Behind my smiles

Behind my smiles, there’s a battle I’ve been trying to win for the longest time. It is a battle I’ve been trying to hide; it is a war inside my head that my loved ones cannot see. It brings wounds that would never heal and battle scars that would never be seen.

For the past year, a friend visited and stayed with me.

That friend was a thief.

He stole my inner peace and changed it with a lot of over thinking and doubts. He stole my self worth and self love that I built for years and labeled me as unworthy and not chosen. He stole my excitement when I spend time with my friends and family and changed it with fear, fear that they would eventually give up on me. He stole my happiness and told me that it’s bound to fade, that I was destined to be lonely and alone.

But still, I chose to be with him. I still chose him to be my friend.

Then, I discovered that he was a monster. The ‘good night’ sleeps I used to love turned to moments of lying down and wondering about my existence at 3 am because he constantly scares and bombards me with thoughts such as am I good enough for my dream, am I worthy of love, will I pass as one of the ‘deserving people’. My friend attacked me quietly and almost killed me in the middle of the night. He would make me cry and let my pillows be soaked in tears.

During my victories, my achievements and my happy moments, I thought this was it; I finally won’t see my friend anymore. I started to smile awkwardly and about to celebrate because I was finally free. But after a moment, he sat beside me, reminding and telling me that I am a failure and a disappointment.

With all of that happened, I still let him be my friend.

One day, he was up for a new adventure. “Let’s go inside the dark cave, he said.”

He told me that in that cave I can create my own world, that no one would see me fail. But the catch is, I should go alone, I need to push my loved ones and friends away from me, I need to isolate myself and just be alone. I said yes, of course.

Slowly, I started pushing people away and stayed inside my dark cave, thinking that no one would love and accept me again.

My friend’s name is DEPRESSION.

Depression is sleeping for 14 hours straight or just 2 hours, no in between. But no matter how many hours of sleep you get, you still feel exhausted.

It’s finishing a whole bag of chips, a tub of ice cream and a bottle of soda or drinking a drop of water for the whole day, because you were busy being sad and didn’t have time to eat.

It’s the tears you try to hide because of fear that people might ask you why you are crying and you can’t give them a decent answer rather than “I just feel like crying.”

Depression is that dark cloud that follows me everywhere. And even in those happy moments, you look forward to; you know it’s still above you. Depression waits. It creeps and consumes you. It waits for the best day of your life and your happiest moment just so that cloud can finally release rain and the happiness you felt a minute ago will shift to a feeling of coldness and being alone and abandoned.

Depression made me feel addicted to anything that gives me purpose and satisfaction, from being the top student in school or the class officer who tries to finish everything and meet deadlines. It’s a feeling of fulfillment when you are a part of an organization because you need reason to wake up every morning.

It’s the need of having things to work and think about because if your mind is idle, you’ll spend too much time over thinking and hating yourself more.

Depression is looking refuge in the wrong places and trying to fill that empty feeling with material things, food, toxic love or a wrong kind of attention.

But more than that, depression is having that motivation to be someone’s ray of sunshine in her gloomy day, because their smile is my smile, too.

Depression is trying to appreciate light in the darkest places.

Today, I will try to smile again. No scratch that. I will smile again.

Oh, about my dark cave. I painted it pink.

Behind my smiles is a story of brave, beautiful young woman who chose to live today and still tries to unfollow her old friend, depression.

To my guidance counselors, Ms. Carla, Ms. Kaye and Ms. Kath. Thank you. Thank you for the love you planted in my heart, for listening and being my friend during my sad days. Finally, I had the courage to write about this.  Love you!

To my friends who pushed me to publish this, Ate Arvian, Ate Elaine, Ate Jemie, Camille, Geni Pearl, Crisel,  Patrick T. and Shane. Thank you for believing in me, guys.

This is for you, my FGH Youth babies. Ate Ella is always here for you!

Special thanks to Dr. Gia Sison. Thank you for inspiring me to keep going! This is inspired by your tweets. Hello there, beautiful heart.

To to the person who’s reading this right now, if you need someone to talk to, please DM me on twitter @marinellabeee or send me an email mbbaraoidan@gmail.com. You are beautiful!

 

 

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Will band-aids heal me?

When I was younger, I thought band aids were magical because it made the pain go away. I put band aids to stop my wounds from bleeding and somehow tried to shoo away the pain by putting layers of it and hoping that it would help heal the inside. But I was wrong. Sometimes, band-aids don’t heal deep wounds or maybe the magic of band aids did not work that day. Whatever the reason is, I think band aids are made to ease pain temporarily.

