Hope

But somewhere out there.. there we are, holding each others’ hands.. we, marveling about how they perfectly fit together the way my heart fits perfectly inside your chest cavity and yours in mine, so perfect we could swap hearts and the difference would be hardly noticeable.

She walked down that path. They were meeting for the first time. She was ruminating about how many times she’d been doing this.. meeting people for the first time. Meeting a friend for the first time. How people would start as strangers completely clueless about what they were like when they were younger, clueless about what time they were born in this world, hmmm she doesn’t even know when exactly she came to this world.. completely clueless of the quirks that they were hiding from other people.. and suddenly they are friends and that is just so mind-blowing, don’t you think? Like we are such social animals and can’t leave each other alone.

So why can’t we leave each other alone?

I. Couldn’t. Get. Enough. Of. You.

He was wearing a polo shirt and she was thinking that they could be perfect together because why not?

You. You told me things. Like how you like to do lots of things. Like you’re some sort of a jack of all trades but a master of none. And I believed you and I had come to know that that is true.

You told me things. About you. And I just wanted to know more.

So why couldn’t we leave each other alone?

Somewhere out there are people loving for the first time, breaking up for the first time. Or maybe for the last time but what I have in me is hope. Hope that there are beautiful days to come. That this is just a hiccup, a major hiccup, but a hiccup nonetheless. Nothing that can’t be fixed. Somewhere out there are all the other possibilities. Thousands, endless, so many possibilitues — and yes that’s a typo cause I’m writing way too fast—the world couldn’t hold them, the last ones remain floating in the Galaxy. You, perfectly fine, alone.. nothing and no one to worry about except for yourself.. You finding someone else better than I am.. I, finding someone who shares my interests and quirks and dreams in life. But somewhere out there.. there we are, holding each others’ hands.. we marveling about how they perfectly fit together the way my heart fits perfectly inside your chest cavity and yours in mine, so perfect we could swap hearts and the difference would be hardly noticeable.

Sometimes, I worried a lot. I worried about that time when I thought I had disappointed you. I would obsess about it the whole time. It would lurk inside my head, like a ghost on my hindsight, waiting to present itself.

I would worry about not remembering that feeling of excitement the first time I met you. That giddy feeling that I never want to forget. You had that smile on your eyes, you had that look on your lips and I knew right then that you were going to kiss me on the cheek. You did. And I couldn’t take my eyes off you.

I never told you, but I was worried shit that day we first met. I have never been on a date with someone I was meeting for the first time. I swear I wanted to un-send the sms I sent you. You must know by now that I am not one to think things through. I make decisions in a spur of a second and I know that that is bad but that day, when I decided to see you, it was the best in-the-moment decision I have ever made. Never, ever, even at this point am I regretting that.

Everytime you talk about the universe conspiring against us, I laughed at you and teased you for assuming that you were the most unfortunate man in the universe. Because you weren’t. Know that even the best among us are passed up by luck (or the equivalent of that) because nothing in this world is good enough without all of these imperfections. You are lucky because, to me, you are perfect with all of your imperfections and I know that’s cliche but I speak the truth.

Oftentimes, I wonder why I hadn’t met you early on, why you hadn’t showed up when we were still in college. It would’ve been perfect. Proximity happens by chance, by coincidence. But, in our case, you made it possible. You said you weren’t able to resist me and the distance between us. You said, “I know I had to cross it, and the sooner the better so that I may know if you wanted me as well.” Of course, I did. Still do. Want you. Love you.

That book, the first one you gave me is about memories. Some of these memories won’t go away. I have mine, too. Words cannot be unsaid and actions cannot come undone. But we can utter more loving words and do thoughtful actions and make new memories. Yes, even at this point. Happy ones, preferably, so that we won’t be rattled when the past tries to catch up with us.

I look stupid here but I love you. While you are asleep, I love you. And by the time you wake up, be reminded again that I love you.

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Not a Game, Not Again. This is It.

When it feels right, you gotta do it because you can’t not. You can stop playing pretend because it’s not going to do you any good and I’m not even talking about adulting. You’ve got to do it now. You will never know what happens next until you jump in face first, or ass first, I don’t know what. Take that plunge, you will get drenched for sure but it will be worth it. It could be the best move you’ve ever done in your life. And if it’s not, well, stop worrying about that part. You will have another go and by then you would already know how to swim through it, backstroke, freestyle, whichever way you prefer.

