How many times have you been hurt? When was the first time you did? Any debilitating ones? And do you also ask yourself again and again, why the heck do we need to experience pain?

As I write this, my eyes are a bit swollen from crying about a certain character in one of the fictitious series I’ve long been following. I won’t spoil anything, don’t worry. When the episode was over, I took a leak after holding it for too long and realized, how many times do we have to experience pain in our lifetime?

In my 31 years of existence, I’ve experienced all kinds of pain. Not even gonna sugarcoat it with “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”, because it fucks the shit out of you. From jellyfish stings, to my oftentimes unbearable period cramps, to losing myself and even loved ones and to thinking that one day, I’ll lose more.

Was supposed to publish this a few days ago, but I didn’t feel like doing so ’til today when I learned about a girl, an artist only a year younger than me, found dead. Another loss, another reason to feel pain, but it doesn’t stop, does it? Pain is part of life, ironically.

Back in college, a professor once said that people tend to forget what pain feels like. She was teaching OB Nursing. She said that it’s also partly why women get pregnant for the second time, even though the first one made them go through hell of a pain. Ain’t that just wonderful?

But then again, aren’t you grateful for when that day comes, and you wake up not feeling so hurt anymore? The jellyfish sting eventually fades. The cramps eventually go away, thanks to my meds lol (I know I have to go to an OB the soonest). And surprisingly, the pain of losing a loved one progresses from DENIAL in DABDA (5 stages of grief) to that last A which stands for what leads to healing, which is ACCEPTANCE.

Whenever I get scared or feel like questioning all the painful things happening around lately, I look up and ask for strength and grace to go through, accept and eventually be grateful for it all. Not an easy feat, but it is what it is. Let it fulfill its purpose.


I’m Just a Girl, Sitting in Front of Her Laptop, Asking it to Write for Her


It took me a whole season of Bridgerton to finally put up a new post. It’s been a while and I’m pretty sure I was inspired by Lady Whistledown or by some strange surge of energy at 10 in the evening after a long, busy day at work. By work, I mean, field work. Yes! I am no longer trapped in the constraints of my bedroom and glued to my computer screen all day. I can finally breathe fresh, contaminated air again. Char! (again).

I wanna say I had a blast of a Christmas vacation, but toned down to about a hundred notches lower, but still, family time is all I wanted and I’m very glad I got it. Mama couldn’t bear the thought of having a Zoom party, so despite the risks, we still celebrated Christmas physically together! Glad everyone was healthy and happy even though the closest thing to a family holiday roadtrip we had was when my brother and I picked up our relatives in Novaliches. Oh, but we did get our quick roadtrip pala to Tagaytay a day before we went back here in Cebu and when my barkada celebrated our annual Christmas party at my friends’ place in Antipolo. Also got to meet my constant Christmas date, my good friend from college for lunch, at our fave date spot, Makati. Plus, I got tons of film rolls processed, so I must say, I am soooooo lucky I am still Covid-free to date.

Now, I am back in Cebu, but assigned in a different territory. Got myself a printer, finally, which I bought in less than half an hour due to limited choices (to which I am so thankful for). I’ve been printing, scanning and photocopying so much stuff during the first week. LOL. Also got an internet broadband installed so I’m looking forward to saving lots in the coming months! Got highlights for my hair for the first time back when I was at home and I couldn’t be more in love with my new look. Had a dental appointment last week and explained my situation to the dentist and she agreed to continue my treatment for the next 6-8 months as long as I get my old records from my former orthodontist. I’ve also been working out consistently since last year, so really hoping to trim my tummy a bit, with the help of our 15 RF + Cavi sessions. Got myself one of those laptop stands and a pair of 6-lb dumbells. Arriving in a few days are my Wheatgrass and Barley seeds, new Yoga mat and a resistance band, and my hydroponic seedling trays. I have got to write about my Shopee haul on a separate post and how I managed to control myself. LOL. So much happening these days, I didn’t realize til I wrote them all down now.

That’s my 2021 so far. Met a lot of people too so I am almost always talking to someone on the daily. Assigned to a new team and a new boss as well, which was a breath of fresh air. My new counterpart told me once that he has a good feeling about this year and I agreed, not just to agree, but because I genuinely felt the same way. Things are looking up for me and in writing all of these down now, I realize that I cannot let that one bad thing that happened to me this year at work pull me down. I have so much to be grateful for.

