Honest Notes VOL. 1: I found happiness in the South

HN 1Honest Notes are a collection of random pieces that I write on moments that overwhelms my heart. This is the first part of this series which I wrote during my recent trip with my family in the province of Batangas (hence, South). The past few months have been a difficult struggle of trying to keep my mental health in check which is why the said trip was important to me. Before leaving home, I was actually hoping to find some peace of mind and a bit of happiness along the way and I’m truly grateful for stumbling upon it on this humble trip.

(P.S. All the photos below are taken by me except for the two photos of myself which was taken by my sister) 

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The Hymn of the Broken

I am not going to be a tragedy

This is what I say to myself everytime the world turns a bit dark.

Calling out to the shadows of my happier self,

I scream.

 

I am not going to be a tragedy

I repeat it like a sacred prayer–palms closed, eyes drunk with despair.

Again, and again, and again

I pray.

 

Even as I finish obsessing each and every pain that my mind secretly carries,

I still do not want to be the kind of rain that creates thunderstorms.

My heart, no matter how exhausted it is, still longs for rainbows.

Therefore, I am not going to be a tragedy.

 

The walls of my room may tell me there’s nowhere to go,

But the wind, and the sun, and the trees are whispering, “there is”

And I am not going to be a tragedy because I believe this.

I am alive and I believe this.

 

 

 

 

If There Were Such Things As Galaxies

 

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Photo from AmourAmelia

 

A Tumblr post once told me that galaxies reside within my body.

It was one of those 3 AM nights filled with inexplicable loneliness and okay, maybe…hunger.

Months later, when a random phone call informed me that a dear friend took her own life, I did not think about the galaxies.

I did not think about the said constellations around my body–such meaningless names for lifeless beauties.

I did not think about the billions and billions of stars running through my blood, said to provide light because damn it! There are some places I rather not visit.

When the rain wept along with me on that particular September night, I realized Science is once again right.

There are no galaxies–only water and blood. It makes sense, doesn’t it? Because if there were galaxies, I would not feel blankets of heavy water tugging at my feet.

If there were stars then surely, surely, she would have seen them, admired them, tried to live instead of leave.

Do you believe me now? There are no galaxies! 

Last week, when my mother jokingly told me to kill myself, I almost told her about the meteor showers sleeping deep within me.

How these cluster of stones can fulfill her wishes and please, please, do not give me the permission I need. 

When I woke up this morning, my same old mind telling me it wants to die, I felt like a remnant of a dead galaxy.

NASA said that galaxies are ripped apart when they encounter strong tidal forces–well lately, my sadness has turned into a huge, screaming, tidal force I cannot always battle.

Therefore, Science is right. I am being ripped apart…there are days where I can no longer conjure sentences, a task as familiar as the scent of my bed.

Science is right!

A black hole can cause turbulence in a galaxy which may result to its death. I am scared of the fact that my heart resembles a black hole, building friendships with darkness and misery.

Two years ago, I thought there were no such things as galaxies living inside of me but I have forgotten that half of the stars in the night-sky are nothing but corpses!

And probably what she saw was a spitting image of herself, likely the one I also see in the mirror during the very bad days.

If galaxies were real, I am terrified of the idea that my time has already ended, the stars running in my veins are more dead than alive.

So please, please, do not let the galaxies be real. 

Somewhere between sleeping and living

I’ll sleep until the unwanted passes,

Until every horrible well in my mind shushes.

I’ll sleep until my eyes forget what it feels like to see the first rays of sunshine,

Or how I look like bathing on it during the good days—

Smiling, laughing, dreaming.

 

I’ll sleep until the knots inside my head break free,

Until the loud pounding in my chest reverts back to a heartbeat.

I’ll sleep until my toes forget what it feels like to stand,

To have the strength to lead the way and the power to stop.

Lately, all I wish is for the world to stop.

 

I’ll sleep until the darkness becomes a friend,

Until the hushed pleas turn into echoes— help asking for help.

I’ll sleep until I forget how to conjure whimsical adventures in my dreams,

Because if dreams represent reality, I’d have thunderstorms as my sun—

My skin a hint of goodbyes and broken promises, my breath: lifeless.

 

So, I’ll sleep once more,

Hoping not to be blue as the skies and deep as the ocean.

I’ll sleep, sleep tight—

Tighter than the bedroom of the screams I keep,

Thinking, feeling, wishing: a better tomorrow.

My Life Lately #5: Twenty Questions!

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Ah, July.

