The Little Things

One cold night, you’re all alone in your room, taking a break from all the stress the world placed on you. You can’t help but notice the slight pitter-patter of rain in your window as you cuddle snugly in bed.

You somehow manage to frown, thinking that time is progressive. At times you want to stop the clock—or at least slow it down a bit—you can’t, unless you want it to ruthlessly leave you behind. Life moves too fast.

You remember your childhood. You realize that life won’t be as easy as it was when you were 5, or 7, or 10. You wish you to be young again—that getting a lollipop would mean the world to you; that hugging your teddy bear as you sleep instantly safeguards you from nightmares.

All of a sudden, it comes to a halt, and after 2 milliseconds or so, heavy rain comes crashing down.

Then it hits you. You’ll never be young again. The reason why you couldn’t go back is that you’re meant to move forward. Each passing day is a step closer to your destination, and every step comes with a huge set of challenges.

The rain decides to stop. A rainbow emerges on the horizon, and you suddenly feel lighter.

You realize that life wouldn’t be the same if you were always a kid, if you always had the world to yourself, if you hadn’t moved on. You’re a big girl now, and you can handle anything you tell yourself you can handle. It’s amazing how small things could make you understand the big pictures.

After all, you could still cuddle up in bed with your teddy bear; you could still enjoy the majestic presence of the rainbow in your room.

Two Thousand and Fourteen

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Another year is about to end. Wow. 12 months surely passed by so quickly. I won’t be calling this a thank you and a sorry blog anymore, just to make things a little different and since many such fine memories happened this year.

For me, it’s been a mix of earthquakes and rainbows. The year began very silent and a bit emotional but it was also a crazy, busy few months that made time go faster than expected. 2014 has been a roller coaster ride: stepping out from our comfort zones, learning to appreciate other people, accepting flaws and finding beauty in it, charging things to experience and gaining wisdom from it.

Since I am set out to the real world, I learned so many things, learned how to appreciate the little things, and realize that no act is too small. 2014 taught us a lot of things, introduced us  to a lot of people, opened our minds to innovations, and helped us accept and love the people around us. Indeed, Adventure is out there, and out there I go, and these are the most important things that I have learned so far:

Hard work pays off. Sometimes, it’s not always the brains and the charms that work their wonders, hard work still prevails among other things. You should learn how to focus on your goal and keep pushing and keep trying until you get it.

Responsibilities are harder when you get older. I don’t know about other people my age, but my responsibilities somehow got heavier than before. I felt like, there’s no space for screwing up and you have to carefully think of your decisions before it’s too late.

People pleasers don’t always have it good. I must admit that I used to be one because I thought that things would be better that way, but no. You will be more respected as a person who follows his/her own beliefs than a person without their own stand in life.

Learn to be contented in life. That sometimes enough is just what we need.

Continue to be positive. There have been a lot of people who noticed how a happy person I am and it felt great. What’s even better is that, my positivity can be contagious which made me a little proud of myself since I’ve always wanted to be THAT PERSON, a person that brings joy to everyone.

Goodbyes. A few people dear to me had to leave to start their new journey. Sad, but parting is inevitable sometimes and you just have to be happy for them.

Hellos. “If someone goes, someone new comes along.” New people came into my life and for that I am more than thankful. Some of them became friends, a few beaus and some old acquaintance eventually became good friends.

Today is a New Year. A start of a journey for some, the end for others or for those walking a long path, it’s just another day. No matter what point we are in right now, this is the time to remember all the good and the bad for the past 364 days. It’s been a fun, wild ride but surely something to be thankful for. For all the blessings that we have received, for the family and friends that we still have, for the love that we still share, for the laughter and tears that we can still give. Most of all, for another chance that we get to breathe again and make a difference in this world.

Forget all the sorrow and pain of the past year and embrace all the good things that happened to us. If not for trials we are not as strong as we are now, and if not for the optimism and hope, we are not where we are now.

Welcome 2015 with a bang, with a thankful heart and a vision of a blessed future. Let go and let God. Wake up each morning feeling brand new and encouraged to do something worthwhile. Do not be afraid to fail but be courageous enough to stand up and try again. Do not hesitate to fall in love for even with uncertainty, love is always beautiful. Laugh hard, cry hard. Walk with your head held high but with your feet kept in the ground. Be motivated and accept the challenges that life will offer. Dream big and believe in yourself. Never fear change for it will help you grow.

