Three decades after

When I think of the older generation, I think of all the bad things we need to fix because of them. The greatest of them all is the mindset that they are locked in even when we’re already living in 2023.

But I realized that maybe, I’m way too harsh. Maybe, in the next three decades, I’ll call out the youngsters because I can’t relate and understand what they’ve been on. And I’m afraid, I’ll be someone I loathed when I was young too.

I wish, and I’ll strive, to be someone who continues to have an open mind to understand and to honor the differences of my own and the future generations. I hope, really, that I stay to support whatever one likes doing as long as it’s not hurting anyone.

Lastly, I hope I’ll be the person I needed when I felt so lost, confused, and challenged by life.

These days, I like to limit my social interaction. I became quieter, I spoke less of my thoughts, I didn’t feel the need to be that person who talks to everyone so no one gets left out in the table. And I’m at peace, honestly. I wanted to utter fewer words so less can be used against me.

I wanted to give my silence, so my voice can be louder the next time I open my lips. And in the moments I chose not to speak, my thoughts rang louder than ever. Now, I truly understood what they meant by tasting your words before spitting them out.

The way I see it, I expect myself to be more silent. It took away the pressure. There are times when I want to completely disagree and call out someone, but most of time, I stop and think about how worthy it is to release my thoughts.

As I get older – my birthday is coming near so I know why my mind is like automatically reflecting – I don’t want to give free access to everyone on what I truly think. Before, I believed that voicing out is always the better choice. Now, I believe that there are times when silence makes more noise.

As I’m about to take a different path in my career, I’ll announce it to no one. Only my line manager will know – as I have no choice. I will live a different version of me. I will be living a new life I don’t know of in the past 26 years. A life I’ll be proud of… three decades after.

Rainy May

I lived long enough to notice that the earth is changing. I dreaded months of April and May because of the summer heat but I found myself comfortable with May because of the past few days. These past few rainy days except for one when I was afraid that our electricity would be cut off.

As we’re about to close the first half of 2023, I reflected and assessed if I’m happy with how I’m living my life. I realized that I am taking things at work more healthily by not forcing myself to give everything for my job. I used to be that person who will meet that deadline with desirable output just because it feels great at the end. It feels great to be credible. But after those moments of bliss, I always ended up hating my job. Not because it’s worthless but because I burnt out my well-being. Now, I choose what can be done without sacrificing my body. I may not achieve everything at once like before, but at least I’m not hating my work again. Yet.

Aside from that, there’s really nothing special going on. Maybe it’s the time when I will be losing more people to meet new ones. I don’t know. I feel alone most of the time. More usual than before. Not that I hate it. Being alone brings external peace. But inner peace is what I’m craving for.

I’m still unsure of my next steps but I just know I need to change something in my daily life. I’ll make it habit until it becomes my lifestyle. I’ll try to be more quiet. The more I speak, the less I hear my inner voice. My inner thoughts. As always, I’m uncertain if this will work – but as always too, I’ll give it a chance.

Living like my age, finally

I’ve always sought after the moments I can share with more experienced people in this marathon called life. Looking back six years ago, I never found myself seriously hanging out with my peers. Reason is simple, all of us back then had literally no idea how to become an adult. So why spend time with them?

I know, I know. That’s quite harsh to blurt out. But I didn’t have regrets because of the knowledge I have right now. I feel like I did an advanced study of how I’ll deal with my older years before I even go there. If I didn’t decide to change and live like my age, I would probably use my time talking to insightful people in their 50s. I though still enjoy watching TikTok videos of amazing middle-aged men & women sharing life lessons to us young guns.

Why did I decide to change? I was stressed so much about my future. I was incredibly invested with how much should I save for my retirement. I am nowhere near thirty but my mind lives like I’m 45. It’s not entirely wrong – we only live once, but not an excuse to destroy our future – however, I found myself not having fun as what 20-year-olds should do.

I allowed myself to be happy like a kid. I learned to finally live like 20. I graduated in June 2016 and started working the following month and I never stopped since then except for my one month break when I change companies. I knew I needed to work to buy this home that my family currently lives in. I matured way too early. But now, I felt like it’s the right time to give myself the time that responsibilities & pandemic took away from me.

