how to be strong

Am I even strong?

There’s a lot I have to learn about strength, and I won’t pretend to have the worst experiences to back up whatever I have to say because I, most likely, don’t.

The last few weeks has been rough for me, and the only time I ever felt like this was 3 years ago. I remember shutting everyone and everything out when I crumbled because I was terrified of being judged, of being deemed as weak then taken advantage of, and I know a part of me didn’t wanna trust anyone anymore. I guess that’s why I ran; it wasn’t just figurative either.

When things started coming at me again about a month ago, I wanted to do the same thing. The feeling reminded me of my worst nightmares, not that I wanna wake from them, but that I wanna stay in them. Surely, they were all better than how I felt right now, but even that’s not an option because I’m stuck — again not just figuratively. This is where I grow a deeper fondness for John Green’s Papertowns. I wish I was Margaux Roth Spiegelman; I’d grab a backpack and a map and just go.

Leave.

It’s not always as easy or simple as uprooting your whole life and physically running from what you think is the problem. Sometimes the problem runs with you, not after you. You’re the key to the problem.

How you handle it lies in your understanding of yourself and what you’re facing. Trust that, and if it’s not too much to ask, trust the people who genuinely care about you too. I made the mistake of walking away when I could have had the support of those who didn’t leave when I was breaking. Not only did I make the the journey unnecessarily difficult for myself, I also punished them immensely.

I’m not suggesting to cling onto someone because I know, in times like this, you’d want to be alone and think, but don’t cut your connections because they may be your lifeline when you’re done facing your beast. Remind yourself that they want to be a part of your life, hardship or not, because they want you to be okay. Their means won’t always be what you need or want, but that doesn’t dilute the concern they have for you.

I won’t act like I have the answers because, if you’re going through a rough patch, we’re in the same boat, sailing similar traitorous waters. All I have to leave you with is the advice that I never got: strength comes in different forms. It won’t always mean facing the problem head on or running away from it completely. Whatever it means to you, remember that you have the power here, even when it feels like a free fall. 

it’s YOUR fault (the blame game)

It’s become so easy for people to transfer blame when needed. Granted pointing a finger is less effort than actually solving the problem or coming clean about issues but ask yourself, who is that really helping?

Not those who were wronged, I’m sure. They’re still there wallowing in their pain, hoping that someone at least says sorry. Not you, you’re in DENIAL. You’re gonna keep making the same mistakes unless YOU recognize they were your mistakes in the first place.

Take that girl you’re dating for example, you’ve been cheating on her for awhile and every time you get into a fight about it. You say she’s being too suspicious. That’s your fear of getting found out projecting onto her as a defense mechanism. (This is clearly a hypothetical guys. LOL. Calm down.)

Or

In my case, I’ve been procrastinating doing something really important, something I should have done for awhile now. Everytime it gets brought up I blame my health, my degree, circumstance. Name an excuse, I’ve probably already used it. Every single reason except the honest one, ME. I’m stuck. I think it’s easier to sit here and wait for things to happen than actually do something about it.

I’m having none of that anymore.

I’m just gonna pick up the phone today and start calling people I need to call to get my book out there. Yes guys, all this ranting is about a book- well, MY book. It’s a long shot but most dreams are.

I guess other than assigning blame on some external force, I let my fear of rejection cripple me. I’ve had my fair share of doors slammed in my face, professionally and not so professionally. *wink* I’ve learned to accept that, but writing, especially literature, is where I’m most vulnerable so I keep putting it off.

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Funny thing about rejection, it’s okay as long as you’re at a safe distance and you have a back-up plan. Remove those and you feel naked, stripped of a get away. That’s when fear sets in and you’re not sure what to do. If you’re ever in a position like this, FACE YOUR FEAR. Usually the thing we’re afraid of the most are the most gratifying to conquer.

Here’s a little nugget of wisdom from someone who has been in denial and afraid for awhile. Take responsibility for your actions, mistakes or otherwise. You’ll find your sleep more comfortable at night and your errors, whatever they were, tucked away in your experience chest. You never know, if you cheated or did something really bad to someone, you just might be forgiven. Sorry goes a long way. At least in my book, it does.

For the dreamers, don’t let fear take over your life. Don’t blame the lack of inspiration, opportunities or some other made-up story you know is just another thing to blame. Focus on the dream and JUST START.

You can be great if you choose to be.

fu**ing filter

F*ck!

F*ck!

F*ck this!

F*ck that!

F*ck everything!

and NO I don’t mean that literally

photo from christiancastroart.blogspot.com

Sometimes I just wanna rid myself of all the filter and just CURSE TO MY HEART’S CONTENT. It’s not so much the cursing but what the cursing implies. To most people cursing is a taboo especially if you come from a conservative Christian family like mine. Every word means more that it does and social standards (in other words popular opinion) govern your every thought, word and action.

