What to Do When Changes Happen

Change can be a good thing or a bad thing. It depends on how we perceive and accept changes in our lives that makes all the difference. Change is a part of being alive and knowing that, it can either evoke fear, acceptance, sense of adventure and a lot more feelings we don’t even have names for.

The first thing to do is to accept the change. Most changes that happen to us are beyond our control. You know what I mean — disasters, death of loved ones, unexpected setbacks, deteriorating health, etc. In my case, which is very common, I instantly became a parent. I’m already nearing my 40s and being a parent is not my priority although most people are (people dreaming of having kids). But I am grateful that my partner is and because of him, I am able to experience what it feels like to become a mom. I welcomed that beautiful change and embraced it with an open heart and mind.

Along the way, we just learn to let go of what happened. We keep our heads high and move forward because no matter what we do, life goes on. Lingering on something that is not helpful will only stop us from being better versions of ourselves. Not being able to adapt to changes will stop our growth as individuals. What to do then? We don’t stop the change but we immerse ourselves in it and enjoy the ride. After all, how can we stop the change if it’s unexpected? We just let it be.

The good thing about changes is that we are never alone to handle it. If you are, it is perfectly fine to feel vulnerable and worried but not to the point that you give in to self-pity. Yes, it takes some time to adapt to changes and it is perfectly normal to feel that way. We are just human so we feel and experience things and the like. Another takeaway for experiencing changes is the learning we get from it, which makes us stronger than before.

“And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.” – Haruki Murakami 

I’d like to think that experiencing change is magic and opportunity rolled into one. It may be tragic at first but we can let it have a sweet ending. It is when we realize that change is a wonderful gift and that it is one of the constant things the world has to offer.  🙂

Sometimes We Just Have to Trust Again

If you’ve been one of those people who have been wronged several times, would you still believe in the word trust? Would you still give it a chance or give yourself a chance to trust again? It all depends on the current situation and people involved, as every person has a distinct perspective on any given situation.

Perhaps you’ve been cheated on and your partner did it again and again. Most people won’t trust again after they gave several chances, which is also the same for business partners, after they’ve partnered with a business partner who’s a total wreck.

And there is also another kind of trust where faith simply begins. If you believe in God, that’s where you believe that what you ask for in prayer will be given to you. Another example of trust is having faith that your partner won’t waste the chance you’ve given him/her and that he/she won’t take you for granted ever again.

Trusting yourself that you can do a hard thing even if you feel weak and hopeless is helpful. You owe it to yourself because you can always make things happen. And to make things happen, you have to trust yourself first even for the nth time.

Another good thing to do is to trust that miracles will happen. Miracles are always happening, we just don’t always see it because some mundane stuff are masked in roadblocks and hardships. And what about the unexpected blessings that we don’t ask for but we receive?

Sometimes we just have to trust again and see where it leads. Who knows, there’d be magic waiting to unfold. If all else fails, at least you gave yourself the chance to trust again for one last time. No regrets. 🙂

 

A Reflection About Writing

It feels like decades since I last wrote a poem. I also don’t know how to write a beautiful one. I don’t want the words to just rhyme without a sense. Writing without sense would be like insulting the lexicon and our other great poets and writers and the art of poem making. But let’s not get too serious here as I am not a serious person, too. 😀

If you’re a budding writer or poet, I suggest that you should always write and not judge yourself. By nature, we are the most critical judges of ourselves but sometimes it won’t help. If we always judge ourselves and mind what we are doing, how can we ever write? Remember seeing this advice, “Don’t care about what other people think of you?” The advice is simple yet it means a lot when it comes to writing any other type of piece. If we always think about what others will say, we will never amount to anything. Did you notice that the best written pieces are the ones that have been rejected million times over?! 😉

I am not saying that we should always praise ourselves but it won’t hurt if we give
ourselves some little lovin’. So, hello and welcome imperfection! After all, imperfections are what make us human. We become imperfect first before we get to be perfect. Otherwise, if we are perfect, what’s the sense of practice and rewriting every now and then? As I have observed, writers write and rewrite and repeat! 🙂

I am not an authority to give you these words but I am talking from my experiences. Whether someone will write or buy our work doesn’t matter. What’s important is we continue to write and improve our craft (whatever your craft is), put our work out there and watch the magic happens. Remember Roald Dahl’s words: Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it!

These are the words in my head upon waking up from a severe headache due to consecutive coughing last night. If perfection is the criteria for a poem, mine would be the opposite. I always find myself writing pieces that our far from my expectations and the standards of many.

