I Wish to Live in a Vacuum

I wish to live in a vacuum, a place where I cannot be affected by things, a place where I cannot affect other things, a place where I alone am responsible for my own actions, a place where my actions cannot affect anybody aside from myself, a place where no one will judge me, except me, except the person who saw all that I’ve been through and will understand what it took to make my decisions. A place where I can freely cry, scream, laugh and feel with reckless abandon, without being judged as crazy, without people telling you to stop, that’s not normal, you’re overreacting, get a grip, you’re weak, hide it, keep it, nobody is supposed to see that, such a place I want live in. It gets exhausting to live in this world right now, you know?

At a young age I’ve been told countless of times, to stop crying, it doesn’t do anything, it’s useless, it makes things worse, it makes you uglier. Yeah ok, so I stopped. I tried and stopped crying, as much as possible, as quietly as possible. And when people ask me how to be cold, how to be apathetic like me, I hear a bottle slowly cracking. And when other people catch me at unfortunate times when I try to properly feel my emotions and rearrange myself, and they ask me to stop, I hear the bottle crack further, and it scares me, scares me so much that it will fully break without any chance of repair.

Hell no, that’s not allowed. That’s not possible. You’re not allowed to crack. No. No. No. Not again. Be perfect. Be fucking perfect and smile.

They want you to lie about your feelings. So yes, yes you’re ok, you’re ok, you’re ok. Lie about it to the point you don’t know what’s real anymore. Lie until it becomes the truth. They’ll never know anyway. You’re fine, you’ll be fine.

Does this vacuum exist? Does a place like that really exists?

It does, thank God it does. Literally thank God because such place belong in the Here After, the next world, the final destination, heaven, Jannah Al-Firdaus. And no matter how much I want to go there right now, because it really is suffocating to be living right now, I can’t, you can’t, it’s not yet our time. And when you try to go there improperly, you’ll end up in Hell. So joke’s on you, trying to escape one hell only to arrive at another.

But all is not lost.

So here’s a cute quote that I’m guessing came from Hallmark because it’s on my bookmark. “Hope is not pretending that there’s never any sorrow. It’s the knowledge that our troubles will be overcome tomorrow. It’s the inner strength we call on to sustain us now and then, till our problems lie behind us and we’re happy once again.”

And here’s a little prayer, something to hold on, something to hope with.

“No one of you should wish for death because of some harm that has befallen him, but if he must do that then let him say: ‘O Allaah, keep me alive so long as life is good for me, and cause me to die when death is good for me.’” – Bukhari

Silly wishes can be overcome by sincere prayers.

Do I still wish to live in a vacuum? Maybe. But I know there’s something better, so I pray for that something better.

I’m at the crossroads, again.

WARNING: Very long and graphic. I was just joking about the latter part. Maybe.

Summary can be found at the bottom, because I like to ramble. Hahaha.

At this time last year, I was seriously contemplating about my life (as if I ever stopped). I was graduating from college (hooray! — *adult life looming scarily behind my back*) and I was scheduled for a panel interview for my dream law school which I failed horribly (that still makes me want to face palm, bang my head on the wall, and hide under a rock).

I remember feeling so confused and so torn, like I do now. I remember praying so hard for a direction, for a sign that will lead me to where I am supposed to be. I convinced myself there was nothing that I want in this life, except peace. I just want a direction, I want something a purpose in life, I want to do my best. It hurts when you don’t get what you want, so I learned to persevere with what I just need. I needed to do something after graduating. I’m relatively easy to convince and easy to talk to, I’m a chill person who just goes with the flow. Then I realized there was something that I’ve wanted more than anything in life so far.

Law school was an option. In fact it was my only option, I didn’t want to work right away. I felt that no company (zero/nada/wala) would have accepted me that would be a perfect fit for my personality (and to address the confusion and the comments like: “Eh? But you’re a nice person, you’ll find a job somewhere” etc, I sincerely did not know or realize that, okay? I blame the career fairs that I’ve attended and myself haha). I did not want to look for jobs yet though to be honest I felt happy and flattered when I received job interview offers but then I was already enrolled in another law school, so all I could think was: “Where were you when I needed you the most?” #hugot.

