The Future is Unknown

I don’t know what you think when you see me walking by. I don’t know what runs through your mind when you hear my name. I don’t know how correct your first impression of me was compared to what you know now.

I don’t know. In fact, I don’t know you…but you don’t know me either.

A lot of the people in my life right now are people who had just walked into my life. Meaning a lot of the people in my life right now weren’t here just a couple months ago. These are the people I do not know; these are those who do not know me.

As much as I want to believe these people will stick around, I know better than to have that kind of hope right now. As much as I want to trust that these people have pure and good intentions, I know better than to make the assumption that everyone I meet has my heart. As much as I want to think nothing is going to go wrong, I know better than to give myself false expectations.

Though…I believe everything happens for a reason. So I will go along with where the wind blows; I will ride the waves to see where they lead; I will play it by ear so I do not miss the game that is supposed to play out. I will give everyone around me a chance, as long as they give me the same chance.

So, that’s what I ask for:

I don’t know what you think of me. I don’t know what you think of when you hear my name. I don’t know what you want from me.

But, if you expect me to give you a fair chance, I will need you to give me one as well.

That’s what I ask for: A fair chance.

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Ask. I Dare You.

Ask me anything.

Curious about one of my blog posts? Ask me. Start a conversation.

Curious about my thoughts regarding something? Ask.

Want some advice? I’ll do the best I can.

Want someone to listen? I’ll lend an ear.

Ask me anything.

Comment or email me,

Always here (:

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Do Not…Even Try…

Don’t tell me I worry too much about others. I remember what it feels like to think no one cares, and I know no one should have to feel that way.

Don’t tell me I spread myself too thin. I don’t know how many times someone older had told me they regret not doing enough when they were younger.

Don’t tell me I can’t help someone. I don’t know that I can’t until I try every thing that I know how to do, and maybe I’ll learn something new along the way too.

Don’t tell me I daydream too often. The greatest thing about life is the fact that you get to write your future the way you want to, and ANYTHING can happen between “now” and “then”.

Don’t tell me I’m a disgrace to my family. I might not make them proud; I might not be a world’s greatest female of anything, but I’m doing what I can and I’m doing my best.

Don’t tell me I cannot do something before I’ve even started. Everyone amazes, in the end, and everyone is more capable than anyone may think.

Don’t define me by what happened in the past. It might be a long time from then, and I know I’m not the same person I used to be.

Don’t define me by my parents’ wealth or good fortune. You can give or take what you will from a child, but it really only depends on how the child was raised.

Don’t define me by what you see on the outside. Everyone knows, a mask hides and a cover conceals. Things aren’t always as they seem, even without magic.

Don’t define me by your standards of what you believe I should be. I don’t live by your rules and I don’t live to impress you.

Don’t define me by a mistake or a fluke. You can’t expect to get an entirety of a story with only a chunk of a chapter. That’s merely an assumption and not the truth.

Don’t tell me I need to stop caring so much. If you don’t care about others, if you don’t have that human connection, then what is your heart worth?

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Give You A Chance (with My Guard Up)

When I first saw you, I felt a pull towards you. There was something about you I had to get to know. There was something in you that beckoned for my presence in your life. There was a part of you that needed a part of me, or the other way around because you never know about these things. But there was definitely a part of you calling out to a part of me. And that is exactly what scared the life out of me.

I know you have only known of my name for a few days. I know we have only talked, small talk, a maximum of ten times. I know you are as clueless about me as I am about you. So let me explain myself:

The last person I felt a pull towards, a connection with, that spark towards, is someone who I cannot imagine anymore. He brought me to some sort of light that I’ve been needing in my life for several years. He brought me to a place within myself where I can heal. He adored me; he respected me; he supported me; he encouraged me; he believed in me; he rooted for me; he tried to understand me; he did his best to be there for me; he showered me with affection; and, most importantly, he loved me and he wanted me to be happy and accept myself.

Right from the start, we both knew we had something different. We had a friendship unlike any other either of us have experienced. We had a strong connection that seemed to know no bounds. We had something different that could only be felt by the two who were in the relationship. We lived what seemed to be a fairytale life, a “happy ever after” kind of story where the bride and broom fight by each other’s sides an unlimited amount of times.

But, and I’m sure you can guess where this is going, our world snapped in two and everything that seemed to be a fairytale shattered like an illusion or a spell that was only waiting to get broken.