This 2015, as we continue to seek for adventures, may we also remember to thank Him for everything He has done for us. Not everyone is lucky enough to survive this catastrophic year, and for those of us who did: may we continue to seek for beauty and spread the love.

May everyone have a happy, blessed, and wonderful year ahead. This chapter may be blank for now, but let us all grab our pens and construct wonderful memories once again. Good luck, and God bless.

Bonne année à tous!! :)

It’s a lady’s choice

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In life, you can’t avoid making choices. May it be a pool of options or just stuck with two or three. Whatever choice you make, it will influence what you’re going to face the next day and/or how you’re gonna deal with it. There are consequences, both good and bad. There may always be uncertainties or doubts; but in the end it’s either you make a  good choice or the right choice.

Happiness Won’t Look How You Expected

Thought Catalog

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Rewind two years or so: I’m an anxious high school senior dreaming about college. Parties, new friends, classes with boys(all girls high school), the – wait for it – best four years of my life. I knew I would meet a ton of new people and I thought we would spend four years frolicking around campus without a care in the world. I pictured constant happiness. Several weeks into my junior year, I can confidently say that there has been more than enough partying, friends, and loving life. I would not trade the past two years or the people I have met here for anything. But what I did not expect was the moments of darkness in between all the bliss. I don’t talk about it often, but depression and anxiety gradually became a larger and more controlling aspect of my life when I got to college…

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Today You are You: My 24th Birthday Post

“Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no one alive who is you-er than you! -Dr. Seuss”

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As you all know (or not know), I’ve turned a year older today. I feel so old already! But then there’s also that part of me still feels like I’m 12. Anyway since I’m 24 now, this calls for a self appreciation post (wait, that sounds conceited haha) so let me just share random facts about myself! In lieu of this, I’ll bore you (or entertain you, or inspire you) with a few thoughts and insights I’ve come to believe and value. Do read everything, as you might feel the same way. (or against it, in which case I’d rather you don’t mind this post at all).

On weird food choices and quirks. I mix my sundae and I don’t stop until the fudge and vanilla have really combined (most of my friends are grossed out by this). I’m really big on dessert combos. I’m a big fan of throwing [things] together—so if I’ve got a cookie, or a brownie, or whatever, I grab that, grab some ice cream, grab some sauces and whatnot. Most people go for the single dessert; I’m a fan of mixing it together.

On folding, rolling and tearing papers that I’m holding unconsciously. It’s habit that I’ve noticed way back in grade school. Whenever I have any kind of paper in my hands, I find myself folding and rolling it then tearing it into pieces. That’s why Starbucks and DQ staff give me strange looks whenever they ask for my receipt.

On trying all Pocky flavors. I can’t even count how many times I’ve professed my love for Pocky and how different the ones made here and made in other countries and from the one made in Japan. There are only about 100 flavors of Pocky in Japan and I’ve had about 20 flavors off my list so good luck to me!

On being active in social media. Take away my TV, deactivate my Facebook. I don’t mind. But I just need to be updated with my WordPress, Twitter and Instagram. It’s a thing.

On lesson I learned in college that I will always be grateful for is learning how to cross the street. I very rarely commute so the biggest obstacle I faced in my freshman year (aside from math) was crossing the street. But eventually, I learned to do that on my own after constantly being dragged by my friends or holding tightly onto the handle of their bags.

As much as I love dressing up, nothing beats my big worn out shirts and cotton shorts. Home clothes are awesome and it’s when I’m wearing them that I feel most like myself.

I’m a big Disney fan. I was a Disney baby, a Disney teen and now that I’m 24, a Disney adult. I still have Disney princess theme songs saved on my iPod.

I can get extremely talkative at times. In general, I don’t talk very much. Most people tell me I’m reserved and sometimes too quiet or shy. I’m usually like that to people I’m not that close to. But to certain family and friends, there are times when I talk like there’s no tomorrow.

I’m a goody-goody and bit conservative. More than I’d like to admit, I guess. My friends label me as the “good girl”. I rarely drink, I’m uncomfortable wearing really, really, really short shorts and people tell me that I’m always proper and poised.