I have this pinned tweet on twitter dated January 3, 2020 and it says:

And it all went downhill from there. Lol. Kidding aside, I have been actually doing more this year rather than just telling myself to do them. And I keep this tweet pinned to this day as a reminder of the things that I still want to improve on.

I know we’ve heard a lot about TOXIC POSITIVITY in the past year. If it wasn’t the official phrase of 2020 then it’s probably Tiktok, Sushi Bake or Free Shipping; but knowing that it exists isn’t going to stop me from hoping for the best. I am still hopeful for a beautiful life, not because it will be picture or IG perfect but because I have learned a lot from the past and I am determined to keep my shit together and pray for grace, gratitude and peace pf mind for whatever is up ahead. I hope you do too!

Film photo by yours truly. Art inspired by Geloy Concepcion.


Life Lately / At My Worst

My boyfriend and I had an argument the other night and it took a turn for the worst or best (depending on how you look at it). I thought it will be the end of our month-old relationship. It was a wake up call for me and I’m grateful that we had that fight; otherwise, I wouldn’t have this huge epiphany.

I’ve been single for 4 years and this whole dating thing has always been just temporary for me the past years. I never met anyone again who took me seriously which I have long accepted, as well as the fact that I might end up in a perpetual state of singleness. I was so afraid to let my guard down and I wouldn’t let anyone come close again as I don’t want to get fucked up even more than I already am.

Then came this person whom I never thought I’d end up with. If you remember, a few entries back, I was talking about a different person whom I was head over heels smitten by, and back then, my boyfriend was just someone I talked to casually, never even flirtatiously. Who would’ve thought he would have all the things I’m looking for in a partner, including being able to help me out with my personal issues.

So two nights ago, he brought up some of those issues, which he observed about me in a span of a month and I was caught off guard. That semi-stressful conversation was WHAT I NEEDED to help me think through some of the things I needed to improve on myself. It was an intervention I never thought would slap me hard in the face, at least not this early into the relationship; but I’m glad it did.

So in order to make things better for us and more importantly for ME, I’m listing the issues I need to work on:

  1. My negative and giving-a-fuck-about-everything attitude/mindset
  2. My insecurities and self pity
  3. My immaturity (turned 31 years old a few days ago, need to keep up with my age lol)
  4. My PDPG attitude (I need to really and only SAY WHAT I MEAN and MEAN WHAT I SAY)

I also listed these things in my private journal when I woke up this morning and I am 101% committed to be better!

And that’s me, basically at my worst and just as Pink Sweat$’ lyrics say, “I need somebody who can love me at my worst and know that I’m not perfect but still see my worth” and I think I found him. Not to jinx this or anything, but really I am blessed to have met this beautiful person!

P.S. Discovered this song through him!

Life Lately / Quarantined

Earlier tonight, as I carefully lie in bed, just minutes after shoving a copious amount of Laksa into my mouth for dinner while watching yet another incredible episode of “Tiny House Nation“, I decided to look for Mark Manson‘s “Motherfuckin Monday” newsletter on my email. I have been so tired of reading stuff on the internet lately that I resorted to reading more valuable and rational insights from my favorite people instead. One of whom is Mark.

Unfortunately, I forgot that we are at least half a day ahead of US time and I was a tad early to ask for my much needed brain “dessert”. I have been craving for these emails more than I would for real sweets these days. It has even taken the place of my Monday ritual, that is listening to the podcast “The Halo-Halo Show“, which I religiously wait for to start off my week.

That wasn’t the only thing on my routine that has changed. In fact, a lot of things in my life has taken a turn since the outbreak. Early into the quarantine, I would stealthily go out at night to hunt for food (I am Legend lang?), este to go for a grocery run, but that has changed too as they imposed a provincial wide curfew here in Cebu and eventually, an ECQ, just like in Manila.

My days of rotting sitting at home has turned into weeks and now almost a month. I even stopped crossing out days on my calendar. At first, I was kinda excited thinking “hey I’m gonna be working from home for a while! DREAM F*CKING COME TRUE!”, but things unexpectedly took a turn for the worse. Before I realized it, this whole crisis aggravated my anxiety even more and one day, I just lost it.