I’m laughing more carelessly now- peeps, I get quite sad when you tell me to tone down my laughter – I’m buying the gadgets that make me happy. I’m buying clothes that I feel so comfortable and confident to wear. I’m walking across people with my head not bowed down and my posture speaks self-assurance. I traveled to two countries already and plans to visit two more in the last quarter of the year. And I’m about to book my first solo travel next year and see how it will change me.

Not knowing my purpose, not figuring everything out, not certain about my long-term desires, heck not even sure what to do in April – all of these are normal for a 20-something. My 23-year-old self would’ve been rattled & disappointed in me but my carefree, dauntless, and present-living 26-year-old self is currently at peace.

When I want darkness to stay

There are days when I become comfortable with the dark. When I want time to stop, when the light coming from the sun scares me out that I use my blanket all over my body to cover and be with the dark again. I just now when it comes. And this year, I felt it happened more frequently.

I was never a night owl. My mind got used to study so early in the morning and eventually got good grades out of it. But I wonder where that version of me currently exists. Now, my eyes are wide awake at 2 AM. This is when I feel most safe. It feels like being transported in a safe bubble where no one can enter unless I allow it.

But one may wonder, what happens when I know that a day calls for darkness to stay – simple, it’s either I’m extremely happy or I’m at the opposite end of the spectrum. I hate how my mind thinks that if I’m so happy at the moment, great sadness will eventually follow until I’m more consumed by it. I’m honestly not sure if sorrow visits me or I’m inviting it with open arms. And I hate myself even more when I feel down – I just think that I will either become used to it or worse, it may be a consequence of the mistakes I did.

I’m trying my best. I’m trying my best to feel that those days when I’m smiling, are truly because I was happy. I’m trying my best to think that bad days are far less than the good ones. Just the truth – I really am not sure. Maybe, not being sure about what we feel is a valid place to be temporarily? I’m used to think that I should either be okay or not. But maybe, with a little chance, I can be somewhere I don’t know?

I was asking at work if working from home can be more flexible. I actually get excited with the idea that I can work out of the country and be in a place where no one knows about me. No, it’s not like I’ll go to South Korea for six months. It can be a month and I’ll just take a few days off so I won’t use up all my vacation leaves. So, when that day comes, when darkness is a dear friend, I can cry all I want without needing to explain why.

These days, wherever I go, I feel like I’m a stranger. Not feeling like I belong whoever I’m with, or wherever I am. I just.. sometimes want to go out with a cap and a huge mask to cover my face plus sunglasses. I’m really at a point in my life where I don’t know what tomorrow means to me and what should I do with my present. And as I read this somewhere, I think I’m gonna apply this for the meantime – when you don’t know what to do next, do nothing. Well, literally, writing is the only thing that can save my will to live. As long as my fingers can type on my keyboard, I can be alive.

To whoever reaches this blog and is currently somewhat experiencing the same thing, I want you to know that you are not alone. As with my ultimate purpose in writing – I want to let someone know that they’re not alone. I’m here. Let’s be each other’s company in a strange place we’re traversing the way out.

Life Update?

I don’t know what title I want this post to have. I just want to maybe document what I feel recently? Or maybe what has been going on with the parts of my life I want to share here?

Either way, I ought to decompress tonight after eating baked mac and some Korean bread that my mom and my brother ecstatically want me to taste.

*Few minutes after*

I literally finished the two blocks before eating and I’m now back with a cup of berry tea beside my iPad.

As always, I have no idea where to start so I’ll just let my mind play and be random as my thoughts control my fingers on my cute keyboard. Okay, so, I just bought five black oversized t-shirts from Uniqlo yesterday. I ordered it online few days ago and I picked them up after getting an email that my items are at my chosen store. I just gave up a pile of t-shirts I don’t intend to use and they ended up to my brother’s fiancée. She is the type of a girl who’s very practical and does not care about branded stuff. I was happy that someone will be using the clothes I initially wanted to throw away.