In the end I chose law. Why? I don’t know. I’ll get back to that when I know the answer because God knows how often I’ve asked myself that question only to end up with no explanation. All I know is I just want to.but I failed the exam for my dream school. I can say that it was one of my life-wrecking moments so far after my accounting days *insert awkward coughing* that all I remember clearly is the turbulent emotions that I had back then, I exaggerate of course. but what I felt was no joke.

I remember asking myself again and again, what would I do with my life, where am I going? I beat myself inwardly for failing an exam I was supposed to pass easily because my siblings (*insert middle-child syndrome/inferiority-complex/whatever-you-want-to-call-it here*) did it, so why did I fail? Where did I go wrong? Where was I lacking? And we jump to the hasty conclusion that I was stupid. I attended the panel interview which . . . hrrr. . . . bad thoughts, go away bad thoughts. . . never mind. So I went to the thing, and after that I already knew I wouldn’t get accepted to that school (well hello self-prophecy) but I remember praying so hard for a miracle. It was Ramadhan back then (and it’s also Ramadhan this time, praise be to Allah), so we went the Masjid (it’s like the equivalent of a church, for those who don’t know) to pray. I prayed as if my life depended on it, I couldn’t stop the tears from flowing because I kept on having horrible embarrassing flashbacks, even though people around me were getting concerned and all that because there was person near hysterics inside the room. It’s supposed to be a happy month, a month of blessings and forgiveness, the month of Ramadhan. My tear-ducts had a malfunction, maybe, so it was kinda leaky. I prayed and I prayed for guidance and forgiveness, and a miracle that I would get accepted into that school. Allah answered in the negative, nope that dream school is not for me, no no, so off I go to another school.

Do I regret failing the exam and the interview for that law school? Yes and no. Yes, because who likes failing? Nobody I tell you. People fail but they don’t intentionally do it. . oh wait I did but that’s another story. The point is, of course I felt awful that I failed. It’s normal! I mean, I act not normal sometimes, but I’m still normal. Haha. I digress. No, I do not regret failing because it made me realize a lot of things. It made me realize that I had issues to resolve, (yeah, other things could’ve made me realize that but still) and it also made me realize how much I wanted to study law. I did, I wanted it so badly, I still do. Is it because humans are fated to have desires over what they do not have? I hope not. I’ve said before that I believe myself to be a chill person almost monk-like (errrr, if I offend anyone who is a true monk then I apologize), who has no desire except for peace. But then. . . Oh God I really hope not. Stop overthinking. Stop. Hahahaha. No, I don’t regret failing because it made me want to dream again.

So I failed the exam and the interview right? I enrolled in another law school right away, impulsively I might add. I told my parents I would enroll in that school and then I found myself doing it the next day. Poof. Like that. I was a late enrollee. My dad was proud of me, and I think he was secretly pleased because I ended up enrolling in his alma mater. My first year of law school was a roller-coaster ride. It was baptism through fire, as they say. It all felt surreal, now that I think about it. I had my fair share of ups and downs. I was on automatic mode, and I was tired in general (because woe-is-me, kidding, our graduation last year was in late June while the first day of law school was in early July, I only had one week of vacation more or less after having to overload units in my last semester to graduate on time) but it was still fun, terrifyingly so. Imagine having mini-heart attacks before and during the class because recitations, and then just when you thought you wouldn’t get called, the professors call you, and you’d hate your surname and somehow wish the professor called another person.

I met a lot of wonderful people who I didn’t expect I would get close to at all. I was ready to be the lone wolf, the nerd just sitting at the corner of the room, the person who would just talk when needed. I wanted to be a super-nerd, just studying and reading and reciting during class, nothing else. I was far away from my home and my old friends, so it was not that hard to commit the intended social suicide. But yeah, we may plan and plan but Allah is really the best Planner. I met my sisters-in-law, my awesome roomies, my supportive classmates and bad-ass professors who sometimes tolerated my stammering and my awful jokes (there was this one time I had to say jokes about obligations for a class party, and my classmates laughed because they had to, yey. Haha. Ha.). I met people who made realize what I have been taking granted for years and that I am so blessed. We are so blessed.