I had an episode of what some may probably call, “inarts“, but just so everyone’s in the same boat with me, let me just call it a mild panic attack. Maybe it’s because of the pressure from our bosses amidst the crisis, plus the pressure to show off what we have accomplished at work, and the fact that we won’t be able to go home to our families for Holy Week, and add those to all the irritatingly “woke” tweets of people that pop up on my feed from nowhere and the posts of people losing jobs and going hungry, increasing Covid-19 stats and deaths that are constantly passed around every single online messaging group that I am member of. And to top it all off, there were paranoid thoughts of me having various encounters with people who might be coronavirus carriers, which led me to think that I might probably be the next to die while sooooooooo far away from my family. That was a mouthful I know, but can you imagine all that constantly stirring inside my messy head, all at the same time, morning til night, every single day?

Those thoughts got out of hand the night I had the panic attack. I was having extremely shallow breaths, I felt like the oxygen I inhaled didn’t even make it to my brain anymore. That was probably why my head was getting cloudier by the minute. Netflix wasn’t working. Surprisingly, I also couldn’t understand why the online Rosary that was livestreamed at the time couldn’t calm my nerves as I wanted it to. I thought of calling my mom first, but knowing her, she panics doubly than I do, so I texted my sister instead. Then she told my brother about it and there they were, calming me down from worlds afar. After what seemed like an hour of peptalks, I had some tea and forced myself from then on to take things with a grain of salt (if not ignore them entirely) just as my sister asked; and even though I didn’t think I would be able to sleep that night, I did. Thank God! ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿป And so that was the story of my first ever panic/anxiety attack in my entire existence! I hope it never happens again.

I got through it unexpectedly that the next day, I was back browsing through tweets again (IKR?) and was badmouthing annoying people online to my friends, who couldn’t agree with me more.

Work got more hectic, which I couldn’t understand how, when we are all just on our asses, all day. Apparently, working from home can be extremely tough for most people.

Fortunately, last Friday was our last working day before we go into a week-long company break. Friday was time for end of the week reports compilation and I loved that everyone on our team did everything efficiently! Our online session with the training team also ended just in time for Part 4 of LA CASA DE PAPEL (MONEY HEIST), which according to Netflix is the #1 streamed show in the country as of this writing!!!!! And so it began!

My days of constantly checking Viber, texts, emails and Messenger are over (at least for now)! Our boss may have also given us the green light to mute our group chats for the week and thankfully, my heart and respiratory rate have both gone down to normal because of that (after weeks of being on constant high alert). I am finally getting my peace and quiet in my place of comfort once again.

As I write this, I am also indulging on the luxury of taking a break from Twitter and Messenger. Who would’ve thought silence can also be music to the ears? I only check our family gc’s for now. I assume that if people need to contact me urgently, I’m always just a phonecall away.

And just as I wrote that, like magic, my phone lights up and in came a colleague’s multiple texts saying that a department chairman from one of the hospitals we cover also confirmed positive for Covid-19. This saddens me greatly as it hits closer and closer to home now that more and more people we know personally are stricken with the illness.

As I was reading the said texts, another friend called and 2 and a half hours later, here I am all panicky once again, but not enough to make me ๐Ÿคฎ. Apparently, my friend’s friend works for a hospital in QC where my cousin has recently submitted her application to work as a Respiratory Therapist. My friend cut me off right after the mention of the hospital’s name and told me to stop my cousin from doing so. So, I had to talk my cousin out of it no matter how hard it broke her heart because I know that she intends to put herself out there to help. Sadly, she is going into battle like a lamb to the slaughter for reasons I cannot disclose, for now. If you were in my shoes, would you dare let your loved ones go into war unarmed?

This post wasn’t supposed to snowball like it did. I had a different concept in mind, but how likely does life often go as planned? ๐Ÿ˜œ I have to say that this post was probably triggered by Mark Manson’s insightful thoughts on the pandemic’s effects on everyone’s mental state, or not. Maybe I just had all these thoughts balled up inside of me, and now came the time to finally let it all out. Whatever it is, I’ll just take comfort in the fact that I will always bounce back stronger, because I’ll always have Him โ˜๐Ÿป evidently through the people around me.

I’ll take advantage of the quieter next couple of days and write at least every day for the rest of this week. I am not sure how, when exactly, what about or for what, but I’ll do it anyway. At least to keep my head afloat while I can. I promise the next posts will be less melancholic and more useful for the weeks ahead! For now, let us all pray for one another and stay sane and safe!