Ka Ikaika

I once read a poem by Jorge Luis Borges called “You Learn”. The poem goes :

'After a while you learn the subtle difference
Between holding a hand and chaining a soul,
And you learn that love doesn’t mean leaning
And company doesn’t mean security.

And you begin to learn that kisses aren’t contracts
And presents aren’t promises,
And you begin to accept your defeats
With your head up and your eyes open
With the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child,
And you learn to build all your roads on today
Because tomorrow’s ground is too uncertain for plans
And futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight.

After a while you learn…
That even sunshine burns if you get too much.

So you plant your garden and decorate your own soul,
Instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.

And you learn that you really can endure…
That you really are strong
And you really do have worth…
And you learn and learn…
With every good-bye you learn.'

The line  ‘So you plan your garden and decorate your own soul instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers‘ is probably the one thing I’ve come to learn over the years as I grew up. I watched myself being torn apart and I tried my best to help my friends who has to deal with a struggle. I was questioned about my life goal and I simply responded by saying I want to see my friends and family happy. Truth to be told, nothing makes me happier than to see my loved ones being happy.

This is Daryl. We’ve been friends for quite a bit and we’ve share our horrible college & university days with each other. Just like my other friends, he too has his own war and battles to conquer. Seeing him being happy and content with life makes me so happy. I can’t say any of us share two of the same pain for each heart and soul are created differently. Everyone has struggles that we don’t speak of, and nights where we’re forced to face our demons that we don’t talk about. There are people who don’t make it out alive and they would do anything to stop the pain.

Strength isn’t only measured physically but mentally and emotionally. The strength to hoist yourself up and not give up, that to me is truly amazing. Watching Daryl picking himself up after what his heart has been through, it makes me proud. That’s the beauty of pain. Once you’ve come to accept and forgive, there’s a sense of peace you’ve built within yourself. We talk about heroes with superpowers and capes but the most courageous you could ever do is to forgive. And that to me is pretty damn heroic. I do believe that everything happens for a reason. Good things will happen to good people when you’re patient enough.

I destroyed loving someone once. It ate me up and I could feel my soul crumbling within me. I could feel the physical ache my heart bared for the longest time I can ever remember. After losing that person, I found myself. I taught myself to never be sad over the loss of a relationship (be it a friend or a lover) if self-improvement is the lover that I’m left in bed with. I taught myself to mend the broken pieces and I taught myself to love wholeheartedly again. I taught myself to be fearless and that it was okay to have emotions for I am only human.

Here’s to you, dear reader, wherever you are. If you feel like you can’t get through your day, just know that you’re never alone. Yes it is tough and it will only get tougher but hang in there, soldier. Believe me when I tell you that you were born with so much strength. Do it for yourself for you really are worth the fight.

Advertisements

Warm Strawberries & Silent Prayers

The picture above was taken after being on the bus for almost an hour only to realised that I didn't get off at the right stop and I got off the wrong bus stop, walked 30 minutes until I decide to wait at another bus stop. Then I got on another bus, got off the right stop, walked for another 40 minutes and I finally reached the beach. Basically, I got lost in another country and my phone didn't have enough data to check anything. 

 

I was looking through all the pictures (polaroids, printed photos & the digital ones) and for every piece of memory that comes with them, I'm thankful. 2017 has taught so much about love in any kind of relationship ; even the relationship with myself. People have been asking how do I do it ; how am I still whole after watching me fall and tear myself apart. So here's what I wrote in my travel journal while I watched the waves gently hug the shore while I bury my toes in the warm loose sand, eating that box of strawberries : –


"Note to self :

You're at a tender age where life is viciously harsh. Some scars that are within you still sting from time to time. Some scars are sewn shut by your horrible sewing skills that makes them look uneven and jagged. But let me tell you that it is okay. Your best friends and family may not have seen you entirely at your worst where you know your healing mechanism somehow is so broken and you don't know how to fix yourself anymore.