Of course, I had my bad moments/recitations/exams/what-have-you (they were bad, okay? I’m not exaggerating they were bad haha), and nervous breakdowns. I would sometimes space out and ask myself why did I have to make things hard for myself, I can just stop and go the easy way out. I found myself wanting to stop and quit but then I prayed that God please don’t ever let me quit, no, not again please. It was really tiring. My brother passed the bar exams this year (yey, congrats bro, but still pray), so once again I asked myself why?! Like really, why. My parents are lawyers, my brother and sister are lawyers, my cousins are lawyers. Why do I have to be one again? Oh wait, because I wanted to and dreams and all that. Maybe I should just look for a job right now. . . . Haha. No. Or maybe? Hmmm. Stop. Hahaha.

What was the point of all of that? Well, I just wanted to ramble and waste the time of the readers. Haha. Kidding. The point is, I don’t regret enrolling in the other law school (no matter how hard and unreasonable they can get sometimes) because I learned and realized a lot. Ora et labora. Prayer and hardwork, the creed of my first law school that I took to heart. People shouldn’t regret things because everything is happening according to the plan. Not our plan, no, rarely so. Everything is happening within Allah’s plan. Now if we could just be informed of that plan, wouldn’t that be nice?

My journey through law school life doesn’t end there, well I sure hope not. I ended up applying again in my dream school, just to check you know. One last time, I asked Allah if it was really not for me. For closure, I say. For fun, I say. I unwittingly placed myself in the dilemma right now. I passed. Isn’t it amazing? It’s what I prayed for last year. Allah is truly amazing. He did not say yes right away, he merely delayed it (or I hope it was delayed, not another no,please).

So should I go, should I not go?

I don’t know but I truly, honestly, sincerely and wholeheartedly want to go.

But I’m scared. Scared of that I’d realize in the end that it was not worth it; that in the end I don’t belong there as much as I belong to where I am right now. I’d have to leave my friends behind. I’d have to go through first year all over again, the adjusting, the recitations, the studying, the crying, etc. I have to go through all of it. Again. With the added of pressure of being compared to my siblings who went to that school also. It’s so fun right? Right.

People kept on asking whether I’ve decided to transfer. I did not want to make a decision, because I’m afraid once again, that it will be taken away from me when I decide on it. It will be the fourth time I’ll get rejected by that school if I don’t get accepted again. It’s just. Well. It would hurt. Rejection always hurt. I’m not as indifferent and apathetic as I want to be. The grades for the second semester are still not out, and I’m anxious about the results because it would be the only deciding factor on whether I can transfer or not and I feel so helpless and frustrated, what if I did not pass some subjects and they be so clingy they don’t want to let me go that I have to retake it? (please no, please no please no, Amen). And the deadline is almost one week away. I am so tempted to just to go the office and just say:”Fail me if you want to, if I deserved it fail me but please just SAY IT RIGHT AWAY DON’T BE SO CRUEL TO MAKE US WAIT. NGHRHGHT!” and be done with it. But then I know they’re busy and all that and we should seek help in patience and prayer (Surah Al Baqarah 2:45) instead plus it’s Ramadhan and we’re fasting so we shouldn’t get mad or anything

So once again, I’m at the crossroads. Things are happening just like last year, but not totally the same. I pray to Allah that our hearts be not attached to what is not ours and that we may all be rightly guided. Please. Ya Allah please. We may plan and plan but You truly are the best Planner (Surah Al-Anfal 8:30). I don’t know where I’m going, but I’ll just keep on walking. We’ll get there somehow.

SUMMARY/KEYPOINTS (just as I promised at the start of this post. haha):

  • I’m a very talkative kid. Hahaha. Online at least.
  • I’m also indecisive. Errr.
  • Law school is hard. Really. Hard.
  • We may plan and plan but Allah is really the Best Planner.
  • Allah is amazing and powerful.  Alhamdulillah (praise be to Allah). Prayers are powerful.
  • Ramadhan! ❤ The blessed month in Islam.
  • Patience is a virtue. It really is.
  • Be specific in prayers. I prayed that I’d pass the exam, and I kinda did, but it’s still  not sure whether I’ll get accepted into my dream school. So yeah.

