Imago of Curiosity and Wonder

i need to write i think i’m gonna explode i am not having the best day, people! i wasn’t satisfied with my productivity over the weekend. i told myself i was going to get a lot of important things done, but i ended up doing, perhaps, just one out of the multitude that i had to get done! monday was another suspension of classes due to the transport strike (it’s becoming frequent now, it’s been happening every week! the masses are really angry!) and i was supposed to write and research and send pitches, and i ended up lying down in bed daydreaming and listening to Alan Watt’s audio lectures…

i know leisure time is just as important as work, and i wish that i could balance both. perhaps this is just me being horrible to myself agin because it is the weekend and a time of unwinding, but i wanted to get so many things done. not that i regret listening to Alan Watts because his audio lectures, i find, are very very enlightening. It’s called Out of Your Mind and i’ve started on the first ones, and so far I’m loving him. I might write a separate piece on him over the weekend, because i would hate myself if i didn’t. I have so many things to say about this man!!! but I feel like I need to be more acquainted with his works before i even give justice to him, so i’d have to listen to a couple more podcasts. so that’s what i did yesterday, yeah. not the most productive, but it definitely gave me some time for much needed headspace. i wasn’t able to send my pitches and applications though, which i should’ve done yesterday, but well, i don’t know. i’m such a lazy fucker.

i have class in 30 minutes and should be editing my article for our special issue, but instead i’m here ranting. today was supposed to be a productive day and believe me, i’ve tried, but i think this day isn’t just cooperating. because at 9 am i already met with my group mates to work on the last of our thesis but there was a fire drill and we had to vacate the faculty center and it last for about an hour, and by the time we got back the internet wasn’t working anymore and we couldnt access our google docs. and we transferred to the library and went around many floors to look for a place to work, but everything else was taken and the wifi wasn’t working and by then, my group mates just decided to fuck it, we’ll work on it tonight, because i could tell they were in a pissy mood also, and it’s never nice to work in a pissy mood… so i went to the newsroom and decided to mull things over, but one of my staff writers was sitting across me and i thought, i’d hate myself if i let the chance to talk to him pass by because i’d rather wallow in my solitude. you know how i always complain about this sense of Otherness that i feel pretty much all the time when I’m around everybody? but i realize that this sense of Otherness that i so often feel is all because of me, it’s all my fault, that i’m to blame. so instead of reading my Natsume book i decided to strike a conversation with him instead and i checked up on him and it lasted for i think around 10-15 mins but it didn’t feel dreadful at all. it was actually a good conversation and he was pretty cheery. and just when i was done with that and ready to read in my corner, another  staff writer of mine went up to me to talk to me so of course i had to talk back to her because i cannot ignore her, and of course as her editor, my ears should always be ready for her, but this conversation with her lasted even longer, i think almost 30 minutes, though it didn’t feel dreadful also, but by the time it was over, i was already worrying because i lost reading time and i have class in less than an hour and i was looking forward to clear my head…and i just didn’t want to edit articles anymore and decided to rant because yes, i am a jaded fucker and need an outlet for my anxious encounters with people everyday which normal people don’t even rant about because this is such a huge deal to me, and this can either make or break my psyche and free writing just calms me… but now I’m worrying that I’m not making any sense and my grammar is all wrong but i don’t want to be dreadful to myself!!!

what am i saying even… i have 15 minutes before class. i think we’re getting the results of our exam today. of course i passed, it was easy, but it’s more of me passing or getting perfect, and i don’t think i got perfect at all. sigh sigh.

