Mood Swings

mood swings

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Yesterday was the warmest ever
Yet today feels like the coldest weather
Yesterday quickly became distant
When the mood had changed in an instant

Like you who were celebrating with glee
Then today your smile I can no longer see
What happened that caused you so much pain
All happy thoughts were washed away in vain

Like a fickle weather that’s ever changing
One day you’re fine, the next day you’re sulking
I wish I could take all your blues away
And bring back the warmth of yesterday

– March 13, 2017

New Norm


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I am feeling a bit off, a little strange
I am nervous of this coming change
It seems odd, I’m having cold feet maybe?
Or I’m no longer used to being busy?

It’s my choice, why do I worry?
I have to trust that it won’t go awry
This is what I want, this is what I need
I know I have to follow this lead

Still, it is a bit weird, different
I have to flow and go with this current
Hope to not be stuck again in a mess
I need to have faith in this newness

– October 3, 2016

In Search Of Fire (My 2016 So Far)


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My fire, drive and passion vanished without a trace
I was in denial, I thought it was just a phase
I endured the loss until I cannot take this place
Now, I vow to find you no matter what I’ll face

My 2016 so far can be summed in 3 words – My Fire Disappeared. It didn’t happen in an instant, it was painfully gradual. Looking back, it started sometime the second quarter of last year. If you’re waking up each day and you’re not looking forward to your day then something is clearly wrong. I was already feeling it but my mind was refusing to accept. I thought it was just a phase, the aftermath of change but after a year of battling with my head, I can no longer deny it. I had to embrace that my fire, my drive, and my passion* – they disappeared. I am not happy with my job and I have become what I have dreaded, a zombie worker!

So what now? When you’re not happy with your job, quit, right? Always easier said than done. I was waiting for ‘the’ day for practical and financial reasons. Besides, I already know that writing is my passion. I’m happy that my boredom paved the way for what I am capable of – from writing dark plots to mushy song-like poems to something less personal but I’m not talking about this passion. I’m talking about the motivation and passion towards my day job. Let’s face it, I cannot quit yet nor shift to writing. I need money and despite all my rant, I actually enjoy my profession (note: profession is different from actual job). At first I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to write if I were to quit my job so I was a bit hesitant. But while enduring the loss of my drive, I gained confidence that I can and I will write no matter what I do for a living. I am no longer confused. Painfully and gradually, I accepted that this work is not just my cup of tea. It doesn’t give me a sense of fulfillment; it only gives me boredom. So what do I do now?

Of course… I just have to write about what I’m feeling and voila! Instant poem! But seriously, I badly need my fire back. I guess writing about it is the start. Writing until finally accepting the situation. Eventually, I got sick and tired about my rant so it’s time to take action and find a new job. But hold on, what about ‘the’ day? I only have a general plan but it’s not clear-cut but (with fingers crossed) if something comes along, I would not think twice. If I can leave this misery now, that would be priceless, right? Why wait for ‘the’ day?

I am currently in limbo, waiting for a call, hoping for an offer.** The future is uncertain but I choose to believe in destiny. Destiny gives me something to hope for. Destiny assures me that things will always be for the better. Blind faith! If it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be. But I need to do something to be a step closer to my destiny and find my fire! I will not find it unless I step out from this miserable yet comfortable state. I hope my next moves would be the right and the only way to it. Well, if things don’t work out, then I’ll just have to endure more and extend this detour, then hope to learn a different perspective. Regardless of what’s going to happen, I’m sure, eventually, I will get there and find my fire, my drive, and my passion back. It’s destiny!

So here’s to the rest of 2016!

Here’s to finding my passion again!

My fire, drive and passion vanished without a trace
I was in denial, I thought it was just a phase
I endured the loss until I cannot take this place
Now, I vow to find you no matter what I’ll face

* I often use the words fire, drive, and passion interchangeably.
** As of posting, I got an offer and accepted a new job. Hopefully this is one way to finding my fire again.