When it feels right, never hesitate, no matter how crazy it may seem like, no matter how out-of-bounds, no matter how far-fetched, it will make all the sense in this world. Everything else will feel vague,like  a weak approximation. See, I am now talking about algebra and I don’t know sh-t about algebra but it will start to make sense if I give my 101% to it. You will know it. When it feels right, it will feel like a four year-old tugging at your dress insistently until you look at it. Perseverance. If you f-cking want it, you will f-cking get it. It will make you lose sleep, your appetite, and what-not and you might not notice that you’ve been wearing less stylish clothing but it’s okay because you will never tire of it, when it feels right. Be bold, but not chaotic. Be frank, but be careful with the words you use. Ask, don’t be afraid to ask, but never beg.

When it feels right, it will be tangible, far from it’s former dreamy appearance, far from a hazy state of probabilities, palpable, it will look you in the eye, and nope, I don’t mean that in a scary sense. It will form itself solid right in front of your eyes you can hardly believe— well, believe it!— that it’s been there all along, running in your veins, it’s in your blood, it’s in your genetic makeup, and it is alive. You may look at it in a completely different way. It can be like a complicated process map, a strategic maze of sorts and only you will figure it out.

You will never know, the guessing will never stop until you do it because when it feels right, it will happen. You will make it. You can do it, I promise you.

The Waves are Coming

The treacherous waves are coming and the girl is not quite prepared for that. If she could just stop them, she would. Of all places, this is where she remembers him though they’ve never been to this particular spot before. Sunsets and beaches and skies painted with ochre, burnt orange, sometimes purple and your face just surfaces in my mind.

That was the day before it was over. We held hands by the beach. The spaces between your fingers, that’s where mine perfectly fit, but that day, it didn’t feel quite right anymore. I grasped your hand, traced my finger in the inside of your palm, feeling every crease and line but your fingers didn’t tighten at the slightest touch the way it used to before. You were staring at the horizon, deep in your thoughts, and though I was dying to ask you what you were thinking about, something stopped me. I realized that I was afraid of knowing. The waves were coming.

The waves were coming and the girl ran away from them but you didn’t. Perhaps, you were tired. Tired of your life, everything, meeting other people’s expectations. And I understand. If you push her away, she won’t resist anymore. But know that she will always be there.


I will never leave you, that’s a promise.
The tears flowing down her face are joining the saltwater and no one would know the difference. The waves were coming to wash out all of your memories of you and I and you were just standing there, you can hardly wait for the waves to consume you.

Notes to My/Your Workaholic Self 

As of late, work has been particularly hard on me and I know it’s been taking a toll on my personal life. I’ve been spending too much time in the office, been getting lesser sleep, and skipping lunch just to get it all done. In short, I’m getting crabby.

It’s supposed to look like a cRab but sorry not sorry, I can’t draw to save my life! 😂

Sure, I had a one-week breather during my out of town trip but as soon as it was over I had to get full-on work mode again. Anyone with a similar job as mine knows that when returning from a week-long vacation, the first thing that you have to attend to is your inbox. Naturally, mine was bursting at its seams. Sure, I know a few secrets in winning the war on emails but when there’s too much, there’s just no way around it. Responding to emails is just one part of my lovely job. I have to process and manage transactions, prepare reports, attend to our partners’ and other stakeholders’ queries via phone if emailing is not sufficient, numerous calls with clients.. you name it! Don’t get me wrong. I love my job, sure, but as we are on a transition phase right now, the workload feels as if it’s twice the amount it used to be and I’m getting so lost. 🙁

There’s no ignoring the downsides of having a full-time job but no matter how overwhelming it can get, there are so many ways to manage it. Shun negativity. Minimize stress. Be more productive and efficient. I don’t claim to be an expert in work management, but I am just jotting down these notes, a list of sorts to get me by when the going gets tough, and it sure is tough right now. Perhaps you may even be better off than I am, but if we ever are on the same boat then this one’s for you.