There comes a night where your soul falls apart and you can feel yourself crumbling. It is going to be the toughest night you have to survive through. Everything within you feels hollow ; empty. Your hands are going to tremble because you're terrified. Your insecurities have all awaken and have began tearing you apart ; eating you alive.  You're then forced to face your inner monster with nothing but your stripped down, worn out self. You will break down until your throat feels tight and you're gasping for air. You're both equally exhausted and in so much pain. You're just sitting there waiting for dawn, clinging onto the mere hope that it'll be less horrifying. Yes, you are going be so desperate to stop the pain you're feeling and you'll do anything to divert the pain. But please, please hang in there with me for a while more.

There comes a day where the sky is at its best blue and you'll feel yourself shattering in public. You'll bite your lower lip to stop your eyes from forming tears, trying your hardest not to break down in public. Your fingers will be cold and you'll put them in the pockets of your best jeans while masking the obvious fact you're on the verge of crying. Pieces of your heart and soul will begin chipping apart and this is where you're going to pick it all up by yourself. You're going to try to mend yourself in a failing attempt to do so. Tears will stream down your face ; leaving stains on your cheeks and you're going want to stop breathing because the struggle is too painful. But please, please bare with me a little longer.

Don't give up. It's never the time to give up. Of course, it is easier said than done because who's to say what and how you should feel or not. I don't know what you're going through neither do I understand the pain you're feeling. But all I know is that if you're hurting, just take your time for it is okay. The world is already rough and it can be unkind. The last thing that heart of yours need is for you to be wicked it. The heart, the one that took 9 months for your mother to form and grow in her, is meant to love ; especially your entire well-being. You have to trust and believe in it. Just don't give up for you were born to discover places, create your amazing version of art and build your little path. You're going to stumble and fall but please be gentle. You need to know that you really are something and enough. You are loved by someone ; be it a family, a pet or friend. You've come a long way ; went to hell and back. So believe me when I say you really are strong enough to keep going. You got this, warrior.

With much love"


If you're thinking that I have got it all under control, some days I don't but I do take time off to reflect on my life. I've lost people ; friends and family. I've gotten my heart so broken to the point I could physically feel the pain.  Sitting on that warm sand in the picture, I had my passport, on my lap, that held immigration stamps which was the sole proof that I've went out, explored, and conquered. I learned so much ; so many things that I can't possibly type out in one post. But if it's one thing that I learned is you are never alone in this and you're worth the fight 

 

All visuals and words belong to Win W.™ unless stated otherwise.

 

The Tincture of Ameliorating.

This message was sent by another university classmate of mine last Tuesday. We’re just acquaintances so you could imagine how touched I was when I read this message she sent me through Instagram. Our conversation then proceeded to where I found out that her heart is currently in pain. Within the next few seconds, I said a silent prayer with a hope that at least she’ll fell less hurt.  Sofia, I’m glad my words cheered you up 🙂

They say pain changes you but they never say how it changes you. When I fell apart, my legs gave way as I collapsed on the floor breaking down. One time, I cried so hard that all my mother could do was just rub my back as she held me with all the might while I stained her shirt with my tears. You know what’s the most terrifying thing ever? Being scared of yourself. To me, there’s nothing scarier than to be afraid of yourself when you look at your own reflection asking yourself what happened to you. To hit that far below rock bottom was beyond hell. My heart ran out of love and my soul was torn apart in ways I didn’t know how to mend it back. The hurt my heart was going through was so painful that I could physically feel the pain.

I loaded my car and I went for a solo getaway. On that Saturday morning of the getaway, I sat on a long board (the one for surfing, not for skateboarding) and I watched the sunrise as I was floating in sea with my legs knee-deep in the cold sea water. I closed my eyes and I started telling myself quietly :

‘You will learn to love again. You are capable of love.’

It was then I realized that it will actually be alright. Yes, not now but in time, it will. Truthfully, I wish I had a manual that would tell me how to mend a broken soul because it’ll be so much easier. The only thing I know is that there’s a certain type of beauty in our souls and within our hearts. With given time, whatever that once caused the pain will no longer hurt. All you just have to do are 3 things :

  1. Don’t rush things. Let the heart and soul do heal by their own.
  2. Don’t suppress the feeling because numbing the pain will only make it worse afterwards.
  3. Believe in yourself.

