Happy New Year!

Here’s to the future we can’t predict,
and here’s to all that we will meet.
I can’t say where I’m going,
but I know it’ll be something great
because it’s the kind future
that holds our dreams.

Here’s to the future that awaits us,
and here’s to the past that will follow us.
I can’t say I won’t make just as many mistakes,
or that I’ll learn from all my old ones,
but I know I’ll be better for it
because eventually I’ll get it.

Here’s to the future that we’ll finally grab,
and here’s to all the hell we got while chasing it.
I can’t say I didn’t break,
but I’m alive and kicking today
because I kept going when I wanted to cry,
’cause hope pulled me forward.

And here’s to those who see a bleak future,
and here’s to those fools who accepted it.
I can’t say anything to reach them,
but I cross my fingers and hope
that they’ll see something worth chasing
because any journey is better with company…  

~ not mine

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Running

You cannot outrun your past no matter how hard you try… it has the funniest way of sneaking back at you when you’re not looking… poking its ugly head when you least expecting it… kicking you hard from behind reminding you that you are who you are… there is no way of escaping that.

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Insomnia

I always preach believing in destiny, that every life in this realm is pre-destined; that each person’s ending was already written before s/he is even born, trying to alter it will only result in the same outcome; much like a series of interlacing highways which all lead to the same destination, one can choose the easy way or the hard way, short or long, but will always end up where we have to be__ so why bother?

This I always tell myself every time I think of the opposite, but not even once I ever feel it’s true; and worry, I will always do.

Same with all the riches I can acquire and accumulate here in this world which they say (and I have no reason to believe it is not so) I cannot bring over there wherever that is but it doesn’t stop me from purchasing a more bigger house than I need and furnishing it to my taste with the things that are not really necessary, or driving a luxury car and buying a lot of clothes while it is more easier to lay back and let the destiny take care of everything because if it’s meant to be, it is meant to be, right?

(Or) wrong, because the more I get older the less I know and understand and the more I get scared of everything and nothing.

I could be happily sauntering into a perfect day and suddenly out of the blue I will experience anxiety attack and the funny thing is… I don’t even know what I’m getting anxious about. All I feel is this sinking feeling of ill-omen in the pit of my stomach. A very strong visceral fear of something bad about to happen and I would not like it a single bit, even worse still: that I am totally powerless to stop it.  

 And the only reason I could think why the feeling scares me is because I’m afraid to lose what I have. And the more you have the more you become scared of losing it, because if one has nothing to lose, one has absolutely nothing to be scared of. And that is a never ending circle.

Mind you, I’m aware that there are some passages in the bible which talk of these worldly thoughts and possessions. But how can someone be not worldly when one is living in and about this world. Yeah, yeah, I know all about spiritual contentment and so on, but where can one draw spiritual inspirations these days? Not from those charismatic spirituals leaders for Christ’s sakes!  And reading the holy book is not actually enlightening either, in fact often times it is confusing. But I’m sure there are some “brave” people who would say they understand the Holy Scripture fully. Yeah, yeah, aren’t they all?

Pretty scary whenever I hear someone say that. The last time I heard something resemble to it was from an aspiring pastor whom I dragged in court for sexually molesting my 15 year old niece. And to these days, he doesn’t even admit that he done something wrong. He said he is willing to marry her and pay for her studies. So, I asked him where he thinks he will get the money to do that; from his sister who was then an entertainer in Japan or from his parents’ meagre budget for his 11 other siblings. He cannot even educate himself that’s why he settled to be an aspiring pastor so he can live off other people’s pockets. 

And before someone crucify me by saying all of these, may I say that it’s based on my personal opinion and experience only and nowhere near generalizing whatever whoever might think I’m generalizing about.

So, relax… I’m not out for debate of any kind (unless one insists but before anyone does so, be sure arguments are well grounded please because I will never go in battle with an unarmed person nor I prefer to wrestle with a pig)  being just said that where am I?  Ah, yes… I’m merely expressing my thoughts and exercising freedom of speech in my own space simply because I cannot sleep again.

Note that I’m speaking random topics in random orders about nothing really in particular. In fact, I don’t even know what/where I’m getting at or how to conclude this so I better stop here…

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Judging the book

How am I supposed to look like?

