The Road Ahead

Trading on stones (c) Ihris Terrado, May 2011, Lian, Batangas

Treading on rocky terrain
(c) Ihris Terrado, May 2011, Lian, Batangas

Starting tonight, I bid goodbye to mindful diet, regular exercise, and usual sleeping hours. I don’t know if the decisions I have made will be smart and sustainable but at least I have finally laid my path, no matter how bumpy and unfinished it may seem at this moment. I will test how persistent, patient, and tenacious I can be. Cheers to a great future ahead! *crossing my fucking fingers*

My Personal Manifesto

(Image not mine) If I can, I'd write this using blood

(Image not mine)

***This is still subject to change. If I encounter inconsistencies in the future, repeals and amendments will be done accordingly. However, this is how I’d like to live life at the moment.

I am responsible. I am resilient. I am patient. I am hard-working. I am striving. I am happy and content but I will not allow myself to stay in the comfort zone.

I will grow out of fear and use my failures for strategy. I will subject myself into new experiences that will push me for the better but I will not push myself too much. I will find healthy ways to cope with stress and relax. I will cultivate good relationships with others. I will love and accept love that I deserve. I will travel to study the world around me. I will be true to myself and I will stand up for what I believe is right but remain being open to new insights.

I promise to live my life to the fullest. I promise to be committed to constant and never-ending improvement. I promise to contribute to society. I promise to share my God-given talents to a cause that I believe in – to let people reach their full potentials, to let people break their limits. I will be an influential role model for those who are lost and hurting. I will inspire them to change their attitude and encourage them to find their own ways. I will strive excellence in every endeavor I will partake in. I will join communities that are involved in productive, positive, and forward-looking intentions. I will be inspired by the world around me and value each experience and person I encounter and equally credit them with me for the achievements and insights I gain.

My idealism shall push boundaries. My innate kindness will be one of my weapons. Experience will make me tough but I will not let it make me hard and rough. I will be excited and welcoming for the future but still be reminded of the lessons of the past.

I will mold myself accordingly. I am in charge of my life. In the words of the English poet, William Ernest Henley, “It matters not how strait the gate, how charged with punishments the scroll, I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.”

Comfort.

Flaming June, by Fredrick Lord Leighton

Flaming June, by Fredrick Lord Leighton

Have I given in to the idea that what I am experiencing today is comfortable and sustaining? Is the gray cloud of doom really come any minute now that I convince myself to cherish these last few months of rapture? Have I really become lazy because I pity myself too much that I give enough room to have fun and enjoy? Is this what I really want?

My consciousness is fully aware of the fact that drastic changes in my life are about to come but has some fucking plane or phase or any fucking dimension in my mind made the decision to deny it despite the thousands and thousands of angry self reminders I scream inside my head?

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This fucking blog is supposed to be ideally something that aims to uplift but I have made a fool out of myself to commit to such a goal by not really facing myself in the first place. Have I taken big of a bite that I am choking now, trying to chug everything down my throat?

 

I am being crippled by the thoughts in my head that I cannot do important yet easy, minimal tasks. I don’t know what exactly has gone over me and it is not so cool.

 

Seemingly…

anigif_enhanced-buzz-19525-1386918876-12

At 32 years of age, Beyonce has confronted the bonds from her controlled past by metaphorically smashing her trophies, the sacrifices she had to do, the experiences she missed out, and the heartbreaks she had to endure to achieve her status, realizing that there are more important things in life like love, friendship, and positive influence.

Here I am at 22 years of age, anchored in the state of topsy turvy, not knowing how my current decisions will enlighten the dark perceptions of my future, filled with hesitations and uncertainties, surrounded by people who do not seem to care what I am capable of. I am trapped in a cycle of wounded-ness, bound by the guarantee of pretense and unwanted accomplishment, defined by mundane rewards and disguised rewards. I look at myself and see someone who is not genuinely happy despite the seemingly gentle and innocent demeanor.

I was raised and taught to be perfect and good, not experiencing what is real, what is current, what is needed. My wounds were either taken care of and mellowed or condemned to the fires of hell, and I was not taught to be tolerant and resolute. I was taught that the world was scary. My head was lain in the comforts of a bubble wrap, a protective layer that can be popped with brute force. No one really noticed the ache and pains of someone who was not loved for who he is but for who he seemed to be.

I have a lot to say but it is going to become tiring and whiny. I just want to stop. After how many more breakdowns should I suffer just to be at peace with myself.

