Why I’d say NO to unnecessary KUMUSTAHAN

When you were in college, talking to your high school classmates appeared to be something you’d always look forward to. It was a pure bliss and the “kumustahan” (catch-up) was genuine. So when I graduated, got employed, and got unemployed, I’d still go for that mini-reunion. Why not right? I honestly thought it was completely alright and healthy. Although I was unemployed, I did convince myself that it was not something to be ashamed of knowing that it was my choice. I even concluded that Life Is How We See It and we shouldn’t bother ourselves by comparing each other’s life. But then again, those were just my thoughts that time.

I had certain realizations after our last talk. I had this one classmate who implicitly compared our lives. She did emphasize how someone who was not an achiever in high school happened to have a job (I was an honor student). Inadvertent or not, it was completely annoying. I didn’t know we do need to compare. Besides, we’re still young and we have a long way to go. It is too early for that shitty comparisons (if that’s even necessary).

I guess this story is not new to the most of us. You might have that one “friend” who has a habit of pressuring you. Dear, you have to do something about it. You don’t need such people in your life. As an adult, you should know the essence of avoiding stressors. Keep your circle smaller. Cut connections to those people who want you to be insecure of yourself. Strengthen your relationship to those who lift you up and understand the idea of life’s timing.

Let them wonder what’s going on with your life. And if ever they try to reach you out, it wouldn’t hurt to say NO to unnecessary kumustahan.

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2017 Take Aways

To say that 2017 was tough would be an understatement. I admit that I owe myself apologies and promises. But no matter how crazy the past year was, the important things are the lessons it taught us. Here are my 2017 take aways:

  1. It’s okay to be lost.

    Being lost doesn’t mean you’re going nowhere. You don’t need to have your life figured out already. Maybe the uncertain path you’re taking now ends to a better place where you really should be.

  2. Don’t be afraid to choose happiness.

    It’s completely alright to give up small things than to live unhappily every freaking day. You have to let go of things that make you feel worse. You deserve better. I learned this after giving up my previous job. No regrets!

  3. Don’t be hard on yourself.

    It’s like saying “do not compare yourself to others”. Others’ opportunities are not yours. There are things that are meant only FOR YOU. Stop torturing yourself by thinking you’re being left behind. You must appreciate yourself for choosing to live.

  4. Avoid toxic people.

    These include those who make you feel less of a person. No one should make you feel bad about yourself. Moreover, distance yourself from people who jokingly shame you even on social media. They don’t worth your time.

  5. Appreciate people who never leave.

    Thank those persons you can count on even you’re on your weakest point and your life is screwed up. They are your TREASURE.

  6. You don’t need other people’s validation.

    The only validation you need is the one coming from you. You don’t need everyone’s approval. The way they think is beyond our control. You don’t exist to please people.

  7. It isn’t your job to explain yourself.

    As long as you don’t harm anyone, just ignore them. People who care about you are those who matters. If you want to do something, go for it! If not now, when? Nevermind your doubters.

  8. It is alright to be different.

    I know it is scary from time to time. It is comfortable for some not to be noticeable and just blend in. But sometimes we have to get out of the norms. Even if your friends are getting the job you all expected to have, do not be frightened to change path. It’s okay to start from zero than end up faking it.

  9. God listens.

    We must admit that not every second our friends are within our reach. They also have their own matters to handle. With God, you don’t have to wait for such availability. He is the one who never gets tired of listening.

  10. Never get tired of dreaming.

    Do not lose hope. Even if it looks like the end of your journey, you have to get up and continue walking. You might not know what the future awaits you, but your dreams will keep you moving.

New year is a new beginning. I hope everyone will look forward to this year with excitement and optimism. Happy New Year! ❤

Choose To Be Brave

Lately, I’ve been surrounded with suicide stories. From my former student who took her own life up to the K-pop singer who decided to end it all. It is surprising how years ago, I was one of the people who didn’t take it seriously. I couldn’t understand how thoughts like that occur in their minds. But I think as I grow older, I get to become more sensible towards serious matter. Well maybe because I can relate to this kind of situation now.

It always wonders me, do I need to get told that I have a depression before I consider myself having one? Do I need to have a confirmation? Isn’t what I feel says it all?