The Costs of Quitting

Some people know the costs of quitting. Others don’t. Overachieving and tenacious people wouldn’t normally know. That’s good, and somehow it’s not because the one who usually soars higher, falls harder.

Quitting. It sounds horrible doesn’t it? It’s connected with weakness, cowardice, and failure. Everybody wants to be strong, brave and successful. It’s only normal right?

What if we rephrase that word, turn it into “letting go” instead of calling it as “quitting”? It sounds a lot better, healthier, and more hopeful, because when you let go it means you can hold on to better things now that your hands are empty.

I’m not encouraging people to quit. No, I’m just informing what it’s like to give up and stop. It’s always a personal decision, giving up or holding on.

Contrary to popular belief, quitting also takes strength. Quitting sometimes doesn’t mean you’re weak, sometimes you’re just too strong but you recognized it’s just something not for you. It can be hard to quit something you love but you know it would be better to let go. It’s good to be careful though, because people would often confuse something as a thing not for them instead of just being tired. “Rest but don’t quit”. It’s true. That saying is kind of incomplete, “rest but don’t quit and if you return and you’re still tired, maybe it’s time to move on or to make a new strategy”. It differs from person to person but trusting your instincts is good. They’re there for a reason.

Once you quit something for whatever reason, you’ll find yourself feeling relieved. The stress, pressure, burden, or whatever it is that was bothering you in relation to the thing you quit will lessen or disappear, depending on the circumstances. It’s a refreshing feeling. It’s a mix of being happy and peaceful, with nothing to bother you much anymore. Yes, no more stress! It’s gone! Woohoo. (As if. Stress comes a lot from different things). Now how long that feeling will stay depends on the reason why a person started and the reason why he or she stopped. Starting for the right reason and stopping for the wrong one often makes life difficult. After sometime, a person will realize the gravity of the action that was taken. If quitting was a wrong move, then regrets will sink in. Sometime it leaves a bitter feeling. If quitting was a good move, then a lesson about learning when to fight and when to step back is learned. Sometimes it makes you feel wise. The two aren’t mutually exclusive by the way, they can happen at the same time. So if you think about it, there really is no wrong or right move.

When you quit, you might become more aware and more appreciative of what it’s like to keep on fighting, because you already know what it’s like to quit. Whether it has left a bitter feeling or not, it somehow would keep you on fighting when you know in your heart something is worth it. When you already know what it’s like to let an opportunity pass, when you’ve already felt the regret and pain of failure, you’d know the sweetness of trying your best and not care much for the result, because the battle was an end in itself. It’ll be great and dandy when you succeed of course but you did your best, no matter what others tell you or how you feel, you did your best if you gave it your all. Unlike the other times when you gave up and never knew what could have been, you fought till the very end; that in itself should bring some kind of satisfaction and achievement.

Not everything is in our control, sometimes things just happen because of God’s plans, not ours.

So quit if you want to quit. Nobody is stopping you but yourself. The costs of quitting are quite high but you don’t get nothing out of it. There’s always something. You lose some, you gain some. Whether you quit or you fight, in the end if it’s not for you then it won’t be for you. So if we got nothing better to do, then let’s fight ’till the end I say, until we know for sure that letting go is better than holding on.

We don’t know what the future holds with certainty, only God knows. So we pray and we fight. We pray that we may be guided and make the right decisions, and we fight for the thing we decided to stick with.

When you know the costs of quitting, you’ll know the true value of fighting.

Confusing Choices

Feb 5, 2016

I went to my old school to get my TOR and apply for the entrance exam (LAE) which I failed last year. Now, people might be wondering why the hell I took it again (and I asked myself this question a lot of times before). First and foremost, it’s to have closure. To say that I conquered it in my own way, because I felt that things were open ended and it would honestly drag on with the “what-ifs” and the “you-should-haves”, so let’s just wing it one last time. Second, I just wanted to take it with my best friend. Third, because why not.

