All These Things (1)

I meant to blog more before July ended (because that last post can get a bit too maudlin, right? Also, I haven’t used the word maudlin in ages), but alas, work, a typhoon, several SFC events, and sickness got in the way. Before I knew it, the month was over and we’re well into August, and I…well, look, we’re in August.

I realized something recently, though, in my new-ish job (can’t believe that I’ve only been here for less than 3 months – feels like forever already): the more you do something, the better you get at it. I mean, okay fine, I know that already, but being in this new role proved it. I haven’t done any major designing stuff since 2008, 2009. Now that one of my job functions is to design ads for work, I have been stretched in an interesting way and I find that it is getting easier for me to be more creative in making ads.  I am learning to use Adobe Illustrator more now, and I am really liking vectors. And I have used the Pen tool properly! How about that. Excuse me for being a noob, but it’s all so fascinating. (And to think I used to say I was a graphic designer. Heh.)

Then I realized how much that principle also applied to other things, particularly, writing. I admit that being so busy in all this newness has stopped me from writing – here, in my book blog, and even creatively – and I missed that. But if I can get better in designing because I do it everyday, then I would get better at writing if I do it everyday regularly more often than I do now.

Like I said, nothing new there. But indulge me a bit.

To put that in action, I am starting this little, semi-regular thing called All These Things. Because I don’t always have to write about oh-so-serious stuff – sometimes, I just really need to write. So let’s start.

If there’s an award for a song that has given me the most massive case of LSS, this would win. I heard it in my friend’s car last week and I have been playing it all week. I haven’t played it today yet, but I bet later I would play it and sing it and I don’t know if it would end anytime soon.  And there, I just played it again.

I just finished reading Jojo Moyes’ Me Before You, upon recommendation of a friend. I liked it, but I have very mixed feelings about that ending.

mebeforeyou

But this is not a review, so I won’t talk about that. There’s this line from the book that I want to print out and frame so I would remember it everyday:

Some mistakes…just have greater consequences than others. But you don’t have to let that […] be the thing that defines you.

Book season is starting in the Philippines. Book season = time for sales, book fairs, and reader conferences. And just this week, we kicked off the 3rd Filipino Readers’ Choice Awards. Nominations are now open! Nominate your favorite 2013-published book by a Filipino author. There are thirteen new categories! :D

I’ve had my gym membership frozen since March because I wasn’t going there anyway. I’ve been contemplating on having it cut because I haven’t been using it as much. I forgot to have the freeze extended, so I got billed for August. I decided to use it again and went back for a dance class yesterday. I forgot how fun it was. And how much I missed dancing. :) This little fella dances way better than me, though:

Baby-dancing-Groot

One of my new favorite bloggers, Hannah Brencher,1 wrote this post a couple of weeks ago. I keep going back to it because…because:

And while I’m not an expert or a ghost buster, I think a ghost gets born out of a constant wish that maybe you and another person might have more to say to each other. Like maybe you never reached the point of finally saying everything. And maybe, just maybe, if you can manage to keep a person in your orbit or your memory a little while longer then you’ll never have to face the real truth: you can’t fix everything.

So many powerful words in this post that I can’t pick. But what she said about having final words, about how “Final words shift the atmosphere” give me hope. And it reminds me of this quote from Yann Martel’s Life of Pi:

So you must fight hard to express it. You must fight hard to shine the light of words upon it. Because if you don’t, if your fear becomes a wordless darkness that you avoid, perhaps even manage to forget, you open yourself to further attacks of fear because you never truly fought the opponent who defeated you.

Maybe all I really need are those words.

* * *

Have a great weekend, everyone. :)

** Featured image credit

  1. Hannah, who actually inspired me to come up with this thing with her Field Notes feature []

Wanted

I got sick last week, and the funny thing about this particular sickness was I lost my voice along with all the other icky stuff I had to go through. This made me fall silent for almost five days, and that’s a feat, because if you know me in real life, I always talk. But there, I lost my voice, so I didn’t speak much last week. Thank goodness for social media, I guess, so I wasn’t completely quiet?

Anyway, the one thing I really don’t like when I’m sick is how it can get pretty lonely. Which is silly, because I was surrounded by people at home, and at work when I got to work. I was never really alone, but I still craved a specific kind of company. Not exactly a specific person — not now, not anymore, anyway — but you know, just someone. Outside of my family and friends who would ask how I was, and would take care of me, too.