Growing up, I believed that I was God’s princess, that I have the power to make people happy by my baked goodies; I can brighten up their day by one note and turn that curve upside down with a tight hug, I knew I had to help Him to make the world a better and happier to live in. Little did I know, because of this, people started to see me as their band aids. A temporary solution to mend their broken hearts. Some people look for someone else to ease the pain and make them forget about their wounds and brokenness, to let them feel comfortable at first, then along the way, they just get rid of me because finally, the pain disappeared. Just like a ripped band aid thrown away.

To the person who is reading this right now and somehow feel the same thing, I hope you know your worth, that you are destined to share the beauty of real healing, God’s way of healing our wounds and not just a remedy for their brokenness, not just a mere strip to cover their bleeding wounds and forcing it to heal. If you feel like you’re in a band aid relationship, it’s time to rip it off.

To the people unconsciously and consciously using people as their band-aids, I understand that you want to heal and stop the pain immediately. But pain will always be a part of your life, it is inevitable. I know ripping off that band aid will hurt a little; exposing your wounds at first may be uncomfortable. But it’s important to give some breathing space to a healing wound to form a new skin, a tougher one, a battle scar. Time to rip that band aid off and let God heal you.

It’s time to open up the wounds to God and believe in his healing power.

My midnight thoughts

I somehow forgot how love feels like because I am used being the irrelevant, unnoticed and a wallflower.

To my next love, please remind me of what love feels like.

You don’t have any idea how much courage it took me to love again. Love taught me to be tough. I used to cry until daybreak so please bear with me when tears starts rolling in my cheeks every time I would feel ‘butterflies in my tummy.’ No, I am not excited, I more scared, because the last time I felt that, my whole life changed.

Every time you will stare at my hazel brown eyes, I need you to see the lost and broken soul that tries to conquer battles every single day.

I used to believe that I should work hard to be loved, that I need to be intelligent, brilliant, talented, skilled and bold to be loved, that my normal nerdy self won’t pass the standards of ‘the deserving people’. If you will notice me trying to be the cool kid or doing ‘cool kid stuff’ please understand that I just stopped trying to please other people and maybe, this is part of withdrawal. Please know that I’m trying my best to be myself when I’m with you. I need you to understand that I’m trying to find my old self.

Please love every piece of me.

All of my wounds, every bit of my brokenness, every drop of my tears. Please take it and hold my hand and promise me to never let go.

I had trust issues in the past, but this time I want to trust with no fear. I want you to take my heart with all the wounds and battle scars. I want you to love all of me without reservations.

My heart is filled with different scars and wounds. To be honest, I think I cannot take another heartbreak.  So please know this.

Love me with all your heart and soul. Make me believe in the magic of love again.

remove all of the fears I have in my heart or better yet, let’s conquer my fears together. I just need you to assure me that everything will be fine. Make me see the shine beyond the sky where I no longer fear to soar.

I need someone to pursue me with my bare soul- that includes my uncertainties, indecisiveness, dramas and lots of ice cream. My walls will eventually fall apart and my scars will be yours to mold into something beautiful.

I can tell you loving me won’t be easy. You will feel giving up at times. But if you’re the right one for me, all the pain and dramas will be worth it.

And maybe, just maybe ..I can finally give you the kind of love you deserve.

​I  found freedom in an abandoned beach 

 

I stood alone on the shore of the abandoned beach, dead coconut trees everywhere with dry leaves falling from the tree. The sea song of the waves frightened me. The heap of the waves swelled loudly. I saw little creatures crawling from the small hole of the tree, destroying it. The tree used to be beautiful, full of colors and life. Maybe, I am like that tree, destroyed by little voices at the back of my mind, my colors faded, slowly dying from the inside, hitting my core.

The glassy air carries a faintly feeling of abandonment.

Where I am now?

I am in a waist-deep part in an abandoned beach that used to be beautiful filled with laughter, smiles, memories and stories, feeling the little waves in my chest, in my heart. The raging waves of the sea made my heart thump again, because of fear. I have loaded my pockets with shells, big and small, turned back to the shore and moved slowly into the neck-deep water, feeling the little waves on my forehead, trying to breathe using the stuck air in my lungs.

