Posted in Personal, Relationships

Regrets

“Maybe we got lost in translation. Maybe I asked for too much.” – All Too Well by Taylor Swift

~

Everyday, I check the “On This Day” feature on Facebook. Sometimes I would share some memories, and sometimes I would simply reminisce. But yesterday, aside from celebrating two “friendversaries”, I stumbled upon a memory that, I would say, will haunt me. It had to do with a friend that I somewhat disowned.

I wrote about her before. Here’s the link. Read it before proceeding with this post.

(waits for you to finish reading the article in the link)

This is our history:

She’s five years older than me, but she looked my age. Six years ago (when I was a high school sophomore) when you look at her for the first time, you wouldn’t think that she was a teacher. She looked so young, and literally a few only took her seriously in school. Luckily, I was part of the few who took her seriously. I guess it was brought about by me respecting every teacher I had, since I wanted to be like them then. But if I wanted to be someone else, I might have been part of the majority.

She was pretty…no, she was beautiful. She was beautiful enough to make me affirm that I am not straight — that I liked boys and girls (for the record, I had girl crushes when I was a child). She taught Algebra six years ago. I did poor in that subject, but there was a grading period that I got an A- in that subject. She was so proud of me then, and she really made me feel that. I got a B- a grading period after, and she showed her concern, especially that I was close to tears when I found out. (Well, I really had puffy eyes then because our pet pug died the day before. Anyway…) Ever since then, whenever I would come to her for help in assignments, she would entertain me. Of course, I had a hidden agenda then, since I developed a crush on her. Sophomore year ended, and I thought she would never be my teacher again.

Then came junior year, and tada, she became my Chemistry teacher. I got excited and giddy. Yay! More time with her. Unlike my Algebra grades, my grades in Chemistry were excellent. I don’t know if I did well because I was naturally good in Chemistry or because my crush on her developed even more. We grew closer, as I still asked for help in Chem (so that I can get higher grades. Back then, school and friends were the most important things to me). But it was also in junior year when we had a drift. I would always walk and talk with her after classes, but then there were times when I would feel abandoned by her, especially when other students would ambush her. I remember one time when I literally walked out on her. I was so depressed then, to the point that I almost committed suicide for that reason only. After a while, we patched things up, since I hated conflicts with friends (who likes them anyway?). At that time, my crush on her was gone since I already had a boyfriend then.

I then found out that she was leaving my school, and so I left her a notebook to write a message for me. I read it, and it was looooong. She apologized for the times I felt abandoned, and she asked if we can be friends. And so we became friends. We would hang out sometimes, and we’d text each other and talk online. I even invited her to my 18th birthday party!

I really found a friend in her, an older sister even. There was even a time that we’d text each other everyday, and that lasted for a month. And then after a while, without any given reason, she distanced herself from me. I felt bad again, because I felt abandoned again. There were times that I would text her, and she wouldn’t reply. I really felt bad because she would instantly reply right away before. But for some unexplainable and unknown reason, she no longer replied.

There came a time when I wanted to confront her. It was Christmas season in 2015. I couldn’t meet her, so I did it via text. I explained my side, and she somewhat explained her side. The sad thing about it was I couldn’t understand and accept her reasons (well, mostly because I was still depressed and she didn’t give a clear reason). I really started to question our friendship. I really felt like it was a one-sided relationship. I was close to giving up on her, but I told myself that I will give her a chance.

I sent her a Christmas greeting, and I got no reply. Sent her a New Year’s greeting, and she replied with “happy new year”. I asked her if we could re-patch things, but she gave no reply. After two months, I sent her a farewell message via text (again), but I couldn’t get her off my mind. After a month or two, I would send her messages saying sorry, but she still wouldn’t respond. Until there came a time that we met twice, and guess what? SHE DIDN’T TALK TO ME!