That was the last time I let someone get that close. That was the last time I trusted anyone to let them see anywhere even remotely close to 80% of the true me. That was the last time I counted on someone to stick by me. That was the last time I was rooting for someone for the sake of keeping them in my life. That was the last time I can say I let myself called someone “mine”.

And what do you expect? A girl with a broken heart and a hectic life spins around to continue to keep pushing forward and keep fighting for something a little more.

So, when I saw you for the first time and felt that pull towards you, it scared the life out of me. My guard went up. My shields went on. But I couldn’t turn it off. When I turned around and you were there, there was no denying my curiosity.

I didn’t stop myself from trying to start small conversations, as coworkers should, during the times that you stood by my side. I didn’t stop myself from smiling and shaking my head when I felt comfortable being there with you. I didn’t stop myself from asking for your help when I needed help with the heavy weight. I didn’t stop myself from asking the question I knew sat on the tip of your tongue, “Did you want to hang out?” I didn’t stop myself from shrugging off the alarms that went off in my head when you tried getting closer. I didn’t stop myself from smiling in both amusement and sympathy when you tried to shower me with a form of affection you knew how to give. I didn’t stop myself…but, now, I wish I had.

Because the only things that run through my mind when I think about that time when I talked to you are the questions like: DO I act like a spoiled bitch? DO I act like I don’t have any clue how hard life might be for others? DO I act like there are people who “aren’t cool enough” or “aren’t good enough” to be my friend? DO I set myself apart from everyone so much that people see a boundary between my world and theirs? DO I not understand struggle because I did not struggle the way everyone else might’ve been dealing with?

I know I had an easier life than most. I know I don’t know what it is like to struggle the way others have. I know I have yet to take on the responsibilities that others my age might’ve started to deal with by age 15. I know I was protected like a princess trapped in her room that overlooks the city in some tower. I know my life must seem to be where everyone would want to be. I know people look in from the outside and believe I must have it so much better because I have the facade that tells them I’m better than they must be. I know…that much.

What I do not know is this: I don’t know how much about me you think you know. I don’t know how much about my life you think you can read off my clothes or the car I drive. I don’t know what you think about this seemingly rich girl working a part-time job where she gets paid minimum wage when she could be doing other things.

I don’t know what you’ve had to deal with and life with when you were growing up. I don’t know what you’re going through now on a day-to-day basis. I don’t know how confused you might be about the future. I don’t know what your checkered past might consist of. I don’t know what you think of the person you see each day in the mirror.

I also don’t know where I’m going to be in a year. I also don’t know why we have this seemingly unnatural pull towards one another. I also don’t know why a part of you is calling to a part of me. I also don’t know what we are supposed to be in each other’s lives. I also don’t know what we are supposed to do for one another.

I don’t know why we have been placed in the circumstance we see ourselves in. I don’t know why we seem to understand a little bit about each other that feels as if others don’t get. I don’t know…a lot of things, to be simple, maybe I should’ve just said that at the start. But what I do know is that maybe I am willing to give you a chance as long as you give me a chance too.

I don’t know what I can do for you. I don’t know what kinds of things I can show you or teach you. I don’t know what I can prove to you or lead you towards. I don’t know. I also don’t know what you can entertain me with. I don’t know what you can show me or prove to me. I don’t know what you can do for me.

But I might be willing to give this a shot, as long as you give it your all.

Just give me some time. Because, just as you had said you’re scared of getting hurt, I am terrified of letting my guard down and turn my shields off once more.

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You Got This

I don’t know what’s going to happen in life. That’s the thing about the future, you can’t predict it…you can only write it. You can guess all you want, and you can hope and wish for any future you desire but it doesn’t matter. Because unless you go out there and actively work for the future you want, you will not find yourself living the life you’ve always dreamt of.

No matter what happens, no matter how many times you fall down, no matter how many things you messed up with, you have to keep walking forward. No matter how many times your heart has been torn to pieces, no matter how many times you’ve told yourself you will never trust anyone else like that ever again, no matter how much you try to protect yourself, you have to keep that faith and that hope that pushes you onward. No matter what you think you’re worth, no matter how many regrets you have in your past, no matter how terrified you are to go all in once more, you have to keep fighting for yourself.

Because after every wrong turn, you will find yourself proudly walking down the streets again. After every mistake you thought you made, you will find yourself convinced that you wouldn’t be the person you are today without all those flaws in your past. After every terrifying and heart-aching event, you will find yourself being strong and braver than you ever thought you could be.

