I Just Wanted To Tell You

“There is no such thing as a “broken family.” Family is family, and is not determined by marriage certificates, divorce papers, and adoption documents. Families are made in the heart. The only time family becomes null is when those ties in the heart are cut. If you cut those ties, those people are not your family. If you make those ties, those people are your family. And if you hate those ties, those people will still be your family because whatever you hate will always be with you.” ― C. JoyBell C.

Yesterday I found out via FB that the youngest brother of my late mother died. Away from the family in a foreign part of the country. He was just two years older than me and as old as my sister Maricor whom I’ve never seen since I was 15 years old. She ran away and never came back.

I’ve met my uncle only on three occasions but those meetings had a huge impact not only on both of our personal lives (though I did not realize it then) but on the lives of all people concerned. I will cite misunderstanding as the main reason for the drama. Misunderstanding from all sides and the mistake never been rectified. Partly because I never have the urge to depend. He never (as far as I remember) find it necessary to either admit or deny,. Largely because we I guess both know that nobody will believe. So, the myth still lives and will be a continue reminder to future generation never to walk the same path.

The first time I’ve met him was at the funeral of my grandfather. I was seven years old, he was nine. We travel far to attend the occasion. We lived in the middle of nowhere remember? And my father will never be good enough to the eyes of my maternal relatives. Too poor and too uneducated to be fully accepted.

I don’t remember much about that time. All I can recall was the saw dust that covered almost everything on sight.

The second time we met, I was already in junior high school and studying in the capital while working as a house sitter to pay my tuition. He used to visit me and put me on the front of his bike and we drove around in the rain while he was singing Nothing Gonna Change My Love For You by Glen Medeiros. I enjoyed his company. He was sweet to me. He said my mother was his favorite sister therefore I was his favorite niece.

I did not know when and where the rumor start but it happened, and I did not understand how and why. I still don’t.

Okay, I was the only one who could make him tear apart from the gambling table. I did not even have to do or say anything, my presence was enough. He skipped work just to be with me and only going to wake up if I was the one who woke him up. He bought me coke and hamburger whenever he came home late from work and watched me ate them. He guarded the door of the public toilet in their block so I can take a bath safely he said. They say he was a drunkard but I never seen him drunk. Likewise with drugs. If he was a user, I never seen an indication of it. To me, he was just a pleasant person. Easy to get along with. Friendly and cool.

He avoided being in the same room/house with me alone. He said it gets warm when I’m around. He told me he will tell me something important one day. He refused to elaborate. He said it was not the time nor the place.

That his mother threw us out in the middle of the night I don’t understand. We came home from strolling around the neighborhood and the next thing I knew our clothes were flying everywhere. My uncle while picking up the mess said to his mother and everyone that nowhere in the bible stated that it is a sin to fall in love with a family member. In fact, he said, if those holy men didn’t sleep with their mothers, daughters and sisters, we will not be here at all. I failed to grasp the meaning of what he said that time. I was too young and too naïve. And____

For the record, my uncle never touch me maliciously or indicate something of that kind. He never show or hint anything untoward to my person. Never. That’s why I can’t understand why years later, I was already married and living abroad, he was working overseas, he sent me letters after letters, professing his undying love for me. On one occasion, he even tried to convince me to elope with him somewhere nobody knows us. I declined. I told him I don’t feel that way for him and besides, we carry the same family name.

He never married.

The last time I saw him was when I was processing my papers to join my then husband here in Europe. He helped me to queue for the necessary papers. We said goodbye at the airport and I never laid eyes on him again.

Now he is dead and the truth died with him. So be it.

I Am Here

I know I’ve been away for so long which is uncharacteristically me. Before when I went away even for a short period of time I scheduled some of my work to be posted in specific time so my readers will not feel abandoned. But C-thing happened (I don’t want to make it as an excuse but—) to all of us and I don’t have to tell you how it affected all people globally from all walks of life and if you read me before you know already that I have issues with my declining health and the consequences of it. But resilient person as I am I bounced back and here I am, alive but not yet kicking but courageously and stubbornly fighting.