And so I kept on sending apologies until I told myself “Cloie, stop it. It’s pretty obvious that she doesn’t want to patch things up.” And so I made a fake Facebook account just to quarrel with her and defend myself and tell her all the things I wanted to tell her, like calling her a b***h. And there, she did release her inner monster just like what I did. We parted ways in the worst way possible, and it was through Facebook!

I told my friends about what happened, and of course they sided with me, but they did point out her points. I did realize them, and once again, I said sorry. But I have no hope. Well, maybe I am better off without her.

Yesterday was not the first time I saw her in my Facebook memories this month. And every time I’d see her, I would miss her. I mean, she did shape a part of me, and she was really an older sister to me. But then again, it’s as if she didn’t want me in her life.

You know what hurt the most? In that message she wrote me, she told me that she will always listen to me. And where’s that? I mean, if she had a problem, I just wished she gave me obvious hints and not just kept silent. I didn’t know her that well then, meaning I didn’t know that silent treatment meant that she had issues.

Now that I’m more mature, I understand her and her choice of not telling me of her problems. I guess a part of her wanted to spare me of feeling bad for her, since I have bipolar 2. But as her friend (if she ever considered me as a friend), I was concerned about her. I really got worried about her, and knowing nothing really hurt me a lot. But hey, it’s her choice.

She’d often repeat to me in our last conversations that we had made choices in our now broken relationship. She really gave emphasis on that. Well, I guess her choice was to get rid of me, or that’s what I think of it. And so I also made a choice to get rid of her in my life since the relationship was really unhealthy for me. But now, looking back, I wish I just tried to understand her. But then again, I was not mature enough. Now that I’m wiser, I wish to turn back time and correct myself, but that’s impossible.

Honestly, I feel somehow miserable because of this. I really miss her. I wish I could still talk to her. I wish we can patch things up. I really messed this up big time. I never intentionally ended friendships, until this happened. I hate breaking up with friends. That, I think, is worse than breaking up with your partner. Anyway, so yeah. I really feel bad. I really wish I could turn back time and relive those moments that I was aggressive. Or better, relive those happy moments we had.

Oh dear, My eyes are tearing up. I really want to cry. She was my first love, my Ate, and in a way, my mentor. And I threw it all away. Uh, I hate myself for this, but what can I do? I must have hurt her a lot too. After all, I was not the only person in that relationship. Uh, I really feel bad. I wish I could talk to her, even for one last time. I just want to tell her everything I want to tell her: that I regret all the words I said, that she shaped a bit part of me, that I still love her (of course, as a friend), that I will never forget her, that I wish for her to come to my funeral, if ever she’s still around by then, and that I will go to her funeral if I’m still around by then.

If ever she doesn’t want to talk to me, I want her to read this post. My past blog was also an avenue for her to know my thoughts and feelings. I wish a friend would tell her to read this. If they have to force her, I would tell them to do so. Uh, I really just feel miserable. I just wish I never said those nasty words to her.

It’s 2:30 in the morning, 27th of September 2017. Honestly, I want her back in my life. But if it’s not God’s will, then so be it. I’ll just go to sleep, and I wish I wouldn’t dream of her. If I do, I’d just cry it out. But I really hope I won’t. I don’t want to cry the first thing in the morning. I’ll get puffy eyes all day, and I don’t want that.

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Posted in College, Personal, Relationships

#AmareEtServire: Pasasalamat

This post is written in a mix of Filipino and English. I apologize to those who cannot understand this. I really feel more comfortable writing in Filipino. You can ask for a translation, just post a comment,

~

Itong blog post na ito ay produkto ng pagmumuni-muni kagabi, matapos ang Commitment Night.