I am yearning for the time that I could grab my Past at its balls and make its ill effects on me go away. I am yearning for the day that I can finally say that I did it on my own and not be told on what to do and what to become. I don’t want to live like this anymore.

I don’t want to see someone’s kindness and submissiveness be abused by someone who’s fooled to want to become better by stepping on another person. I don’t want to see potentials wasted, rotten and forgotten just because it is deemed non-traditional. I don’t want to enslave myself by working on something that does not give me personal value, somewhere I am seen as just a piece of tool or machine that continuously operates on fuel. I don’t want to be something that exists just as someone’s achievement, I want to achieve things on my own.

I am bothered by the things of my past and the things that I currently experience and it is unbearable to see everything crumbling down.

I need help. I don’t want to shun myself out of fear of physical, verbal, and emotional violence anymore. I thought I saw a fortress, a way out but it is as euphoric as it is ephemeral, and now I have to plunge into this hell hole for the rest of my forthcoming days.

These pestering thoughts just keep on nourishing my brain with poison. All hope and ideal are not yet lost, they are waning, yes, but it is still grasping for oxygen to burn alive.

I’d rather burn alive with passion than limp and charred.

I want to welcome and hush all my pains because no one around me sees it. Instead of becoming stronger, I let my pain define me. But what’s worse is no one sees me as what I am, only what is seemingly there: meek, mild, disinterested, aloof, from afar and hard to crack. Let some action (like Beyonce’s from above .gif photo) strike me and scatter me into pieces so I can finally let the world see me.

Anxiety: My Crippling Through Thoughts Left Unexpressed

At Eternity's Gate, May 1890, Vincent van Gogh

At Eternity’s Gate, May 1890, Vincent van Gogh

The past year has given me a wonderful environment to look at myself and rearrange and remodel certain aspects of my life to be a better person. As, fearful as I had been, I successfully channeled that wasted energy into something that changed my mindset and habits. I learned useful techniques both from others and myself and I am very glad that I tried to expand my comfort zone to the limits I did not expect I would. The year 2013 was a year of abundant realizations and new experiences that I treasure it most.

This year has started with the perception that I will conquer the world with my new-found strength. I thought it would be easier for me now that I know something that uplifted my self worth and that this freshly welded armor of mindset is going to punch and break through all walls hurdling my way. Now in my current situation, I observe that it is not enough, for me at least.

What an instructor of mine said while attending a personality development class has now dug its way deeply into my understanding and I paraphrase him: You can improve a lot about yourself – the way you speak, the way you smile and pull your chin up, the way you carry yourself – but all that do not really matter unless you start from what is within.

It is true that what you feel about yourself manifests on how you act and how you display yourself. This is because, when put under pressure, the true you will come out in whatever form, no matter how extensively you apply things you have learned.

Looking into that realization, I am thinking about how much I have learned yet I feel I progressed only a bit. I am proud of the achievements I have made but I think I have not pounded and stressed on the core root of all my bitterness. I have always lived with lots of fears and apprehensions that it had reached into an unhealthy point – I keep on avoiding what I think will be best for me.

But now, I think I must address my issues differently. I will be more vocal about my fears and my thoughts. I will find an outlet to uproot all the bad weed that sip all the energy that would grant opportunities for love and growth. I will address the anxieties that run through my brain and that will only be through trusting the right people with whatever my condition and situation is.

I don’t want to contradict myself anymore by trying to appear okay all the time.

Only through making amends with myself will I be able to mend my brokenness. Only by giving myself more chances will I be able to relieve the pain. Only when I see a bright future will I be able to live freely and passionately.

Meta-Criticism

The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters, 1799, Francisco Goya

The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters, 1799, Francisco Goya

My brain just won’t shut up. It is filled with malice and distrust. It is annoying and disconcerting. I am a conceited, selfish, condemning bastard. I do not have the right to judge people according to their actions but this critic just knows how to break through all self-control. It is more than the subconscious acting on me because it has always been a way of life for me. Everything and everyone is not special enough to satisfy me. My soul has been barred from unltimate satisfaction because of these ghouls. It projects shame and blame on myself and others, the very thing that keeps me from fostering. How will I ever get out of this perpetual churning of criticism?

