May 29, 2014

Walk The Line

“People think being alone makes you lonely, but I don't think that's true. Being surrounded by the wrong people is the loneliest thing in the world.” 

-The Liberation of Max McTrue, Kim Culbertson

When I was young, I stumbled upon a saying that goes, "It's better to be alone than be in bad company," and in many ways, I think knowing that shaped my personality greatly and influenced me to be the person I am today. Oh and by the way, to those of you who already don't know- I am an introvert. Contrary to popular belief, introversion has nothing to do with a lack of self-confidence and I am perhaps the primary example of that- as I am a very up-front and in-your-face kind of person which is in essence what lack of self-confidence is not all about.  In so many ways, I believe that the ability to enjoy being by yourself says a great deal about your confidence...sometimes it is in the moments that I am alone that I find that I am able to gather my energy and strength rather than expending it by putting into account the input on others. There is something about that that I always find so draining. Perhaps the best explanation I can ever give was explained to me while I was in school- it was that while extroverts are energized by connecting and spending time with others, introverts need inward-focused alone time to recharge. When I heard this, it hit the mark to explain how I was as a person. In a society that prizes extroversion as the more esteemed trait, I have to put it out there: I do believe that there is a notable difference between being alone and being lonely and that is often lost in translation and overlooked in our world where everything is always so fast-paced, so-connected and linked by the many social media networks. Simply put, as is being alone does not translate to being lonely, the same applies with how having company doesn't always translate to happiness and feelings of being whole. I find solace in being by myself and doing things alone most of the time and I don't really make such a fuss about it because after all, who better to share a good time with than with oneself?

May 28, 2014

Take Comfort In Knowing

I think it`s time
That we accept the past
And embrace the fact it`s something we can`t change
Let`s look ahead
And find the answers there
Among the youngest and the humble
The sorry and the weak (you`re not alone)
Take comfort
In Knowing
Everything will change dear
Nothing ever stays the same

- Take Comfort in Knowing, Phoenix
There will be many times (more than one would want, that's for sure,) when an emotionally taxing situation leaves us at a crossroads (I know, I know, I've been mentioning the words crossroads so many times in my past blog entries.) If you are at said situation, it is more likely that you are left and forced to make a very difficult and life-altering decision. For instance, when you are weathered and exhausted by how you are living your life- it is inevitable for questions to arise and you will debate with yourself. The same applies when it comes to relationships and when making the ultimate decision when it does reach a standstill- you will spend many waking hours asking yourself if you're doing the right thing by persistently trying to make an already defective connection function properly or if simply severing ties would be the best option. We can and probably will do the list although there definitely won't be a particular side you'd know to lean toward and both will have its pros and cons and perhaps the most taxing part is evaluating your scenario and having to make a difficult call. As much as experience proves otherwise, I would like to believe that this is the usual process that people go through when trying to make a big decision like when it involves potentially hurting someone else is a foreseeable outcome. Whenever you are going through something like this, I do hope you take some time to at least recognize the difference between fixable and not salvageable... you owe that to yourself.

May 25, 2014

How To Save A Life

I feel my wings have broken in your hands
I feel the words unspoken inside
And, they pull you under
And, I will give you anything you want
 You are all I wanted
All my dreams are fallen down
Crawling around and around and around
Somebody save me
Let your warm hands break right through it
Somebody save me
I don't care how you do it, just stay, stay
  I've been waiting for you
I see the world has folded in your heart
I feel the waves crash down inside
And, they pull me under
I would give you anything you want, oh
You are all I wanted
All my dreams have fallen down
Crawlig' around and around and around..

