Last Sunrise

image

I am seated here in the dark, waiting for my favourite part of the day — Sunrise! For the past few days, I have not been able to see the sunrise due to timing. By the time the sun rises above the horizon, I am already inside a big building, going about my work. But today, I purposely got up early to wait for the sunrise.
I do not remember exactly when my love affair with the sunrise started. All I know is that I feel like I am solar- powered as i feel more energised when the sun is out. The last few days, I was pondering…What if it will be my last sunrise?
Life is unpredictable. It is impossible to plan everything as everybody has his own agenda. We do not exactly follow a script so there are times when we stray from our chosen path and may not necessarily know how to get back on track. Sometimes, we wonder if we should just carry on for a while on the wayward path as it is no longer possible to go back from where we came from. Life could be throwing things at us that it is making it almost impossible to look up and see where we are going, yet we trod on in hopes that eventually we get back to the place of light. But what if it is almost impossible to move forward? What if the amount of self-doubt and self -flagellation has incapacitated us to see beyond the darkness? What if there are no sunrises anymore?
I know my thoughts have been dark lately. It is hard to think bright happy thoughts when I am in a dark place. So this morning, I got up early to watch the sunrise. The dawn of a new day always brings me hope that after the darkness, light will fight through the dark clouds and encompass everything. There is light. There is a chance of seeing beyond the darkness. So I wait patiently in the dark. The birds are singing their melodious songs in greeting the sunrise. I wait and keep watch over the horizon. I want to see the sunrise today as it might just be my last one.

Begin again

There are times in our lives when we wish we could turn back time… undo poorly thought of decisions, rectify mistakes. Unfortunately time travel has not been invented yet. Time remains to be a linear phenomenon in this day and age. It is forever moving forward. But what if time stops? What if it is possible to start anew? What if it is possible to begin again?

Someday


Someday…
I will understand
… the pain
… the tears
… the void
… your reasons

Someday…
I will see again
… The brilliance of the skies
… The colours of the flowers
… The bittersweet beauty of falling leaves
… Beyond the colours of gray

Someday…
I just might
… stop crying at nights
… Laugh from my heart
… Feel beyond sadness
… Take a step forward from where you left me

Someday…

image

The Path

It has been a couple of weeks since I last went on a run. I thought that it would not be smart to run with palpitations besides I was feeling fatigued most days. Both the mind and body were unwilling.
Today, I woke up at my usual time and it would seem that the whole world is still asleep. Today, I have decided to fight this lurgy that has kept me from my running shoes. Today, I am going to ‘shake it off’ as Taylor Swift’s song goes. Today, I am going to just put one foot in front of the other and just run.
So off I went! The problem and good thing about me when I am running is that I see beautiful things along the way… The sky, the flowers, the trees, the fallen leaves… There were a lot of stops along the way. But I persevere. This is my run, after all, I can take as many stops along the way as I want to and it can be as long as I need it to be.
image

Some weeks back on my run, I turned back from a path that I have never gone through before. The quietness of the path and its ‘unknown’ trail and end had filled me with anxiety at that time so I turned back. But this morning, there was no apprehension, just determination to go. If I take the same route each time then I am depriving myself of discovering new things. Fear of the unknown should not rule my life. It is only through pushing the boundaries that I can grow and conquer fear. So without hesitation, I walked into the path.

image
First off, I was pleasantly surprised by the bit of green on the side of the path. It was very picturesque with the fog. It almost feel like I am not where I am. Surreal. It almost feel like I am in a Jane Austen novel. Purposefully I walked along the path and took some pictures along the way. What surprised me is that it actually is not as long as I thought it would be. There were no unknown assailants hiding in the bushes ( as my ‘criminal minds addled brain’ was telling me). It was actually pretty ordinary. It led to another street that looks pretty similar from where I came from. There was no need to be afraid to enter it. It was just a path that leads somewhere else.

image image image image image
So feeling chuffed with myself, I returned to my usual route. If nothing else, this morning I realized that ultimately it is only myself who can hold me back. If I let fear to rule me all the time then I will stop growing and discovering. Now I know what is in that path, it does not hold my curiosity nor do I fear it. It is just a path.