I want to experience happiness through being inspired by the circumstances around me. I want to hustle and bustle through life without thinking about what is in it for me and think about what I can contribute instead. I want to develop the habit of not finding fault in others just to think highly about myself. I want to see this world as a place full of hope and love. I want this world to be a place that I want to be in instead of thinking about recluse and fear brought about by dissatisfaction. I do not want to torment myself anymore.

I want a role model that heals and fosters growth, not someone who presses someone’s fault onto my face. I want someone who’ll bring out the best in me and not someone who stresses my incapacities. I want someone who sees me and not someone who always hacks my ego with a scythe.

I want to be loved so that I can share love. I want to be accepted to widen my acceptance and boost my tolerance. I want to be me to show the world what better place it is through what I can bring.

My conscience is stirred everytime I realize that I unmindfully cast poor judgement upon others as it is not fair and just. May I learn the importance of compassion and empathy for each human beings are born naked and pure. No amount of status or attribute will exempt us from feeling and suffering the same human experience nor will raise us above some erected throne. My perceptions control how I view the world and a overly criticizing attitude will prevent me from being content with the bounty of life given to me and everyone else.

Quest for The Complete Package

I have always been on the brink of loss, as if something astonishing or something big and defining has been deprived of me or taken away. It’s as if something is still not there, just like a massive chunk of jigsaw pieces still left scattered, yet to be solved. I have always wondered how I have come to be this young man possessing a cortex of imaginative activity that, instead of triggering the mind to think about changing the world, thinks about how I should change myself to be good enough.

I have always felt the need to play the role of another, literally copying what another’s defining attribute seem to be, hoping to get the same kind of attention. Sometimes, I’d literally ask for attention by doing things outside of my comfort zone just to make others like me. I defined being like-able as a number game: the frequency of interactions with other people, the number of times people approach a person, the number of social media activity with its responses (a dreadful measure, really), and how much a name gets tangled up in both honest chatter and savvy gossiping.

However, what I have observed about likability is something that opened my mind and has got me thinking a lot: it all starts from home. It is how the basic forefront in my upbringing that determines how others treat me. How I view myself is how I allow others to view me as and how I view myself as is how my earliest influences view me. It makes sense then that people who are likable and “popular” has been liked by some, at least, in the best possible way.

Acceptance matters. But up to now, i don’t feel such in myself. There is this silent force within me that shuns me when I’m about to speak my mind. There is an invisible force that wraps around my body when it wants to be genuinely daring and feisty. There is this need to always be polite and “good.” Submission and disregard for one’s own favor which has been brought about by ineffective familial system. A basic foundation that tells you to maintain tons of criteria to be worthy of existence continuously from an early age up to present adulthood causes an almost permanent heartbreak that manifests early on in early human development that haunts it remains and echos to the present.

I know it’s too late for me to talk about this considering my current adulthood but isn’t it time to demand attention and ultimately acceptance?

I think that I deserve to be of worth, respect, and love and I will work on my fears and my anxieties that have rooted from the lack of acceptance imprinted upon me by the people who I should be looking up to. After the storms have finished raging inside me will I live that I am good enough to be liked and loved by the people I choose. After all the hurt have been healed will I learn that a better life awaits me. Maybe then will I find the genuineness and worth that I will use to be of good influence to those around me.

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This post is part of the Zero-to-Hero blogging series. This is Day 6. I have to catch up, I know.
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Lesson Learned the Hard Way: Make Reading a Habit

La Liseuse (The Reader), 1776, by Jean-Honoré Fragonard

La Liseuse (The Reader), 1776, by Jean-Honoré Fragonard

One thing that I wish I had developed more as a child is the interest of reading. I was particularly an imaginative kid, full of daydreams about different worlds, changing personas, and composing conflicts and resolutions just for escape. Looking back, I find it as a wasted opportunity that, having that ability to create fantasy and wonder, I was not given a crutch to support that throbbing desire to dissolve into another world or cast a net to let my wandering mind be more directive. Large texts intimmidated me because at that time I really did not want to read textbooks assignments from school because I largely relied on the teacher’s explanations because of my preferred visual acquiring of knowledge. I always resorted to daydreaming instead of reading. Although I think that daydreaming is good, little did I know  back then that not habing the habit to read proved to be detremental to learning.

