SALTWATER HEALS

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They say saltwater heals, whether in the form of tears, sweat, or the sea.

It’s starting to become a tradition, a beach escape in March.

Escape is not being used lightly since it was technically an escape. There was no Wi-fi, nor phone signal and nobody heard anything from me for two days.

I began composing this at two in the morning. Apart from the sound of waves kissing the shore and the crickets chirping away, the world is quiet. My mind is quiet as well, an anomaly, but definitely a welcome change. In the quiet of the night, I let it all come, the truths I have been ignoring and forgetting amidst the vicissitudes of daily life.

Your superbrain is killing you, superbrain. 

Overthinking has been taking out the joy in everything lately. Overanalyzing and overplanning every task to ensure efficiency, assuming what another person is thinking instead of asking him/her directly, and diving straight into the worst case scenarios (in the guise of preparation in case things go wrong) has been incredibly draining. Tonight I am reminded of the fact that we need to live in the present, in the actual world, for this is how we determine what could be.

It’s okay not to know everything.

The beauty of Schrodinger’s cat. What is meant for us will always come and what is withheld from us is oftentimes for our own protection, and this includes information. Similar to the way spoilers work in movies and novels, life would be incredibly boring and pointless if everything is made known to us prematurely just because we wanted to know.

Communication isn’t always the key to a good relationship

Because sometimes, letting go is. I have always been the type to talk it out, but as life went on and my circle widened, I have come to meet people who don’t really prefer to discuss conflicts and its possible resolution. I made the mistake of pushing for the talking solution with a dear friend last February when we had a minor disagreement and it only made the conflict worse. What could’ve been resolved in a day (if only I had let it go) ended up lasting for a week and a half, and that week and a half could’ve been filled with happy memories. I did realize eventually that letting go is the only solution, and that if we are truly secure in our relationships and we know the heart of the other person, it’s okay to leave things unsaid.

Mental health breaks are a privilege

I realized this when I informed my mother of this trip. She wished me safety and that I get the equilibrium I am seeking. But I ended up thinking about her life which probably became overwhelming multiple times, being a single parent and all, when I was a child. She never once took a “mental health break”. Falling apart is a privilege. If you can afford to be broken down by difficulties, because it’s not a life or death situation, or there’s no child that will go hungry, or you can afford to go soul-searching, you are still better off than a large number of people.

Tomorrow I go on a boat ride and a snorkel trip with two of my best friends. Looking forward to being reinvigorated by nature so come Monday, I can face the world anew.

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leaving to live

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Today was the first day of my last ten days in the CBD. The feelings I have are quite new to me: a mixture of both relief and sadness. There were times when I wanted time to move a little bit slower so the end would be delayed, but there are also times when I just want everything to be over and done with, so I need not feel confusion anymore.

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I am leaving because I no longer feel alive. I allowed myself to be turned into a cog that fits perfectly in a machine I knew I did not want to be part of. I have always had a soft spot for development work as I witnessed my mother dedicate decades to an INGO while I was growing up. This desire has transformed into a passion when I entered college and was nurtured by volunteering in an organization for street children. There is a more permanent sense of joy in doing work that transcends one’s own needs and helps advance a cause that is otherwise ignored: work that saves lives.

It was lovely while it lasted though. I met people, good ones as well as Regina George-types whom I thought only existed in movies. I learned that professionalism goes beyond politeness and diligence, and that it’s actually more about delivering beyond what is expected. I learned that performing well and liking what you do are not mutually exclusive, and there are more important things to take into consideration aside from how and what one feels.

However, I know it’s time to go, because I’ve been changed into someone I know I am not. And when we let ourselves be changed, we lose not only our distinctiveness, but also the little things that make us, who we are. For me that was photography, exploration, appreciation of the little things, being one with nature, spending time with my nanay, and being mindful of my health. For a while life revolved around chasing numbers, being relentless in the chase, winning the chase, needing to chase them again, and again. But for what purpose that has long-term implications?

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I had to leave because I was unhappy, and I could die any minute, and I cannot die unhappy. We are young, and driven, and full of energy. If our sense of self tells us that our success is different from what the world deems as successful, it’s okay. If our heart tells us that our success will not be found in the birthplace of wordly success, it really is okay.

The most noteworthy people are those who are stayed true to themselves despite opposition, judgement, and ridicule. The most noteworthy people are those who were relentless in their pursuit of an authentic life, despite all the difficulties that came their way. If we let ourselves become just cogs, cogs that look like every other cog, and can do what every other cog does, we become easily replaceable, for another cog of the same appearance and of the same abilities lay readily available at the next hardware store.

Ensure that you are happy, for at the end, you only have who you are. In my last ten days, I am both excited and scared, for the world is once again an unclear haze of possibility. But I know greater things will soon come, because it always does for those who chase greatness, and those who trust in His promises.

Photos taken using by BlackBerry Q10 (which broke, btw).