Friday, December 13, 2013

Question 0001

Technology has become a part of us. Would you rather lose the use of all motorized vehicles, all telecommunication devices and computers, or one of your hands?


Well I definitely don’t want to lose any of my hands. Technology is something that’s man-made. Something that maybe, if given some time and training, I can also invent for myself. My hands are different. They are gifts. They are unique. They are my language, my comfort, and sometimes my only friend. They are me. And the thought of losing even one is somehow unthinkable…

Which is why I really admire, and is personally blessed, with this person:

"I may not have the hands to hold my wife's hand, but when the time comes, I'll be able to hold her heart."
~ Nick Vujicic

When it comes down to it, it's not really about choosing which you would rather lose or gain... It's about what you were given, and how you're gonna use it.

The Book of Questions by Gregory Stock, Ph.D

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Seasons of You

I saw you and I felt something in me come to life. It has been a long winter and I’ve gotten used to the cold routine of hiding inside the igloo I built around myself, minding my own business. Seeing you made me want to break my walls of ice so you could see me. So I did. And then life began to catch up on me.

You saw me and I began to feel the warmth. We started exchanging glances until it wasn’t enough to just look. You made your way to me, and my heart opened up and bloomed for you. All things were bright and beautiful, but none of them compared to you.

You saw her and I felt the end of summer. One by one, your fingers let go of mine like withered leaf falling from your branch. My heart reached the ground numb and broken. You stepped on me like some worthless thing and left just like that.

I saw you with her and I just died. I looked away as shards of ice filled my soul. I found a place where you would never go, and there started building my new wall. One that’s thicker and sturdier.  This will be a longer winter. I just know.

A response to Wordpress Daily Prompt: Mid-Season Replacement

Stranger in my own home

Hey Dad,
You said that I’ve grown too proud to treat you with respect. “Is it because you’ve achieved so much that you’re now thinking so little of me?” You asked, and I was caught off-guard. I have never ever thought of it that way.
You have always been my inspiration to get better. When you’re not happy with my performance, I always try to get better. I studied so hard, so you can have a daughter to be proud of. I got in your dream university for me. I finished the degree you chose for me with excellence. I got a job in a bank, and have been promoted thrice within my five years in the corporate world. I enrolled in graduate school and now I’m just two terms away from getting a diploma. It was all for you and mom.
I don’t know how you got the idea that I’m looking down on you, because all my life I have always looked up to you. It hurts that you think I’m getting too proud when all I ever wanted was for you to be proud of me.
After hearing those words from you, I felt lost. I don’t know what I’m striving for anymore.
Each passing minute I feel more and more like a stranger in this house. Only this room is sheltering me from the pain that I’m sure to feel when I get out and see your disappointed face again.
I don’t want to get out, because if I do I might not come back. It just doesn’t feel like I fit in here anymore. Maybe you’re right… maybe I’m too big and too old for this place.
If I leave, the TV set’s all yours and I know you’ll be happier.
I’m sorry for disappointing you. It seems that’s the only thing I’m good at.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Top 5 Reasons Why I Agreed To This Date

So you found my picture on my best friend’s phone and you asked for my number. You started sending me messages, which I entertained, and yesterday you asked for a date. I’m pretty sure you’ll ask why I agreed right away, so I prepared the top five answers I’ve given from my repertoire of previous dates and I’ll just pick one when I get to see your face.

5. I’m single… but I’m not interested.
Oops. Well this is my most frequently used response so don’t feel so dejected. I can say this even before you ask for the menu, or maybe a little after I get to know you better (at this age, I’m really trying to loosen my standard, so this is more likely), or, if your purse appears to be thick, I may just choose to enjoy this dinner before breaking the bad news. Of course before you leave I’ll say “it’s not you, it’s me.”