Cursing, to me at least, means having the right to be improper and different and out of control every once in awhile. It’s not ideal but for someone who has relied on structure a lot (like me), it’s very enticing. Have you ever felt that way too?

It’s the simplest and easiest way of rebellion. You get to say ‘Suck it social standards’ or ‘In your face Mr. Perfect’. I can say whatever the hell I feel like just because I can. Somehow, even if it doesn’t really solve what you’re so pissed about, you feel a little bit better and you can go about your day conforming to rules again. Much like an outlet, losing your filter allows you to express yourself completely even if or sometimes because it’s not acceptable to most people.

Word of warning though, cursing as a force of habit isn’t exactly the best thing either. Using it so often and in almost all conversations neutralizes it’s effect on you but not necessarily on the people you’re talking to.

proof that nothing ‘productive’ happens after 2 AM

*nervous laughter*

photo from parisapartment.wordpress.com –

To the MAN of my dreams (literally),

Often I wonder why I can see you better with my eyes closed, when sandman’s dust has me under its spell. Does it mean I’m incapable of welcoming you- any semblance of you- into my days as much as my nights? Maybe I have- once- but you never came or worse, you did but decided to break my heart.

Truly I was never romantic. Just the mere suggestion of the word makes me cringe but some part of me, most likely the part I suppressed so purposefully that it can only haunt me in my slumber, still believes you too are somewhere wondering where I am.

When (or if) our paths finally cross, know that I’m not expecting a walking checklist or somebody’s reinterpretation of perfect. I’m a rebel that way.

I don’t have many delusions of love or relationships or forever because some time ago my dad sat me down and told me how loving someone is messy and consuming and scary and … real. There won’t be a fairy godmother to ward off  vile creatures (you know what I mean- the slutty kind) or a magic wand to make the other eternally agreeable to my every whim. It will take work. Trust me, I get that.

If I may, I ask that you be patient with me. I’ve been hurt a lot you see- mostly by people I trusted blindly. I may ignore you, only take a second to look at you or push you away completely but if you see a future with me, hang in there. I assure you I ALWAYS notice. Soon enough  you’ll win me over if you haven’t already.

When I close my eyes, I imagine waking up to a faint burnt smell from the kitchen where you tried to cook us breakfast. Teasing you about your little mishap and you feigning hurt will be our morning’s humor. I’ll laugh at ALL your jokes and be your biggest cheerleader on every game even if you don’t ever leave the bench. You’ll indulge my reading habits and my obsessive need to collect comic books. You even find my inability to ride a bike or serve a volleyball charming.

We’d spend lazy afternoons in our sweats watching a movie or playing Call of Duty. Together we’d pursue our passions and be happy for each other’s every accomplishment. We’ll never forget to say sorry or leave a fight unresolved. I’ll learn to give you space when you ask for it but never be too far for when you need a hug or a kiss or just someone to assure you it’s all gonna be okay. Other people’s opinions about us won’t matter because I care more about you than them anyway. We’ll be each other’s best friend and we’ll grow up, be silly, see the world and be happy together.

I don’t expect our relationship to be perfect like the fairy tales I used to read or like the romcoms my sister quotes all the time. I’d rather have one that’s real and yes, messy and imperfect and at times, difficult but it will be ours and that’s so much better. I don’t know how much longer I’ll be waiting. I just know you’re worth it. For now, I’ll see you in my dreams.

Still metaphorically sleeping,

Yours

them butterflies in my tummy

I’m expecting something good to happen in the next few days (YEY!) but I’m not here to blog about that-  well not yet. Partly because I’m terrified I’ll jinx it and mostly because I still do not know how to write about it. I have to wait for how it will actually happen. Makes sense right? (Please say yes.)

photo from imgfave.com

Tonight I wanna write about that jittery, butterflies in your stomach, almost nauseating feeling you get when you’re anxious or excited or waiting for something really important to happen. Yes, that kind where you just know you can’t keep still- you just have to do a million things a minute. I’m having one such episode right now so I thought the best remedy is to write about it. At least I’m productive.

My dad once told me that usually the things worth doing are the ones that terrify you the most. That’s exactly why you get that uneasy feeling because you know how much you want it, how much it means to you that the thought of having it is enough to drive you insane for a moment (okay, maybe more than a moment *wink*). It doesn’t have to be as big as anticipating the jump before skydiving, sometimes it’s the flutter you get when you do something spontaneous like commute to Mcdonalds at midnight just to get fries with your friends (or cousins *coughs*). 

From my experience, and I’m guessing my dad’s as well, these things that make us feel excited and scared at the same time is what we’ll remember the most.  It’s what life should be- uneasy, messy, risky but absolutely fun (and yes, this is coming from Ms. All-Rational-Plan-Every-Friggin-Thing).

So if you haven’t had butterflies in your stomach for a long time, go find something that’s gonna give you that feeling again- something worth your time of course. Trust me, it’ll be worth it. 🙂