I cannot move because of the shells in my pocket, I was stuck in neck-deep water in the middle of nowhere. I shouted with all of the force left in my body, but no one answered, no one helped me. I felt the waves of the sea pull me to the other side, my skin turning pale white, I can feel my blood slowly moving from my veins, I could feel my salty tears fall down – this time it found a place to fit in, my salty tears belonged to the beach and the air was filled with the smell of salt. Maybe, they have same component, same reasons, and same wounds. Just like the beach, my tears are unnoticed and abandoned.

I looked up and saw infinite, majestic, jewel like blue sky above promising sunshine, and the huge, fluffy white clouds adding a touch of magic.

But I can choose; I can choose to remove the shells from my pocket to be able to swim and float back to the shore. I can choose to let go of the things that is holding me back to live, to breathe, and to smile again.

Maybe, I can still turn this abandoned beach to a beautiful one by creating new memories and beautiful stories. I can give life to the dying coconut tree and restore it, removing the little creatures that destroy its core.

The waves finally tamed as I step my foot on the shore, with the sand glittering under the sun. The waves rolled in with a soothing sound that embraces your soul, I walked and footprints I left behind were erased by the waves.

I am now free of shells, angry waves and raging feelings of abandonment. 

 

 

 

Where To?

 

When I started college, I thought I knew what I wanted. I had a “five years from now” plan because I was sure of my dream, I was sure that I was destined to here. I was told to always follow my heart and eventually everything will work out. My instructors, counselors, friends helped me to bloom to a beautiful and unique flower. I thought I was ready for the real world.

This question has been my favorite when I was a young girl, but a month before my graduation day, it started to terrify and planted doubt and fear in my heart.

What are your plans?”

The whole world has lots of expectations of you once you march in your toga and you move that tassel. Finally, this is the moment you’ve been waiting for, the moment you’ve prayed and wished for as a kid but suddenly, the feeling of excitement was overpowered by fears, thoughts started to pop up in your mind, you  began to ask yourself questions and the clear picture of plans you had four years ago is now blurry.

Before my graduation day, I got lost and my core was slowly falling apart. I began to wonder about the world, about life. I realized that I was not alone; most of the people who just received their diplomas are confused and lost, too. The scary part is one day, I was so sure of where I’d be heading or what are my game plan then confusion started to creep in again, and I was back to my old self, lost, confused and had no idea what path should I take.

Today marks the first day of my after-grad life. To be honest, I still fear what will happen next. But I think this is my season, to be lost, to take risks, to accept that at this age I don’t need to know and figure out everything.

And if there’s one takeaway that I have learned from this journey, it’s this: being lost does not mean you’re losing, maybe it’s God’s way of redirecting you to your real success and purpose.

Be faithful and trust his plans for you. Accept the detours, constructions and bumpy roads. One day, you’ll look back to this day and everything will make sense.

And being lost in a road won’t make you less as a person. Having doubts after you get your diploma doesn’t mean you need to have a concrete plan, sometimes you just need to wait.

You have your whole life ahead of you, this is just the beginning. There are still huge waves of lesson surging your way, battles you need to conquer and wars to win. You are young. The world will not end because you chose the wrong path or the bad road. You are only starting to have a dip in the endless sea of life. And it’s okay to drown and be lost once in a while.

It’s okay not have check marks in your bucket list. It’s natural to sob and leave your pillows soaked in tears. It does not mean you lost the battle; it is a reminder that you are just any other human being.  It’s not wrong to take note of your emotions when making life decisions.

To you, my dearest, who feel lost and confused just as I do, you just have to hold on to that little hope in your heart and enjoy your season of wondering. One day, life will bring you to where God always wanted you to be and where your heart will finally find its home.

But for now, you just have to trust, surrender and cling to his promise.

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Featured/Header Image from http://footage.framepool.com/

You Might Be A Boy’s Second Choice, But You Will Never Be The Lord’s

It was my usual date thyself day. I decided to buy ice cream from my favorite ice cream shop. When I entered the shop, my eyes sparkled upon seeing the “salted caramel” label and immediately paid for it. It was my chosen flavor.

Sometimes, I wonder if the other flavors feel not chosen, just like me.

 I never really felt chosen, to be prioritized and to be the plan A, that forced my heart to start building walls to protect it from further pain. It started from a thin wall and progressed to a thick brick wall. Layers of walls were built around my heart, but my emotions broke the wall that my heart built and everything was a disaster, I didn’t know myself anymore. I was vulnerable, weak and lost.

