Note to My Younger Self | 04 | 2010

“Life does not censor pain.”

This was the weakest you’ve been. I can’t say 2010 was the hardest because every year has its fair share of challenges. But what I can attest is that this year was the weakest and darkest point of your life.

I told you last week that what you were feeling the year before would not compare to what you would be feeling the following years. And it was true. This was the year you cried to sleep at night. The year when you withdrew and isolate yourself. The year when you want to be invisible. The year when life seemed to crumble down in front of you. You were pushing people away but there was nothing new to that. What’s new was you finally close the doors, to never ever let people in, to never ever trust people. Because in letting people in, you give them the ticket to break you and disappoint you.

You were to blame for what had happened, you thought. It was your fault, you felt. You badly wanted to numb the pain by being invisible but the thing was you felt everything. You refused to be held, to be comforted. You refused any help possible. You were physically present, but your mind was somewhere else.

You were too vulnerable that time. You thought you couldn’t move forward and I couldn’t blame you because what had happened was something you didn’t expect to happen. Because how could you? You’ve been good to all the people you know. You’ve been genuinely caring. You’ve been very supportive. Yet, people always have something bad to say about you. It was not like you were a saint or holy person, you also have a share of flaws and mistakes but still you thought it would never happen to you. But it did.

Younger self, what I can tell you right now is that it is part of life. I guess you will be hearing that from me a lot. Because as I look back to what had happened on 2010, I can honestly say to you that everything that had happened is part of the grander picture, what happened to you was just a little dot of the big picture.

Younger self, life does not censor pain. It will never be like a movie, censored, sugarcoated and romanticized. It will give you what you needed. It will give you rotten apples instead of giving you ripe ones because that is just the way it is.

Also, younger self, don’t push people away again. Aren’t you getting tired of the same tactic? Haven’t you realized that your tactic aren’t working? Because people stayed. And for goodness sake, your friends… they want to help you, they want to comfort you, they want to hold your hands. You will eventually learn that those friends were the ones who led you to joy, just wait and see.

Younger self, remember this: what you are feeling right now will never compare to what God has in store for  you.


To read Sunday Series, Note to My Younger Self, click the following:

Note to My Younger Self | 01 | 2007

Note to My Younger Self | 02 | 2008

Note to My Younger Self | 03 | 2009

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: Alison Sherwood

Note to My Younger Self | 03 | 2009

“Everything’s okay”

It was hard… finding new friends. For a person like you who lives in her own bubble, at her own pace, in her own mind palace, it was hard finding souls that would make your soul leap for joy. Because if you did find new people, it was as if, you were being unfair to your old friends for making yourself available to new endeavors without them. So you pushed people away because you thought that was the right thing to do. You pushed, you never let people in, you never opened up. You were and are always like that. You looked for all the flaws in a person, that way it was easier to push, it was easier to leave them behind. You looked for any possible mistakes they made and made yourself believe that it was their fault.

But, you know all along that you were the problem. You were always the problem. I don’t know why were you so afraid to let people in? Why were you so afraid people will know you? Why were you so afraid of trusting people? I know you were tired, you were tired of people leaving and making you believe that they will stay for the long-run. I know you were weary of all the dramas people could bring to your life. I know you were frustrated of people disappointing you. But, are these the right reasons to push people away? Are these reasons worth it for you not to try to make friends?  Are these the right reasons for you not to give people a chance to know you?

You’ve been there for so long and I admit, up until now, this issue still remain. But you know what I learned in 8 years since 2009… as cliche as it may sound but “that’s life!” Life even as unexpected as it is, has its own share of monotony. People leaving and people breaking your trust are like a mundane 9-5 job. In the long run, it will bore you and it will no longer break you. It is part of growing up and I think it is the nature of life.

And I am going to tell you this… the next years would be tough ones, what you were feeling now would be worse in the coming years. 2009 was just the beginning. But remember, don’t you ever settle to this feeling, because life will get better, it will. Everything will be okay. Trust me, I’ve been there. Trust your future. Trust that you will find people worth keeping (because you did). Trust that you will experience joy (because you did). Trust that you will find the missing piece in your life (just wait, because you did).


To read the first & second in the Sunday Series, Note to My Younger Self, click the following:

Note to My Younger Self | 01 | 2007

Note to My Younger Self | 02 | 2008

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: Flickr

Note to My Younger Self | 02 | 2008

“I made a list of things I love just in case you go. All my life has been about waiting for people to go.”

