Archive for November, 2010

Out With the Old

Much as I LOVE and I mean LOVE my little kiddies, I am kinda looking forward to the fact that Christmas break is just around the corner….I kinda feel a wee bit burnt out and overstretched lately. I know it’s my fault…after all, I have really taken on more than I can handle right about now. What was that Julia Roberts said in the movie Eat Pray Love? Something like my life is more full when my plate is empty? Whatever it is (see, I’m that too tired to even look it up…errr…I know a Google search will easily find that but….)

So this coming 2011, I am making it a point to simplify my life…out with some things that have worn out its place in my life, welcoming new ones, such as more writing jobs *happy sigh*. Blogging and writing this year has truly been such a pleasure. Let’s not forget the added perks…like the assignment for a spa cover feature, shopping assignments, food events (well maybe not this haha!)…yes, this is what I need to make more room for at this time. Lately, too, I have been rediscovering my love for painting and drawing, especially with my craft box project. While I may not be so fabulous at it (errr…I’m not Matisse after all), I still love how it makes me feel and no matter how stressed I am, it calms me down and quiets my mind. These are a few things I am looking forward to welcoming in the coming year. For January to March, I have less units in the university (which is in a way, a wee bit sad….but I think necessary) due to schedule conflicts. In a way, I think it had to happen so I have more time to focus on my last hurrah at the preschool. Then comes April when I finally bid farewell to the preschool. I guess I’ll reassess the direction of my life journey then, huh?

For now, this is what I’ll hold on to….the rainbow that’s bound to be brightening up my sky after whatever storm that comes my way.

The Craft Box Project

A couple of Mondays ago, despite the fact that I was nursing the worst migraine EVER, I found myself suddenly inspired by a new project that was perfect for  me. The inspiration of this came a bit from the traditional Christmas party we have in the clinic where we have all sorts of crazy themes and tasks that aims to challenge us to go beyond just shopping for our Christmas tokens and the like. So this year, we were told that instead of having some kind of kooky theme and a price cap for the Kris Kringle, this year it should be anything handmade. Oooohhh 🙂 so perfy for me, right? 🙂

Anyway, I immediately knew what I wanted to do, but was not sure about the execution yet. I knew I wanted to design a box and do that. Given my usual enthusiasm for projects like this, it soon snowballed into something bigger and…well…suffice it to say that The Craft Box Project was born.

The Craft Box Project

It took me some time to find the right boxes but eventually I found some and even if these weren’t really the “perfect” ones I had wanted but I just went with it. Not only did I go with it, but I spent a little fortune (well, that’s an exaggeration. A nice sum would be a better way of describing it!) on all sorts of shapes and sizes. I also stocked up on paints, glitter, glue, colored sand and paper, as well as double sided tape and all sorts of other craft stuff.  Today I think I took Project Sunshine to a whole new medium 🙂

I have always loved boxes for some reason, especially pretty little boxes tied up in string. Something about it speaks volumes to me. What made my love for boxes even more was the fact that during one of the most difficult and painful time in my life, it became a sanctuary for my soul.

During that time, when I had no words to speak and and only pain to know, I discovered the gift of my art. I began, what I called back then, to doodle to help quiet the thoughts in my head and to comfort my weary heart and soul. Eventually I stopped calling them doodles and realized they were messages, very special ones, from my soul.  And so I continued to draw until I had a whole bunch of them and I realized they needed a home. And so I found this box, a craft box painted with brilliant red and black swirls, and I knew it was the perfect home for my drawings. I lined the bottom with a bed of soft tissue, as a mere reminder that whenever I am tired, there is rest to be found if I be still and centered.

When I started to get my words back (which, for a writer like me was the most painful loss at that time), I began to write little notes as reminders of my dreams, wishes and even hurts which soon found it’s way to it’s own little box. Before putting these notes in boxes, I tied them up in pretty ribbons, much like a ritual or tradition that allowed me to give my thoughts, good or bad, validation and honor.