Reading (while snacking diced cucumber with cottage cheese) “The secret life of loafers” an article written by P.B about how (corporate) women supposed to dress; she asked this question: “Do you believe women must wear heels to indicate formality?” Dubbing it unfair and problematic she, being a bona fide supporter of comfy flat shoes said:

“When a vivid imagination lifts one often off the ground, an extra inch of air under the soles supports neither productivity nor authority.”

Then she refers the readers to this wonderful blog of J.L about CEOs women of the world, and I thought: that exactly what my problem is, I’ve been told over and over that I don’t look like somebody who works in the sector I happened to be in (How someone who has a job in the medical field supposed to look like, I have no idea) What if I tell them I am a freelance interior designer as well, would they faint before my eyes? The truth is: for the moment we are trying to get our own small company off the ground and keep our day jobs at the same time as well. Pretty exhausting combination to juggle but we have to chase our dreams sometimes, haven’t we?

Though no one but no one dare yet to insult me face to face by calling me a liar, I can pretty much guess what’s going on in their minds by the way their eyes roll. They can hardly hide their negative facial expressions, it speaks volumes.  Seems I’m not alone in experiencing this because one corporate woman (I’m not saying I’m corporate though) wrote somewhere something like this: I usually find myself sending the “I’m doing something serious” message when out with friends. There is a part of me that wants to send a “but I’m not at work now” message. I suspect a change of shoes and bag would work.

People in my country said to me I don’t resemble a married woman or a mother, a sentiment my daughter very strongly shared. And I don’t dress up like a European resident either, etc. Well, how a wife and a mother supposed to look like? Do I have to wear all the pieces of jewelries I own to look like I am living in the land of milk and honey? No thank you! Simple is safer when travelling. I learned it the hard way.

Father of you-know-who admitted to me once that upon meeting me for the first time he didn’t expect that I have some ‘substance’ which goes in my book as an insult. Again, how a woman of fairly intelligence should outfit herself? It’s the same with the interior design of my place. I heard few side remarks that if someone comes into my house, nobody would suspect I’m an Asian for there is no single hint or clue about my ethnic origin. What the people want me to do? Buy all the souvenir items in the airport and decorate my dwelling with it? For Christ’s sakes!

Okay, I don’t own a single pump shoes and only one stiletto’s strappy sandals with sparkly crystals which do nothing to flatter my ankle. And I dress up according to my mood (one time I look like a gypsy, then gothic, other day boho-chic; could be casual military inspired attire also or a flirty dress. I even wear boyfriend’s jeans and blazer anything I fancy) but I can also dress for the occasion if I really have to. And mind you I look good in it too.

But most of the times, I opt for what I feel comfortable with, and that’s it. Which remind me of the time I posted my pictures online for the first time, I got quite number of emails saying they didn’t expect I look the way I do (whatever that means) for I refused to show my face for years. There were even comments in my blogs before that they will gladly trade their looks for my brain (and I thought: but would I?) I can only assume that if someone shows some intelligence, people will automatically conclude that one isn’t a pretty sight to look at.

Why is that? Are there some written criteria how a certain individuals supposed to present themselves in order to be respected and be taken seriously? I don’t think so.

Oh I know, some of you would think: don’t dress up slutty if you don’t want to be mistaken for a hoe. I’m not even talking about that for that is totally a very different topic all together and btw not all hoes dress up slutty.

What I’m talking about is judging the book by its cover. Though a lot of people would not admit they do it, in reality most of us do, me included. I will not go into details about my prejudices because it is a very delicate matter for my reservation has nothing to do with how the people look like but rather who they are. More I cannot say.

Probably, we cannot help it. Perhaps it’s a natural thing to have a first impression based on looks alone since we cannot know the character and thoughts of people by a mere glance upon their countenance. Maybe it’s our inborn instinct for survival kicking in when perceiving strangers for the very first time because we have to make up our minds if it’s a flight or fight situation in a matter of seconds. No matter what the reasons are, judging the book by its cover, we all do and have done at least couple of times in our lives. And that my friends is a global habit we can do nothing about…

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It hurts

Today I heard that my mother died.

