#100HappyThings Project

The past few weeks had really been a challenge for me. I battled with mild depression due to several circumstances. I wasn’t able to eat right for around two weeks or so and suffered insomnia as well. I kind of lost my normal cheerful self, but I think I did my best in faking my mood. I did my best to keep up though. After a week of drinking glasses of cocktails and beer instead of dealing with the real stuff, I decided to cross out that scene and went to catch-up dates with my friends instead. Indeed, going out in the open helped me recover.

The whole month of May had been a rollercoaster of emotions. It made me realize a lot of things. As I gather every single day of struggle in my memory, I can’t help but be proud of how I am able to smile now… Of how I am able to smile genuinely again. I have never felt this kind of liberation for a long time, and I thank God for unlocking my cages. This time, I’m ready to see the world without anything that’s holding me back. This time, I am ready to take over. This time, I am ready to heal.

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That’s why I’m launching my first project for 2016: #100HappyThings. I guess I’ll be doing this as part of my own healing process. The moment I reach the 100th Happy Thing, I know I will already be a better, stronger and wiser person than who I am now.

It’s time.

“But here’s the deal, sweet stranger. You deserve to be the protagonist of your own wonderful, bizarre, terrifying little life. If you decide you are enough, you are enough. You don’t need to wait for some grand external validation of your worth before you offer your kindest heart to yourself.”

(Kathy Brown,A Letter To The Woman Who Won’t Buy Herself Flowers)

Love is misunderstood.

I realized that love is not something you can make people understand, unless they had already been in the exact place as you are. It’s not something that you can explain and it’s not something that you can make people see unless they have the same eyes as yours. When you know you’ve found it, you just live with it and embrace every wonderful happiness and torturous pain it has to give you. And you know what’s great when you know it’s real? It’s the feeling of assurance that whatever happens, in the end, it’s going to be worth it.

Finding Happiness

I’ve heard a thousand times that happiness comes from within, and that in order to completely be happy, you should follow your heart.

But what if in following your heart, you’re going to hurt people? You’re going to to hurt those people who have always been there for you from the very beginning… Those who have never left your side even when you’ve already disappointed them a hundred times… How could you be happy if your personal preference of happiness is not the happiness of the people who care for you?

I wonder, if I had been strong enough to follow my will, to stick with what I want and to stand for what I believe in, would I completely be happy? Is listening to your heart synonymous to becoming selfish?

I have always become mindful of following whatever the knowledgeable would say. Perhaps they know what’s best for me, I would tell myself. They’re never going to ask me to do things that will put me into harm. Yes, they won’t. Definitely. They want the best for me so much that even my emotions must be controlled. But…

What about me, myself and I? What about my personal choice? If following your heart means being selfish and if being selfish means you’re nothing but an ingrate, then how do you find complete happiness? How do you find yourself when you’re a lost wanderlust in this world because you were never allowed to explore in the first place? How do you know when everything’s just too much and you just have to put yourself first this time? How do you know when it’s time to spread your own wings to fly to the direction where your heart is telling you to go? When everybody’s saying “Go North,” when is it finally right to go South, the path you’ve always wanted to take?

It’s frustrating, indeed, to be in a world where you have to feel happy because you’ve pleased those who have done nothing but to put you on top. You want to make them smile, you want to make them proud, you want to make them elated, but you want to make sure you’re not banning yourself from happiness, too. It’s frustrating when you can’t do them at the same time. It’s sickening to always have choices and you have to give something up, and you’re left with two excruciating options – to give up what you love, and to give up what you love.

Tell me now, how do you find happiness?

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Loving you is easy,
Loving you is hard;
You’ve always made me happy,
Hand in hand as we move forward;

How do we make them understand?
How do we make them feel?
The feeling isn’t island,
This fantasy is real;

Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow,
Maybe not soon like we’ve always hoped for;
But I’ll hold you in happiness and sorrow,
Until freedom opens its door.

Minding Your Own

You obey the rules just because they are rules. You don’t do things because the norms say they’re unacceptable. But have you ever asked yourself why?

You were given your own mind to use – to think, speak, feel and decide for yourself. Yet, you do not maximize the capacity of your ability to discern over certain matters because you are guarded by what others might say. You care about what they might think of you, and that keeps you from showing the world who you really are. That’s what makes you hide behind that different person who wants to be accepted because of the need to belong. But can’t you see? That’s not you. It’s somebody else.

I had been there – struggling to become the good one. Because it’s what I had to become. Because it’s what is acceptable. But I wasn’t happy. You know what I realized? I had to get out of my shell. Not that I chose to be bad, but I decided to be real. I realized what I really want, and I knew right then that I could be anything that I aim to be for as long as I am not stepping on anyone’s feet. You’re going to hurt people once you choose to become the real you – you are even going to hurt the people you love, yes, but if it’s not what you really intend to do, remember that it’s okay. It happens. People are going to hurt you, too, and this isn’t getting even. This isn’t making others feel what others made you feel. It’s part of the cycle. It’s part of reality. It’s part of everyone’s life. Just as it is to love and to be loved, it is normal to hurt and to get hurt.

It’s not being selfish, it’s being you. It’s being what you choose to be. It’s getting out of your shell to be what everyone wants to be – to be happy. At the end of it all, it’s about being happy, and it’s all about you. People will judge you, but why would you care? The people who really value you will accept you no matter what anyway.

Stand up and leave that mask you’re using to cover your real glitter. You’re going to shine better once you decide to show your real skin. 😉