And so these boxes still have a special place in my room, tucked neatly away safely, away from prying eyes and harsh criticism. In them  still lie all my secret dreams and wishes, as well as my deepest, darkest and most unspeakable thoughts. Every once in a while, when I am feeling lost or tired, I take it out and just listen, and eventually, I find myself feeling better somehow.

In as much as my boxes have seen me through my brightest of days and my darkest of nights, one thing I am grateful to them for is the fact that not only do I find healing with them, but because of them, I, too, am able to help others find their own healing. It doesn’t really matter, I think, what the boxes hold, but it’s the way it becomes much like a totem that one can hold on to to remember who they are and what really matters. I never really thought of it as such, but someone once called my box a treasure chest….I suppose she was right. And so while the box I will be giving my Kris Kringle will come empty initially, I hope it soon is filled with little trinkets that speak of  love, hope, and whatever it is he or she deems their treasures.

Random thought: I know I’ve been using the word “project” a wee bit too much lately (errr…Project Sunshine, Project Prettify Me for example), but lets just go with it, okay? 🙂 Oh…I couldn’t stop with just one box (teeeheeeheee)….check them out in my Flickr stream 🙂

I Went Away and I Didn’t Even Notice…

if I went away would you notice I didn't stay?

Today a random thought popped into my head: If I went missing, would anyone notice?

Okay, I know this comes after a day of secret wishes and dark thoughts, but I think more than just that, this thought comes from a string of not so great news from friends and classmates around me filled with too many sad, sad losses, unexpected complications, changes that greatly affect not just my friends but people around them as well… a few days ago, for example, an old schoolmate of mine had lost his wife and left behind a young son. In the past few days a couple Plurk friends shared their own sudden losses and I can’t help but feel the impact of that as well because it seemed very unexpected and at such young ages.  Add to that the fact that health wise, things aren’t a hundred percent on my end so that kinda gets me to thinking about things, especially since I have often quipped about a gut feeling I have that I prolly won’t get old. Being the type of thinker I am, I soon found myself thinking that the Universe seems to enjoy playing cosmic jokes on people. Just the other night, for example, someone told me “why him of all people when so many others deserve it, or won’t be missed to begin with“. So that lingered and I wondered why people who will sorely be missed and still have so much riding on them are the ones taken too quickly or given too much grief. Why not someone like me who technically has no responsibilities, no obligations in terms of marriage, children and the like. Easy, right? And less grief for everyone involved. It just seemed so unfair, and at times, even though they’re strangers, when I walk in the cemetery after my random visits to lolo and I see a headstone of a child gone too soon, I kinda think I wouldn’t have minded trading places with them.

And so I got to thinking….if that was me, if I disappeared or went missing, would anyone notice I was gone? Yes I know they’d care if and when they found out about it, but would they notice otherwise? Like if for one reason or another, I decided to pack up my things and walk away from where I am right now, quietly, with no fuss or fanfare, and just disappeared from the familiar comforts of home and lived in a little unknown island somewhere.

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Today’s Thought Bubble: Secret Wishes

On the way home, I found myself wallowing (yes, melodramatic much) in that old familiar pit of self-pity and sadness. On one hand, I do know these are but necessary pains that serve some sort of purpose in my life, even though it can be so damned hard to see at the moment in which it happens. On the other, I truly hate how it takes away my bright sunshine and leaves me caught in the midst of darkness.

As is customary when I find myself caught in the midst of internal chaos, I found myself holding my breath in discomfort, fighting back tears that cognitively, I knew were illogical. But as always, emotions got the better of me. So I did what I always do when I feel overwhelmed by emotions: I began to write and acknowledge those thoughts and feelings that were around.

photo by Iris Acosta 🙂

Every once in a while, just like tonight,  I find myself wishing for a myriad of things, many of them contradicting each other, often times these are irrational and in my head, I know they are illogical, but they’re there but bottom line, they all stemmed from one thing: that I was just so tired of  feeling like I give too much of myself…to people who don’t matter, to my work,  to tasks or things around me that demand too much of my time and energy….and what I was getting in return was either not what I expected, or enough to reciprocate what I had spent, especially on those who don’t deserve it in the first place.

