Search

Paisley Purpose

delight. design. depth.

Category

Faithful Encounters

‘Tis THE Season to be THANKFUL

WHAT?! IT’S DECEMBER ALREADY?!! Where have the past 11 months of 2017 go? :O To a lengthy, well-spent, break, apparently, and thankfully! I started the year single, employed, and on the verge of going crazy, always zero chill on the daily. As the last month of the year opens, I’m beginning to end the year, single, unemployed but job hunting, still zero chill most days, but having a better grasp and appreciation of life. 😀

As I look back on the past eleven months, I say gratefulness is the perfect way to usher in the twelfth. ‘Tis the season to be thankful!

Relationship Goals

IMG_4082.JPG

Okay, so I might have begun and end (oh yeah, 30 more days, so who knows, lol) the year single, but it doesn’t mean I didn’t spend the months, building and enriching relationships. This year is probably when I went out with friends the most. And, this also marks the first time I travelled alone with my parents. In addition, I also started to engage with relatives via FB, which I never thought would happen.

I’m now 24, and it’s amusing how I’m only beginning to open up to and participate in these bonds. But better a little late than never. Oh, and I guess, this is the time when I’m also starting to learn to openly need and ask people for support. I began psychotherapy in late April, and consciously involving loved ones to the process, little by little, is paving the way for discussions and expressions of support among us. And it’s been great so far.

With how things are going, I believe I’m on my way to achieving relationship goals with those who’re already around me.

Childhood Crushes

img_20170906_125529-721x1024

Image from: Philippine Star

 

One of the highlights of my year is watching David Archuleta’s concert. The American Idol alum is my all-time crush. I mean, who wouldn’t swoon over that sweet face and amazing voice? And that adorkable personality is just…you get it, I’m totally in love with David A.! I got Orchestra seats for me and my mom, and we had a blast dancing around and singing along to the energetic Archie. Imagine how close we were to the stage that night! He’s just so lovely, I’m still gushing as I’m writing.

13703221_629160813907908_856703786_n

Image from: Imgrum User chaf_official

 

I never thought I’d meet another childhood crush to gush on until my friend Beni invited me to a polymer clay miniature making workshop. Hero Angeles, a local actor, is the instructor. He hasn’t aged a day, but I was more impressed with how artistic he is. His miniature works are so detailed. And, he’s a good instructor. Easy to follow. I’ll save that for another blog entry.

Seeing my childhood crushes is such a treat for me. And, knowing that they’re still single is a huge plus. Lol. Seriously, though, it’s a dream come true for me, and a reminder that delays don’t mean never. What’s meant to happen will always do, in its own time.

Kris Aquino Memes, and the Healing Process

8-kris-aquino-faces-for-every-day-use-p3

Image from: 8list.ph

What’s up with this heading? Hahaha! I have a newfound appreciation for the country’s Queen of All Media when she forayed into the digital world. As I began watching her videos and following her social media, I discover how relatable, authentic, extra, and super duper marketable she is. And I love how she’s always so thankful to the powers that be and the people for supporting her in her new ventures. It’s a classy attitude she never fails to express with spunky, meme-able, and ever-quotable one-liners.

As I’m slowly putting things to perspective and learning  to be chill and happy, I’m seeing just how blessed I still am. I kind of never stopped working; I’m still in commission. Though I haven’t posted in ages, Paisley Purpose is still ranking. And I have all these content ideas in store, so watch out for that. 😉 In addition, I find that in every breaking point I get to, I always seem to find a breakthrough. And when it seems difficult to do so, my friends Benise and JC would remind me how, sometimes by sending me Kris Aquino memes. Haha.

Yeah, Kris Aquino is both a distraction and an inspiration nowadays. And boy, is that a welcome addition to the healing process.

Living In Terms of Surrenders

Admittedly, I’m getting impatient with how long it’s getting for me to land a new job and to recover fully. Understanding that it’s going to take time does little help to dissuade the impatience sometimes, and I know that the only way to do that is to simply, truly be at peace with however long it’s going to take. Of course, that takes total surrender to God’s timing.

Over the course of trying to heal, I figured that much of my emotional distress is rooted from my unease with God’s timing. I need things to happen now, so I push very, very hard, only to see them go wrong. This has become a pattern, and until I got to a number of breaking points, I didn’t realize that to live life joyfully, is to live each day in terms of surrenders. It’s difficult to surrender without trust, so that’s what I’m learning to consciously choose now.

 

I start with the little things: like how early I’ll wake up each day, or what job opportunities I’ll see and apply for given a certain Friday. I tell myself, “What will be, will be”, and try to leave it at that. Gradually, I try to turn that mantra into prayer. He’s in charge, and things only happen if He wants them to, after all. I’ve done my part of the deal, so how it’s going to turn out will be up to Him. Still challenging, living in surrenders, but I’m getting by quite well.

Given all these things I listed down, there’s really a lot to be thankful for. Life might have dealt me cruel blows more than I hoped it would, but it also allowed me to make it through, more than I think I could, with some help, now. And I know it’s going to continue doing that, and more.

I’d like to begin the end by saying thanks. The season is apt for thankfulness, and I’m glad to find that there are great people and events to be grateful for. And, I know, after it, I’ll find it in me and in life, to say thanks for each day. 🙂

Let the holidays begin with gratitude ❤

Advertisements

Halloween Isn’t Over Yet MWAHAHAHAHA…or Not

Lately I’ve been watching lots of Youtube and following a couple of channels, too. I’ve subscribed to some beauty gurus, and then to several conspiracy theory and horror Youtube channels. Shane Dawson, Loey Lane, and Kendall Rae are my current favorites. Though the inimitable Kris Aquino is still the best for binge watching.

Oh, are they entertaining. And unsettling…for they remind me of how much time I have in my hands that I’m not using to earn me a living. *Sniffs* Anyway, off with the negativity. But still on with the Halloween mood! I don’t dress for the occasion, but I have my celebrations by watching creepy stuff and horror flicks by myself. 🙂

Or so I think. We’ll never know, right? AFAIK, our house isn’t haunted and I’m not possessed, but somebody I know may be. Or possibly just attached to someone else who is. As I’m typing this, I feel a heaviness set in on my shoulders. But this is a story I want to tell, so here goes.