4. I’m single… well, not really.
So let’s say that I feel you don’t deserve answer #5. Answer #4 means I want to give you a little test.
If I tell you that my current relationship is not working out, how will you respond? If you advise that I break up with him and give you a chance, I might just insert #5 into the conversation. Sorry, I hate relationship wreckers. But if you tell me to think it through and try to work it out (and still offer to pay the bill though you clearly won’t benefit from it) then I just might call you a few days after tonight. Or maybe tomorrow.

3. I’m single… finally.
This response will be triggered if you start telling me about your exes and why you broke up with them. I don’t want to feel like I have a standard to follow (though I’m sure there’s a standard that I want you to follow), and that I have an obligation to please you if we decide to take this first date further. So I’ll tell you that like you, I just went through a though relationship, and as of the moment… (insert #5).

2. I’m single… again.
I probably liked you. This answer means I’m comfortable with answering personal questions from you. I rarely use this response because it reveals so much about me, and I don’t want to appear vulnerable on a first date.

If you get answer #2, I’m probably the one who’ll wait for a call after tonight.

1. I’m single… still.
This is actually more honest than response #2. If I’m fine with being single, then I will not agree on meeting you in the first place. You just have to figure that out.

Truth is, I’ve been too focused on my career, and I’m too independent for my own good. I tend to intimidate men with how smart I am, and that’s unintentional.  I swear.

Think you can break the wall?

I actually hope you do. 


The curtains are drawn and I hear the soft applause as I appear before the audience. It is a beautiful night for music of the purest kind – bare and unplugged. I walk towards the center where the microphone awaits, wearing the simple flowing red dress that I picked specifically for this event.
I hear you strum the acoustic guitar you love and my heart beats fast.
This song is for you.
“It’s amazing how you
Can speak right through my heart.
Without saying a word,
You can light up the dark…” 
“Try as I may I can never explain
What I hear when you don’t say a thing…”

Perhaps I chose this song to let you know what you are to me. The light at the end of my tunnel. The silver lining of my dark cloud. The pot of gold at my rainbow’s end.
I see their dreamy smiles as they listen to my gentle voice, but I can picture only one smile in my mind.

“The smile on your face
Lets me know that you need me.
There’s a truth in your eyes
Saying you’ll never leave me”
I close my eyes and dream of you. If only I can run to you once this song is over. If only no one would mind…
But they do. They are all watching us.

“The touch of your hand
Says you’ll catch me…”
So we only have this moment. We only have this song. Each note you make is a key to my soul.  Let’s savor this while the lights are low.
“You say it best
When you say nothing at all.”
A response to Wordpress Daily Prompt: Bloggers, Unplugged

I'm Here, I Got You

I remember that summer when the entire family from my father’s side spent a few days together on the beach. I was five years old, and it was the first time my toes met the sand. I danced under the sun in my blue bathing suit and pink goggles.
I watched as my older cousins built sand castles, and tried to build my own, only it was too close to the waves and was washed away. I tried to make another one but my cousins decided to play another game. They covered my body with sand until it was too heavy and itchy that I cried.
Afraid that my mom would hear me crying, they removed the sand from my body and ran into the waves to swim. I sat and watched them, wishing I could swim too.
“C’mon J, let’s swim,” my father said as he brushed the sand off my hair.
“I don’t know how to,” I said.
“I know, now stand up so I can teach you.”
I stood and let him hold my hand and lead me to the waters.
It was surprising that the water was cold when the sand was warm. We walked deeper into the sea, and it was when the water reached my chest that I panicked.
“Relax J, imagine you’re just taking a bath with your rubber duckies,” he told me, and sat until we’re eye to eye.
“Now try to lift your legs and float on your stomach,” he instructed. “Don’t worry, Papa’s arms will hold you.”
I obeyed and tried to jump and land face down as I saw my cousins do. “Oops, careful,” he said as his arms caught me.
“Lift your chin, don’t swallow any saltwater, okay?”
“Now practice kicking your legs,” I followed and smiled at the sound of water against my feet. “Straighten your legs, J, and point your toes out. That’s it. You’re doing well.”
I grinned. Piece of cake.
“Now try to move your arms, as if they’re your wings and you’re a beautiful butterfly.”
I did as told, and felt my body move against the water. I’m swimming!
“Great, J! Now, keep swimming, eyes always forward, chin always up.”
So I kept kicking my legs and moving my arms, until I felt something was missing. Dad’s not holding me anymore.
I stopped moving my legs in panic and tried to look back. I could not find him and I started to sink. “Papa–” I tried to shout, but saltwater entered my mouth and I could not breathe properly.
Then I felt his strong arms pull me up.
“It’s alright J, I’m here. I got you.”