1. Disconnect after work. Never give in to the urge of opening your work email. Yep, I had come to the point when I just couldn’t stop myself from logging in to my email and responding to queries until I realize that I’d been doing it for more than an hour and I had yet to prepare for sleep. You’re just going to drag some to folders, you say, but nope, don’t even start or you will get lost on your emails. Been there done that and it’s not healthy.

2. Eat healthy. And by healthy, I mean don’t skip meals though if you want to restrict to eating healthy food, then all the better. I was, still am, guilty of this. I almost always skip meals. That 1 1/2 hours of time allotted for break is not a benefit, it is your right and it is your responsibility to take care of yourself. Nourish yourself to energize because you need it. But if you’re not hungry, have a powernap, like I do for most of the time.

3. Get at least 7-8 hours of sleep. In this age, the # 1 sleep detractor is the mobile phone. It will help to turn it on airplane mode or, at least, on silent mode. The lesser the distractions, the higher the probability of dozing off early. When you’re well-rested, you wake up on time. If you wake up on time, you will have enough time to prepare for the day– and this is plenty important to me because I need the extra time to blowdry my hair (I hate going out with wet hair!) and choose which clothes to wear without having a panic attack. Thank God I don’t wear makeup. I heard some girls take a couple of hours to do theirs. As for me, I’d use that extra time for snooze. When I have enough sleep, I am less grumpy. My mind is more relaxed. I get more work done. In short, I become more productive.

4. Dress nice. I don’t know why but I always feel better when I am wearing a smart outfit or my favorite dress. When you dress nice and good, you get an instant confidence boost. Don’t report to work in your sweats and hoodies else you’ll feel sleepy. Been there done that. 😆

5. Don’t be too hard on yourself. There are times when the quality of your work is just off. Or you’re taking too much time than necessary working on a particular issue when on some days it would only take you less than five minutes. Or you just can’t do things right. In short, you’re having a bad day. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Yep, this is my best advice to myself. When something goes wrong, I overthink. I get frustrated. I would dwell on it and talk nonstop about it. Well if you are like that too then stop. Talk about it once or twice then move on. Also remember that there are good days and they far outweigh the bad ones.

6. Have a dose of self-love. A little of this won’t hurt. Stop feeling insecure. You are enough. You are good. You deserve to love yourself because if others can, why can’t you? And don’t ever think that no one loves you because I’m pretty sure someone does and appreciates you no matter how ugly you feel and inadequate. So, yes, self-love, because you matter. Take care of yourself. Don’t let yourself become ill. Don’t exhaust yourself. Forgive yourself in the face of blunders. These shall past. You matter at work. You are an important part of a project and without you, your team couldn’t have made it.

7. Be the best version of yourself. Don’t be a slacker. Leave no rooms for mediocrity. Do your best in everything that you do. Stop being complacent, instead innovate. It’s alright to make mistakes once or twice but make sure you’ve learn from them. But if you can, avoid, because, for real, most mistakes are avoidable if you are careful.

8. Be realistic and accept the volume of workload in the most professional way. Learn how to say no. It is not good to saturate your agenda with too many assignments when in the end, you won’t meet the deadline, or the quality of your work is not up to par. I am not going to say “slowly but surely” because sometimes, the volume is higher than usual. Instead,  plan, organize, and be resourceful. Make use of technology/tools to help with your productivity.

9. Love your job. Yes, of course, because if you don’t, you’ll die. Literal and figurative. It’s your bread and butter. It’s what funds your travels and fine dining experiences and your wardrobe and gadgets allowance. Seriously, don’t take a job that doesn’t suit you or just so you can pay your bills and put food on your table. It has to be more than that. It has to have more meaning in your life. Be passionate and proud of what you do. You have to care (but not too much), hey you’re not a machine. If you don’t love your job, or if you don’t develop passion in it, you’ll just feel miserable like you can’t wait to get it done and over with every.single.day and that’s not good.

