Day 160: 6.13.17

You don’t always have to be at the top to be at your best. – Edward John Barber, 2017

Today, I cried.

I cried for reasons I wasn’t even aware I needed to cry about.

I thought, I was handling the pain strongly and bravely, and to be fair, I think I was, but even strong and brave people get battered and hurt, fall down and cry after a while.

I wasn’t aware that I was hurting that badly, and I was trying to mask the frustration by telling myself words that I needed to hear, but I guess, I wasn’t completely convinced by it.

Today, I faced the problem.

I admitted to myself, the ugly truth of the issue. That there is an issue, and I had an issue.

I cried in the darkness and isolation of the world, on my bed, in the safety and secrecy of my room. The walls had been witnessed to all my ups and downs, especially the battles I’ve had with myself that I chose not to share to anyone except for those walls.

I guess, that’s not a very good choice.

I know.

However, this is my limitation in terms of sharing myself. At least, I hope, only as of now.

I’m still waiting for the day that I wouldn’t have such a hard time allowing myself to deal with these demons with someone.

I know I have very good friends who would be willing to comfort me, and for that, I am very very grateful, but for now, I’ll just keep that in mind.

I can still manage. I can manage on my own.

If only I can admit, at least to myself, honestly, all the things that I feel bad about, and I don’t have to always comfort myself with words that I have to say to make myself feel strong and stable. Sometimes, I have to allow myself–hopefully more often–that there are times, that things are not alright.

And that’s alright.
Things will eventually be alright.

So, thank you very much, Edward for those words.

I have to remind myself, that I don’t always have to wish that I am at the top to feel good about myself, I just have to focus to do my best where I am. Whether people recognize that or not, if I am happy with it, then so be it. There would be people bigger than me, better than me, but that doesn’t mean that I am not good where I am now. If I really love what I’m doing, then someone will love me for what I’m doing, too. No matter how many or small those people are. Even if there is none, continue to be happy as you are, Michelle.

Rule of thumb: don’t get attached. But be kind. Always, and strive it, always be kind.

You’re alright.

Anger

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Some of the worst days of my life involves me raising my voice to an octave I didn’t even know I can manage to belt out. It’s that moment that dark clouds hides judgment and you succumb to a feeling so intense you didn’t know how much damage it would create, nor how much damage it can cause you.

I’m a very patient person and most people would say that I’m pretty chill despite others trying to push me around, and just because I really don’t let them. I try not to think that they are pushing me around, but instead, I’m just being the better person by trying to find around the situation without losing my cool. However, all of us has a trigger that can ignite that fire to explosion, you know? I have that. The trigger is buried within layers of patience and body fat, but when pressed, uh-oh.

To be very honest, I’ve only been angry several times in my lifetime, probably less than ten times. I try to find reason for every bad thing that happens to me or when people do me wrong so I can try to find reason to easily forgive them too, but that trigger has no logic, so I just explode. Of course, I also held grudges and that one is worse, but at least that my angry imploding muses got me writing angry poetry and angsty prose.

I think for the reasons that I get really angry–you know, like screaming, red-faced mad–it’s valid. Nobody tells me that it was an uncalled for reaction, but I get the biggest damage in the end. Why? Probably because in the end, me getting angry and raising my voice didn’t solve anything permanently. Also, my heart cannot bear the emotion as there’s irregularity in the beat and my breathing shortens. Since I’m not used to this very powerful emotion, my body reacts very negatively to it. And of course, once I get this much angry, I feel awful the rest of the day. It throws me off-balance. The regret of giving up to the situation and letting anger dominate me for a few seconds stretches to the rest of the day.

The thing is, when this happens, I crave random things. I don’t eat properly and start craving for food that I won’t usually eat on a non-special day, meaning I spend more. And there’s nothing more awful than unplanned and impulsive spending.

So there, Buddha, you’re right. My anger is punishing me right now because I still feel bad about it. I direly need to meditate again.

 

 

Yey?

I always try to look for something to look forward to. Something to strive for to make my life richer. – Sam Berns, progeria advocate and inspiration to many

Yesterday, I emailed my bosses a formal letter of my intent to discontinue my work from April of this year onward. The one who pulls the strongest string in the game had acknowledged my decision and so it’s final. I would be out of that school in less than two months. The countdown begins.

The decision, believe it or not, had been an easy one as I know what I want and don’t want from a situation anymore. In particular, my working situation as of now. Don’t worry. I’m not gonna go into a long rant regarding my grievances at work because I think overall the good outweighs the bad. Yet, there is such thing as pride and the pursuit of better happiness elsewhere which cemented this choice to leave my home of almost two years (very soon!).

What I expected to be a thrill upon confirmation of my freedom was pretty bland. Of course, I’m happy that there wouldn’t be any problems towards my exit (it seems), but at the same time, I’m scared of what’s life after this phase.

It would be two years, two years, of the same routine and people, comfort and happiness. Believe me, I can dwell so much on that routine of warmth that I know it would be difficult on the following days of being away from it–permanently. Moreover, I visualize this exit as me stepping into a white plain and a blizzard my way. I’m supposed to look forward to this new end as a beginning, right? That’s how my optimistic mind naturally wires for me, but it’s really not taking effect. Not yet at least. Let’s hope it would soon.

