a letter to my journal

My Dearest Diary,

I’ve written so many letters for the people I love, the people I would love to meet, the people who don’t even know me on you and I’ve come to realize I haven’t written one for you. Though I believe there are times when I express my gratitude for your existence, a letter is still different so I hope you regard this as that. A letter that isn’t waiting for a reply. Anyway, I’m blabbering here. It’s as if I don’t know what to say to you at all even if you probably know every word I have written or uttered to myself, alone in a room. You’ve known me for more than a year or so and you’ve let me express everything I couldn’t in my poetry, in my stories, in my art and in the conversations I have with others and with myself. I would like you to know that I’m often too careful of what I say to myself but with you here, I am free. I know you’ve witnessed me writing some of the harshest things I have said to no one but me and I’m sorry. I’m sorry if you felt that anger, that self-hatred, but thank you for letting me see who I am when I feel I’m not me. Those are the parts that I hide so well from the world and from myself. Those are the parts of me that I don’t understand, that I don’t fully accept. Those are the parts of me I deem as foreign, alien even. But they’re part of me. They’re who I am. And you let me write them, you let me express them, all these voices I have cupped my ears for. And I’ve realized, I have so much more to learn about myself, the fears I have, the insecurities, the unused energy reverberating inside of me. Positive values and negative traits, they’re all me. Parts of me. I am fragmented. But with you here, I feel whole. You contain all of who I am. Maybe not all, definitely not all, but you posses the parts of me even I can’t face. And you’re doing so unapologetically. So… thank you. With all my being, I thank you.

Love,

Kat

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reflections

The place I am now doesn’t look like the place I was before. I’m beginning to realize that nothing’s ever the same though it might look like nothing moved, not even you. Because something did, something always does. It’s in the smallest of details, the way you react with more caution than you ever did before. Or the way you look at the world with your eyes a little wider than you did a month ago. Or the way you respond with a little more confidence, a little more honesty, a little more wisdom. You never notice your growth or the changes you’ve made or the people you’ve left behind because of all of this, you just do. And one day, you wake up still believing you’re at the exact same place, still believing that you’re just falling behind everybody else but if that is what you believe to be true, then it shall be your truth.

But this is the truth I wish myself to believe in: in this journey I am in right now, I’ve learned things I wouldn’t have learned elsewhere. True, I’ve made decisions I still regret up to this day. But it is in those choices, microscopic or gigantic, I have grown to be a little bolder, a little wiser and maybe even a little better than who I was before. 