I’m half-way through with my goal to curate my clothing cabinet. It was really an eyesore before. I was using the same clothes over and over again and more than half were just there. So, I planned to get rid of what I’m not comfortable wearing and just intentionally purchase what I actually want to wear. I got this idea from a YouTuber – her channel is “Malama Life”. Go check her out. 🙂

My slow shift to an eco-friendly lifestyle made me consistent with consciously choosing products I will use moving forward. It has been months since I last used a bottled shampoo. I have been using shampoo bars and I can tell you, my hair looked better. I am just finishing my last three conditioner tubes and I will also shift to conditioner bars. Even by little, my choice not to use bottled shampoo helped lessening plastic waste.

Speaking of being environment-friendly, I am having this dilemma. I don’t know if I mentioned this before, but I work for Shell. It’s impossible not knowing this multinational corporation. I’m in conflict if I want to work for this company in the coming years. This is something I’m afraid to share to many people I work with because I might get not-so-nice reactions. I wanted to do my research more. If the time comes when I don’t believe in Shell’s vision towards environmental responsibilities, I might leave.

Let me talk about work since I just said where I’m currently working for. I have been in an assistant manager role for the past eight months. The jump of my salary wasn’t that high from my previous role. But I already knew of that. I was told that expectations will become significantly higher (which is a laughable situation, slight increase in money but huge increase in responsibilities and accountability). But I also prepared for that, mentally and emotionally. However, I wasn’t informed that along with working with minimal supervision – there’s minimal support offered when it comes to your mental health. It’s not totally zero. But you have to tell what’s going on before people extend their hands to help. It seemed that I was instantly forced to become stronger and less human at work. Luckily, those with similar job grades/roles in my cluster became my friends. We got each other’s backs. When no one else asks how we’re doing, we know, we can ask each other and rant about many things over a dinner and a cup of coffee.

And connecting it with life outside work, I also noticed how my number of friends diminished. I also found it hard to make new friends even if I gave ample effort. But I guess this is reality slapping me hard again that your friends in life will naturally gravitate towards you. No forced relationships. Whew, I never knew life would be like this.

My mind says this is all for now. After publishing this, I’ll finish my tea and try my best to go to sleep while watching K-Dramas. Stay healthy and stay safe! ‘Til next time.

Room Nineteen

Just a year over what they call “quarter-life” crisis, I found myself in a myriad of emotions. I’m writing this in a hotel room I booked when I was so darn tired of work. It wasn’t a mistake though. I am at peace. Albeit I’m not sure if I’m walking on eggshells because I’m not used to this. I craved for this solitude but I guess this and I, are still new to each other. Will I repeat this? Definitely! It’s now close to 12MN and I promised myself to decompress my thoughts. I need to know what I feel and understand where they are coming from. So, here I am, writing this while waiting for my chai tea latte from Starbucks I ordered via Grab.

I’ll start right away. First, I feel like I’m not realizing the potential I have. There are whispers around my ears saying I am meant to fly. I have no problems with my current work. Overall, I won’t trade it for any other company in my country. But I just think I am not meant to live a nice templated corporate climb. That’s not who I am. Ever since. I was someone who people thought would go this way, but I always end up going another way. It isn’t something I planned just to create that image – I was forced to be a certain person and I just find ways to sneak in to find the path I am willing to walk, even with dinosaurs ahead of me.

This seemed easy. That’s what I thought. But the emotional Asian household won’t let me. You know, being a gay and youngest in the family has a lot of disadvantages. Here’s the worst – you have this unwanted responsibility of taking good care of your parents because your older siblings went their own ways. Of course they’ll say that if they could choose, they want to stay at home, be with family – but I will never understand that, yet. I’m at an age where I could take risks, fail, learn a lot, but I feel like I should live a more secured life because someone relies on me. I already declared that I will not have kids. But that is in no way an opening to take care of others. Why can’t they think that maybe because I have no capacity of taking care of others and that’s why I chose a childfree life? Ah yes, this is an Asian household. Some weird Filipino family culture I was never a fan of.

And now I’m lost. Weeks before, I talked with a counselor and I clearly mentioned that I am comfortable with this direction-less life because that is exciting for me. I have so many roads to walk on. But now, I have no idea where to go. I’m tired of explaining that I want to go from here to there without a clear plan just because I am not getting younger and when is the best time to take risks? You know the answer. The funny thing is – when they hear success stories of other people who took risks – you can see their smiles. But when you want to foray on a field you’re not expected to go, strangers are more supportive. Yes, I get it. People might say I am misinterpreting their concern. But no. I fully understand. I made it clear that whatever I do, I will pick myself up. I will not bother anyone. And that, I think, they are not onboarded with.

