Those Days When The Sun Doesn’t Shine As Bright

I do my best to be positive all the time; to look at the bright side of things while doing my best to figure out how to get past the trials I am facing at the moment. It is never easy but I survive.

Sometimes it becomes too much and all you can think of is how hopeless it all seems. There are days when everything that can possibly go wrong, goes wrong and you feel like a mute and hopeless audience as you watch your life slowly break into pieces in front of you. There are days when you feel that there is no way out, your life is a mess and you are a mess. You desperately try to grab on to anything that can keep you afloat while keeping a smile in your face. Sometimes, you can only sit in a corner and cry. Unable to tell anyone anything not because you don’t trust them nor because you want to appear brave but because you just don’t know how to say it.

Isn’t it amusing how you can talk to you friends about the silliest things and yet, sometimes on things that truly matter, you freeze?

I have always known I am prone to depression and that is why I do my best to be logical and analytical all the time. Some people thinks I am cold and distant when I choose to see things in a different perspective. What they don’t know is that, it is my coping mechanism. A defense I have created to protect myself against myself. I have to detach myself from a situation that is hurting me or making me sad because if I let my emotions get the best of me, I would be so depressed and harm myself.

I don’t want to go through those dark moments again. Those moments when you feel like you are drowning and everything seemed so empty. Those days when you feel so numb and the only thing that reminds you that you are still alive is the pain you inflict to yourself. A little bit of danger here, a little slice of that flesh, a little drop of blood. It is crazy. But perverted as it is, the pain is in the only thing keeping you alive.

You know what is worst thing about it? When you desperately want to ask for help but instead of asking for one you find yourself laughing with your friends or telling them silly jokes, all the while feeling empty inside. When you retreat to your own world and the rest of the world go on living, minding their own business and never noticing that silent cries for help. When you silently sew your own torn pieces while being simultaneously torn apart by the world. When you wrestle demons in the dead of the night, fighting a daily battle against your self. When the rest of the world only sees your smiles but not your tears. When they see your broken pieces and choose to look past it but never realizing how those broken pieces are cutting you into a bloody mess.

Sometimes, the demons come back to visit. When they do, I write. When they do, I think of all the happy memories like Harry did when he faced the dementors. When they do, I pray.

I guess it would be folly to believe that you can be completely happy for the rest of your life. We can only do our best to stay as positive as we can and be happy while we can. We can only do our best to fight the demons that haunts us and the shadows that threatens to swallow us. We can only pray that we survive another battle. We can only hope that when the darkness comes again, the world will hear our cries and pull us back before we let go.

I promised myself to be happy as much as I can; to see the beauty of the simplest things and to be happy with it. I promise myself that for as long as I have that ray of sunshine inside me, I will not let go. I promise myself that when the darkness comes again, I will fight it and I will not harm myself again.

So help me God.

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*I apologize for any spelling or grammatical errors. Proofreading via mobile is a challenge for me.*

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A Dream and A Travel Blog

I was quite miffed this morning because I woke up two hours before my alarm with a sudden and urgent need to create a travel blog entitled, “#Explore”. Half-awake and eyes barely open, I grabbed the phone (because my laptop is still broken) and launched wordpress and started typing before I could realize what I was doing.

I don’t know what got into me but I woke up with an idea fully formed in my head. My brain, which is usually unreliable when I want to blog, has already created a full outline of what the blog would be like and what topics I should write. Heck, I didn’t even have to spend an hour figuring out what URL to use.

So yeah, I am in the process of creating this new blog with a name that came to me in a dream (#Explore) and a url that only a sleepwalking me could possibly create (aiexploreph.wordpress.com). My mind is quite relentless about this since I woke up this morning. The whole day I’ve been thinking about it and had to go on personal break many times to jot down my ideas because otherwise I would go insane. (I work in a call center of a financial firm so writing materials are not allowed.)

As I go about my daily business, I am slowly getting a better picture of this blog. It will focus on budget traveling and I will be highlighting places I’ve been to and places that aren’t popularly known yet. It will basically be like an online version of my Evernote which contains all my itineraries and unpublished travelogues.

I will of course keep this blog as my personal one. Solely dedicated to relieve my clattered mind of thoughts I am incapable of verbalizing.

I would be very honest to admit that I am planning to monetize that travel blog. (It messed up my much needed sleep so it might as well be useful, don’t you think?) For now, I will just work on posting quality works because for the life of me I don’t know how to use my blog for business (and I’ve been blogging for more than 10 years!) Any suggestions? Plus, using it as business would require me to get a clearance from work so…

It’s not about greed though. Or probably it is. Well, I mainly want a new laptop (anyone cares to donate?) But I also want to eventually be stable enough to travel wherever without worrying about a day job. I mean, let’s  face it, for people like me who loves traveling everywhere, freelance is the best thing to do. But I am not so brave to just leave my job because at this time, I will not survive a week without income. Sad but true.