last night i was able to arrange all my story ideas and pitches in one file and i’m happy that even though I’ve been flayed and stripped this past year, my ideas are still pretty ace and i haven’t lost myself completely. I can still recognize myself. I’m excited to write them and pitch them; not that I’m trying to raise my own bench, but i’m feeling really good about them and am confident enough to pitch them to editors. i just need to polish and expound on them more and make an outline just to gauge its feasibility, though knowing the nature of these stories, i’ve already gauged their feasibility months ago, though i need to develop my angle and focus. i’v gotten a call also from the PR firm that i applied to and I’m starting my internship some time in August after my finals exams. i applied to other companies though and have yet to hear back form them, so i don’t want to be too certain about this one, but i’m still looking forward to it, even though it’s corporate, i think i need to expose myself more to new things. it’s not like i’m selling out or shifting my dreams, more of like expanding my dreams and getting as much experience as i can. life is about experiences after all, and by encasing myself in these walls, i am cutting myself at the knees and curtailing the things i can learn from all these people. so I’m definitely gearing myself up for all the interaction and learning ill be getting from these new people. of course I’m managing my expectations but at the same time, I’m just trying to listen to Imago.

did i mention? Imago is my inner goddess…. well, i was reading this book by Jean Bolen about Goddesses in Everywoman and Gods in Everyman, like how we identify with gods and goddesses inside of us because we find some kind of familiarity in them and these gods and goddesses—these archetypes—serve as our different personas. i decided to make my own goddess and named one of the goddesses living inside me Imago. if i were to have a default persona, it must be Imago. it must be her. I’ve always liked the name; if i could choose my name, I’d name myself just that. And Imago is my goddess of Curiosity and Wonder, and she is my default. and i figured and i fully agree to this, that to be able to live a full life, i have to forever live with curiosity and wonder. to always have that lust for life, of never-ending curiosity, to look at every thing with wonder and awe, regardless if it’s quotidian or the sublime. i have to find—must try very very very hard to find–the sublime in life’s ordinariness, and that’s what i plan to do for the rest of my days, i think. i’ve been trying to listen to Imago these past few days and so far, it’s going alright. i’m still skeptic about this whole thing, but i’m trying to learn and appreciate everything around me. it’s difficult because i’ve looked at life with clouded eyes my whole life, and easing myself into this new lifestyle is definitely challenging me and bringing out the worst—and best—in me. i think it’s very important to look at life with a child’s eyes, with that innocent, impish nature, and I’m trying to reawaken that inner child in me. i’m reexamining everything around me and changing and double checking every perspective and opinion and feelings i have of and for every thing—negative or otherwise. because i realize that i have to look up at everything around me, and by “look up” i mean treat everything with respect and tenderness and awe. i have to let go of this jadedness and otherness, and by training myself to “look up” at my surroundings and the people around me, i am allowing myself to open up and take more of the world in. and perhaps this way i am also getting rid of that sense of Otherness that has been taking refuge inside me since, idk, since i was a child. and so far, it’s great. no, I’m not being foolish or naive. i know the world’s evils and my personal evils, but i don’t want to carry this hatred inside me. and i have to carry this curiosity and wonder inside me at all times. it’s the only way to help myself, it’s the only way to make things easier for me. i notice that exposing myself to the vernacular has been such a great help. i find that i love the common people more than the Somebodies anyway. i don’t think id ever have tenderness for the Somebodies with a capital S. well, perhaps not the same level of tenderness i have for the common people. perhaps it’s my bias, but common people are more interesting and easier to love. i’d rather stay in the periphery than the center, only because i can see so much from the cheap seats that the Somebodies themselves can never ever see. and by cutting myself from that kind of insulation and by staying in the periphery, i am able to see more. and know more. and learn more. I am also trying to be tender with everything around me. yes, including myself! it’s hard, but i’m trying my darnedest. i am trying to love and learn the world the way i am trying to accept myself, and it’s so hard. but i’m not giving up on life, and I’m not giving up on myself any time soon either.

gosh, I’m ramblingggg. i have class now, but it feels so good letting all these things out! i think i needed this. it’s not like people actually read this ha-ha so i don’t have to feel so ashamed! i have to get to class. this has been a really good ramble. farewell!