10. Don’t judge and don’t set standards that are just too high. Sometimes, you (think you) are just too good, no sarcasm intended, because you just are. But don’t expect others to be just as good as you are or to have the same discipline and work ethics as you do because they aren’t and they don’t. If it’s a colleague, well don’t get yourself riled up, don’t stress yourself as long as they are not making a personal attack on you. If you are someone’s mentor, try to emphatize, try to know the person and don’t judge them outright if they don’t suit your standards. Instead, try to understand them and from there, you can agree on how the both of you are going to achieve your goals as a team.

11. Promote harmony. If there are issues with a colleague, talk about it. Be openminded and act like the mature adult that you are. No two persons think alike and so it will be extremely unhelpful to stop having a touchpoint after a misunderstanding. Yes, this happened to me before and to cut the story short, nothing good came out of it. As a whole, your team has a goal/s and as a team, you have to work harmoniously with one other to achieve your goal/s.

12. Pamper yourself. Get a massage, a haircut, a makeover, a hand paraffin, a foot spa, and all the other things you can think of to relax and make you feel better. Go somewhere without too many plans in mind and it better be some place quiet, preferrably greeny and grassy and cool.

13. Always wear a smile and be happy because more facial muscles are getting worked up and worn out when you frown. Your choice. Wear a smile, it will make you feel and look better. If you find it hard to smile then think of happy or funny thoughts and I bet you’ll start laughing in no time. Be happy just because, you know what, life is good and that should be reason enough to be happy about. 😉

If you have tips that are not on this list, please feel free to share on the comments below! Thanks for reading!

My Thoughts Exactly

Most people who meet me for the first time would assume that I am one of the dopest, friendliest, goofiest thing they have ever seen. Nope, that is the stuff of fiction.

I am not a sociable person. I mean, since when did cat people ever become outgoing and sociable? Except Taylor Swift, perhaps. She needs to be because of the nature of her business. The girl is not a pop star, she’s a bloody businesswoman who seems to have worked out all the kinks ( of her hair and) of the music industry.

  

Enough of Tay-tay. I have stopped stalking her both in social media and Google search. I am just tired of her entrepreneurial voracity and insatiable thirst for distinction, really. And I am stark mad that she didn’t include me in her girl squad. (You know I am kidding, right?)

So what I know about sociable people is that they are like Taylor Swift who likes to be friends with and well-liked by everyone, except that they might not like cats. (Hah. That is the last time I will talk about her, my apologies. It’s hard to get over someone I used to love.) Also, sociable people like to meet lots of people. Obviously. (They might also prefer dogs over cats.) I think they like to build their connections and have these ultra self-empowering goals, which I don’t want to find out because it’s none of my business. Or maybe they are born to be Mr and Ms Congeniality’s. Like when they were barely a year old, they smiled at the camera, at dogs and even at that suspicious brown mound on the ground that looks like cat turd. No, I am not kidding. It’s fun to be with this group of people.👌🏻

I don’t like large crowds and the Barbie and Ken dolls of the world. (Read: superficial.) I choose my friends (and I like to think they chose me, as well). I choose people who I perceive to be smart and real. I like folks who don’t need everyone’s validation and I don’t like people who don’t choose sides. Yep, I don’t like the Swiss. (Except Toblerone, of course. Everybody loves them.) You gotta choose, buddy. So, are you a cat, or a dog person? 👊🏼

I like being around a small circle of friends. But there are times when I like to keep to myself and, even when I am with them, I like to wander inside my thoughts, thinking that I am somewhere else doing something else. Most of the time, I imagine sitting on a rocking chair, reading a nice book, with a cat on my lap. Yep, I know it’s so Alessia Cara singing ‘Here’. 

  

(Ooops that’s not Alessia. And I’ll pass on that headdress.)

If you think I am being arrogant just by writing all of these, be reminded that you can exit my site anytime, sweetie.

Of course, there were those times when I wished I was different. Don’t we all? I wished I was friendlier, funnier, easier to be with, less complicated and more free-spirited. But I like to think that I have come to terms with my individuality and that’s something because I don’t need to try hard. Really, the easiest thing ever, is to be yourself, to let others see the real you because it’s so hard to pretend. No hesitations, no holds barred, heck, no make-up or designer clothes. And no Camera360.

