"In the midst of winter, I found there was within me an invincible summer. And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there's something stronger, something better, pushing right back." - Albert Camus, The Stranger.
It's the most wonderful time of the year. The Christmas season has always been my favorite time of the year because I get to take two weeks off work to relax, enjoy, join in on the Christmas rush of buying last minute gifts, and just the feeling of merry making, reunions, and bright lights.
This Christmas season, however, is different.
2015 was nothing like I expected it to be. What I thought would be a relatively stable year turned out to the most erratic and most emotional year I have come to know so far. It was as if I went through several 2015s before I emerged into this place that I am in today.
If you were to ask me how I am today, my standard answer will be I'm fine but if I were to be completely honest, I know my real answer would be semi-drowning, help me up please. And for the girl who has been the Little Miss Sunshine to everyone around her, to be drained of my sunshine is an unfamiliar place to be in because I have never been here before. I have always had a positive solution to every problem and I could instantly move on from life's hurdles in a snap.
However, 2015 tested my limit when it came to my endearing positivity about life. In fact, a former friend even challenged my belief that good things will happen because we serve a good God. But I am getting ahead of myself.
The year has brought into my life the highest highs and the lowest of lows. I have found myself elated in the wonder of a new consuming and passionate love and today, I find myself in the destruction it has left in its wake. I choose to respect the love I have shared with that person by not including personal details here, but rather I share the lessons because pain becomes valuable when you share the golden nuggets in the hopes of making the lives of others better.
I have also drifted away from well-meaning friendships that used to define a huge part of my life, lost job opportunities while at the same time also discovering myself in the process. God may have taken away a few vital friendships but He has also brought in new ones.
I have also been humiliated to the core and I have questioned my sense of self more times than I can count and yet, I am still here.
If anything, it's safe to say I've learned to lose this year. As a woman with an A Type Personality, I have learned that sometimes in life, losing is winning.
And that is possibly the biggest lesson I have learned is this: okay lang matalo, okay lang umiyak, okay lang na hindi ikaw yung pinili, and most importantly, it doesn't make you less of a person if you do.
1) People, just like seasons, also drift in and out of our lives.
I am a clingy, loyal person to the ones I love. As in, I suffocate people with my love through several love languages: gifts, words of affirmation, time, and affection. I love being with people.
But in the same way that I love people, I also have the tendency to be OA in clinging to them. Friendships that fall apart break my heart the most because I always give a 100% but sometimes, no matter how hard you try, friendships, just like any other relationship don't fit into the same pieces anymore.
And the good thing about that is that you don't wish them ill, but instead, you wish them well because even if you're no longer BFFS forever, you do still love them.
2) Stop playing the victim.
This has always been the way I approached life before. I didn't actually realize that I was doing this until specific circumstances in my life has forced me to. So today, I examine situations from both sides of the equation and improve where I need to improve, I welcome comments with an open heart because we all have room to become better. I have also learned the difference between genuine criticism and one that's only meant to break you. Having a healthy balance allows one to weave through life peacefully.
3) Sometimes all you have is yourself and that's okay.
No matter how hard you try, there are really moments when it's just you and while this can be scary, it can also be exciting. Because when you find yourself at the end of your rope, in a situation you never expected to be in, that's when you discover that you're only human too. In the depths of loneliness, you discover that there is a strength inside of you that doesn't fail and that propels you to move forward no matter how impossible it may seem.
4) Love, even when it's real, isn't the answer to everything.
This year, na experience ko mag mahal at mahalin. And it was the love of my dreams, it was the love that I have been waiting for my entire life: the love that engulfs you, stirs the good inside of you, and the love that leaves you secured.
However, while it was the love that I have been praying for, I have come to know that it wasn't the love that was meant to stay. What I thought was only possible in movies became a reality in my life and for the short and sweet time it was around, it was everything I have asked for.
Ang sarap mahalin, ang sarap magmahal, it felt good to not hold back and it felt even better to have given my all. Ang sarap isipin that I have lived a life of love with no regrets and while he left and have taken my entire heart with him, I just keep telling myself that loving him was the best thing I did this year.
However, love, no matter how magical, how powerful, and how real, is never quite enough to quench the demons of another.
So instead of staying, you let go because in letting go you allow yourselves to become better versions of who you are while hoping that the love you shared will be enough inspiration for the other to keep going through life.
5) Heartbreak SUCKS but pain demands to be felt.
I have been pacute with my love affairs before. They weren't really affairs and they were mostly one-sided, the writer in me has the tendency to overanalyze situations but this time when life gave me my first real heartache, I caved.
Nothing was more difficult than waking up each day knowing you once again had to go through the motions of being okay, not because you're being untrue to who you are but because you have responsibilities to do. Also, hindi nakaktuwa ang iyak ng iyak so I try to hide it. It amazes me how brave an individual can be until being brave becomes a way of life.
I would want a quick step process for this heartache but I know life doesn't work that way. Life demands for pain to be felt because sabi nila in the process of feeling the pain, you discover yourself.
I am quick to say that I am not there yet but feeling the pain everyday reminds me that I am alive and reminds me that only joy could have caused me this much pain and so I endure it in the hopes that one day, I wouldn't have to.
6) You cannot save anybody.
Even if you really want to, even if you promise them that you'll love them through whatever it is that they are going through. Even if you wish to be patient, even if you wish to be the more understanding one. Because guess what, you have your own demons too. And those demons come out at night and sometimes, all the demons need are reassurance.
But someone who is busy trying to save himself cannot see past his own troubles enough to love the other properly. So even if the other person had all the patience in the world, mauubusan din.
7) You can never "positivize" things into happening but you can always believe that things are working out for the good. Also, always be true to yourself.
As mentioned earlier, someone once told me that life is not all rainbows and butterflies. And I know that, I understand that. However, I have also come to understand that sometimes no matter how good your intentions are, no matter how much love you put into a situation, you just can't win.
But that's okay because the sucky experiences teach you about the purity of your heart and your love and that is the most important thing.
8) Experiences deepen you, don't rush through the process.
Sa totoo lang, gusto ko na maging okay. Sino ba naman ang nag eenjoy na umiiyak every day as in night and day? Nobody. So all I really want to be is to have that peace in my heart, however, the more you rush it, the more it eats you up.
So savor the moment of crayloa moments in the restroom in between Muay Thai sets and savor the pain because one day, you will be able to say, "Aba, sobrang sakit non but here I am still alive and I am better for it."
9) Family over everything.
An important person in my life once told me that family stays when everything else falls apart. He was right about that because now in the wake of the destruction he left, it's my family who is with me, patiently listening to me and painfully watching me cry.
My dad this morning told me that every time I feel like crying again, I must remember how much he has loved me through the years and in the middle of my tears, I became grateful because God has blessed me with a dad like him. And also a mom who overanalyzes with me and a brother who throws in a "there, there, there" when need be.
10) God is God even when circumstances tell you otherwise.
My prayer to God has been this short as of late, Lord, last mo na yan, nakakaloka, may huling hirit ka pa for 2015. But if there is anything in me that clings to the belief of anything, it's this, God is always good and because He is, I have hope that things will not only get better but that my best days are ahead of me.
So, I bid you goodbye 2015 and thank you for teaching me the real essence of losing. Tonight, I wipe away my tears and believe that weeping may endure for a night but joy comes in the morning.
The best is yet to come for you, for me, and for everyone you love. Just trust God through it, He has never failed and in no way will He start now. Give Him your losses and see Him transform it into radical joy.
You are loved!