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!


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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.


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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.


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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


 

Right Here

I stopped telling myself to write,

Write words that don’t resonate;

Write words that sound like a gong, empty and only echoes.

 

I stopped telling myself to force life,

Force life to give the greatness I’ve always wanted.

Because life will not give me my heart.

 

I stopped telling myself to stop trying,

Stop trying to live and be alive,

Stop trying to give life.

 

I start telling myself to write words,

To write words that define the soul,

To write words that sound like a real voice.

 

I start telling myself to let life,

Let life give the pinch of hope I always need for greatness,

Let life seethe through my vein.

 

I start telling myself to truly live,

Truly live in the moment

Because right here, right now, is where I am alive.


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Learn To Be

Learn to be alone,

to love the silence.

Learn to hit the rock bottom

and stand up again.

Learn to heal the brokenness yourself

alone and quiet.

Learn to know when to stop

be still and restart.

Learn to cry out loud

and laugh and sigh.

Learn to live for yourself

find within the joy you’ve lost

from looking for temporary happiness.


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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


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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


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Note to My Younger Self | 11 | 2017

“Maybe redemption has stories to tell
Maybe forgiveness is right where you fell
Where can you run to escape from yourself?
Where you gonna go?”

Can you be true just for once? Not for others, but for yourself. Tell yourself how you truly feel the first four months of the year; how you struggle to keep a smiling face, when in fact, all you have underneath is worry.

Here you go again, you are being pulled by the same reasons. You hated not being in control of your feelings. You hated it when all the things you are fond of doing is not giving you the same pleasure as before. You hated it when life pulls you down without you knowing the exact cause of it.

You needed to start over again. But what does it take to start over again? You are afraid. You are afraid your chosen path will never be fruitful. You are afraid of slipping away again. However, you needed to do this, you needed to restart. You needed to stop the cowardice and be courageous just for once. You needed to relearn to trust yourself. But most importantly, you needed to trust God wholeheartedly.

This year, you will be one year older. The past 10 years of your existence had taught you many life lessons. It taught you to be brave enough to face the battles ahead. It taught you to accept things as they are. It taught you to breathe and be still once in a while. It taught you to let go and let God. It taught you to find your purpose. It taught you how magnificent life is. It taught you not to dwell in the past. It taught you to keep moving forward. It taught you not to lose grip on who you truly are and who your God is. You are who you are because of the things you’ve learned and experienced.

Younger self, as of writing this, days will be better. Life will open different opportunities for you to take a step forward and brave the world. Weeks will get better. You will experience things most human experience. Months will get better, believe me. You will find out that life can be as amazing as the books you’ve read. And I hope in the remaining months of the year your spark will not die down again. Because life is amazing, it is!

To more mishaps, getting back up, learning and love!!! It will get better.


To read Sunday Series, Note to My Younger Self, 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 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: magic4walls.com

 

Note to My Younger Self | 10 | 2016

“Everyone deserves the chance to fly!”

This year was your another chance in life. Another shot to make your dreams possible. Another chance to step out again and this time, be brave enough to continue.

The first 2 months were not easy. You just got back from the agonizing internal battle of who you want to be and who are you ought to be. You just learned to stand up again. But, life had its way of getting you back down, frustrating you and your dreams. You’d given up… again.

You think, no fire can burn your passion again. No light can bring the spark again. No wind can make you fly again. But, you were wrong as usual, another simple unexpected circumstance turned your passionless soul burn with passion again. You learned to re-try but now with purpose. You learned to never stop learning. You learned to trust the process. You learned that to progress, you needed a lot of practicing to do. And that’s what you did.

But then, another unexpected event had happened. This was the time you were rekindling your fire. The battle of responsibilities and dreams were on again. You thought, life didn’t want you to dream. You learned to manage your time. And that’s what you did.

You thought after that, life would be smooth-sailing, however, that was not the case. And this time, it was not all about you anymore. It was all about life and how one life (or death) could make you realize that it would never be all about you. You learned to stay grounded. You learned that everything has its purpose. You learned to live your purpose. And this time, you learned to share that purpose.

Younger self, life would hit you every time you thought you are invincible because you are not. Don’t let your feet off the ground. Stop thinking that the world owe you because it does not. Learn to accept what’s in front and move forward from there.

Younger self, learn, learn, learn. There are lot of things to learn. So what if you fail on what you thought you want? There are vast of opportunities out there. Don’t be afraid to try again.

Younger self, be reminded why you are doing what you are doing. Be reminded why you started. Be reminded that whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as to please God and not men.


To read Sunday Series, Note to My Younger Self, 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 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: psicologiaacessivel.net