The first time I meet people, some seem to want to be friends with me (or am I just assuming things here? Please enlighten me) maybe because I am being funny when I talk about real stuff however bland or skin deep. Perhaps they would assume that I am bluffing or whatever and so a few weeks or days or months after, they would begin to think that I am bloody serious. A few would like me even more once they get to know me but most just wouldn’t know how to deal with this five foot zero inch shit and so they would walk away and this little shit wouldn’t care because that’s none of it’s business.

I like real talk. Man, I am plain honest and straightforward, sometimes you will think that I am sugarcoating my words or sometimes, I am dissing you straight in the face because that’s how I roll. Okay, sometimes I do filter my words just a wee bit the way I use a few photo filters to play with the light on my photos but I would tell you exactly what I need you to understand the way I would show you the zits and blemishes on my face because that’s how I roll. I believe in speaking out to make a difference to the world (yep, the world) so don’t be bloody sensitive when I speak the truth and I know it hurts the most but let’s just get real and get it over with.

Okay. You can stop right there and let’s breath real deep together.

  
One of my work counsellors told me that I am one of the realest, bravest and strongest people she knew and she said that was good because I knew what I wanted. My principles are intact, which means that I am hard to be influenced by other people who are on the other side of my fence. She said these are the makings of a good leader.

She didn’t tell me about the other side of the pancake, though. You know, the burnt one. I know that she knows that I already know. I know I can be complicated sometimes or perhaps, most of the time. I can break things up before you can say sushi. If you know what I mean. This other side might stop me from getting what I want, or even deserve. It might not get me up through the corporate ladder, might not get me the likes and hearts in social media. But you know what? I don’t need those types of validation from others who don’t matter much in my life. No one shouldn’t.

But we have our differences and while I think that no one shouldn’t want, shouldn’t work so fcuknig hard, shouldn’t be so fcuknig desperate to receive other’s validation and acceptance, some people just don’t think the way I do and it doesn’t mean that I am right and they are wrong. It could be the other way around and, who knows, both.


*First photo is not mine, I just found it in Tumblr. Whoever owns it, please let me know so I can give proper credits.

The second one was taken from http://www.spin.com/2015/08/alessia-cara-here-vevo-dscvr-watch/

The third one is my son’s photo. Lol. Texts on photos are mine.

Why Some of my Facebook Friends Annoy Me Sometimes 

No, I’m not a devout Catholic but I was raised as one. No, I am not active at church but I do get irked by people who constantly make fun of the Church’s rituals.
When I was younger and didn’t know any better, I made fun of the other religious sects and their rituals. I didn’t get why, during worship, their pastor or leader would start rambling in a sing-songy voice and the whole flock would raise their hands and wave them in worship and start crying in anguish and it would go on for like thirty minutes, afterwards, they would calm down and start whispering gibberish. I laughed when some members claimed that their church is the right church, that they are the chosen ones and that everyone else will go to hell, like whatever they do or have done in the past, heaven will accept them because of their elitist assumptions. This is the worst kind of thinking. I still don’t get all of it.
You guys who call yourselves  Christians and not Catholic’s (though Catholics are technically Christians, there remains a distinction, mainly the considerable size of the latter as opposed to the tiny numbers that make up hundreds of otherChristianchurches). You will say that you believe in the goodness of Christ but you don’t know why. Shame on you. It’s about time you realize that salvation doesn’t come in the form of the religious organization which you belong to. It’s about time you stop that feeling of exclusivity because you know what, your contemptuous feelings against the Mother Church just reveals how desperate your leaders are. They want to beat the numbers so they lie. The Roman Catholic is one of the largest, if not the largest, religious communities in the world and nope you can’t change that, not in a million years.
I get why your leaders had to break away from the Roman Catholic Church. Yes, I do. There are rituals and beliefs that they don’t agree to and that is good and that is normal. That’s okay. Their followers follow suit. That’s fine. But those who believe that their group is the One especially those who, in the past, tried to convince me that I will not be ‘saved’ if I don’t join their group, that Catholicism is evil, well I tel you now, dogs who bark a lot feel threatened. Just shut up and chew and swallow that insecurity or I’ll shove it down your throat.
Brother, Sister, I accept you whatever your religious group is as long as you stop being such a goddamn bully. If you need your group to feel privileged or anything to that effect, then you’re not pulling off that religious shit the way you’re supposed to. You are not getting it because either you are brainwashed (brainwashed people are dumb), or close-minded (dumber, still). There is no elite religious group, certainly not yours. No way is better than the other. Having a group or having none, that don’t have much difference except that for the latter they don’t have the urge to have this sense of belongingness, don’t feel the need to adhere to methodical rituals because at the end of the day, we all fall asleep and, if we don’t die in slumber, we wake up. We’re different but still the same , get it?
Stop fooling yourself and shut up.