It made me realize how much I prepared last year when I took the exam. I did prepare, and I did myself a disservice when I denied it and blamed myself for failing because I didn’t study “enough” or I didn’t do my “best”. What the hell did I mean by “enough”? Or “best” for that matter. People do their “best” yet they fail. Is it really our best or were we just destined to fail? When do we know that we did our best? People might say they did their best after the results which is unfair if you think about it, because if the odds were against you and you did what you could yet ended up failing, does that mean it wasn’t your “best”?  If the odds were in your favor, and you hardly did anything, did you technically do your “best”? Does the end justify the means or the means justify the end? I digress.

Anyway, while I was lining up to pay for the entrance exam fee, I met a guy who was also going to take the exam. We chatted for a few minutes while waiting for the que to move. He introduced himself, saying that he was a working guy with a family, but he really wanted to pursue law. Nothing strange about that, inspiring even, for the fact that he is pursuing his dream regardless of age. Now what really entrenched in my mind is when he said (non-verbatim): “Suntok sa buwan, pero gusto kong subukan. Ayoko naman na mag-suffer sa mga what-ifs na ‘yan.” [It’s like hitting the moon, but I still want to try anyway. I don’t want to suffer the what-ifs (of not taking the exam)].

Para sa iba suntok sa buwan, para sa’yo nasayang na pagkakataon” [For others, it’s like hitting the moon, for you it’s just a wasted chance]. That’s what I thought to myself.

Sometimes it sucks when you have epiphanies in the middle of a crowd and you want to express it, because suddenly and violently crying would get you sent to a counselor at best or would get you sent to jail because of scandal at worst.

It hurts. It bloody hurts to face reality and the gravity of what I’ve done. I’ve had my chance and I wasted it. The stranger was kind enough to point out to me of my blessings, that my parents support me, financially or otherwise in my pursuit of this career, that I have the advantage of youth with me and that I look smart enough to survive this. Talking to strangers really have an effect on providing new perspective, or at least reminding you of old perspective. I could only smile and nod at him, that yes, yes I was very blessed even if I wanted to scream that I know, I bloody know, I know that already and that’s what makes me guilty but feeling guilty does nothing, right? I couldn’t exactly burst into tears and hysterical amidst the people just innocently waiting in line to pay for whatever matters they have to pay.

The only thing that I could reply to him while reminding not only him but also myself, the very lesson that I relearned since starting law school: “Kuya, ok lang po yan. Natutunan ko po sa law school namin na kung para sa’yo, eh ‘di go, kung hindi, eh ‘di hindi.” [That’s ok. I learned in my law school that if something is for you, then it’s for you. If it’s not, then it’s not.]

Thank you, stranger, for making me realize and remember what I have. Praying for you and your family.

Feb 8, 2016

The exam. Again. I could only laugh while waiting in line for the exam because of the fact that I was taking the exam again, even after I was rejected for how many times (first time for the first exam, second time for the interview, and the third time when they supposedly called the other interviewees to give them another chance while I wasn’t called). I wasn’t as nervous as before. I just felt cynical, and strangely happy.

While waiting in the line (line again, there is something magical about lines that make people social and go talk to each other, probably to kill time), I met an old classmate of mine from high school. I was honestly surprised to see him there. I thought he wouldn’t recognize me, or that he was just a stranger, so I decided not to approach him.

Surprise surprise! It was my classmate.

It was a nice breathe of fresh air. We talked about random things, from college to politics, and finally about the exam. He understood my logic, I understood his logic. He asked whether it was my first time taking the exam, I thought about lying, saying that it was my first time also, but from some reason I found myself telling the truth (probably God reminding me not to lie).

“No, this is actually my second time,” I said that with a sheepish laugh, then I couldn’t stop my traitorous mouth from continuing the story from start to the end.

