So Much Has Changed

So Much Has Changed

It’s not that I don’t care about you. It’s not that I don’t remember all the moments we shared together. It’s not that I cloak my confidence in worry and stress.

I learned to live without you. For years, my best friend was out of reach and there was nothing either of us could do to change the past. I don’t blame you. Actually, I am grateful that you don’t blame me. But we both know we have to walk forward and figure out where things stand here and now, not reminisce in where things used to be.

My heart skipped the first time I saw you after a couple years of basically silence – worse than silence. I didn’t know what to expect. I honestly prepared myself mentally to be hit by a tsunami of the past. I was ready to feel the pain. But it never was like I thought it would go down.

You actually apologized for the year of torture. You apologized and took it upon yourself to apologize for how tormented I was. And, that itself, meant a lot more to me than the others could possibly know. I couldn’t thank you enough. Despite, I was silent that day.

Now, it’s been a while since we both walked back into each other’s lives. But, really, I still don’t know where you stand with me. I still can’t give you an answer to that question you had asked. “You meant a lot to me, maybe you still do. Maybe you don’t at all, or somewhere in between. I don’t know…” I had told you that first night. I didn’t expect you to have an answer either. But the discomfort in this unknown makes me ponder.

I see you standing there, as a person I used to want to share the world with. But we can’t deny how much things have changed, how much we have changed as individuals.

I see you standing there, but I can’t disregard everything else I have going on. The chance and need of losing the house I’ve called ‘home’ for the past eight years. The stress and worry my parents are going through, and trying to hide from me. The sickness in health I deal with on the daily, and the distress the pain my dad goes through each and every day. The campus I’m about to leave, and the one I’m about to enter. The nervousness and the excitement in “starting over”. So forth.

It’s not that I don’t care about you anymore. It’s not that I don’t wish you the best. It’s not that I don’t want to share life with you and have you in my life still.

It’s that neither of us know where we stand, and neither of us have much more room on our plates to spend too much time figuring it out.

I apologized for how preoccupied I am. I apologized for how much I’ve changed. But I refuse to apologize for how much I’ve grown during the past couple years without you here.

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My Playlist of Memories

My Playlist of Memories

We all have that set of songs that send us back to memory lane. There are the songs that we shared with a significant other. There are the songs that got us through the tough times. There are the songs that we used to listen on blast, the ones we used to replay until we got sick of the same old lyrics. There are the songs that bring us back to the most blissful moments. There are the songs that bring us tears from the pain we sometimes don’t realize we’re still holding onto. There are the songs who have become a part of who we are.

That’s what I listened to the other day.

Just A Dream by Nelly was a song I first heard through Christina Grimmie’s and Sam Tsui’s cover on youtube before Cristina went big on The Voice. There’s a certain beat to the song that brings me a kind of joy that coexists with strength. So I travel back down that road. Will she come back? No one knows. I realize, it was only just a dream. If you ever love somebody put your hands up. If you ever love somebody put your hands. And now they’re gone and you wishin you could give them everything.

Angel with a Shotgun by The Cab was a song I liked for a while. I really started loving this song when it turned out my ex-something also loved Nightcore’s version of this song. It became our song. It became something that reminded me of him. One time when we were lying in bed he played the song and, in that moment, I truly felt at home. Even though we had a terrible falling out, this song still reminds me of my first love. They say before you start a war you better know what you’re fighting for. Well baby, you are all that I adore. If love is what you need, a soldier I will be. I’m an angel with a shotgun, fighting til’ the wars won. I don’t care if heaven won’t take me back. I’ll throw away my faith, babe, just to keep you safe.

Let Her Go by Passenger is also an all-time favorite that will always touch my heart. Everyone goes through life not truly knowing what to do. We go through trails of guess and ‘hope it’s right’ as if we’re still middle school kids taking a test on material we clearly didn’t pay attention to, let along study for. So I understand the circumstance of not knowing. But when I listen to this song and it speaks so much about regret and not being more appreciative of what we have in front of us, I can’t help but wonder how many of my past relationship I regret to have lost – or if they even regret to have let me go. There’s a part of me that will always be fond of the old memories and wonder ‘what if it worked out’ or ‘what if I go back’. Only miss the sun when it starts to snow. Only know you love her when you let her go. Only know you’ve been high when you’re feeling low. Only hate the road when you’re missing home. Only know you love her when you let her go. And you let her go.

Battle Scars by Paradise Fears is a song that I will probably replay over and over as one of my top favorite song until the end of time. I discovered Paradise Fears in high school when the scars on my body really made me insanely insecure and even self-sabotaging. Even though my ex-something at the time constantly reminded me that I can be loved despite all my body’s been through and despite what anyone else says, I found myself playing this song a lot whenever I hit a low point; I found myself gaining a lot of strength from these lyrics. You’ve had enough, but just don’t give up. Stick to your guns, you are worth fighting for. You know we’ve all got battle scars. Keep marching on.