I don’t know what’s going to happen in my life…but, for the people who stand beside me, for the people who root for me, for the people who believe in me, for the people who know me,…for the people who have yet to meet me, for the people who are bystanders in my life, for the people who are waiting for me to fail, for the people who are looking to pick at my flaws,…for the memories I’ve yet to make, for the experiences I’ve yet to have, and – most importantly – for the woman I’ve yet to grow up and be…I won’t give up. And I hope you won’t either.

To the obnoxious young man who calmed me down, thank you.

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One Generation, Two Different Parts of Life

Whenever I talked to him, there was this coating of being carefree. Whenever I saw him, he greeted me with a smile as if I could make his day better despite what else was happening. Whenever I laughed with him, it felt as if nothing else mattered but being happy with where I am in life right that second. For the first moments in a what felt like years of endless worry and stress, I felt okay to live in the present without any worry about the rest of my life.

There’s always been something about him that stood out to me. He was driven, unlike many of our classmates, and determined to no certain extent. He was always smiling and conversations flowed as if we had memorized the lines ten thousand years ago. He had always been a little different from the rest of the crowd. I respected him.

Then, I find out he’s been in the military and I couldn’t help but smile. He had held such a position due to his character and his personality. I couldn’t imagine what kinds of stories he had to tell, but I knew each and every single one of them had molded him into the great soldier he is today. I was so proud of him.

Then, that night happened.

He asked to talk to me outside, after class, with a certain tone in his voice I had never heard before. I followed him outside, after lagging slightly, and found this seriousness in his expression I wanted to avoid for as long as I could. We started talking about how beautiful the campus was, lit by the countless number of white lights throughout the area. I couldn’t help myself when the nervous butterflies within made me nauseous with anxiety. I knew my mouth wanted to ramble but I did my best to remain silent.

But when he finally got to the topic he wanted to speak about, I immediately knew where the conversation would go. I heard the words come out of his mouth but didn’t really know how to react. I was facing the father of a little girl, and the husband of a wonderful young woman. I was talking to one of my classmates who had been making such an impact on my life as is. I didn’t want to lose what there was, but I knew there was no way I would take a part of his life.

I remember how he joked around as he asked if I’ll walk away from him because he turned down dinner. I remember how he laughed, a little nervously, as he made sure I was okay with us being friends. I remember the countless of times he asked if I was okay, in general, and made me smile. I remember talking about relationships and how I’ll find someone someday. I remember the hug that left me wanting to still be in his arms because I knew he cared about me. I remember having to brush off how nauseous I was. I remember wanting to stay there the entire night because you could never get sick of how beautiful the campus was. I remember…so much about that night.

The countless times he made me laugh that night, the countless times I saw the smile on his face brighten with the spark of light in his eyes, the countless times I wanted to just hug him and tell him how proud I was of him…

He had taken his life in his own hands. He defied any statistic that said marriage straight out of high school didn’t usually last. He proved to everyone around him that you didn’t need to wait for your thirties to find your “happy ever after”. He showed everyone how perfectly wonderful a world can be if given the right amount of determination and faith, and patience.

I am so, so happy for him.

I see him walk in and out of class. I watch him work hard to understand the materials. I notice how tired he may be but never hear him complain much. I know that the rest of our classmates see him too, but maybe they simply see the part of him that is a student and a peer. I know that he’s not only a wonderful friend, but he’s a great father and husband. I know that he is in that portion of life that the rest of us have always wanted to be. He found love. He made his family. He got there. He made it. They made it. And I can’t be more happy for them.

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I try to ignore their words. I try to find something a little more soothing than the hatred heart. I try to turn my back on the shadow I always find chasing me. I try to be…better, in the end.

Better in the way that I am working hard towards a future no one can predict. Better in the way that I am trying to stay focused on the bigger picture. Better in the way that I am doing my best to believe there is light at the end of the tunnel.

I try to remind myself that the past is what’s gone and the present is what I need to focus on, but there comes a time where years and years of bottled up emotions need to erupt and I just need to cry. I try to keep telling myself that I can get through any roadblock that stands in my way, but there are always those nights where my body wants to shut down and my limbs are anything but strong. I try to believe in the saying that goes, “as you sow, so shall you reap“, but there are moments in which I can’t help but look up to the sky and ask “Why me?”.

Today, is one of those days.

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A Reoccurring Dream

After a long week of work and study, I collapse into my king-sized bed and throw the comforter over myself. The quiet humming of the AC calms me somehow as I snuggle into my blanket and close my eyes. Finally, I could sleep without worrying about tomorrow’s schedule. It was Friday night after all.