Darker hours

Karen Carpenter’s melodic voice croons from the turntable and I realize just how much Mondays get me down. I live for rainy days, but there’s just something about this day of the week that sucks everything out of me: My energy, happiness, hope, motivation, and the want to accomplish anything for the day. It’s 2 in the afternoon and I’m sitting by the kitchen table with an empty stomach and unwashed hair. Across me there is a shriveled lemon on the fruit platter, an orange from the market two weeks ago, and my dad reading Stephen King’s Duma Key. We don’t speak to each other, of course, but I don’t really mind because I never have anything to say to anybody. I have been avoiding confronting myself the past few weeks, but now seems like the better time to try again because I’m stuck with my avoidant behavior again, procrastinating and putting off chores and tasks with every chance I can get.

Every night I’ve been going to bed with a storm inside my head and heart, and waking up late every morning with the world on my shoulders. I feel so depressed, and my room is just as depressing. Tissue, dust, shoes, hair, clothes, and trash scattered on the floor. Hair and dirt clinging on my tub’s drain and tiles. There’s a freaking cobweb behind my bathroom door and I broke my drawer after yanking it too hard some time ago; I can’t seem to put it back anymore and it has now occupied my pitiful tiny single mattress, leaving me no space to sleep in. Heaps of dirty clothes are piled up on my bed and my bath things are in disarray. My desk, my only working space, is covered with stacks of paper, vinyl record cases, too many pens I will never use, spilled paper clips, sleeping pills, and a stupid synthetic leather purse that I never wanted but still wasted money on. I have no space to work in. My room is gross, just as messy and disordered as my mind—perhaps even more than. I have no initiative to clean up, yet I’m wondering how long I can ignore the mess in my room until roaches and mice start cohabiting with me.

I’ve been eating horrible too. Just because I’m vegan doesn’t mean I eat well; I’ve been stuffing myself with junk food the past weeks, which I believe is just as bad as eating meat, and I haven’t gone running and biking at all. I feel bloated and like crap. I keep putting off my review of related literature for my thesis as well as my marketing project for my internship and I just feel like utter shit. I’m not trying very hard and it’s so so difficult forcing myself to function every single day when I just want to hole up in my room and disappear. I don’t want to see anybody, I don’t want to go out of the house, I don’t want to talk or even hear other people talking. I really don’t know why I’ve been feeling this way, and I’ve been trying to get to the root of this for the longest time but I never seem to arrive at an answer. I just feel so down all the time, for no apparent reason. And yesterday I was making a list, like how I always make lists for everything (even a list for all my lists) but this particular list was on things about myself.

I wrote in my list of myself: I always feel like an impostor. I never feel like I belong or feel drawn towards anything I do. I always feel like a crook about to get found out, and every day I go on about my lousy day with my guards up, my fight or flight response kicked into high gear, constantly looking over my shoulder in paranoia because I am so afraid of being discovered and called out as a great pretender. Being called out for what, that I do not know, but I always feel as if I am impersonating someone, like I stole someone’s identity and took it as my own, and that my achievements are never really mine (not that I have any, because I don’t) and any time now, I will be hunted down and exposed as a giant quack.

I wrote, I beat myself up over the littlest things. I hate myself over things people don’t notice and see, but are always visible to my eyes. A neglected task, a dropped hanky, a passing but not perfect test score, an overdue library book, forgotten keys and umbrella, an un-refilled water bottle, a stray thread from my hem, starting my sentences with coordinating conjunctions—everything, really. And every time, I see the need to punish myself for these little faults, purposely drowning myself in guilt and starving myself, reminding myself to not screw things up again or else. But I still end up screwing things again. I always do. I always end up forgetting things and missing things and losing things and dropping things and breaking things.

I also wrote, I hate having other people help me. It’s not because of an inflated ego, I think I just don’t like the idea of inconveniencing people, of having others stop what they’re doing to make way for me. It makes me feel so so so bad having someone help me, no matter how little a thing it may be. I feel an astronomic amount of guilt and shame, and have the need to always repay it back—not out of gratitude and gratefulness—but just so I can say “Now we’re even.” I had a drunken night a few days ago and was incapable of taking myself home, so my former editor, J, had to drive me home in the early hours of the morning. The enormous guilt I felt during and afterwards just spiraled me into so much self-loathing, but even though I was inebriated and half seas over, J told me that I still insisted on paying him for the ride and, apparently, handed him money as I stumbled out of his car. And I felt angry at myself after knowing, because if I did the same thing for another friend, say a friend got drunk and I brought them home and they paid me for it, I would be gravely insulted. And it sucks because no matter how drunk I get, my inhibition and fear of being helped and being deemed a liability for my incapability to take care of myself will never go away, that I will always feel guilty and ashamed of being helped, of being looked after, and taken care of, that I will always feel undeserving of these, and I really don’t know why I am ever this way.