Crash Test Dummy (Broken) by Reed Deming speaks the words a lot of our hearts wonder. We have gotten so used to seeing ourselves mess up and fail that sometimes we forget all the times we were strong and shined. We see all the broken parts, sometimes thinking they’re the worst parts of ourselves, and forget how beautiful and strong we still are. After all, we are truly our worst enemy. I am…insanely…guilty of this and I know it to be true. I will beat myself up over mistakes I made that ended up hurting me more than anyone. I will chew out my own ear (if even possible) about how I am not living up to my parents’ expectations for me. I will cry myself to sleep after telling myself that I am not worth fighting for. And then wonder if anyone will love me and fight myself for me. What if I’m troubled? What if I’m flawed? And what if they all just think I’m a fraud? And what if I’m left without a choice? And what if I like girls? What if boys? And what if I listen to all that they say? They promised forever and then walk away.

I’ll be honest, a lot of the songs that have stuck with me through the past few years are the songs that managed to silence my own demons. They’re the songs that can get me to forget everything running through my mind like a tornado. They’re the songs that help me escape from even my own head and go to a place where the storm has calmed. They’re the songs that have gotten me to where I am today. These songs are who I am.

More songs from my playlist:
Sanctuary by Paradise Fears
Mended by Matthew West
Safe in My Hands by Eli Lieb
Make You Stay by The Girl and The Dreamcatcher
Roses by Shawn Mendes
Written in the Scars by The Script
This Is For You by David Dunn
Shelter (Acoustic) by Nick Howard
Sincerely Me by Artist Vs Poet

If you have the time, give some of these songs a listen and let me know what you think in the comments below. Let me know if they end up touching your heart like they did mine.
Let me know if you want more song recommendations (:

Bits of each song mentioned have been attached to each paragraph above (in italics) respectively

 Song

Back Again

Back Again

I have to be honest…when I saw you again my heart skipped a beat. We didn’t leave each other’s lives in such good terms that I thought you’d be walking towards me with a smile on your face again. I hadn’t thought we’d be talking about life and exchanging stories over lunch anytime soon. But there we were, catching up, joking around, laughing and having a good time once again.

If I’m honest, I have to say I had dreamt of the day we meet in good terms again and catch up as if we never stopped being great friends. I wanted to share my life with you. I wanted to experience life with you. But when I saw you again I had to reexamine where I stand.

A part of me thinks we could mend the break and start a new friendship built on trust and faith. It thinks there is something that still ties us together that life has brought us to each other again. It still feels the connection that once pulled me towards you. It still believes that our friendship can make it through.

But, honestly, another part of me thinks I shouldn’t be trying to pull something from my past into my present and future. It remembers how broken you had left me years before. It is scared of being left again after finding reason to have faith in you once more. It doesn’t want to give its heart to someone who doesn’t believe we’re meant to be anything.

At the same time that I want to reach out to you and bring you into my life, I already have an exhausting life without the drama of an ex-something coming back around. At the same time that I want to be there for you again, for I still see the hurt in your eyes and feel the pain coming from your heart, I know I can’t fix everything in your life no matter how much I want to take the pain away. I’d rather take your pain onto myself than have you suffer through your own thoughts in the darkness I know you’ve lived within for way too long – but I cannot.

I know I will always have a soft spot for you, as the first boy I fell in love with. I know I will always love you and be here for you no matter what. I know I will never stop caring about you despite anything you can do. I know I will not ever be scared of you, but of my feelings for you. I know there will always be something there for you to come back to. I know I will always love you.

But…I am nervous to find out how our lives will intertwine this time ’round. If you reach out, I won’t push you away. But, if there is something left here, I can’t be the only one trying to find where things go.

Carved

Carved

Somewhere between the first time I met you and that last time I read your text ‘goodbye’, I lost myself…or had I ever found myself in the first place?

You were my old friend’s boyfriend. We hit it off and got along super well, a little too well even. I couldn’t help it. I found someone I thought might make a difference in my life. And wow, I was right. You made a difference to me.

You were the first person who I felt truly cared about me beyond the reputations or anyone around me. You saw me for who I was, a broken and lost little girl, and took me under your wing with caution that I’d fly away. You began taking care of me through the years. We got closer and drifted a part, and got closer and then parted ways.

Everyone who knows the story knows it was never that simple but, for the purpose of this writing, let’s keep it that way.

You made me happy but I was always fighting for your attention. You took care of me but sometimes I had to go out of my way to force you to show that concern I needed to see. You wanted the best for me but I found myself walking down a dark road once again.

I never made the best choices. The mind games got to me. The backstabbing made my insecurities grow. The lies made my questioning worse. The facade of a fairytale blinded my eyes and left my heart scarred and scared to ever love again.