Sa mga nakakakilala sa akin bago ako unang pumasok sa Campus Ministry (CM) Office ng Parish of the Holy Sacrifice sa UP Diliman, alam ninyong matindi at importante ang desisyon na kailangan kong gawin. Sa mga hindi nakakaalam, heto ang kailangan kong pag-isipan: kailangan kong megdesisyon kung ipapagpatuloy ko ba ang aking buhay kolehiyo sa UP, o lilipat ba ako sa De La Salle University – Dasmariñas. Tila hindi na kasi ako masaya sa UP dahil pinahihirapan ako nito nang husto. Hindi ako makapasok sa eskuwela  hanggang humahantong sa pagfa-file ng leave of absence (LOA) kada semestre.

Pakiramdam ko noon na wala akong direksiyon sa buhay, kahit na linggo-linggo kaming nagkikita ng mga kaibigan ko sa UP Campus Feast at araw-araw ay may kausap akong kaibigan sa Facebook. Tila hindi pa rin nasasagot ang mga tanong ko, na tila hindi pa sila sapat. Don’t get me wrong, mahal ko ang mga kaibigan ko. Kaya lang, parang may kulang e. Kaya noong inimbita ako ni Kuya Josh, kaibigan ko sa Feast, na sumali sa choir ng CM, sabi ko na susubukan ko. Inisip ko nang pagkakataon na iyon para mapapalapit sa Diyos, lalo na’t dumating na sa buhay ko na hindi ako naniwala sa Kanya. Tutal, pangarap kong mapabilang sa choir.

Noong unang araw ko sa CM, which was September 14, 2016, tinanong ako kung gusto ko ba raw magpa-orient. Sabi ko hindi ko alam, gawa ng baka nga lumipat ako ng eskuwelahan. Pero kahit hindi ako nagpa-orient, patuloy akong pumupunta sa CM. Naging ugali ko na ang pagpunta sa CMO, at nakibahagi ako sa mga gawain sa CM. Naging masaya ako CM, sobrang saya.

Dumating ang panahon na nagkapag-Commitment Rites (renewal of commitment para sa mga matagal na volunteers na) ako noong refounding anniversary ng CM. Sobrang saya ko noon, dahil noong weekend na yoon, Kerygma Conference din. Sobrang saya talaga! Finally, naka-commit ako. Ibig sabihin, hindi na ako lilipat ng eskuwelahan, gawa ng napagdesisyunan ko nang maging volunteer sa CM. Simula noon, napuno ako ng saya.

Ngayong enrolled ako, medyo nahihirapan pa rin ako sa mga gawain sa eskuwela. Pero nandiyan ang pamilya ko sa CM, pati na rin ang office (kung saan ako produktibo), para tumulong sa akin. Kaya lang, hindi ko na talaga kinakaya e. Kaya nag-apply na ako ulit ng LOA para sa semestreng ito. Halos wala namang nasayang sa mga effort ko, pero sayang pa rin. Kung hindi kasi ako mag-a-apply para sa isa na namang LOA, babagsak ako. Sa madilim na bahaging ito ng buhay ko, nandoon ang pamilya ko sa CM na pinapasaya ako, kahit na may kababawan ito. Kahit papaano, napapangiti pa rin ako.

Ngayong nakapag-Commitment Night (with the formal rites) na ako, sabi ko sa sarili ko na kahit anong mangyari, hindi ko susukuan ang UP. Mahirap ang buhay sa UP, kaya ang laki ng pasasalamat ko sa bago kong pamilya. Ngayon, alam kong hindi lang ako ang nahihirapan sa eskuwela. Pero kahit na hirap na hirap na kaming lahat sa eskuwela, natutuwa ako dahil nakikita ko ang commitment ng lahat sa paglilingkod sa Diyos at sa bayan Niya. Doon ako natuwa nang husto: sa commitment ng lahat. Kasama na rin ang pakikisama sa lahat, siyempre. Hindi perpekto ang mga pagkakaibigan namin, pero wala namang perpekto sa mundo natin. Lalo akong nauudyok na maglingkod sa Diyos tuwing nakikita ko silang nagtatrabaho para sa CM.

