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CHANGE SHINES BRIGHT IN STILLNESS

Chaos envelops us daily - in the burrows of our minds, around our environment, along the streets, and inside the train, it sits there like a predator waiting to attack and get the best of us. The past two years have illustrated every form of chaos in our lives and it still is painting various forms of figures as I speak here to you today. But it is also in deep chaos that we fall down in humility and admittance that we are but a single soul in need of care, guidance, love, and rest. It is through the chaotic experiences of our daily lives that we learn what it truly means to be grateful, gentle, forgiving, accepting, and resilient.


As another year went by, I learned to embrace chaos and accept that it is nothing but a cycle and element in our lives - needed for character-building and self-acceptance. I learned that despite all the things that we face, the ability to stand up after breaking down makes us a brave and more robust version of ourselves. It is indeed a gift to behold.

The last time I wrote to you here, I was grieving, I was transitioning to move places, and I was figuring out the next steps in life. Days turned into months, months turned into experiences and memories and the next thing I knew, the version of myself last year is actually far from how I am today. Change is indeed a beautiful character, we unconsciously go through it yet it shines through in the most difficult or foreign times. We often get scared of the idea of change, but in my case, change is truly what was needed in this season. It is indeed a time of refreshing, a time of pruning, a time to welcome growth.

Allow me to recall a few changes that happened in my life while I was silent here.
We welcomed the second half of 2021 in a new home. To most people, the idea of moving to a new home is invigorating - new things, new memories, and new stories to tell. Going through it with my family, I realized that moving is actually far more than just a physical and geographical phenomenon. It is mostly emotional and mental too. Unearthing what you have hidden and set aside for years, makes you look back a lot. Personally, it allowed me to feel all the feelings I seemed to have hidden at the back of my mind. From old love letters, photographs, and objects of significance, one would never fail to feel a certain sense of bittersweet nostalgia. Apart from my personal experience, I also saw this a lot with my mom as she tried to figure out the things that should be brought in and the things that should be given away.

To be honest, if I were just to make the call, I'd leave everything behind! But that's not the case, I had to step back and see where my folks were actually coming from. I realized at the end, while I was surrounded by the sea of black garbage bags and boxes, that this is a WHOLE life. I learned that we can't just decide to discard stories and memories right away, especially when it springs from humble beginnings and a series of victories and defeats. We eventually let go of the things that needed to be let go of but kept a few things that would remind us of special days and events in our family.
I've seen both sun and rain in this new neighborhood and I would say that they both look great! I have been taking lots of walks, observing every single aspect of my surroundings, and intentionally looking for something to share and inspire people with. One of the greatest assets of this neighborhood would be how the foliage seems to variously change its contrast depending on the time of day. Call me shallow but to be able to witness that through my window or while I'm walking around is truly a sublime experience to me. It reminds me of how much of this world I don't know about, and the idea of it no longer scares me, it actually encourages me and grounds me.
I've spoken about this last December on my INSTAGRAM REELS, but I've also discovered the joy of spending time alone - in silence, deep thought, gratitude, and self-dialogues. I used to feel uncomfortable with the idea of doing things alone, and I used to feel uneasy when silence envelops me, but these past two years spent in the safe confines of my home have taught me to love silence. No, more than silence, it's actually solitude. I learned to choose which parts of my life are to be shared and which ones are best kept, I learned not to depend on the presence of people and rely more on the comfort and peace found in Christ.
The past two years have been an actual blur for most of us. In my head, I'm still 31, and my younger friends still in their mid-twenties. It still comes as a shock to me that two years have been added to that age with little to no trace at all. Now that we are slowly seeping through our new realities, it feels more and more real that we grew over those two years - we learned to shed off a lot of habits, relationships, mindsets, and even goals. We learned new things, we discovered a new version of ourselves, and most if not all of us have accepted to embrace every angle of our lives and take things one step at a time.
If 2020 locked us up in our homes, we saw a bit more of the light outside in 2021 and heading toward 2022. I observed how people got into camping trips, and I saw how most of us discovered more about the local places and learned to appreciate every place we get to see. Travel, more than a lifestyle, became more of an intentional connection between place and man. The big change that has happened in this area of our lives is that it didn't really matter where we went, what mattered more is who we were with and what we were actually doing and experiencing together during that time. Travel became an intimate experience and I hope it stays that way for all of us.
I also realized that I took more photos of the sunset these past two years. It somehow became a habit for me to look out and watch the colors of the sky transition and thank God for another day that has passed no matter how tough or easy it went. The sunset, to me, became a symbol of gratitude and a gentle reminder for me to embrace my days fully.
These past two years, I have also come to find myself getting into fixing my workstation often. It could be the light coming in from my new room or it could be the idea of avoiding cabin fever, but regardless, I realized that I paid more attention to how my space would look and how it would affect my productivity and creativity. I was even able to build new friendships online since we all shared the same interest and hobbies. The Deskgram community became a wholesome and creative outlet for me all while trying to navigate my days and weeks of working at home and online.
Two years. I still cannot seem to believe it. But one thing I know is that I am no longer the same person I was before. I learned how to say no without having to beat myself up too much about what other people might see me as, I learned to love the texture and layers of my skin and my body, and I began to enjoy the art of spending days inside and celebrate every moment spent outside, and more importantly. I have learned how to be more honest with myself and the people around me. I am continuously learning the art of not feeling any need to please anyone and rediscovering the things that truly interest me and the ones I genuinely enjoy doing.

There are days filled with pure beauty, days where we just need to breeze through, and days where we need to be more discerning. Either way, our days should be embraced well no matter how they went- it is one of the best changes I have learned to love about myself.

Change should not always be loud to be seen, to me, I have realized that change shines brighter when we are still and gentle - when we embrace the slow progress and take in as much as we can.

It's been a while since I wrote in this space, it took me a while to really figure out if I should even come back here to write. But will all the noise happening around us and even on social media, I found myself thinking more and more about this blog again. I found the urge to write to you again. Here, it feels more slow and steady. Here, I get to really pour out my heart and soul.

So here I am nudging all of you to simply say, Hey! I'm back. And I'm looking forward to speaking with you again through this humble and safe space. 

Wherever in life you may be, I wish you well. Sending you all the love and virtual embrace. Happy Heyday!

FOLLOW THE HEYDAYS

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