It is funny; I couldn’t see or read any journal entry or poem you wrote. Nothing. As if 2008 didn’t exist at all. May be you’re happy that time so you didn’t bother to write anything or was it just your life then was very random that writing it would be a waste of time? So I tried my best to remember what had happened. And this is what your present self can remember…

I can still feel the emotions while you were marching down the stage with your white toga: feeling of uncertainties, feeling of inadequacies, feeling of lost, feeling of longing, yet, you were also feeling the relief,  feeling a new sense of hope, feeling of standing strong and making your dreams come true.

GOODBYE!

You thought that moment was the worst because you were leaving behind friends, classmates and the familiar scent of the school you invested your 7 years of existence. You cried and that was the last time you allow yourself to cry in public. Because it was okay then to cry, because you were leaving all the familiar things you once knew, you were stepping out from your 7 years of comfort, you were stepping to the unknown life (a make or break life, you thought). You cried because the future is uncertain. You cried and made vows of long-term friendship. You of all people knew that promises are meant to be broken. But you still promised to be there and the unavoidable things happened, you and your friends grew apart and it scared a hell out of you. You were scared because you were afraid of being left-behind, of goodbyes, of things uncertain.

GOODBYE!

Yes, younger self, goodbyes are part of life. People will leave you behind without saying anything. Or you will leave people behind also without saying anything. And that is okay. Because in the following years, you will learn that life is always like that, closing doors, opening new ones that will eventually close. And that is also okay. Because there are still people who will stay no matter what, no matter how hard you push them away (yes, younger self, up to now you have still this tendency to push people away). Thank God for that kind of people, cherish them, love them in ways you know.

GOODBYE!

Younger self, goodbye is a great reminder that everything shall pass. Your heartaches, your mistakes, your negative thoughts shall pass too, that these will not remain. Remember that.


To read the first in the Sunday Series, Note to My Younger Self, click here.

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: Flickr


 

Hey Grace!

“If grace is an ocean, we’re all sinking…”

Today, I was reminded by you. Oh, grace, in every unexpected moments of my life, you’ve been there. In every boring parts of my existence, you’ve been there. And to tell you truthfully, I can’t see myself without you.

There were times, when I forget how you work. I thought I was entitled by everything I have, not realizing that you and you alone made me worthy of everything. There were times, I thought I could do it all to the extent that I would be drowning with my own frustrations without realizing that you and you alone can make everything work.

I am looking at my journals from the past years and I am astounded and in awe on how my experiences lead me into this person I am right now. Grace, you are the reason why. Without you, maybe, I am not alive today. Remember the time that I almost gotten hit by an SUV? It was you who saved me because you know that I am not done yet. Or that time that my family almost had a car accident? But because of you, we are safe and sound right now. Or the time when I really wanted to eat my mom’s “sopas” but she’s living far away and then the food vendor gave me a free “sopas”? And I the list go on, on how you show me who you are. With all those that had happened in my life, you keep on reminding me of the cross and how a Man sacrificed His life for me, that’s you, Grace, the free unmerited favor of God. The favor which I do not deserve. The favor that is freely given. The favor that I am thankful for.

I don’t know what I have done to be worthy of you. With all those bad things that had happened, with all those bad words I said, with all those inexcusable actions I made, with all those things I should’ve said but didn’t, with all those slipping away, Grace, you still remain.  You remain.


Note to My Younger Self | 01 | 2007

“Don’t dull the sparkle in your eyes.” – Stay the Night, Zedd ft. Hayley Williams

I know what you have felt. When I think of 2007, I think of the times you wanted to be someone: someone who is worth their time, their effort; someone who excel; someone who is not an almost.

But also, when I think of 2007, I think of the days that even when people made you feel unappreciated, you still gave them your best: your best smile, your best laugh, your best joke, your best shot. Even at times when you felt the world is trying to pull you down, you managed to stay on your footing and hold on to what the future can bring.

You stayed. With many hesitations, suppression and hiding… you stayed.

Your eyes still sparkle even the world is keeping you dull. And I believe that is why people like to be with you. You never fail to see the goodness of everyone. You never fail to see the little sparkle of hope in everyone’s eye. Your eyes speak hope. And to tell you truthfully, hope is the only thing that is keeping this world and the people around you alive.

