Before the year ended, I joined a writing challenge started by Sofia Cope and Apple Nocom. I met Sofia on a writing workshop of Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf last year.
Christmas season of 2017 was so hectic. Everyday was packed with lots of activities and my family and I were rarely home. Nevertheless, I anticipated the journaling prompt emails sent to me during the last 5 days of 2017. I faithfully complied but I wasn’t able to share any entry until now.
Truth is, I didn’t feel the need to share this. It’s just that January has ended and I was so surprised that it ended so well, great even! I thought this 5-day journaling challenge helped – among many other reflections and soul searching I did. Also, it’s February, the love month! February is a different battle altogether, I realize.For you to fully understand the mechanics, please visit Sofia Cope’s Mad Muse.
I won’t share Day 2. I wrote things there that are work-related and my company’s crazy over NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement). Anyway, I said there a lot of good things about them. I just don’t want them to know how happy I am because you know, raises nego, hahaha.
I also edited out the very privy sections. For your own writing challenge – which I believe you can start anytime you feel like you need a “New You” (not just on New Year) – write honestly. You may not read my entries. What matter more are the days’ theme and the prompt. Here we go:
Day 1: In which we softly linger
The prompt: What was your year like overall? If you were to see it as a picture, how would you describe it? What words, feelings, or themes come to mind? Think about the events that stood out and stayed, those significant moments that beckon reflection and lastingness in your mind. List them down and let your memories of them hang around for a bit. What do these moments say about the overall picture/theme of your 2017?
On the other side of the fence, 2017 was also the year which saw the toughest of me. Being still here, fighting and living a fab life like never before is also the most remarkable scene of the year. To fight each day, fight the lost and loneliness one painful teardrop at a time until my stupidity, immobility, and bitterness turn slowly into the purest love I can give which is letting him go, and the greatest act of kindness I can gift myself with which is surrendering entirely to God’s will for my life.
This year saw the “me” who was toughest when she withdrew from the fight. My lost also made me realize how blessed I was to have had something which was so hard to let go of. It also taught me to value whatever and whoever are here in my “now” because even if I wanted to, even if they promised to, and honestly intended to, they cannot stay with me forever. Our days are all numbered. All our days together are numbered. Each “journ” is a day closer to the last though nobody knows for sure when that last shall be.
The last thing I wanted is for a year to be summed up into a heart break. I’m one relatively lucky child. Every year before this were wins. I don’t bother reading horoscopes because even in Chinese calendar standards, a dragon is always lucky! I’d like to think 2017 is a “win”, too, with all the love, great opportunities, blessings, and laughter I was blessed this year. Looking back, I think it is a win!
At the same time, I don’t want to invalidate my mourning. I lost a big chunk of heart and life. Frankly,I wouldn’t trade all the lessons which were supposedly what makes me wiser now for him which I thought was the one. I just found myself in dire need for the next best things. There was a problem, there was my solution.
So that’s my mental picture of 2017. A heart broken but mended, though still rather incompletely. Under repair but when the healing’s done, it’s reinforced by the strongest materials that’s even better than the original from which it was constructed. I can see good days ahead.
Day 2: In which we map the past
The prompt: Pick two moments of 2017. One that you remember vividly and another that you don’t remember as clearly. Re-experience and narrate them as richly as you can. Remember, it is not necessary that you draw meanings and lessons from this experience. The point is to allow yourself to savor this experience once more, to relish the thought that although these memories belong to the past, they are are ultimately yours
Day 3: In which we gently wonder
The prompt: Arm yourself with questions as to what made 2017 the year that it became. Where were you strongest and lowest? For what moments can you now, looking back, congratulate yourself for or encourage yourself to have done better?
The past year was fated. I still believe everything unfolds in God’s own perfect time. Things happened because “it’s time”. The past years before 2017 paved the way for it. It was a culmination of the little things which came in installment.
