an open letter to everyone who’s unprepared for 2017, a clickbait

you and I are as prepared for 2017 as Jared Leto was when he portrayed Joker in that movie.

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hi there fellow clueless millennial who has nothing better to do right now so you decided to read this,

2016 was so exhausting that i have ran out of fucks to give. so over everything that i told you in the title it’s a clickbait but you still clicked on it and you’re now reading this, which means you’re a bigger idiot than the person who allowed Ronda Rousey to fight even when it’s obvious she’s unprepared.

well, if you’re not following UFC, that’s not an excuse ‘cause you only need to be on Facebook to know what i’m talking about but hey, since we’re talking, I need you to understand something. Ronda Rousey was unprepared coming into the fight with Amanda Nunez which is the same for all of us coming into 2017—no matter how much you tell social media otherwise.

darling, no amount of hashtags can prepare you for the unknown. i mean, Hillary prepared a victory speech but ya bet nobody heard that over the stunned silence from everyone when Trump actually won America.

you and I are as prepared for 2017 as Jared Leto was when he portrayed Joker in that movie which means we’re not prepared at all so we’re both probably gonna fuck up even worse than we did in 2016; which ultimately brings me to my point.

stop beating yourself up. you’re a work in progress and just because there are some things you didn’t achieve in 2016 doesn’t mean you’ve failed. this doesn’t really sound nice but you know what in 2012, i thought 2011 was the worst year of my life but ya bet 2012 proved me wrong. saying “worse things are going to happen” is probably not going to help but that was 2012 and it’s 2017 now—i’m still writing, and alive, and still myself above all my worse years. you’re going to be fine—and you’re probably rolling your eyes but it’s true. it’s most true when it’s 2AM and you’re sad and heartbroken—you’re going to be fine.

some days, you’re going to want to run away. so run away. go have a weekend to yourself. hop on a bus to the nearest beach or the nearest city you think no one knows you. go book a hotel and order breakfast for two even if it’s just you. i once travelled alone for two weeks and told people my name was Elizabeth because i used to read Jane Austen when I was younger. but honey, call your mom every other night and tell her you love her. call your dad and tell him you’ll be fine. and then come home when you find yourself. always come back as you—because the only thing worse than you leaving is you, not being you.

keep some things to yourself. people are going to ask you, why. why’d you break up? why’d you get that tattoo? why’d you quit your job? you don’t have to answer them. you’re not obliged to answer to anyone. i mean, i guess it’s sort of cool now to share everything to everyone but even Facebook has a Hide To option on your posts. even the moon—we only see a full moon twice a month. the moon obviously understands that some days, it’s better to keep parts of you hidden to the world. i mean you’re not the moon but to me you’re a star so that’s close enough.

there will be a year that your birthday will suck. quite honestly and realistically, it’s going to be a series of years, when your birthday will not feel special. you don’t have a big celebration, not enough money, not enough friends. you’ll secretly throw a tantrum and think it’s best not to celebrate this year. but you know what, celebrate anyway. some people will buy you a cake or a generic card. some people will spend less than three minutes tapping on their Facebook app just to greet you—and it will suck reading all the HBDs. but somewhere, somebody thinks you’re special—and it’s your right to celebrate yourself. you dedicate yourself to work and to others the entire year. you get one day for yourself, use it. celebrate yourself; they literally congratulated your mom and dad when you were born.

forgiveness doesn’t always come easy but it comes. and sometimes you won’t even notice it. it’s going to come on a normal work day when the past sort of reminds you it exists. it’ll probably come in the form of an invite to your ex-lover’s wedding or a chat message from your former bully. you’ll learn in that moment that dwelling on the past isn’t pretty or poetic. if the characters of GoT had just let go, some of them would’ve lived. you’ll learn to forgive people eventually, and people will forgive you, too.

happiness will walk in when you’re not looking. the best moments from this year will not come from your big events. it’s not going to be on your birthday or during the vacation you’ve been planning since the travel industry boomed. it will be during the wee hours of the night, when your stomach is sore from too much laughter and your best friend is sitting next to you. it’s during the hottest day of the year and you find a cool spot inside your room. it’s when you walk into a bookstore and seeing a book you’ve been wanting to read—then you find out you have extra money to spend for it. happy isn’t always going to be what you expected it but you’ll learn that even your small moments? they count.