I feel guilt for everything. I cannot even send a text message without putting my phone face down, three feet away from me, as I cringe and wait for a reply. I cannot even eat without telling myself I don’t deserve it, because I never did anything and shouldn’t be so hungry. I cannot even go to bed without telling myself I can’t sleep because I never finished any task for the day. I cannot laugh without being worried of being too loud. I cannot walk down streets and hallways without feeling I am taking up too much space. I cannot even ask dear friends out for dinner or a drink without first thinking, Oh no, I’m inconveniencing them or What if I smother them for being too clingy? And when I do get the courage to ask someone out to spend time with me, I feel shame and guilt for wasting their time, and I think, No one wants baggage.

And I fear for my baggage, because they come in endless stacks and stacks of boxes, each box filled with more fears and insecurities and paranoia and monsters than the last. And I am so afraid of having anyone peek inside my boxes and see their secrets, so I stow them away and keep them stacked, but the monsters struggle to get out and in the end the boxes always spill over for someone to see their sorry contents. And, I think, I will never really be able to get rid of these boxes. Wherever I go, whichever place I settle with as home, the moving van containing these boxes will always follow me.

And it just gets so tiring and difficult wrestling with my mind to the point that it’s much easier for me to avoid everything and everyone, and just keep to myself because why bother. And maybe that’s why I never ask anybody out to spend time with, because I always feel unworthy and undeserving of anyone’s time. And maybe that’s why I don’t have great memories with other people, because I keep denying these simple joys to myself. And that, really, the only memories I have are of me being and doing things alone.

I have stupid post-it notes around my room and one says, Celebrate small triumphs. And I feel like a hypocrite, because I have no triumph to celebrate, really. I do know I should lighten up and stop beating myself up over the littlest things, but it’s so so much easier said than done. That I am more stubborn than a mule, that I will always hate myself for something, and it makes me cry because I also don’t want to be this way forever, but I am stuck and each time I try to take one step further, the quicksand pulls me down deeper, and I feel so crippled.

But, I guess, no one is really scrutinizing me with a telescope or a magnifying glass. Maybe god, if it is real, but I have stopped believing in one a long time ago. I do not really need the promise of heaven to do good and find worth and purpose in this life—though this is something I have yet to tell my religious parents in the future, much to the dismay of their poor hearts. But the only one scrutinizing me, really, is me. And I should stop (even though I know I never will). I should stop. I’m not saying I will, but I should, because it’s what my mind needs.

And really, I realized, if there is one thing I love the most about being an editor, a journalist, and in general, a writer, it is the existence of deadlines and shitty drafts. Time is against me. My days are numbered. I will die someday. But there is always something to finish. And death gives life meaning for that simple reason: There is always something to get done. And that shitty drafts, no matter how imperfect, can always be edited until it passes muster. And if it doesn’t, then who the fuck cares. Imperfection gives me something to always strive for.

I think I have exhausted myself crying and writing. Bye and have a better day

pending list

just got back from a three-day team building. i feel dead inside from too much stimulation and interaction. itching to write, but my eyes are drooping. here’s a list of articles on my pending list to remind myself to get around reading them. my personal reading goal is to finish all of them before Tuesday, and finish Star Maker (Stapledon) in a week. goodnight for now.