A year after I decided I don’t want her anymore to be part of my life and sent her back. I’m forty nine years old, thirty five of that I spent taking care of her, taking care of them without expecting something and getting nothing in return. Now that she’s dead I don’t feel a thing, even less than when my father passed away; that time I have felt free, now, just nothing.

I’m not sad. How could I? How could I feel sorrow about someone I have no feelings for aside from born obligations and call of duty. They instilled in my brain from day one that my sole purpose in life is to work for them and to ensure that through me they can better their lives.

I married for them didn’t I? I worked all my life for them didn’t I? I provided in all manners possible for them didn’t I? I let myself be abused and terrorized for them didn’t I? For that, they hate me. So much so that they devised, conjured, executed plans to harm me in all imaginable ways, and all of that because I got away, because I refused to be part of their self-destructive circles of lies and deceit. They never forgive me for wanting to escape.

No doubt I made a lot of mistakes. One of those is letting them manipulate and use me for too long, firmly believing we are family, that I mean something more to them than being a meal ticket; that they care, I was wrong. It took me almost 50 years to realize that, to see that I never had a mother and a father, a brother or a sister. Oh, they have one another alright. They share common goals: to exist, to take, to demand to destroy to emotionally blackmail to harm and to bring me down. After all, I am the outsider. A useful outsider but an outsider nonetheless. They, they recognized one another in each other.  They think alike and act alike. Does it hurt me? The answer to that is no. Why? Because I didn’t realize I’ve been used. I believed that it was my duty to provide for them no matter what, even if it means my own downfall.

By the time the the realization of my situation dawned on me, it was too late; I already lost a lot. Not only financially, time wise but physically as well; I lost my health working. Nobody ask how I am, what I feel, what I think, not even once.

It is okay, I’m used to that. I’ve been alone all my life. I’m an orphan from the very beginning.

How I wish they have respected the fruits of my labor if not me as a person. After all, I did acquire it all for them. I have no used for these things. We don’t even inhabit the same space let alone continent. I didn’t know at first that they expected me to feed them, literally. That providing different means to  be able to do it themselves (including education) was not enough. That giving them shelter doesn’t mean they will be grateful. Not to me but for a fact that they have a place, beautiful ones (yes ones) equipped with everything they could wish for. But even that they didn’t manage to cherish and respect. In the end they all lost it.

Material things disappeared faster than I could provide. When the demands are bigger than the supplies, they would threaten and insult me in all possible ways saying I’m useless and ungrateful. I still feel guilty about that. For the longest time I thought they were right. I’m still working on it.

 When my ex said to me that I let my family run all over me and always managed to forgive their evil deeds I was angry to him. I thought he just didn’t understand.  We don’t have the same culture, background and upbringing, how could he?  Now I know he’s right. Pity it was too late. We become each other’s exes. Regrets? Definitely not. I and he are destined to be apart. Too much love will kill you they say especially if one party has so much ammunition to win the war. Winning is pretty relative anyway.  In a situation like ours, there is no clear winner. Losers would most probably be the children. They always are, aren’t they?

When it became clear to me that nothing will ever going to change between me and my family, I decided to cut my losses by bringing my mother where I am to try to provide for her closely so she and her allies will not be able to hoodwink me with their ever changing ever growing impossible demands. I let them liquidate assets I provided for their comfort, benefits and future without regrets. They were doing it anyway without (my knowledge) even consulting me, so why not let them do it for the last time. I was so far that time to realize that my direct duty is only towards my mother and not to all of them. Another big mistake.

I should have known that kindness, effort and patience plus close proximity to me will not change the person that my mother was. She been spoiled by me for too long she thought everything I did for her she had it coming and somehow entitled to it. Why not? She sired /spawned me after all, so I’m in her debt forever and ever. I never saw gratitude and appreciation from her, these two things are foreign to her nature but still I go on. I don’t know what I was hoping for that time, a miracle maybe? Perhaps I am too stupid to recognize a hopeless situation when I see one.