I began trusting myself a little bit more after everything. As I laid on that long board and floating at sea, I placed my hands on my chest and felt my heart beating. The beating that told me I would make it out alive through this pain. I’m not going to lie and hide the fact that there are days where I lose my composure and cry. But you know what’s the most courageous thing? It’s when on those dark days, you still accept yourself for who you are. People look at me and they wonder how do I do it. Well, love is the key. I still continued to give love. I became more kind and gentle especially with myself.

Cry, if you must ; and smile when you’re happy. You’re entitled to feel whatever you feel and no one should ever make you feel that whatever you’re feeling is wrong.  3.5 years of teaching kids how to swim have taught me the essence of forgiveness and the joy of being kind. We grew up in a society where people think love is cruel but hey, that heart that you walk around with? It not only pumps life to your entire body but it feeds your soul with love. It heals your physical and emotional wounds. It’s not evil and it’s definitely not cruel. Sure, your previous relationship didn’t work out but that doesn’t mean you’re incapable of loving again.

You got to do you. You want to hike up the Himalayas? Do it. You want to just stay in bed and read for the entire day? Do it. Do things that you love and bring bliss to your heart and soul. Yes you’re scarred but I truly believe that everything you go through in life is stitched together with really good intentions. Let yourself heal and then when you’re ready, you’ll love again. Above all else, believe in yourself. You really have to. Do it for you. Trust that heart of yours for eventually it will mend and your soul will be okay again. 

 

 

 

All visuals and words belong to Win W.™ unless stated otherwise.

 

To You, From Me.

It’s been 14 days since I’ve came home and the P.M.S (Post Melbourne Syndrome) is taking its toll on me. What you’re going to tell me is that I’m being a melancholic drama queen and that it was my holiday hence why I can’t compare what I’ve experienced in Melbourne to home. Don’t get me wrong ; I love being home because of the familiarity with things and the convenience of driving around in my car instead of relying on the public transport like I did in Melbourne. Let me get things straight before you and I go into a debate on what a ungrateful brat I am for not appreciating what I have right now.

I have never spent that long of a holiday in a place where I knew completely nothing about and I had to rely on a map and a travel guide that I took from the airport and maneuver my way when I got lost. Your argument to that statement would probably be “But Elizabeth Gilbert spent a year in 3 different countries to find herself and wrote a book about it.” I didn’t have the time to take a year off university to do so, so I milked whatever time I was given for my semester break which was 35 days and I landed just 4 hours before my first class for the new semester started. So yes, ladies and gentlemen, I squeezed in every second I could get out of my break.

I won’t hide behind a lie and say being back in ‘reality’ has been a bliss because it hasn’t rreally but I’m blessed. I mean, I desperately needed that holiday (or escape, you can put it that way). Take my skin, for instance, and the outbreaks its been having compared to me being in Melbourne.  However, despite me missing Melbourne terribly and wanting to go back (even if it means for me to shiver in the cold and complain about the heat), it’ll always be an experience that I’ll never forget. A while ago and I flipped through my wood-printed faux leather 2016 planer, this year is really going to be my year.

Nonetheless, Melbourne did heal me in ways I can’t explain. Dear reader, if you’re reading this post and feeling like you’re beyond repair, I am a walking proof that things will fit perfect into place and eventually, your soul will mend. I’m honestly not telling you that it’s easy because I am still having a difficult time handling things myself and I have yet to conquer the art of improvising to whatever life is going to throw at my way. You’re going to tell me that I was one of the lucky ones who was given a chance to go somewhere to ‘find myself’ and I won’t argue with you on that. I am lucky and I’m so thankful and grateful to be given that opportunity. I came home to type this post to tell you, wherever you may be right now and whatever you’re going through ; I’m here to tell you that Randy Pausch, author of The Last Lecture ( though only reading a few chapters and I’ve yet to finish reading) taught me that :

This is what it is. We can’t change it. We just have to decide how we’ll respond. We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just  how we play the hand.”

