Letter #xx to Self

Dear you,

It’ll be okay. You’re in a place where a lot of good things can happen. The opportunities that lay in front of you are for you to take. That is why, continue growing from that experience. Right now, you may feel like a blank canvas.

And it’s alright. It’s time you paint colors on your own life. It’s time you give your all to you, to truly live out decisions that are best for you. You don’t need to adjust for anyone else anymore; no need to put out the fires in somebody else’s problems while yours burn to the ground.

You can learn to love yourself. You will love yourself. I’m speaking this into existence.

The road is arduous but I know that you have the spirit to take it on. You’ve been through so much already. Still, you are here – using the bits of ashes left to fight to live. You are free to take your time to discover and piece together the parts of you that has been scattered and missing since you were 11.

Let’s fall in love and stay in love with the girl you see in the mirror. This is yet to be the greatest love story you are about to write.

Love,
Chel

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Back from Hiatus

As I write this, I am delaying doing an assignment. I am listening to IU croon a cover of “The Snowman” by Jung Seunghwan. For the first time in a long time, I can type words to express my feelings and thoughts, and publish them in public again.

It will be a year in 28 days since the last time I almost died; the day I ate at a Chinese restaurant, went home, watched a Korean drama, blacked out, and woke up in the ICU. Doctors until now are still at a lost what really happened that day; why my brain decided to snap and just /poof/. It doesn’t matter now. I am, still, alive.

Honestly, after that, everyday feels like a borrowed time. I gained five diagnoses as months passed. It feels like my body is slowly deteriorating yet I am slowly, slowly figuring out what type of life I want and will live, given the circumstances.

Anyway, in the months that I was gone, I:
– learned to play the ukelele
– learned to read, speak, and understand Korean
– made a few, good internet friends
– volunteered as a design editor for a friend’s website

Yes, things are happening. Welcome back.

Random Thoughts and Rambles

  • Going into my second month in stan twitter, I am beginning to understand how easily people throw words as defense when they feel threatened. In every argument, they feel that they must win and reign superior over the other party to feel a sense of justice. However, as the argument presses on, wounds go deeper and more difficult to heal. The hunger of retribution sharpens. It is a never ending cycle of giving and receiving pain. And all of this stems on pride. The inability to be accountable. The decision not to acknowledge faults. The repressed anger bubbling under retorts.
  • Forgiveness is such a wonder. An art form, really. There is a ritual – a routine – for every person to attain it. This personal ritual must be respected. An offender has no right to dictate when the pain ends. Time and space are important steps.
  • To walk on a flower path is to walk into every season. It is the acceptance that spring days evolve into summer-filled afternoons and the wind will become colder and colder until it is hard to progress. This is the rule of nature and time. Maturity comes and makes us more refined. The denial that things will stay in bloom forever is childish and a daydream one must wake up from.
  • Death is the only time we will stop balancing ourselves between the good and evil extremes of each value we keep.
  • I miss philosophy classes.
  • I think I am out of my recent depression episode.
  • Love, after the infatuation runs out, is a difficult or easy choice to make. It depends on how one wakes up in the morning.
  • With my month-long reflection, I realized that I still do desire to establish myself in another country. It’ll be hard but the challenges excite me. This will take a long, long time.
  • The love of my life is the group of kids I taught back in my first university.
  • After all this time, always in all ways, for the kids.
  • My new back brace makes me feel like a robot.

Languid

Perhaps the most recurrent theme of this depression cycle is ‘searching’. I craved to be alone most of the time to listen to music, to write down thoughts, and to embrace all the privacy I can get. I knew that my way out isn’t through the help of people this time.

Somewhere along this year, I lost my sense of self. I lost a part of my identity in my fight to be alive.  I became someone’s advocate, another’s girlfriend, a daughter, a friend, a patient etc. But all these did not mesh together well. I did not know the sum of my parts.  I ended up being more broken.

As such, I’m using this restlessness to provoke me to do self-care and to feel something, anything, as me for me. To find out once again what I like, what I love. To find why I’m trying so hard to have more time here. To search who I want to become.

Youth (is yours? Jk)

Hola, interwebs! 🙂

Recently, I’ve had the random realization that I don’t want to marry nor to have my own family in my twenties. It’s not just a sudden thought or decision that has no foundation underneath it. It’s because I think I haven’t fully enjoyed my youth. With my past childhood trauma and my health going haywire right after my university graduation, you can bet the I spent most of my puberty and teens either crying my butt off or trying not to get hospitalized (yet again).

I’ve been composing, writing, crafting, and fangirling (BANGTAN SONYEONDAN!) my days while slowly recovering since last week. I’m surrounded with the type of quiet I love and even in the midst of my depression cycle, I can say I’m having “fun”. And I want more days like these (minus the depression).

This is not to say that I am awfully discontented with how my life is going. I’m not. I’m making peace with what I have and trying to make the best out of it.  It’s just that there are adventures I’ve yet to take and I’d rather go alone.

On Weight

Hiya, interwebs. It’s been a month since I blogged BUT I’m here now. Today, I’ll be talking about weight.

Ever since I was born, my built is not skewed towards the skinny type. I was just okay, appearance-wise, and I never became obese.  Still, I got called fatty all my life. It used to upset me so much that I never upload whole body pictures of me unless I thought I looked thin in them. I was so afraid of the judgments and comments.

When I became sicker, this insecurity came rearing back from the dead. My weight fluctuated a lot because of my medicines (and now because of my gastrointestinal illnesses. My illness count is now at 9.)  In fact, an acquaintance told me that “I look “healthy” aka chubby for someone who is seriously sick.” It was a hard slap of reality on the face…

…because F*CK beauty standards. Weight does not judge someone’s beauty. I’ve had enough. No more. 

Looking back, I thought there was something wrong with me. I didn’t look like the models and the artists I saw on TV, IG, and other media. I wasn’t size 2 or 4. At my skinniest, I was a size 6 or 8 due to my health condition. I remember getting compliments about it and thinking that the society must be shitting me. I was in pain and yet I get praised for it?!

 

So, to the people reading this blog, please remember:
Your worth as a person can’t be weighed on a numbered weighing scale. Do not based your values on society’s norms because society sets up some rules that are wrong anyway. If there is something you should care about regarding weight, it should be your BMI.

You are more than numbers. 
We aspire for healthy. 
Your worth is inherent.
You deserve to be loved – your body, your heart, your mind – all of you. 
You are beautiful. 

On Death and Will to Live

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Someone asked me days ago if I am afraid of dying and where my will to live comes from. Here’s my answer:

When I was 11, I told a close friend what I want for my funeral: no black and white clothes, some flowers, cremation, and to be buried under a tree. To my young self, my demise is a celebration.

I still hold the same wishes and belief today.

There is a different kind of peace and acceptance when I finally acknowledged that I am more vulnerable to death than others. After being on the brink for the nth time last January, I have conditioned myself to end everyday in a good way. I never know when my illnesses will strike me hardest.

I guess this is where part of my ‘strength’ comes from , the knowing that everything is finite and every morning I wake up is some kind of miracle itself. I’d like to think it made me see life in a new light that not even my bipolar disorder can affect. Since death is inevitable (for everyone, actually. It is the great equalizer of men.), I decided to live as purposefully as possible without taking it too seriously.

Until the last day of the some kind of miracle happens, I’ll keep on loving and moving. I only have the present. When God decides it is time, I will accept wholeheartedly. It has been a wonderful life.