A response to Wordpress Daily Prompt: Exhale

Saturday, October 5, 2013

That Yellow Sundress

When it comes to clothes I don’t have much of a choice. I let people clothe me as they please, as frequent as necessary. I’m a mannequin, so, you get the idea.
I was not born this way. I was once a charming young lady, in fact the most popular in our campus, thanks to my impeccable sense of style. I followed the latest fashion trends as a disciple would to a rabbi.
It was when I met this guy that everything changed.
He was a very poor boy, a scholar who works part time to support his education, and he was so in love with me. I knew it thanks to the creepy glances he kept giving me in class. I did not mind, I was used to the attention that I get from the boys. It’s just that no one’s good enough for me.
One day before the summer break, while I was having lunch with my girlfriends at the school cafeteria, this poor boy approached me, carrying three sunflowers that was obviously freshly plucked from the school garden. I heard my friends snigger while I was silently praying for an escape from the inevitable humiliation.
“Sundra, for you,” he said looking into my eyes, hand trembling while he offered me the flowers. I stood from my chair and took the sunflowers. He smiled before I slowly dropped them one by one to the floor, and stepping on their hideous yellow heads. I hated yellow.
“Girls, let’s get out of here,” I said and never looked back.
The next day I woke up in this state in this cheap clothing shop. I could feel and see everything, but I could not move. The first time that I let them undress me was the most terrifying day of my life. I cried inside, but the tears never came out. I had no idea how this happened to me.
On my third night as a mannequin, I saw the poor boy again. He entered the shop as if looking for something, and then he saw me and walked closer.
I could see the sadness in his eyes as his calloused hand reached for my face. “I’m so sorry Sundra, this is all my fault,” he said.

While the shop owner slept he slowly undressed me, eyes not leaving mine. He replaced my blouse and jeans with a yellow sundress from his satchel. I could feel his hands on my back as he zipped me up, his face so close to mine.
He gave my lips a soft kiss before he turned his back and left at the same time that the clock chimed. It was twelve midnight.
Slowly I felt life coming back to me. I could blink my eyes, flex my fingers, and move my legs. My first instinct was to run after the poor boy, but an invisible barrier hindered my foot from stepping beyond the shop’s door. I cried, as if I never felt tears before, until it was 5 am and I was a mannequin again.
That has been the cycle since then. Mannequin during the day, alive when it turns twelve.
Like now.

As the shop owner sleeps I remove my purple jumper and replace it with that yellow sundress he brought me. I walk by the door and wait for him to come back, as I have been doing since the night he left.
I know he will.
A response to Wordpress Daily Prompt: The Clothes (May) Make the (Wo)man


Q is a letter from your name
Quote me now as I say
Quietly I spell it in my head
Quarter of a hundred times
Quit looking with those eyes
Queer, yet warm and kind
Quickly I’m melting as if you are
Quench my thirst for love
Quest your way to my heart
Quick, take my hand for now I am
Question me and I’ll answer
Quiver and I’ll keep you warm
Quake and I’ll steady you
Qualm no more
Queen will you be mine
Quell this restless mind
Quash my doubts, for if you don’t
Quitter I will become
A response to Wordpress Daily Prompt: Fearful Symmetry