And so in the secret recesses of my heart, I had wished…

…thatI lived in a bubble where I had nothing to care about, or care for for that matter. In that bubble, albeit alone, I would know no loneliness because I wouldn’t know any better….

…On the other hand, I wished that if I wasn’t in that bubble, I had someone to watch over me and to take my hand and walk with me so I didn’t have to go through life’s journey all alone, even though I can do it myself…

…that I didnt care so much and that it didnt hurt so much to actually care because I really do…

…that I had someone to wake up next to, whether I wake up to bright golden sunshiny days or dark gloomy ones…

…better yet, I wished I didn’t have to wake up to another day that was bound to be the same….

…that I didnt feel so lonely way too often, because in the depths of my heart, I do know I am not alone and that yes, people actually do care about me even if I have difficulty believing that…

But at the end, as I held back bitter tears, I wished most that I didn’t wish for any of those at all.

When I finally  made it home, I was greeted by a welcome sight: my Bubba running to meet me, tail wagging like mad, reminding me that there is so much I keep missing out on whenever I get stuck in that little rut that I keep falling in to. Before I got home, I was feeling very tired and I had thought to myself, how can I manage to walk Bubba if I feel this way? However, seeing him I was reminded that if I keep wasting my energy worrying about, caring for and reacting to things that are unnecessary and pointless, I will have nothing left not just for myself, but for the people and things that truly matter. While I would wholeheartedly go out on a limb for those who are worth it, I had to remind myself (or should I say I had to be reminded :-)) that not everyone deserved what I was giving them. And just because I don’t give equally of myself to all, or perhaps give any to some, this doesn’t make me selfish or mean or insensitive. It just makes me better for myself and for those that really count.

And so I took a time out to be still and to listen to my soul. And of course, to breathe through it all.  I turned off my phone, stayed offline, walked with Bubba, hooped a bit, and worked on Project Sunshine. When I was feeling a bit more settled, I went online met up with the Sheriff, and found a couple of  pleasant surprises in the form of random messages and comments or affirmations that I was not expecting. Yes, I found little reminders that somewhere out there, even without me knowing it, even without me asking for it, and even without me having to create it for myself, there are people out there sending me bright bits of sunshine.  All I have to do is to spread my arms out wide, receive it and believe it’s there.

Serial Sevens: Today’s Happy Rays of Sunshine

I tried to start today with a happy and grateful note, especially since it’s Thankgiving and all, but random stuff pushed my buttons and, well, it ticked me off. But but but….I refuse to let that get to me today so for today, here are 7 sources of bright sunshine for me, despite my not so perfect day 🙂

So here goes:

  1. Aleve….oh thank God for you 🙂 You drive away my migraines all the time.
  2. Text…and people I text I should say. Errr….I would go mad (I mean crazy mad) if not for that. It’s a lifeline that keeps me sane and grounded.
  3. National Bookstore….I just soooo love school supply shopping, especially the Best Buy ones because it’s soooo much more affordable and today, I am hoarding glitters, art paper, glue and double sided tape. Project Sunshine has gone beyond just my wall.
  4. Lenka on my iPod….remember yesterdays post?!?
  5. Basti, Theo and my little kiddos at Playschool. Today’s favorite moment: Teacher, you’re so great 🙂 Yes. Affirm me why doncha.
  6. Coffee…let’s hope my friend does get me some from Baguio…that would just make my mornings extra happy.
  7. Beeconomic 🙂 Got a coupon (well, technically I got it already but I’m still waiting for the deal to end ;-)) and not I am one step closer to something I’ve wanted waaaay too long. Will blog about how it works and how it goes after Monday, ayt?