– September 12, 2016

My Vows/Aking Pangako

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Author’s Note: I woke up one morning and the last stanza, the one written in Filipino, was stuck in my head. It was originally meant to be a song but then again, how I can I put the melody? So I carried on and continued writing the poem then maybe one day, I can add music to it.

I was left captive in the dark
From all these failures I faced
My hope suddenly vanished
My mind closed, I didn’t care

My heart was full of bitterness
I was angry at the universe
When I failed to surpass this crisis
And I didn’t know where to turn

But I am aiming for a change
Be a freeman than a prisoner
Find the key to unlock my heart
And so I am making these vows

Pick up myself from all this mess
Get up and live without regrets
Embrace life with glee and a smile
And soon I will again see the light

Filipino (Original Version):

Sa dilim ako’y nabilanggo
Mula sa kabiguang natamo
Pag-asa ay biglang naglaho
Isipan ko ay sumarado

Puso’y nabalutan ng pait
Sa mundo ako ay nagalit
Nang di malampasan ang pasakit
At di alam kung saan kakapit

Ngunit hangad ko ng magbago
Ayaw ko ng maging preso
Buksan ang pusong nakakandado
Kaya’t heto ang aking pangako

Iangat na ang aking sarili
Bumangon na at huwag magsisi
Yakapin ang buhay ng may ngiti
Nang liwanag ay makitang muli

– April 6, 2016

Change (Hmmm…)


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Author’s Note: I’m feeling off today. This morning, I got a reminder that life is indeed short so I’m asking myself again – why am I wasting my time to things I’m not passionate about. To somewhat uplift myself, I read this thing that I wrote almost two years ago. This was inspired by the movie “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” and a training/seminar that I attended in my previous job.

My significant other asked me if I’m a principled person. Without thinking I automatically said “no, I’m not”. After careful thought, I am actually a person who is very grounded by my own principles. My principles are probably different from most people and they are not the best but I live with these principles and I try to enhance them as I go through life.

I am mostly governed by these three which are actually quotes from various sources, not in order of importance:
1. The biggest competition I have is versus myself (this is from an athletic apparel commercial, I forgot which brand exactly but I think it was Nike)
2. My laziness is my most fearful enemy. Defeat is acceptance of my own laziness (from Lim Yo Hwan, a legendary Starcraft Pro-gamer)
3. Do you not know that a life not dedicated to a great idea is a useless life. It’s like a pebble lost in the field than being part of an eddifice (from Simoun Ibarra from the book El Filibusterismo written by Jose Rizal)

Do you see some commonality in these principles? How about flaws?

I attended this training today where the speaker was talking about most people tend to be more horizontal than vertical. What the hell does that mean? In a nutshell, horizontal people are so attached with their past resulting to so much baggage in their lives. They couldn’t wait for tomorrow because they are also attached to the future. They are having a tug-of-war with past and future, hence, horizontal. They forget that what’s important is now. “This is it!” – this is the secret as what the speaker has said. Vertical people, on the other hand, tend to focus on what’s happening now, have open hearts and know how to manage their own minds. Horizontal also try to change and control the world because they are mostly controlled by their amygdala which is a part of the brain that shows animal instincts for animals to survive. Vertical know how to manage their amygdala and use the prefrontal cortex instead.

I might lost you with the brain stuff but the concept also says that horizontal people have so much negativity, anxiety, depression, resentment, and arrogance. They are mainly motivated by fear and/or greed. Vertical people, on the other hand, have optimism, peace, joy, freedom, and openness. They are focused on their purpose, committed to excellence, and constantly improving.

I’ve been through hell when I was searching for my passion. I was at my lowest when I couldn’t find answers. I thought to myself, what could be worse than this? Another failure? Yes, another failure was worse but the worst part was when I had to cope with death of a loved one at the same time. When I thought things could not get any worst – then BOOM! Here’s work-related stress.

