Angels and Demons

Sometimes I think of you and I wonder what is going through your mind. I know a lot of things that I could not share to other people because they do not have to know. At the same time, they would not believe me also. I had a hard time explaining it to myself as well. I remember a conversation I had with Renee, a girl I met in Georgetown. I said, “I’m confused. I don’t know what to feel. I don’t know if I was really ever in a real relationship, with a real person. I feel like everything was made up. I could not believe he could do that…all the things he did to me are pure evil, and I still could not grasp that he is capable of such things because he looks like…an angel.”

Reading about a particular disorder after a few weeks made perfect sense and in a way, gave me closure…something that I would never be able to get from you no matter how much I might have begged for it. I remember talking to someone after “the decision.” She told me that I have to be very careful and really guard my heart because no matter how strong I may appear at that moment, I would never be able to tell if I could stick to my guns or give in to your charms once we talk again; because all the girls in the past were not able to move on. I wondered then how that would be possible. Now, I know. You don’t give anyone closure. If all the past relationships are like ours and the girl before me, I now understand. 
It’s funny that my description of you is almost a word-for-word description for other people, people who are like you, people who are not…normal. I prayed for you after we parted ways. As much as I feel bad for myself for getting hurt, I probably felt even worse for you. I can heal, I know I have a chance at true love, of being in a healthy relationship. I prayed for your miracle. That one day, you would stop craving for people and things you don’t have, that you would finally find real happiness. I’m still hoping that day would come. Hopefully, it comes when I can witness it. Then, I can fully say that God has indeed answered one of my most heartfelt prayers. If not, I feel bad for the next one…and I still feel bad for you. 
I know that you tried to make us work. It’s just that you have needs…and your needs require other girls. At that time, there is no girl that could make it stop. I know you also dream of having a family, of raising kids, getting known in the community. However, you just can’t resist the temptations. One day, you would get married (again?), start a family, have kids…but I feel for your wife. I can already imagine all the stress that she would have to go through to keep you and your family together. The fake laughters, the fake smiles, trying to maintain the image that everything is going perfect. 
However, the truth is she is losing sleep checking your emails, IMs, fb messages, texts, everything because she feels that something is wrong. She would try all the anti-aging creams and all the beauty products she could get but she would look and feel older and uglier than ever before. She would die a little bit each time you give another girl a glance because she knows your capability to flirt…she knows because she also fell for it. She would cry at night looking at your kids and looking at herself wondering if that is the kind of love she deserves. She would read every article on making relationships work and still feel like a failure. She would read checklists of ideal and/or healthy relationships and she knows that she is in the wrong one so she stops reading those stupid guidelines altogether. She would tell herself that there is no such thing as a perfect relationship anyway. 
Your future wife used to be very confident and she is talented and idealistic. She has a strong persona. But you were able to break her…and she is now walking on eggshells. You are trying your best to hide everything you are doing from her just so she does not get hurt and make you stop doing it. You know you can’t stop. You also don’t want to. It feels good for you, to feel wanted and desired, to be the center of attention, to get everyone’s sympathy…and you still feel hallow inside. Your happiness are all short-lived because they are all superficial, based on latest exploits. Once you get tired of your trophy, you would want another one, a different one, or one you have let go of temporarily. You are a player, a hunter, a circus master all in one. But when the lights are out and the show is over, you are still empty. That is why you always have to be in the company of a lot of people and at the same time withdraw from all the people. 
I wish I am wrong. Being friends with you again now and getting back a big portion of the attention you once gave me, I had to write this…because anytime, I might fall again. I have to remind myself that you are a good person in my sight once again but there’s another part of you that I have seen and I should not forget that. This is one of those moments when I feel the need to save me from myself. I am leaving soon, I don’t know if I would ever hear from you again. I honestly hope not. It would be nice to see you in the future but only after I have found myself the right guy already. I don’t want you to be a factor in my life and in my decisions once again. I want to be set totally free. 
It’s a big world out there. There may be a lot of people like you, but there are more people like me.
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Am I Being Stupid?