Soon, I see this white light in front of me. It wasn’t as if I were standing in front of a lightbulb, where the light is too blinding to even look at. It was as if my eyes were protected somehow, allowing me to look straight ahead…despite not knowing what I was looking at in the first place.

I believed I was asleep but couldn’t shake the feeling of “having been here”, the feeling of deja vu. This warmth coated my body and suddenly I felt weightless. All the stress in my body completely disappeared. All the tension in my muscles, which have been there for years and years, had simply vanished. I didn’t remember the last time I felt like this, but I didn’t ever want to leave.

I looked ahead again, towards this oddly calming light and felt a pull towards it. My feet felt as if I was suspended in the air, so I could not walk forward but I felt my legs try to. It was as if I was being called, as if I was returning somewhere I’ve been before. I kept looking at this light but could not understand what about it fascinated me so much.

After a while, I felt a hand reach out to me. Something told me everything is going to be okay. Something told me I was taken cared of. Something told me all I had to do was wait for whatever is supposed to unfold next. It was as if something was guiding me. Somehow I was protected. Somehow I was watched over, in a way. Somehow…I had this sense of security.

Then I opened my eyes and found myself still laying in my bed, surrounded by the darkness that is nighttime. But I found myself holding onto that sense of security, and I felt in my heart that everything was going to be okay. Something told me I wasn’t alone. Something told me I was taken cared of. Something told me I was promised…what, I don’t know.

Continue reading

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Everything That Has Become My Life

A paper I wrote a couple years ago about my freshman year in high school reads:

The room was crowded, the people noisy and the environment slightly intimidating. There were people sitting in the chairs, at the desks, on top of the tables and even outside the door due to the lack of personal space. You looked around and almost everyone you saw had a bright smile on their face, or that spark of hope in their eyes. It was a new year, and we’ve all heard so much about this class. A place where you could do your own thing, create, and put together something was a place I wanted to be. I’ll never forget the first time I shyly asked to take out a camera. My teacher greeted me with a warm, supportive and loving smile, as he made sure I knew how to take care of the equipment and use it properly.

“I think you’ll do well with this camera, here.” He handed me a Nikon D50, holding the lens, reflecting the sunlight into my eyes, in one hand and the body in the other. “You press this button here, the settings for manual and everything is here…do you get it?”
“I know, thank you.” I said as I began on my way.

Although he hadn’t given me advice or taught me anything I didn’t already know, his encouragement was enough to push me down my path of photography. After that I spent countless numbers of days outside the classroom just wondering the campus, trying out new techniques and angles along with lighting and settings. After that I soon became one of the major photographers the team had. Throughout my time with them, on the team, my teacher’s constant support and encouragement never died down or ceased to help.

Because of this, I was invited to be apart of the editor’s page in the back of the yearbook where all of the highest contributors got their photo printed along with an original quote. The photo shoot was going to be taken professionally by PSS Imaging. I was going to be the only freshman, and only newcomers presented in the back. It was a real honor to me to be apart of the experience.

When I got to the studio, the senior portraits were hanging beautifully on the walls; the smiles bright and the eyes glittering with excitement. I wondered what it would be like to have graduated and go through everything that comes with the process. The idea of getting there was a rush of hope for the future.
While I looked through the files and past yearbooks the company had contributed in, our team walked into the dressing room one by one. A young lady came out to get us and guided us through the different doors. Everyone was very jumpy, talking about what poses they were planning on doing, or what quote they had sent in to be published. Everyone was smiling and happy. Everyone was looking forward to the experience. Everyone, but me.

I was rather nervous. I would never choose to be in front of the camera rather than be behind it. I would have always been the photographer, not the model. I would have never thought I’d know what to do in such a situation.

But when I got in there, everything happened very quickly. The movements seemed very naturally. The lighting was a bit harsh, reflecting on the white surface surrounding me on the ground below and the wall behind. The rest of the room was internally dark, mysteriously holding vague shapes of other objects I could not make out.

Later when I left, the experience was very appreciated. I was with my friends. We made a very memorable last memory together as the year ended. The page turned out perfectly when the book got published, a few weeks late. The photos were beautifully selected, the quotes incredibly original, the designs stunningly simple yet elegant.

When I look back to this class, I realize my life changed, and my path began starting at this point. When I took my first step down the path, I knew I wasn’t going to change courses. Without my experience there I would not had fallen for the art of photography, I would not had found such a loud voice without saying anything, and I would not had found a passion I always yearned for without traveling that far.