The trigger of the most remarkable scene was me getting furious at a rather seemingly petty thing which happened too often. At the back of my mind, little things are representations of big things that’s why little things irk or please me. One lesson learned is to not make decisions when I’m mad. Lesson two, I should treat people with the same respect I regard them no matter how long we’ve known each other. Next time, I’ll listen more to the things not being said. I was wrong to assume that because I’m a relatively frank person, other people would be as vocally direct, too.
Letting my emotions cloud my judgement was the lowest point of the year.
Letting go of things and people I shouldn’t control is the highest point, which keeps me afloat up to now. In times of uncertainty, I’m comforted by the knowledge that God is in control now. Had I let the status quo remain, I know I will not be at peace. My prayers would have been in vain because I’m my very own hindrance to what I’m asking.
In my heart of hearts, I’m still hoping. But at the same time I’m moving on, too. The time that I have now shouldn’t be wasted for any chances of tomorrow. Today is important, too. Someday it will make sense. It cannot make sense, too, but maybe by then it won’t matter anymore. Time is an ally.
Day 4: In which we are wiser
The prompt: There’s a point to dwelling on struggle: it offers lessons more brilliant than most happy experiences teach you. Pain, for example, teaches gratitude for incoming joy that joy cannot do for experiencing pain. At the very least, struggle teaches you to be wise and resilient for better days to come. But it can also teach you about grace, about where your boundaries lie, about what’s important to you and what, in the end, isn’t. It can teach you to pick the battles you walk away from—and the ones that you won’t
The struggle of wanting to know why.Why did it all happen if he wasn’t the one? All those magical, serendipitous thing, they didn’t mean a thing? It’s getting clearer now. I think I know why.
The struggle of acceptance. This is the reality I had to face. I had to let go of that thing which makes me unhappy. The answer is simple. It was so simple I refuse to accept it but it’s the truth that will set me free. He’s not the one for me. At least for now. See how indecisive I am? I just don’t want to trade firmness for a tinge of chance. I have hope in and outside of us. I deserve to take all the chances offered and not offered me.
The struggle of defeat. It’s getting better each day. Slowly I’m being healed. Maybe it’s not to be rushed at all. I know there’ll be days when I’ll mistakenly drag myself to square one but I’ll bounce right back. Life will be good.
The struggle of perceived lost times. They were not wasted. I was happy (not sure about him, tho), he has helped me big time, I learned a lot, I discovered a lot about myself. I made memories to cherish for a lifetime. To think that what I accumulated is enough, and that there are more to come has got to be the best stance. There are split seconds of childhood wonder that visits me more often now. That excitement, wonder, and lights, sound and smell of new dreams and hope. Of not knowing but being optimistic of how each day will unfold.
The answer to my whys. He was who I exactly needed. I hope I was like that to him, too. I’m not what he needs at this point of his life, and I, likewise. Marunong ang Diyos! I dont feel guilty disobeying Him so I think I’m on the right track. I’m still hoping the prize of obedience is what the heart wants but I won’t follow just my will. It has only led to me to roads I shouldn’t dwell on for too long. Above all, I shouldn’t get in the way of God’s will for other people. He deserves to be happy. And I? I deserve the truth.
Day 5: In which we map the future
The prompt: What one thing do you want to change or achieve in the first quarter of 2018? What do you want to pack moving forward, and what must you leave behind?
I’ll pack God’s words with me, with His assurance that He will be my shield, with his encouragement to not be afraid. Homily for today, December 31 from Fr. Fidel, “Iba magdala ng problema ang taong may pananalig sa Dyos.” To live out my faith should be an everyday decision.
I’ll leave the hatred behind. Let go. For old time’s sake. And I’m happy now. I’m happy alone. In fact, during these consecutive days when I have no work, I didn’t really get to rest. There are even days when I had to spread my self too thin. I’m so busy and blessed to be worried. #
This writing challenge was fun! Thank you Sofia Cope and Apple Nocom. I sent gratitude a bit too late but still. More power to you and to us, muses.