship. It’s difficult to break old habits—turning to him when things get tight. You have let go. This time you have to really let go. Maybe in the future when you see each other again, the friendship would still be there. A true friendship will stay even if you don’t see or talk to each other. Time can only tell.

Be brave. You’re a strong person. You have a path you want to take. It may not happen now but you know you’ll get there because you want to be there. Don’t let your current struggles bring you down. It’s not the end of your journey. It’s the beginning of a new one and whenever you close a chapter of your life, there are characters that you have to leave behind because they don’t fit the story anymore.

People come and go but there is someone who will stay with you no matter what, if you let Him. Hold the hand of someone greater than you—greater than what people can give you. You have forgotten. No one said this journey is a piece of cake. There are times you won’t feel okay. You can always go back and strengthen your connection with Him. Then one day you’ll realize that everything is according to His plan. The road getting there seem difficult but remember what they always say, there is a light after all of this.

Be kind to yourself and be happy—even without a best friend.

Love,

Your Rational-Positive-Self

Waiting—in His Time

I lived half of my life in the metro. I spent my childhood looking at how the city progress for a decade, only spending the holidays and summer in the province. I am accustomed to how fast the life here is. I’ve learned to adapt with the busy lives of the adults around me. It wasn’t a big deal because in the eyes of a child or a fourteen year old teenager, life in the city is perfect. It changed when I have to move to the province thirteen years ago to live with my grandmother and finish school. It wasn’t easy.  Imagine growing up in a place where you can see people even at wee hours in the morning, sleeping late at night and waking up at noon and then suddenly transported in a town that sleeps at six in the evening and wakes up at dawn. I learned to cope and I got used to it but it doesn’t mean I don’t miss the city. I do. So I moved back.

I never thought I’d feel the need to move somewhere else, again.

For the past seven years, I’ve been living in the hustle and bustle of the metro, (almost) on my own, thinking of how to survive each day without the comfort of family. Seven years of pollution, crazy traffic, busy schedule and high cost of living. Life as an adult in the city isn’t the same as when you’re a teenage girl thinking only of your studies, friends and your daily allowance. As a grownup it entails responsibilities and unending commitment either from work, peers, and colleagues or to whatever endeavor you have right now. The first five years were fine. I get by. I still have the drive. I was living in a place that is demographically a part of a province but is only a few hours from Manila depending on traffic and a few minutes away from one of the metro’s business districts. I still get to spend my rest days in a town that is almost urban but still laid back which is probably why the urge of moving to a different place is easy to ignore—until six months ago.

I was living with relatives at first in Caloocan then moved to a rented room somewhere in Sampaloc near the University Belt. A few months after I moved to a condo in Cainta, stayed for a year and then transferred to an apartment in a different Barangay of the same town for almost 3 years. I moved back to the same condo in Cainta two years ago and then things happened last November, I decided to temporarily stay with my Mom’s friend in Caloocan for 2 months. I looked for an apartment in the same area, packed my things and started living on my own, alone this time, last February. I moved seven times in seven years. That’s a lot of packing and unpacking boxes, getting the feel of the place, adjusting to new travel time to work or when going out with friends in meet up places far from my place, and making an effort to make the house I’m living in a home, not to mention the money spent whenever I move. Those seven times of moving places is out of necessity. It’s not like I have an option. I moved because I need to not because I want to.

I’m tired of the city life.
Living alone for the past months means going home to an empty house. No pets. No housemates. No boyfriend. No neighbors. Technically, you have neighbors next door but you don’t see them, once in a while maybe. Apartments for those who just relocated to Manila to work aren’t like the ones you go home to where you grew up. It’s not a neighborhood; it’s a house where you sleep in. It’s literally a place where you leave your things and take a bath then go somewhere else to earn money. I should have gotten used to it, considering that I’d been here for years, going home to my hometown only if time permits it. Sometimes I don’t even go home because after the busy week you had in the office, you’d want just to lie in your bed and sleep the whole day. The difference this time is that I’m alone—in a chaotic, hot as hell (in terms of the weather), not really a remarkable city of Caloocan. Yes, I lived here before. I practically spent my growing up years in this area. I know how the life here is. I can tolerate it but no one said I should like it. Moving to different places made me see how better other cities are compared here. I know I can just move again, however, it’s just a 30-minute travel to the office, a big advantage from my usual 2-3 hours travel time coming from Rizal, and the apartments here are a lot cheaper. See? Necessity.

I want to pack my bags and move somewhere far from the frantic, non-stop life of the metro.
I went to Malolos, a city in the province of Bulacan, to see a friend last May. It made me realize how tired I was with the kind of lifestyle I have right now. Of how I am barely surviving. I’d been pushing this at the back of my mind for so long now. I started thinking of moving back to the north late 2013. I want it so bad in the beginning of this year but I knew that I am not emotionally and financially ready. It has to wait. And then when I saw the life my young friend is living, of the neighborhood they have, of the laid back lifestyle of the place, I suddenly missed my hometown. I missed the simple life of the province, of the people going through life at their own pace as if they have all the time in the world.