It’s a new month again. Another month off my countdown. A few more and I’ll be saying goodbye to the place I call home for the past four years (almost). I’m still being asked if I’m really leaving and if there is still a chance for me to change my mind.

Honestly, I am in a point now where I am feeling scared. I have a job here…a big portion of our professionals are struggling to find a job that could make ends meet. I am in a good environment, no pollution, no traveling required to get to the workplace, I don’t have to pay for rentals, I have a car (that I love so much but I could not bring it home), I don’t have to worry about religious freedom, there is an assurance of a salary fortnightly. Why would I leave, right?

There are times when I would think of a lot of what ifs. I am also starting to feel homesick for this place. The people, the place, the activities…and the list goes on. I have adapted the island way of living.

Sometimes, I wish I am like most people. With that, I mean the people who has dreams that go like this: finish school, find a job, get married, get promoted (several times), have kids, retire. Life could have been a lot simpler for me and I would have gone a lot farther in my career already.

But as life would have it, I always choose to let go of things that are stable. Uncertainty definitely scares me…but certainty also does. If I don’t leave now, I know almost exactly how I would be years from now. I don’t have to look far, I just have to look around. There’s nothing bad with what I’m seeing, it’s just not how I dreamed my life to be.

I honestly don’t know where I’d be after Palau. I don’t have exact plans yet. I don’t know if there ever will be. But you know what the best part of my decision is? I started dreaming again. I would sometimes lose sleep thinking of all the possibilities. I would have an opportunity to work on what I really want. For that sole reason, I think I am making the right decision.

The quote that inspired me four years ago, inspiring me again now.

The Truth About Love Is….

What I’ve been reading the past couple of nights.

(THIS IS NOT A BOOK REVIEW)

This is about a guy named Pat who has a personality disorder and has just been discharged from a mental facility and went to live with his parents. He sees his life as a movie and he believes in happy endings. His sole reason for everything he does is to be able to reunite with his wife, Nikki. He goes to a therapist regularly. He did not have a sense of time while in the facility and he cannot remember the details of how he got there. He remembers that he was mentally abusive to her before but he learned in his sessions that he would rather be nice than right.

This is also about Tiffany. She felt so guilty about the cause of her husband’s death that she developed a personality disorder. She loves dancing.

This lines toward the end of the book are what really got me:

“I’m a screwed-up person who no longer knows how to communicate with the people I love.” -Tiffany

Almost immediately the field turns white, and this is when Tiffany whispers the strangest thing. She says, “I need you, Pat Peoples; I need you so fucking bad,” then she begins to cry hot tears onto my skin as she kisses my neck softly and sniffles. It is a strange thing for her to say, so far removed from a regular woman’s “I love you,” and yet probably more true.

“I think I need you too.”

In a way, I think all of us are demented, some are better in hiding it than others. That, I think, is what makes us need other people.