This began two years ago, when I started to dream of an acquaintance frequently. And the dreams were all coming true. I also noticed how I could sense when he’s not in the country. Like I’d wake up and mutter, “He feels far.” And I’d see his social media and he’d be in Hawaii or someplace. At one point, I even saw and touched his apparition while I was spacing out on the way to work, and he was in another continent.

And it went on for years. Over the course of this experience, I’ve spoken to two psychics who’ve both acknowledged my abilities. They, however, couldn’t explain how and why this is happening. And I thought I’d leave it at that, and just take everything I see with a grain of salt.

That’s what I did, until I started noticing how I’d feel very drained after meeting him in person, or even just speaking to him online, which I very seldom do. I later found out that he had, and maybe still has, emotional and intuitive issues. Having been suspected as an empath for a while now, I dismissed the feelings as that: empath-absorbed vibes.

And then I began to dream about the women in his life. At first, it was his grandmother, whose photo I saw and immediately felt drained as a result thereafter. And then, the girlfriend, who didn’t elicit any similar reaction right off the bat, but who’d later appear frequently in my dreams. And then, his mother, whom I think is the most normal among all of them. No draining, no tingling feeling, no nightmares. Just one dream in which she expressed her concern about who her son is dating. None of my business really.

So anyway, let’s go back to the girlfriend. I’ve never met her, or the mom, or grandma, in person. I just saw a few photos of her in the guy’s uploads. I remember the first time I saw the couple pic on my feed. At first, I thought, “How nice, he has a girlfriend. I hope I’ll have a boyfriend soon, too.” And then hit like. But I found myself doing a double take on that photo. It had a weird energy about it, and something in it felt awkward, if not wrong. As I’m typing, the heaviness sets in from my shoulders to my chest.  But the story must go on.

I mentioned how she figures in my dreams quite often, right? When she does, she always looks a certain way: her eyes look wild and cat-like, nails long and sharp, teeth are fangs. Almost nothing like her doe-eyed pretty looks IRL. And last week, exactly a week after Halloween, she appeared in my dream again. This time, her skin was a very dark shade of gray, and was cold and sallow. I could tell, because she had her hand on my neck. She was choking me.

At this point I have gotten quite used to having nightmares about her, so I thought to just let it pass, because it always did. This time, however, she was very close to burying her nails into my neck, and an ominous energy was overwhelming me. It wasn’t a regular post-horror-binge nightmare. As she was about to strangle me, I said in my best attempt at a commanding voice, “I’m not doing anything to you. And I’m not doing anything to your boyfriend. I won’t steal him from you.”

To which she replied, with an angry hissing, “Of course you won’t, because he’s yours!” And then she slit my throat. It wasn’t painful, but I felt something sharp run over my neck. I opened my eyes and could still sense the energy, so I prayed three “Our Father”‘s, claimed my space, asserted my ownership until she was gone, and then went back to sleep. What the eff was that?!

Oh…and two days later, I woke up with a red mark on my neck. It was gone after half a day. So again, I didn’t think much of it anymore since I got through it again, anyway. But now that I’m typing the story here, I can’t help but feel like there’s something more to this than my intuitive abilities and a series of dreams about a person and someone very closely related to him.

Maybe my acquaintance is on to something he shouldn’t be on. Maybe I should be more assertive of my place in life and wary of the things in my destiny that I should own. Maybe, in whatever way, the person’s one of them…or more possibly, maybe he should be doing the same. Or… as always, maybe this is just one of those weird experiences I have to learn from. Though I still haven’t quite figured out how. Or maybe…the Father up there just wants to show some love, but not without a jump scare first. Oh that sense of humor. Haha. I just really don’t know.

So there goes my Halloween story. The month isn’t over yet, and there’s no telling when I’ll have the dreams again. I hope they’re over for good, though. If not, then wish me luck in getting to the bottom of things.

Happy Halloween, folks. Back to binge watching on Youtube now.

Lady in Healing

Obviously I’m having some difficulties blogging the way I used to, and my monthly releases have gone down from 5 to 3 *sniffles*. Come June, and I realize I’ve only published ONE. ONE, which makes this only my second for the month.

But I do believe that this is all for good. While I wasn’t writing, I’m living out the stuff that I enjoy writing about. I guess that’s a positive development; when you value the moments in your life, capturing them becomes secondary to immersing in them. If you’ve been following Paisley Purpose since it started (huhu thank you very much for doing so), then you know I’m undergoing psychological counselling. And now, I’m glad to let you know that I’m thriving. 🙂

So, what have I been up to?

Catching Up

While I’m able to function well, unhealthy thinking patterns robbed the joy off of many great experiences. Instead of adopting a loving attitude towards being the sister of the bride during my sister’s wedding preps, I found myself dreading the experience and being annoyed at how much work I had to do. Instead of developing my ideas and suggesting them to people who could have found them useful, I kept my marketing plans to myself, for fear that they will be rejected.  You get the picture.

Not only did the mentality keep me from enjoying; it kept me from doing things at all. So now, as I’m on my way to healing, I find myself catching up with life. In between lengthy breaks and alone times, I kept my productivity.

Got me a freelance gig as social media manager at Yeongyang Hansik (yes, that Yeongyang Hansik! See? This blog got me a job!), making graphics and captions to promote the place.

drawing 2 colored

Began doing song covers, which I have yet to record and share. Haha. Because it turns out that I surprised everyone by singing at my sister’s wedding. Who knows? Maybe in a few years’ time, I may even have a career as a professional wedding singer. Lol. Ayan o, feel na feel ko na.

ACG_3258

Finished watching Goblin, the Korean series. Yes, nagpapalamon na rin ako sa sistema.

tumblr_ohp86cfhec1tmjt2ko9_540

Downloaded the Uber app, and got a ride through it. You know, I was going to download Tinder but phone memory was scarce, and said phone died on me a few days after I planned to install the app. So yeah, it wasn’t meant to be.