 I was the girl best friend material, the bridge, the mayo that fills the space between the burger patty and bun, because I am all out and consistent, and offers everything but still not being prioritized, “the chosen one,” the lucky girl.

Sometimes, I compare myself to the person he chose. I wonder what he sees in her that couldn’t see in me. I feel like it is my fault that he didn’t see me the way I wanted him to. Maybe I was too girly? Too loud? Was too focused on my goals? Too moody? Maybe, if I were sportier, skinnier, smarter and more beautiful, maybe he would see me, he would choose me.

When you are not the Plan A, the priority or simply chosen, you feel unimportant, you feel disregarded, you feel as if you are invisible. And no matter what you achieve, how beautiful your heart is, how wonderful your dreams are, there is a little voice at the back of your mind which tells you that you do not matter. This feeling still haunts me every day. It hits every corner of my body, which includes every nerve ending in my heart.

One day, you started to look for proofs, proofs that you mattered once in your life, that someone chose you, that you were someone’s plan A. Proof that someone crossed the rivers for you.

But you got tired.

You stopped looking for pieces of evidence.

You stopped holding on to that little hope in your heart.

 For the past weeks, I am not sure what made me feel this way again. I found myself grieving for something that died a long time ago – my self-worth.

I grieved for the times that I allowed myself to be the plan B, the alternative, backup plan. I realized that I didn’t choose myself too. I didn’t believe that I was worthy of someone else’s love, that I deserved the best kind of love. I was working hard to earn love, giving gifts and doing favors out of fear and insecurity. I wished to be chosen to prove my value and my worth. I forgot my real worth.

Just like the ice cream, in the eyes of the creator, all of the ice creams were the same; each was made with love, each flavor has its unique characteristic that makes it special, carefully crafted by heart. It doesn’t matter if it’s the best seller or the flavor of the month. In His eyes, it was all special.

I know someone up there sees my wounds, my tears, and suffering. In His is eyes, I am His daughter, His artwork, His craft, His princess and I am proud to say that I am His Plan A, His priority and number 1.

 I am aware that this battle will be hard and will not end even if I write a beautiful ending to this article. It is clear to me I don’t always have to feel “chosen” to believe that I matter, to know my worth and value, it will always be a battle of self-worth and doubt, a war inside my head. It will be a long journey, but I am ready for it.

Love, you need to know that you are chosen by Him, to live His teachings and to be an instrument of His love. You need to know that you matter. If you feel it in your heart, fight for it. Do not let other people determine your worth.

Be your own light, because the universe & heavens choose you.

A part of me

Be Original, Do not imitate people.

Those words echoed in my head as it kept repeating. I was confused. I felt my heart thump and my stomach convulse upon remembering that line. As a writer, I believe that my heart is like a jigsaw puzzle. Most puzzles come with a picture of the finished image on their box top, and this puzzle called life the image on top is my heart. My way of crafting stories is the same. I take a little piece of everything I read. I take a bite of every beautiful thing I experience. I copy every amazing thing I see in people. My heart is filled with copied dreams, perspectives and voices from what I read and whom I talk to, I imitated these dreams, perspectives, voice and style from other people, making it a little piece of myself then combining all of the “little” pieces I’ve been imitating that creates a bigger picture, a more beautiful one.

Whenever I write a story, I bring the puzzle pieces with me. Every person I meet and loved is in the core of my characters; seeing the heart in each of my fictional characters. For me, that’s my version of imitation. I imitate perspectives, styles and voice and put them in my writing canvass to create a beautiful character.

I want to imitate Bro. Jpaul’s wisdom, Ate Marjorie’s love for writing, Ate Joanne’s heart and Mommy Isis’ braveness. I don’t imitate because I just want to be popular or I don’t have originality, I imitate because I want to do the same thing, to touch other people’s lives, to share God’s love through my art, to love without fear and insecurities.

It will always be hard for me not to imitate people, because I believe that every person that I imitate will always be a part of me and that makes me even more beautiful and stronger.

Welcome to the real world, Little Lala!

I started my internship one month ago and honestly I’m having a hard time adjusting. I chose a world that I never imagined myself fit into it. I was happy with my “old” word, reading books, doing my craft, creating my music and doing my art with minimal rules to follow. But hey, I’m Lala. I have a brave heart. I just don’t stay in my comfort zone, I can do a lot more.

Yes, here I am, typing from my office computer and wandering about what will happen to me after graduation.