Sa pagmamahal at paglilingkod namin sa Diyos at sa bayan, lalong napapagtibay ang aking pananampalataya sa Diyos. Lagi ko na ring naaalala na hindi ako pababayan ng butihing Diyos. Lalo rin akong nahihikayat na aralin ang Kanyang Salita at ang mga bagay-bagay tungkol sa pananampalataya ko bilang Katoliko. Natutuwa ako na kahit galing ako sa Catholic school, marami pa rin akong natututunan na bago tungkol sa Catholic faith. Ang saya lang talaga. Ang karamihan, kung hindi lahat, ng kasiyahan ko sa eskuwela ay gawa ng CM.

Sobra-sobra talaga ang pasasalamat ko kay Lord at hinayaan niyang dalhin ako ng mga paa ko sa office ng CM, kahit na naagdalawang-isip akong tumugon sa invite sa akin ni Kuya Josh na sumali sa choir ng CM. Kahit na gusto kong mag-choir, parang ayaw ko pa noong mag-commit sa kahit anong bagay. Hindi nga ako noon naka-commit sa pag-aaral e, gawa ng naka-LOA ako. Pero gumagawa talaga ng paraan ang Diyos para mapabuti tayong lahat; tinutupad Niya ang kanyang pangako sa atin. Ang galing ni Lord, ano?

Ang laki rin ng utang na loob ko kay Kuya Josh, gawa ng siya ang ginawang instrumento ng Diyos para dalhin ako sa CM. Kaya Kuya Josh, salamat! Alam kong alam mo na sobra-sobra ang pasasalamat ko sa’yo, at hindi ako magsasawang pasalamatan ka.

Hindi kami perpekto sa CM, wala namang perpekto sa mundo. Kahit na malapit pa ang sinuman sa Diyos, may mga kapintasan pa rin ang mga ito. Pero dahil sa perpektong pag-ibig ng Diyos, nagagawa namin ang mga bagay na hindi namin inaakalang kaya naming gawin sa CM. Kaya labis kong nararamdaman ang pasasalamat ng lahat ng kasama ko sa CM para sa mga biyaya (at kahit pasanin) na binibigay ng Diyos sa amin. Sobra lang dn talaga ang nararamdaman kong pagmamahal ng mga kasama ko sa CM sa ating Diyos. Sa sobrang mahal nila si Lord, naglilingkod sila nang buong puso. Humahanga ako sa kanilang lahat!

Sobra ang pasasalamat ko sa Diyos at binigyan Niya ako ng pagkakataong paglingkuran Siya at ang Kanyang bayan sa pamamagitan ng CM. Ang saya ko dahil sa wakas, magagamit ko ang mga talento at kakayahan ko sa mga makabuluhang bagay. Ang saya lang, diba? Parang nakita ko na rin ang purpose ko sa buhay. O diba, two birds in one stone!

Ang saya na nararamdaman ko ngayon ay hindi perpekto gawa ng mga problema ko. Pero nababawasan ang lungkot ko talaga dahil sa CM. Sobra kong mahal ang aking mga kapwa volunteers. Hindi ko ma-imagine ang buhay ko nang wala sila.

~

Ama, pinupuri Kita dahil sa Inyong pagiging butihing Diyos. Pinupuri kita dahil sa Inyong perperktong pag-ibig sa akin at sa kapwa ko. Pinupuri kita dahil dapat lang na purihin Kita, isang mabuting Diyos na alam ang aking mga ninanais at ang aking mga kinakailangan.

Patawad po sa lahat ng aking mga sala sa Inyo at sa kapwa ko. Patawad po, lalo na po sa mga pagkakataong nalilimutan kong nandiyan Ka, nagmamahal at nagbabantay sa akin. Patawad po para sa aking pagkalimot sa Inyo. Ngunit sa kabila ng aking mga pagkakasala, minamahal Niyo pa rin ako. Kaya Lord, maraming salamat.