-Save Me, Remy Zero
People regard to me as being pragmatic but the truth is that I am also idealist and I won't deny that. Actually to be more specific I tend to pass myself off as a realist masquerading as a cynic who is secretly an optimist. I never had a problem with that because believe it or not, stranger things have happened especially when it comes to me. I try really hard to try to get a grip and believe in the harshness of daily life but I can't help it- there is something that I cannot explain that keeps me believing that things can get better... but they have to get worst first. Perhaps it's my enduring faith, perhaps it's an over-exposure to the Bio-life channel and the good in the life stories of people feature there, perhaps it is being a Psychology major- perhaps and most probably it is all three. But I sincerely do believe that things can and do change and sometimes they can change for the better, even if against all the odds...things can change in your favor. Despite what my experiences and the exposure to people I have had in the 27 years of my life have shown me, I still believe that sometimes even people can change. Despite everything that I've gone through, been faced with and have been dealt- I still think it's possible. It is strange that I have this everlasting faith in human beings but I cannot help it...I guess in light of recent events, I would refer to myself as someone who is cautiously optimistic. That may be an unfortunate thing and my ultimate weakness but come on, I need to have something to believe in...

May 24, 2014

Waiting to Exhale

General opinion's starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don't see that. It seems to me that love is everywhere. Often, it's not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it's always there - fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends. When the planes hit the Twin Towers, as far as I know, none of the phone calls from the people on board were messages of hate or revenge - they were all messages of love. If you look for it, I've got a sneaky feeling you'll find that love actually is all around. 

- Hugh Grant, Love Actually

Love somebody.. Don't ever love somebody... I find myself at a standstill and at a crossroad. Ultimately, now in my late twenties, it surprises me that I am still at a junction- deciding which path to take and trying to calculate the opportunity cost of choosing one road over the other would entail. I am a very logical person and I rarely act on emotion. Most of my decisions are calculated, well-thought of and studied carefully because I hate making mistakes. However, the harsh reality is that when it comes to relationships there is no such thing as logical, we cannot predict what will happen and making mistakes is inevitable. I guess the silver lining is that I find a strange comfort in knowing that at the end of the day, we are all just winging it. Due to recent circumstances and the conclusion of a relationship I thought would last, I find myself playing a tug of war  and I wonder how I ended up in this awkward in-between. As a defense mechanism, I am trying so hard to maintain stony stillness... to not be touched and enchanted by the people I come across. I weigh and compare my choices and my options and I act as if I actually have a choice in who I allow to shape and mold me. I try to scrub myself raw but the fingerprints are still there. I cannot help it, Why am I afraid of marks that will stay anyway? Why is the measure of love... loss? 

May 23, 2014

Once Upon A Dream

“Why do people even get married? It is because we need a witness to our lives. There’s a billion people on the planet… I mean, what does any one life really mean? But in a marriage, you’re promising to care about everything. The good things, the bad things, the terrible things, the mundane things… all of it, all of the time, every day. You’re saying ‘Your life will not go unnoticed because I will notice it. Your life will not go un-witnessed because I will be your witness’.”

-Shall We Dance, Susan Sarandon

Even at this point, with all that I am going through as of the moment, I can still say for sure that I love weddings. I love being able to witness two people enter that sacred bond of matrimony with so much confidence and sure footedness that I can not even imagine or fathom. I mean, I can't even decide what shoes to wear in the morning... obviously, I am quite sure I am still not ready to make a sacred commitment that will last a lifetime and that is probably why I think that moments like these are memorable and important because if anything, it proves to me that truly there is a kind of love that is willing to endure all. Without dredging too deep into the circumstances of my personal life, suffice to say, that I am absolutely not anywhere close to getting married. I am not even quite sure that I will ever get married but I know the automatic response to this statement..."yes, yes never say never." Anyway regardless of my matrimonial eventuality, I've still got a raging interest and passion on weddings. I am sure that for Charles and Aizza who got married on the day I wore this gown. it's not especially about the presents (not that anyone- myself included- would ever say no to presents), nor is it about needing attention. It is about every other special, sentimental, celebratory detail that weddings afford time to indulge in. It was a beautiful afternoon in April (an exception I must say since it was already summer) and an equally cool night for an outdoor reception... I do not know if it was really the weather or if I was getting the chills from the extraordinary amount of love in one place. But I, for one can say, that day...their day...was decadent and so full of love. It was almost like a fairy tale.