Eating with Strangers: Bringing an Anthropological Perspective to the Table http://savageminds.org/2016/09/05/eating-with-strangers-bringing-an-anthropological-perspective-to-the-table/?platform=hootsuite

Harry Potter and the Conscience of a Liberal http://thebaffler.com/blog/harry-potter-laurie-penny

Why Walking Helps Us Think http://www.newyorker.com/tech/elements/walking-helps-us-think?mbid=social_facebook

An Interview with Miguel Syjuco – http://www.themalaymailonline.com/read/article/so-you-want-to-write-michael-syjuco-has-some-advice-for-you

Life-Hacks of the Poor and Aimless http://thebaffler.com/blog/laurie-penny-self-care

The Penmen Review: Anthropologist-Ethnographic Novelist John Colman Wood http://penmenreview.com/spotlight/penmen-review-john-wood/

The Fabled and Enabled http://thebaffler.com/blog/fabled-enabled-lehmann

Darwin’s Bridge to the Humanities: An Interview with Joseph Carroll https://evolution-institute.org/article/darwins-bridge-to-the-humanities-an-interview-with-joseph-carroll/?source=tvol

Divine Indigestion http://thebaffler.com/salvos/foer-franzen-sturgeon

Star Maker by Olaf Stapledon 

The Sunday Currently

olaf

The Sunday Currently

Reading Star Maker by Olaf Stapledon. I’m only on the first chapter and I am already hooked in; I can tell I’ll be devouring the entire thing today. I’m already excited to write about it when I’m finished because I can feel I’m going to love it. Do you ever get that feeling? When you’re starting on a new piece of literature and you just know you’ll love it, even though you haven’t finished it yet? That’s how I feel right now. Pretty crazy.

Writing in my journal again. Also rewriting and editing some of my staffers’ works—one of my many duties as editor now. It still hasn’t sunk in yet, but I hope I get used to this. Or not. I still feel jittery and excited! Leaning more towards the jitters though :<

Listening to Half Life by Imogen Heap. One of my favorites, a default piece that I replay over and over again on quiet afternoons like this.

Thinking about my future. I am so full of fear–fear of the future, fear of uncertainties, fear of life itself. I hate being neurotic and self-obsessed (something I got from my mother)

Hoping for a silver lining to get myself moving, even though I know for myself I shouldn’t have to wait for anything to start doing something.

Wanting to be away from everybody and everything. I’ll be having a 3 day team building activity this week and I’ve shut myself in avoiding all people, mentally preparing myself for the extended social interactions. so help me, universe. I am already dreading it. Wanting to start my novel as well, but can’t get myself to pick up my pen.

Feeling lost and stuck. I don’t know what I’m supposed to do with my life, and I’m already putting too much pressure on myself as I am. I think it’s my mentality I need to change, but I also know I am stubborn.

Overall, I feel pretty disappointed in myself right now. Perhaps the next few days will be better. I keep reminding myself to take it easy. I still have one week left of uni break, and I need to breathe. I should take it easy.

The Other

I’ve been taking hourly naps everyday since uni break began, but I’ve also been waking up at later hours. It’s funny because I don’t even do much throughout the day, other than my usual workout in the morning, I just bum in front of my computer screen. So I took my hourly nap then woke up to have dinner out with my mom and younger brother. I must admit, the dinner was pretty great. The food was superb, the ambiance was perfect, and the three of us were all in a good mood. My dad left really early this morning for vacation, so my mom was feeling pretty lonely. She was in high spirits during the dinner though, which I think is because of the pizza and the sensational french onion soup.

So she was her usual self: Gushing over the delicious food, serving me and my brother food on our plates, cutting the pizza for me even though I can do it myself, making sure my water glass is never empty, checking out the other tables’ orders and commenting whether it looks delicious or not, telling me to be cautious of the candle near me because I might burn myself, swaying to the music…all of this while eating. I seriously cannot live without my mother’s naggery. Mothers, I have realized, are masters of multitasking.

My younger brother, on the other hand, is in love. Unf. And I can tell because throughout the car ride and dinner, he kept glancing down on his phone to reply to his best friend’s messages. He’s in love with his best friend, which I believe is a very beautiful thing. Who wouldn’t want to fall in love with their best friend? I want the same thing for me. Ha-ha. Frankly, I’ve never met the girl, but from the manner he speaks of her (and the frequency), it’s as if I already have. He is smitten. He also turned 18 two weeks ago.