You got you ; you got this – I urge you to tell yourself that.

Inspiring Angel.

“Describing Win is going to take a while because to be honest, she’s really different. So I’m just going to summarize it up into something that is short. She thought me how to love again, how to pick myself up and encouraged me to fight for what I want. My parents told me that she’s a driven girl who knows what she wants and stands firm to what she believes in. They said that she’ll be the person that will go far. She just needs encouragement. Then again, everyone needs encouragement. Win is a really talented person. Besides being ambidextrous, art defines her. If there was one thing that I would ask her to pick up again would be music. Her mom asked her multiple of times to pick it back up because she has that ‘touch’ in music. I’ve seen her play the piano. You have to sit down and ask her to play anything and just watch her. She doesn’t need a piano diploma to prove to you that’s good. She’s that talented.

I’ve also watched how she studies art in her own way. How she would like to feel a certain drawing. She just sits there, completely zoned out with her music and the pen or brush between her fingers. She’s also a proud book worm. She never comes out a bookstore empty handed. She always compare books and sometimes you can find her talking to the books she’s holding in her hands. She finds comfort in literature and you can find the edge of the pages of her books folded to signify something on that page that is important to her. She also highlights phrases or sentences in her books. Basically, any form of art defines her ; expresses her. Other than that, she’s analactical. She always puts her heart into whatever she’s doing. You should see how she solves engineering statistics questions. When she actually focus, she can do it. She writes a lot too because it’s the only way she can spill her thoughts and emotions out on paper.

So if a guy were to fall in love with her, just know that when she loves you back, she loves with all her heart. Believe me when I tell you that she’s going to put your happiness first before hers because she knows what it’s like to sad and she wouldn’t want you to feel that way. She’s that kind of person. She’s passionate, independent, ambitious and she never expects anything from you. She’s not one to judge at all because she believes every flaw that an individual carry is beautiful in its own way that only the right person can see. She’s not demanding and she’s different, really uniquely different. Sure she’s going to need assurance from time to time because who doesn’t have insecurities. So I think if a guy falls in love with her, it’s because carry a certain confidence or passion in her and she’s always herself.

She’s a fighter too but I think every warrior out there needs someone to make them believe that everything will be okay after tough day at war. She inspires people, even if she doesn’t know it. Because of her strong will power to pick herself up after a fall and the obvious fact that she strives and thrives for everything she does. If I have to describe Winnie in one sentence, it’ll be :

‘A girl that you’ll never regret knowing because she taught me about life more than anyone ever had’. Just like what my parents told me, I am lucky to have a friend like her in my life.”

– EBL.

Fix A Broken Heart

IMG_4256

“It hurts, Win. I feel like my heart can’t take it. I can physically feel the pain,” I remembered watching her slowly cry. I held her hand and I lifted her chin gently. I wiped her tears with my fingers and I looked into her dark brown eyes. I could somehow feel her heart falling apart.

My grip on her fingers became tighter. “Look at me,” I told her.

Through her teary eyes, “I’m never enough for him,” her voice said shakily.

My face turned into a serious look. “Hey, don’t you ever, ever say that,” I said.

“How can you say that? You’re hurting too after what the other guy did to you. He treated you as a rebound. He opened up old wounds and it hurt you because your ex did the exact same thing. So how can you say that it’s okay when it hurts?” she said as tears stream down her cheeks faster.

“I’m not saying that you’re not allowed to hurt. It only makes you more human to be in pain. Yes I’m in no position to tell you how to heal your heart but all I can tell you that over time it will heal by itself. You know why it’s hard for you and I? Because we felt it. Both guys held our hands, kissed us and gave us hugs. I broke down so much last week. To the point where I collapsed on the floor and just cry. But look at me now. Yes I’m not perfectly fine but at least I’m not crying that much now.”

“How…how do you just…make it stop. Make…the pain….stop” she stuttered asking me.

