Welcome Back Anxiety

It’s been years since I last felt genuine full-force anxiety. I’m done with those days. But believe me when I say that they’d always somehow find a way to creep back up.

I felt it recently. That intense worry of not being enough. Just thinking about it now while typing this makes me so uncomfortable that I’m pressing harder on my keyboard than I’m supposed to. But as much as I hate feeling like this, I need to let it out to get things over with. ‘Cause aside from prayer, my only way to stabilize myself is to write down these thoughts.

As for the trigger, I’m not quite sure yet but I know that my frequent overthinking played a part in this. Right now, I’m drowned with assurance from God through the Bible and fellowships. Looks like He’s coming to the rescue right away. I just hope I’ll be able to help myself get through this as well.

Little Regrets

Whenever the sun sets, leaving a dark sky behind
I regret not taking that morning walk that I had in mind
When my wallet turns empty except for a dime
I regret not saving up this time

It’s a big gift for me when ideas sprout in my head
And a big regret too when I start to forget
The same goes for my many forced ‘yes’
And for the moments I didn’t try my best

But nothing beats the unsaid words
Of someone who wants to make things clear
Regrets go together with hidden feels
Every missed chance to make things real

Love Language

I recently took this test where it tells you what love language you have. Now before I reveal the results, I should first say why I ended up taking the test in the first place.

It was on a rainy Friday afternoon that a close friend, Jody, and I decided to go for a quick cafe date. Our main agenda was really to do an unboxing video of the albums that we got for Christmas but I’m happy that it became just a small part of our bonding time. You see, I have this weird craving for certain situations. On that day, I really wanted to have a chat with a friend about life in general. I know that I could’ve just video called but the thought of taking your time to meet up and spend a moment in person really mattered to me.

More than the anticipation I felt for the album was the excitement I had to hear what Jody’s been up to. The detail that I just couldn’t remember is how we ended up talking about my frustrations during that week. I do remember sharing how I felt toward this certain guy that I have had a crush on since March of 2021. If you know me well, I hate getting confused. And boy was I so confused with my feelings that time hahahaha!

I’m the type of person who’s a silent observer. And because of this, it’s easy for me to guess what a person is thinking or feeling which helps me adjust in different situations. But whenever I get to a point where I just can’t figure out what they’re up to, it disrupts my composure. Perhaps that was the reason why I voiced out to Jody what I felt about the guy. She had her conclusions and I had my doubts. She did help me out by telling me some of her similar experiences which I hope would help me when the situation calls for it. It was at this moment that she mentioned that her love language was quality time. This made me wonder what mine was. I had a hunch that it was acts of service or gift-giving. But when I took a test, I had to question myself for a bit cause it wasn’t either of the two. I know I answered honestly, I even double-checked some questions to be sure. But it sure was strange to get quality time as an outcome of the assessment. After a little bit of reflection, I did manage to realize that it wasn’t as far-fetched as I thought it was.

Who would have thought that time, something that I took for granted when I was younger, would be my top love language now? It was plainly obvious but I just didn’t realize until then. Hah! So much for a silent observer. My planner became supporting evidence of the whole quality time idea. It was only recently that I noticed how frequently I set bonding time with family and friends. I also noticed how I try to make sure that I get the most out of each moment I spend with people even if I’m often in a hurry. So yeah, I guess that’s one of the surprising discoveries I had before 2022 even started. What’s yours?

Familia

It’s been a while since I watched a newly-released Disney film. The last one was Frozen II back in 2019. I have a soft spot for Disney movies but I don’t know why I wasn’t able to watch the 2020-2021 releases
(must be all that anime, k-drama, and western series that I binge-watched). So I’ve decided to use this year to catch up with what I missed. Starting with Encanto.

There’s a handful of movies that moved my heart and all of them involve the concept of a family. To be honest, if I had to do a “try not to cry” challenge and they showed me something related to family, I would 100%, without a doubt, shed a tear. Just like how I did today when we watched Encanto (massive thanks to my cousin who got us a copy from his pirate cruising on the internet). I love how Disney continues to explore not just better art style but also plot and character representation. Encanto captured something that a lot of families go through. I couldn’t relate to the idea of pressure or expectation from family members or the feeling of being out of place, but I did see a glimpse of my family in the scenes where the characters were arguing and throwing blame.