Don’t Drink and Drive

car crash

I was not planning to blog today but I felt so inspired after our hospital ministry to one of our friends. It happened last night, they were coming home from church when they met an accident because of a drunk driver.
Our traffic rules here in Palau is kind of weird because we drive on the right side of the road and most of us have right-hand drive vehicles. Our friend (whom I will not name due to their request) was seated at the passenger side. She was the one who got injured the most. Her chin hit the dashboard (we don’t wear seatbelts too). I’m not sure if she became unconscious after but her husband arrived right when she was being carried to the ambulance.
Her husband lost it when he saw her situation. He just kept screaming and asking for the other driver who caused the accident. He said he even hit someone, maybe it was an officer.
This afternoon, we visited them in the hospital. We sang a few songs and I offered a short message. I thanked God that his wife is now safe and I also gave thanks for the fact that the other driver was not in the area anymore when the husband arrived. I jokingly said, if that happened, we could have two ministries to attend to today, hospital ministry and prison ministry.
Then he said his testimony. He said that he totally lost control upon seeing his wife. All he wanted was to hurt the one who hurt her. But his boss’ wife was with them and he heard her tell him to think about what he’s doing, that he has a job and that he might lose it all if he let his emotions take control. Even as they were about to leave (he went with the ambulance) the rescuers were still trying to cool him down but he yelled at the police officers asking them to tell the other driver that he will be waiting for him at the hospital and fight him there.
This morning, he tried to open his bible. He opened it in Ezekiel 2:1 “He said to me, Son of man, stand on your feet, and I will speak with you.” He felt God talk to him. He realized what he did last night. He realized that he lost his Christianity at that moment. He felt that God was teaching him a lesson that no matter what the situation is, we should still be able to reflect the character of Jesus.
I was really touched. Here is this man who could have lost his wife from the accident and yet he was able to hear God’s message to him. He said that maybe God knows that his wife is strong so he allowed it to happen to her to let him grow also spiritually. God’s ways are definitely not our ways but when we are willing to listen, we will hear His message.
I am also amazed at the fact that a co-worker was moved in our friend’s room last night. He is Indonesian and he drove himself to the hospital after having suffered a mild stroke. He was alone. Our other friend is also Indonesian who was supposed to go somewhere else this afternoon but had to stay after all of their plans just seem to go wrong. He joined us in the hospital ministry instead. There, he was able to give comfort to his countryman. Just like what I always say, I don’t believe in coincidence, they are all God-incidence. My voice cracked while I was singing these lines,

“God is too wise to be mistaken. God is too good to be unkind. So when you don’t understand, when you don’t see His plan, when you can’t trace His hand, trust His heart.” 

Still, I will not let this opportunity slip to remind everyone to stop drinking alcoholic beverages. It’s doing a great damage to your brain cells and you are putting yourself and everyone else who gets close to you in harm’s way. A little angel could have lost her mom last night because a guy had one drink too many and still decided to drive.

Chocolates and Flowers

Last week, there were chocolates.

Today, there were flowers.

Friends, ladies, and gentlemen, don’t get too excited. I hope I don’t sound ungrateful with this post. I totally appreciate the gesture and the effort, I do. This doesn’t sound too promising now, does it? 
Truth is, I’m excited about love and relationship and companionship and all that jazz. In all honesty, I am praying for it. But flowers and chocolates are not really the way to my heart. It’s still all about a person’s values, ambitions, goals, and communication. 
Now, more than ever, I have realized that whatever a person shows to impress me would not matter once we are in a stage when he could not hide anything, when he could not pretend to be another person, when he doesn’t have to impress anymore. What would show would be the real person, that is the person who I would have to deal with everyday.
Can he make me laugh? Is he honest? Would he let God guide us? Will he be willing to listen to me when I want to rant and not judge me for saying what I really feel? Will I be willing to listen to him? Is he willing to sacrifice some things for us? Will he be worth the sacrifice I will make for us? Would we both be willing to forgive each other and bounce back to being happy together? Can I trust him? Will I be trustworthy with him? Does he have goals? What is he doing to achieve those goals? Will he support me in achieving my goals? Can we plan adventures together? How does he handle his money? Does he know how to have fun? Does he spend too much on having fun?
It’s not just what he is willing to do for me. It’s also what I would be willing to do for him. I want to be in a relationship where we become better persons, where everyday is a blessing and not another stressful day to be survived. 
Those are just some of the things. I still enjoy the thrill of being giddy because of someone but I’ve learned my lesson. While it is easier and more convenient being a half of a pair, it’s better to be single than to be in a toxic relationship. 

Hopefully, it’s pizza next week. I’m kidding!!!

Rainbow and Perspective

Last Sunday, I was able to attend an “Omengat” for the first time. It is a Palauan custom for women who just had their firstborn. It is a really beautiful occasion. I’ll blog about it, if I’m not too lazy *eye roll*.