Maraming salamat dahil noong nawawalan na ako ng pag-asa, dinala niyo ako sa Campus Ministry. Muli akong nabuhayan ng loob sa CM, at muli akong natutong mangarap at maglingkod. Lord, salamat at binigyan Mo ako ng mga matitiyaga, masisipag, at mapagmahal na pamilya. Maraming salamat at dinala mo ako sa mga taong makakaimpluwensiya sa akin na paglingkuran Ka at ang Iyong bayan. Maraming salamat, dahil hindi mo kami pinababayaan sa CM. Lord, ako ay nagpapasalamat para sa itinanim Ninyo sa amin na pagnanais na maging lingkod Ninyo. Salamat sa mga pinahiram Ninyong mga talento at kakayahan para magamit namin sa paglingkod sa Inyo. Maraming salamat sa lahat, Lord. Hindi ako magsasawa sa kakasabi ng “thank You” sa inyo.

Sana po ay patuloy Ninyo kaming mga lingkod Ninyo sa CM gabayan at biyayaan ng pagpapasensiya, pagmamahal sa kapwa, at paghahangad na ialay ang aming mga sarili sa Inyo. Lord, gabayan Ninyo kami sa aming mga gawaing pang-eskuwela, bilang na sa kolehiyo na kami. Bigyan Ninyo po kami ng lakas ng loob na harapin ang bawat araw na may pusong puno ng pag-asa. Tulungan Ninyo rin po kami na ibahagi sa buong unibersidad ang Inyong kabutihan at pagmamahal, kahit ito man ay sa simpleng pagiging mabuting tao lang. Tulungan Ninyo po kaming maging masunurin sa Inyong plano para sa amin. Sana po ay ituro Ninyo sa amin ang mga kagustuhan ninyo para sa amin. Sana po ay lagi Ninyong ipaalala sa amin na mahal Ninyo kami, maging ito man ay idaan Ninyo sa amin bilang isang mensahe, isang biyaya, o isang tao na makakapagpabago sa aming mga buhay. Lord, gabayan Ninyo po kami lagi sa araw-araw.

Maria, aking ina, ibulong ninyo sa inyong butihing Anak ang aking mga hinaing at hiling. Tulungan niyo po akong magdasal, Ma.

Ang lahat ng ito ay hinihiling ko sa ngalan ng Inyong Anak na si Hesus, kasama ng Espiritu Santo. Amen.

Ama namin, sumasalangit Ka, sambahin ang ngalan Mo. Mapasaamin ang kaharian Mo, sundin ang loob Mo dito sa lupa, para nang sa langit. Bigyan Mo kami ngayon ng aming kakanin sa araw araw. At patawarin Mo kami sa aming mga sala, para nang pagpapatawad namin, sa mga nagkakasala sa amin. At huwag Mo kaming ipahintulot sa tukso, at iadya Mo kami sa lahat ng masama. Amen.

Aba Ginoong Maria, napupuno ka ng grasya. Ang Panginoong Diyos ay sumasaiyo. Bukod kang pinagpala sa babaeng lahat, at pinagpala naman ang iyong Anak na si Hesus. Santa Maria, ina ng Diyos, ipanalangin mo kaming mga makasalanan. Ngayon at kung kami’y mamamatay. Amen.

Luwalhati sa Ama, sa Anak, at sa Espiritu Santo! Kapara ng sa unang-una, ngayon at magpakailan man, magpasawalang-hanggan. Amen.

Posted in Family, Personal, Relationships

Snail Mail = Sweet Mail

In the age of email and instant messaging, receiving letters leaves a giddy feeling in my system. Just like most millennials, I rarely get snail mail. By rare, I mean one letter/postcard a year, or even none. But even if I don’t get a lot of mail, I feel grateful to those relatives who took their time to actually write me something on paper. Sure, I appreciate my friends and family’s efforts through instant messaging, but getting mail is just special.

