2017 Year in Review | Life

“What I hope you’ll find in the end is that in the leaving, you don’t just find love, adventure, and freedom. More than anything, you find you.” – Isa Garcia, Found

Part of me wanted to cry and some other part of me just wanted to jump from joy. I have never imagined 2017 to be the year when I almost fall off from the ledge.  There were lots of pull and push, up and down. Yet, I am still here alive, kicking and breathing the air of the new hope this new year may bring.

Most of the days of my 2017 were spent overthinking different circumstances and maybe that’s why I had episodes of anxiety the first 4 months of the year. It was not only on my emotional being it has effect on, but also on the physical aspect. I lose weight. I ate less. My once acne-free face is now acne-prone. Things were really out of hand and I didn’t know what to do. I tried everything I could to lessen the anxiety attacks. I tried meditation, journal-ing, art-ing, painting and I even started to focus on my IG feed. Yet, to no avail. That’s when I realized that I couldn’t do it alone, I couldn’t win battle alone.

That was the turning point. I started to open my heart to any possibilities. I welcomed people in my life, even though I know to myself that this kind of possibilities were uncertain. I gave myself a chance to know people, to see through beyond the doubt, to try to learn the language of most human being — love. I thought I am not capable to speak that language. I could love, yes, but the kind of love people expect in return, I thought, I can’t but I learned I could.

If 2017 had taught me something valuable, it is that my thoughts about myself, those labels I put in my head, those limits I tried to tell myself were just a mere thought, an excuse. 2017 taught me that I am beyond all those things, that I could be the person people never expected me to be, that I am capable, and that I can.

There were lot of things that happened this year. I cannot enumerate everything. What I can say is, 2017 had been the hardest but also the most fulfilling one. Because in all those chaos, I realized that everything has its own season and God is really faithful with His promises.

Happy New Year!


Yien010118

Advertisements

The Other Kind of Truth

I am a doubter. A doubter of anything pleasant and good. For me, one cannot be fully of everything, there will always be a catch, a stumbling block along the way, a pit in a field of happiness. And for the record, this is not a mere speculation. Life itself has brought me to learn this kind of truth.

But I also believe that God is in control. So whatever the stumbling blocks or pit, everything will fall right into place… because that’s how God works… mysteriously but surely.


Yien 12.27.17

The Things I Always Wanted to Say to Everybody

Remember the time when you were too close to the ledge and you didn’t know where to hold on to. You wanted to jump. You wanted to fall off. Because maybe this would mean letting go of control that was trying to suffocate you for the longest time. It didn’t mean that there’s nothing to hold on to. But, you felt your arms couldn’t hold on anymore, your feet wanted an escape. You were trying to hold on but you were weary of always being the first one to reach. For once, you wanted to let go and let others reach your hand. For once, you didn’t want to save yourself alone. And for once, you wanted somebody to save you from jumping off the ledge because you were exhausted of standing and fighting the battles you cannot win alone.

In your head, it was a perfect escape, running from the void, running from those black holes, running from those thoughts that kept you awake and vomiting at 4am. But you were tired. You were weary of all the running you did. You were exhausted of being awake because of anxiety attacks. You were not okay. You were in a black hole. No, every day you were in different black holes. Every day, different, but the same intensity of suffocation. You tried to tell yourself, “I am okay”, “I will be okay”. You tried to smile and pretend that everything was okay. You tried to do mundane things in hopes that everything would fall right into place – you were hoping and praying that it would. And it did.

To You:

Yes, there were demons I’ve tried to battle on my own. And if you didn’t notice, I don’t blame you. It is hard to see through beyond the superficial. I’ve mastered the art of pretending, masking every pain and black marks under my eyes. I don’t blame anyone for something my mind had created. I didn’t blame you because this is my own doing. I didn’t blame you because I’ve chosen to fake a smile and a laugh. No, I didn’t blame you at all. If you did notice and tried to reach out, thank you, I am forever grateful. If you tried to comfort me, thank you, I am happy to know that you care. And I will be forever grateful for people who, without them knowing, in their own little way, those little gestures, those smiles, those jokes, helped me cope and fight those demons.

Right now, I am farther away from the ledge. I am happy that I am far away from jumping and falling off the ledge. I am happy that there are no longer attacks at 4am. I am happy the voices can keep talking but they can’t pull my own voice anymore. I am happy that my heart is still now. And it is you who to blame for this.


Yien 122117

Best of 2017 (Sort of)

To start, this blog is an online personal journal, so if you are reading this, I am warning you that this will be another nonsensical post, a waste of space and time.