No, younger self, don’t dull the sparkle in your eyes. Let it spark. Let it be the light. Let it be hope.


Photo credit: Beauty Moves Me

Why I Seldom Talk About Art?

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Talking about art is way different from showing it. Showing it means people can only see the end result, an instagram-worthy result, with the right angle, right lighting and right filter… voila, a picture perfect art.

 

Little did you know the pain, the frustration, the stress and the never-ending voice of self-pity. Little did you know the frustration whenever the hands don’t cooperate. Little did you know the stress whenever the deadline is coming on. Little did you know how the voices can ruin an innocent art day. And little did you know the pain, physical and emotional, the pain of seeing other’s work and comparing it to yours, for yours is below par… So you beat yourself up, telling yourself you are not good enough , you are not cut out for this, you are simply disillusioned. These are hidden to all the eyes looking at the end result. 

And that’s why I don’t talk about arts that much. I don’t even call myself an artist. I can’t even distinguish colors of the same hue. I can’t even draw a straight line. I don’t have a professional training. Sometimes I want to delete all the traces of art on my IG feed, just because I feel I am not good enough for this.

The process is frustrating, stressful and painful. The process is tiring. I have once given up on arts. I told myself, “I will never ever draw or do any art.” But then, art has its way on finding its way back.

Even though I have a love-hate relationship with arts, it has been my refuge when words and sentences fail. It has given me freedom to be someone, to tell stories, to see the world in a different hue, to see the beauty of the world and to share God’s glory.

I could give you a lot of pep talks right now, but the only thing I could tell you that matter is this: TRUST THE PROCESS, even your hands don’t cooperate, your self-pity is growing, your frustration is at its peak, and the pain is unbearable. Just trust the process!

Yien042217

I will not post a Sunday Currenty feature today. Unfortunaletly, I decided to post a Sunday Currently only once a month because it is taking up most of my blog. But if you want to know what I am currently up to and what it is like to be inside my thoughts, you could follow me on my Twitter account (@yienxa25).

Sunday Currently | 05

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This week has been very productive in terms of the writing aspect of my life. I have written a poem (which I will never publish here on my blog), a guest blog post (which I don’t know if I will share it here because it is too personal), a book blog entry (which was posted yesterday) and this Sunday Currently entry. And that’s why my brain is kind of in a zombie mode these past few days.

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Reading

A.W. Tozer’s The Attribute of God: A Journey into the Father’s Heart. So far, this book is overwhelming (in a good sense). I am hoping I could write something about it after I finish the book.

Writing

Sunday Currently 5. I am glad that I have finished writing my guest blog entry and I have already submitted it last Friday. In fact, I have written 3 drafts for that guest blog. I finally concluded that it is really hard to blog about your personal life. I still don’t know if I will share it here on my blog since it is too personal. Reasons are: (1) I will never know who in my circle of friends/colleagues/family will read it; (2) I don’t want people I know to decipher my deepest thoughts; (3) I am a coward lady; (4) I don’t like people I know to think I am very into that thought (haha.. vague); (5) Anxiety.

So, you may ask, why did you agree to write some personal stuff? The blogosphere is different from real life. The people I know here in this blog world is never judgmental and I will never see them in real life. My fear is when people I know or those people I always talk to personally may read what I’ve written. I am just uncomfortable with that.

Okay, why am I explaining myself? -_-

Listening

to nothing – well, the sound of the electric fan and chirping birds, if that counts. This is why I love province life!

Watching

nothing. I am not a watcher type of person.

Thinking

that tomorrow is already Monday, the long vacation is at its verge of ending. This is the saddest ending ever!!!

Also, I’ve been thinking about my conversation with my bestfriend last Friday! Why is it hard to be human? Can we just know without asking? Waaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh!!!!

Smelling

Lysol.

Wishing

life would be clearer.

Hoping

for clarity.

Loving

the rain! I don’t know why I love rain, maybe because it brings some memories from childhood that I most enjoyed.

Needing

junkfood. I am not a junkfood eater but I am craving for junkfood right now.

Feeling

indecisive. There is nothing new of me being indecisive. But something about me and my friend’s conversation last Friday hits me hard and makes me want to know a certain thing but at the same time I’m afraid to know (sorry if this is vague, but I cannot put it into right words, plus, my head is really aching from all those writing I did the past few days).