one year…

A year after my graduation, I feel more lost than ever. A year has passed… one year. So much has happened but I felt like I did nothing when in fact, I have learned more from that one year than in my four years in college. I, unfortunately (or fortunately), did not get a job right after graduation. It was a struggle. I kept applying to companies I didn’t want to work for and the companies that I did want to work for were either not accepting applicants, too far from where I live or just weren’t replying at all. I was at that stage for quite a few months. And in those months, I was just at my house, cleaning and watching films, being useful in my own little ways. I was going from interview to interview just so I could get out of these four walls that were slowly collapsing on me. My anxiety got worse and I felt like a complete failure.
When I was in college, I excelled. But I was slowly, painstakingly realizing that I was failing in the real world. The world that mattered. The world in which I live in right now. Then something happened. A friend and I decided to take matters to our own hands. We became freelance videographers, photographers and scriptwriters for real estate people… on the side. In actuality, we started planning this community and this YouTube channel. A community of artists and like-minded souls. We were actually playing with this idea back when we both were in a team for our internship at this TV network, but it was postponed due to thesis and other requirements. For months, we planned on videos to upload on YouTube, how to grow this community and write more stuff, shoot more stuff. We created these passion projects while we shot houses and apartments. We were even official photographers for this national event. We kept making stuff we wanted to make. Both of us are poets so we integrated that to our work. Spoken word poetry with amateur cinematography. They might seem like crap but we were doing something. We were doing what we love doing… telling stories in our own way.
Eventually, reality slapped me in the face, hard. By that I mean, my parents weren’t exactly happy with this whole freelance thing. They weren’t happy at all. To them, I was going nowhere. To them, my friend was a bad influence. To them, I should have just took Psychology instead of Mass Communications so that my income would be stable. Because to them, stability is essential to the world today. To them, I should never have fallen in love with filmmaking and poetry, I should have never fallen in love with art. To them, I should’ve followed their voices instead of my Heart. My Heart… at one point in this whole escapade, I stopped listening to it. My depression came back, darker than ever, anxiety kept biting me day after wretched day. I felt like I was disappointing everyone in my life. My family, my significant other, even my friends… my family most especially… definitely.
When you live in a country like mine, you’ll see how much we give all of who we are to our families. It is part of our culture. Family comes first. Blood is thicker than water. It’s always that. I have nothing against that, really, but it made me feel like I was pushing through river currents. Even if they’re not saying anything, even if they agree with all your choices, you still feel their hands tightly holding yours as if to say, “Hey, think of me, think of your siblings, think of your family.” Multiply that by a thousand fold, especially for me since I am the oldest of four. My parents usually keep their mouth shut but it’s apparent from their eyes that they expect me to help, even just a little bit, even if it’s just my siblings’ allowances, or the phone bill, or something. And for a time, I was able to. I got a job as a web journalist.
It didn’t end well. It didn’t even begin well, honestly. I worked for a start-up company, so expectations for every employee were through the roof. I did well as a content and SEO writer but I lacked in event photography. I was slow and my skills weren’t really as developed as much as I wanted them to be. I still needed to learn, I still wanted to learn. And truthfully, I wasn’t at all happy. Days keep dragging on and on in the office, I kept feeling like I had a clock inside of me and I felt every hour, every minute, every second. Eventually, the company had to let me go. Not because of my lack of skills but because the company wasn’t really doing well in terms of their financials. But I secretly feel like it was because of my skills, or lack thereof.
It’s been a month since I lost my job and every time I go on Facebook, or any other social media platform for that matter, I see people who seem so genuinely happy with their jobs. I see people helping their parents out, making them extremely proud. And I found myself drowning in envy. I envied people who were busy all the time, I envied people who kept talking about how their work involves this and that, I envied people paying their bills for crying out loud. I envied people who loved their jobs because I wanted to be like that, I promised myself that same thing right after college. I promised myself I wouldn’t be another dead-eyed passer-by to someone I brush shoulders with on the way to work. That’s why I did freelance work  and passion projects in the first place. That’s why I kept my love for film, poetry and art burning. I refused to die in order to live “normally.” And sometimes I regret that immensely, sometimes… sometimes I feel like it’s the right thing to do.
If you’re wondering what happened to my friend… I don’t have the answer. We went our separate ways but more accurately, I think it’s our lack of communication. I’m still hoping that we would get to keep making films and poetry together but for now, maybe it’s best that we both figure out our lives individually.
Maybe I’m too idealistic. Maybe I should take that “maybe” off and just admit it. I am too idealistic. Reality is, I try to avoid reality as much as I can. I live in a bubble that I won’t allow myself to step out off. I still feel like a job in the film industry is the only thing I should take so that I could have a career in a field that might actually be rejecting me. I don’t know. And the thing that triggers me most is exactly that… I keep saying I don’t know a lot lately.
In this one year, there were times I was barely hanging on to the things that were keeping me alive. I remember wanting to let go of several parts of me because maybe my dreams really aren’t for me. I was so ready to butcher myself because maybe this is the world telling me to stop dreaming of becoming a filmmaker, a poet, an artist… To stop dreaming, period. Maybe my parents were right. I was confused, I was lost.
I’m still so lost. But for some reason, someone still believes in me even if she doesn’t approve of my indecisiveness. My significant other keeps telling me to keep going. Over and over again. She doesn’t want me to take a job that I’d eventually hate and she’s always there. Always there to assure me that I’m still here, I’m still breathing. She’s always there to remind me of life. To remind me that this is my life. And before I forget, there is another person who wants me to keep going. Yes, this person could be extremely harsh sometimes. This person is me.
In a year, I’ve grown so much. I felt like I was at the back of this race, barely breathing, barely catching up to the crowd but then I’ve realized, why do I keep trying to catch up? Why do I keep wanting to be up front? There is no race. There is no winner, no loser either. Everyone is running, walking, crawling at their own pace to make their own dreams come into reality. And so am I. So am I.
So here I am, looking for a job again, writing poems, practicing my filmmaking. Doing everything I can to feel alive. To be alive.

Words Spoken

Aside from being a poet, I am also a filmmaker. And last year, I’ve produced spoken word videos together with some of my friends. It’s challenging but when you’re doing something you love, something you’re so passionate about, something you think about doing everyday and every night, it just feels so right. Your heart soars and your soul is bursting out of you. When you’re doing the thing that makes your heart beat wildly, you come to life. You are alive. That’s what I felt while shooting and editing these videos. I felt so alive.