Attended a singles conference with my best friend. I got invited to the event the day after I tried and failed to install Tinder on my phone HAHAHA. What are the odds?

And said singles conference has paved the way for what could be the biggest turning point in this journey so far: it got me to my knees.

Unprepared

I wasn’t emotionally ready to attend that conference because it centers on two things that hit dangerously close to home: God and singleness. I was still calling to God, but I refused to listen and trust Him. Those are the last things I’d like to do.  So I made sure to talk to the psychiatrist about it before I spend an entire day listening to the pastors.

Me: I got invited to a singles conference organized by this huge church, and I am not ready for it. More than having to meet new people, I dread having to face God’s presence. It’s a lot like meeting my ex after a very long time. I’m not sure I want to reconnect.

P: What kind of God are you praying to?

M: A personal one.

P: What is this God like?

M: Can’t say He’s fully good or bad.

P: Then what is He?

M: He is present.

P: And you’ve been through a lot together?

M: Yes.

P: And you think that it’s reason enough to give this relationship another shot?

M: Yes. More than enough.

I spent around half an hour debating whether or not to have a long overdue quiet time with Him in my favorite part of the university: the adoration chapel. After grabbing a bite and a bottle of water, I went into the chapel, taking the silence in as my heavy chest ached, and my legs began feeling as though I spent hours on the treadmill. It was then that I realized how tired I was of running from the spiritual stirrings that I refused to trust. And as I sat before it, the exhaustion from withholding all my burdens from Him overcame me and held me in place. Then there I was, listening again for the first time in a long, long time. The heaviness didn’t disappear immediately, but peace came.

It wasn’t the kind of “peace” that came with a resolve to give up. It’s a peace that surrenders all heartache and opens itself to faith…in spite of fate. So dread for that Saturday event was replaced with newfound excitement, a willingness to abandon that mistrust’s offshoots, and a decision to rebuild those which it has damaged as a result thereof.

So much weight has been lifted since then. And as I respond to these new feelings, I find something that I’ve long been missing: the joy of living.

Things haven’t been a walk in the park, and in between the breaks and the productivity, were days when I’d rather stay in bed, sleep, and just lock myself up in a room. On particularly stressful days, I’d have the urge to get on long bus rides without definite destinations—just so I could disappear for a while. Or for good.

The invitation to that event doubled as an invitation to begin my spiritual healing in the form of a reconciliation with God. I remember watching “The Shack” movie, in which God (portrayed by Octavia Spencer), said, “The problem in your life is that you don’t believe I’m good.”

That resonated with me, and I realize that it’s the root of all trust issues I’ve ever had with anyone in my life, ever since I was young. We’ll get to that in another blog. To have been able to start clearing it up is a major step in my journey to mental, emotional, and spiritual healing.

And looking back at how everything unfolded the way it did and still does, God is good, and so is life, even in the midst of struggle. I haven’t said that with conviction in a long, long time, and now I did. Praise God.

Happy for Me

This is truly one of the biggest steps I have ever taken so far, and I know that thousands of small ones will follow to lead me to other milestones in my healing. There are still plenty of issues to contend with, and addressing the fundamentals will strengthen me to face up to them, and maybe even see that they’re not issues to begin with J

I’m happy for myself, and if you’re on a similar journey, I hope you reach happier times in your process as well.

So…this is pretty much what I’ve been up to as a lady in healing: keeping busy catching up with, enjoying, and rebuilding the good things in life, with a good God. Finally, I’m turning on a new leaf for real 🙂

14 Reasons Not: Revising a Suicide Note

Back in 2005, at around 11 or 12 years old, I drafted a suicide note. It was pretty long, containing a litany of rants about people and severe bullying instances and countless misgivings that eventually led to my desire for an early demise, at least at that time. 

Written on a torn page of an old gradeschool notebook, it opened with, “If I die anytime soon, it will be because of…”, followed by a list of people and what they did to push me to the edge. It read like a not-so-creative version of Hannah Baker’s tapes, but it was just as pained and resentful. It was, after all, designed to make people regret.

That note was never finished as there were simply too many reasons, and I eventually forgot about it. Not because things got better, but because I thought it probably wouldn’t matter anyway. Years after I wrote it, I have no clue where to find it, but in my head, I found more and more reasons to add to that list. Only that, I never found the perfect day and way to do it. 

Maybe because, I’m not meant to. For years I struggled to understand myself and why I am who I am. Am I hard to love? Do I have mental health issues? Is life just so damn difficult? During my second counseling session on May 4, I realize it’s a yes to the last two questions. And another yes, to a fight well fought and a life well lived. 

With that, here I am, typing away and attempting to revise my 12-year old suicide note. At 23, I take a different angle, and I begin with this:

If I choose to stay another day, then it’s because…

1. I haven’t even started to live yet. Having gone through years of bullying and criticisms from people who are simply out to get me and people who are, by default, close to me, has a huge weight on the choices I made. Looking back now, as a young woman, I recognize that most of them were made to meet the expectations of others. 

I got jobs when I would have wanted to go on vacation after I graduated. I said I would consider some options, personal and professional, that  I don’t even intend to follow up on. Even putting off counseling was a conscious choice meant to preserve the image of a mentally strong young person. I remember having an ex who told me he just saw me as “happy and wise all the time” when I had a really bad day. Though as much as possible I don’t want to go running back to the negatives, I want to be able to go through each day knowing that I am true to myself and free to make the decisions that I believe will enrich my life. 

I got by, meeting expectations. I think it’s about time I start living a little.

2. I haven’t met me yet. Given that I did things mostly to meet expectations, I didn’t really have a lot of opportunities to figure out what I want in life. I’m okay with whatever’s convenient or available, but I need to know what I want and find ways to get to them. That way, I will get to know myself better. 