Believe me, I don’t even know what I want to do tomorrow. Life isn’t exciting to me anymore. I live for the bills I need to pay. And that’s it. No more, no less. I miss my old ambitious self. When the responsibilities you did not sign up for come in once you’ve become a functioning member of society, your dreams are very vulnerable to shattering. And coming from my own experience, this roots from having children when you are not financially prepared. If you’re reading this and you just want to have a family but your bank account never said it was ready, DON’T. I am bearing the weight I did not ask for. I’m tired of this life, honestly.

“Honestly”, the last word in the previous paragraph. Funny. I am not honest most of the past few days. I’m wearing different masks depending on the situation. Who I am with, where I’m at, or how I should act. I watched this Korean Drama entitled, “Because This is My First Life”, and one of the books the characters mentioned was “To Room Nineteen” by Doris Lessing. I want to have that book. But basically it’s about people having their own room 19. A room you don’t want others, no matter how close they are to you, to see. This resonates to my life right now. The only time I am completely honest is when I am in my own room nineteen.

Just paused for a while. I was contemplating if I should stop here or open up a bit more about decorating my room nineteen. I already took my first step. Now, while writing this, I visited my this room for the very first time. This is like creating your own bubble, a safe space, a place you can go when you’re tired of the noise, and where you can rest without feeling any guilt.

There’s a tiny spark that excites me to create this room. It’s like building a house without all the complications and expenses – I went through it, I have a house under my name, but I will never go through it all over again – and in this space, only my voice is important. My voice is the only audible sound. Only my voice is valid.

To share or not to share my journey is a hanging question. Sharing too much about it might defeat my purpose. Or, I can share a little so any person who may come across this post when he/she needs it can get a little inspiration to live life.

As always, I am writing for two specific reasons: To leave a digital footprint about the life I lived when I die and to help anyone through my words.

I am ending this post here.

It was a huge help releasing some of my bottled up emotions.

the punches on my chest

We all need to breathe.

I denied myself that. When all the self-care videos are just going around the internet, here I am – not knowing how to do it for myself.

Looking out for others is an easy-peasy task for me. See? How twisted am I? Freely giving that to others but I can’t seem to grasp how hard it is for me to give it… to myself.

I can’t explain the exhaustion I’m feeling right now. I have to be honest. I never shared my issues and my hardships with all honesty. It’s not that I don’t have anyone but I also have difficulties discussing it with me.

When I got so tired last week, I booked a one-night stay in a hotel. Just to be alone. All the therapy I can get outside doesn’t seem interesting to me – being alone is the most appealing therapy I can see at this moment.

With that, I believe I took a small step. I don’t know what I’m gonna do on Monday. But hopefully, I can get at least two things done – list down what I truly feel and finish “Hospital Playlist”.

I would like to apologize if I am wearing different masks everyday. I hate that I have to say sorry. But despite wearing different faces, I still don’t know what my true face is – in this part, I think I’m quite fair and I’m not being dishonest.

As I’m finishing this emotional post, my head reminded me of one thing I’m tired of. One of the reasons why I get so exhausted on a daily basis. Responsibilities I didn’t ask for. That’s it.

I’m feeling sorry for myself for not being able to do what my heart wants. I just hope it is not too late. I don’t want to die yet.

Finding my corner, in this round world

From gadgets, clothing, body weight, personal stuff, bags, I am never satisfied. Yet. I am enjoying this stuff though where I get to finally explore what mixture of things that will make up my boring routine life. But one thing’s sure – this discovery is getting expensive. I bought a macbook last year and an iPad this year. And despite watching tons of comparison videos of what should I get, I still ended up with a wrong decision. A tablet works best for me and it can do most of my needs. So, I am having this dilemma of retaining my laptop or selling it as early as this year. This is funny. I am having this problem when I am not even that rich.