To end this, here are some takeaways from reading A.W. Tozer’s work:

“What God made, God loves.”

“It is by grace we are saved, out of the goodness of God.”

“God is not an absentee creator!”

 

 

Sunday Currently | 04

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Hello there! It’s been two weeks since the last time I wrote a Sunday Currently feature. For those of you asking (are there?), I deliberately did not post a Sunday Currently because of life. There has been changes which my mind should further ponder. But I will tell you about that some other time (or not).

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Reading

Magnus Chase and The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan. Well, I love mythology.

Writing

a Sunday Currently feature, obviously. Oh, and I should be writing for my guest blog post right now. But, no, I haven’t started yet because….PROCRASTINATION!

Listening

What’s Up Ahead by Yeng Constantino and her husband Yan Asuncion. I haven’t heard it for awhile.

Just so you know, my SD card was corrupted last week, so all of my music was also corrupted. That’s why last week was very stressful for me. Music is life!

Watching

Nothing. But I just finished watching Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why. I have read the book 3-4 years ago and I can’t vividly remember the details of the book. But man, the series was too dark, too vivid, and too real. There were no pretensions, no sugarcoating, no romanticizing of suicide. It depicted what this world is trying to hide: sexual harassment, bullying, slut-shaming, rape, victim-blaming, and suicide. I don’t know what have I just watched. It’s just insanely good and ugly at the same time. Oh don’t get me wrong with the word ugly, what am I trying to say is the series was too real that it concretely depicted the ugliness of the world we live in.

Thinking

of 13 Reasons Why, life, death, frustrations, words, being kind, earthquake, arts, relationships, how could I spend 1,000.00 pesos for 3 books, travel itinerary, my phone always hanging, my blog, the guest blog post I should have been writing right now, holy week… I mean, I think a lot.

  • Life & Death

I’ve already talked about this from my previous posts. But until now, life and death seem too mysterious for me. I know, life is ephemeral and such. Death is the end of all of us. What you do in between them is what matters most. But how could we accept certain facts like death? We live, we die, and now what?

  • Frustrations

In between life and death is a lot of frustrations. I know I can handle it. But how about the others, can they?

  • Words and Being Kind

Words left unsaid even you mean well or you are just too afraid to voice it out, unkind words uttered even as a joke… they all can make or break a person. Everything is a ripple effect. What if that certain word you are not voicing out, is the only word a person need to go on with life? What if?

  • Earthquake

Yesterday, I have felt 5 earthquakes and that was terrifying. So now, I am thinking, what was going on?

  • Relationships

I am thinking how on earth I am trying hard to be relatable but end up not being one. Maybe I’m like Clay (reference: 13 Reasons Why), coward and clueless. It’s just so hard being of this world. But don’t get me wrong again, I am just wondering why am I not relatable enough.

Smelling

a bookstore smell. I realized my room smells like a library/bookstore and I love it.

Wishing

for the safety of everyone. Really I am boggled by the frequent earthquake.

Wearing

the usual pambahay, white shirt (a souvenir from Baguio) and black shorts.

Hoping

for answers to questions.

Loving

the fact that I am alone and I can hear Ed Sheeran’s voice while writing this particular sentence.

Needing

a sleep. Yes, I’ve been sleeping a lot lately but also I’ve been getting up too early than my usual waking hours. It’s been two weeks since the last time I completed an 8-hour sleep. I don’t know what’s up but I think there is something wrong but I cannot point it out.

Feeling

everything at once and for the first time, I am glad that I am feeling a certain kind of emotion. Because this only means that I am alive. Well, I am very overwhelmed of what I just have watched, you know, the topic of depression and suicide are overwhelming enough which I am glad I am not experiencing even though life is hard most of the time.


So… this entry is kind of depressing but I suppose I am really hit by Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why.


Here’s a quote I remembered from the book The Unicorn Road while watching TRW:

“But your little words do just that, don’t they, Venn? They order the acts that set in course events that can never then be undone. They make it all happen. And people die in agony because they will not say the little words required of them. Or they die because they say the wrong words, or just because they’ve never been taught the words that will save them. The power of kings is nothing to the power of those words you deal in.”

“When words are your daily currency, it can be easy to forget their power.”

The Unicorn Road, Martin Davies

The Label You Put Inside Your Head

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Let me tell you this: you are NOT the label you put inside your head, neither, the label others tell you behind your back. 