3. If I haven’t yet, I want to love me. It’s a process that I want to live out for a long time. I owe it to myself to be around to do so, when I have been around to live through everything thus far.

4. I am loved. One of my friends expressed his happiness and relief upon hearing that I will be undergoing counseling. Having seen what I have had to go through, he said it was about time. Because he was also leaving for Canada at that time, he also said,”I would hate for me to have to go back to see you because of some very sad news.” 

It hit me that it matters that I’m gone when I’m gone. And though it’s not easy to believe you’re loved when you’re battling so many demons inside, love will constantly shine a glimmer of hope and home, reminding you that it’s there. And it will be up to you to surrender to it.

5. I love. If there’s one thing 23 tumultuous years and failed almost-relationships and friendships taught me, it’s that I love deeply and genuinely. In this young life, I figure there’s still much of that to give.

6. I haven’t met the love of my life yet. If there’s another thing this 23-year old life has taught me, it’s that I haven’t met my great love as of yet. I’m not looking now, but I sure want to be around to marvel on the moment when it does come. Whether the love of my life comes in the form of career fulfilment, marriage, or maybe a house full of adorable pet tarantulas (kidding, but who knows?), I want to have the privilege of welcoming them into my life. And blogging about them and making cute chibi versions of them and telling them everyday that they’re worth the fight and the wait. Aww. What a lucky man, pet, or job you will be!

7. I want to see my friends get married. They know who they are. Haha. I invited myself already. I even volunteered to become godmother to the future kids already. Love you guys.

8. I want to meet my future nieces and nephews. Because I am willing to bet that I will be a fabulous aunt and they will surely love me. 😉

9.  I want to save up for retirement. The parentals’ and then my own. I want to have enough for the occasional yolo-ing and of course see the parentals spoil the grand kids some day.;)

10. I want to take part in growing businesses. Via Paisley Purpose and other means. I got started already and I will be at it again soon. 🙂

11. I want to design my own wedding dress and walk down the aisle in it. I also want to do that bridal walk holding a flower arrangement from Bloom Buds because why the heck not. And make no mistake about it: even if I have to go to Japan and wed myself, I will because I really want to tick this off my bucket list. *Wink*

12. There’s a dress in my closet that I have yet to wear. And no I don’t want to wear it to my wake. Got it on sale and it’s too pretty. I want to wear it when I’m alive and kicking. 

13. I have to go on an Ignatian silent retreat again. Because nothing beats a couple of days’ worth of solace in and with God. 

14. And speaking of God, He isn’t done with me yet. Faith crisis after faith crisis, disappointment after disappointment, He draws me back. Makes me stronger. Makes me learn. He shows me that He isn’t done with me yet, and though I do find it daunting, I’m also excited for whatever He has planned.

 This reason alone is enough for me to realize that I’m not done with life the same way it’s not done with me. While the most trying times can break even the mentally strong ones to total surrender, it doesn’t mean we all end up the same. After all, we each surrender differently, and we can only trust the response of life and the One who gave it, to turn out for the best.

I’d like to think that they respond by letting me continue with this life. And I’m proud to say that I’m doing so with some help. 

Looking at it now, maybe the reason I can’t find the suicide note or the disposition to actually get around it is because I will eventually find new reasons, and one great reason enough, for me to choose otherwise. 

By staying, I own up to that suicide note I drafted more than a decade ago, and add more reasons to stay as I get older. What a long and beautiful note that one would have been.

Still, it won’t hurt to turn on a new leaf. So here I am, still typing away. After revising that suicide note 12 years after it was drafted, I’m looking forward to drafting a new chapter in the life I am now choosing to live.

Sometimes you just have to realize there’s still much to live for to go on living. God be with me in this journey.

Of Graces, Hopes, and New Beginnings

I’d always count April 2, 2016 as my square one, career-wise. I was working on an article about budget fashion and dropped by N.Cat, a Korean accessories store, in BGC to take photos. It was my first time commuting to BGC, and also, my first time to encounter people who thought I was a blogger. The lady on the photo below, on the left side, yes, her, with the braid, she asked if I was an accessory blogger.

12718089_230758040610545_5383217580546185915_n

I had a light bulb moment right there and then. Lo and behold, months after, Paisley Purpose was born, with N.Cat as the subject of my first entry on styling. A couple more entries followed, and a few blogger invites came, from an up and coming Korean resto and a talented HMUA. Who’d have thought they’ll eventually open new opportunities for me? 🙂

It’s been more than a week since my last day at work, as a full-time digital marketing writer. With no job security, it’s like starting from square one, which, by all accounts, is still much better than ground zero, and it’s thanks to the blog. It didn’t stay chill, as I thought square one would be, for long. On my last day at work, I got two calls. A message soon followed around a day later. And then two days after my official exit, I landed a freelance gig, one that requires me to go beyond writing.

It’s a temporary setup, I know, but it’s a great start, and it’s one that I really prayed for and about. Just a few days into the job, someone offered me a follow-up engagement, which has all the potential to become long-term, and I couldn’t be more thankful.

Those who follow my blog would know of my constant wrestling with God, and my lack of faith on His timing. Nothing says perfect will and timing better than the turnout of events this past week. I mean, His grace and perfection aren’t new to me, but because I usually resent how they don’t manifest the way I want them to, I end up missing out on the joys they bring.

This isn’t life as I imagined it to be at this age, but there’s no denying that this is way more than I have bargained for. See, God gives you more than you can take, but never more than you can handle. The triumphs and trials, as well as the strength to face them, all come from Him, the ever-abundant source.

At 23, in all honesty, plan A was settling down early in life. Plan B was entering the religious vocation. Plan C was killing off every ounce of character I have to land me a high paying job that just involved doing menial, repetitive tasks. Notice a common denominator in all these? They’re all about me finding acceptance within a particular group of people, the easy way. Never about finding myself and willingly surrendering and collaborating with God. Me considering an entrance to the vocation wasn’t because God extended the invitation to me already; it’s Plan B. The religious vocation is a way of life too special to be dismissed as just that.