I missed home.

I have this ongoing argument with some friends who lived their entire lives in their respective cities in the province that their lifestyle is laidback compared when you are in the metro. “It’s a city,” they said.  “Yes, it’s a city in THE province,” I pointed out. “It is not a city in the metro.” They would just roll their eyes and let me win the discussion. If you haven’t tried the way of living in the metropolis and if you are planning to move to the big city coming from a smaller town to experience the adult independent life, you have to be prepared. Leave your comfort zone and be brave. Don’t forget to be smart because if not, the big city will eat you alive.

Am I really giving up?
I’m asking myself if I am just running away from the memories of my life here. Partly, yes. I want to start over. Like a reset. I realized that nothing is really holding me to stay here aside from practical reasons. I need my job. I need the money. Even if I want to go now, I can’t. Not yet. If only Pangasinan is just an hour or two travel from Manila, I would go home every weekend to rest before going back to face the crazy life of the big city. I wouldn’t feel so tired or alone.

No, I am not giving up. I just want something else.

I didn’t expect that what I want seven years ago is not the same with I want seven years after. It’s also true that there are things you can’t have right now. I’m giving myself enough time to prepare and do what I want.  I’m done pushing myself to something that is not going to happen yet no matter how much I want it. He has reasons why He isn’t giving me what I want now. Probably He has another plan for me or maybe He feels that it’s not the right time yet. I’ll leave it up to Him. I just have to remind myself to be patient and wait. I know I’ll get my answers—in His time.

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. – Jeremiah 29:11

Top Ten Blogging Confessions

An original feature/weekly meme created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

I’m not sure if I have some quirks I can share because I’m not a year-round blogger. I blog only when I feel like it. I still can’t believe I’ve been doing this for 4 years, albeit not very often, I still consider this a milestone. As part of my 4th year blogversary related posts, here are some blogging things you don’t know about me (or maybe you do).

  1. I don’t write everyday. Most of my reviews are written weeks, some months, before I post them.
  2. I like writing in the office especially if I don’t feel like working. (I know, I should be working my ass off but tamad [1] days are really tamad.)
  3. I used to write my reviews in my Nokia N900. When it died I switched to android which made my writing life a lot difficult because whenever I try to write using Bluebell (my Sony Xperia Z2, I started naming my gadgets last year) I always end up playing android games and browsing social networking sites. This reinforces #2 because we don’t have access to those sites (even Google) in the office.
  4. I seldom write my entries in my desktop at home because all types of distractions are there: online games, unlimited net browsing, lurking in social networking sites, browsing for new books to read and downloading them even if I don’t really have plans to read it, watching Asian dramas, and there was also an Xbox with dozens of downloaded games which makes it more difficult to sit down and write. This was before the big change; I am now using my old laptop that doesn’t have games, I cancelled my internet connection, I don’t watch Asian dramas as of late, and there is no console anywhere. BUT. I still seldom use my laptop to write because Bluebell has an unlimited net connection, I stay up very late almost everyday talking to someone in Skype and/or Viber, I have tons of books to read (ebook and actual books), and I started to get freaking-addicted to American shows. Again back to #2.
  5. I haven’t joined any blog tour or author interviews yet. I’m afraid to make a commitment because I may not meet the deadline or post on the day I committed but I’ll TRY to change that this year (or next year).
  6. Whenever I review Asian shows and films, I make sure that the hype is long over or it’s not yet shown here in the country. I don’t know why but I don’t feel like posting things just because it’s the talk of town and it’ll generate lots of traffic.
  7. I have a writer’s block 70% of the time—okay, make that 75%.
  8. I try not to judge people who read E.L James but sometimes I can’t help raise my eyebrows if they act as if it’s the best book they read when in reality it was the only trilogy they read next to Twilight. We have tons of better books out there.
  9. In my earlier years, not just in blogging but in my social life as well, I tend to be so obstinate to the point of sarcasm whenever I give my opinion. I toned that down a bit as I aged. Part of growing up I guess. I’m still very honest and *cough* harsh but I try to balance them and be a little sensitive at times. That is a conscious effort, I tell you.
  10. I rarely talk about personal things in my blog. I’m not comfortable sharing too much of my personal life. If the mood strikes and I wanted an outlet, I use my blog to let it out. I also have the tendency to bottle it up and then be on a blogging hiatus when I’m going through something. I write about it when I’m ready or I’m already through it. I go back to blogging, reading, watching series and such, and seeing my friends when I’m emotionally okay. So if you see months where I seldom post, you’ll have an idea something is up. If you’re asking me my state now, do I have to spell it out? =)

#OfftheWall@4

***
[1] Lazy or as Bruno Mars said, “Today I don’t feel like doing anything. I just wanna lay in my bed.”

Mixtape: Side A

I’d been meaning to write a post of the songs I’ve been listening for the past few weeks but I haven’t really wanted to sit down and write it. If not because of Aaron’s activities for our TFG’s F2F30, I would have skipped doing this.