2016-01-09 (1)
When You Dream of Monsters by ED
2016-01-07 (29)
Hands by Anna Lete
2016-01-07 (30)
Beauty by ED

Art and Art and Art and Dreams

Narrating my life in essay form… Now this is something I miss. I dived into the blogosphere not knowing what to blog at all, not knowing what to expect and, most of all, not knowing that I would last this long. All the poems in here have faced my inner critic. It has been messy as one part of my brain (and most of my heart) is jumping for joy as I am close to hitting that “Publish” button but another part is this little devil that tells me I could never be good at anything and that I would never be somebody. It is confusing, it is tiring at times and it cuts my soul into small pieces of broken glass. Every poem I share with you went through hell, my own personal hell. It takes a tremendous amount of courage, a couple of side eyes from my little devil and me wondering when everything would end. I wonder if there will ever come a time when my writings, my works, my films, my art would be something I am truly proud of.

To tell you the truth, I do not even know who I am doing this for anymore. I know art should be for yourself, but the lines are so blurry now. I do not know if I am actually doing this for me and this question keeps me up most of the time. What is art for me and why am I still here? Why, if I am doubting myself so much, am I still fighting? Why am I still creating, brainstorming, crafting, writing, dreaming, feeling, observing, pondering, overthinking, breathing art?

Art is something I could never live without. I breathe in words and I breathe out poems. I watch a movie and instead of just watching it, I devour every dialogue, every movement, every music, every expression of the actors, every laugh or cry from the audience, every single frame, and I always come out of the cinema full, no matter if the movie is good or bad. Even by just thinking about these two things that matter to me and the future that, although scary, is so exciting, make me feel alive. To be a writer and a filmmaker… The two moons of my little planet. And don’t you worry, this spaceship I have worked on for years is ready for takeoff.

This

I miss this… I miss the rush of words flowing through me. I miss typing and writing on a notebook. I miss figuring out what his or her story will be… how he will tell her, how she will react to his kiss. I miss talking to someone who isn’t even real but he or she feels real because he or she is talking to me, telling me what his or her story is and how beautiful and miserable it is. I miss trying to figure out what my own story is.

I never thought I could hate myself more but because of losing this… I dug a hole inside of me and I stayed there for months. And it felt like years in there. It was a prison where I caged myself in. There were so many times I wanted to crawl my way out but when I did, some part of me thought that the prison I was in was some kind of home. Like it was some kind of place far away from reality, some place where I could be safe, some place so very far from my nightmares. But that prison was my nightmare.

For days, weeks, months, I couldn’t write anything. I couldn’t feel anything. There were even times when I would ask myself “Hey, what should I feel today?” And there were times when all these emotions would eat me up. One moment I’d be extremely happy, the next I’d be a crying mess and then the anger would kick in at the most inappropriate of times. What sucked the most was that I couldn’t tell anyone because I didn’t know what to tell. I mean, what are you supposed to tell people when you’re going through… whatever this is. I was in a constant battle of trying to figure out what face I would show the world and trying to figure out what I am really feeling. And writing used to help but I couldn’t even tell a blank sheet of paper anything or everything because I always run out of words before I could even reach for a pen.

I’m a little rusty now. I let time pass like it was nothing and now I feel really weird doing this. I just want to get back on all of this… or maybe I could start a brand new chapter. I feel like I could do anything… write a poem or two (this is what I miss the most… poetry is a part of me), study scriptwriting again (something I always wanted to do), analyse all the films I told myself I would analyse (still so many to watch), read a book (I have not read a book in a looooong time, honestly) and all those other things. I just have to motivate myself and I have to remember… I do not want to go back to that prison. Never again.

Fading Away

It’s been a while… Just how many times have I typed those words in this blog? I can’t seem to consistently post a poem or a blog post or something every week like other bloggers do. Anyway, I’ve been doing well these past few months. Little bumps here and there, but I’m all right. That’s if you’re asking if I’m still alive. I still am. Very much. Alive. Breathing. Existing. Living. Still here… I’m still here.

But I’ve been feeling like I’m not here at all. I feel like I’ve put myself in this protective glass ball that no one, not even my friends or family, could break. I’m trying to break it too, but it’s so stubborn. It’s so strong. I just want it to break. Maybe I should fall off a cliff or something. I just feel so distant from the world and I know it has always been who distanced myself from everyone and everything. I wish I didn’t. And now… I’m afraid I can’t feel. My heart doesn’t move. It doesn’t cry. It doesn’t move. It doesn’t do anything.

What’s happening to me?

Oh now that’s a question I want to answer. But is there really an answer?

I’m slowly fading away, I’m slowly falling, I’m slowly losing myself and nobody seems to notice that. Not even me. That is until now.