On our way home, there was a beautiful rainbow. They say Palau is where the rainbows end. We took photos, and of course the obligatory perspective shots.

The beautiful rainbow. God is definitely an artist.

Here are the shots I took of my co-worker:

Then I said, “Now it’s my turn. Take my picture.” So I posed as if I was holding the rainbow, or so I thought. Until he gives me back my phone and I saw the photo.

Hmmm…close enough, Francois, close enough. Or maybe not.

Happiness #1

I have a PDF copy of this book. I forgot where and when and how I got it. I was browsing my e-book files 

and this caught my attention again. I’ve been looking for anything that boosts happiness all over the internet in the past few days because of the depressing news from home and from my Facebook news feed. So now, I decided to share 1 rule of happiness at a time.

“Some pursue happiness, others create it.”

– Unknown

Here goes the first rule:

STOP FEELING SORRY FOR YOURSELF.


It’s so tempting to feel sorry for ourselves specially when we know that we have reasons to be. We wallow in self-pity and just act like victims of circumstances.
We do it for several reasons. It could be that we feel like the main character in our favorite Filipino soap opera where 95% of the scenes would be her crying (the other 5% is flirting with the leading man) and in the end, everything turns out good for her.
Or we love the sympathy we’re getting from our family and friends because someone did something bad to us and we need all the attention we could possibly get.
I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. The only problem is you hinder your own progress because as long as we’re thinking that we’re miserable, we will be miserable.
So whatever might have caused you to feel sorry for yourself is already in past. You have to decide that you would not be a victim of that anymore and life has a lot more happiness to offer.
Always remember that everyone gets dealt with a bad hand every once in a while. It’s how you play your cards that matters.

Reminder: You’re awesome, you’re doing fine. Let’s party!

A Very Great Morning


I got the picture above in my email today. It is very timely because I have just been consumed by a lot of negativity lately. This is a good reminder to us all, especially to the Filipinos who have been bombarded with all kinds of wrong in the political arena. 

Somehow, my devotional verse this morning is
 John 14:14 “If ye shall ask anything in my name, I will do it.”  

After getting those messages, I just kept smiling for no reason. I believe that this day will be a great day, full of positivity. I will not be posting any rants today, I promise. I will only express all things positive (God help me).

So, to anyone out there who needs some dose of positivity, this is your shot for today. Life is great, we are alive, let’s celebrate!

Dream Destination

My mom told me this morning that we have to Skype tonight and I told her I have a game, I would go online after. Now, I told my sister to tell her to go online and she told me that my mom is already asleep. Wow, mommy, really?

I just want to share that last Saturday, Cassey, one of the members of the Pathfinder Club asked me if I want to join her to Japan in December for a week. Oh wow, Japan is one of my dream destinations! I’ve been to five countries in Southeast Asia (Philippines not included) already so I said to myself that my next destination should either be Japan, South Korea or China. It’s been a couple of days since she asked me and I can’t stop thinking about it. Gaaahhhh!!!! You have no idea how a travel suggestion affects me. I’m still thinking of a way to make it happen. I’ll totally pray about it. Any willing sponsors? Any odd jobs available? Hashtag serious question.

who wouldn’t want to be here???? (photo used without permission from island.com)

Help.

Bucket List Check (Kind Of)

Sure, I have bungee jumping and seeing the pyramids in my list but since the time I came to Palau, I’ve always imagined myself driving alone, going to the sea shore and watching the sunset. I usually work until 6 pm so there’s no time to go and watch the sunset because by the time I leave the office, it’s already dark. I also wanted to do it on a Friday afternoon so that I would be alone with God to meet the Sabbath. Today, finally, I was able to do it.

T-Dock at Koror, Palau

Mr. Sun peeking

Sabbath!!!

Yep, it doesn’t take much to make me happy.