I don’t know if it’s therapeutic listening to songs that somehow shows the current state of your heart or you’re just adding insult to the injury. I believe the songs I usually listen to these days will give you an idea what I am feeling and what I am going though.  People seek the comfort of songs when they’re sad or when they’re happy—for me that is the case. With the selection I have now, I need not say more. You’ll get me.

1. The Heart of the Matter by India.Arie

I’ve been learning to live without you now
But I miss you sometimes
The more I know, the less I understand
All the things I thought I knew, I’m learning them again
I’ve been tryin’ to get down to the Heart of the Matter
But my will gets weak
And my thoughts seem to scatter
But I think it’s about forgiveness

It’s a shame to admit but this song made me cry like a child. It was the onset of my depression. I moved to my own place and suddenly, everything sink in. You think of a lot of things when you are alone. You feel more than what you let yourself feel. The song is right; the bottom line is, I need forgiveness. I need to forgive myself. Easier said that done.

2. Still Hurting from the Last 5 Years Soundtrack

Jamie’s convinced that the problems are mine
Jamie is probably feeling just fine
And I’m still hurting

The piano part is so sad, you’ll weep. I did. Especially when I realized that I have my share of mistakes too, that the problems are mine too. I asked myself, how come he is okay and I am not? Someone told me that I shouldn’t speculate of how the other party is coping. He may look alright but we don’t know what he went through to get there or he may look okay but we don’t know what he really feels inside. Moving on is not the same process for everyone. Sad songs when you’re sad? No. But I can’t help it.

3.  The Art of Letting Go by Sabrina

How do I start to live my life alone?
Guess I’m just learning,
Learning the art of letting go

This was the hardest question of all, how do I start to live my life alone? Seven years of being together, how can one start from having a plus one for almost a decade to living alone? There is also the friendship that you don’t want to lose. Everything past the separation is learning. Learning to live alone. Learning to accept the things you cannot change. Learning to accept what you have now. Learning to let go. Learning to be happy alone.

4.  Alone by Sara Evans

You should know that I don’t give up easily
But sometimes for things to grow, they need some rain
And sometimes loving me just means leaving me alone

For some reason I added this in my playlist when I was making a late entry for an activity for Aaron’s discussion. I’d been on a limbo of emotions. There are words that you can never really express that only a song can easily tell how you feel.

5.  Starts with Goodbye by Carrie Underwood

It’s sad, but sometimes moving on with the rest of your life,
Starts with goodbye.

If I heard this song three weeks ago I would have played it on a loop and cry. I still play it on a loop these days but I don’t cry anymore. Because no matter how I see it, I know that it was the right decision. It hurt. Both of us was hurt. I just have to remember what the song says.

6. Steady My Heart by Kari Jobe

What’s good and what gets broken
Happens just the way You plan

This had been my prayer when all of this started. For Him to steady my heart. With all the heartache and tears I had the past months, I know that this happened according to His plan. And if I have to be thankful of what I have achieved since I acknowledged what I was going through, it’s the faith I found which I’d been struggling to build last year. In the time I needed someone most, I know that He is there listening to me.

7.  The Heart of Worship by Matt Redman

I’m coming back to the heart of worship
and it’s all about You, it’s all about You, Jesus.

This was the first song the Praise and Worship team sang when I attended Cornerstone for the first time. It was the time I truly felt I’m coming back. Since then I’d been listening to this song whenever I feel life is taking a toll on me.

8.  Tuloy Parin by Flip Music Artist

Tuloy pa rin ang awit ng buhay ko
Nagbago man ang hugis ng puso mo
Handa na ‘kong hamunin ang aking mundo
‘Pagkat tuloy pa rin

After all the sad songs I’d been listening to, imagine I had something upbeat in my playlist. Life doesn’t stop when your heart gets broken. I will not be sad forever. Life goes on.

9.  Lord I’m Ready Now by Plumb

I ran away from you
And did what I wanted to
But I don’t wanna let you down
Oh Lord I’m ready now

Finding faith again is not an easy journey especially when you are alone. I tried so hard last year but I guess I halfheartedly did it. But now—I felt I am ready. I will not run away anymore. And this song reminds me of that.

*****

A fellow blogger do this every year. I don’t know if I’m gonna do that as well. Although I still have Side B to share. I’m not much into music because I usually listen to the same songs/artists over and over but thanks to Spotify, I’m starting to find the beauty of listening to random songs in random genres.

The playlist has a lot of #feels. I can’t help it. It’s the year of #hugot anyway.  So what songs shows the current state of your heart?