On Living in the Now

This year is almost over — we are about to enter the last week of November. It’s so nice that these last few weeks God has given us a very fair weather, compared to the previous years heavy deluge and flood at this time of year. Though I prefer the rain, being a pluviophile at heart, I know a lot of my country men are better off when it’s sunny outside.

I also think that the weather outside has made a lot more people, within my scope (which is pretty limited, I admit), a bit cheerful. Of course, other factors could be at play. First thing that comes to mind would be the Kalye Serye of Eat Bulaga. It has become a staple in our house, for me and my mom anyway. I think my brother has seen at least two episodes with us; I’m not sure if he’s seen them outside the house, though I know that he finds the Lolas funny and he was pretty surprise to Alden’s sudden transformation.

For my part, I believe that I have been more positive about basically everything ever since I’ve let go. I’ve surrendered everything to God. It has been a gradual process though. It wasn’t easy, but it was possible. It wasn’t fun, but it made me feel better. Great, even. It wasn’t a walk in the park, more like an emotional, spiritual, at times physical self-flagellation that required a whole of reflective thinking, narcissistic self-talks and ugly cries in the middle of the night. Tons of ugly cries, to be honest.

But I got through it. Jesus got me through it, and He still getting me through it.

I think this is why the only negative feeling I have frequently now is dread. I dread losing sight of what is in front of me because I tend to live inside my head. I dread not seeing the blessings because I get blinded by what I think I need or want but don’t have. I dread doing something that I feel isn’t what I should be doing, but then I remind myself that everything I have now, I asked for. He answered yes to them, so it is up to me now to make the most of it.

Because, really, it isn’t enough to ask, believe and recieve. You have to work on it, make it better, make it yours. Because everything is a gift, every moment, every tear drop, every word, every smile, every laughter… all of these are precious, fleeting gifts of the present.

And you can’t go back. You can recall, you can reminisce as much as you want. A lot of people — millenials like me — absolutely love doing throwbacks, remaking old favorites, rewriting endings, revisiting old playing grounds. We live so much in our childhood, probably because when it was happening, when we were ACTUALLY living it, we were so focused on PRESERVING the moment, but not BE in it.

I remember during the last Paramore in Manila concert, which is also the first foreign concert I attended (ever) with my cousin Agnes, and I didn’t have a good quality camera to document it. We were also so far away from the stage, that she suggested during the mid-break (I don’t know how it’s called, sorry) that we can try to go down since there was a lot of space anyway. I said no because (1) I didn’t want to risk it and (2) I wanted to remember my first concert without feeling guilty. And I did. I remember that concert very well. It was so fun singing along to the songs, absorbing the energy of the fans, and even if we were in the general admission, and Hayley was so close yet still so far, we connected with her, with the band. I didn’t need a camera to capture that moment. I lived it.

A few months back I deleted the Timehop app from my phone because I felt that it wasn’t helping me move on from what I’ve lost. Last night I was puttering with my Twitter account, one that I’ve had for years but only got really in quite recently (again, because of AlDub and the KS), and I saw that most of my photo posts came from that app. It took me months to get over leaving SPCM. I kept on comparing my life there, to my life now, which is unfair, unhealthy and very stupid really.

Because I was happy there, but I am happy now also.

A different kind of happy.

The kind of happy that no longer attaches it on the job, or the people, or the feedback I get. The kind of happy that lives and absorbs the moment, whether it’s a stressful updating session with my learners, or just plainly discussing random stuff with them, or reflecting on how much I regret about MY high school life because I can see so much potential with my learners now, or being stuck in heavy traffic, or not being able to get a ride at all and having to walk from Anonas to Riverbanks (#achieve), or going home at exactly 3:30 PM and arriving before it gets dark outside, or playing with my every sassy cat Twenty, or talking to mom about what happened in the KS, or when I write about my life, like right now.

I am here.

I am living the now, with eyes wide open.

A part of my letting go required that I give up bits and pieces of my past. Old diaries, old planners, old letters. These were all unemotionally thrown out. Their sentimental value were no longer concrete, but abstract — inside me. Within me. So I didn’t need the paper or the pen marks to remind me of what I had then. They are all part of me. It was difficult, again… but not impossible.

So if you’re reading this, future me, and you’re feeling regretful or nostalgic, here’s what we’re going to do:

1. Pray. Pray for the past — the places, the people, the memories, the lessons. Pray for what we had. Cry if you feel like it; we often do when we pray whole-heartedly.
2. Write it down. Write down what you miss. Be specific. Be honest.
3. Pray for that thing, person, place, memory, moment that you miss. Pray that whatever the reason behind your mourning it will make you better, stronger, wiser.
4. Move on. Live in the moment. Create something — a poem, a deconstructed shirt, a braid, a dessert, a story, a blog post, a tweet, a DIY gift, whatever you’re currently into — and pour out the energy you’re about to give to regret into something more useful and more importantly, a beautiful addition to your present, and therefore, to our future.
5. LIVE. Live now. Here. In the present. Count what you have. Count what you have now. Count them all.

And if none of these shakes off that feeling then just do this:

Inhale… Exhale… Smile…

As many times as you need/ feel like it.

And remind yourself that while we miss something or someone, WE WILL GET ON LIVING.

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