With the C- thing going on and travelling become an ordeal instead of something to look forward to, my partner and I decided to realized our lifelong dream to own a mobile home/camper. We ordered it! It will take sometime before it is in our hands but at least it will sure be there. It will be more suited to my needs in the way of we will have our own time as opposed to a package tour which you have to abide to the rules of the hotels in regards to waking up, dining and such. The knife cuts both ways I understand but at this stage in our lives a camper is a synonym for freedom.

I will keep you posted as we go along and I will provide links to our future FB page and YT channel I am planning to make to document our progress as wannabe nomads. I hope you can accompany us through our journey.

Till then and keep safe people!

Hope Is The Thing With Feathers

“Hope” is the thing with feathers –
That perches in the soul –
And sings the tune without the words –
And never stops – at all –

And sweetest – in the Gale – is heard –
And sore must be the storm –
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm –

I’ve heard it in the chilliest land –
And on the strangest Sea –
Yet – never – in Extremity,
It asked a crumb – of me.

– BY EMILY DICKINSON

Paper Tigers

Amelia Earhart said:

The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure, the process is its own reward.

I agree with the first step/plunge is the hardest to take. Once you are airborne/on the move, there is no turning back unless of course you are a bonafide coward. With the plunge, you have no other choice but to swim or sink. There you go.

However, I don’t agree with fears being paper tigers. Some fears are grounded and born out of survival instinct. You know… gut feelings which are in most cases accurate. We know when we are in mortal danger; we somehow sense it. So, if you are afraid, better check that before you run, you know what it is you are running from. But never, ever ignore your fears. Most of the time it will save your skin and keep you out of trouble. Feeling afraid is healthy. It means your senses are working. There are irrational fears of course (perhaps that was Amelia was talking about) I know a lot about it being born paranoid from a dysfunctional family having more baggage than I could carry and being served since day one with traumas; yes sir! I know a lot about irrational fears.

But those are real too for the sufferers. Crippling and suffocating as well. But mind you, it takes courage to live with those. Not so many could function with them as companions. Only the brave survived.

I don’t know about the procedure, the process being its own reward. The process are more difficult, more challenging, more deadly than the outcome. It is not the same as the journey is better than the destination.

The doing is often more important than the outcome. The road of life twists and turns and no two directions are ever the same. Our lessons come from the journey, not the destination.

Lessons yes, reward no. When it comes to irrational fears, coming to the light after journeying through deepest darkest tunnels of your mind is more rewarding than the process getting out of there. Believe you me.

How about you?

Any fears? (Of course we all have) Irrational or otherwise?

Brave enough to talk about it?

What I want To Say To My Ex(es)

Thank you for never appreciating me for my individuality and spirit, because it taught me how important it is to stay true to myself.

Thank you for attempting to dim my light so I learned that I needed to burn as bright as I could.

Thank you for being afraid of the power of my sexuality, and the mysteries of my eyes because it taught me that only those who can match my passion should be allowed to share in it with me.

Thank you for being scared of my intelligence and the depths of my mind, because it taught me there is a difference in loving how I look, or how I make you feel versus loving who I really am.

Thank you for not being the man that I needed, so that instead I was able to see the woman I already was.

Thank you for never having the balls to stake a claim on my heart, because it left the space and opportunity for someone who will be brave enough to take a chance on the wonderful desire of the unknown—someone who will cultivate every trait you tried to suppress.

Thank you for teaching me that the love I seek is the one that is extraordinary.

Thank you for being all wrong, because it showed me what right will look like—and for that I will always be eternally grateful.

(Words by Kate Rose)

Agree To Disagree(?)

This past year, I lost several really close friends for speaking up. A true friend is not afraid to let you know their opinion. Their opinion of you or the things that happens around you. Their boldness and frankness relies heavily on the fact that they have faith in your relationship enough to be authentic. Comfortable enough to speak the truth. Respectful enough to be honest. Cares enough to be frank.