I look back and I know I’m not going to forget you; I know I won’t forget what happened way back when. A part of me hates that, but the other part of me knows that’s the way things have to be for me to grow, for me to learn, for me to go beyond everything I used to be.

There were moments that I sent you a ‘goodbye’ text but always found myself going back, as if trying to find a part of myself I had lost within you. I was always so proud of myself when I said goodbye to you but always hated it when I went back to your name on my screen. It was as if I was constantly turning around on a ferris-wheel-like ride as I go on with my life.

Then, the last person I thought would save me did exactly that. I was suddenly freed from the life I wanted to leave behind over a year before I actually did. I cut ties completely and a part of me came back to me. I was extremely proud of myself in those moments that I picked myself back up and kept walking forward.

I wanted to start over. I wanted to begin again. And I finally was able to do that, completely.

But, looking back, I know there will be a weak spot in my heart for those I had once loved. I know there will a part of me who reminiscences some of the good old times. I know there will be a part of me I have to thank you for, whether I hate her or love her. I know there will be nothing I can do to erase what has been said and done.

And, I’m okay with that.

You have your place in my heart, way back there somewhere. You have your place in my thoughts, when I look back to the past and everything I was. And that’s okay. You don’t have a place in my present. You don’t have a place in my life. I wouldn’t want it any other way. But I will admit, your footprint stays on my heart and your scars stay on my skin.

And, that will have to be okay.

After all, you had carved your signature onto my heart.

Carve

I’m Sorry Because I Know

I’m Sorry Because I Know

I’m a worrier. I spread myself thin a lot of the times. I try to do more than I should. I take larger bites than I can handle.

I get stressed and say it’s part of life. I get overwhelmed and believe it’s it’ll pass on by. I get hopeless and tell myself it’s just a phase.

I feel like I have to be there for every friend I have because I know what it’s like to have no one. I feel like I have to take care of everything I possibly can because I remember what it felt like when I was struggling with no one around to help. i feel like I always have to put my best foot forward for someone, anyone, because I remember how it felt when someone did that for me.

That’s me.

I help everyone I can. I am there for everyone I can. Even if it means spreading myself thin, or getting overwhelmed by how much I try to do, I believe trying can sometimes be enough. I do the little things that let people know someone’s there for them. I reach out to those who I need a helping head to let them know someone cares and worries for them. I give out the small gestures that I can to let people know that they aren’t alone. Because, guess what, I remember what it felt like when no one did that for me…and I remember when someone did do even the smallest thing to brighten my day. They’re two different worlds apart.

I remember what it felt like to want someone, just one person, to genuinely reach out to me to help. I remember what it felt like to be hopeless and feel so bitterly alone in this world. I remember struggling but being afraid to ask for help. I remember thinking no one really cared or worried about me. I remember that, all of that, and I remember never wanting any one else to feel that way.

So I apologize ahead of time to those of you in my life already who are getting closer to me, to those of you who are close to me, and to those of you strangers out there who will become a big part of my life. I apologize if I get comfortable around you to go off about worrying for someone else. I apologize for asking for your opinion and asking for help whenever it is that I do. I apologize for spending a lot of time talking about my relationship with others, or their life and how I would like to help. I apologize for wanting to help you, in any way I can, which means asking to know more about your life and where I can stand. I apologize if it comes cumbersome to hear about these things. I apologize if I don’t pay attention to you enough when things get overwhelming. I apologize for not being genuinely present with you because of something that is happening in someone else’s life. I apologize for wanting to help as much as I can. I apologize if it becomes a drag. I apologize if I sound like I’m nagging. I apologize if I seem to get overbearing. I apologize…for being me.

But I am this way because I remember what it was like to have no one guide me the right way. I remember what it was like to be lost in the world, like we all kind of still are. I remember being forgetful and wishing there was someone to remind me. I remember wanting to have someone to simply ask about my days. I remember wishing there was someone who genuinely wanted to take care of me. I remember wishing there was someone to help me with the weight on my shoulders.

I remember.

I know what it’s like, just like a lot of us do. I know how it feels like. I know what kinds of thoughts begin to flood through your head. I know. I know, and I want to do something.

I might not be able to take all the weight off your shoulders, but I can be there and give you and helping hand whenever it is that I can. I might not be able to control some variables in life, but I can be there to remind you that you are never alone in this fight. I might not be able to do everything for you, but I can help you through it. I might not be able to help as much as I want to, but I can definitely try.

Dear……

Dear……

It’s been a while since I’ve seen you. You’ve changed a little appearance wise, but I don’t believe your heart has changed at all even.

Even though it’s been almost a year since I paid attention, I can see that your heart hasn’t changed. You’re still the same person. You’re still the same person I thought I loved so so so much. You’re still the same person I feel a connection to. You’re still…you.