The Baking Experiment

Anybody who really knows me would tell you that I am no baker. It is not that I lack the skill nor had bad results in the past. I am a good enough cook but I have no patience for measuring ingredients hence hate the idea of baking.

When I cook, I use all my senses and a lot of gut instincts so if somebody asks me for a recipe, I won’t be able to give them the whole recipe. I season the food with a dash of this or that. I do not measure. The only reason why I am able to do it this way is that I am someone who loves her food. I always make a point of tasting food given to me so I know what it is supposed to taste like and decide whether I like it or not.

My niece once told me that she wants to be a chef but she’s very picky with her food. There are a lot of food she doesn’t want to eat. She doesn’t even try them because she is already convinced that she won’t like them. Now, I am the indulging Aunty most of the time but I have no patience for unreasonable close mindedness. I challenged her as to how does she know she won’t like it if she hasn’t even tried it. The same way I challenged her as to how she can be a chef if she doesn’t know how the food is supposed to taste like as she never tried it. I would accept that she doesn’t like the food as long as she has actually tried it. Refusal or rejection must be an informed one otherwise she may miss out on eating the food that could have been her favourite one.

I know, I know I am digressing again but I just want to lay the groundwork of how my mind works. So anyway, whilst I have no patience for measuring ingredients, I am still willing to try my hand at baking stuff ( stuff-doesn’t really give much confidence, does it?) so today I decided to do a savoury vegetarian pie. Or what is my version of a savoury pie. So with enthusiasm,that only an experiment with an unknown outcome can elicit from me, I attended to the task.
I checked the fridge for ingredients that I can throw in – Mozarella, tomatoe, pepper , kale- err no on this one as I think it would be too quirky ( i love kale – i put it into any recipe if I can get away with it) and hmm… roast chicken leftover. Just like that, my savoury vegetarian pie became a savoury chicken pie! And the pastry? Well much as I like to brag, I actually cheated and bought a ready-made one ( life’s too short and all that!) I have watched enough cooking shows to know about eggwash so I did that too. I even pre-heated the oven. ( as if!)

So with a little bit of prayer, I placed the pie in the oven. For how long? Who knows?! Well, I was just going to check on it at 10 minutes interval. The leftover eggwash? Well I added more eggs and made a vegetarian fritata – with kale this time.image
After 3 checks I have decided that it looks cooked already so I took it out of the oven. As they say, the proof is in the tasting so I cut a slice for myself and — not bad! I could probably make it look prettier next time but I am glad that I tried ‘baking’ something and it is delicious.

image

I will endeavour to be more patient to learn how to bake and perhaps really put more effort into it. I realised that I cannot just say ‘I do not like baking’ without really trying, afterall, it might just be a skill I can excell in. Besides, I love muffins and cookies so I might as well learn how to make them.

Now, where is that video on nutella brownies…

image

The Opposite Of Loneliness

I have actually borrowed the title from the book by Marina Keegan. It was the catchy title that caught my eye and prompted me to buy the book. After all, I also want to know the word that is the opposite of loneliness.

I came from a family of four girls who did most things together growing up. As we only have one television in the lounge, we tend to like and watch the same shows. We liked the same boybands. We watch same movies apart from those that I was excluded as I was deemed too young and innocent for them (e.g. Basic Instinct). The weekend was often a family time. We used to hike up the mountain in Guadalupe to go swimming in the pool up the mountain (don’t ask me why it was up in the mountains.) or go to the beach. Saturday lunch will be seafood lunch as Mama would have done her weekly marketing and Sunday lunch was always special. My sisters’ friends and my own friends like hanging out at our home as it is welcoming, noisy and happy. Outside of home, I am surrounded by happy friends of like mind and values.  So I really did not have time to be lonely when I was growing up.