Never Waste Time

In this universe so vast
I can always notice
That life is so fast
Faster than the solstice.

Whether I look or not
Or know what time it is
The time on the clock
Is never what it is.

Let us do what we must do
And forget what we should not
To nonsense things we bid adieu
So greatness will be unlocked.

Never want to waste some time
Much have wasted in the past
Time wasted is like a crime
The damage is forever to last.

Why You Should Be in Control of Your Moods

The idea that the weather and people’s moods are connected is quite old. Do you agree? If yes, how does the weather affect your mood? – The Daily Post 

For ages, it’s been known that weather affects our moods and it’s always a hearsay. “Is there a truth to this,” you might ask. According to the plethora of articles in the net, yes and no. But then who cares? Take this for example, what if you are a writer, you woke on the wrong side of the bed, you woke up sick plus the weather is gloomy? To make things worse, you woke up with flu  and you feel sluggish. Then, a strong brush of typhoon wind has touched your dry face. Whoa, what a combo you got there! Is that one recipe for a bad mood? What do you think? 😀

Now, let me tell you the stories of my friends whom I know always have bad days. So, A works at a faraway place and her travel time everyday is between 2 to 3 hours, going to work and getting back home. That is a total of 4 to 6 hours! She’s underpaid and works for about 10 to 12 hours! Sometimes, even more! Mind you, the salary is so meager that even undergraduates would not want even a piece of her technical job! She is the breadwinner of her family and sometimes she regrets not having enough time for herself.

Enter B. B is a father of 3 kids, and a father of another 2 kids outside marriage. That’s a total of 5 kids! Having 5 kids these days is a disaster unless you have the means to give them a good life. Sounds normal, but what’s tormenting is that when all these kids were born, several close people of B got sick and died. He also lost his business and some partners who owed him money didn’t pay him back. He also lost his dad and now, he also sends money for his mom’s monthly medication and money to send his siblings to school.  These stories, I guess, were more than bad weathers but bad cases and very common, too.

I asked both friends if weather had affected their moods and they said, “NO.” Is it because they’re used to it or they just chose not to be affected? According to the both of them, weather can somehow affect our moods but what really affects us is the way we think about the situation.  I definitely agree.

A weather may be a good one and a place may be so wonderful, but it is what we do to what happens to us define the moment. Even if it’s a beautiful, autumn day and you won the lottery, none of it seems to matter if you choose your mood to be a bad one. Too bad, a day is wasted before you even get to start it. And, when we are feeling bad, we get to do bad things we don’t even want to do!

“When you’re in bad mood, you find jerk on anywhere.” ― Toba Beta, My Ancestor Was an Ancient Astronaut

Thus, my conclusion is this:

We must be in control of our moods, or else our moods will control us. We cannot control the weather but we can control our moods. Knowing that fact, isn’t it wonderful that we have a choice? Let’s choose the good one.

* Daily Prompt: Climate Control

5 Writing Tips: Be Like the Ants When It Comes to Writing

What is the correlation of ants to writing? An insect is very different to a craft, a hobby or a living – which is writing. Ants are akin to science and many topics have been written about it. In this post, I discuss the connection of the two.

1. Ants hoard foods. We could hoard topics, keywords, tips and ideas, just like writing prompts (see Daily Post and Plinky). All of these will come in handy when the inspiration to write strikes. But what about if there is no inspiration? Then, it leads you to the ant writing tip #2.

2. Ants keep trying. It is normal to have written untitled and unfinished posts, stories, essays or whatever. What’s important is you keep on writing and trying until you find your voice/niche to write and get your creative juices flowing. Being a writer is not easy, even if you are freelancing. What more if it is your full-time job? If it is your job, you should possess the ant characteristic in ant writing tip #3. At least, even a bit.

3. Ants are industrious. They are never lazy. As a writer, one can never be lazy especially if the post is informative and needs critical information and research. It won’t hurt to do some research before putting your written words out there. The information reflected in your writing must be (well, at least) correct and accurate if not near to perfect. No one is perfect but information must be captured well so as not to miseducate your audience.

4. Ants are busy. Was there a time where you remember so well that ants are idle? As humans, we have an excuse to be idle. But, when we start to write, it is better to keep our minds busy than idle the whole time. Taking a hiatus from writing, of course, is a different story.