I value loyalty the most. It takes a while for me trust and really get close to other people, but when I do, they have my loyalty for all eternity (woah, big word haha). But seriously though, loyalty is so important to me and it’s something that I value highly.

On academics. Knowledge per se isn’t what I’m after. To me, it’s learning that is essential. There are plenty of ways to learn: paying attention in class, participating in an org activity, conversing with my friends, or even observing other people do something insanely ridiculous. I don’t mind opening myself to new experiences or making mistakes, as long as I learn from them.

On friends. Sure, having a lot of acquaintances may seem like a breeze, but having truly good friends is rewarding for a lifetime. These days, I make it a point to strengthen my relationships, and value the people who bring out the best in me and who truly care for me. Now, I’m pretty sure I have a good idea whom I’d like to keep for the rest of my life.

On relationships. This particular aspect of my life is on hold now. These days, I choose to discover the world and see it through my eyes first before I engage in a relationship. I don’t see why I must not wait for the right time to allow myself to fall for someone. I couldn’t bear to see myself hurting and suffering like plenty of other girls because they failed to realize what they were giving up, and how it wasn’t for the right reasons. It pains me to see that the world’s becoming more and more dangerous each day, and I couldn’t seem to trust myself with just anyone. Nevertheless, I still look forward to the day I’d start feeling butterflies in my stomach, the days I’d listen to every love song and enjoy every moment of it, the days I’d feel light and let my heart flutter, the day I’d tell myself that I’ve finally found someone and that I know we’re meant for each other. Wenk, I know, cheesy. It’s hard to stay on track, it’s constantly a struggle, but I know it’s worth the wait. One day, at the right time, in God’s will, I will find my prince who’ll never gives up on me and loves me unconditionally.

On my country. Boy, did I use to hate the Philippines. This year, I had a number of realizations, which collectively became an epiphany: I couldn’t be happier and more proud to be Filipino. Although I was never a patriot, I learned so much about the country this year. It sucks that other people don’t feel the same way, though. All they could think about is how pathetic the government is, and how bad this country is, and how they want to get the heck out of here one day. I’m not saying it’s their fault, but I hope they’d see the light, just like I did.

On God. There simply are no words to describe how much I’ve grown to love Him more and more each day. Growing deeper in my faith is more than merely a something religious, it’s a lifestyle. My relationship with Him is a foundation, an investment, and a gift.

On joy. Scrap temporary happiness. I’m talking about true happiness, I’m talking about joy. Nowadays, I tend to sacrifice a few temporary happy moments for life-long, memorable ones. Meaning to say, I don’t live for the moment just because the moment feels fun; I live for the sake of living a life worth living for.(Oops, I hope you got that. Lol)

On being more selfless. Can you count the number of I’s I used in this blog post, and the number of I’s you say every day? Precisely. We live in a world with a self-centered philosophy, and I’m just sick of how I’d grown to love myself too much. It’s about worrying about not having something new to wear, or complaining about not being able to drive yet, while other people don’t have money for clothes or transportation to begin with. Therefore, I impose on myself a paradigm shift.

On life (as we know it). Everyday brings about a new set of accomplishments and disappointments. I look forward to each day, no matter what the outcome may be. Life’s such a beautiful gift; I can’t imagine why anyone wouldn’t have it. I will live my life to the fullest and ain’t no one’s gonna stop me. Hence the term YOLO—in its purest, most innocent, and most beautiful sense.

On being 24. I know, I’m old. I don’t have a wish, I have a dream, and my dream is to inspire.

So, shall I live my next few years on this planet the best way that I can? Challenge accepted.

I challenge you to do the same, too! :)

So there you have it! Things I learned and discovered about myself for the past twenty-four years! To celebrate my birthday, together with my family and sister’s boyfriend we just had dinner over small talks. Must done something right to deserve the best people in my life. Thank you to my family, all the friends and relatives who greeted me on my birthday. Thank you for making me feel special and loved on my day! :)

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Birthday dinner. So happy to spend my special day with my family. :)

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Just few of my birthday greetings! Thanks so much friends and family. :) I appreciated you guys so much! <3

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I may not have everything I want but I’m happy that I have everything I need and much more. I am thankful for every day that I get to wake up to, for the time being lent to me to love and care and be with my family, for all the blessings that I can share to those who need them more. I am blessed and I am grateful in every way.