But why am I even bothering to think about these things? Even though I’ve read a number of times that wearing the same clothes at work helps you decide better on what matters more, here I am, thinking of my mix and match outfits every single time I am scheduled to report at the office. I’m not sure if I am undergoing some phase or am I just gifting myself a chance to feel cute with my Korean-inspired outfits? I think it’s both. But eventually, I will land on at least a set of clothing that I can use repeatedly so I won’t think much but still feel good while wearing them. Hitting two birds with one stone? Hell, yes.

Living consciously and my mind being awakened at a time where social media has emerged as a double-edged sword, more external voices have disturbed and silenced my inner voice. There’s these usual pieces of advice by family on what to do, what to wear, how to act, and then seeing curated lifestyles that make you feel envious, empty, and wrong all at the same time. Too much noise. It’s too much that I am yet to establish what I want in every aspect of my life. I literally felt the need to sit down and decide on what I truly want before I take a step further for my tomorrow.

Coming into terms with myself that I have these personal problems to solve at my mid 20s made everything better. For some, they feel the need to rush to figure out what their life is but it’s definitely not the case for me. I am doing this at a time where I have this courage to stand by my own decisions. I can tell what I want and go for it. I made it clear to my parent that whatever decision I make, even if it ends up as a mistake or failure, I’ll pick myself up – this is where we learn, not when we always avoid taking risks.

Despite sounding so sure and firm, I am still scared. So scared that I get overwhelmed whenever I clearly think of having my feet turn into a whole different direction. What if my money is not enough? What if I can’t support them while I’m busy exploring the world I want to take space in? What if I realized I didn’t plan thoroughly? See? I am embracing and fearing the unknown path I am about to take.

Every time I get scared, I am immersing myself into my alternate future – a safe, comfortable, and financially secured one. Yes, it’s all good. And maybe, great? For sure, if my plan turns out to nothing, I will get many “I told you so” comments. But I don’t want to die young. I don’t want my soul to die first before my physical body. That’s what’s going to happen to me. Out of all this uncertainties, I am sure of one thing – I will die of regrets if I’ll pursue the safe track. I can bear a thousand of “I told you so” but I can’t bear seeing my old self looking at the stars at night with nothing but wishful thinking of what I could’ve done when I had the chance.

In this crazy, difficult round world to live in, I am off to find my own corner. My own safe bubble where my happiness is my top success meter. Where I can escape when the outside noise is too much to handle, where I can freely take things as slow as I want to.

As a first step in my plan, I’m gonna ask someone to paint some parts of my room black – when everyone logically said that I should have my small room all painted white to make and to feel that it’s wide (which I consciously followed), I am making my space as it is. A small black cornered room where I’m safe from anything and everything.

Lived for two and a half decade

Hello! I’m so close to finally be nearer to 30 than 20. I will have four celebrations as I didn’t want to gather everyone at once and not give them ample attention. I’ll go out with my mom on Wednesday, have a family celebration with my special someone on Saturday, and on July 9th and 16th, I’ll invite some friends in my house.

I didn’t think I was celebrating too much but… I guess I am celebrating too much? Lol. I just wanted to catch up with the important people in my life in the past, present, and future. I already got myself a gift and I requested some from my friends. You know, as you get older, you appreciate receiving gifts that you can actually use – even without the element of getting surprised. I had a cardigan with baybayin words from my officemates, I’ll receive a bracelet that I’m very excited to use from my loving partner, I’ll get a tote bag from uniqlo from my high school friends that I intend to use for work since we are required to report at the office twice a week starting in August.

None of you asked, but I want to share two of my most important learnings before I turn 26.

One, I changed my mindset how I make time for people I treasure. I am still all for low maintenance relationships but I saw value in consciously giving an effort to see your friends – understood that we’re all busy getting our shit together – but scheduling to see each other twice a year isn’t actually too much. Don’t lose connection. You might end up so successful, hugging all your trophies, certificates, but you only have yourself enjoying that fine wine every night. If you’re okay with that, I’m in no position to argue with you. But for me, life is meant to be celebrated with a few people I love.