5. Ants help each other. They motivate each other and they value team work. I have observed the ants in our garden and they greet and help each other carry the load of their fellows. Help is everywhere. We could always ask our friends to give honest feedbacks about what we have written. All we need is to open our minds, always practice and have ample patience until we get the writing done.  Eventually, it will lead to a bit of improvement and good results.

So, be like the ants when it comes to writing and never ever quit.

An Escape and a Lesson

My neighbor called me up to say that my family’s house was robbed. He was so eager with his story and said that I come home right away to check and assess the situation. I looked at the wall clock hanging by my boss’ wall and realized that I am working late again. Overtime. Overworked but I have to finish my task and at that time, I was paid by the hour plus the differential pay when working past 9PM. My mind told me to just continue working because after all, what’s the point of hurrying back home when I am already robbed — er, we’re already robbed?

I got home around 1230AM and voila, what a sight to behold! From afar, it is like I can see our humble abode in broad daylight with all the big spotlights focused on our gate! Whopper barks endlessly and the police cannot get in through the front door. They are afraid that Whopper would bite. At the back door, the knob was already wrecked. That was the time when the other police and some of their assistants entered the house to check the robbers. A total of 4 were found but only 2 of them were caught.

At the precinct, I saw the 2 robbers and to my disgust, the other robber is a minor. Obviously, the older bastard got the kid to do the crime with him with the promise that whatever they get would be divided in half. The robbers are both bruised but the older one was using a borrowed clutch because he fell from the second floor when the police was running after him. I filed the case after that, freed the kid so that he could have a chance at life. The hearing continued and every two months and I am seeing the robber’s face and I realized how much the whole thing sucks. The so-called fiasco lasted for about 10 months and a half. Then, the case was dismissed. It was dismissed all because my witnesses are afraid to speak up, for fear that they will be the next victim. I just assumed that they are entitled to their own reasons but grateful that one of them called the police to report the incident.

The robbers are freed and it was such a sweet escape to them. The witnesses didn’t show up and up to this point, I never knew them — that, too is an undefined escape. As for me, my escape boiled down to the fact that I will no longer think about what and why it happened. I lost the case but it is a blessing that I did not lose my mind. I am grateful that the pipe and wrench did not have the chance to hit my head on that fateful night. If I went home early before 9PM at that time, I would be either killed or raped. One thing’s for sure, I would never get to hug Whopper ever again. I also learned about forgiveness after that. See, there is always a good side to every bad story. 🙂

* Daily Prompt: By the Skin of Your Teeth

The Beat That Was Not Meant For Me

I always wanted to have a drum set. I told my mum first then my dad. What happened was they just shrugged it off and did not pay attention. I thought I am just plain stupid for asking it or maybe they are just too pre-occupied with work and with the other issues in their lives. Little did I know that I was not the only one my dad is feeding. He is also supporting his other families. I may be the eldest but I have other younger siblings with different mums.

Although my younger half brother has it, I did not have the chance after him because we, siblings, are too many. The count is more than the fingers on both hands, no kidding. My dad has lots of mistresses, old and young with babies to feed. For parents, I know that they won’t give in to their children’s wishes right away or too often, so as not to spoil them. But in my case, it was different although back then I felt a bit jealous on why I didn’t have it. I thought it wasn’t fair and my feeble mind thought that my dream of becoming a musician has been shattered. How can I practice my music and my beat without the instrument?

At a young age, I have learnt that in life, people do not always get what they want. A simple example would be the drum set that I have wished and asked from them. And life, no matter how beautiful it is today may be worse tomorrow. While my mum would certainly want to give it to me, her salary is not enough to buy even the cheapest drum pad. It may seem as an exaggeration but what I am pointing out is how obvious it was that her money is meant for necessities only — my drum set, of course, is excluded from her long list of necessities. She even told me that the things I wanted are not even part of a person’s basic needs. She would only buy things associated with food, shelter and clothing and food is the top priority.

She also told me very clearly that if I wanted something, I must work for it and if I didn’t get it, I should try harder. Needs first before wants she told me repeatedly. If I am not mistaken, I was seven that time. That was the time when my youngest sister was born. So apparently, my drum set is out of the picture since we have a baby sister who needs more attention than I am. But my mum explained to me why and she didn’t sugarcoat the reality. It was still vivid in my memory when she said that my time will come. My cerebellum thought death is coming at me anytime back then.

That time when I did not get my drum set, I understood that the beat certainly was not meant for me. But now, I will have to create my own beat, with or without my drums. And this beat will help create a beautiful music that would cheer me on for as long as I live. 🙂

* Daily Prompt: Out of Reach