Dear Mr. Right,

Thank you for the second glance. I know that I’m not the type that one falls for at first sight… but then you looked back. For letting your eyes linger for five more seconds, thank you very much.
Thank you for the chai tea latte you sent via messenger while I was working during lunch break. I wasted fifteen minutes contemplating whether I should accept something from a stranger, but I drank it anyway. For knowing the only drink that can soothe my nerves, thank you very much.
Thank you for that first call. The shake in your voice was the sweetest thing I’ve ever heard, and I could not stop smiling. For insisting to drive me home that night because of the heavy rain, thank you very much.
Thank you for our first date. I ate half your share of the baby back ribs we ordered, and you’re okay with it. For saying that I’m the most beautiful while I see a chubby girl when I look at the mirror, thank you very much.
Thank you for our first kiss. It wasn’t my first, but it felt the most sincere. You said it was yours, and joked about you preferring men. For just rolling your eyes and giving me another kiss, thank you very much.
Thank you for the VIP ticket to the Backstreet Boys concert. I was able to touch Nick Carter’s hand and it was the best birthday gift ever. For not minding me playing their songs on repeat in your car, thank you very much.
Thank you for shaking my dad’s hand. I never told you, but he was so happy that I was able to bring a man home at last. For putting a stop to a series of hidden relationships, and being the first guy who’s not afraid to be scrutinized by my dad, thank you very much.
Thank you for buying flowers for my mom on mother’s day. She’s very hard to please, and the smile she gave you was priceless. You’ve managed to make her warm up to you and it made our relationship better. For making her happy in a way that I couldn’t, thank you very much.
Thank you for doing my brother’s homework. He’s smart enough on his own, but your lazy way of doing things surprisingly made him more efficient. For loving him as your own, thank you very much.
Thank you for last night’s fight. It was our eighteenth monthsary, and I ruined it by looking so tired. I told you that I needed a break, and you did not say a single word while driving me home. For embracing me and saying you love me before you leave, thank you very much.
I woke up this morning and decided to write you this letter.

I planned on ending this with a ‘goodbye,’ but looking back only made me realize how much I want this list to go on…
Like forever.
A response to Readwave Writing Challenge: Thank You

September 28, 2016

I stare out the window, smiling as I stir my coffee. It’s a lovely Wednesday. Today marks my second anniversary in the company I’d been praying for since I started taking MBA classes, and my idea of celebration is to stay at home, sit by the window, and write.

Oh writing. I can still remember the day I started to blog and answer daily writing prompts. It was three years ago, at a time when I thought that nothing I say would matter. I was so lonely then, nursing a broken heart that I tried so hard not to acknowledge, only to realize that everything I wrote was related to it.
They say pain can either make or break you. What did it do to me? Both.
I remember feeling so broken that my mind refused to believe that there’s a cure. I remember thinking that I’d never be whole again, that each day of my life I’d walk carrying that empty cold space in my heart. It was frightening.
But then it made me a better person. The tears have somehow cleansed my eyes of all the illusion. The path became clearer. I began to learn who I really am – what I’m meant to do, and where I’m meant to go.
And since then I decided to live with purpose each day. To focus on what I have instead of what I don’t have. I found joy in cultivating my gifts, knowing that one can never stop learning.
With my determined spirit, I finished graduate school last August 2014. And while still happy with the company I was working for during that time, I decided to follow my heart and send my six-pager CV to the company of my dreams. And as you already know, I got in after a series of almost nervous breakdowns.
Life became easier since then, but I never stopped doing what I loved most – writing. From random blogging three years ago, words just flowed and I started submitting my works to editors and publishers. The day that one of my articles made it to print was the happiest day of my life.
Everything happened so fast since then.
And now, on the day that I decided to rest and reflect, I realize that I’m the happiest I’ve ever been.
Yes, partly because of my job and the success of my write-ups, but the main reason is that…
After three years of not feeling anything, I’m finally in love.
A response to Wordpress Daily Prompt: Ebb and Flow