how to get through a bad day

Ask why.

I’ve been told one too many times by one too many people that the best way to get through a bad say is to just ‘choose’ to be happy, and I do believe that happiness is a choice. The important consideration though is how.

How do you choose to be happy when your hormones have been betraying you for the past 24 hours or more? 

Over the years, I’ve learned simple remedies, like I’m content snuggling under the covers and letting the pages of Murakami lighten my mood or munching down a whole pizza – yes, by myself. They’re the fairy dust to my weary soul.

Pizza Bianca’s my current favorite, but a simple pepperoni or cheese pizza’s perfect too.

I know I mentioned Murakami (and I’ve read most his words… twice, fine A LOT of times), but this is the book series I’m finishing up right now; they’re by Tahereh Mafi. You may wanna give it a read.

Although if the bad days keep recurring, you may wanna consider a different approach. Those little pockets of happiness we reserve for ourselves when we’ve had a particularly long week at work or taxing, borderline inhuman final exams are insignificant bandaids that may feign as solutions to what truly makes a ‘day’ bad.

I won’t pretend to be an expert, but from experience, I realized that often that the heavy feeling we get for, most likely, juvenile to no reason at all may be unresolved issues triggered by the most minute of events. They will keep nagging at us, capitalizing on the simplest flaw, until we finally resolve them from the roots. All that, it starts with one question:

Why?

choices

CHOICE

It’s probably one of the most overused words in the English dictionary. Often we don’t even know the gravity of the word when we make them. We hurry with our lives making one choice after another unaware of many who cannot exercise them or are too afraid to while the other half overuse and manipulate them without fear or caution because they can and we’re too oblivious or apathetic to notice.

Personally choices scare me, not that ‘what should I order’ or ‘is this pink enough’ kind but the ‘do I know where my life is going’ kind. That fear that wakes you up at 3 AM and leaves you sleepless until the light seeps through your shades. I lay there, staring at the ceiling asking myself if all the choices I made up to this point are those that I can live with, much more be happy with. I play different scenarios in my head. What if I went to a different uni? What if I majored in something else? What if I never met my best friends? What if I followed my heart more times that I followed my logic? Where would I be? Would I happier?

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Robert Frost wrote, “Two roads diverge in a yellow road. I took the one less traveled by and that has made all the difference.” Doesn’t it get lonely though? Looking at the path few took, seeing only your track marks. Knowing full well that each time you look back or to your side, you won’t see anyone. You took the road less traveled by.

You know in your heart you SHOULD be happy because you made the good choice but there are days and more nights when you think there was a BETTER choice. Maybe you didn’t have to give up so much to get to where you are or where you wanna be.

I guess we all doubt our choices sometimes. It doesn’t matter if you’re a 5 year old deliberating on another cookie before dinner or a dad setting aside money for his daughter’s college fund instead of spending in on booze in the pub with his work friends. There are days when you’ll wallow in the ‘what ifs’. There’s no shame in that. Find comfort in the fact that it’s human nature to wonder especially when we’re given reasons to.

I’ve made a lot of screwed up decisions in my life and I’m sure I’ll make a few more. To be honest, there are times when I want a do over, a reboot, another shot at the opportunities I missed or trade for those I took but then I look at those people I’ve met, things I accomplished and who I’ve become, I feel a bit better. That’s not to say my demons are always silent, they still claw at me some days and make me feel like an utter failure.

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I guess I want tell you that if you ever feel stupid or annoyed or defeated about the bad choices you’ve made, don’t beat yourself up further. You’re allowed to make them and you can feel bad for them. You can hang around under a dark cloud for a bit and think about why it didn’t work out. You don’t have to move on in an instant as people expect you too. YOU CAN FEEL, YOU’RE ALLOWED THAT MUCH.

Of the hundreds of choices we make in a day, at least one is bound to be wrong. That’s okay. Just remind yourself that there’s always a takeaway in every choice, bad or good. Savor the good and learn from the bad and hope that you’ll make not just better choices but CHOICES THAT ARE BETTER FOR YOU.

why fortune cookies make so much sense

Who here loves Chinese food? *raises hand eagerly and flings it back and forth* Well, I live for them. I find them very comforting, probably because my parents have this favorite Chinese place we’d always go to when I was growing up. Their food is mouth-watering good and they’re not even that expensive.

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Like in most Chinese restos, you get a fortune cookie after the meal (in this resto’s a case, a fortune cupcake- you might remember an entry I wrote about it awhile back) and they’re filled with some Chinese wisdom that, according to the waiters, is especially suited for you. Somehow the kitchen gods guide their chefs to put just the right message for the right person- they say.

Is it the cookie or me?

It got me to thinking. Do we really get the perfect fortunes for us or do we make it fit perfectly? Like when we ask for signs, do we really wait religiously for something to manifest proving that the universe wills us to make a decision or do we interpret random, uncoordinated events as more than they are- just events that happen from time a to time b?

I think that when we want our fortunes to make sense, it does and often when we want to act all skeptical, it doesn’t. We can blame the fates for most of it but partly we too play a role in those fortunes. We interpret them, weave them into our lives so it makes sense or it doesn’t. Maybe that’s why a lot of people believe in fortunes because secretly and maybe subconsciously, they actually know what they want that note to read. A note that says, ‘stay strong’ may mean a million different things to a million different people, probably so far from what it means to you but it doesn’t make it any less true.

Fortune cookies make sense because we allow them to.

There is a reason why fortune-telling, mediums and the like is a million dollar industry. We love filling in the blanks. We almost can’t help but respond to random thoughts and make it our own. Does this mean that fortune cookies are of no sense? Does it mean we have to believe messages sent to us by the universe are all a figment of our creative minds? Depends, on you that is. I know I’ll still be very happy to get my free fortune cookies at any resto and I’ll probably still frequent temples to get my palms read

but…

I’m also reminded that in the end I have the power to interpret those fortunes. I can make them into anything I want them to mean. It’s true for everything else that happens in life. You can blame it on fate but how you weave it to your life, that’s on you.

the OM-NOM-NOM monster

Another entry on food

This morning I woke up to the sweet smell of muffin on the table. It’s one of our staple pastries and we usually buy them from a small bake shop 3 blocks from our house. I know what you’re thinking, what’s wrong with that? Well, nothing but for people like me who are in love with food, that’s a really tempting wake up call.

I’ve already talked about how we should love ourselves enough to accept our beauty regardless of our size, color, race, height and weight. I will always believe and advocate for that but what I have not said on that post is how we keep ourselves healthy also because of that love.

You have to love yourself enough to be healthy, whatever size that might be in.

So how do we do that when all the temptations in the world present itself to us, calling our name and just really coaxing us to violate our healthy lifestyle. I say NO TO THE OM-NOM-NOM MOSTER, that uncontrollable, insatiable, weak being inside of us that falters to the scent of food and the promise of a feast.

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t eat all those guilty pleasures you have. Trust me, I’m not at liberty to give that advice but promise to keep yourself in check because you may not like the consequences of those choices. Just enjoy the food without compromising you health. *wink*

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the irony of being alone

ALONE

In my solitude I stood,
unwavering, unmoved.
I no longer feel or fear.
I only stare from afar.
No more crowds of faceless people
no longer a life of deceit.
I am free.
I am alone.
Let me be.

On my bed I lay motionless,
questions unresolved linger in my head.
I may not feel or fear
but I know no happiness yonder.
I no longer hurt
but I too no longer live.
So I am free
but I am alone.
Should I let it be?