I am young and I can do so many things, and one day I will be as great as I imagine myself to be. I will never stop trying. So help me, God. :)

Summer Adventure: Boracay 2014 Part 1

Summer is undeniably everyone’s favorite season of the year. It’s the perfect time to go to the beach, hit the waters, and get a tan.

Gorgeous tropical environment, stunning coastline, sparkling water, romantic sunset, fun-filled daytime activities by the sea and vibrant night life, where else to experience it but at the dazzling island of Boracay in the Philippines!

Hello sunshine! I love outdoors and strolling in the beach is one of my most favorite runway. I was in Boracay for almost three days. As I have said on my previous posts, I love travelling spontaneously. One of the most spontaneous trips I had is my trip to Boracay. I had no plans of going to Boracay actually. Me and my friend still undecided. With just limited money I have on me and knowing that Boracay is a first class beach destination; thinking of my possible expenses might be a nightmare. But, the adventurer ego of me wanted to give it a try at least and I think it was a perfect escape from chaotic life in Manila. To have a breathe of fresh air and leave the busy city once in a while. All I need to do is prepare myself for excitement since this will be my very first Boracay escapade!

For those who are not familiar why Boracay is the so-called paradise of the Philippines, I’ll give you a little vision of the island.

Boracay is a tiny island in the Visayas region of the central Philippines. As the most popular travel destination in the Philippines, it’s far from undiscovered — the island absolutely teems with tourists, especially Filipinos, Koreans, Chinese and Americans. It is a paradise for sightseers, adventure-seekers and party-goers, if you fall into any of these categories, then this place is for you.

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White Beach is the main hub of the island, stretching along the west coast, and it’s often cited as one of the world’s best beaches. And with a beach path running parallel to the shore, you could spend your whole stay on Boracay on sand — I know I nearly did! It is divided into three sections named after the former boat stations: Station 1, furthest north, is home to luxury resorts. Station 2, in the middle, is a huge commercial hub and home to tons of shops, restaurants, bars and hotels, as well as DMall, a massive shopping complex. Station 3, furthest south, is much quieter and more relaxed. There are other beaches — Puka Beach is a big day trip destination.

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As for me, I loved the Station 2  and spent the bulk of my time there, and would often head up to for dinner and drinks.

And, now I’ll share to you my awesome Boracay escapade. It may seem like an ordinary quick getaway, but adventures seem to follow wherever I go.

Believe it or not, this is my first-ever visit to this island. So now, finally pushed through my daring travel dream: to explore the island of Boracay for the first time.

With Cebu Pacific’s promo fare deals, I was able to get to Boracay. Since my friend doesn’t have a credit card I  booked for us a affordable but not cheap flight to Kalibo and I got so excited. Finally, flight time has arrived. We boarded the Cebu Pacific flight from Manila to Kalibo at around 10:05pm. We were rather lucky because our flight took off on time. We have heard of instances of delayed flights especially with the Kalibo route, hence the minor worry. The flight was okay in general. I’m thankful that we arrived at Kalibo International Airport safe and sound.

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Selfie at the Airport while waiting for boarding. Haha! :))
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Hey! That’s me. :)
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That’s my friend, Jen!
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Take a selfie first before the plane will take off! :) nevermind our big eye bags Hehe
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Since, we’re a budgeted wanderer we decided to go to Boracay via Kalibo. Kalibo is one of the main hubs towards Boracay. It is about a 2hrs bus/van ride away from Caticlan Jetty Port, where you will ride a boat about 5-15 minutes to get to the beautiful island of Boracay.

After the arrival in Kalibo International Airport, you can see a lot of stalls offering a package of either bus or van with ferry ride. This package usually costs from Php 200-Php300 depending on the bus/van company. During my visit we opted to ride a van which costs us Php200/person. Good thing is, the services is open for 24hrs so no need to worry for your transportation to get to the island of Boracay anytime you arrive.

After almost 1 1/2 hours of travelling we were dropped off to Caticlan Jetty Port where we paid environmental and admission fee (Php75) and terminal fee (Php100). We were also required to sign up in the visitors’ log sheet where everyone is need to sign in order for the local government unit to monitor the number of people coming into the island. The ferry ride (Php50) is just 15 minutes, so basically, after almost 2 hours of travel you will arrive to the mesmerizing island of Boracay.