And what about my dreams and His plans for me? My only dream is to be accepted by others, so I guess no matter how unambitious plans A through C seemed, they were almost entirely self-centered. Not at all self-respecting and God-fearing. Being God, He gave me some well-deserved disciplining, got me out of work, out of my self-centered and destructive nonsense, and brought me to places, mostly because of the demands of my blog, the very fruit of a gift He has generously gave and shaped in me.

March is graduation month, and years after I have finished school, it still feels like graduation to me. Full of graces, hopes, and new beginnings. Embarking on a journey that involves a balance of chasing, waiting on, standing by, and working hard for, the opportunities that will allow me to live out God’s will the most, is no walk in the park. Thankfully, it’s not one that I’ll walk alone. 🙂

As His plans gradually come into play, I learned more than a few things. First, God will always, always be there, loving you and paving the way for you, whether you like it or not. Second, He didn’t let you go through what you did, just for the heck of it. Through it, He’ll shape you and bring you to where you need to be.

And that destination may or may not be what you thought you wanted. In my case, it wasn’t, and it gave me new dreams and the means to achieve them. Third, don’t let reciprocity be your motivation for doing anything. Whether or not it gives you something in return, do it out of love: love for God, yourself, the journey, and everything and everyone that came together to make it possible.

This is only the beginning, and graces and hopes are already clearly at play. Never mind that it isn’t plan A, B, or C. It’s God’s, and that’s what matters most.

I celebrate and rejoice in it. AMDG. 🙂

A God of Surprises

Yesterday, I decided to do away with one of my most valued possessions: This tiny crown ring on my pinky finger. It’s one of the few things I have an attachment to and the first ring that’s ever stayed with me for much longer than a few months and weeks. And, it’s also the one I got for myself to serve as a promise ring between me and God. After a year or so of holding on to it, and to the promise, despite my mom’s offer to buy me a new one, why did I decide to finally let it go?

12272735_163158117370538_384659311_n

Apart from the fact that it’s very tarnished already, I figured that my attachment to it has become a little too much. Nothing wrong with having it serve as a reminder that God has promised me a beautiful thing. But, clearly something’s wrong with being too preoccupied with the story and meaning behind it.

It’s wonderful. It’s from God, that I’m sure of. But it isn’t so wonderful when I start to look forward to the fulfillment so much so that I fail to enjoy many amazing happenings in my life right now. I’m beyond grateful to know that something’s in store for me in the future, but I’m getting frustrated at why it isn’t happening sooner.

Every time I see the ring, I feel very excited. At last, something to hold on to that symbolizes His promise. Something to show for when His timing fails. His timing has had a lot of delays in the past, and I wasn’t going to let the same thing happen with the promise behind my ring. It was okay, until I got too caught up in it, and it had to go, the same way my mentality had to go.

I love that ring, but if that’s the only thing I choose to see God in, when He’s obviously been present in so many aspects of my life, then I had to expand the horizon, even if it meant that it should be gone for good.

It’s true that God is a God of promises, but in this context, it seemed as if I made God tantamount to that single promise, when He is way more than that. God has made plenty of promises to me in the past, and He kept them all, albeit gradually, slowly, in ways I never expected. He surprises, and that often didn’t sit well with me.

But God is a God of surprises, and as someone who’s waited it out for years and wrestled with Him for virtually her entire lifetime, I’d rather find excitement than frustration in waiting on Him anew. And, whatever it is that keeps me from being joyful, excited, and productive as I wait, has to go.

While I function perfectly, and so, am productive, my mind was tied down to one train of thought, and it sucked the joy out of me and my relationship with God. It got stuck on a single promise and ceased to grow from there.

Throughout all these shenanigans about my faulty and limited mentality and my attachment to the ring, what have I learned about God? 

He’s a God of surprises, and if you’re in a relationship with Him, or at least, want a relationship with Him, you’ll learn to take those surprises positively, whether they’re pleasant or not. God will not change His knack for surprises, so unless you’re planning to live miserably, or in a limited manner, then adjust your mindset. Live with the surprises, and enjoy them.

He’s way more than a promise. Don’t limit what He can do with, for, and through you to a single promise of what’s yet to happen. He’s more than that. He’s the here and now, and the beyond. If you choose to see more than just a promise, you’re bound to see Him everywhere in your life.

He will never hold you down; He will always lift you up. These past few months, I thought that God must want me to stay put and just do PA job to people He blesses until He decides to bless me. What I didn’t notice is that He’s been blessing me all along, and though I was able to make the most of it, I wasn’t able to find joy in, and praise Him for, it, which was a shame. But, what I wasn’t able to do doesn’t lessen what He was able to do.

He wants you to live in the moment with unabashed joy. Before I threw the ring away, He told me to stay open to the fulfillment of that promise. But, as I do so, it doesn’t mean that I should constantly look over my shoulder or be preoccupied with just that. There are things He wants me to do and places He wants me to be in, right here, right now. The moment is very important; it’s the real-time invitation to recognize His hand at work in my life. And the “now” is to be lived with joy and not frustration, I learned.

Through this experience, I figured that sometimes, getting closer to God is throwing away the things we believe is the closest we can get to Him. I’m faulty and short-sighted, so there’s a risk of reducing Him into just one thing, when He is everything.

I began the year by ditching my precious promise ring, and in the process, learning something valuable and new about God and the nature of my relationship with Him. Through that, I feel as if God made me a new promise: that He’d surprise me, and that He’d always be so much more than one promise.

With or without a ring, I hold on to that. 🙂

 

 

 

Note to God, 2017

Hello, it’s me. I was wondering if after all these months You’d like to speak…To go over everything. Charot.

Hello there, God. I know You’ve been waiting to hear from me for a very long time, and I only obliged today. 2016 was the year of my biggest and longest tampo to You, and to onlookers, it would seem weird because everything went very well. My job, my blog, my health…everything seemed perfect, and I knew I was blessed.

