Gift

Do you remember this?

It’s the pen that you gave me during one of our occasions as a couple. “Write your story,” it says. In the box that it came with, you attached a short note. Part of your note says, “Take this everywhere with you, and let it remind you to write your own story, your own destiny. I hope to be in it.”

I remember feeling all giddy about what your note said, and even more because, of course I knew, that you were pushing me to write again.

But I didn’t write again.

After we broke up, I stopped taking it everywhere with me. I stopped using the pen. I placed it back in its box, together with your note. I hid it somewhere I can’t immediately see. I didn’t want to be reminded of you. I didn’t want to be reminded of us.

That was almost four years ago. Over the weekend, I saw the pen, and I read your note again. There was a slight tug on my chest. It wasn’t because of past hurts, but rather for the first time, your words – – – the ones you had engraved on the pen and written on your note – – – actually, truly spoke to me.

I have since gone back to writing, and I’m creating pieces more than I’ve ever. My pieces allow me to be myself, with each work baring my soul, allowing me to be free, and hopefully reflecting honesty, sincerity, and authenticity.

With each work, my story is told; With each work, my destiny unfolds.

My life.
My own.
On my own.

Without you.

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Seven

Seven years ago, a day after my last day in Xavier, I started my journey in government service, on the 1st of April in 2011. My mom thought it was an April Fools’ joke, to be asked to start on such an awkward day. It’s true though, I was asked to report on April Fools’. And report I did, excitedly.

Quite fitting though because many thought it was foolish to leave a stable job where I had already reached my peak and where, to them, I had more room to grow even further; And even more foolish to join a government agency I had no idea actually existed before. Or even if I did, I chose to ignore.

To be honest, it wasn’t an easy choice, and at one point, because almost everyone was saying it, I started to think that maybe I was being foolish.

But life’s like that, I think. It allows you to be foolish in order for you to realize what’s actually important, or what will actually make you happier. In my case, it was important for me to explore other options, to see what else is beyond the walls of Xavier, and to find fulfillment again.

And explore and find fulfillment, I did. (Also convenience.)

Foolish choices don’t always turn out well, I know, but they’re also not complete and automatic failures.

In my case, my 7-year foolish choice has turned out to be one of the best I’ve ever made.

Scarred (Revised)

It’s been one month and six days since my finger accident, and I’ve spent the same period of time applying Betadine and protective band-aid it. It has been one month and six days, but my finger isn’t 100% fully-functional yet. Visibly, my finger looks okay because the wound has closed-up, and all that’s left is a scar that to me resembles a lightning-bolt, like Harry Potter’s. Do you see it? No? I do.

There’s still some pain though when I press on my finger which only means the wound inside has not fully-healed yet.

There are days when I get impatient, I skip the usual Betadine and band-aid, and just end up hurting my finger more. I miss pointing at things with my pointy finger, gripping on my pen when I write (I write with conviction!), and properly holding my utensils when I eat, but my finger needs time to heal, so I listen. I let it heal.

My injured finger loosely reminds me of people, who may appear ‘okay’, with big smiles on their faces; who engage in fun and laughter, but are actually not truly happy; who are most probably hurdling through struggles of their own.

People, like things, aren’t always how/what they appear. The way a person (re)acts in a particular circumstance does not always define her/him. Think Dobby, or Sirius Black, or best yet, Severus Snape – – remember how time and time again, Harry Potter was proven wrong by his initial judgments about these three?

Pause. I got carried away with my Harry Potter reference, I think. I blame the lightning bolt-looking scar on my finger.

But I do have significant realizations. With people, it’s best not to judge too quickly. It’s best not to assume too fast. It’s best not to conclude so easily.

But as for my Harry Potter finger, I should allow time for healing. It’s best to be patient. ❤️

*Harry Potter pic borrowed from the internet.

Scarred

It’s been one month and five days since my finger accident, and the same period of time of applying Betadine and protective band-aid. One month and five days, but my finger isn’t 100% fully-functional yet. Visibly, my finger looks okay because the wound has closed-up, and all that’s left is a scar that to me resembles a lightning-bolt, like Harry Potter’s, or maybe not. There’s still some pain though when I press on it which only means the wound inside has not fully-healed yet.

There are days when I get impatient, I skip the usual Betadine and band-aid, and just end up hurting my finger more. I miss pointing at things with my pointy finger, but I have to remind myself to give her time to heal. My finger needs time to heal.

My visibly okay but not fully-healed finger and my impatience remind me of people.

Like my finger, people may appear ‘okay’, with big smiles on their faces, engaging in fun and laughter, but it doesn’t always mean they’re actually truly happy, and it doesn’t always mean they don’t have struggles of their own.

Most of the time, things – – people aren’t always how/what they appear, so it’s best not to judge. It’s best not to assume. It’s best not to conclude so easily. It’s best to be patient. It’s best to allow time for healing.

Reflection on Beliefs and Faith

Features and preparations for the feast of the Black Nazarene have been flooding the news since last week. 

It is worthy to note how most of the devotees that were interviewed are all asking the Lord or the Black Nazarene for something – – – a better life, a better job, more income, etc. None, of those interviewed, are there to give thanks. 

But the same goes even for some of us non-devotees. We tend to only remember Him when it’s most convenient for us, or when we need something from Him. Seldom do we find ourselves saying, “Thank you, Lord.” A habit most of us should have learned in Catholic school Kindergarten. 

While I have nothing against following age-old beliefs, such as what devotees do for the Black Nazarene, I just can’t help but ask and wonder about the following: Whatever happened to keeping one’s faith? If we asked something from the Lord, shouldn’t we just have faith that in His time, in His own way, though sometimes it may not be in the form that we expect, somehow He will deliver? Why do we have to go such lengths, as put ourselves and others in danger, just to be granted what we want and asked the Lord?

Same Time Last Year

I encountered a frowning lady cashier at the mall earlier. She wasn’t rude, but she wasn’t the common smiling amiable cashier I usually encounter.

Same time last year (I seem to have a knack for running errands on the second day of the year), I encountered another cashier just like the one today. The frowning, not uppity and cheerful kind. Last year though, I made an effort to cheer up the frowning cashier, and left her smiling. Left both of us smiling. 

This time around, I made no effort. I was polite, but I exerted no effort to cheer up another soul. Why? Because maybe I, too, need(ed) some cheering up.

I’m not down, as in Eeyore-down, but I’m not Tigger-happy either.

Sometimes, you simply cannot give what you don’t have. 

Resting Pet Peeve

Sometimes when I want to take a 5-minute rest from reviewing cases, I browse the internet. It’s my 5-minute update on what’s happening to the world and chance to answer emails.

And it’s also through those 5-minute updates that I’ve observed something about some of my officemates.

Some of them habitually go to my work desk, and casually, with no regard at all, snoop and comment on whatever it is I’m browsing on the internet, and they stay on until I’m done, or when I stand to refill on water, an excuse I do to make them stop. I find it kind of annoying at times, but yeah, it continuously happens.

But then it dawns on me, too, this does not have to be a pet peeve. For all I know, my officemates also have their 5-minute rests, and isn’t it flattering that they choose to spend it with me? Maybe they feel I’m becoming too antisocial. Haha. Gee, I hope not.

I wonder though if there’s a magnet in my work area somewhere, that attracts people here. My place has become the unofficial tambayan of sorts for people.