the hardest lesson you’ll ever have to learn is to love yourself. there will be days—sometimes weeks and months—that hating yourself is easier than accepting it. when you look in the mirror and see your flaws, it’s easy to wish you were somebody else instead. when you fail, it’s easy to think that everybody’s lives will be better if you stopped breathing. but you can do it. you can get to the point where you love yourself enough to hold your head up high even on your worst day. you can get to the point where you love yourself enough to get out of bed and talk yourself into going to work.

if there’s anything i’ve learned over the last few years it’s that half of the solution to all our problems is just getting out of bed and tackling on the things we don’t like about ourselves. it’s not easy. i don’t have tips on how to do it but the trick is to get out of bed anyway and just go on and on; and be yourself in a world that constantly convinces you to be somebody else.

stay alive. stay you. live for the good days, live for the bad days. live for whatever burns your passion. when Rome burned to the ground, the emperor didn’t leave. he stayed and sang for his people. you’re obviously not an emperor but you get the point.

are you still here? good.

this is going to be one hell of a year but you’re a star—light years worth of life and dreams and wishes. let’s gracefully burn 2017 to the ground, together. (of course metaphorically. i mean, im not an arsonist.)

love me,
a fellow millennial who chose to write this nonsense on top of all the things i really needed to do (great start, you guys!)

not everyone is going to love you back with the same intensity, and that’s okay

i wish somebody told me this when i was younger but i’ll tell you right now that your value is not defined by those who cannot see it.

growing up, we all learn that love is never what it appeared to be when we were younger.

at some point before reaching this very moment you’re reading this, you’ve learned that there are some kinds of love that just don’t work; that love–when it isn’t returned–could damage a heart beyond repair.

at some point, between the person you were yesterday and the person you are today, you’ve learned that our personal experiences modify how we give and receive love.

and i do believe that the amount  of love we allow ourselves to give and receive is a result of all collected moments with people–be it friends, family, and special someones.

and though most of us are everyday faced with the cold, hard truth–we can’t help but wish that we could love freely and without reservations. and that we could receive it fearlessly and fiercely, like the ocean when it is happy.

today, i sat across a couple of people that i barely knew. i didn’t hear much what they were talking about but i found myself trying up to silence whatever i can silence just so i could belong, just so i could feel included.

halfway through all my efforts to hear the conversation, i found myself asking, “Why am i going through all of this trouble just to feel a connection?”

and for a moment there, i hear my younger self telling me that we’ve stopped doing this; that we’ve stopped chasing for people who only know how to pull away; that we’ve stopped reaching for skyscrapers who never know how to look down.

then, i realized. i know these people. in another time and space, i would’ve been part of the conversation. in another time and space, they would’ve chosen me.

but that time and space is not now and here.

that time and space is long and gone; and i have recalled the number of times i have tried. i called the number and it was busy. i sent letters but got none back.

just like you who’s reading this, you told them you loved them and they didn’t say it back.

just like you who’s reading this, you told them you loved them and they said it back–but not in the way you wanted them to.

like you, i had that one-second moment where i asked myself, is there anything i could’ve done differently?

did i send enough letters?

did i call enough times?

did i tell them enough how much they mean to me?

but in the end, these are all questions that hold no particular answers.

growing up, i’ve learned that we will encounter so many people in our lives. some people will love us back. some people will not.

some people will come into our lives and like tangents, we’ll touch at one point and then never again.

and then there are those people who you wish–you really wish–would love you back the way you love them but they just don’t. and once the phrase “it’s not you, it’s me” meant so little to me but now, i see it more than just the number one break up line.

i see it for what it is–the truth that some people are never going to love you back the way you want them to.

like you, i used to think it sucks but today, i realized that maybe, it’s just the way the world works.

i wish somebody told me this when i was younger but you know, it’s okay.

some people are never going to love you with the same intensity and that’s okay.

i wish somebody told me this when i was younger but i’ll tell you right now that your value is not defined by those who cannot see it.

i’m not saying this because i’m trying to reason with myself. i’m saying this because nobody ever told me this, i had to learn the hard way.