She made my life a living hell. For the first time I came face to face with the real woman behind the name mother. She was a vain person with no substance, no scruples, no conscience no compassion (at least for me, to anybody she’s great) and a pathological compulsive liar. I thought I could ignore or tolerate her behaviour, and I did for a period of over 6 years, but living constantly with her under one roof put too much pressure to our already strained relationship. The facts keep staring me directly in the face, and I came to hate her.

So much so that I lost my control in few occasions. I deeply regret every each one of them, but made me realized also a lot of things about my father. Why he was how he was towards her. I can understand now the feeling of helplessness and being powerless. That was when I decided to send her home and cut her completely out of my life.

On top of everything, she will not turn me into somebody I myself despise and hardly recognized. She will not manipulate me so she can play her favourite rule, being the victim. I told her that I already sacrificed too much for all of them, for her, all my life; I don’t want to do it anymore. It’s about time I think about myself, my declining health (which btw she never care about) and live for me instead of merely being there for everybody. She came from a well to do family; I have five sisters and one brother. It’s about time they share the responsibilities they forcefully shove unto my lap all these years.

Now, she’s dead. They called to let me know. She called, my sister. After hiding from me for years, after she sold my property she called to let me know that our dear mother passed away. As if I care. Truly, I don’t. Is it good or bad, I have no idea. I cannot grieve when I don’t experience the sense of loss of something I never had.

Maybe it will gradually come, the guilt I mean. Perhaps it will hit me square in the face one day. But not now.  Now, I am changing my phone numbers so they cannot bother me ever again. The last connection we had is gone. No use keeping contacts. The only communication  I had with them were the times when they asked for something and I failed to give it, then they contacted me to show their displeasure. When they did get what they want, I will not hear from them for quite sometimes till they need something again. It’s over now. I stop being stupid.

I know I will grow old in a very near future. I will be sick like few times in my life. I will die one day.  They never have been there for me. I always had been alone fighting for survival, alone in my struggles, joy and sorrows, they never ask for my well-being, they never care about me, why should they be there in the moment of my death?

© 2014-2015 Impossiblebebong

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Alone

From childhood’s hour I have not been
As others were; I have not seen
As others saw; I could not bring
My passions from a common spring.
From the same source I have not taken
My sorrow; I could not awaken
My heart to joy at the same tone;
And all I loved, I loved alone.
Then- in my childhood, in the dawn
Of a most stormy life- was drawn
From every depth of good and ill
The mystery which binds me still:
From the torrent, or the fountain,
From the red cliff of the mountain,
From the sun that round me rolled
In its autumn tint of gold,
From the lightning in the sky
As it passed me flying by,
From the thunder and the storm,
And the cloud that took the form
(When the rest of Heaven was blue)
Of a demon in my view.

(Edgar Allan Poe)

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Personal taste

I recently started a photography blog. I’ve been planning to set it up around January but for some reason I can’t wait anymore. I believe that people have to do things when they want to do it (in other word when they are inspired) and not when they think they have to do it. Forcing yourself do things often result in disliking what you do and your life in general, and that is not a good thing. I don’t believe in schedules and following rules unless it is really, really necessary. I go by feelings most of the time and it works, at least for me.

I love photography. I like taking pictures and looking at pictures whether they are mine or someone else’s. But I dislike rendered/photoshopped images. Unless they are commissioned for an art gallery or otherwise specified by clients, I want to keep the photographs as natural as possible. Enhance yes, adjust levels and contrast by all means, crop if necessary but don’t alter an image beyond belief. I, myself am guilty of some enhancement to my images like turning them black and white, sepia or adding warm or cold glow to suit the mood of an article I am using the image for. But I will not go further than removing unwanted details from a frame like a garbage can or a hairy burly naked guy on a skateboard who accidentally get in the way of my otherwise perfect shot. No, I will not turn a sunset into a firefox logo, or the sky electric blue and the sea underneath orange; not even for the sake of art. The thought alone makes me cringe.

Another thing I hate is borders. Some people are so determined to add borders to their images. What it is good for? It certainly doesn’t add value artistic or otherwise to the pictures. It looks so unnatural. When we look at everyday life in general, we don’t see things around us encased in borders, do we? That’s why probably I seldom use frames when putting up pictures. Only if it goes with the design I am aiming to achieve.

