The year twenty-eighteen started and I hated it.

I was starting to outgrow the year as it started cold for me. I can definitely say 2018 was not the year for me, or at that moment I thought it was.

Will you continue to faith the process with me? Vancouver March 2018

This was the year I trialed faith in my humanity, even lost it;

The year I severed my ties with people, and lost relationships with them;

The year I cried my heart the most, and kept it from my own soul;

The year I tried to save what was left for me to save, but lost and fell victim;

Its a boardwalk away from home. San Diego, USA July 2018

The year I picked up broken pieces, but still saw myself stabbed and bled through it;

The year I faked happiness, and continued to deny it;

The year I lost myself drowning with fear, and got swallowed by my own thoughts;

The year I saw myself alone with thoughts, but outgrew my sanity;

Mission Beach, San Diego California July 2018

It was indeed a tough year for me, but I knew my self was calling me for something better, probably a sign from God. I would be be able to use the pain I have and let myself hurt, then heal. I disclosed all of my feelings and thoughts into writing. I made it an expression to vent out whatever was screaming inside of me. All pain that was left for me to face, I manipulated it to turn this soul beautiful again.

The Lights That Call Me. LACMA Los Angeles, USA August 2018

This was then I realised over the measures I did to save myself from the misery. Time and thought healed me. I figured out who the real captain of my life is. And I quote thee:

“I am the master of my fate, the captain of my soul”

Invictus by Ernest Henley

The Colors Of Sunset. Isidro’s Beach Misamis Or., Philippines December 2018

Here’s a dedication to the times where the year brought me down but made me whole again. Perhaps, some thoughts and insights in my life that I will share because I was fortunate to experience them as a learning reminder from the episodes that I swear to live by.

I saw myself drowning until the day I learned to laugh and curse myself because I faced them. The moments where I learned from my pain, and how I faced each one. So here it goes:

1. The year where I realise that NOT EVERYTHING CAN BE IN MY FAVOR.

Hue, Vietnam October 2018

I get flashbacks to times where I wanted everything back to normal.

I wished I never said I wanted to let go, or could have fought and prevented it from happening. Feelings, gestures, and movements all that I wanted to return. But with that fated revelation, I lost it.

You think that you can fix every damn feeling? You think you can bring back what you had before? I thought about this multiple times. The truth about it is that you can never force what’s not in your favour. You’d beg yourself to start and realise that at times you can’t really get what you want, and you need to start accepting rejection.

2. The year where I DISTINGUISHED FANTASY AND REALITY.

EUandI, Amsterdam June 2018

I wasn’t the same as a person, at work, with friends and the rest of my whole being. I kept leaving town, to be at peace with my own thoughts, even disregarded people who were trying to help me. What a bitch that life taught me to be.

It was a fantasy for me to regain back the memories of who or what left, and try to prove myself that I can fix this. It was a reality that I dealt with my own thoughts and feelings. I went through the process that resulted in challenging myself more as a person. I took advantage of what my fantasy can teach me, because of the pain I was dealing with.

But I failed to realise the reality that was stretching out to me, unconsciously. When you wish for things to happen your way to work, it will start the moment you wake up and feel every pain pierced in your good old soul.

3. The year where I could be MY OWN PERSON.

Buckingham Palace. London, UK June 2018

I traveled solo, entered into a charity, worked & smiled harder at my job, discovered my other talents, brought myself to meet new people, and made memories with the hidden stranger within me. I was independent and little by little I was attempting to gain my self-confidence.

I did things I thought I could never do, and forced myself to create a bond with myself and liberated them. And for the first time in my life, I felt that I was was allowed to do that.

Life Is Easy Breezy. Lakawon Island, Bacolod Philippines February 2018

I grew impatient with myself and got tired of sulking whole day and waiting for a Godforsaken miracle to save me and skip the process. I kept myself busy and saw my potential credibility rising. All of this to forget what broke me, and to mend & fix what was left of what I was still able to do.