A fake friend, however, will feed your mind and ears whatever you need and want to hear and see. These people are so eager to please most especially when they want something in return or when the relationship has “benefits”. I am not that. I am very outspoken, bold, frank, highly opinionated, obstinate, rational, and logical. Hand in hand, I must say, I am compassionate. However harsh words may come out of me it is said with integrity and with pure intentions. I pride myself for *trying* to follow the 4 Way Test. Is it the truth? Is it beneficial?

How one receives other people’s thoughts and opinions is a reflection of their inner world. How reactive one is defines who they are. Do you edit yourself in accordance to other people’s inner world? Is their inner dialogue, their thought process, your responsibility? You cannot do much with people who are trapped in victim mentality. They usually receive opinions/pieces of advice that don’t suit them as “personal attacks”. Whatever it is, their thought process is never your responsibility. Just put it simply. Always be honest. Be kind. Be gentle if you may. But be truthful, no matter how “harsh”. Be bold. Be frank. Do not be afraid. Last but not the least, always have positive intentions. How they receive it is never your responsibility.

Pika Yonzon said this on her FB page. I don’t know her personally and she doesn’t know I exist. I visit her space once in a while because it interest me. I may not agree with everything she says but I admire her honesty and the courage to travel the path less taken regardless of the circumstances. Like they say; it takes one to know one.

About the above quote: I cannot emphasize enough the vast difference between being honest and being tactless. There are lots of politically correct manner to air one’s opinion without offending others. I am all for honesty. But on the other hand, if one’s purpose for speaking their minds is to humiliate, hurt and offend then I can’t agree.

I agree with you cannot and should not edit your thoughts to please others. But I don’t agree with giving unsolicited advice. I am a front runner for live and let live. If others words and actions don’t concern you personally and not harming you or anyone, let it go. pick your battle and don’t go into it with an unarmed person. Learn to walk away sometimes.

Whenever you questioned others motives and choices, it is automatically a personal attack. What else it could be? If you bring in doubt one’s own decisions and criticize them, it is difficult not to take it personally. However, if they ask for your opinion, you can give yours honestly without hurting their ego. There are so many ways you can voice your thoughts without offending. Unless of course if someone has onion skin. You can share your view on things by asking questions, by weighing the pro and con, by comparing or presenting the big picture as whole if this decision or that decision is taken and so forth and so on. Avoid using demeaning/derogatory words and don’t ever, ever be on your high horse. Keep it brief to avoid discussion and confusion and always stick to the point.

If How one receives other people’s thoughts and opinions is a reflection of their inner world, then that much can say also about you. Your words are reflection of you too and your actions speak volumes as well. So, it cuts both ways.

Another thing I’ve learned navigating this planet for more than 5 decades now is: you can’t expect others to see/think/understand/experience the way you do. Most likely, two people who shared the same event experience it differently. Everyone has their own version of the same thing.

Pika understands this because she said:

Not everyone aspires the same things. Not everyone enjoys the same things. Not everyone dreams the same things.We all react differently. Our opinions vary greatly. Our faith is always personal, our struggles are always personal, our desires always personal.

We are all unique not only in physical sense but our genetic and psychological makeup as well. We laugh at different things, we cry at different things. We have our own unique set of triggers. We have our own unique set of fetishes. And in these differences we realize we are all the same.

It’s unity in diversity.

It’s knowing we are different from everyone thus understanding and respecting the differences of each. Conflicts and wars occur when we begin to assert that what and how we are is what and how the rest of the world should be. It is when you believe your version of the world should be the only version. Your version of the Truth is the only truth. When you stop respecting the uniqueness of one is when you start disrespecting the diversity of God’s creation.

For me, if you keep in mind the Golden Rule and put Respect on the top of your list, everything will fall into place.

Well, mostly.

Till next time.

And thank You Pika for inspiring me to write my own opinion regarding your thoughts.