May 22, 2014

The Trick is to Keep Breathing

"Let go... How would your life be different if you learned to let go of things that have already let go of you? From relationships long gone, old grudges to regrets, to all the 'could've' and 'should've' to dead relationships you still hang on to... Free yourself from the burden of a past you cannot change."

- Steve Maraboli
One thing I find baffling is that in all my years of education, I find no one ever taught me how to let go and how to master the art of losing gracefully. Add that to my competitive nature, losing something is often a source of anxiety for me. In a culture that puts emphasis on hanging on (no matter how hard it gets) and on winning and achieving, I find that it would be hard to contradict what we have been programmed to think and discuss such a sad and dire topic. Unfortunately perhaps what our educators fail to recognize is that there is a fine line that separates letting go from giving up and that some times, we need to accept that there are things that cannot matter how hard we try. The sad reality is there always comes a point when we know things are over and that they will never get back to how they were. Unfortunately, being programmed to keep holding on, most of the time, what we find the hardest thing is having to let go of our suffering. Perhaps out of a fear of that which is not familiar, that which is unknown... suffering seems like a better choice. These are the facts: there are things we don't want to happen but have to accept, things we don't want to know but have to learn and people we can't live without but have to let go. The sad reality in life is that we win some but more often, we end up losing some...and that's okay too... as long as we keep going.

New Day

Someone once said, "Yesterday is a cancelled check, tomorrow is a promissory note, today is cash in hand... spend it wisely," True enough, what a challenge it is to live in the present. We are often so busy killing the present moment with worries about tomorrow or the regrets about yesterday that we kill our todays. Ironically, as time and experience would tell me, I have learned that all we can do is be in the present. Living in the present means noticing- noticing when we are tired, noticing when we need to take action, noticing when we need to rest. Living in the present means taking a walk for the sake of taking a walk... not just to get some place. Living in the present means noticing and and appreciating our now. Living in the present means doimg our lives, not thinking about them.
Ultimately, I realized, IF I DO MY LIFE, then I won't be undone. 

May 14, 2014

Champagne for my Real Friends, Real Pain for my Sham Friends

We don't have to stay friends
Let's pretend to be enemies Yeah, whatever makes you happy
Yeah, whatever makes it beautiful
Yeah, whatever leaves you satisfied
Cause I'm out of time
For now

- Yeah Whatever, Splender

 The saying goes, "We never lose friends, we just find out who the real ones are..." As someone who prefers to see the silver lining in almost everything (I am such an optimist, I am surprised that I am not coughing out or sneezing glitters yet), I would like to believe this saying to be true. For the past months, I have settled into quite an enriching routine which involves investing myself only in the things and in the people I want to. I figured the equation to a somewhat happy life: the less people you immerse yourself in, the less issues and drama you would have in your life. So far, living my life in such a sheltered and protective manner has been great and while everyone (including my doctors) tell me that my OCD always makes me take things to another level, I don't think I've fallen out of the loop completely to the point I am a self-proclaimed hermit... I am just more selective in what things are worth my time, effort and attention (which apparently are very few) and which ones are not (and when I started to filter, I found out there were so many, after all.) I must say, approaching life in such a way has kept things in an extraordinary sense of calm and balance that I find myself being absolutely content with the serenity and the zen that is in abundance in my life. My sister, Dominique- the best influence in my life so far and the one person I can say has had a profound way of keeping me on track has made me realize that I needed to shift priorities. When it comes to having her in my life, imagine meeting someone who understood even the the dustiest corners of your mixed up soul and you'll get what I mean. She's taught me a lot about privacy, and now, I know that I have actually been a little less open about certain aspects of my life- my relationships, my condition and my state of mind, included. I have realized that everyone does not need to know everything and that my life is not up for public consumption. I've come respect myself to the point that there are certain things I would like to keep private just between me and certain people...and that that is okay to do.

May 13, 2014

What A Catch

They say the captain
Goes down with the ship
So, when the world ends
Will God go down with it?