I was my own person because I had faith and prayer to begin with, paired with a determined motive. I was aiming for a higher retribution and recognition of myself with the life I had.

After all, “Why follow the process? Where I can make my own process?”

4. The year where IT’S OK TO GO THROUGH A BAD TIME

Central Peace Of Mind. New York, USA February 2018

I was a shit-faced woman that lost herself in the process.

It was the year where I looked back and saw myself caught up in a bad mess full of ideas and projects I wasted. The people I disregarded who only tried to help. My mind that let me suffer even though my heart was heavy with fear.

I dealt with all the pain that life threw at me. The self-hurt thoughts of blaming myself why it happened, the rumours that spread blindly, losing myself into the process that made me a totally different person. But then because of all this, I was thankful for those happening. Because despite all, it is really okay to go through a bad time.

Cold Winters. Seoul, Korea December 2018

It’s not a bad life, just a bad flight. At least you’re not faking anything, and the hurt you went through was all real. This is the moment where you find the people who are willing to help you, and reach out to the people in your life you know that will stick by you.

5. The year where I sought the NEED TO LET GO OF NEGATIVITY

I Fell For You. Paris, France June 2018

In a break up, both victims will always be the victims, sadly I was defined as aggressive, stubborn and full of pride to start with. Hell, I was even defined by the nature of my job. This led me to rebel my way and justify that I am not who they think I am. Just because I let all the negative vibe feed my mind, this was when I lost myself as a person. I let opinions raise my standards of showing off that I am far from those traits.

You learn to see the reality that it’s always the way you respond to others that matters the most. Because if you lose yourself in the process, you become susceptible to the negative feed. There are things and people that if you think are negative on your life, that you must learn to let go. Else, you’ll see yourself being dragged down with their petty opinions.

6. The year where I PAINFULLY BUT CAREFULLY DEALT WITH HURTING

Surf’s Up. La Union, Philippines January 2018

You get lost to find great. I knew I could ‘never be enough’, and I got addicted to not quitting.

The year where I ran away with my thoughts and lived a little. I went places where I could utterly find my own version of being whole again. It seems cliche to call it ‘soul-searching’ but yes, it works.

Samal Island, Davao Philippines May 2018

I went to places where I could deal with my pain and for the whole year round I saw myself learning a whole new world out there. A world big enough to handle my indifferences and become a person that should be open-minded.

I found a world resolving on what should happen, and not what could happen. You learn how to deal with the worst days of the years that is recurrent, until such time you will come to internal peace with my mind and heart. You show yourself first that you had a heavy heart but carried a bold mind. I think that is the most absolute way to be free of the pain, and how to carefully deal with your hurt.

7. The year where I decided I could CHANGE MY LIFE

Wall Me Down. Berlin, Germany June 2018

3 years working for the company that outgrew me, and still I kept looking for change or a piece of mind to avoid resignation.

8 years being in the Metro that challenged me to follow the repetitive scheme of “work-hard, play-hard”. All of this under the same roof with family, guarded with rules to evade my freedom.

The worst? The memories we built and with every hiding corner, it consumed me.

40,000ft above. Boeing 777

I decided and gave myself a break, and because opportunities arose, I decided to move in a subtle environment. A place where I know I could be one with my thoughts and rebuild myself as an INDEPENDENT WOMAN. You could be who you want to be, and live a life where you could be the captain of your life. Once you see that change isn’t so bad after all.

8. The year where I FOUND THE PEOPLE WHO MATTERED THE MOST

Pride March. London, U.K July 2018

This was the year that brought me people to thank and treasure my life for. The friends that stayed and some family members that was constantly and consistently there for me to guide me during the process.

Painfully, it’s the year where I found myself being too nice to people who took advantage of my friendship. I learned to believe, what will matter is the people who will choose to run you over with opinions, or confront you and support you all the way.

Fur Friends. Iligan, Philippines September 2018

May this year bless you to find nicer and better people who will stick by you and correct any mistakes, as well as pick you up when you know you were beaten down.