When I reached high school, I was submerged into an unfamiliar territory. I came from a school being a high achiever, mostly relying on teachers’ lectures and explanations, and eventually ended up as one of the top students of the batch. Now, at that high school, students were carefully selected for my high school and we were known to be a collection of smarts. I entered this revered science high school, mingling with people who were always on top of their games: know a lot, absorb information a lot, asked questions and raised hands for answers a lot, did homeworks and readings a lot. My lack of reading habit started to backfire. Everyone was raising their hands and excelling well in their studies. And I was lead into a dark path for relying most of the time upon teachers’ and classmates’ words of mouth. I lacked initiative, my mind did not understand complex information well despite the amazing visual memory I had. I could not connect cosequential and relating facts and not grasp reasoning well. I graduated high school, still not acquiring the habit to read and felt very miserably stupid.

College came, and the same attitude of still not wanting to read still persisted and consequences had became rough exponentially. It was the time in life when I was extremely conscious of my future, as it was a crucial transition from the educational phase to the decisive phase in future career directions, adding the fact that that future career would most likely be the source to feed myself. I had a hard time internally and officially branded myself as intelligent but really really stupid because of the same prevailing problems: lack of focus, inability to connect and build understandings among scattered yet related facts, and inexistent initiative to think.

Fast forward to two years before, I realized how I, joining a writers’ guild and befriending few artsy people, have surrounded myself with those who are interested with stories of escape and fantasy, same as I, but all of them seem to be faring well in their lives. I wondered why I possesed the same imaginative and inquisitive mind yet I don’t seem to grab information quickly.

It took a long time to observe everyone’s ways and like a glass crashing to the ground an internal breakthrough suddenly pinpointed the difference: everyone who I know reads. They read anything. It doesn’t matter if it is fiction or non-fiction. They read. It doesn’t matter if it is a textbook, a novel, or a self-help book. They read. But more than that… they read books with substance.

Aha! Then and there I vowed myself to read books as successively as possible. I challenged myself to read books of varying nature. I consulted self-help books, fiction, history, and also some academic textbooks and add to that a few internet and newspaper articles every now and then. Slowly did I noticed the changes that occured.

Reading taught me to communicate. The more I read, the more I can communicate. It is not just about the vocabulary that I hone everytime I read a new sentence and encounter a new word which can be looked up in a dictionary. It is not just about applying the same word in writing essays or in conversing with people. It is not just about to understand jargon and cultural context in varying situations. It is the full knowledge and confidence I gained that made me think highly of myself. Every time I read, I feel my brain getting heavier and I imagine the mechanics of my brain getting more complex.

Reading taught me to be imaginative. It taught me to construct from something as limiting and abstract as typed symbols into fantastical worlds and visions, it helped me imagine concepts and how one theory ties in with another theory, and most importantly, it helped me to feel and understand new situations and enter into a renewed kind of perspective. It taught me about each varying person’s socio-economic context. It to empathize and think. It taught me to think and be ideal. It taught me to translate those ideas into action and spark change.

Lastly, reading taught me to aspire for more. I have met individuals along my soul-searching and found out (and was intimidated by) how less I have learned through the years. I found out that reading creates a multi-faceted person because of the open-mindedness it cultivates. I found out that we can break tradition and norms in so many ways possible. I found out that it empowers you by knowing a wide range of possibilities ahead. It has, at least slowly as it is, changed me into a determined, active, and directive person.

I remember my professor back in college who encourages us to read if we feel we do not grasp any theoretical concept. At the time, I had shallow understanding of what she meant. As her advice resonates within my head I defenitely know now why she encouraged us so. Although I realized how lacking I am still when it comes to a multitude of information, knowledge, and skill, it is not too late for it gives me a drive to be a better person for now I have found out a secret weapon. It is through reading that our mind’s gears are turned, not matter how unoiled and rusty it may seem. Constant reading polishes the system of thinking, a manner which, if practiced perpetually, will make the gears act upon themselves, and, eventually, curiosity, initiative, creativity, and resolve will come after.

On Therapeutic Claiming

The stillness of these water plants soothes.

The stillness of these water plants soothes.

One reasons I thought of in starting this blog is to have a separate outlet of my creative self. I want to make myself represented the way I want it to be as opposed to embodying what people around me thought of how I might be or might become. This blogging universe is both personal and open to all and what I like most is managing that freedom to express while maintaining responsibility to my audience as opposed to having little to no voice at all.