Depression is somehow inexplicable. It seems that no words can fully define how dark it is. There is a hole that you try so hard to fill but no amount of happiness can do it. It becomes painful as days go by. Everything doesn’t make sense as your world falls apart. Days don’t get any better and you even feel alone in a crowded place. Everyone seems to be moving on with their lives and you are stuck right there in the corner. No one cares. Because even if you stop living your life, the world doesn’t stop for you. You just hide everything inside. You are perfectly fine outside.

I remember talking to my friends about it. I kept on throwing hints to say that I think I was depressed. What was dejecting about it was when they said that maybe I was just sad. As if I had never felt sadness before. It is difficult to find someone who can grasp your thoughts when you are depressed. Someone who can understand your irrational pain. Someone who just listens without judgment. I am just lucky enough to have found mine.

If you would ask me, have you thought about dying? Many times. I think when you’re dead that is when you finally bring peace to your troubled mind. You just let go of everything that pains you. And it was ideal for me. But I don’t consider myself a suicidal. Although death must be heaven, I never attempted taking my own life. I have a clear mind.

So when I knew about my student killing herself, all I can think of was she finally made a choice. It maybe unacceptable for some, but I want to think of it as bravery. A different form of bravery. I cannot blame her for giving up if she had enough of life. We do have our own threshold level and she tried hard enough but she had reached her limit. I wonder if she had someone who helped her endure the pain. I hope she had. Because most of the time, people show they care when you’re gone.

What’s more painful about depression is that not everyone understands. They associate depression into having improper mindset. Truth is you cannot condition yourself to feel happiness if all you perceive is pain and sadness. It is not easy.

What gives me a glimpse of hope is knowing that I am not alone in this journey. Lots of people share the same problem and suffer silently. So stop thinking that you’re indifferent. Days are hard but we just have to endure. I hope that at the end of the day, you choose to be BRAVE. Brave enough to keep going despite all the uncertainties.

Focus On Your Own Success

We always have that one friend who seems to have a better job than us. We always have that one former classmate who has a good career compared to us. We always have that one colleague who travels often without the thought of getting broke. Then you ask yourself,”When can I be the better one?”

Looking at other people’s lives makes you forget your own goal. You are always occupied with the thought of them getting the most out of their lives. Well in fact, you do have a different opportunity in store for you. It is a cliché thing to say,”Do not compare yourself to others”. Yet we need to be reminded every now and then.

We often forget that each of us is chasing various things. If your friend dreams to be a model and becomes one, then you should be happy knowing someone dear to you gets the success she wants. You wouldn’t know how she worked hard to achieve her goal. Therefore you should not expect to get the same opportunity for things you do not pursue.

If your friend is living her dreams, so what? That’s HER DREAMS. NOT YOURS. 
You don’t have to feel sorry for yourself. You have your own dream to pursue, may it be small or big, that’s where you should focus on.

Life Is How We See It

Life has a way of showing us light. Eventhough we think life won’t get any better, bad days will be gone eventually. In the most unexpected moment.

I am unemployed for about five months now. I must admit that I never had a back-up plan after quitting.I’d just go with whatever happens that time. I did not apply to another school.I did not even attempt on taking my Master’s degree. It was like the end of my story. No progress at all. Those were the worst days and months of my life. It also didn’t help that my college friends looked so happy, content and have their lives figured out.

I was lost. I felt alone even in a crowded place. As I walked, thoughts were flooding in my mind and I was trying not to tear up. I couldn’t even find words that would be enough to describe how I felt. Sadness would be an understatement.

Until I got to reconnect with my High School friends. It was just a normal talk where we tried catching up with each other’s lives.That was when as if someone slapped me the truth. It was just me. It was just me who kept on pressuring myself. It was just me who thought they were judging me. It was just me who assumed that there was a competition. Only me. 

After how many months, I am now finally breathing. Inhaling all the positive vibes and exhaling all the negative thoughts. My employment status is still the same, but I am not the same person anymore. If there is one thing I have learned from this experience, it is to stop pressuring yourself to figure out everything in your life because sometimes God can do it for you.

First Sight

My hand against my chest felt how my heart beat fast. I was singing the national anthem but my eyes focused on him near the flag. My knees became like a jelly that I couldn’t stand straight. It was an exciting moment… the two of us with the invisible crowd. 

That morning was the beginning of our story that has never started.