17 Best Books I’ve Read So far… (or those books that really left me shattered or boggled and/or inspired).

  1. East of Eden by John Steinback (Read: May 2017)
  2. Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom (Read: June 2009 and re-read many times)
  3. The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis (Read: February 2014)
  4. The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon (Read: December 2016)
  5. Para Kay B by Ricky Lee (Read: October 2010 and re-read many times)
  6. All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven (Read: July 2015)
  7. Kane Chronicles: The Throne of Fire by Rick Riordan (Read: October 2016)
  8. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (Read:  September 2015)
  9. The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis (Read: February 2014)
  10. Britt-Marie Was Here by Frederik  Backman (Read: June 2017)
  11. The First Phone Call from Heaven by Mitch Albom (Read: December 2013)
  12. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis (Read: June 2013)
  13. Si Amapola sa 65 Kabanata by Ricky Lee (Read: November 2014)
  14. The Unicorn Road by Martin Davies (Read: October 2014)
  15. Kung Alam Nyo Lang by Ricky Lee (Read: November 2017)
  16. The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien (Read: January 2015)
  17. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky (Read: April 2014)

17 Best Songs I’ve Listened to so far… (or songs that I couldn’t get over. It’s either I am speechless while listening to it or I would be dancing or singing my heart out)

 

 

Life Lately | 01

It’s the first week of December already and I haven’t posted anything yet here for almost 2 months I guess. And I absolutely regret to leave this blog on a negative tone, my last public post was really a melancholic one. I have a few good reason for being MIA: first, life is really happening right now and I don’t have ample time to write; second, I tried to write, I tried really hard but I cannot make myself write anything cohesive, and; third, I’ve written some poetry and prose, however, I deliberately did not post it on this blog.

Please excuse me for this waste of space and time.

What happened, October?

Many firsts happened last October:

  • First Out of the Country Travel!!! Meaning 1st time to be out of my comfort zone… meaning meeting new people… meaning seeing new culture. We (my sister and I) went to Malaysia and Singapore.

To my surprise, I was somewhat comfortable with the new environment. I could sleep well on a different bed which was very unlike me. I could eat well on a different environment which again was very unlike me. I’ve never seen myself comfortable in a new environment which was very surprising.

  • First time I was really disappointed with Neil Gaiman’s work (*ehem* Stardust).
  • First time to really have my heart feel the way I felt. Okay, that’s vague but I cannot rewrite or re-explain myself… just read this link.  It is not like I am not proud of this new season I am in, but, this is the kind of thing I am not comfortable talking about, my friends can vouch for me about this.

What happened, November?

  • I’ve finished reading three books!

Kung Alam N’yo Lang by Ricky Lee

Ricky Lee never disappoints. Love is really an understatement for this masterpiece!

The Maps that Contain Us by Marla Miniano & Reese Lansangan

First time to read a collection of flash fiction and poetry and it did not disappoint.

Holding Up The Universe by Jennifer Niven

Review is on Goodreads.

  • November I became a certified Tita of Makati… meaning I am really busy taking care of my niece.
  • November also was the month of rekindling friendship.
  • I am back from art slump for almost 2 months!
  • 1 month in a relationship. Yey! No, I will not elaborate.

Life lately was full of surprises and unexpected circumstances. I learned so many things and lessons from what happened the past months. And I am happy on how life unfolds before my eyes. I am still in awe on how God orchestrate everything. I love how grounded I can be in this season of my life. I am forever grateful to God for all the blessings He has bestowed me. I am forever grateful.

There is a time for everything. – Ecclesiastes 3:1


 

The Voice | 2

You let your voice out. But your words came out wrong. It exited your mouth like a rapid river trying to suck all the people happily playing in the water. You are so used on letting your voice be silenced by your fear. Then when it finally came out, your voice sounds like a piercing knife.

You let your voice be heard this time and then you quiver. You’re not so used with this kind of voice. You’re not so used on hearing it audibly. You wished you haven’t spoken at all.

You let your words came out. Like a song on its last song syndrome, happily then daunting then painful then it cannot stop you from feeling coward again. You let the words out, the words that made you up for the first 4 months of this year. You let the words out, the words you’ve been keeping to yourself since 2010.

And those words, from the past, it is like a phone ringing with an introvert holding it. It is haunting. It pierces. It slices. You said it will never haunt you again. But it did.

Those words finally came out and I am inside again. Rewinding what I’ve just said. Replaying the syllables and wanting it to be pushed back. But it can’t. Letting people know what you’ve been through, letting them have the glimpse of the chaos inside you… It is suffocating than freeing.

I’ve already mastered the art of being silent. Maybe this is it. My voice shouldn’t be heard after all.


Yien100717

When you are falling in a forest and there’s nobody around, did you ever really crash or even make a sound?

I Hope This Make Sense

I hope what I write make sense.

I don’t even know where this will be going.

What I know is I am letting out words that simply pass through my mind.

Maybe I’m tired of the echoes.

I’m tired of the rushing thoughts.

Wait, I don’t have rushing thoughts these past days.

Maybe this time I have made peace with my thoughts.

Maybe they are there, quietly looking for signs to get out.

But, right now, they are quiet.

Quiet?

What is quiet?

I can’t even determine words synonymous to quiet.