I couldn’t believe that you were there when I met you again. I couldn’t believe we were face to face once again. I had remembered the days that I wished, and dreamed, for this to happen. For us to go back to how we were, for things to be okay again, for everything to simply go back to the time before everything felt like hell.

But now that I was facing you and I saw that you were basically the same person still, I knew for sure that I didn’t want you in my life anymore. The cold atmosphere, the mysterious vibe, the nonchalant attitude…everything.

I felt my heart try to reach out to you, help you, heal you, be there for you. But I felt every other part of me pull myself back. My guard went up and I could not get myself to relax when you were around. The amount of pain you put me through, the amount of hurt you made me endure reminded me that I should not let my guard down when it came to you.

As much as I think I want to still be friends and have you as a part of my life, still today, I do not think that would be the wisest decision. I don’t trust you anymore, not the same way I used to. I don’t have faith in you, not like I used to. I don’t believe in you, not in the ways I used to.

I won’t push you away. I do want you in my life, but I have accepted that things will never be the same again. That’s okay. I don’t want things to be the same. I don’t want to relive the amount of hurt and pain I felt with the amount of betrayal and abandonment I felt from your actions. I deserve better than that.

If you had changed, if you had grew up a little, if you had changed a little for the better, maybe there would have been a real chance of us having a healthy relationship as friends. If you wanted a friendship as much as I did, maybe we would have a chance to still remain in each other’s lives in a positive manner.

But things are different and you are the same.

It was odd seeing you again after all this time, to be honest. I thought I would be happy, excited to see you and spend some time with you. But when we came face to face, all I felt was my guard going up and my insecurities telling me I wasn’t safe.

I’m sorry. My heart tries to reach out to you. And I will listen, like I always do. But there is little chance that things will be okay ever again.

Hiding, but Still Found

Hiding, but Still Found

When I think of a “hideout” I think of a place where I can be 100% myself, where I don’t have to worry about other people’s judgements, critical, and hate, but most importantly where no one can reach me.

There are my physical hideouts, and then my mental hideouts.

My physical hideouts include my L-shaped desk – where no one dares to bother me due to my intense work schedule-, next to my best friend – where his company feels like home and I don’t have to worry about anything other than present time -, and behind my camera – where once I get into the zone, I am gone to the world-.

To be honest, my desk is a hideout just as it is my most stressful place in my life. It’s where all my tasks come out of my daily agenda and scream at me to get them done. But my desk is also the place where I can simply focus on myself, my needs, my work, and MY schedule.

I say being with my best friend is a hideout because being with him is basically the happiest place on earth for me. I don’t have to worry about judgement, because he is so understanding (and, let’s face it, he already knows everything about me that’s humiliating and sad). It’s a place where I find it in myself to relax and not stress about all the things that I might need to get done. It’s a wonderful feeling, being with him.

When I’m behind my camera, when I get into the ‘zone’ with editing or a shoot, I am GONEE! There’s something about my passion for photography that takes me to a place where nothing else matters. It’s when I try to see life in such different angels sometimes I surprise myself by what I come across. It’s where I am the most focused and also where I am the most observant. I come more aware of everything surrounding me in the tiniest details, yet I seem to pull myself out of the picture to really grasp what is behind the scenes.

Then, there is my mental hideout.
You may be thinking, a hideout is a physical place. What’s a mental hideout?
But to me, a hideout is simply somewhere no one can reach me and somewhere I can be 100% myself without any fear.

My mental hideout is…not a place I can describe (since it’s not physical) but you know I am there when 1. I zone out 2. I am deep in thought 3. I seem to be contemplating something 4. (sometimes) I’m curled up in some sort of ball (ex: sitting in the corner of my room with my legs pulled close).

When I’m in this state, really no one can reach me. I go into a state of ‘awe’ almost. I start reflecting on my past and my past relationships, asking myself why a certain event happened or what caused a drift in a current relationship and so forth. When I’m like that, I completely zone out. I don’t hear the physical world. I don’t see the physical world (almost). I don’t seem to be in the physical world (in my mind). There’s nothing there except my thoughts and myself.

You might be thinking, that doesn’t sound healthy. I am not going to determine whether it is healthy or not, but I am going to say that it works for ME. It’s where I pick myself up the most during my dark days, it’s when I see situations more clearly than I ever have, it’s how I…get along with myself/learn about myself. Yes, if you let your thoughts spiral into darkness during this time (where no one can reach you), yes, it would be dangerous. But that is why, it is also the time to learn the most about yourself, reflect on your habits, and change what you might not like about your current lifestyle.

When I hide, I tend to hide purposefully by trying to see my own life, and the lives of those around me, in a different perspective in order to gain new knowledge.

Hideout