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BUT wait there’s more, after the 15 minutes ferry ride, you still need to ride a tricycle, which is the main transportation vehicle on the island, that costs Php150 to get to the White Beach where most of the hotels are located. The Php150 is for the whole tricycle, so you won’t share it with anybody, it can carry up to 4-5 people. But, if you are really in a budget, you can share the tricycle with other people.

Although it seems tiring to get to Boracay after deplaning in Kalibo…Everything just seems to go away once you catch a glimpse of the glistening sand and turquoise water of Boracay.

May 3, 2014, we arrived! The long travel is finally over! Boracay here we come! First thing to do is to look at the shores, just like in the news, Boracay sand is still the finest and whitest sand I have ever seen. The shores have algae, though. I love the scenery of the beach and stuff and I like the idea of walking around underneath the intense heat of the sun! Yeah, I’m ready to get sun-kissed skin and care bears don’t care…Sun is fun in Boracay!

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Nice bumping to my friend, Jorine :) Unfortunately, we didn’t spend more time because they going back to manila that day when we arrived.
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We stayed at Frendz Resort Boracay, which would be our home for our 3days, 2nights stay in Boracay. Upon check-in, the hotel personnel check our reservation and gives us our key and accompany us to our room. We paid Php1000 per night for 2 persons. For this amount, we have our own bed, with toilet and shower heater. The resort has its own mini diner inside where you can eat if you’re tired to go outside. There is also a Wi-Fi Access Zone. We booked through HostelWorld although you can also do the reservations at Frendz Resort Boracay website here.

We arrived in our hotel early morning. We did not waste our precious time. We only rested for a few minutes. Take a bath and quickly change into our favorite summer bikini and shorts then ate breakfast at Mcdonalds located at Station 2. We were slightly far from D’mall and all other shops. We had to walk a few miles, but we were thinking this is Boracay! We have to walk to see everything! :)

The first thing we did was taking pictures near the beach. The whole day we were just walking along the white sand beach! ahhhhh feeling the white sand of Boracay on my feet made me feel excited and the thrill of hearing the waves and lots of people strolling along the streets of boracay!! This is truly a vacation! The sand of Boracay is certainly one of the best I have seen because it is very fine. Majority of the people I saw are foreigners so I was already expecting that the prices of meals and other stuffs are staggering. Watched the magnificent sunrise. I now understand why people love this paradise. One of the best sunrise I’ve ever seen.

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The place is scenic. I don’t have anything to add anymore. I, myself was blown away by its wonderful shore, the district itself and the beautiful people surrounding it. No wonder, Boracay is one of the world’s best tourist spot for travellers around the globe. There are plenty of fun activities to do in Boracay, like the boat sailing, flying fish, scuba diving, helmet diving, island hopping and many more! Later that night, we walked along the white sand beach where some parts are well lit. The night life in Boracay is quite marvellous as well. You’ll see tipsy people holding a bottle of vodka or tequilla while partying hard. Haha! I am laughing right now but I am not kidding.

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Me and my friend went on Smart Live it all out – Solar: All time glow event @ Epic Bar. This event happened from sun up to sun down. Party at the beach and the music and rave is awesome! People are fun and drinks are wild! :) Restaurants and bars are lively during the night where we saw a couple of live bands performing in different locations. Unlike other beach resorts in the country where visitors only enjoy the beauty of the seaside at day time, Boracay offers a unique experience of fun and adventure even at night time. As the sun dramatically goes down, Boracay springs to life and visitors are treated to an ultimate party adventure. Catch a glimpse on the video I take during the party at the beach. Put your hands up in the air!!
Wake up, sit on the beach, get brunch, get lunch, picture takings, swim a little bit. Watch the sunset, get dinner, maybe get a drink or two. That’s all you have to know.The thing about Boracay is that the beach here is so great — the sand so white and fine, the beachfront so long, the landscape so beautiful, the water so warm and turquoise — that you can do nothing else and still feel entirely accomplished.

By past midnight, we were already feeling tired (and a bit groggy) so we decided to end the day. We needed ample sleep to match our equally hectic itinerary set for the next day.

So, here’s the Part 2 it covers our fun and extreme land and water sports adventure. :) Check it out!

Quality over Quantity

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Because the hashtag #happynationalbestfriendday is trending on the social media sites I make this post for my oh so awesome and cray-cray bestfriends and friendships out there.