I’m having a great day, so far. I did wake up feeling “meh, it’s another boring day”. I went through my morning “routine”, feeling a little excited for the day, but everything changed during breakfast.

While eating an egg and a piece of pan de sal, my aunt comes in, and she handed me an envelope. She told me that I had mail. I took the envelope and looked at it. Well, well, well, it’s from Ohio!

I’ve never met my mom’s first cousin (therefore, my aunt) from Ohio, but she’s been very supportive of me. She’d often react to and  comment on my Facebook posts, even more than my relatives here at home would do. She might be one of my ka-vibes (same vibes) aunts, if ever her family hadn’t migrated to the US. She seems to be so cool, and she seems to be kind and nice. I’m happy she’s reaching out to her extended family here in the Philippines. It just means that she’s not forgetting where she came from, and the family that’s left here. It’s a bonus that she can understand my posts in Filipino, given that my mom said that her sisters don’t really speak the language. I’m loving this aunt of mine so much, and I very much appreciate her snail mail.

She wrote me a letter full of support and encouragement. She told me not to let my bipolar disorder get in the way of my dreams and goals. She also shared some stuff that I can apply in my social life. The things she said in that letter were simple yet beautiful, and they are some words that I needed lately. After all the ups and downs of my personal life (not school issues), here comes a letter from my aunt who I barely knew but who cared. It’s like the arrival of the letter was so timely! Indeed, everything comes in God’s perfect time.

This letter really made my morning, even my day. It really made me excited. It’s like I want to send mail to my friends now. Going back to old practices isn’t bad after all, like sending snail mail. It is more personal, and at this day and age, it’s really special to receive mail that’s not your monthly bills. Lovers, friends, and family used to send snail mail, and they feel happy and special upon receiving mail. Snail mail is, indeed, sweet mail. I hope more people send old-fashioned letters more often. It’s not a waste of paper, given that that piece of paper is full of love.

To my Tita Marissa, thank you so much for the letter. I really appreciate it. I hope I get to meet you someday!

Posted in Relationships

The Right State of Mind

I was talking to two of my best friends about relationships (in general) earlier tonight. One of them told me that I am a “love guru”. It wasn’t the first time that I was called that, but I can’t help but chuckle a little every time someone calls me a love guru. Why? Well, because I’m not.

My friends tell me that I give good relationship advice. I didn’t consider them good, especially when I was still in a vulnerable state. Perhaps I only gave those words that they wanted to hear because I was trying to feel their pain, but really, I just wanted to make them happy. I sometimes didn’t take my own advice, knowing that I couldn’t do so.

Those poor advice-giving days halted once I went to psychotherapy in 2015. My doctor, through a workbook, taught me to always think with my wise mind. What’s a wise mind? Well, emotions + logic = wisdom. That’s what makes a wise mind. Well, being logical while considering feelings is hard, especially when feeling strong emotions at the moment. But it is possible. Trust me, I’ve done it.

Now, how does one do it? First, let the emotions fade a little before making big decisions. When your emotions are calmed down, try thinking logically. Try to think about the consequences of the things you’re about to do. Then, weigh your options: what do you think is the best thing to do for yourself and others? Try to think long term if you can. After that, execute it with caution.

Another thing I’ve learned with mindfulness is that things aren’t black and white. It’s like two things can be right and wrong at the same time. When arguing, two parties are both right and wrong in some points. It’s just all about perspective. The important thing is that both parties see that right and wrong about the arguments. That’s the right path to reconciliation.

I know these things I shared are hard to learn. I mean, I had to go undergo therapy just to realize those things. I had to unlearn things in the process, but hey, all the hard work was worth it. Now, I have better relationships, and I see the good in everything, even in myself.

I want you, yes you, to try these methods. These aren’t exact, since I forgot where my workbook and notes are. But I promise you, you’ll feel better about life when you try these.