I can’t believe that everything is happening so fast. I mean, it was just last week when I celebrated my 20th birthday…much to my dismay. To be honest, turning twenty wasn’t anything that I ever imagined. My younger self were expecting a wiser version of itself; one who’s already doing what she wants to do and is confident, happy, and strong. Meanwhile, the real twenty-year-old version of myself is the exact opposite of that. If anything, I’m much weaker than the person I was last year (Post-grad anxiety is taking a HUGE toll on me, guys). However, I cannot do anything to stop myself from growing up and entering the adult world so I can at least make it worthwhile, right? (Carpe diem until the end!)

From Chicago Typewriter, 2017 (Source: tumblr.com)

Hence, I decided to try something fun for this Life Lately blog post. I searched for interesting questions around the web and picked twenty items which I will answer truthfully as possible. (I mostly gathered the questions on these very helpful sites: 100 Brave and Interesting Questions and 101 Fun and Interesting Questions To Perk Up Boring Gatherings)

So yeah, let’s dive right in!

 

1. Where do you want to be right now?

I actually want to go back three weeks ago when my family went on a spontaneous road trip and stumbled upon Nagcarlan Forest Resort in Laguna. We arrived there during the late hours of the evening but my siblings and I still decided to take a dip in the pool no matter how chilly it was.

That night was magical. The water’s a bit dark and there were purple painted flowers floating in the pool and even though I was scared because I literally can’t see anything (I, unfortunately, have poor eyesight), I still faced the cold, unfamiliar water and lay on my back, facing the stars. It was one of those moments where you feel like you’re doing the right thing, that you’re exactly at the right place and the right time, and you know that everything is going to be okay. That soon, everything will fall into its righteous place.

 

2. What’s something you never leave home without?

From John Carney’s Begin Again, 2014 (Source: tumblr.com)

My earphones! Traffic can be really horrible which is why I make sure to always bring it so that I can relax during a commute.

 

3. What’s your favorite time of day?

Midnight. It is when my mind is most active and kind of at peace. I oftentimes like how it makes me vulnerable; it is as if only me and my thoughts exist.

 

4. What are you ready to let go of?

Fear, overthinking, and too much sadness. I’ve been trying to let go of these things since two years ago but I keep on falling back each time I try. I’m scared that if I don’t lessen my consumption of these feelings, I won’t be able to live my life the way I want to. In spite of that knowledge, I’m still struggling. *sigh*

 

5. What are your 3 favorite movies?

“Everything passes….but before letting go, hold on as tight as you can” -Starry Starry Night, 2011 (Source)

Forrest Gump directed by Robert Zemeckis (1994), Starry Starry Night directed by Tom Shu-yu Lin (2011), and Spirited Away directed by Hayao Miyazaki (2001)

 

6. What is your favorite movie quote?

From Finding Dory, 2016 (Source: tumblr.com)

Just keep swimming, just keep swimming

 

7. What is the biggest lie you tell yourself?

“You’re okay”

This lie is in-between useful and harmful. Oftentimes, I use it to comfort myself and if it is a good day, it works.

 

8. What is the best piece of advice you’ve received?

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One of my wonderful friends sent this to me and it immediately struck a chord. I tend to give comfort towards other people too much and I always end up neglecting myself in the process. I guess it’s nice to be reminded that I have to be kind to myself, too and that my own happiness shouldn’t be put on hold for someone else’s.

 

9. What’s your favorite childhood book?

Suzanne Weyn’s Forever Angels series! It’s a bunch of inspiring books about four teenage girls whose lives are surrounded by kind and mysterious angels. I haven’t read everything from the series but I seriously loved it when I was a child. I can’t remember how many times I’ve read it! (I even brought it to school and read it during free time)

 

10. What’s the best sound in the world?

Laughter from the people I love the most ♥

 

11. Pick 3 famous people, living or dead, for your fantasy dinner party

From Lorde’s Green Light music video (Source)

Okay, this one’s a bit hard but here it goes:

  • David Levithan because I am in love with his writing and I badly want to talk to him about his characters
  • Morgan Freeman just for the sake of hearing his wonderful voice in person haha
  • Lorde! I think she’s a really cool person and I am a huge fan of her music. Aside from that, this girl definitely knows how to liven up the mood. Lol

 

12. What makes you cringe?

From Inside Out, 2015 (Source: tumblr.com)

HATEFUL PEOPLE!!!!

 

13. What makes you feel safe?

Safe is where my heart feels like it could break anytime and I’d still be complete, safe is where I feel each of my limbs relax, where I truly am at peace. Safe is not a place nor a destination, it’s a feeling. And there’s nothing in the world that can make me feel safer than spending time with the people I trust and love the most. It always makes me feel like I’m home and I know that I will never find a place like that somewhere else.

