After-feels: The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

This is the first time in a very long time I’m actually wishing I have a boyfriend because I just watched the last Hobbit film, and now I need someone to hug me until my heart stops hurting.

Also, two quotes. The first:

Thorin Oakenshield: If more of us valued home above gold, it would be a merrier world.

And the second, this exchange between Tauriel and Thranduill:

Tauriel: If this is love, I do not want it. Take it away, please! Why does it hurt so much?

Thranduill: Because it was real.

And that basically sums up my relationship with the most epic film franchise and novel ever, as well as every other fictional story I’ve fallen in love with.

Seriously though, I need a hug.

The scariest moment of my entire life, and faith

This week weighed heavy on my heart and mind. Aside from having a meltdown at work, I just recently started tutoring this new kid who had fallen so far behind in his lessons and who was also in the middle of his exam week; so the pressure I felt to teach him everything he missed and didn’t understand in a span of two days was exhausting. Add to that the fact that I was also presented with a big decision that could drastically alter the plans I’ve already set myself on for the next few years, and you can imagine how completely drained I’ve been.

But these are nothing compared to what happened Thursday night.

Because Thursday night, I heard my grandfather’s head hit the floor. I didn’t see it. I heard it. It was the kind of sound that, when you hear it, you know right away it’s the sound of someone’s head – and not any other part of the body – hitting the floor. And I swear to you, I have never been more scared in my entire life.

Seeing my 95-year-old grandfather on the floor, his hand on his head, looking dazed and in pain, it broke my heart a thousand times over. I’m not the type of person who easily panics but at that moment, I had to ask my sister to be the one to help him because I was hyperventilating. My brain just shut down; all I remember was saying “Please, God” over and over again in my head.

It’s moments like this that give me that much needed new perspective on life. Before my grandfather’s accident, I treated the things I spent every waking minute worrying about as though they were life-threatening. And then something actually life-threatening happens right before my very eyes. Suddenly, those things meant nothing to me.

Thankfully though, after bringing him to the ER, we were assured that his fall only gave him a bump and bruise on his head, nothing more. No concussion, no internal bleeding, nothing.

I honestly believe that if God had favorites, my grandparents would be part of that group. He’s looked after them so much these past few years. My 90-year-old grandmother slipped and fell last year, and had to undergo a hip replacement surgery. While her age cast doubt on whether she could walk again, she was back on her feet two months after the operation. Just a month or so ago, my grandfather was walking on a sidewalk when he stepped on a rock and fell to the pavement. There was a nasty gash on his knee that bled for days, but even then he was already able to go back to his daily 6-a.m. walks.

Believe me or not, the reason why they’ve always been able to get through their toughest times is their rock solid faith in God. I look at how they live their life and how zealous their love is for God, and I’m not surprised by these little big miracles they’ve been blessed with. People with faith as big as theirs are bound to attract miracles. And people like me who get to witness all that are left with a feeling of awe.

Of tears in teaching

There’s an anchor tied around my heart today and it’s dragging me to the bottom of the ocean. I’ve had bad days before but it’s extremely rare that I have a day so bad that I end up crying.

Today is one of those days. My day’s been so bad I just want to hide under a rock and wait until it’s over.

I feel so frustrated and disappointed and discouraged and insecure.

Because the thing is, now matter how many times people have told me how untrue this is and no matter how many times I tell myself this is the wrong way of looking at things, I always measure my worth and success as a teacher by the grades my students get.

And right now, my worth is plunging to the depths of the earth.

Two of the kids I’m tutoring received a failing mark in their exam. But they’re good kids, you know. They’re not like most kids these days who cringe when you put a book in front of them instead of an iPad. We could be studying the same thing for an hour or two and they wouldn’t be secretly mad at me for it. They tell me whenever they have homework and they voluntarily show me their test results regardless of what scores they have. They’re good kids, I’m telling you.

I have never in my entire academic life cried because of a failing grade (and I’ve had many) but right now I’m crying as if onions have been glued to my eyes. I feel frustrated because I’m running out of ideas to help them learn the lessons they’re having trouble with. I feel disappointed because a lot of their mistakes could have been avoided if they were more careful. I feel discouraged because two Fs in one day is as discouraging as it can get. And I feel insecure because if my students fail, that means I fail.

And the only thing worse than failing at something is failing someone. And that’s how I feel.

Turns out I’m not too bad at shooting guns

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I spent my Saturday morning in the shooting range with my dad, brother and sister. It was a much needed time off for me because the last couple of days have been hectic and stressful. I was surprised by 1) how it took me a huge amount of courage to make that first shot and 2) how much firing a gun helps relieve stress.

Proud of myself for doing pretty well for a first timer. I’m glad to have been able put those hours of playing Counter-Strike and Team Fortress to practice.