Not one month passes where no major fight breaks in this household. It’s been like that for as long as I can remember but I’m still waiting for the day that this unhealthy tradition ceases. It really breaks my heart more than it irritates my ears to hear shouting that there even came a point where I had to cry just to make my aunt and grandma stop quarreling. It would always start from a small misunderstanding that could be easily solved by one peaceful talk. But one of them would always find a way to bring up past events over and over and over again, adding fuel to the fire. When I’m not around, my mom would often be the one to stop the madness but even she couldn’t stop her emotions from getting the best of her sometimes.

I can’t put all the blame on my grandma for mistreating my mother and my aunt during their childhood because I know that she was just a lost soul back then. But then again, that was the past. She’s been given so many chances to change for the better, I even saw her getting involved in weekly bible studies when I was younger but I still wonder why her heart seemed so hard and dark and troubled. Whenever I do reach out to her, she’d shut herself off and wouldn’t consider help.

At this point, I just want my aunt to lower her pride for a while and understand where her mother is truly coming from instead of making things worse by talking back. I know God is merciful to bring peace over them. It all comes down to whether or not they accept it both.

Now I know this is a little personal but I don’t mind telling other people about this ’cause I really had to take it out of my chest. I developed a habit of talking back when I was very young because that’s what I saw often. And I really don’t want my little sister to experience the same thing that’s why I keep hoping for the resolution to this long-running tension. Like how Mirabel, her abuela, and the rest of the Madrigal family made up towards the end of the film.

You Can Talk To Me

If you follow me on my social media accounts, which you really don’t have to, you’ll see a five-word sentence stapled in my bio.

I’ve had it over the course of what? Three or four years? Which when converted, would be about 1, 460 days. And out of all those days, I can only count with my fingers the number of people who reached out to me for a talk. Most of them just wanted to cure their boredom. But there are a few who really needed an ear to listen and a shoulder to lean on. It is for them that I never remove that sentence from my profile.

And if there’s something that I learned from this matter, that would be the fact that even the toughest and most stable people we know can stumble and will need someone to help them back up. Even those ones that look like they got life in control or the happy-go-lucky ones will come to a point where they need to be comforted. After a long time of being there for everyone else, they’re gonna need someone to be there for them as well. That’s where we come in. Another thing that I noticed is that the people that’ll need your company won’t always be the ones close to you. It can be an acquaintance, an old friend you haven’t seen for ages, or even a complete stranger! So you really have to learn how to converse with different types of people.

At this point, I am aware that I sound like a typical motivational speaker or like a how-to-start-a-conversation book. But I guess I just really want to express how fulfilling it feels to be used by God in touching the hearts of others. I say this because He’s also the one who urged me to write that five-word sentence on my accounts. Not because I’m the most stable, wise, and caring person you’ll ever meet but because I’ve experienced His goodness through other people and I want to pass it on. So go ahead, you can talk to me.

Kill Me, Heal Me

There’s this Korean drama that I watched back in junior high school. It revolves around one guy who struggled with Dissociative Identity Disorder or some might call it multiple personality disorder. At that time I was really into psychology and the like which might’ve been the reason why I chose to watch it.

But before this turns into a series review, I must say what urged me to write this in the first place. Part of my 2022 plans was to participate in our prayer and fasting at church ’cause I didn’t get to do it well last year. I have this habit of reading my previous devotions before I start with a new one for the day and I found myself pondering about one of the verses in the book of Ephesians. Again. I don’t think it’s far-fetched to say that I’m drawn to the passages of that book. Some of my blog entries in the past had verses from that book. It was Ephesians 4:22 this time that caught my attention.

to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires,

Ephesians 4:22 ESV

To me, putting off your old self sounds as if you’re ending the old you. And that reminded me of the moment I met God in my life. It’s a challenge trying to get rid of your former self as you try to take on a fresh, new, forgiven, and definite identity. I played a lot of ‘personalities’ in my younger days. I can recall my edgy wanna-be-cool girl era or the no-one-better-than-me moments of the past. But I’ve thrown those away. Like what I’m doing now with what’s left of my former self.

Now I know what you’re thinking. What does this life sentiment have to do with the drama I mentioned at the start. Well, I kind of see myself as the main character who was able to treat his disorder. If I remember correctly, he needed to accept the fact that his other selves would only harm him and the people around him in the long run if he didn’t try to overcome his traumas. In a sense, he had to stick to his real identity and put off his other selves who were making him struggle and stumble. He then found healing afterwards. I found that we shared, not the exact same experience, but a similar one. When I found my identity in Christ, I also had to let go of the roles I played in the past. I guess it’s part of what happens when you join the new creation gang.