 

14. Do you ever talk to yourself? When and what do you say?

From How I Met Your Mother (Source)

Absolutely! I talk to myself all the time but most especially when I’m thinking about something serious. It clears my mind which helps me in reaching efficient solutions to my problems.

 

15. What’s it like being you right now?

Clearly, it’s not much. I’m kind of all over the place right now and I’m on the verge of losing my sanity from all of the pressure regarding my future. Only months ago my groupmates and I were writing our thesis and all we ever wished was for our work to get recognized and it actually did and it was the most amazing feeling but then, all of that doesn’t matter anymore, right?

From Finding Nemo (Source)

I’m starting from scratch. Everything that I’ve ever achieved is no longer valid. I’m just a regular individual hoping to find a job. It’s crazy. In truth, I’ve never been more unsure of myself than I am right now.

 

16. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

For now, I literally want to change how I see myself. As I have mentioned above, I’m currently having a hard time with regards to major decisions about my future and basically, my life and all of it are making me weary. *hopefully waits for a silver lining*

 

17. What is your favorite Disney movie?

Wreck-It Ralph!!!

Wreck-It Ralph, 2012 (Source)

I remember when I first saw this movie and how I immediately adored Ralph’s character. He reminded me of myself so much then which I think is the primary reason why this one’s my favorite. Ralph and I have a spiritual bond! Aside from that, Disney used a song by Owl City for the movie’s soundtrack. I mean, what more can a girl ask?

 

 18. What’s a bad habit you have?

From Taeyeon’s Fine music video (Source: tumblr.com)

Telling people I’m fine even if I’m not. God, I excel at this. 

 

19. What have you forgotten?

Innocence. Now that I’ve grown up, almost everything’s stained with a bad memory. It’s real life, yes. But it’s suffocating.

Real life is suffocating

 

20. What’s one choice you really regret?

I regret not sincerely asking how a person is holding up earlier in my life. Two years ago, I discovered how important it is. It was so simple yet I just did not care enough and I will forever regret that.

This could have helped in easing a person’s pain and I certainly believe that asking a simple “Are you alright?” or “How are you?” can help save lives. So even if I’m a few years late, I’m trying my best to ask these two questions to people as often as I can. Trust me, it really helps.

***

Aaaand, that’s it! I hope that you enjoyed reading my answers and finding out a little more about myself. Answering questions have always made me feel slightly sure about myself which is why I am very fond of this game no matter how old-school it is.

Tip: If you’re going to do something like this, choose the most interesting questions so you’ll never get bored of answering. Always challenge yourself!

Finally, I think that questions like these help in rediscovering oneself and getting to know it a little better. If you don’t want to take it from me, take it from Thor:

 

I’m learning how to count to ten. Again.

 

igotthisimtwenty

This design is based on one of the teasers for IU’s Palette album. You can find it here: Palette teasers

 

I’m losing confidence as each day passes by,

Carrying a weary heart, only numbers speak sense.

One, two, three.

How much time has passed?

It feels like I’ve been staring at my bedroom wall a little too much.

 

I turned twenty the other day,

Unlike before, my eyes were dry–

Just like a stale birthday cake.

Four, five, six…

I can’t figure out which is worse.

 

Has it been a week? Or maybe two?

If anything else, I’m glad I learned to count in school.

Hurry up, my mind is turning into dust, my sanity’s on the verge of mistrust.

Seven, eight, nine.

Am I really here? Is that person really me?

 

My eyes were open again this morning,

I don’t know if I should be glad–I’m thinking too much.

Listen, dear heart, were you really this weak?

Ten. I reached ten. Isn’t that what I’m supposed to do?

Maybe the truth is, I’m at the beginning. The start. Zero.

Anatomy of Faces and Hues

 

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From our exhibit last February 28 about mental health awareness (Photo taken by me)

 

When people ask me if I am doing fine,

I close my eyes and pick a color farthest from the nightmares in my mind.

“I’m fine,” I say, as I watch myself paint another face.

Another masterpiece, another lie–today I’ve survived.

 

When people ask me if I am doing fine,

I examine the ugly scars in my body and imagine an unblemished canvas.

“I’m alright,” I whisper, choosing a red, blissful face.

Another masterpiece, another lie–today I’ve survived.

 

When people ask me if I am doing fine,

My mind immediately cries–while my hands automatically pick the brush.

“I will be okay,” I promise, as my demon wakes.

Another masterpiece, another lie–today I’ve survived.