To the girl with the broken heart

*I wrote this years ago for myself when my boyfriend broke up with me after five years together. In my mind, I wrote this as someone who, I imagined, would be able to reach me in spite of the many barriers I put up around my heart. Recently, one of my best friends got dumped in the worst way possible by her girlfriend of seven years, and I thought maybe letting her read this can help her in some way. And I’m reposting this here just in case this finds its way to someone else who needs a hug.

I don’t see your tears. I’m not there whenever you shed them. I don’t hear the achingly deep breaths you take, thinking it could lessen the pain that made your heart its home. I’m not there whenever you feel safe enough to tuck away the smiles you work so hard on showing off to everyone around you.

It doesn’t matter though. I see right through it.

I see because I’ve felt it – the feeling of giving your all and receiving nothing in return, of trying your hardest but always ending up second best, of loving so much while hurting even more, of knowing you deserve better yet settling for what’s there.

I know what you’re going to say, that I couldn’t possibly know exactly what you’re feeling and that circumstances are different for every person. And that’s true. Our experiences may not be similar, our pain not of the same degree.

But the remedy is.

Whatever he’s done and whatever he’s made you feel, in the end, it can only hurt you as much as you allow it to, as much as you let it. It all comes down to choice – your choice… which, truth be told, makes healing that much harder.

Because sometimes we choose to hurt. Sometimes, we’d rather lock ourselves in a dark room that was once bright, with pain we are so familiar with, instead of using the key we hold in the palm of our hand to open the door and walk out – all because we have not the slightest clue of what’s beyond it. We’re afraid to let go because we think that, if we do, we won’t find anyone else to hold on to and, more importantly, there won’t be another person who will want to hold us too. We’re afraid to be alone so we choose to stay with someone who not only hurt us but make us hurt ourselves and we rationalize it by saying, “At least he makes me feel, and feeling something, even if it is pain, is better than not feeling anything at all.” And I get that. The presence of pain may seem less unbearable than the absence of happiness.

It’s not.

It only feels that way because we also have the tendency to entrust our happiness to anyone besides us. So much so that when that person walks out of our life, he takes our happiness along with him and leaves us with a whole lot of nothing. We know it, we do, but knowing isn’t enough to change anything. We still choose to depend on someone else than face the possibility of being on our own.

Because it would be easier, wouldn’t it? To have someone else make us happy rather than to actually make ourselves happy.

But we can, you know. Be happy with ourselves. Granted it may be quite lonesome at times, disheartening on some occasions. But you know what? It’s worth it. Do you know what it feels like to suddenly find yourself genuinely happy and content and realize that, for the first time since forever, it’s not because of some guy? What does it feel like to be the reason for our own happiness?

Fulfilling. Uplifting. Worth it.

What not a lot of people realize, and what I hope you will, is that there is only one kind of love, aside from the love of God, that will never disappoint and that will never hurt – self-love.

So, at this moment, make your choice. Think about what you’re going through, what you’ll continue to go through should you remain in the path you’re in and choose.

Choose what your heart deserves, not what your heart thinks it wants. Choose to stop putting your happiness in someone else’s hands. And if you already have, don’t be afraid to take it back. Maybe falling for the wrong person was never your choice. But moving on is. We can allow the pain to consume us or we can choose to acknowledge it.

Let it hurt, let it out, then let it go.

And when you’ve let it go, walk away.  And as you walk away, know in your heart that while you may be walking away from something good, you’re sure as hell walking toward something even better.

One step to adulthood: 7 a.m. breakfast on a Saturday morning

I’ve been alive for 24 years now and I’ve never, not even once, voluntarily gone out for an early breakfast on a weekend.The only times I’ve ever gone out for breakfast were with family (which basically means I didn’t have a choice in the matter). I’m the kind of person who prefers to spend more time in bed than to eat an early breakfast no matter how good the food is. I usually get out of bed around nine or ten in the morning and just have brunch instead.

That all changed today.

Today’s my first time to actually decide to wake up earlier than I do on a working day and eat out for breakfast. And it felt so good. I feel so childish for saying this but I really did feel like a grown-up.

I also tried eggs Benedict for the first time in my entire life. I’ve always wanted to try it but the bacon and eggs, and pancakes and waffles were always too tempting to pass up so I’d always end up getting one of those instead. But since today’s breakfast was special, I wanted to get something special as well, hence the eggs Benedict.

And now as I sit in my room, wearing my comfy sweatpants and a shirt that’s too big for me, I don’t feel bad at all. Having my first eggs Benedict on my first early Saturday breakfast has made me feel like I accomplished so much in a span of two hours that’s enough to last me the entire day.

Have a wonderful weekend!