Cat Ladies are Not Crazy

I don’t mind getting pigeonholed into the crazy cat lady stereotype. So what if people are not amused with my cat stories and my cats. These furry felines are pretty cute, much cuter than most people I know anyway so that fact alone should suffice.

So, when exactly do you call a lady a cat lady?
I asked Herson and he said, a cat lady is a spinster who takes care of a cat/cats (not necessarily a cat hoarder) the way she would treat her own child.

I am not a spinster. Too young for that. I call my cats my babies though..

Wikipedia.com says a cat lady is a single woman who owns many pet cats. It also states that cat ladies have been associated with “romance-challenged (often career-oriented) women”.

I have Herson and the two kittens. I am not even career-oriented.

  
On the street where I live, there’s this lady who feeds all of the cats in the neighborhood. I see her do this at dusk or early in the evening, when I am on my way to work (I work nights). She looks old, perhaps in her 70’s or 80’s, wears long dresses that reach past the ankles. She beckons the cats, “Miyaw,” with her baritone voice and feeds them out of a plastic bag full of cat food that she carries on her right hand.

That, I believe, is the very definition of a cat lady. I wouldn’t be surprised if I learn that she has dozens of cats in her home.

According to Wikipedia, a cat lady may also be an animal hoarder who keeps a large number of cats without having the ability to properly house or care for them.

I only have two cats, two adorable white felines with black spots on their back. I post photos of them on my Facebook and Instagram every now and then.. Okaaaay, I sometimes post like five photos/videos a day, no, not everyday. I ask Herson if he thinks I am posting too much. He says no at first with that knowing smile on his face so I ask him again and he says yes, you post quite a lot, while assuring me that no I don’t have to stop posting just because. Does that make me a cat lady? I don’t know. He says no but I am not quite convinced. Oh, well, it’s not the worst thing in the world, what with wars going on in the Middle East and hunger and terrorism and the refugee situation in Europe and singlehood in your late 20’s and China bullying its way into my country’s disputed islands. No, it’s not the worst. And I really don’t mind.

There’s only one instance (I think) that pretty much suggests that I am a cat lady. It was when I thought of buying a car for the sole purpose of bringing my cats with me during travel, so that they won’t be left on their own. They matter that much. 😹

But please I am not a cat lady. Not yet anyway. I would never put my cats ahead of my family. I may humanize them from time to time, feed them fancy cat food and peach-mango pie, but they still are these furry, selfish creatures who don’t really give a shit about everything that’s going on with the world as long as they get enough feedings in one day. As long as they have someplace comfortable to sleep. As long as they have their humans to pet them whenever they want to. And I really don’t mind. I can be selfish too and I sure love burying my nose on my cat’s soft, warm belly whenever I want to. It’s worth the trouble of hand-scooping their poo (with a plastic bag, of course) from the litter box. Worth the abandoned fancy scratching post, the money spent on fancy cat food and litter. Worth the ruined clothes or shoes or books and cardboard boxes and broken coffee mugs.

One thing I learned about being a hands-on cat owner is that, although mostly independent, cats don’t want to shit on their litter boxes until you clean after their last dump. No kidding. It is also true that cats nearing adulthood become very picky with food, become lazy and take more naps and cuddles.

While I am writing this in bed, my Panda walks (that mega slow walk) towards me and squeezed himself between me and Herson, purring loudly like an old fridge: a clear indication that he is hungry. He starts nibbling on my little finger and rubbing his cheek on my hand. I stroke his head, his back, his spine, his fluffy fur. I touch his delicate belly and feel his heart beating. He continues to purr. This.

You know what, I really don’t mind being called a cat lady at all.