Many don’t understand that it hurts to be Yours, and I mostly spent this year questioning if You’re on my side at all.I loved talking to You, but I don’t like hoping and expecting and falling into disappointment over and over again. So I stopped. But now, why am I at it again?

Because at the bottom of all these feelings, hurt, doubt, and months-long tampo, I’m very sure that You love me, and that I’ll choose You above anything, anyway.

Try as I may, I can never deny that You’re up there, taking charge. Years of teaching me to tune in to that soft, still voice of Yours paid of, and prayer can’t be unlearned. It’s mostly, but not entirely, conditioning. It’s a conscious effort and a deliberate choice that I regret making sometimes. I can’t drown Your voice out, no matter how noisy the rest of the world is, and it’s annoying. You’re God. Free as I am, You’ll always win. And when I do win, but not according to how You would’ve wanted it, I lost without me knowing.

Because You are Love, whether or not I love the kind of Love that You are.When people say “God’s love”, I don’t think of me sitting on fluffy clouds with a warm hand on my shoulder. I think of being embraced by a fierce lion. Your love is the tough kind, the one that pushes continuous growth, and being wounded is part of it. Otherwise, how will You heal? If I were a glass vessel, how will You fill me up if I’m not hollow? And if I’m hollow and enclosed, how will You enter if You don’t break me?

I’m tired of growing and being broken by You, though. So it’s ideal to shut you off, which I did. But then I realize I’m at fault. 

I admit You’ve lost the central seat in my life during these times.  Losing track of You was easier, because if I had to stay with You, I’d have to talk myself into appreciating this and seeing this as growth and learning. And I just don’t want to anymore.

You’re God, but I wasn’t sure You were the loving kind. You surrounded me with people who claim to be Yours, and they imposed so much on me, expected too much from me, and hurt me a lot. And despite my prayers, You allowed everything to happen. 

Maybe, it’s actually because of how I prayed, that You allowed them to happen. I didn’t want to listen anymore. I’d rather rat out on You. It’s same old, same old, anyway. I won’t learn anything new from You anymore because You made a cruel cycle out of my life. Turns out, people were at fault. Circumstances were at fault. I was at fault. Everything was louder than Your voice, and they finally drowned You out. I’m sorry.

In spite of myself, You keep calling me back. And through people I did not expect to. My best friend’s mom invited me to church, and, somehow, people just seem to want to talk to me about You. I get “God bless” and smiles from strangers I helped. When I went to my first blogger invite, You also came up in a conversation. Heck, I have a rosary hanging on my desktop monitor at work, so how can I not remember You?

Those moments…and so many others. My blog. My job. My family. My friends. My first trip to Kapitolyo. Brands who shared my work. My very first invite. And how, through it all, I manage to pray, and You choose to show me You listen. Though I often don’t get it. 😛

Bottom line is, I choose to come back. You embrace me. Because You love me, in the craziest and most puzzling ways, and not the other way around. You brought me this far, thus far…Because You can. And in spite of me, I will. 

Every year, we have this talk. One thing I won’t get tired of realizing is that You’re God, and You got me. I lost a lot of faith this year. But I guess that’s the point: I lose it. Let go of it, so I won’t credit myself for it. So that when I find myself back again, there’s only You to look to. 

I’ll be at this, again and again. This is what makes our relationship unique and intimate; just between us. With You being You, however, it will always be beyond us. 

Hello there, God. It’s 2017. Please bear with me a little more, and let’s have more conversations. Sorry. Thank You. Amen.
 

The Mystic in Me: Learnings from a Tarot Reading

Okay. So, under what category does this entry belong?

Anyway, hi. In this entry, I’m going to talk about my tarot reading experience, and my, should I say, innate inclination to the spiritual and metaphysical. Surprised to find something like this in the cutesy, girly, and sentimental Paisley Purpose? Well, you’re bound to read about this side of me sooner or later. And, as I’ve already had a reading courtesy of blogger and tarot reader Jake Morales, I may as well open it for discussion now.

Shall we start? Let me tell you about my tarot reading experience.

Tarot Reading, November 26, 2016

Jake’s told me more than a couple of times that I have what it takes to read cards the way he does. I know, but, of course, that doesn’t mean I can’t have a novel experience, or maybe a few surprises.

I wasn’t nervous at all; it wasn’t my first time, and I know I have a good grasp at which of the predictions will wind up coming true. The thing about these readings is that, they’re there to convey something you already know, but maybe aren’t completely aware of just yet. And, though I admit that they’re pretty accurate, I’m sure there’s a limit to that accuracy. After all, I set it.

So…the reading. Jake gave me a reading consisting of three parts: the past, present and future, the five-card spread, and the message from the universe. In between, I could ask questions, which I did.

Most of what came out pertained to my creative side and my present career. A change of industry is imminent, and fulfillment in terms of maximizing my creativity is evident. I agree with that; the previous months were some of my happiest, because of Paisley Purpose. I do intend to keep it that way in the succeeding months.

The central theme of the reading was me exploring and honing my creative side, which is precisely what I’m doing. There were a few warnings, however; beware of toxic people and of being too attached to people’s expectations of me. Also, if I’m yearning for a fruitful emotional connection, which you know I am, I need to take bolder steps. Open up to people and possibilities, instead of holing up into my time warp of seemingly unending self pity.

In addition to the things I have to let go of, the session also reminded me of the inner strength I have cultivated all these years. I tend to give in to my moods, and that gets in my way of reaching my full potential as a writer, young professional, and person.

The best thing that came out of the session is realizing anew that I can be my enemy and my best friend, and I’d rather be my best friend.

The Surprise

The reading was pretty much a confirmation of what I know I’m going through, but a notable surprise is that, for the first time, what was predicted is already in progress. I’ve had other friends read for me before, and the messages have always seemed distant. Not in this case; I do seem aligned now.

Jake answered several questions about my career and love life, and I do see that huge changes are imminent.

I thank Jake for the time and the overall tarot reading experience. I still have much to ponder and say about it, but my biggest takeaway is, live life in your own terms. This is the path you’re going to take because you’re made for it.