i’ve had sleepless nights where i lied awake wondering about the things that i am not, about the things i can never be. and sometimes, some days, i looked at myself in the mirror and did not recognize me.

i was trying to be loved the way i wanted them to and it hurt the kid that i was, who fought so hard to believe that love, if it is meant for you will be yours.

so today, i promise you that i am going to silence my brain when it tells me all the things that i should’ve done. there’s nothing i could’ve done for the people who just don’t want to see the efforts anyway.

promise me that after you read this, before you go sleep tonight, that you will not measure your value based on the people who cannot love you.

promise me that when you wake up, you will look around and find those who see your worth, those people who understand that you’re a masterpiece; and that you remain a masterpiece even when the lights are off, when even you can’t see it.

and more importantly, promise me, that you’ll give yourself the kind of love you’re so willing to give somebody else.

you don’t owe it me. but you owe it yourself.

i am telling you this because i wish i didn’t have to write this.

 

promise me that the next time you find yourself outside a conversation, you’d put on your headphones and listen to your favorite song. because i think that if they’d wanted you in, they would’ve invited you.

and i think that if they really want you in their life, they would’ve called by now.

then it hit me, i got everyone i need: notes from 2015

for the first time in a really long time—i didn’t run.

i have been trying, for weeks now, to come up with a set of words that will perfectly describe how this year went for me. and i have failed all of those attempts because–i just realized–that i find it hard to write when i’m happy.

2015 has been one of my best years–if not the best of my years. 2015 has had its lows; but the highs–my God, the highs–were too good for words.

i don’t think i deserve it, not really.

the past few years, i’ve been called names: cold, dead, harsh, mean, heartless–all of which can be pointed to that coldness in my heart that i can turn on and off anytime i wanted to. i wasn’t born, nor raised, warm. i have a tendency to run when people get too close or when things get too hard.

when i’m getting more than what i bargained for, i find the nearest exit and head that way without looking back.

once, i thought of myself as a puzzle–something to figure out, something to put together. but a few years and a couple of experiences later, i’ve learned that i’m more of like a hurricane. i come in and i destroy, and i leave without remorse. it makes sense to me sometimes why storms are named after people.

so yeah, i don’t think i deserve how this year turned out for me.

for some weird reason, my stars have aligned. see, i’ve had good days. i’ve had good months. but i’ve never had a good year. i’ve never had a year that i could look back when i’m older and think, “this year, this year is when it all started coming together.”

i’m probably overstating it. this, definitely, isn’t the year that i finally get it all figured out. #Spiraling2k15 was my year-long hashtag for a reason. but this year has been one brave year for me—a year where i’ve slowed down on putting walls around myself.

and I think, the moment i started giving people a chance did it really occur to me that some people can stay far longer than i’ve expected them to. the moment i accepted that maybe, i am someone worthy enough to be loved—that’s when it all started making sense.

i have people in my life now—solid, unmoving; and those i know will be there for me even if i am sometimes the most difficult person in the world. and perhaps, i’ve had them all along but i was just too blinded by my trust issues to see it.

2015 has been all about seeing for me. seeing the world, or some parts of it. seeing past my weaknesses to focus on becoming the person my younger self would probably be really proud of. seeing that some people come and can stay. seeing that my life is no longer a revolving door of people who come and go.

i didn’t ask for many things this year. i, honestly, don’t really ask for a lot of things at all. and maybe, that’s one of my faults—i don’t ever ask for anything ever because i was so focused on believing that i’m such a horrible person and i don’t deserve anything or anyone.

this year, i’ve finally gotten one step closer to finally forgiving myself for all those hearts i’ve broken before because i didn’t stay long enough for them to love me fully and with promises of forever, or promises of never making the same mistakes my parents did. i’ve finally stopped punishing myself for the all the homes i’ve wrecked, the people i’ve destroyed, and the friendships i’ve burned to hell.

i’m a goddamn hurricane on my bad days. but i’m an entire galaxy on my good ones.

and this year, i’ve started to talk myself into believing that it’s okay to receive love even when we don’t deserve it, even when we’re a hurricane. because some of us, some of us can give an entire universe on our good days—and all it takes is someone who will stay for both of those days.