Play That Happy Music Please

I’ve never been a big music fan, nor was I really the type to find pleasure or comfort in songs but in the last few months, I have found myself putting on my iPod more and more often (errr…which used to be primarily used for my preschoolers haha!) and finding joy in listening to songs from my many play lists. Currently on loop nowadays is Lenka, whose music simply is magic, I swear. For some reason, no matter how cranky, sad, tired or stressed I am, she always… um…in her words:

...you seem to know the way to turn my frown upside down...

Haha. Cute, right?

But seriously, her entire CD is such a joy. I play it constantly in my car (so much so my Thirstday partner teases me about it) and even on my PC at night. I love her songs so much that if I the karaoke machines at Red Box or any of those videoke places had it, I may just consider singing. And that’s a lot coming from me!!! Mwahaha.

I can’t really pick a favorite from her songs, but I really like Skipalong, Trouble is a Friend, The Show, and Knock Knock (which is where those lyrics I mentioned earlier comes from).

So today, after an extremely challenging class session, I am putting Lenka on loop as always. Cue the happy music now 😉

The Latest on Project Sunshine

It’s been a few weeks since I started Project Sunshine. For those who hadn’t read my previous post about it, this was my way of settling some frazzled nerves and in some way, this was my attempt at creating a world of sunshine for me whenever things got a wee bit rough. Since then, whenever I feel myself slipping into bits of darkness, or perhaps facing a bad day, or worse still, find myself falling into an abyss that I didn’t want to be in, I would remind myself that these were just bits of necessary pains that I must go through to become a better me. Project Sunshine has been especially helpful when I find myself lost for words, which I noticed happens whenever I feel very rattled, or perhaps very settled, or when old hurts become so overwhelming I can’t do anything but find myself frozen in time, caught in that moment where I feel stuck, unable to move forward or to take a step back. Polar opposites as they may be, whenever I am in those places, I find myself unable to come up with words to honor my soul. As such, I have returned to my art and through this, I allow my soul room to breathe and grow.

These past two weeks have been trying, to say the least, which actually surprised me because it started out quite good….especially since I had my dose of a happy Monday, and lets not forget I reconnected with my soul’s home not too long ago (aka the beach).

However, little things crept in, insecurities grew, and it didn’t take much for me to feel like I am teetering as I struggled to keep balance. I found my heart hurting a wee bit, missing people and things around me a bit more, and that feeling of hurt and loneliness that have become too painfully familiar began to grow. And lets not go to the dreams that suddenly came to me, often catapulting me out of sleep, painfully, breathlessly and at dizzying strengths, I must say. It didn’t help much, either, that I have been soooo very busy to the point where I couldn’t even take a time out and work on Project Sunshine. I did, however, find some ways to take little pockets of time to at least make my way to the sunshine in order to keep myself grounded and I think that helped a lot.

And so….here’s an updated version of the Sunshine 🙂

And lookie….a more soulful blogpost. Yes, today, I found myself caught up in a good conversation with  my soul. And the message: things may not be perfect, and yes, things still leave me confused, caught in a quandry and a wee bit lost, but no matter what, I know deep down in my heart that I  have lifelines at my disposal, whether my own or those thrown to me by people around me, to keep me safe and secure, no matter how rocky the waters around me may get. Tonight, will there are still things I wish I knew more of, or felt more secure about, my heart and soul feel a wee bit more rested.

Black Friday is Right Around the Corner!!!

Note to self: bring out the shackles and make sure to lock up my inner shopaholic. Harhar. I guess it’s a good thing I’m not in the States right about now because I may just go crazy the day after Thanksgiving, which we all know is Black Friday. Um….my shopping is bad enough when I see that big red sign with the magical word SALE on it, what more on such a mega, mega superdidooper sale day, right???  But but but….I have an excuse to go crazy shopping these days. Two in fact:

  1. It’s almost Christmas.
  2. My clothes don’t fit anymore since I have to replace all my fat girl clothes.

See…I sooo need Black Friday. Ktnxbai!!!