I’d still very much like to dig deeper on mysticism and my own experiences, but I’ll save the rest for another entry or two. Based on my experience with tarot reading, I can only say this much: I believe in both destiny and choice. And destiny is a series of choices that have somehow managed to align themselves to lead you to where you are.

You’ll get what I mean later on, when you read my other entries. But I’d rather you get it when you live your own life, according to, and even beyond tarot and whatever realms you’re exploring. 🙂

I see that it’s entirely possible that I’ll be touching into this topic more. Sounds like a new category in the making. Wait for it.

 

 

 

 

November 21, 2015

Main Image from: festivalsupermall.com

Author’s Note: There have been, and there will be a lot of times when I will think of giving up on writing, blogging, and the life that I want. Last night was one such time. Whenever I feel that way, I read this. 

This time last year, I was thinking of how I would be going to Festival Mall Alabang. I live in Quezon City, the opposite side of southbound Alabang, and, growing up sheltered, I had absolutely no idea how to take the bus all the way there. I’m terrible with directions, and nope, I have never, ever, rode a bus all by myself till November 21 last year.

So, what business do I have in a mall at the opposite end of the metro? I wanted to get myself a crown ring, which I’m not  even sure was still available at that time. It was a big gamble for me; a hundred or so queries on Google Maps to find my way to and from there. An alibi about my whereabouts. A couple of texts to a friend in Muntinlupa to teach me how to get there. All for a ring. A tiny piece of fancy jewelry. Why all the trouble?

Call it an impulse buy or whatever you please, but at that time, I needed it. It wasn’t for a costume party or an addition to my truckload of accessories. At that time, it was my last gift to myself.

No, it’s not like I was going to end my life. It’s actually a reaffirmation gift that some good things are still meant for me to have, that I’m not bound to just accept that I can’t have what I want. See, I rarely have what I really want. I grew up compromising a whole lot more than asserting and claiming what I want. My parents are very practical people; what you don’t need, you don’t buy; what isn’t productive, you don’t get into.

Raised in a home of six traditional Chinese family members, five of whom are highly opinionated and have strong personalities, emotional me had always been under a lot of pressure to measure up. Sure, I was the overachiever, but I was also the odd one. The one who couldn’t drive. The one who didn’t have a lot of common sense. The one who cries and is frequently bullied. I know I’m strong, but I just fade into the background at home, with my loud siblings often taking the spotlight.

A middle kid, I had to learn to fend for myself. My sister, loud as she is, is of fragile health, meaning, yes. Almost all my milestones are overshadowed by how she wasn’t alright. When I had my first heartbreak, she had a surgery to remove an ovarian cyst. And so it went on that everytime I wasn’t ok, she’d also be just sick, and everyone would dote on her. I couldn’t talk to people about my feelings and problems. Besides, they’d just advise me to stay strong, anyway. I try to understand, but it is hard to deal with being second all the time. And yes, people expect you to always understand.

Understand how she can’t fulfil her plans of migrating to Canada because of her health. Understand how she has plans to get married, and so, it’s already set: as the second one, I’m expected to carry that plan out…to work my ass off here and then petition my parents to Canada, so they can have a good retirement. While they don’t say it to my face, the hints are more than enough. Almost every conversation I had with my mom and grandma was about going to Canada. My sister, who knew I didn’t want to go, would even joke about me petitioning her to get here, and I was just so overwhelmed.

On November 20 last year, I had just left my job…I had no idea where I was heading. I knew I wanted to write, but after getting rejections or no response from the magazines, companies, and publication houses I applied for, I was getting discouraged. I really wanted to do something I was passionate about, but I didn’t seem cut out for it. At that time, blogging was not an option because bloggers are all pretty, or at least, skilled in the beauty department. I was neither, at least I thought that.

And it had only been a few months since an almost-relationship ended. The feelings of inadequacy, combined with the pressure, made me want to disappear. I was tired of asking where I’m lacking and what I’m doing wrong. Are my skills not enough? Am I not good enough?

I regularly went to our university church to pray, because I was just emotionally and mentally spent. I wasn’t even sure I still believed in God. For all the promises He made, about His plans being the best for me, it seemed as if I just had to force myself to settle for what everyone expects of me: to take over what my sister couldn’t do, to just be financially stable in a country I don’t even like, to accept that, yes, by default, as the single, able-bodied, responsible child, I had to do it…for the sake of the family.

I didn’t know if it was just me pressuring me, but yes, everyone just expects me to make it abroad. To find a job and be very good at it. I know I could do that, but I don’t want that. But if duty calls, then I guess there wasn’t any choice.

The decision to buy a crown ring for myself came when I thought, “This is it. I haven’t even begun my life yet, and people have already imposed their expectations on me. Because I don’t have anything planned yet, I may as well try this out though I really don’t want to. It’s not going to hurt them. Like always, I would just have to compromise and live the rest of my life doing so.” And if I was going to do exactly that, I have to give myself a consolation prize, at least, for doing all I could: applying for writing jobs, saving my freelance money, trying to understand and reason out that Canada is the best for all of us (and maybe it is)…getting ready to accept that I will really have to put my life on hold, be reasonable, and just forego what doesn’t work in my life, though that may be what I want.

I deserve some credit for all of that, I really do. But wait. I don’t want it to be a sign of giving up. I want it to be a promise to myself, that whatever I may end up doing or becoming, I will fight for what I love. And no matter how hard it is, I won’t settle for anything less. I began looking for it: online stores, Instagram, and then eventually, N.Cat in Festival Mall Alabang. While they didn’t offer the prettiest one, I figured I’d get it from the store, so that I can get out of my house and clear my head, even for a bit. I knew it would be a long ride, and I might even get lost. But if I were to get a gift for myself, I would want the process to be an adventure, so I jumped at the chance.

I was told they had three styles available two weeks before I finally decided to get the ring from there. In those two weeks, I was simultaneously thinking of dropping the ring plan, as I’m not lucky with rings (I always end up losing them after a few months), and Googling how to commute from my home to that mall. Because I wanted to keep the adventure under wraps, I researched everything from route to bus fare to loading and unloading points, down to the traveling time.