i can’t say that i’ve gotten full circle with believing but i’m on my way there. for the first time in such a really, really wrong time, i find myself being surrounded by people who’re proud of who i am becoming.

it was a real struggle: getting here. i spent 20+ years of my life believing i’m not enough for absolutely anyone but i guess it happens at some point. you will reach a certain point in your life where the most important thing you can do in a day is to get the fuck out of bed and just take what’s coming with arms wide open.

it’s scary, the amount of things we can lose in a day. but if i spent all of 2015 being scared off by people—of love—i wouldn’t be writing this blog with such lightness in my heart.

i don’t know if anyone’s still here even if this is lengthy. but with teary eyes, i say, keep going. no matter where you are in your life right now, keep going. get the fuck out of bed tomorrow and the day after and again the day after—because the day will come that your wounds and your injuries will no longer threaten you. that your hurricane and your storm will not scare people off.

be brave enough to stand in the middle of what scares you and stay long enough this time to see if there’s really anything to be scared of. find the demons under your bed, look them in the eyes, and tell them that you’re not going anywhere—because you know what’s scarier than the demons under your bed?

you—and all the ways you can destroy yourself by isolating yourself from the world, from the people who can potentially love you on your hurricane days.

2015 has given me people—and that’s because i didn’t run.

for the first time in a really long time—i didn’t run.

(at some point in the last few days, it hit me. i got everyone I need.)

“how do you push through all of it?” they ask

i wake up every morning with one single goal: to make it through the day without crying.

you know what i did for the weekend?

i spent the entire weekend sulking in my bedroom, waiting for my phone to alert me with a message i’m 90% sure will never come.

it didn’t. i never got that text message and once i told my friend this, she said: they didn’t send you any message. i think you get the message.

and then i got mad and ran about 5 kilometers around the neighborhood.

this morning, a friend–who’s probably as heartbroken as i seem to be–called me and asked me, how do you get over it? how do you get over the pain?

and yes, people apparently still ask this question these days.

honestly, i don’t know.

how does one stumble from one heartbreak to another and not throw their hands up in the air to surrender?

in a world full of cruel realities, i think, one of our many consolations is that every cell in our body dies every seven years and isn’t it amazing to think that seven years from now, you’re practically someone new; that there will be a new version of you that’s never been touched or never been broken by the same thing over and over?

i never really had an answer for my friend as i, too, don’t have any idea of how to get over the current slump i’m currently plastered to.

the thing about slumps is that there’s no way to avoid them. no matter what aspect of life we’re referring to, there’s always going to be this one big slump of a heartbreak that’ll feel like dying, sometimes worse.

we can all change into our horrible sweaters and eat as many pints of ice cream as we can. we can sign up for a new activity, learn as many new things as we can. but at the end of the day, when we lay down in our beds, the thought still plagues our mind.

and i think that the most exhausting part about having slumps, or getting your heartbroken, is the one where we try our best to get over it but none of it works. none of it works because i don’t think there’s really a way to ignore that nagging feeling in your chest that reminds you that your life is no longer the way it was before; that awful feeling in your stomach upon realizing over and over that they’re not here anymore; or that sharp pain you feel in your lungs when you realize you’re not really good enough.

there’s a part where i, the queen of knowing what to do when her heart has been broken, even got to the point where i fuckin Googled how to move on (and what have you, WikiHow actually has a list with pictures).

so maybe there’s no actual way. but there’s a reality i’ve come to know after going through all the kinds of loves i’ve lost and the ones i never had–it’s that it takes time.

it takes time to build a new life. it takes time to replace the patches you’ve dedicated for someone else to fill. it takes time to learn a new way to live your life. it takes time to learn how to ignore that nagging feeling in your chest.

soon as i’ve learned to accept this truth, i started to learn how to push through every day of my life with this weight on my shoulders.

when a heart breaks royally, the pain never really goes away. you learn to live with it every day. you learn to build a path around it so you don’t pass by it and aggravate it even more. it becomes so deeply embedded into your soul that it almost feels like a second skin.

how do i push through? i’m not sure.

all i know is that i wake up everyday deciding to get out of bed even if it’s hard, even if the weight on my shoulders is becoming too heavy for me to carry.