The silence is not something I am accustomed to.

Silence, for me, is on those nights without any dreams,

without the recurrent words,

without the constant nagging voice that says things I don’t want to hear.

Right now, the silence is creeping in,

should I enjoy it? Should I be alarmed of it?

For now, I’ll enjoy the silence.


Yien092617

 

On Pushing, Not Giving Up and Showing Up

Today marks my 5th year in the corporate world. Every year, I make sure to blog about my experiences and feelings about my stay in this world I have never imagined myself to be this very long.

Being here in this particular job is a love-hate relationship. It is like I am extending and flexing myself to be someone I am not. And yet, I am here because of the simple fact that I know God wants me here, right at this place, right at this moment.

There are lot of times I wanted to give up and just leave this competitive corporate world. There are lot of times that this job made me anxious and left me self-pitying to the point I am at the verge of giving in to depression. But why I am still here, if this is the case?

What I learned about this life is even though you’ve been in this black hole of self-pity, anxiety and depressing thoughts, you need to show up and push through. Not letting the black holes to pull you and eat you alive.

Showing up is hard. Pushing through is hard. Most especially, when you are in a love-hate relationship with the job you have right now. But showing up can do wonders. Pushing through even though you don’t want to can also do wonders.

I realized that in life, even if you feel withdrawing yourself from the world; even if you feel like giving up; even if you feel not being good enough… showing up makes a whole lot of difference.

So, I am here. I am still here. I am still breathing the air of competitiveness, still learning about adult life, still thriving to push and still testing the boundaries.

Right now, I am just enjoying the process. I am enjoying the learning. I am enjoying the experiences I may gain in this world. For now, I am here and I am not giving up.

“Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.”- 1 Peter 5:7


Yien081817

080817

The past months have been very hard for me in almost every aspect of my life. I got too frustrated a lot and oftentimes it manifested in my works, words and actions. And most of the time, I wanted to give up. Spiritually, I knew there was something wrong with me. There were a lot of times I forgot to pray or devote time to talk to God or even read the Bible. Sometimes, when I read the Bible, it seemed like nothing is sticking up in my head. I know there is something wrong with my heart.


However, last weekend, it seems I am having a renewed sense of spirituality. I began my Saturday with reading the Bible, praying and devoting a time to talk to God. And it was really refreshing.  It is as if all the battles I’ve been fighting for almost 7 months have vanished.


“Do not lose heart,” God said. And it stuck in my head.
“Do not lose heart,” God said and I trust Him.
“Do not lose heart,” God said and my heart steadied.

 

Yes, Lord, I will not lose heart


Yien080817

20170806_141256-01

Note to My Younger Self | 12 | 25

“Sing to me the song of the stars
of Your galaxy dancing and laughing
and laughing again
When it feels like my dreams are so far
Sing to me of the plans that You have for me over again”

25 has brought you here, in this moment, the moment of true surrender, the moment of letting the voice inside your head be heard, the moment of finally letting go of control, and finally taking your own advice.

You are meant to live for so much more. Don’t lose yourself finding out life, finding out if dreams truly do come true. Don’t lose yourself in looking for tangible things. Don’t lose your footing on the ground because the ground will take you to many places if you just remain grounded.

You are meant to live for so much more. The world will offer you many things, many temporary highs. But remember, what you are called for. Remember the very purpose of your existence.

You are meant to live for so much more. So don’t let your predetermined plans get in God’s way. Don’t let your futile attempt to be more, slip you away from your true calling.

You are meant to live for so much more. You are meant to love.

You are meant to live for so much more. So much more that you shall not settle for anything less of what you deserve. Don’t settle to things that make your heart ache. Don’t settle to people who make you feel little. Don’t settle to the life this world got to offer. Because I tell you, this world does not compare to anything God has in store for you.

Lastly, Julienne, you are meant to live for so much more. Don’t let control control you. Don’t let your grip suffocate you. Don’t let yourself hold you back.


This is the last from the Sunday Series, Note to My Younger Self.  To read the previous posts, click the following:

Note to My Younger Self | 01 | 2007 (Best Shot)

Note to My Younger Self | 02 | 2008 (Goodbyes)

Note to My Younger Self | 03 | 2009 (Everything’s Okay)

Note to My Younger Self | 04 | 2010 (Hard Times)

Note to My Younger Self | 05 | 2011 (Learning to Breathe)

Note to My Younger Self | 06 | 2012 (Endings & Beginnings)

Note to My Younger Self | 07 | 2013 (More)

Note to My Younger Self | 08 | 2014 (Slow Down)

Note to My Younger Self | 09 | 2015 (Set Apart)

Note to My Younger Self | 10 | 2016 (Defying Gravity)

Note to My Younger Self | 11 | 2017 (Lesson Learned)

Note to My Younger Self is a 12-week Sunday Series that aims to make sense of my past in order for me to move on to the present without extra baggage.



Photo Credit: Staring at the Sky