In life we will come across so many people in our lives, and some think that the more friends you have the more popular you will be and the more better you will be, and that is wrong. You can have so many friends, you can hundreds of people being your friend and some people will be more concerned about having quantity instead of quality, well, that should not be. Before, it mattered a lot to me about having many friends to hang-out with. I used to think that, it was great to be known for having many friends. But I realized that as days go by, this big number of ‘friends’ gradually diminish. It is filtered and just like filtering, only those who are pure and real gets through.

I’d rather have a few friends who will be by my side, to back me up, and to support, love and appreciate me for who I am. Everything should be mutual when it comes to friends. It takes two to tango and it takes both to be the backbone that keeps the friendships up. Aside from having the complete will of these people who prefer to stay with me, I still choose who are those worthy of staying in my life. It does take time to get to know someone, and friendships and good friendships take time to build. So you build your trust in accordance to how someone is, their actions, words, kindness, their honesty, their loyalty and the way they are to you and how they treat you.

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And now that I’ve got the good set of individuals. Few friends I can trust, depend on and share stories and things with, rather than having hundreds, that will only be there part time and not full time. I can say that it’s not always the number of years you’ve been together, but stickin’ to each other during the gloomiest and deepest shits of our lives.

I want the best for everyone, and I am speaking through experience. I’ve been burned so many times from fake people, I’ve been hurt, but all it takes is opening up your eyes and being more aware of peoples actions.Just take your time. There is no rush to friendships. You will find the suitable people for you. It will take time and effort, but never ever think friendship will never happen for you. Just believe in yourself and know that there are types of people for you that are suitable. Just relax and take it easy.

Mind-set

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Sometimes it is hard to smile whenever there’s something that is bothering you but always remember that at the end of every rain there is a rainbow. It may be hard to be optimistic, especially when you know you’re got no one to blame but rely on yourself. But also remember that those problems are there for a reason. God gave you those problems not because He wants you to suffer; He gave you those simply because He loves you. He thinks you’re strong and He wants you to be stronger. Problems are meant to make you stronger and not to break you apart. Always believe in the power of optimism. Be positive! Being negative is just like killing yourself out of this world. Smile and have hope! Like what I always tell myself.

Sitting With Loneliness

Thought Catalog

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The hardest thing to feel is loneliness. Not just to be alone but to be lonely.

When I say feel, I mean to really feel the loneliness and to know it; to acknowledge loneliness, shake its hand, offer it a glass of cheap Barefoot wine and let it sit with you, to be with you, in you.

I mean to feel the loneliness and not try to immediately unfeel it; not try to mask its odor with some other feeling like anger, competitiveness, anxiety, ignorance, stress, arrogance, jealousy, martyrdom, depression, remorse, nostalgia, hopelessness…

I mean to feel the loneliness without trying to distract yourself. Without grabbing the nearest emotion numbing drink, or inhaling a puff of musky forgetfulness. Without ordering “shots for all your ladies,” so you aren’t binge drinking alone. Without slipping a little pill down your throat whenever the loneliness starts to creep up your chest.

I…

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Fears

how to conguer your fears & worries

We have a generic fear of the unknown, but it is familiar that we fear with greater detail and certainty. It’s easier to imagine something that we’ve seen elsewhere, making it seem more likely even when it’s not. And although we have spent much of our lives knowing that we are not the only ones vying with this every day, we still fall most vulnerable– on wee hours– when we’re unaccompanied. It’s a recurring kind of woe. It finds a way to catch us unguarded, when our positive self- image is in short supply.

That’s the seed of paranoia, which would really be harmless if it stayed in our heads. The trouble begins when we begin acting on it, allowing it to sway our behavior in ways that would otherwise have been unthinkable.

But what is it, really, that we fear the most? If it’s on the basis of knowledge and familiarity, then wouldn’t that be ourselves?

In the end, fear is crippling.  It paralyzes.  It places limits on us and causes us to plateau and give up when we should be climbing to higher heights.  It is one of the enemy’s greatest tools to defeat us and prevent us from birthing the dreams God has placed inside of us. We end up wary of anything that resembles the worst about us.  Our imagination takes us beyond rationality, and before we know it, we’re acting questionably based on some vague, gut-feel notion.

It makes no sense, but it happens.