When the day came, I prayed and said, “Give me a sign that my dreams coming true is part of Your plan for me.” After around an hour of travel, I finally made it to Festival Mall. As soon as I walked in from the nearest entrance, I immediately headed right and saw the store. I walked into rows and rows of earrings and rings, and didn’t see any crown ring. I was about to get disheartened, but decided to show the pictures to the saleslady just to check if they still had it. And they did. Just one piece of each style.

The lady, Jenny, said, “Last piece na yan lahat Ma’am, pinatago lang po sa amin kasi may customer daw na nagtanong.”

And I said, “Hinintay lang ako niyan.”

Because, again, I don’t have luck with rings, I didn’t expect any of them to fit. But one did, the smallest one. The one I had my mind set on. On my pinky, as if to say, “Get me. I’m the promise ring.” Imagine how awestruck I was. What do you know? There’s still something out there, somewhere…maybe just waiting for me to claim it.

And, I was slowly getting ready to try again. Little by little, I began sending resumes for writing jobs and social media assistant posts again. One month later, I got a call from a digital marketing company, asking to meet me for an interview the following day. Right there and then, I got the job. It’s one that requires a daily bus ride. How thrilled I was to have experienced it a month before I got the job, and yes, I could take the same one I took to Alabang to get to work.

Fast forward 10 months, I fulfilled my dream of becoming a writer. I was able to write for  magazine site, and, of course, I remembered to feature the store which was my fairy godmother of sorts. I was assigned to write for different clients in various industries, and now, my words are on a Korean restaurant’s website, a price comparison site, a software site, and an online industrial supplies shop, among others.

I finally grew the backbone to start my own blog (in part, thanks to the fact that the magazine client went on a four-month hiatus), and though it’s far from viral, it’s doing so much better than I ever thought it would. Having a creative outlet did wonders to my writing. Around the same time I launched it, I received recognitions for my performance at work. And, a month later, I got promoted.

Yes, all that within a year of getting a tiny ring from a Korean accessories shop in Alabang.

There’s a certain sense of empowerment that followed those hours-long trips to and from the south. I wasn’t encouraged to take public transport on my own, because people thought I was too gullible and anxious to not be in trouble. And I can get lost easily. But I made it. Until I got the ring, I was ready to give up on many things: my writing, my life direction; as a famous song said, “I’m all out of faith”. Call it cheesy, but it was my sign. Look at how much of a breakthrough it is to me.

I know it’s not a magic item, and my life still isn’t without struggle. Responsibilities and pressure still haunt me. But what that trip was, what that ring is–more than anything–is a product of choosing to do something. I stepped out of the house, of the bus, of my apprehensions. N.Cat, well they could have put that ring on display and sell it sooner than two weeks, but they didn’t. And those two choices, deliberate or not, worked perfectly together.

November 21 last year marked a huge turning point in my life and taught me more than a few lessons. To you reading this, let me share some of them.

First, you have a choice. And, mind you, it’s not a one-time thing. You have to make it and work towards realizing it everyday. You have to remind yourself that this is what you commit yourself to, because you’re not always going to be on a career high. You will lose your drive somewhere along the road, and you’ll be tempted to settle for less because it’s convenient that way. I could have just taken another home based spinning job instead of traveling all the way to Makati everyday, but I didn’t. I get burned out, but I made this choice, and as I deliberately make it everyday, I see the results. I grow. I get back to choosing this again and again.

Second, practice empathy. Be kind to everyone who walks towards you, because you don’t know what they’re going through. One decision to make things a little easier for someone can make a huge difference to their mood and outlook. No act of kindness is too small to go unappreciated, and intentional or not, it’s bound to lift something up in a person. In my case, it’s my morale.

Third, regardless of the situation, it doesn’t have to be the end. Last year was a difficult time, and I was so close to losing heart, and maybe I did. I thought that the situation I was in was already a death sentence, and I thought I was reaching the end of my road. Looking back, even when I thought it was the end, I managed to sneak in something new, like commuting to unknown territory all by myself. It got me ready for other new experiences, like my commute to work, and, later on, to other places for my blog. Regardless of it being a good or bad situation, it doesn’t have to be the end. While you’re living through it, you can always make room for something new.

Lastly, whatever the future holds, there will be a place and time for you. For me, on November 21, 2015, it was N.Cat Festival Mall Alabang. I’m still constantly fretting about what the next few years will hold for me. My sister is getting married and relocating, and migrating to Canada remains to be a possibility. I still live the home-office routine, and I don’t know if that’s ever going to change. Remembering where I was this time last year, however, I am just extremely happy and grateful to see that I’m not where I used to be.

In the next few years, wherever I may be, I put my hope in having a place just for me, and a promise I can make to and claim for myself. I’m now assured that I will find my way, wherever that is. And, if there appears to be no way, I will make one, to get to what I truly love and become who I most genuinely am.

Maybe I’ll continue Paisley Purpose in Canada. Maybe I’ll even open N.Cat there, if I can. Surely, in the future, I will make something new and stay true to my promise to fight for and claim what I love, when I find it.

I found writing. I’ll find all the other things, and, certainly, I’ll still hold on to the tarnished ring on my pinky finger while I’m at it.

The months that followed November 21, 2015 have been full of highs and lows. The trip and the ring proved, however, that I’m still queen when it comes to finding out and becoming who I am.

In the words of Beyonce, if you like it then you should’ve put a ring on it. This time last year, I did.

In the following years, I will, again. In Alabang or Canada or wherever life takes me. I will find a passion, love it with all my heart, fight for it, commit to it…and become, for it.

Oh yeah…after a year, the ring’s still on my pinky finger. I guess my luck with rings has changed. With that, I trust my luck with what I truly love will, too. In time.

This time this year, I’m looking forward to the rest of my life, thanks to what happened this time last year. 😀

12272735_163158117370538_384659311_n

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