It can be my reaction to all the struggles of identity issues (that goes beyond my sexuality issues) I have been facing. Now, as a young adult who needs a sense of self in the transition from youth to adulthood, no excuses are to be made. I will not lie down and mope around how unlucky my circumstances are. It can be that I am in a rebellious stage in my life that questions the norms, beliefs, and tradition that has been cultivated in my mind since I was young and eventually has been rooted firmly in my way of life. It may sound whiny and immature if viewed from a different perspective but if I let it bottle up inside, it will destroy me emotionally and physiologically. I must allow to air it out to make room for positive vibes – something that makes readership count. I want an exchange of point of views. I want new point of views to gain insight from. All I need is clarity of mind.

What I am excited about most is to reach that stage in my life when I feel no more resentment. As I have put in this blog, I admire art and music, but I did not mention that I like the people who create them as much. I look up to people who have reached the moment of acceptance of their pains and sufferings and learned how to eventually heal themselves. I like how both pain and clarity shaped their beliefs and fuel them to spread their message to the world with authenticity and fearlessness.

Maybe through candidness and self-permission will I be able to break the bonds and let myself fly, cliche as it sounds. Maybe through control in this little world of mine will I be able to trust myself in my decisions. Maybe through constant creative practice will I find more ways than one to express myself and reach others who feel the same. Maybe through this will I learn many lessons from experience and advice (from friends and friendly strangers alike). Maybe through this I can grow as a person and forget fears and doubts from the past.

I do have a concern of how to place my blog in this pigeon-holing modern world. It is inevitable to think about if I want to gain a target audience. There is this computer generated string analysis fuzz and I am afraid my blog is too personal and introspective to be categorized as something. However, as I have thought just moments before the end of this essay, this is my blog and I have only just begun. I will worry about it later. After all, I blog mainly for therapeutic purposes.

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This post is part of the Zero-to-Hero blogging series. This is Day 3.
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What’s Blocking You?

photo by Heidi J., photo manipulation by R. Malic Apparently, I brood too much than I actually am aware of

photo by Heidi J., photo manipulation by R. Malic
Apparently, I brood too much than I actually am aware of.

Right now, an indefinable entity has blocked my thoughts; something inexplicable that no words can describe it. I try to grasp its existence; its heaviness fills me with wariness. It drives me insane. After a few moments, I came to realize that it doesn’t really obstruct my thoughts, per se, because I am still able to write and type from my head. This mental block hinders more than it inhibits me from producing something worthwhile to read. It makes it difficult to release my creativity as it tries to stop me from doing what I do best.

From this point on, I will do my best not to succumb to this fear. I do not want to show up next time without a well-made output or present a product made out of force. But that is the issue. How can I create routinely something when writing motivation and inspiration often come out spontaneously? I am doing it right now – I write without a rigid and specific cause or aim. Just write. No thoughts pulled back. No ideas to be disturbed. Every single word is flowing out as I write this draft. I picture a thread of words being spindled into refinery. These golden thoughts will shine in the sun with its radiance reflected and cast upon the reader’s eyes.

If I give in to perfection, there will be no room for creativity as everything becomes contrived, confined and inhibited. A breath of fresh air is all I need! Move, move, MOVE! Push that critic past the cliff and let him fall without regard into oblivion. Break his soul sucking incantation before he breaks me down. Ride those imaginary wheels and fly into the skies, wind brushing past my face and hair. I am enjoying this ride while regurgitating this mental asphyxiation.

But then… halt! I thought I finally got rid of it! I hushed it out, didn’t I? But here it comes again peeping and booing like a phantom in the night. Punch it in the face! Consciously empower myself to defeat it! These monsters in my head are there because I am facing a new level of discomfort. Why can’t these thoughts let me act the way I do? I certainly won’t lie in bed again and make it as an excuse. I cannot think anything, right? Why not attack it? Have I noticed that I made it to the fourth paragraph? What is this inner critic still babbling about?

I hope I learned my lesson. It is hard and unnerving when I try to grasp what is supposed to be the right words or the right style. Although it seems counterintuitive, it helps to write without limits. Great things happen without victimizing one’s self from an obviously temporary slump (in my case, I need little doses of neuroses). I must take that first step, and immediately follow it with one more, slowly but surely. Then, I can go places – without aim or direction, yet enamored by action, movement, and sudden development.

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Roland Andre Malic is a creative writer and blogger who took writing and speech courses in TalkShop, under the guidance of Sheila Viesca, CEO and Director of Communication. Still finding out his niche in life, he is on the way to self-discovery by traversing creative ventures, a step at a time, which include writing and blogging. He also finds joy in watching mind-boggling films, reading about art and history, and exploring musicians and artists from eclectic genres.