I remember one time when I had the flu, and I was feeling terribly sad and lonely at home. And then I had the craziest craving for McDonald’s Twister Fries, and I wished like crazy that someone would bring me some. You know, bring me some at home. Again, I wasn’t really looking for a specific person to do it, but I knew then that I wished I had someone who would do that for me, even without my asking. Or you know, someone who saw what I posted online and would be nice enough to bring me some.

I wished there was a guy (there, I said it) who would be concerned about my health, too, and would take care of me when I get sick.

I wished that there was someone who’d bring me sick day food when I get hit by the flu, or asthma, or allergies. Someone who’d go out of his way and visit me home.

My brother brought home some fries later that day, and I was happy. But I still couldn’t shake off that feeling of loneliness that had long settled in while I was being all whiny. It sucks to be sick and to feel alone all at the same time. Even if I wasn’t really, completely alone.

Being sick can make someone feel the craziest kind of longing.

It’s silly, you know, how these lonely spells can feel like it’s the truth. How easily we get convinced that we need a specific person to make us feel less lonely. How we tend to disregard the presence of other people in our life because we want just one person. We put so much expectation on that person, whether we know him or not, and we end up being disappointed when that person cannot fulfill the need we thought they would feel. And then we get lonely all over again.

There was a time I went out with some girl friends, and after I had cried a little, one of them said, “Don’t forget you are loved. We all love you. God loves you. Don’t let this experience make you think you are less loved, because you are not.”

It wasn’t anything new, really — I knew all of that. But somehow, it’s so easy to forget. When my ego gets bruised, when my heart gets broken, the first thing I always seem to forget is how much I am loved. Instead, I focus on that one love I wanted, the I won’t really get anymore. I know it’s normal (and healthy, even) to feel bad and to cry over things such as heart break, but I think it’s also as important to remember that even if that one person doesn’t love me the way I wished he would, there are still people who love me. Who still love me. Who never stopped loving me, even if I was a complete mess.

You see, even in our loneliest moments, we were never unloved. We have always been loved.

It’s so easy to forget. But it’s the truth. And you have to fight everyday to remember it.

The good thing is, you aren’t alone in fighting to remember it, either. The people who love you? They will fight along with you to make sure you know they love you, too.

* * *

I was on a Hunter Hayes kick last week. While listening to his album, I realized that his song Wanted would be perfect for this next writing project I had already outlined. I listened to it several more times for more feels, of course, and somehow, the song started to become more about me instead of just my next project. As I was humming the song one day, I started to feel a little melancholic.

On the umpteenth listen,1 I sighed and prayed softly, Lord, I wish someone would want me.”

Then in the silence (because I still had no voice then), I heard the most gentle whisper in my heart, in the place where The One who made me always speaks: “I want you. I have always wanted you. I will always want you.

Image from we heart it
Image from we heart it

 

  1. Oh, I’ve stopped playing the song on repeat as of this week. Sort of. []

2013 Mixtape

You know that I don’t actually really make mix tapes, or recorded one in my life, ever? I mean the actual cassette tapes, because I made mix CDs as gifts to friends (and crushes), because it was fun and I was one of the first few who had CD burner before every household that had a computer had it. I remember making this a Valentine’s Day playlist in college (ooh, idea for next year) and gave it to several friends because why can’t I give a gift to my friends on Valentine’s Day?

While I haven’t made mix CDs / tapes for other people, I still make playlists for myself. Like I mentioned in previous related posts, you can tell my mood mostly from the music I listen to (or the lyrics I tweet).

So for my first 2013 recap, I present you my soundtrack for 2013. 13 songs for 2013, songs that aren’t included in the “EP” I listed earlier this year. :D

Warning: #feels all over.

(But perhaps not the kind of feels you are expecting.)

Image source
Image source

1. Start With Meby Meredith Andrews (Worth It All)

My life is an empty cup
Fill it up, fill it up!
I wanna hear every rescued heart cry
You’re enough, You’re enough!
Break what needs breaking
‘Til You’re all we see
And start with me, start with me, yeah

I heard this song in one Boundless podcast and immediately bought it. I think it was one of those nights at work when I had a hard time sitting still, and this song helped me be still in so many ways. This also became my Lent song.

2. Not With Hasteby Mumford & Sons (Babel)

And I will love with urgency but not with haste

Funny thing: when I first tried to listen to a Mumford & Sons song during one road trip, I didn’t like them that much because I didn’t really like their sounds. And then, my favorite adopted brother gave me this song for my 27th birthday, and I learned to listen to their lyrics…and well, wow. That’s all I can say: wow.

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