He is the type of guy who doesn’t mince words and just goes straight to the point. After my story, he said this: “Hala eh ‘di bitter na bitter ka pala? Andun ka na eh.” [“Oh no, so you’re bitter about it? You were already there (a chance at that school)”]

I think I was supposed to be affronted with what we said, because he was apparently rubbing salt into my wounds, although said wounds were almost closed so never mind that. I felt surprised instead, because I didn’t think that I was supposed to feel bitter, I just felt frustrated and mad at myself for what I did but I couldn’t describe my feelings. I also felt relief that someone understood my plight and that some of my feelings were validated because years ago I learned not to trust emotions so much because I feel differently so I would need a comparison outside, a reason. So thank you too old classmate.

The line finally moved and we entered the exam room. The usual shenanigans on giving instructions about taking the exam and distributing booklets and answer sheets happened.

I opened my booklet, and all I wanted to do was bang my head on the table. The questions were so familiar but I couldn’t remember the answer. Great job self, what a great job of not reviewing, my perfectionist side told me. Of course I ignored that voice and just continued with the exam, and can I just say some of the essays were so inspiring and beautiful that I wanted to ask the proctors where they got them (but they might think I just wanted to sell it to review centers, so I didn’t, I tried to Google search it afterwards but couldn’t find it anywhere online).

I finally reached the reasoning part. I laughed but I tried so hard to stifle my laughter, my poor seatmates might think I was going crazy (true enough but they don’t need to know that). I read a question that I could relate to so well, and I wanted to ask the proctor whether or not they did it to provoke the repeaters of the exam.

Non-verbatim (because for the life of me I find it so hard to memorize):

“Question: X took the Law Aptitude Exam. He failed the exam. Which of the following is the logical conclusion:

a. Xxxxx

b. Xxxxx

c. X became depressed

d. Xxxxx “

Really, what a way to rub it in our faces, but perhaps it was just a friendly reminder and an implied inspirational message that we still have our lives ahead of us even if we fail the exam so we shouldn’t get depressed over it. For me the question was just ironic, with me sitting there and taking the exam again, after knowing what it feels to fail it. I therefor conclude, that it was maybe an inspirational message, but I still laughed at the irony of it all.

After finishing the exam, I told myself that I don’t care about the results anymore, I got what I wanted I just took the exams again.

Hmmm. Ok, maybe I do. I should, but I just told myself that I wouldn’t make a big deal out of it anymore. I learned and remembered a lot of things in taking the exam again, so it was not a fruitless action.

April 11, 2016

In the morning, we went to my doctor for a checkup. I told him I took the exam again, he just said that was good. We talked about schools and where it would be better for me to go in terms of my health. He told me that shifting to UP would solve all of my problems (I got “evicted” from my dorm and they wouldn’t let me renew my contract for the next year but they allowed me to stay to finish the semester, I wouldn’t have to take any summer classes because I lack certain subjects from my undergrad, the environment is so much better there and wouldn’t trigger my allergy rhinitis and my need for space is bigger than normal, financial costs, etc.) but then he said I would have to take into consideration the pressure from being compared to my siblings would bring, I have two shadows to overcome. For others, it would seem inconsequential because mind over matter, mind over matter, but for me it’s actually not. It’s a big deal. It’s not one of the things that you can just say “go away!” and it would, no, it’s not. #siblingproblems #middlechildsyndrome.

He also told me that if I stayed in my current school, it’s okay because he thinks I would grow more, and in fact I already grew and developed during my stay. In the end, it’s really my choice.

“You need to be more assertive.”

Being assertive is different from being aggressive apparently. I thought it was just the same. He gave some pretty good advice, which I should probably already know and do because I tell this to my friend often. He told me that I should make a choice and that after it he also told me “panindigan mo” [dignify the choice, stick to it].

I was confused at that point that I told myself to ignore it because I still have a lot of time and I don’t know the results anyway. I was so wrong, again.

In the afternoon while we were waiting for our professor to come, a classmate of mine asked me my whole name. Not knowing the real reason why he asked such question, I could only answer him honestly and so I told him. He said my name out loud and confirmed if it was me, I could only say yes.