I adore photographs that convey the real world, the way we see it with our own eyes, the ones that can transfer me directly to the place as if I’m really there. The ones that can make me feel nostalgic, full of longing and wishing to be part of whatever is going on. In other words, I love images that can evoke certain emotions, feelings that were buried deep; pictures that can make me green with envy and say: Damn! I wish I took that shot.

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Odd

While walking I saw a group of ducks. One stood out from the rest. The bird is different from her contemporaries yet she’s part of the ensemble. This simple scene reminds me of this quote:

To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding  as a guide to our communication with others.

Have a wonderful week ahead and don’t forget to communicate effectively. 

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Broken

I was listening to Casablanca by Bertie Higgins from my computer remembering the memories attached to that particular song while arranging books in my soon to be overflowing bookcase in my office, sorting them out by color and color lettering on the spines when accidentally I knocked off a much loved, much treasured Guus Flater  figurine of my reason-for-living-in Europe. It is part of his most prized possessions, something he’s collecting since time immemorial.  Now it’s lying broken on the floor.

What would I do now? Pack my bags? Hide the broken pieces and pretend it never happened? He never looks in that bookcase, with luck he will never find out his darling is missing. If I don’t say something, he will continue to believe that the figurine is still there, safe and sound. But that’s lying. I don’t lie. At least not for that reason. What to do, what to do?

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All that jazz

Someone said to me the other day that I’m into fiction. It took me this long to realize what the person meant. The truth is everything I published here so far aside from answers to prompts and challenges are all based on true-to-life experience. In fact, I never edit stories; I simply tell them the way it happened. I might omit but never add or romanticized for the sake of wooing the readers; that is not my way of doing things, tell the plain hard truth and let the people decide if they are going to save or crucify you, that’s what I always tell myself. Take it or leave it.

I can understand though why some people think I’m making up things. My experiences seem far-fetched, out of this world, phantasmagoria; something that will never happen in real life, in normal life. I agree. But then again, they don’t have my life, and it’s anything except normal. I don’t have other people’s ‘ordinary’ life and experiences also. I don’t go to the bakery, buy bread and come home. It never happened to me that way. I rarely venture outside but once I set my foot out the door, adventures begin.

If I go shopping for food, kids follow me around in the supermarket, offering me candies or toys. Once there was this two-year old baby boy who kept offering me credit cards from the wallet of his mother while we’re standing at the counter. When I refused he offered me the wallet itself. When I declined, he took his feeding bottle and asked me to feed him. He even draped himself across my lap when I squatted down to talk to him, and showed me that he can tie his shoe laces all by himself. Things like that. 

Or the kid I encountered while walking in the city. He was with his friends. He saw me, we passed each other by and he began walking backwards as not to lose sight of me.

I’m sure everyone is familiar with this scene, where somebody on the bike slams against a lamp-post because he’s not paying attention where he’s going because he is looking at some girl. Well, it happened to me. Twice. Not only bikes, cars as well. And no, I don’t dress up slutty. I have pictures enough in my about page to give you  ideas how I clad myself in garments. Sometimes, I think there is something wrong with me, for people to react that way. Maybe they see something I don’t see. Rainbow coloured aura perhaps? Or dark, dark clouds hanging above my head? I believe it could be the first because children seem to like me. I don’t know, I’m only guessing.

Animals are nice to me as well. Especially wild ones we usually encountered while hiking.  Rabbits don’t run away from me, they sit and wait and let me take pictures. Some even posed graciously for me. Once we’re hiking in Germany and it was already dark, I was hurrying to reach the car before the sun completely disappears and I saw deer, raccoons and owls watching us. They came peeping. Probably to see what we’re doing in their habitat so late. Pity that the time and condition were not ideal to take shots of them or otherwise…

Most of the things I experienced I never tell someone for the fear of being accused of exaggerating. Only D. who is almost constantly with me knows the real story. He becomes so much in tuned with what is happening around me that he notices them first before I become aware of it. Maybe because what is abnormal to other people is normal to me so I cease to take notice of them. For me, they are just perfectly normal occurrences in my daily existence. Nothing out of the ordinary…

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