“It’s not going to be easy because there’s going to be days where you still wake up in hopes that he’ll text you ‘Good morning, beautiful’ or messages saying that he misses you. There will also be days where you feel like you can’t go on anymore. And there will also be days where you just wish things were different. You’ll check all his social networking profiles and every single love song ever created somehow is about him. You’re going to be bitter at every happy couple out there and you’re going to want to get so drunk just to numb the pain.

But it’s not going to be easy. So take all the time you need to heal. All the damn time you need. You have to do it for yourself. Your friends can only help you that much. Yes, everyone makes it seem so easily to just move on but they don’t feel like how you and I feel. Whether it was an infatuation, a crush or a relationship. Your heart still feels it ; big or small. The heart feels every damn thing. That’s what makes us human. To feel. You held his hands, you felt his presence and in that moment it was real to you and it hurts because the heart felt it.

I don’t know how to fix a broken heart but all I can say you can’t blame yourself because you gave it all and it was your best. What I know is that, you’ll learn how to love again. You’re going to stumble and fall but hey, trail and error right? Sometimes you can’t really avoid the hurt because you’re so caught up with everything and your heart just feels everything all at once,” I said, looking at her.

I reached for my purse and I found my plastic human body anatomy model. I slowly disassemble the body parts and place it in her palms.

“This,” I began telling her. “This my anatomy John Doe. It’s like how Meredith Grey from Grey’s Anatomy had her Anatomy Jane Doll. I had this,” I pointed at the plastic body parts.

“I’ve had it since I was 9 or 10 years old. And I bring it around whenever I feel like crying so I could disassemble and assemble it again,” I explained. I asked her to fix it and she managed to fix it, putting all the pieces into place. Once she was done, she opened her hand to show me the full toy. I closed her fingers and held the plastic body between our hands.

“You see, when you fall apart, only you know how to fix yourself. I didn’t have to tell you how to fix. You somehow knew where everything was and you fixed it. It took time didn’t it?” I asked and she nodded slowly.

“Just like your heart, it takes time to heal. You will somehow know how to stitch back the broken pieces together. Some pieces are more difficult to patch back than the others but I promise you, once you’re done, you’ll be brand new again. It is as if you never fell apart in the first place. No one said it’s going to be easy but I swear on my life that it’ll be better. Maybe not today or tomorrow or next week but some day. Forgive because that’s the first step.

Forgive yourself, forgive him and forgive everything. Don’t hold grudges. Remind yourself that you’re beautiful and smart. He won’t be there to tell you those things anymore but that doesn’t mean you’re not beautiful. Take deep breaths when you feel like breaking down. Do things to keep yourself busy so you don’t have to think about him. And always, always love yourself. Remember what Cristina Yang from Grey’s said?

It’ll hurt. Every time you think of him. But over time, it will hurt less and less and eventually you’ll remember him and…it will only hurt a little. I’m sure it must feel as though everything is coming apart but you can get through this.’ Remember what she said. It will be better,” I told her. She wiped her tears at the back of her hand and looked at me. I smiled at her. And for a moment right there, it really did hurt a little less.

IMG_4257

Resilient

IMG_3954

Helen Keller once said, “Your success and happiness lies in you. Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties“.

You be selfish with your own happiness. You go chase your dreams because sweetheart, no one is ever going to chase it for you. You make your stand for what you believe in and go for it. Yes being your own hero is tiring because every demon out there wants a pound of your flesh. Heck, screw everyone who even has something to say about what you eat. You want that piece of chocolate cake? Go eat it. You’re living for yourself. Not for anyone else. Be driven. Strive. Be motivated. Thrive. Be brave. Be fearless. Don’t wait for someone to buy you that Cartier. You can get it yourself. You work for it. You’re responsible for your own success. Pour in effort.

Is it going to be difficult? Yes it is. I’m not telling you all heroes have it easy because they don’t. They lose people along the way and they get cuts and bruises. They fall, cry and they get hurt. But what makes a great hero is that you can get back up on your feet through everything and keep fighting. So fight for yourself because you’re worth it. You are strong.