“There’s an event this week, do you need to check out a camera?” My teacher would always ask me this, knowing I would never turn down an opportunity to take pictures.

I went to many events I would have never been to if not for the purpose of being behind the lens. I got to meet so many friends, and make countless numbers of memories as time went by. My experience there was something I’ll never forget.
“This is a very great photo of her. It’s one of the very, very rare pictures you’ll see. She’s always on the other side of the lens.” He teased, eyes glittering with joy, as my friends came across a photo of me in the published yearbook we had all helped put together.

To this day, I still hold photography has a huge portion of my life, as well as who I am. I tend to look at the world as if I am constantly holding a camera to my eye. I tend to look for opportunities for a different angle, lighting, camera setting, or just place in general. As I got more into photography, I noticed myself getting more and more creative as well as open and bold. It’s a huge part of me, what I do.

When photography came into my life, I would always be doing something. Time has gone by a lot and I’m still doing things. I take photos for my school’s programs, I’m in classes, I’m historian, I’m putting together photo shoots with my friends, and so forth. I go through my photos, being able to see a storyline of my own life through the lens I once looked through. There was a period where I had a monochrome phase, or a close-ups phase. These ‘phases’ I went through told a lot about what I was going through at that time. Sometimes it was that I was facing something hard to handle and got depressed, or I was feeling girly and focused on flowers. Most of the time, I wouldn’t go far from home. There would be photos of things around the neighborhood, like flowers and the empty street, or the sunset or sunrise. There were even times that I stayed inside. I would find objects around the house and have a photo shoot with that, practicing backlighting, fill lighting and diffusion lighting. I would play with the settings on my camera, the Photoshop on my computer, or the tripod stand my dad hides secretly in his closet.

I know when you ask someone about me, you’d hear that I have really long hair, and the normal stuff like being ‘nice’, ‘a great friend’ or ‘smart’, or you would hear that I’m really into photography. People know me for having my camera around, doing events, and my photos. I love it. It’s my life, and I never would have guessed it would start from that one simple classroom.

In that classroom, I learned a lot about teamwork, cooperation and timing as well as friendships, guidance and leadership. Working on a project with dozens of dozens of other students was never the easiest task for a lot of us. Especially when you don’t ever see half the people you work with, it becomes extremely important to make sure you get your part done because someone else might be relying on that one portion. I know my peers always thought it was all fun and games working on the yearbook and getting to say you helped put it together. There were always those people who look down on us who work day and night to simply get together one outline of one page. But in reality, you learn a lot in that class. You learn a lot about the other people you work with, about responsibilities and work effort. You learn a lot of things that other classes can’t teach you, because it’s not something that’s taught but has be to be experienced and dealt with.

I’ve taken a lot away from my experience personally. I walked away proudly to have been apart of the team, and the family. And even though I’m not with my old friends or my “co-workers”, I will always have the memories and lessons learned. My life changed, and can never be rewound back.

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I Can’t…

As much as I wish to help you through all the ups and downs, as much as I want to protect you from everything that is the pain of life, as much as I want for you to have everything that is in your dreams…I can’t live your life for you. I can’t speak your mind in your place. I can’t always be there to stand up for you and protect you. I can’t always be all the help and guidance you need.

I see you going through your days. I see you pushing through all the tasks you need to get done. I see you stressing and worrying even despite all your attempts to stay calm and shrug everything off as if it were nothing. I see you.

And I see nothing but a wonderfully strong warrior who has gotten through all the battles that were designed to push you down. I see someone who is so strong, so intelligent. I see someone who has a big heart even despite all the times it had broken to pieces. I see someone who will go far in life.

I know “following orders” is always the easier path of many. I know simply “listening” to what others tell us is probably the course with least resistance. But, sometimes, you need to fight back.

The world pushes you down. The world tries to tear you apart (from someone, from something, even from yourself). The world goes on and never waits for you to wake up.

I see you walking through your days trying to simply stay busy and neglect everything you truly need to think about. I see you occupying yourself with tasks that might even be meaningless in the long run. I see you trying to avoid the questions that need to be answered. I see you trying to walk the other direction even when you know you can’t avoid it for long.

And as much as I want to help you, as much as I want to see you get through this…at the end of the day, I can’t speak for you and I can’t make your decisions for you. You need to put up a fight. You need to realize that reality will, one day, hit. You need to discover what has been missing all this time.

You need to calm down and look around. You need to fight for what you want. You need to keep walking forward instead of standing still. You need to reach out your hand and grab everything you wish for.

I can’t do it for you.


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