No amount of observation can make me understand the feeling that he is feeling. Sure I can see the tiny smile curving on his lips when his phone vibrates, the furrow of his brows, the fast reflexes of his fingers to type back a reply, but I do not feel the emotions coursing through him when he reads her message, nor can I feel the emotions he feels every time he lies at night, thinking of her. I can only observe from the surface, which is something that I’ve been doing ever since. I realize, I can never really know a person’s feeling and emotions just by looking at them. Speaking to them about it doesn’t suffice either; our feelings are our own, and no one can take that away from us. I guess that’s the beauty of being an individual: Our feelings are private.

[Un]fortunately for me, I am not in love. Ha! So I was left to enjoy the food completely, my attention undivided. Food is love. I have never known love until I tasted tonight’s french onion soup. Really sensational stuff.

Onto more important things: Our national elections is this Monday. I have avoided Facebook due to the influx of posts about our presidential candidates, the black propagandas, the rants, the armchair activism—it is all too stressful. One thing is for sure: Our elected president is not our savior. Change comes from the individual, and it’s about time people stopped treating our president as if they are the messiah. Only the people are capable of changing the course of our country. So God bless the Philippines, if He hasn’t forsaken us yet.

I also applied for the assistant editorial position of my school paper. It took much coaxing from myself and fellow co-writers, but I gave in. I still haven’t decided if I will run for the executive board, but I dont want to think about that just yet. I still have a few weeks to ponder about it, and right now, well, I don’t want to touch on the subject. Ignorance is bliss lol. Anyway, at least I’ve taken the first step and applied as assistant feature editor. I realize, I cannot be afraid of change. I was rereading Paulo Coelho’s ‘By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept’ wherein he talks about The Other briefly. The Other is the one who taught us what we should be like, but not who we are. The Other, afraid of disappointment, keeps us from taking action.

For the longest time, The Other has ruled my mind and being. It is the voice in my head that holds me back, the ever-so-cautious tone the prevents me from doing anything risky or out of my comfort zone. The Other feeds on my weaknesses, banking on my fears and doubts then spews them all out during moments of self-reflection that often turns to self-deprecation. Maybe I should try that new dance class? Ask the guy I like out? Run for an editorial position? The Other rejects all these thoughts, constantly telling me to forget it. It is afraid of rejection and failure. What if I look stupid dancing? What if he doesn’t like me back? What if I lose in the EB race? I’m not smart enough. I’m better off here, thanks. Thus, The Other is also afraid of change and success. It thus, also, thrives on complacency and mediocrity.

And if there’s anything in this life that gives a sour taste in my mouth, it’s failure and cowardice. Whatever I endeavor in this life, I shall try to make a go for it and give all of me in the process of doing so. I admit, I haven’t banished The Other completely out of my life. It’s always at the back of my mind, waiting to see me fail and get rejected. I think I’m still a long way away from getting rid of The Other permanently, but right now I’ve managed to keep it under control. It isn’t ruling my mind anymore; I’ve sent it out of my head and is in the corner of my room, brooding. And that’s where it shall stay until, of course, I start losing my bearings once again. But right now The Other is out of my system, and I plan to retain it this way for the next couple of weeks. I need to be mentally strong. In fact, my mental game has to be at its strongest, especially since I have big things coming up for me in the next few months and I. Cannot. Afford. To. Fucking. Lose. My. Shit. Goddamn it.

I cannot be a “yes, but” person. Life, I think, is far too short for that. And my 11 year old self would scold me for being a coward instead of a lady with a little spice. So here’s to going out of comfort zones and trying out new things, regardless of the outcome. Here’s to becoming a lady with a little spice. It’s not really the goal that matters the most, I think, but the journey towards that goal and the wisdom we acquire throughout. I just need to keep this positivity at a constant and consistent level so I don’t feel great today, then a total downer the next day. My self-esteem has a tendency to wax and wane depending on my mood and the weather lol.

