Ateneo de Manila University during Typhoon Pedring.

When trees go planking.

Street salad along the red brick road.

Apparently two more storms are scheduled to come, one to enter the Philippines’ area of responsibility sometime tomorrow afternoon or evening. It’s kind of a beautiful chaos to me. Like there’s a light somewhere among the downfall, and it might not be a lot, but it sure beats the darkness. After all, everybody reaches out in the aftermath. Finally, a move. A change of heart. A cry of prayer. May Mother Nature be more generous in the next coming rounds.

What activity are you still working up the courage to try?

This is one of the questions that WordPress freely gives to get your thoughts running and I’m giving it my first try by answering: I want to jump off a tall structure, take all my fear until the very edge, jump, scream, and let all of it go.

Fears only exist in the head and I’m still learning to box them all up and fill them with sticky duct tape in several layers. Fear is what holds back and makes you run and hide of things that haven’t even happened yet. They’re just thoughts and I want them gone.

Sometimes I think fear is an extension of being terrified of the monsters within you. Of being too afraid to dig deep only to discover that there’s something there that you don’t like about yourself and so you don’t even bother shoveling. It’s like when I tell myself I’m afraid of heights when it’s not true because I can’t be afraid of heights if I haven’t gone. The truth is I’m afraid of falling off. And when I tell everybody I’m afraid of the dark but I’m not; just a memory that convinces the mind to tell me I am afraid when there’s nothing to be afraid of in the first place. I think fears exist because they’re meant to be overcome, because when you face them you realize that if you survive, you realize that you were so foolish all along and you feel like you can do anything in the world because you made it. Fears are there to be brave. I don’t want to be fearless. I just want to be brave enough to not walk away; brave enough to try and overcome, and brave enough to start all over again when needed. To be brave in all that I do, even when I’m shaking, this indeed is the everyday activity I am working on. It’s not going to happen in one day, and and then for the rest of your life you’re instantly unafraid of anything. Fears are part of our lives. The struggle isn’t erasing them; it’s in overcoming them. It’s in knowing that they will arise any time and allowing myself to not take several steps backward and scurry like a mouse being chased.

I am trying to overcome the flurry of fear. To changing the game of fear being an inconvenience to using it as an opportunity for growth and an extension of myself. How about you? What are you too afraid to try?


My Old Self

I was rummaging through my stuff looking for my accessory kit full of beads and wires that allowed me to make my own rings and didn’t find it but came across something else: old prints of self-help advices and pieces. I then remembered rewinding to a couple or triple years back and reading these words on the internet and them igniting a spark I knew would turn into a fire someday. Immediately, I clicked the print button. I needed a hard copy in my every day life, I thought; something that will better my self, my actions, and ultimately my life.

I still think about my old self most days; I was a determined flare. I looked for all the things that could improve myself and absorbed them like the green that absorbs the water after a long draught, and constantly tried to apply them in my life. I kept notebooks around full of writings of my progress; full of notes and quotes of inspiration and new revelations to help me on my way, and most of all I kept my biggest asset of all close by: God.

There is a kind of change that’s good, when you came from somebody you didn’t want to be, and I always welcomed that change– a bit like upgrading yourself and leaving your downgrades in your heart but moving forward. But I wonder about the bad kind of change; the change I have become from a person I used to be proud of towards a person I can barely stand anymore. It’s not just in my looks; it has seeped through my core and made me more cynical, frustrated, doubtful, and selfish. I used to be overwhelmed by love so much that I’d cry at life. I was a spirited giver, and a humble receiver, so content and blessed in all ways. Now I am stoic and I can’t feel my heart anymore and all I wish was that I could go back and stop all of this from happening; the destruction of closing the door to the light.

There is a kind of change that’s good, and the kind of change I’ve done, and between the two I know that despite the less good being I have transformed into, I will have to fight and struggle my way back into the virtue that used to define me. It’ll take more effort but there’s hope in knowing that as long as I am alive, there’s still a good change that I can conquer, just so I can go back to the spirit I was once, only finer from the cutting edges of the world and the pressures in my head. Change is beautiful, but the kind of change to reversion is what I crave. To be me again, in the fullness and authenticity where I allowed God to rule over me. I had a body but I was more of a spirit, and although they were glued together to me they were still separate back then and I never belonged. Now I am just a body and my spirit has gone ill. Let me heal, let me heal. Every day my old spirit calls, longing to be free of the cage I have made.

Sometime’s it’s simply just opening an unlocked door. Other times, it’s about closing the others and locking them for good. It’s okay to keep the key and check back some nights, letting them roam a while but tucking them tightly in afterwards when the curfew strikes.

It’s just about figuring out which are the wrong ones to shut, and the right ones to let go.