Micro-Cheating: the 10 Brutally Honest Reasons Why we do It.

By Billy Manas

what is it that causes people to micro-cheat in the first place?

I did a little research (shout out to Esther Perel’s Mating In Captivity), coupled it with my personal experiences, and came up with 10 reasons people find themselves in marital sh*t storms.

Not all of them are as obvious as you might think:

1. Poor Communication 

In many long-term relationships, the day to day, “business as usual” aspect can be deadly—especially concerning communication.

From personal experience, I know that when opening up has led directly to uncomfortable feelings and arguing, I’m less apt to bring that thing up again. Over time, this led me to seek someone safe to confide in. When it inevitably became less safe and more intimate, micro-cheating started to ensue. 

2. Fear of Abandonment

This seems counter intuitive at first glance, but it is quite a bit more obvious than it sounds. If you’ve ever had the pleasure of an intimate relationship with a lover who is stricken with abandonment issues, you know that self-sabotage is usually the most common way this malady will manifest. One such act of self-destruction can result in cheating or micro-cheating. 

3. Neglect

One of my favorite Bob Dylan lines has always been, “He not busy being born is busy dying.” This idea is universal—it applies everywhere in life. Especially in monogamous relationships.

It’s practically cliché, but if you are not doing the necessary things to cultivate and nurture your relationship, it won’t simply stop growing—it will start dying. And Facebook is the most common place a marriage goes to die.

4. Getting outside of oneself

As someone who has made a lifelong study of addiction—with too much fieldwork for my own good—the need many people have to escape their own thoughts can lead to a multitude of ugly results. Overeating, alcohol, porn—and, yes, cyber infidelity. Needless to say, it never works.

The emptiness we can never seem to escape is generally a spiritual malady and can’t be quelled by sensory pleasures. As the saying goes, it’s an inside job. 

5. Boredom

This doesn’t necessarily have to reflect the quality of the relationship. I knew a woman whose husband was devoted, thoughtful, and passionate, yet she still found herself texting—and eventually sexting—the guy in her office. Familiarity doesn’t simply breed contempt. Sometimes it breeds bad decisions. 

6. Thrill-Seeking 

Sometimes known as the seductive third cousin of boredom, a thrill-seeker is usually in search of what is commonly referred to as the “cheater’s high.” This is that rush of adrenaline that most people get when they get away with something nefarious or hurtful.

This is oftentimes exasperating to the victimized partner because it is not the end result—the sex—that the thrill-seeker is looking for. Unfortunately, it doesn’t feel any less hurtful. 

7. Opportunity

There are times when things in a marriage are chugging along, smooth as glass, and the one who got away (let’s call her Melinda), didn’t get far enough away not to know where the “add friend “button is.

In a case like this, the man is confused about why a romanticized memory with an overly filtered photograph seems so much more appealing than the living person in the next room who is PMSing and has a headache. For those of us not impaired by hormones, it’s fairly obvious. 

8. Disconnection

In marriage, rough patches are to be expected. Unfortunately, if the bickering and resentments are allowed to take on a life of their own, disconnection will begin to happen. This creates a kind of domino effect because, regardless if you are a male or a female, connection is a human need. And when it’s not happening in the house, it’ll start to happen online. 

9. Self-Esteem

When two people in a marriage stop putting in the effort to make each other feel special, the person who came into the union with low self-esteem baggage will likely be the first to look elsewhere for validation.

The ubiquitous quality of social media makes it the obvious choice. Facebook can be like a singles’ bar with no cover charge—open 24 hours a day—if that’s how you use it. 

10. Familiarity Breeds…a Friendzone

This is a paradox that can be difficult to reconcile. Still, when we are single and alone, we tend to long for the certainty and coziness that can only be found in a loving, caring, monogamous, long-term relationship.

Over time, what started as cozy can decelerate into a close friendship that lacks, well, uncertainty. Uncertainty, more often than not, is the hidden ingredient in passion. It is when we are not totally comfortable with another person that we generally find them sexually exciting.