I would compare myself to a jigsaw puzzle piece trying to fit in a different picture.

Four years ago, my future was very clear. I’ll study hard, get good grades, show people that I can get out of my comfort zone and be independent and that I could live on my own.

Somehow, I feel pressured. Almost everyone is telling me that I am lucky because at a young age, I’ve already figured out what I wanted to do with my life.

“After college graduation, I’ll enroll in Culinary School and build my own cafe.”

It was simple as that.

But now, two months away from my graduation date, I don’t know what I want anymore, and someone told me that this is normal, this is just a phase.

I want to write and publish my own book, but also I need to look for a stable job to save up for culinary school and for my needs. (Adulting feels)

Maybe, I’ll figure it out soon, or maybe, I should stop over thinking about my future.

 

 

 

January Favorites!

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School and Practicum has started last month so I’ve gathered some of favorite things that I used and read last January. To be honest, I am so in love with journals lately; I think I have like almost twenty journals in my study table (Yes, I still stare at them because it is so puhretty like that), also I found a perfect place where I can do my thing -paint,read, write and think about life. Yes, life.

January is a month filled with lots of list making, eating, sleeping (for me) and working slash adulting so I thought of compiling all of things I love in a blog post.

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I compiled my favorite things from the month including a beautifully written book from my favorite author, Ms. Marjorie Duterte. The last fictional character I felt “kilig”  was Augustus Waters in The Fault in our Starts but but but Ms. Marjorie’s book is really, really beautiful.  It brought back the love and excitement in my heart that died months ago. I fell in love with Hiro, his music and the way he stares and write letters to Michelle.

 

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My usual journal craft kit that I bring to school or everywhere I go, because one planner and pen is not enough to doodle everything that’s in my crazy and mixed up mind. To add a touch of magic, I added some stickers, colors, cut outs, old bus and movie tickets in my journal and planner, ’cause  there are stories I can’t write or sketch.

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Starr’s Milkshake. Do I need to explain? One word. HEAVEN.

 

Hope you had a beautiful day, my dear readers. Happy Weekend!

 

Lots of Love,
Lala

 

 

 

To the guy who broke my heart

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 Hello, my dear readers. How was your week?

Almost a year ago, I got my heart broken. Yes, you read it right. I spent like almost 2 hours a day crying and asking Jesus why. I have tons of unanswered questions in my head. But today, I finally had the courage to share this letter with you, my dear readers.

“I DESERVE BETTER THAT’S WHY I AM LETTING YOU GO”

These past days, I’ve been struggling and crying almost every night, you are in my dreams. Sometimes, I wake up in the middle of the night sobbing, with tears endlessly flowing in my cheeks. This feeling haunted me for days. I feel like a little worthless creature who jumped off on a cliff not knowing where to go, without a rope to hold on to, helpless and hopeless and a creature who resulted into jumping on a cliff to feel better.

I will be honest with you. Loving you (I still don’t know if this feeling should be labeled as love, infatuation or simply just an attachment.) was like falling in a cliff without a parachute. You made me feel the best, valued and in just one snap, that emotion shifted to the feeling of less valued, worthless and replaced. I am now falling on a cliff. You know what’s worse? I don’t have a parachute. I will just fall. No one to catch or lift me, alone in the middle of nowhere. I want this feeling to end. I want my love for you to end. Because of you, I am now questioning my self worth, having self doubts and you made me feel that I don’t deserve love or best things.

THANK YOU for this feeling. This feeling made me realize that I don’t truly love myself, how vulnerable my heart was,how weak I am. You made me Hold on to God, really reaaaally hard. Thank you for breaking my heart, kahit hindi mo alam. It was really a blessing in disguise.

For now, I will fix myself. Not for you to notice me but because I love myself, and this kind of love should be strong, unconditional and special.

You are my first heartbreak, and God planned this for me. For now, I am letting you Go because I value myself more than you.

If maybe, just maybe when the time is right, I’ll rewrite our story.

Thinking about it, I was not yet ready for that kind of love. I have lots of insecurities, fears, worries and doubts that I have to deal with. One year after, I discovered a lot about myself, my art, my passion and my dreams.

Yes, I am writing this a year after my heartbreak with a smile.

Because I am worthy. I am chosen. I am loved. 

I am God’s Princess, a warrior Princess.

Friend, you are worthy of his love. You deserve the best kind of love. Trust and have faith in him.