On Starting Over Again

If you follow my Twitter, and most likely you don’t because I have a whopping 79 followers as of now as I’m writing this (and I appreciate every single one), you will notice that I have put in my description: “A phoenix starting over; soaring soon.”

As I mentioned in my previous essay I am currently recovering from depression and anxiety. Last year has been my life’s lowest point. However, with my now accumulated sackful of salt I take what has happened beyond face value and say that it has been one that has blessed me the most lessons. And since I can’t sleep because I’m a genius and I drank coffee, I’ll share some with you.

1. Depression is not for the fainthearted.

I have to admit that I was once one of those people who thought that people with depression just “can’t deal with it”. Of course, I now have a different opinion.

I read Margarita Holmes’ article on depression and she says, “depression is not a disorder I would wish on anyone,” and I believe the same. Depression isn’t a fun joyride for emo people. It is a hard disorder that makes living, well, a living nightmare.

Learn more about what depression is. Give others your understanding. Trust me, you’d want the favor returned too.

2. Maturity is not the way you appear.

One of the most important things that I learned is that we as a society thrive on appearances. We equate intangible qualities in the tangible way people act towards others and carry themselves.

But I have met people who seemed to be mature at first glace and yet displayed immaturity when they opened their mouths. I think and believe that the true test of maturity is in authenticity. Authenticity is something that we should all strive for. When we are brave enough to always be the real us, that is when we grow up.

3. Learning about yourself is the best weapon you have.

Knowing about you will let you be aware of your shortcomings. And when you are, you then have the chance to show yourself some love and accept them. And who cares if you have them? Everyone does. You are still interesting and likeable. And the fun in knowing about yourself is seeing your awesome parts.

4. Know that some people will never apologize, and you have to be OK with it.

Yup, someone hurt you, made you miserable, or lonely, or angry, and they won’t admit to any wrongdoings.

You have to be OK with it. You can’t make them do what you want, just as no one can make you do what you don’t want. Letting go is tough, but freeing. Also remember: only small people don’t apologize.

5. Nothing feels better than enjoying your work.

6. Negative emotions are barriers to financial wealth.

7. Be grateful, and you will experience joy.

As Brene Brown described in her book, The Gifts of Imperfection, “Happiness is tied to circumstance and joyfulness is tied to spirit and gratitude.

“We need both happiness and joy. I think it’s important to create and recognize the experiences that make us happy. But in addition to creating happiness in our lives, I’ve learned that we need to cultivate the spiritual practices that lead to joyfulness, especially gratitude.”

8. Trust. Not everything in life is out to get you.

In knowing about myself I realized that I have trust issues. Whelp, there it goes. But I think that I am not the only one. I think that everyone has some level of problems with trust. Fear of trusting in happiness. Fears of trusting in people. Fear of trusting in ourselves.

In my experience, the episodes in my life that have punched me square in the gut are the ones that I never worried about. So why bother worrying? Life will always hand out lemons and we will always have to make lemonade. We have to remember that most of the time, life gives us cake to wash down with that lemonade.

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Superpowers Parents Need To Teach Their Kids (That are not mentioned by Child Services)

I believe that children are our future. Teach them well and let them lead the way, as Whitney Houston sang. Show them all the life hacks they could possess insaaaaaiide♪♫!

My childhood wasn’t all trampolines and roses, but looking into who I am now has made me realize that  during that important formative period I have been taught some important powers from my upbringing that are not required by the DSWD (for non-Filipinos, that’s Department of Social Welfare and Development), which I think they totally should.

The Power of Haggling

Nothing is more satisfying than going home after shopping at the wet market or tiangges (stall market) here in the Philippines. There is something satisfying about finding the freshest produce then haggling down its price. That feeling of having gotten a great deal and we have to admit, of having gotten away with something not everyone has.

Sundays are market days in our home, and my mom would take me to with her to the wet market to shop. Learning how to choose suki (favorite) sellers who’ll keep giving you discounted prices and reserve their best cuts of meat/freshest seafood if you keep buying from them, to sweet talking them to part their wares at a lower price when they’re not that eager to. I am not saying that your kids will grow up to become master sales people. But this teaches them the valuable concept of always being open to asking questions. I know a lot of people nowadays who are grown-a** yet are afraid of asking questions. Asking might not always get you what you want, yet it allows you to get what you want more often than if you never did.