Two, quarter-life crisis is real. But you have a choice – recognize that you are lost and be sad about it and let life fuck you with all its might or realize that you are lost and you act on it. I’m not exactly sure how my mindset changed but maybe because I am not trying to make my life into a novel. I look at my life as a book of wonderful poems. At 25, I am closing a good chapter of my life. And at 26, I am ready to start a new one. You see, we all have this pressure from age 25 to 29, that we are in a pivotal stage of our career, that if we fail, then we’re bound to be unsuccessful in the years to come. The best thing you can do at 25 is to have a serious conversation with yourself. Do you want to continue running in that lane? Or are your feet ready to shift to a whole new direction and embrace the uncertainties of what lies ahead?

Woah, I was so passionate writing the last two paragraphs. My mind just keeps working better at midnight – guess who’s in trouble if he lands a job on a morning shift? Haha!

It’s been two years since I started blogging. I can’t wait to re-read everything I wrote after five years. This online journal is my growth-tracker. This is where I can see my past self – whether he was right, awfully brave, or someone who made things happen as he said.

Four Impossible Things I Wish For

This was written in 2021 – in different days – on different emotions and states of mind – and at various times of my highs and lows. I plan to share what’s on my drafts days before my birthday. I hope they could bring something to my readers.

During one of many nights that my brain was working so hard to think of so many things, one absurd thought crossed my mind. It wasn’t close to reality but I’m not ruling out all the possibility that it could happen. What if I get to say four impossible things to some odd old woman who claims that she grants wishes to a select few in this world? Weird, right? But I’ll let my imagination start.

Let me begin with my first one – I wish I can decide to sleep for a week if I my mind or my body gets too exhausted with the world. I know this isn’t one hundred percent unthinkable because I read an article through my Facebook feed this year that there are indeed people who slept for more than a week. But I want to do it consciously. I want my mind to consciously prepare my body to hibernate. You know, there are weeks that are hard to live. May it be because of problems that you know ahead of time or because a certain week is filled with deadlines and you just can’t wait to go to the end line and jump on to your bed. This year, I can say I had the most taxing months emotionally, mentally, and unfortunately, physically. I never wanted to go back taking melatonin tablets before hitting the sack but if our brain is stressed and active due to thinking a lot, it really gets so difficult to sleep. And by then, you don’t wake up refreshed and some times, I am not in the best of moods at the start of my day. I am really very particular with the mood that I have when I wake up because it affects my outlook for the rest of the day. Oddly enough, I am convinced that sleeping for more time than usual can somehow help get through tough times. I am not sure what is its effect on my overall health but as I said, it’s a wish and I’m ready to take the consequences.

Next is all about safe space. I wish I can buy a private place, preferably close to a beautiful beach that I can view anytime I want. I have no problem if that place is in the Philippines, our country is still a paradise when it comes to nature’s gifts but I’m also open to have that private place in a different country. It’s like being away from my world and living where no one knows about me so I can recharge fully. I can just wish upon the stars – how can I possibly buy one? I am not earning that much to even buy a property here in my country. I need all the luck in the world to get a job that pays so well that it erases 70% of my problems.

Third, a job that lets me work in a different country every single year. How nice it would be if I would be able to work in China in 2022, then Estonia in 2023, and then another country for the following year? It’s as if traveling while still keeping your job without needing to save all your vacation leaves for a well-planned 7-day adventure. Okay, you might haven’t noticed yet but this is also a form of escape. I don’t want to commit in one place for so long to keep my mind busy adjusting and recalibrating because I need to adapt in a new environment yearly. Maybe I am not that strong to face problems head on? Or maybe I am just tired with all I’m facing right now. Perhaps, it’s a combination of both. I think I just have to have a much needed break before facing the harsh realities that life decided to give me. They say God gives the hardest battles to his toughest soldiers, but God may have made a mistake in giving me these battles. I’m not that tough.

And for that last one, it took me some time to conclude my final wish. And I’ve finally decided that I want to have the power of invisibility. Not only when I want to walk away and disappear from the rest of the world when the burden feels too heavy to carry. But also for the times that I am happy and I want to go places where I can smile like a crazy mad fool who’s in love like it’s the first time. I want to live freely, talk freely, and move freely without the eyes of judgmental society.

So now, I’m proudly ready to face that magical old lady if she ever wants to appear at my door. Once all my wishes are granted, I want to pass this on to others. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has the same things in mind as I do. It’s all too far from reality but my highest hope is for this to happen in my dream – in an alternate world where I can do what I can’t in the real world I’m existing.