Anyway, help me guys. Any advice or suggestions on what I can do to make this travel blog work? Do you have any tips? My brain is killing me with so many ideas and I need to sort this out. I  welcome any advice! Thanks!

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*I apologize for any spelling or grammatical errors. Proofreading via mobile is a challenge for me.*

Double Standards

We hear all these stories of men being wolves in sheeps clothing; of men being monsters and assholes and all that yet we seldom hear stories of how women can be equally horrible. We live in a society filled with double standards, that is the truth. We live in a world where respecting each other just seemed so hard and so impossible. We all have to be better than the next person. That person has to be worst than us. Blah, blah, blah.

One particular double standard our society has that I find really cringing is in terms of abusive relationships. I came across this infographic about the ten signs of an abusive partner and I find it quite ridiculous that it is, probably unconsciously, biased against men.

I do not condone domestic violence or abusive partners. I am not saying that it is not happening. Some men ARE monsters, that is also true. What I am saying is that, it is not just the men who are capable of domestic violence. It is not just men who are abusive in relationships. Women can also be very abusive.

Sadly, we live in a society where we have this perception that only women can be abused and only men are abusive. We live in a society where we still believe that women are fragile creatures, not capable of tormenting or hurting anyone. We live in a world where a man cannot be abused or raped because that is just impossible. We live in a society that unconsciously condones abuse. We live in a society that is determined to have gender equality but unconsciously just switched one bias to another.

Truth is, those ten signs of an abusive partner? It applies to all of us.

I am a woman and I do hate abusive men. I admit, I am guilty of having this stereotype in my head. When I see a man hits a woman, I instantly think of him as a monster. When I see a woman hit a man, I just laugh. But you see, my (journalism school) training always kicks in. I always wanted to know the story behind everything and I want to see both sides of the story. Though I am inclined to listen to her story, I also want to know his story.

Think about it. When you see a woman slap a man, it doesn’t matter how many times or why she did that, your first reaction is to cheer her for being so brave in standing up for herself. If the man retaliates and slaps her even just once, we will rise up with murderous intent. But this got me asking. If a woman has the right to defend herself when she’s being hurt, why is it wrong for men to defend themselves?

I know, this is very complex. It is not black and white, yes and no kind of thing. What I am trying to say here is that, we should probably not applaude anyone hurting anyone.

I’ve met women who are crazier and more manipulative than men. I have met women who embodies those ten signs and yet nobody calls them out. Sometimes I feel that society is encouraging us women to be so. Sadly, and I hope this is just me, in our attempts to empower women, we ended up abusing men. We just simply switched the scenarios. The real message was lost in translation.

Look at this closely:

image
Rappler: Young, inlove and abused in Indonesia. May 22, 2015 issue.

Physical abuse. Well, I guess it is easy to think this just applies to men. Afterall, men are supposedly stronger and more physical than women. I guess, although as women we don’t want to be seen as fragile creatures, we are not above accepting that description as well if it means justifying our actions. I guess this makes us more dangerous doesn’t it?

Men with volatile tempers are called abusive, women are just PMS-ing. Hyper-jealous and possesive women are simply clingy. Screaming at your boyfriend in public is normal, but boyfriend screaming at you in public is emotional abuse. Don’t get me started with digital stalking. And what’s with snooping into someone else’s phone or computer to read emails and texts? I personally know a lot of women who does this. And you know that thing you do when you go whever your boyfriend goes and if you can’t go, he shouldn’t as well? Why is that normal when women do it but why is it only abusive when men does? Everyone should be able to go wherever they want.

I am not trying to demonize women, I am simply attempting to highlight the fact that we are still living in a double standard society. The only difference now is that, women are now the dominant gender.

I believe in gender equality. For me, the current trend that we have is the farthest thing from it. I believe gender equality is about respect. Mutual respect from both sides. It is about empowering both genders. It is not about giving women the right to abuse men.

I also believe that abuse, in any form, is not to be tolerated. We have to help women in abusive relationships but also have to acknowledge that men are not the only abusers in a relationship. We should stop this whole stereotype and educate people that anyone is susceptible to abuse. I believe that the most effective way to stop domestic violence or abusive relationships is to accept the fact that those ten signs are not restricted to one gender only.

Again, respect is at the core of this. We should start respecting each other and start accepting that everyone of us have the same rights as the person next to us. We should start facing and changing the things we kept a blind eye to. Men and women should support each other. Nobody deserves to be abused. It’s time to stop the double standards. It’s time to hear both sides of the story. It’s time to change our perspectives.

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*I apologize for any spelling or grammatical errors. Proofreading via mobile is a challenge for me.*