-What A Catch Donnie, Fall Out Boy

As the saying goes, life comes in clusters, clusters of solitude, then clusters when there is hardly time to breathe. And I must say, I have to agree. Superwomen (and yes, I mean all of us workaholics, busyaholics, rushaholics and careaholics out there) feel much more comfortable with times when we hardly have time to breathe. We all so adept that we are experts on how to function under pressure and with deadlines hovering over us. These are times I believe, most of us (myself included) when we shine. Unfortunately, it is during the time of calm and potential solitude after a project or undertaking is finished that scares us. To be without deadline or a project strikes terror in our bones. Fortunately (so we would like to believe) we rarely have to deal with that terror because we have arranged our lives in such a way as to rarely have a "breather." But if we take time to notice, this ebb and flow in life has a reason. We need breathers. Our bodies need to rest up from our consistent adrenaline push, or it will blow up (not get what I mean...

May 11, 2014

Candy Coated Water Drops

“She would consider each day a miracle - which indeed it is, when you consider the number of unexpected things that could happen in each second of our fragile existences.”

- Paulo Coelho, Veronika Decides To Die

I have come to a point in my life that I no longer find the need to go through extraordinary lengths to satisfy myself. I have come to that point of my existence when even the most mundane and non-trivial, uninteresting thing can fascinate me and most of the time, I find that I don't even to try so hard to find things that keep me interested... all I have to do is take time alone by myself and get lost. So you see, imagination needs moodling- long, inefficient, happy idling, dawdling and puttering. Now aren't those just absolutely wonderful words? Moodling, dawdling ad puttering! The words sound just exactly like what they are: putzing - really doing nothing! Back when I was in college, I used to encounter this person during one of those off-schedule non-sense 45-minute breaks where you can't really do anything but sit idly and often, since I am a creature of habit, I find myself sitting on the same bench next to where she sits. She used to sit idly on the bench and just look. It was difficult for me to imagine what she was looking at all the time, so one day, I sat in the same bench where I always sat and "looked." I sat for almost the entire 45-minutes and experienced just sitting and looking and to this day, I consider her to be one of my greatest teachers. I learned to take time and just sit and look. I realized that one sees so much when one just sits and l0oks. Doing nothing... just looking. The term ended, my schedule changed and I never saw this person again yet her great wisdom in having taught me to sit and look lives on. There is a certain calm in sitting in the sidelines and not playing the leading part in a telenovela unfolding. I find myself being more interested in having less cooperation in things and in "scenes," as I have discovered that the more you get yourself out there, the more you make yourself susceptible to trouble. I prefer to refer to it as selective involvement- because finally at 27, I have managed to realize that less involvement translates to less issues and also less possibility of having issues develop. Finally, I have found myself centered and calm... and realizing I am happy to have things be that way. I think Bette Midler can describe this best when she said, "With a certain amount of introspection, triggered by age, plain old maturity, you find that it doesn't hurt so bad not to be in the eye of the hurricane."

I used to say I am a girl who loved sparks- either creating them or being in a situation that requires them... I never thought that I would come to the point that at the first sign of something igniting, I would retreat and find comfort in getting out of there. Some people might mistake this behavior as the signs of being a hermit unfolding but after speaking about it in detail, I realized that I just learned to tune out and have become more selective of the situations I place myself in. My time and energy, I think, is so important to me that I hate to waste it doing anything that would only be detrimental to me.

May 6, 2014

Don't Follow

Ann Clark once said, "How many are silenced? How many women never find their voice because in order to get to their art they would have to scream?" Fresh from a refreshing breather weekend in paradise. I have decided to tackle something about honesty and honoring oneself. You see, a lot of us (yes, myself included) find the words "obligations to myself" a foreign concept. We have been raised to believe that we should sacrifice ourselves in order to be good. Then, others of us have reacted to the female cult of self-sacrifice and decided we needed to be selfish and focus upon ourselves. Often we bounce back and forth between these two choices. Unfortunately (or fortunately, as the case may be and well depending on how you look at things,) neither is satisfactory. Either way we feel lonely, at loose ends, and unfulfilled. The third option is to honor ourselves. When we honor ourselves and give out of that honoring, our giving is very clean. Ultimately, if we are not honoring ourselves, our giving has strings attached and is uncomfortable and insincere for both  sides.