He asked me if I took the LAE. Now, I had no intention of divulging that I took the exams again to anyone except my close friends because I’m a private person like that. Privacy is not just a right, it’s a need in my case. I could only nod meekly because I couldn’t lie, I could evade like crazy but I couldn’t lie.

After that, my sense of peace and privacy shattered.

Pumasa ka sa LAE!!!” [“You passed the LAE”].

I could only stare dumbly back at him.

My classmates started shouting and congratulating me. They were all so proud and joyous. It was overwhelming and embarrassing for me that all I could say was: “Guys, it was just for closure, really for closure!” while covering my ears. At that point I wanted to wring the neck of my classmate (kidding) for saying it out loud and I was kind of regretting taking it because now I have to do some serious meditating and cost benefit analysis and things. Why did I take the exam again? Oh, closure, right. The things I do for peace.

I’m grateful, don’t get me wrong. It’s just that I’m an extremely shy-that-sometimes-it’s-unhealthy.

The Aftermath

It was a blessing in disguise that it was publicly announced because then I wouldn’t have to awkwardly tell it to my classmates if (I said “if” okay, not “when”, I’m still thinking #defensive) ever I decide to shift and it helped me increase my tolerance and patience and served as a practice on how to keep nosy and curious but well-wishing people out there.

God knows how many people have asked: “Ano lilipat ka na ba? Anong gagawin mo na?”[“Are you going to shift? What are you going to do?”]. I don’t mind my close friends asking but not even my supposed resting bitch face could stop others, sometimes I feel harassed and pressured when all I want is just time to myself to think about it quietly without any outside influence (which is totally impossible). If I suddenly isolate myself just to meditate and be a hermit don’t be surprised.

“Thank you for the concern, I appreciate it. No, I haven’t decided. I still don’t know what to do. I’m still praying and I just want to focus on the now. This is none of your business please keep out.”

Of course I didn’t say the last part because that would be rude. There were genuine well-wishers who just said that they would support me with whatever decision I would make and the others were so supportive and kind to tell me that I should push through it, that I can do it no matter what even if the pressure is real.

I realized once again, that I am so blessed with the people in my life. My best friend, my college friends, my Teampura girls, my classmates from 1B, especially my dear parents. I really learned a lot from this experience.

I honestly still don’t know what to do but I do know this, I may plan and plan, but God is the Best Planner out there. I’m just going to pray first, and do my best.

 

Life

Where can I be free?
To breathe, to cry, to flee
When can I be free?
To simply just be me

Who is there to understand?
The struggles, the pressures, the demand
Who is there to never leave?
To watch and feel as you grieve

When can we be who we truly are?
To act, to live, to exist by the hour
When can we have what we truly need?
To stop the pain, the anguish as we bleed

Why are there chains around our necks?
Dozens of crosses more than checks
Why are we still, frozen in fear?
Waiting for nothing, ordinarily queer

How can we love without the pain?
Endless of sunshine without the rain
How can we live with so much to fear?
Endless of haze, there’s nothing so clear

To God we belong, to God we return
He douses with water, things that burn
His presence is the solace, the peace, and the end
Everything, and anything broken He can mend

For those who forget, He shall give a reminder
To strengthen the faith, and be a believer
For in this world full of deceit and lies
In His presence is the ultimate goal above the skies

Guard the gates of your hearts
For God is the only one who should enter
The Creator, the Compassionate, the Most-Merciful
For He is truly the answer to all the questions

Working Girl

Day after day, endless of essays
Night after night, it’s so tiring she says
Words after words, checking double checking
So she asks, is this all after graduating?