It’s ironic how you’d have to kill yourself to heal yourself. But that’s what really went down in the drama that I associated with my own experience. No wonder they called it Kill Me, Heal Me.

Write Me A Poem

A person’s scribbling tells a lot about them. Their dilemmas, unspoken thoughts, and feelings. At least in my case, that’s how it is. Writing or typing a piece always feels like your letting it all out. Like your talking without having to move your lips. Don’t get me wrong, I love to talk and I even sing when in the mood but there are times when all that you can do is grab a pen and jot down what your mouth couldn’t say.

I say all of these as if it’s a therapeutic thing which to some extent, I think it is. But there are special moments when somebody writes about someone else. A lover, a family, or an enemy. And their words fit so well with each other that it resonates deeper than what you’d expect. I’d find myself wishing that I was the subject of that work.

Because as much I love writing about what I think of the things and people around me, it’ll be quite nice to read what others think of me.

So if it’s not too much to ask, can you write me a poem?

What Keeps You Up At Night

Sleepless nights are nothing new to me. But the reason behind the wide awake soul of mine is often left unresolved.

There are times when I’m forced to stay awake because of somebody else’s loud snoring. It’s always a little irritating when all you hear at night is the rhythmic throat vibration of that one uncle who seemed to be lullabied by his own noise. But I guess it still doesn’t come close to the loud thoughts inside my head. The type that makes you sit at the foot of your bed and just ponder for a while.

Sometimes, it’s the cold that steals my sleep. Don’t get me wrong. I prefer a chilly and dark setting for my slumber but when it gets to a point where I can feel my limbs shaking, that draws the line. What I would usually do to warm myself a little is to get out of bed and grab a drink. It’s actually also my way to keep myself from late-night overthinking.

But nothing beats not being able to sleep because you already slept. Do you feel me? There are extremely rare moments where I doze off in the afternoon. Dare I say that it’s the best type of sleep IF AND ONLY IF you get to wake up the next morning. Because whenever I wake up in the middle of the night, it’ll take me thousands of sheep to count before I could sleep again. Not to mention my sleep paralysis demon who almost always shows up whenever I try to get back to sleep.

Whatever is the reason behind my sleepless nights, I won’t get tired of dreaming about getting that perfect amount of sleep. You know the one that’s just right.

Downpour

There are times when I just want it to rain all day.

I can imagine spending hours staring off the distance by the window pane, inhaling that familiar earthy smell. I want the cold wind to blow comfort to my face. Perhaps by then, my mind will be at ease.

It would also be nice to feel each droplet flow down every part of my skin. Massaged by the contact with nature. Sometimes, the inner kid in me wants to jump on the puddles I see outside. Not caring about tomorrow. Just living, here and now.

There goes another thunder followed by some distant lightning. It would be a tragedy, getting struck by a bolt. But a part of me wants to try it out. The daredevil me who thirsts for the danger zone. Mostly for science’s sake. However, I love hearing the thunder better than endangering myself just like that. I like hearing the sky roar. So sudden, loud and sharp. Back when I was a kid, I thought the clouds were mad at me for not sleeping on rainy afternoons. Now, I’m mad at myself for not getting a chance of sleep at all.

Yes, I said that I’d like for the rain to go on longer. But that doesn’t mean I hate the sun. I just like the company of the sound it makes. When the sky has let out all its tears, I always anticipate the sun coming back. Creating a colorful ray of colors across the blue sky. A rainbow. A reminder of a covenant made years and years ago. Details like these remind me of the One who takes control of everything.

The One responsible for the calming of seas and the halt of the heaviest downpour.

Lucban, Quezon 2015

🧳Travel Blog Series Entry #7

I’m starting to miss the outdoors a lot more than usual. So I’m pouring out my heart in these blog entries for awhile…

Another one of our colorful adventures is when we went to Pahiyas Festival. We enjoyed the decorated houses so much that we visited twice or maybe even three times! Filipinos are so creative. But I do wonder what happens to the vegetables and fruits that they use as designs for the houses. 🤔

And when in Lucban, Kamay ni Hesus will always be included in your destination list. When you visit the place, wear something comfortable, not only for you but for the people around you as well. I’m not sure why I chose to wear a neon orange in the middle of the day. I’m pretty sure I blinded a few people as we went hahaha!

Ps. It was on this trip that I first experienced top riding on a jeepney. How I wish I could do it again!

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