i get up and start my day. i get up and face the mirror and see myself; sometimes i smile. i drink coffee and i go about life the way i used to. and i hang on to the cruel, harsh truth that the only way out is through.

i wake up every morning with one single goal: to make it through the day without crying. and i go to bed hoping that maybe tomorrow, it doesn’t hurt as much as it did the day before.

i repeat it everyday and who knows, maybe someday the pain wouldn’t threaten me anymore. maybe, one day, without any reason at all, on the most typical of days, i’d realize that it doesn’t hurt at all anymore.

will it work? i’ll let you know when it does.

the art of knowing when to stop

my heart is not whole, and you keep crushing it. but i spend night after night after night trying to rebuild it, just in case tomorrow you’re ready to take it.

“snap out of it,” my friend told me over and over. i don’t remember her feeling so much about a topic as she did when i told my tale about this hopelessly unrequited feelings i have for this particular person.

i laughed as a response to her very eloquent advice.

i thought, “if it was so easy to stop, do you think i’d ever want to stay here?”

of course not.

if i had any choice, i would’ve walked away soon as i saw all those yellow lights that blinked rapidly before my eyes, warning me to slow down. but feelings… feeling something isn’t like driving.

and while driving and speeding up and stop lights make a good metaphor for going for something, it’s not the best one i could use for growing feelings for someone i’m not supposed to feel something for.

i wish it was, really.

i wish there’s a pedal somewhere that i can step on and everything will just stop; and everything will be fine and everything will not be as scary. in an ideal world, we all have control over our emotions. in an ideal world, we all have a say in who our heart chooses to beat for.

but in an ideal world, there’s also no wars or only the right candidates are running for president.

so yeah. this isn’t, obviously, an ideal world.

’cause it’s in this world that i have fallen for someone who’s completely and impossibly oblivious to my feelings. it’s in this world did you fall for the person who never caught you. it’s in this world did you believe the promises they made when they were so happy.

i don’t know how to stop. i don’t know to stop smiling at the thought that there could be something–that in between the friendly jokes and the late night talks, something grew, something developed.

i don’t know how to stop hoping that in this world, although this isn’t an ideal world, you could fall for me, as hard as i have fallen. and God, I’ll catch you right. i’ll catch you so right, and enough, that you wouldn’t wish for anyone else. and i have never been enough for most of my life but i could be enough for you.

so yeah. if it was just so easy to stop, i would’ve stopped a long time ago. before i started hoping that the signals you were giving me actually meant something.

if it was just so easy to stop, i would’ve stopped a long time ago before i had known all your quirks, your story; before i’ve learned your language. before i’ve started knowing how your mood is just by looking at you from afar.

and up until this moment, i wish it was so easy to stop because trust me. i hate it here.

it’s worse than hope. it’s worse than anything i’ve ever felt in my entire life because having things halfway is never better than not having it all. i want to go back to a time when i don’t have a piece of you everyday. i want to go back to a time when you were just part of the artwork. when you were just in the background.

but i can’t remember a time before you. i don’t ever want to.

and it’s scary, i know. you’re terrified, i know. and i am, too–but damn it, it’s like fate has found a way to mess me up everyday because you’re my first thought in the morning and you’re my last at night. so how can i possibly stop, when you haunt me everyday. when the mere thought of you makes me get out of bed smiling.

my bestfriend tells me that my eyes light up when i tell them about you and i wonder if i could ever be someone that makes your eyes light up like that, too.

but i don’t deserve having you in halves when i’m offering you all of me, and the moon and the sky.

so i want to stop but i don’t know how.

if there’s someone out there who knows the fucking answer, give it to me ’cause i hate where i am now. you keep pushing and pulling. when all i want to do is steady your shaky hands and be here in this moment and feel how important this is because i think you know.

i think you know how much i feel for you and nothing sucks more than seeing you look past it everyday.

my heart is not whole, and you keep crushing it. but i spend night after night after night trying to rebuild it, just in case you’ll be ready to take it tomorrow.

i fucking hate living in your purgatory.

i spent 20-plus years trying to love myself and i don’t think i have that kinda time for somebody else.

(but if you asked me to stay, i will. because i’ll never be your sun but i can be your moon and your sky and who knows, someday, that would be enough.)