People tend to box us of their slight idea about us. People try to grasp us in a way they see our lives, based on their biases, based on their stereotypes. But the truth is, what they can only access is the tip of our icebergs. They can only see what their minds can understand. They perceive what they want to perceive. And that my friend is not dangerous at all. It is part of life. People judge us and form stereotypes about us. The danger is, what our own minds can create and make us believe.

Our own minds are dangerous. Maybe too dangerous. What we put in our minds define our being.

Let me ask you, who are you? What defines you? Me, for example, is a self-proclaimed introvert. I know there is no danger about being an introvert. But you know what’s terrifying about my idea of myself? It is that, most of the time, I am too absorbed in being an introvert, which defeat the very purpose of my existence here on earth, to share and to love.

The thing about knowing yourself too much and labeling yourself is that you feel you are ought to be just that kind of person, when in fact, you are not called to be just that person, you are called for more: to step out of your idea of yourself and be out there.

The point I am trying to say is: Maybe the label we put in our heads is not the label we are cut out for. Maybe we are meant to live for so much more than our ideas and stereotypes. Maybe, just maybe, life would be better if we stop labeling ourselves and start lighting up the very purpose we are here on earth.

Right now, what I am certain of is, we are not the label we put inside our heads, neither, the label others tell us behind our backs… We are in fact God’s, and His idea about us is what matters.


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Photo by: jacobsmedia.com

Sunday Currently | 03

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I thought I would not be writing a Sunday Currently today. But yeah, I still write. I woke up early today and I feel I should write something, and the most sensible thing to write is a Sunday Currently feature.

  • I woke up with chirping birds outside.
  • I woke up singing Lorde’s new singles, Liability and Green Light.
  • I woke up determined to reread Narnia.
  • I woke up hungry.
  • I woke up blah blah blah…

 

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Reading

Chronicles of Narnia again but now I’ll be reading it in chronological order. Also, I’ve finished reading Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon and I was very disappointed with this one. I’ve read the other book of Nicola Yoon which by the way was so good. I thought EE has the same caliber. But no, I got my expectations too high.

For Bible Reading, just finished reading John 🙂

Writing

Sunday Currently 3. I thought I will not be writing this because I want to have a weekend full of readings. However, I am now writing this.

Listening

Look at Me Now covered by Karmin. How I missed Karmin, they already disbanded last year which made me sad but realized they are still married soooo… it’s okay. But I think I will miss all those covers and the voice of Nick Noonan.

Also, I am very happy that Lorde came out with 2 new singles!!!

Oh, I almost forgot, last night I listened to The Purposeful Creative podcast and I was #fangirling to the fact that Arriane Serafico is interviewing Abbey Sy! The 2 women I look up to because of their works! Yeah, I was one happy nerd/fangirl last night!

Watching

None. I am not into watching. However, earlier, I watched itsjudylife beca…beca…because (only itsjudylife fan will get this). MK forever!!! Also, before sleeping last night, I watched a review of the Divide album of Ed Sheeran.

Honestly, I missed watching Nickelodeon and Disney shows, mindlessly laughing about corny and one-liner jokes.

Thinking

of sleeping again.

Smelling

food or am I just hallucinating or am I hungry?

Wishing

life would be easier.

Wearing

the usual pambahay, white shirt and pink shorts.

Hoping

for new books to read. However, I realized my shelf is already full of books and I have a lots of TBR pile. See, I am in a dilemma right now. I hate it when I need to rationalize with myself, like, who am I kidding?

Loving

the fact that my li’l brother is at home. I haven’t seen him for months now and I missed him so much. So, last night I bullied him (that’s how I show my love and care… haha). #bebeboy #saudiboyinthehouse

Also, loving the fact that I am rereading one of my favorite books of all time, Narnia.

Loving the fact that my sister is now reading my favorite book, The Five People You Meet in Heaven. Btw, she is not a reader, so, this is really a big deal for me. It is just so nice to know I am making an impact to one’s life.

Needing

courage and strength to start planning about the interior of my room.

Feeling

sick. I feel like I will be having a sore throat. But yeah, life goes on.

Also, feeling excited about next Friday’s out-of-town with my friend! Finally, a real vacation!


To wrap up this entry, I would like to honor the founder of the Sunday Currently feature, siddathornton.


“Stop doubting and believe”

John 20: 27