Well, I guess I should just chill for now. It’s only the beginning of February and there’s still a lot to do and consider. I don’t have to rush going to abroad because that’s just impossible. No company would hire me that easily without it a bit shady. I have to be realistic about my situation now and just try to find a way around it. Perhaps I also deserve some time off just to think and reflect. I have to visit the temple soon. I also have to study more, fangirl less. Is that even possible? I have to make it possible! It’s so difficult but wjkAsjkBADnsbfkjdbfk;jdsbf LEZGO!

Living on Less: Day 3 (Final)

Final budget: 47.50 PHP (additional 1.50 PHP from yesterday’s budget)

With a slightly bigger budget and finding that gem of bakery for the budget-limited and hungry, I felt more at ease that I’ll finish this day with ease. Here’s BREAKFAST:

  • Kopiko instant coffee (6.00)
  • 1/2 of local bread (2.50)
  • Lucky Me pancit canton (9.00)

See how I splurged with the Lucky Me there? Cheeky, huh? As I’ve said before, I’m not a heavy breakfast eater, so usually a piece of bread and coffee is fine. I usually satisfy what’s missing in my stomach with the thoughts of a full, hearty meal over lunch.

However, of course, lunch has been different these past days. For today, I wasn’t able to eat half of my bread, so I included it in my LUNCH:

  • 1 1/2 of local bread (7.50)
  • boiled egg (5.00)

The overly sweet and generous size of the local bread was enough to fill my stomach for lunch. The boiled egg didn’t count that much, but as it still filled space, I think that was still considered over-eating. I had stomach ache the whole day while my medicine wasn’t effecting fast enough to help.

I realized through this challenge, that probably 80% of my eating habits is due to an impulse to eat, satisfy cravings, and giving in to the temptation of sweets and snacks that got me to this size. Rice hasn’t been on my diet since Wednesday, but not thinking about it helped in not craving for it. Not getting even a grain of it helped in suspending my impulse to eat a lot, too. That’s why, even though there were two kids who celebrated their birthdays and food was everywhere, I didn’t suffer. Some of my coworkers even urged me to postpone the challenge just to enjoy the feast.

To be honest, I’ve considered it, postponing. But what would be the point of my efforts so far? What’s the point of this whole experience? If I was really living below the poverty line, then I’d jump to the offer, but since I was doing it for experience, I should learn from it as much as I can without getting help that would elevate me from that line. I can always eat the food tomorrow when I’m allowed already, right?

And so with a slightly sensitive tummy, my day finished with a flourish and DINNER was served:

  • 1 pack of Fita crackers (6.00)
  • Lucky Me pancit canton (9.00)

At the end of the day, I have 2.50 PHP left in today’s budget. I’m not sure what’s worth that much nowadays except for candies and small packs of junk food you can buy in a sari-sari store. Anyway, I’ll keep it for another day.

So what did I learn from this experience? A lot. So much that I can’t even express how grateful I am that I went through this challenge. I feel like a changed person. I’ve opened myself to a part of life’s reality, and it has opened back it’s world wider to me.

I cannot promise that I would be joining volunteer associations actively now or would be raising my fist and voice to fight for the poor from now on, but I’d be taking small steps to help in my own small ways. I hope that I can also lend my skills as a teacher in the future, especially to those who needs it most.

More than the limited resources in food and things, what I feel sad for the most with poverty is it takes the chance of education to be part of a person’s life. Time and time again, it has been proven that people who are illiterate that are easiest to be manipulated by others who want to take advantage.

With education, we are taught to practice thinking and reflecting on our actions and opinions, as well as how it affect others and how others affect us. With education, people are more confident to stand up for themselves and what they know is right or wrong. I’m sure some would disagree as there are people who are educated, but do not feel confident of their skills. Well, I tell you, that’s just an issue of self-esteem. For some, they can’t be confident of something they don’t know about. It’s not even a matter of choice, but of consequence.

“I’m doing this every year,” I declared to my co-teacher over lunch like the act was as usual as going to the beach in summer.

Willing to suffer and sacrifice again for the sake of awareness and help? OH YEAH.

Khom: Never mind. I’m probably not good enough. She has the choice of choosing someone that will suit her better, right? I mean, it hurts a little to know that you’ve entered someone else’ life only to be a bad lesson for them.

Noh: I get it. At least there are some good memories for them to keep. Like how we choose to remember things about them, right?

Khom: Yeah. *smiles*

Lovesick the Series, Episode 11, Season 1 (Thai TV series)

Life Advice

“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”

Eleanor Roosevelt, You Learn by Living: Eleven Keys for a More Fulfilling Life (memoir)

At the age of 27, I’m not very sure if I have lived enough to be giving life advices to a younger colleague. Nonetheless, I treasure the good and the bad experiences I have lived through the past years. Through the days of idleness, the depression, the silent tears, the struggles, the laughter, the realizations, the challenges; all these made me who I am now. I am not a a very good person, but I am much better than who I was before because of my past.

I’m sure my junior would not fully understanding my words unless she experience these herself, when she’s in her turning point and she’s doesn’t even have an idea why the universe seems to be conspiring against her at that very moment, but I hope she somehow remembers my advice that this is what makes life. No matter how long the frustration is, the landscape of our lives will change. The pain and challenge would be all worth it.