The Power of Knowing How to Keep Oneself Entertained (Without Gadgets)

I don’t want to sound like a grandma lamenting about how “you darn kids today’re lucky,” but you darn kids today’re lucky, internet and gadgets wise. I consider my generation, generation Y as spoiled, but my generation has nothing, jack sh** on today’s generation. The most expensive gadget I had as a kid was a second hand Sony Walkman, and I had to share it with my sister.

My point is that as children, since we weren’t given any electronic gadgets to play with aside from watching the television and listening to the radio, we taught ourselves to use our imagination while playing. The house always was a hive of “grown up” activity and we were left to our own devices. Our enjoyment simply isn’t a big enough priority. If we’re bored and found a way out of it, well bully for us. And we found ways to entertain ourselves that were more fun in some ways, such as making friends with our neighbors who plays street volleyball and badminton with us, or making our double deck bed a “bus” and we “travel” to different places, to taking turns riding the bike around the block. I just wish the kids today would experience this on some level and not demand spoon feeding of video games, touch screens and cable TV.

The Power of Becoming a Bookworm

My family encouraged reading when we were at a young age. My mom and aunt bought us books and Archie comics to show us that reading is a lot of fun. Fast forward to *cough* a few years later and I’m now a certified bookworm.

Book are just- fun. In the advent of the “I wanted it a minute ago” mindset and the normalcy of short attention spans I can understand why most kids nowadays wouldn’t want their entertainment to be impeded by making sense of sentences. Yet the great thing about books is that you command how fiction, and even non-fiction at some point, exists in your mind.  It’s great how reading opens up new areas of your brain with new knowledge and concepts. How invigorating it is to feel your mind percolating instead of being slowed down by the sludge of lardy pre-packaged junk amusement.

I cannot imagine myself going one day without reading anything. Read blogs, articles, current affairs, post, stories, even poetry. READ!

The Power of Knowing the Love of a Pet

I personally can never recall a time in my life when we never had pets.

We always had an animal in the house, whether it was a huge turtle when I was very young (I still remember. I don’t know if the turtle was really as big as I thought it was then though), to dogs and cats who fight or who are the best of friends. There are not a lot of things more precious to a child than the love of a pet. Having your dog welcome you when you get home from a very bad day at school; or grabbing your cat and cuddling with it while watching TV is pretty awesome. You name your pet after things or people you like, like “Lassie” even if your Aspin is nowhere close to looking like a border collie or your cat “Paul” when she is a girl.

I am a firm believer that every child should have a pet. Because: the best lesson an animal can teach a child is that you don’t get the good parts of life without the bad. Really like playing with your dog? You should really like cleaning his poop as well. Thinking that your carp looks great now that it’s grown to twice its size when you bought it? You’d better think of always maintaining that aquarium and complex oxygen tank.

So moms, relent and get your kid that tarantula she’s always wanted! Get the cute Pinktoe!

The Power of Saying Please and Thank you

Some may think of this as less survival tactic than “preventing people from strangling you in their head.” Or maybe it is, lest the aggrieved person happens to be a psychopath.

This should be basic good morals and right conduct for everyone, but let me ask you: how often do you hear anyone say “thank you” when you or anyone in a jeep or FX van passes their payment to the driver? Or of people who say thank you when you hold the door open when they pass? Not only that, how about people you personally know, who you did a huge favor for then treated you like a turd after?

They say that the Ambrosia, the drink of the Greek gods, is made of nectar. Wrong; I think that it’s made of liquid appreciation. Everyone wants to feel appreciated. No one likes the feeling of being ordered around, or ignored like you owed them the favor you gave. The words “please” and “thank you” is our way of saying, “I see you and treat you as my equal, and I would appreciate it if you could help me.”

Some kids today think having “swag,” is important above all else. Hell, I think some of my generation also think this way. It’s important that we impart these super powers and make sure that they have every opportunity of surpassing us and becoming super people if they choose to.