This was a long 2+ years which I consider my lowest so far. I was definitely a horizontal person during these times. I was depressed, I was frustrated, I feel imprisoned. I was searching and longing for freedom. I was still very much governed by my principles despite these tough times but I found the flaw in my principles. They don’t include the two most important things that I need during these times – hope and positivity. I was stuck but when my mom passed away, it just hit me. Life is too short. Why am I wasting my life? What the hell am I doing with this negativity? Why do I dwell with my insecurities that started during mid 90s? Decades have passed, move on! Will I just cry about losing my mom? That was the time that things started to finally sink in. It’s time for me to take control, I realized that I have to do something about it. I have to create – a word that also keeps on popping up during the session. Creating rather than informing, rather than teaching. Creating is to take action and to execute – this is it! It is now!

It is tough. When I was trying to look for rainbows and was trying to be more positive – work dragged me down. Work-related stress is difficult to bear especially when so much things are also going on in my personal life. Well, it makes sense when study shows that 60% of our lives are actually spent on work. When I reached a crossroad and my frustrations at work peaked, I was probably at the lowest level of being horizontal and that’s when I realized that I cannot control things. I can only change my mindset. It even surprised me that when I look back during my teen years, I was actually a very optimistic person – a vertical person. I have to bring back this old me. No one can change what’s going on in my surroundings but I can change myself. It all depends on me. You know the song Man In The Mirror by Michael Jackson? Here goes…

I’m starting with the man in the mirror
I’m asking him to change his ways
No message could have been any clearer
If you want to make the world a better place
Take a look at yourself then make that change…
You can’t close your… your heart!

It took several years and many ups and downs, mostly downs, but I finally found the answer that I’ve been looking for. I also found my passion. Did I get freedom? Not yet. But what’s important is that I’m getting there. I was able to step-out from being horizontal. I am confident that I am in the vertical zone again. I am always a vertical person, the downs just dragged me down for a while then I got stuck.

I think we all experience being horizontal at some point in our lives. Being horizontal is not that bad, it’s having a comfort zone. It’s probably fine to some people, it is also good in some circumstances. There’s nothing wrong with surviving but it will keep one person from improving. Changing mindset is tough. Sometimes, you need to be at the bottom to find eureka. But it’s always up to you to deal with it. You can cry and pity yourself or jump over the cliff or you can choose to snap out of it. It’s not an overnight process – it is an evolution. I am not there yet. I am not perfect and I am not striving for perfection but I am excited to improve myself, accumulate more knowledge and eventually apply them. Knowledge is wasted if it’s not put into action.

When I keep on failing and failing and it seems like I was in an endless loop, I asked why. I was looking for reasons. But the truth is, I got stuck because I was just asking questions, no action was done, no change was done. It’s understandable to ask that question but learn from it. Don’t dwell or you’re going to be stuck. You have to embrace it, change your mindset, and start creating. After finally learning to accept my life that’s when I realized that those failures, that journey, that climb or whatever you want to call it is a key experience to my life. It helps me become a better person. It helps me shape my principles.

As what the speaker has mentioned during the session we need to learn to survive and be horizontal because survival is part of everyday life but after that, we have to evolve and become vertical. He also said that when the mind is no longer holding back, you’ll experience freedom. I agree, it’s similar to what Walter Mitty did. He lost the most important film for the last publication of the magazine where he works and that’s when he finally started to let go, to not hold back, and to live his life. I want to reach that state. I’m excited to be more inspired, to be more positive, to find more meaning, and to keep on progressing. You know the song Let It Go from the movie Frozen?

Let it go, let it go
Can’t hold it back anymore
Let the storm rage on
The cold never bothered me anyway

– May 15, 2014

Take Away My Misery

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Take away my bitterness
Set me from my misery
I’m longing for your caress
But I just want to be free

Are all these pains still worth it?
When will all my sorrows end?
Desperate for us to meet
But I need my space to mend

Take away my misery
Set me from my ache and rage
Longing for simplicity
I know it should start with change

Forget all the selfishness
Stop the blame, let’s start anew
Still longing for your embrace
But it needs to come from you, too

Take away my woes and stress
Set me from my misery
Now, I need my happiness
Maybe, it’s time to be free

– written on April 10, 2015