Surely she can do so much more
After all, the world is an open door
This is all a preparatory stage
Maturity and wisdom comes with age

Week after week, just sitting in front of the computer
From time to time, letting her mind wonder
Rest assured that there is more to this
Life is an endless struggle, but God is never remiss

It could never be denied that she is great in her own way
It could never be doubted that she is strong come what may
Though it is so tempting to give up and give in, simply quitting
There are people behind her back who wouldn’t let her, always supporting

There are unspoken fears, doubts, regrets and confusion
But all of this can be outshined by inspiration and motivation
Secretly though others do not know what she is thinking
Silently pushing and waiting and persevering

To the friend who is the best
To the friend who needs rest
There’s prayer, anime, manga, a lot out Youtube videos
You know you’ll be okay after those

Always remember, it is just a means to the end
Is this is it? No it’s not, there’s more and it will be God-send
You’ll somehow get there, just keep on going
It’s ok stop, remember there’s someone ready to be pushing

So cheers to future where we’ll be happy
But before we get there, there’s a lot more to face that’s crappy
Cheers to the random days of just chilling and eating
Mixed in with days of suffering and striving

Girl Next Door

To the girl who loves beauty
To the girl who laughs loudly
To the girl who smiles brightly
You just have to look into the mirror
and look at what I can see

To the girl who scolds so harshly
To the girl who fights so fiercely
To the girl who cries so brokenly
You just have to keep silent
And find inner peace and serenity

To the girl who does not love perfectly
But loves very much, wholeheartedly
Leave some for yourself, give all to the All-Mighty
Give what you can give, take what you can take
Because love is never forced, love is given willingly

To the ones you love, to the ones you cherish
You pray that those feelings would never perish
But like silver, it would somehow tarnish
When you know it’s not pure and not everylasting
But unlike others it can surely be polished

To the girl who feels she is never enough
To the girl who know she is more than just fluff
To the girl who thinks this is all just a bluff
It is okay to bleed, it is alright to break
That’s what humans do, be faulty and stuff

You know how to live, so learn how to let go
Be it humans, emotions, feelings, and ego
Life is so colorful, from red fo indigo
You will always be right, you will always be wrong
It is up to you to decide, after all it is your show

The Things That We Do Wrong (Right)

We say that knowing is the same as understanding

We say that loving is the same as caring

We believe that kind words can’t hurt anybody

We believe that every love is everlasting

We fear love as we fear pain

We fear rejection as we fear acceptance

We hold on to the things that harm us

We let go of the things that help us

Who is to say the knowing is different from understanding?

Isn’t caring not just a means of loving? There are other ways, surely.

Anything can hurt anybody

God’s love is everlasting

Don’t we get hurt because we love (the wrong things, at the wrong time, at the wrong place)?

Rejection and acceptance are two sides of one coin, we can’t get one without getting the other, can we?

Do we even know what harms us?

Do we let go or are they the ones letting go?

Two wrongs don’t make a right they say

But when you go left, you also don’t go right

There are absolute truths, and there are pretentious truths

Life is full of irony, it’s no wonder it’s so bloody.

How Do You Confess

How do you confess that you are almost close to breaking?

How do you confess that you are almost close to letting go?

How do you confess that you are about to do something so stupid?

How do you confess that little by little you are wilting again inside?

How do you confess that your love is not strong enough?

How do you confess that you are almost at the point of no return?

Simple.

You do not confess.

You do not confess until you did your best to keep it together.

You do not confess until you did what you could to keep holding on.

You do not confess until you do the smart thing.

You do not confess until you water yourself with hope

You do not confess until you know you’ve loved with all your might.

You do not confess until you made sure you are truly listening to yourself.

You do not confess to anyone.

Anyone except God.

 

On ease after hardship, in shaa Allah

Bring on the REINE.

It is difficult to be a Muslim, and a lot more difficult to be a Filipino Muslim.

sadmuslim3.jpg(c) Nuit

Yesterday, I reflected on the years that I’ve spent trying to help in the peace situation in Southern Philippines. It is heartbreaking to see the Bangsamoro Basic Law crumble, more so know that it fell apart due to the distrust of the non-Moros/non-Muslims in the legislative branch. The BBL was our path to peace and development, and though it wasn’t perfect, it proposed the best solutions of this time to the historical injustices committed against the Moro population. Now that the possibility of the BBL coming into life is almost nil, the grim backside is slowly surfacing. This is a time to be patient, to be sober, to always choose peace over violence.

I was twenty-one, fresh out of college, when I joined the Office of Senator TG Guingona. There I met…

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