Then I became an adult. I have been alone most of my adult life and like everyone else, I do get moments of loneliness. Often, they are self-inflicted moments because I isolate myself from my numerous friends. The times when I do not want to talk about what has placed the world on my shoulders. I sometimes cope better by being silent as talking will elicit the emotions and tears. But at crunch time, I am surrounded by friends who would rally up and refuse to let me wallow on my own. My good friends would know that they do not need to cheer me up and that their mere presence is enough. The problem will be pushed to the background as my friends engage my mind. My BFF of 26 years, who is far from me by some distance, would let me wallow then dishes out some tough love to get me going. There are also times that my friends and I just hang out for the sake of hanging out and everything is grand (as long as there is food!) These are the moments that are the opposite of loneliness.

Last night was prime example of what is the opposite of loneliness. It was the birthday of one of our friends and the invite was a last minute one but thankfully most of us were off. I was not feeling 100% over the last week and I was about to let myself succumb to the malaise of cough and colds  and my emotional turmoil so I was trying to excuse myself. I did not want to spread the virus and I was planning to wallow in my emotions by listening to my playlists that I made for these moments. But my friends poo-pooed my attempt at excusing myself so Beechams it was! I am glad that I went. Instead of thinking over and over things I have no control over, I spent most of yesterday being happy. I did not have time to be lonely, sad, or confused. I was playing with my youngest goddaughter— encouraging her to walk on her own, going up and down the steps, chasing the ball and her kuya. Then we spent at least four hours talking (more like shouting, actually) with the kids playing amongst themselves, my friends’ hubbies huddled over the barbeque outside and us seated around the table. The topics ranged from the trivial to the soul-searching profound conversation regarding religions. When we were talking philosophically about things, I jokingly said that these are topics that people who have already imbibed alcohol normally have. But we transversed through our conversations sans alcohol. I love moments like these wherein my grey matter is stimulated by the conversation and the laughter actually reaches the eyes.

I am thankful for the moments that are the opposite of loneliness. They are validation that life is multi-faceted so even if one aspect is missing or hurting, there are more to life that makes us happy and thankful.

I now conclude, as yesterday aptly demonstrated, being lonely is a choice you make. You can choose to be with those whom you love and those who love you or be sad and lonely.

So here’s all to all my family and friends, may your moments of loneliness be few and those moments that are opposite to loneliness be many. Happy Sunday!

image

It is Not in the Title

When I try to expound on an idea.  I usually start with the title or the ending phrase. Sometimes, the title is the phrase by which I end my writing. Other times, I change the title after I finish writing.

I may start out with one idea and think that it will be presented in a certain way but sometimes my writing would meander into a different avenue. My train of thought will have a life of its own and I just let it flow to see where it takes me. I guess, life is like this. We all start out with a general idea of who we are and what kind of life we want to live. We may think that we all have it all figured out until fate throws a spanner into the mix. Our lives could sudden take a sharp turn at an angle or make a 180 degrees turn from what we thought was our goal or ideal. We change. We grow. We adapt.

It could be that we want to stay true to what we thought what our lives should be and fight to stay the same. We could resist change. We could refuse to move forward as fear has us stuck in one place. We become stagnant as we watch life passes us by. But life should be fluid. Of all the species on this earth, human kind is the one most suitable to change. It is how our ancestors survived and our descendants will continue onto the next millennia.

Change is inevitable. It doesn’t necessarily have to change your entirety but allow it to make you grow. A new experience or an unexplored avenue may actually make life more exciting and meaningful. The known truth of yesteryears need not be still be your truth tomorrow.

The title nor the ending is not what makes an essay memorable. It is how topic has been expounded and explored that makes it a worthwhile read. So, just like in writing do not get so attached to your perceived ending. Let life take you down the less ventured path every once in a while and it may just surprise you. After all, the title does not make an essay.