9. The year where I LEARNED TO LIVE WITH IT, BECAUSE THAT’S LIFE

Garin Farm. Ilo-ilo, Philippines August 2018

I can neither change the process of what I did or tried to do nor the thought of explaining to myself what the hell was I doing. Damn it, I tried to revive a love that I almost thought I could have back. I guess the real slap of my imagination lead me to say that even if you fight for it, fall desperate and end up hurting by loving again, it is never your loss.

It is never your loss that people choose to leave, no matter how perfect you thought your lives could have been. It’s about time you realise that you could do all and give yourself the privilege of trying, because you did all you can. Lets come to the conclusion that we live it, because that’s life. Life will be a cycle of death to all attempts, but a birth of a whole new different person.

10. The year where I REALISED MY WORTH

Las Vegas Strip. Nevada, USA May 2018

I saw myself disfigured, when I stepped out to meet other people. I introduced myself to my dates as a mysterious woman, hiding in a blanket of pain but ready to get myself back in the real world. Thinking that the ‘3’-month rule’ would work, I realised what a total waste of chance and a silly superstitious belief during a break up.

I’ve met and got trialed, tested and cheated. Yet again, I found myself blankly staring at a hopeless start. In a span of months, I wanted to regain myself in self-love.

Wine To Dine. La Vie Cebu City, Philippines August 2018

It’s never a bad thought to date and meet other people, but the way you carry yourself will always matter. You should never lose yourself in the process of meeting crazy fools, only out to get your love or lust.

11. The year where I THOUGHT ABOUT A FUTURE I COULD BUILD

Shinjuku Park. Tokyo, Japan November 2018

The challenge of going through a job that physically and mentally challenged me and being in an environment I grew uncomfortable with already was quite the challenge I was also facing.

I went through a breakaway to become my own person, by making decisions out of the past mistakes I have been through. I realised that I had options that made me open to venture out, I just needed to step out.

Cherry Blossoms Bloom In Adversity. Japan, April 2018

I thought about loving again, after letting myself free my thoughts from hate & anger and replacing it with compassion and hope. During the last quarter of my year, I hid in doubt and fear that with the decision I made might hurt people still. I guessed I saved a softness in my heart, even for those who broke me. I realised that I was that kind of person. The one was still able to forgive those who hurt.

I spared my conscience that let me reveal that I was ready to leave the past, but I had him to thank me for it. Both taught me different versions of loving, and it severed ties with my thoughts to heal me and make me move forward for the best. After all, I did think about the future that I am building, for myself.

12. The year where I LET LIFE SURPRISE ME

I AMsterdam. Netherlands, June 2018

Indeed it does and life will! I saw myself eating my words out of my past, with the person I vowed and swore never to fall in love with. Eventually, his consistent words and actions got the best of me. Despite his multiple attempts to convince me to fall for him, I still cant believe he succeeded. Yes, who would have thought that all along? I could not believe that I fell in love with my best friend.

Rome-antic. Rome, Italy June 2018

Because after all those troubles, grief and life full of hate, it will soon be replaced with faith, hope and love. You will rise up to see how life can teach us to grow. You’ve achieved yourself from process, and when good karma comes along.

Perhaps, you did have your TOTGA or “The One Who Got Away”. You might not notice it but probably somewhere out there will be your TOTCA “ The One That Came Along”.

I Trust And Love You. Rome, Italy June 2018

I guess that 2018 taught me to be the Captain of My Life.

May this year bless me and my thoughts to shower me with creative writing,

Inspire you and I to learn from our hurt, and grow from the past.

So, to the Captain of My Life, I guessed I figured it out.

I never needed a reason or way out, instead I let life get the best out for me.

I Hope that this year 2019, will prove to me that everything was worth going through.

I Thank You for giving me, the kind of self-love I needed from the very start.

I Thank You for giving me, you.

XxXxXxXxXx

Miss Kalibutan