Things I tell myself at age 22:

1. life is worth living, never forget that.

2. to cry or not to cry? cry, darling.

3. call parents, ask them about their day.

4. should you really post that?

5. laban lang.

6. don’t be ashamed of the things you love

7. don’t shame people for the things they love

8. ask friends about their day.

9. draw

10. stay curious 

11. you don’t need somebody to complete you, you already are

12. be mindful of your words

13. don’t cut people off when they’re talking

14. don’t forget your glasses!

15. when in an argument, count to 10 before responding

16. kaya mo ‘yan

17. stop eating too much fast food please lang

18. write on your journal

19. don’t be a know it all

20. drink water!!!

21. i know that you miss Tiny

22. forgive without being asked for forgiveness

23. do it for the experience, not for the IG pics

24. don’t smile if you don’t feel like it

25. be kind

26. stay humble

27. release your anger, don’t keep it all in.

28. do the laundry

29. try your best to be patient

30. remember how lucky you are to be living the life you’re living

31. you can talk to your friends about your problems

32. savor the moment

33. bad recit day? itulog mo na ‘yan. bawi next time.

34. you are stronger than you think

35. you are not a disappointment 

36. there is a place and time for everything

37. stand your ground when you’re in the right

38. stop spending so much money on clothes

39. pay bills

40. don’t force yourself to be happy on your bad days

41. love

42. wag kang magparinig sa Twitter

43. keep in mind that it’ll pass

44. manage your time wisely

45. you are allowed to make mistakes

46. save up!

47. there is always help

48. finish your fics!!!

49. makakabawi ka rin sa mga magulang mo

50. meditate

51. you are naming your first born Robin

52. have rest days/hours

53. i’m proud of you.

54. read this at least once a week

55. add more (before you turn 23) when necessary 

Y (list is at 55 as of 10/18/17)

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1:33 AM thoughts

It is late and it is dark and it is cold. I am alone with nothing but my thoughts to keep me company. There are words needed to be said and realities to confront, but instead of being brave, I end up conjuring my very own little bubble of paradise. It is my escape route, my happy place. I close my eyes and I am there. It is only for the time being. It will end, this I know to be true. But at least for now, it isn’t late and it isn’t dark and it isn’t cold.

Y

hustisya

May your actions haunt you for the rest of your days. May you listen to your conscience no matter how low it whispers. May you still manage to find your humanity at the very bottom of your soul. For you are now branded as cowards and murderers. Be aware that this is a test of what matters most. You all know what the right thing to do is. Have the fucking balls to do it.

Y

The Crossroads

We are walking in a silence that used to be familiar and safe. We are now strangers who know each other the most. And as we place one foot after the other, the sound of leaves crunching beneath our shoes, our steps no longer in sync, we both silently wonder… how did it ever come to this?

Talk,” you finally say, your voice calm and defeated. You are terrified. I am too. This conversation is long overdue. “And I’ll listen.”

I shake my head because that’s what we are, that’s what we do. We are polar opposites. We contradict. We collide.

Ask,” I murmur enough for you to hear. “And I’ll answer.”

You smile, it was once my favorite smile, but it doesn’t reach your eyes.

I hold my breath, waiting for your response. I clench my hands into fists so you won’t see how tremendously they’re shaking.

We have gone so far on this path we chose to take. We have danced to hundreds of love songs and slain thousands of dragons. But we are almost at the the crossroads and we are both aware that upon reaching it, we will be going our separate ways. For our destinations are no longer the same.

I take your hand in mine one last time and I do not intend to let go until the final second. Although this is not the ending we expected, we are ending our journey the way we started it. Together.

You open your mouth to speak.

And I am ready. We both are.

Y

Makeshift Stars

At the top of your apartment building, the city stretched on before our very eyes. I wanted to see the stars but the night sky was not clear, so you brought me up here and told me to imagine the city lights were stars.

The silence that followed was comforting as the back of our hands were brushing against each other. It was almost midnight when all the city lights suddenly went off but returned a heartbeat later. 

Maybe I was seeing things so I looked at you and asked, “Did all the lights just went off and came back right after?”

You took this into consideration. “That,” you agreed and turned to smile at me. You grabbed my hand, gave it a gentle squeeze and returned your gaze to our makeshift stars. “Or maybe we both blinked at the same time.”

Y

My Lone Soldier

I’ve always thought that the line “You saved me.” from books or movies were little white lies. That it was a ploy to get hearts to flutter. Or maybe it was a trigger for all kinds of emotions. Maybe it was just for added effect, the cherry on top.

But most especially, I didn’t like the thought that I needed help to be saved or that I needed saving. I was my own warrior. I did not need a knight in shining armor.  I’ve made it this far, haven’t I?

Here’s the thing.

I have gotten used to fighting this battle between myself and I with no one to rely on that I have been blinded. I have traveled long and far on foot. I have slain every demon my mind has conjured. I was way too over my head that when I reached the edge of the water, I did not hesitate to board the ship on the dock not realizing that it was filled with pirates masked as sailors.

I was outnumbered and the shore was already miles away but that has never stopped me before. This was different. This was more than just the pirates. This was every single one of my inner demons. For the very first time in a long time, I had this gut wrenching feeling that I knew that I was going to lose.

And I did.

Because I let it.

An anchor was tied around myself as they pushed me overboard and the moment I hit rock bottom, I never wondered how long would it take me to get right back to the surface, because I’ve accepted the fact that this was the end-game. There was still so much fighting that needed to be done that maybe if I closed my eyes and held my breath a little longer, then maybe there will be no more of this madness. The rolling credits were near and all I had to do was wait.

However at the very last second, when I least expected it, you came along and pulled me back up from the bottom of the ocean, anchor still intact.

Here’s the magic in the situation, there was always help. From the very beginning. I was simply too selfish and refused to accept a helping hand.

Being saved is not a sign of weakness.

I know that now.

Sometimes it’s okay to have an army  or maybe just one soldier who has your back in this battle against oneself. That’s what you told me.

This, to you my lone soldier, I say with every ounce of gratitude, “you saved me.”

-Y

Pastels and Grays

I am a stranger to myself. When I am alone, I either feel too much or nothing at all. It is something that I try and fail to shake off. It is an annoying shadow, a never ending tapping sound, a thief in the night. At times it is sudden. At times I hear its footsteps coming closer long before it even arrives. My heart can win a marathon at how fast it beats at night when all thoughts consume my existence as I lay awake until I am too exhausted to think. I like to say that I’ve mastered the art of faking a smile. Quite easy, actually, I could show you how. It is disguised in colorful paintings, in the corniest of jokes, in a single sigh.

I have this nagging feeling that I have an entire stadium full of people just waiting for me to crumble and they’re getting what they want.

But I can’t let them.

For I am stronger than this.

I better be.

Y