Maikaʻi

I’m pretty successful.”

Those are the words that I’ve never thought I would tell myself as my best friend took the picture above. We were watching the Garden Rhapsody which was a light and sound show at Gardens by The Bay, Singapore. I smiled watching the show thinking to myself, this is what life is. It is to be content, happy, grateful and thankful for everything that I have.

People measure success in monetary terms. As I grew up, I learned that if you’re truly happy, content and thankful for everything that you have, that itself is success. And if you’re passionate about something, there’s never a day in your life that you’ll ever be upset again. If you measure success in monetary value, someone is able to take that away from you. I learned to celebrate the little joys and to be grateful for the day. I’m still learning not to vicious to myself, like stop beating myself up too hard. I’d like to think that you’re rich when your heart is full of love and kindness. If you’re honestly happy, you shouldn’t care what people think or say about you.

I won’t lie and tell you that every day is perfect to me. There are days where I do find it difficult to go on but I tend to take a step back and be grateful for the day. Be happy of the little blessings ; be it for the weather or for the fact that your heart is beating strongly. I won’t admit that I’m always okay because it takes time for growth and I’m still growing ; mentally and emotionally. But I’ve come to learn to be proud of myself. And I’m so thankful for all the people that have always made my heart so full.

A little advice?

Do you. Be you. Be proud of who you are and how far you’ve come. Be kind and love wholeheartedly. Be thankful for what you have and be content. Always thrive and never give up. Always know that you got this.

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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.

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.

 

Here’s to all the hours I’ve spent in orchestras, theatres, art galleries, museums, parks, reading tons of literature and creating art. I shamelessly admit to all the money I’ve spent buying books, entrance fees, and spending doing art ; be it writing or drawing. There’s a certain kind of comfort and quietness that art gives someone. It is like how Leonardo da Vinci once said “Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen“. There is a kind of beauty that the art carries with it ; be it a dance, a painting, a picture, a sculpture or a book. It’s as if the artist left a part of his/her soul for you to learn from or to know about. So here’s to the art galleries that comforted little parts of me that I didn’t know how to comfort. Here’s to the orchestras and theatres where it was brought the kind of safety and calmness a wounded soul needs. Here’s to the books and museums that were (still are) my greatest teachers of life and love. My old high school literature teacher was right about art. It reminds you on what it’s like to be human again.

“A man should hear a little music, read a little poetry, and see a fine picture every day of his life, in order that worldly cares may not obliterate the sense of the beautiful which God has implanted in the human soul.” 
― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

 

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

Losing Composure

There comes a day where you’ll lose composure and that will be the day you’ll not know what to do. And, that is fine.

I once destroyed myself. I remembered the night where I stood in front of the mirror and I really couldn’t recognize myself anymore. That horrible night that I was so afraid of falling asleep. It was that night my breaths were like as if I was gasping for air. I began wondering what’s wrong with me. The following week after that night…God…it was just…hell, y’know? I remembered how hard it was telling myself not to break down in public. I remember running to my car and breaking down after that. It was as if my heart was so empty. The mechanism within me was severely broken. People underestimate pain and they take it so lightly. They tell you to move on and just forget about it like it’s something easy to do when it’s not.

But let me share something with you.

It’s okay to cry, to break down. It’s okay to feel insecure and to feel inadequate. There are days where I feel so incompetent and my insecurities takes control of me. It only makes you human. Having to feel your own heart breaking has got to be one of the most painful feeling you ever have to feel. Of course you can’t compare it to others. It’s not a competition on who lets it go and move on first. It’s not a competition to see who is hurt more. Never compare pain. People tend to wonder how I do it ; how I pull through. Honestly, there have been days where I lose all composure.

And you know what counts? The fact that after it all, you wipe your tears and you tell yourself “It’s okay”. That to me is bravery. Losing composure doesn’t mean it’s always bad. It just makes you take a step back and just take things slower. It’s hard because there’ll always be trigger points and it’ll be so exhausting. Losing composure is a scary thing because in within a split moment, you just lost it all and you’re on the floor crying.

It makes you real. Pick yourself up ; and breathe. Feel that heart of yours beating. Somehow, you will be okay.

 

 

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

Transpire.

“The polaroid of you and I slipped out my purse. I completely forgotten that it was there. I picked it up and I smiled at it. There was no longer that bitterness in me.

I remember driving pass the spot where you once planted a kiss on my forehead. It was the night where you were so afraid to love me but you knew still said it anyways because all you wanted to do then was to love me. I remember how we sang our favorite song in public even though we both know we’re horrible singers. I remember our fights and the first time you cried in front of me. You told me you’ve never cried in front of anyone before but you did when you realized you were about to lose me. I remember holding you in my arms while you cried and begged me to stay. I stayed with you and I loved you more than I’ve loved any other person in my life. I remember giving you my heart. I still remember that night when you told me over the phone where you no longer wanted me. I tried to beg for you to stay but you said no.

I destroyed myself in loving you ; by giving all of my fragile heart to you. I fell apart. I remember the night where I stood in front of the mirror and I really couldn’t recognize the broken soul staring back at me. That horrible night that I was so afraid of falling asleep. It was that night my breaths were like as if I was gasping for air. I began wondering what’s wrong with me that I keep getting my heart broken. I remember how hard it was telling myself not to break down in public. I remember running to my car and losing all composure. It was as if my heart was so empty. The multiple of times I broke down. All the mornings I woke up missing you terribly that it literally ached. All the times where I muster the courage to hope you find someone else that would love you as much as I did ; someone that would calm the anger and hatred in you. Someone whose arms you’ll make your home in.

Then, I remember…I remember that morning I woke up where the pain no long stung anymore. I no longer miss you. I saw you on a Wednesday where you were out with someone new. I wasn’t bitter but instead, I smiled looking from afar knowing that the other person will love you. I lost you and it taught me what it was like to love.  I made peace with the pain. I forgave myself and I began loving myself more. I learned, even though it was a hellish struggle. I loved and I learned. Now, the thought of you no longer lingers in my mind. I no longer need you. I hoisted myself back up and stood on my own two shaky legs. I now no longer have the fear for love. I found myself. It took time and it really felt forever but I made it. I actually made it. out alive and this time, I’ve become a better me. Thank you for showing me that I am able to love myself without you.

So goodbye. Goodbye to all you.

– Here’s  to loving again.”

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.