It’s already 12:57 a.m. I think part of the reason or the only reason why I am waking up at later hours since uni break is because I’ve been sleeping past midnight, because I finally found time to write down my thoughts and emotions during the late hours. But this isn’t really good for me. I need to hit the sack. Goodnight and don’t forget to banish your Other. At least for the meantime. 🙂

light-bulb moment (long post-ish)

i’m supposed to be doing my existentialism paper, but here i am stuck with my thoughts again. on quiet days like this, it’s usually only Sartre who can get my mind running, but i guess today is different. perhaps i’m not feeling Sartre today. i had a light-bulb moment a few minutes ago and that moment prompted me to wallow in my rumination until i finally arrived into a handful of realizations. this year, i must admit, has been a tough one for me, but looking back at it now, i can say i’m very proud of myself and the way i handled things. i guess in terms of maturity, i think i’ve improved and that’s saying something…. ha-ha. let me share with you some things that i’ve learned in this life within the past few months.

Continue reading

stick for yourself

because no one else will.

people will say the same things, move on, call you when they remember you, but these people will slip and slip and slip. only you can be your absolute. for years i tried to make myself believe that there’s such a thing as an Absolute–that one person who will always be there for me, no matter what. but then, after being hurt time and time and again, i soon realized that maybe, perhaps maybe there is no such thing as an Absolute. that people will continue to hurt me and disappoint me, whether intentional or not. that at some point or another, someone will shortchange and double-cross me. i no longer expect the best from people, which i believe is a sad thing, but at the same time, a good thing as well. i’ve always been an introvert my whole life, a hopeless romantic misanthrope…it’s difficult being this way; hoping for love and at the same time, not wanting to put yourself out there for other people… and the only time i decided to put myself out there, i got hurt big time.

i woke up quite early, around 5 a.m. usually when i wake up this early, i spend the next hour contemplating and thinking in bed, feeling sorry for myself, and then going back to sleep, only to wake up at a later hour, perhaps 10 or 11 am. but today was different. i finally heaved myself up from bed (with much difficulty, but i managed) at 5:30, i was up and about. i went for a run and freed my mind.

after my run, i suddenly felt emotional and all choked up, like something big was going to burst inside me. i dragged myself to the tub and stayed there in the water, and before i knew it, i was bawling my eyes out. i felt so defenseless, so weak and vulnerableat that exact moment, i really felt sorry for myself, sorrier than i’ve ever been. as if i couldn’t get any lower than this.  how could i allow myself to reach this point? moreover, how could i allow these same people hurt me and let them get away with it?

i’m the kind of person who, upon seeing something wrong with something, speak out and fight for it. it’s just my nature around other people. at the first sign of injustice, i speak and fight. i’m not the one who sits and stays meek, whether it be in the people i love, my academics, my activism, and other advocacies that i fight for. but then i realize this morning that i’m a hypocrite. i was so willing to fight for others, but when it came to fighting for myself, i’m the first one to hesitate. so why is it then that when it came to others, i’m ready to drop everything and take a bullet for them, but when it came to me, to my wellbeing and happiness, i push it aside, like I don’t matter?

i realize now that i’ve been wrong all this time. that i cannot refuse to give help to myself. that I am the person I need the most. it was a slap to the face realizing this today, right in the middle of an emotional bath, but somehow, i felt vindicated. i knew it was high time that i prioritized my happiness and wellbeing over other people’s, to have love for myself. i realize, then, that the only Absolute i can ever have is me. and it took me so long to realize this.

so i cleaned myself up, wiped myself dry, faced the mirror and took a good hard look at myself. I’m all I’ve got. I can’t give up on myself too, especially now when I need myself to be strong the most. I’m done with putting other people ahead, done with sacrificing my happiness for others, done with toxic people and memories. from now on, I come first. my happiness comes first. my wellbeing comes first. i will never deprive myself of the love i deserve, and that will only come from me. i deserve the best and that best can only come from me. everything i do now is for my future self and i do believe that my future self deserves all the love she can get–she deserves the best. and so i start today.

Love begins today. And I start with myself first and foremost.