If this goes unchecked, one partner (or even both) will find themselves on the lookout for something less familiar to excite them. This invariably can lead to the phone in their pocket. 

And then there are some who might even say they are, “Truly falling in love.” I saved this for last because, from personal experience, even though this is the factor that everyone would like to believe is at the root of all cyber infidelity, it is the rarest.

Let’s be serious: is it truly possible to find this most sacred human need through well-curated photographs and highlight reels that people spend far too much time strategically posting? Most likely not.

I wouldn’t rule it out entirely, but I will conclude by advising anyone who thinks this is the motive to, perhaps, seek the advice of a counselor or, at least, a brutally honest friend.

Nuggets Of Wisdom From Unlikely Places

A woman from the internet said:

Relationships are like a pair of shoes; some are soft and dependable, some are uncomfortable and hurt, some are only on occasion and some are awful the first time you give them a try. But, the most important part of wearing shoes is to make sure that you only wear the ones that are most comfortable and part with the ones that aren’t your style. Oh..and you might find your favorite pair in the strangest location and when you do, you’ll probably take the best of care of your favorite pair for many years to come.

I never heard a relationship described like this before. Talk of quotable quotes and thoughts to ponder.

Someone chimed in by saying:

I totally agree with this. I think I have passed up some potentially great relationships with some really cool people because I knew they wouldn’t last. The experience would have been great though. I believe that some people are meant to come into our lives for certain reasons and when they have served their purpose then it is simply time for them to move on. Some relationships are meant to teach us lessons about ourselves that we never knew before.

I guess most of us (including me) had that kind of relationships__ quick but memorable. some of them we ended ourselves because we saw no future in it, others just happened that way. Right person, wrong timing, or wrong person wrong timing, wrong everything.

But not everyone agree of course. One lady said:

Most ridiculous thing I ever heard. Dressed up in pretty reasoning . I guess the poor struggling single mother in some fictional housing estate is thinking the same as she handles 3/4 children under 5 year olds from different ‘relationships’ (fictional once again!) that ended beautifully and left lifelong beautiful ‘memories’.

I know a lot of people who are in the same predicament. All of them close and dear to me. With all due respect but for the love of God I will never understand their choices. Mistake is only once. Do it repeatedly and for a long time and either you are stupid or enjoying that kind of life.

One Kindra said:

“Eh, some relationships are growth, but never will I enter a relationship thinking it’s going to be short term because I could screw up a “forever” being short sighted.. I’ve had several relationships that were pretty good end simply because the other person intended it to be short term and weren’t willing to consider an alternative, this toying with my emotions for literally no reason but to pass time. Temporary and instant gratification mindsets ruin a lot of things that could have been good. Personal responsibility for your own emotions with care to do what is right for yourself and the other person, not shortsightedness but acceptance that some things stay while others go, is where you learn to let go of things that aren’t healthy or you know just aren’t right.”

I agree with the part that sometimes it is not always up to us to decide how the outcome of a relationship is going to be. Against our will, a union has ended because the other person wanted it to happen. There is nothing we can do about it. It is always takes two to tango. Though I must confessed it is yet to happen to me. I am the one who always leave. Perhaps I can sense when the relationship is about to shipwreck and jump overboard before it sinks. I don’t know.

Perhaps we can learn from what one Maria said:

“Everything in life is temporary… It can last long time or short time… It’s about how intense and profound things are, rather than how long they last….May it be eternal while it lasts.”

After all…

“If they are not happy with each other anymore….what kind of forever is that?”

John said.

Yeah. Why stay in a relationship that doesn’t work anymore. For my part, we never know what will happen tomorrow and the only constant in this world is changes. There is really no forever come to think of it. There is a change of heart and there is death. As much as I want to believe in not till death do us part but till life after death, no chance. Unless I talk to someone who had been to after life and comes back to tell people that even there, s/he loves but one I will stick to no forever for the time being.

The moral of the story?

Enjoy the ride while it lasts.