Saccharine Irony

This site is a compilation of fluid thoughts, a collection of poetry, random glimpses of humor and tragedy, spontaneous notions of an extremely sensitive mind.

How to be a Happier Person January 28, 2011

Filed under: confessions,Life,Love — Aimee @ 1:04 am
Tags: , , ,

Because my mornings these days are unusually cold – it’s been raining since the year started – I usually spend a little more time in bed, curled up, sometimes with eyes closed, oftentimes staring into the windows, thinking of random things. Yes there are people I think about more than the others – okay one person in particular these days, but that’s another story – and then without realizing how it really happens – but it does – my thoughts make a detour and I realize I’m a whole lot happier now.

I’m no guru whatsoever but I will list here some of the ways that can make you a much happier, more balanced person. I realized all these the previous year, and almost all of these discoveries I made through my own personal journey. After all they say that when you are able to get through a most devastating heartbreak, you can get through almost anything. So here:

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from gettyimages

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1. Stop building walls. Walls can make you feel safe, but they won’t make you any happier. Be as open as you possibly can, but guard yourself. People will always disappoint you, walls or no walls.

2. Throw away your expectations. The biggest culprit to our many little unhappinesses and even the huge heartbreaking ones is having way too many expectations. We often love because we want to be loved back, we become good to people because we expect them to be good to us. And while reciprocation will definitely make our lives a lot pleasanter, what happens when none is given? Unhappiness.

3. Give help. Generously, happily. So you have to put in extra hours at work, without the assurance of overtime pay? Or a friend is in desperate need of a wedding planner and she has enlisted you as one of the volunteers. If we give help generously, happily, we become happier. Why? Because you realize you are needed, you have skills. You are not a waste of space.

4. Pray. It doesn’t matter which faith you belong to, says a friend. When you pray, in praise, adoration, thanksgiving, or supplication, you recognize that a greater power is at work. But then you can’t just simply pray. You have to have faith; you have to believe in your prayers. Praying without faith is an insult.

5. Feed on your faith. Stop your senseless worrying and feed your faith. Did your worrying ever get you anywhere? Nope, except maybe at the ER or perhaps  at your friend’s house while you’re bawling over your imagined anxieties.

6. Laugh. Find hilarity in everything- when your Mom is in a bad mood, when you’re stuck in traffic just when you’ve decided never to be late again, or when people are less sensitive than usual. Try to distance yourself from these things, and since you know things fall into place eventually, laugh.

7. Be grateful. It has been said that when you don’t see your blessings as blessings, they become curses. How chillingly true. So be thankful for everything. Be thankful that the sun streams through your window, be thankful that your phone is working, be thankful that you have your eyesight, be thankful that you have your friends. Or that you have a crazy family. Be thankful even when things are not looking too good. Everything, yes everything, is a reason for gratitude.

8. Forgive in a heartbeat. Let go of all your grudges. Allow yourself to be angry but never for far too long. Forgive people, forgive circumstances, and best of all forgive yourself. Love cannot exist without forgiveness.

9. Love the world. You can never be happy without love, without knowing how to love, without knowing how to love without selfishness, without expectations, without wanting anything in return. And the only way you can love the world is to freely give love. Love everyone. Love your friends, love your colleagues, love the people who exasperate you, love your annoying neighbor, love those who are of a different faith,  even learn to love the people you know you will be meeting in this lifetime but have not met yet.

I know loving people you don’t necessarily like is a huge paradox. But you don’t have to all at once. Oftentimes, the willingness to do so is enough. And when you’ve learned to love, without reservations, without necessarily picking who to love and who not to love, you are no longer captive to your expectations, your need for reciprocation, your craving for attention. You love just because. No whys, buts, and ifs.

In the end, only love can make us happy. Because to love is to be courageous, to love means putting your heart out for everyone, to be fish and fodder for everyone (I got this from the corporate worship last night and I was moved). To love is to accept people for who they are and who they are not and to choose to love them anyway.

The scared ones never get to know what love is like, and so the scared ones are unhappy. And if you have only this life to live, wouldn’t it be a wiser choice to live it in happiness, in peace, in friendship, in faith? In love?

So cheer up, have courage, love, and be a sunshine to everyone. You just might end up doing at least one person, possibly even yourself,  a really huge favor. 🙂

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Facebook Hiatus Equals Reading Holiday. Or Not. January 26, 2011

Filed under: books,confessions — Aimee @ 1:31 pm
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So for the previous week I made this hugely crazy proposition to myself: I will cut back on Facebook time so I can spend more time reading.

I can point out many things why this idea is silly, preposterous even.

First, all my friends are on Facebook so if somehow I can’t contact them or send them an SMS, using Facebook chat online is the easiest route to connect.

Second, when you’re working online and you spend a lot of time researching, things can get pretty stale quickly, so that your only momentary reprieve would be to visit a social networking site –  Facebook.

And third, no matter how much I complain that it’s getting lame and how I agree with Dennise that yeah, stalking non-worthy people gets pointless after some time, I still love Facebook. I mean kemmon, you get to rant in your status updates, check your horoscope even when you don’t believe a single word of it, and get to check who’s grown fat and who’s grown bald and who’s grown a beard all in just a few clicks. So why would anyone not love Facebook?

But I needed to spend more time reading. My initial goal was to double the number of books I’ve read last year, which totaled to a measly 15. But just an hour ago, while beginning to enjoy Umberto Eco’s The Island of the Day Before (which I tried for years to finish, in vain. Now on my 7th attempt I have vowed to thumb through to the last pages!) I wanted to triple my list. So that means I need to read 45 books for this year. It’s almost the end of January and I’m still on my third paperback. I’m starting to think I may have been to ambitious with my plans but yeah, reading is reading as work is work.

I plan to beef up on as much classics as I can so I hope after reading Eco I’ll be equipped to take on Nabokov or Dostoevsky or Dante Alighieri. As I’ve said reading is reading, whether I agree with their ideas or get moved by their stories or not.

And even if I don’t go on a Facebook hiatus, the reading holiday is definitely ON.

🙂

 

Freak Accident on a Friday January 9, 2011

Filed under: confessions,Life,Women — Aimee @ 3:19 am
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AndroidHeel from Testfreaks.com

Freak accidents are the scariest. Especially one that had you stepping into the dull end of a bamboo skewer so that the sharp, deadly end pierces into your right foot as you take an unknowing step forward. Then a sharp, shooting pain runs from your foot to your knee and you get a sudden headache in all of five seconds, you just want to crumple on the ground and cry.

So that’s what happened to me on a Friday, two days ago, as I was rushing for first Friday Mass from the park to the cathedral. And the foolish me had been to confident to presume that bamboo sticks are just bamboo sticks, and well, I didn’t pierce myself with some rusty metal, did I? So all I did was to clean the mess with some tissue I found in my purse until only a small puncture wound was visible. Some minutes later I washed the outer areas of the wound with ethyl alcohol and proceeded to visit a friend, who’s just undergone surgery at the hospital and laughed with other visiting friends, as if I’ve not a single care in the world.

As I was already heading home though, the pain in my foot got more excruciating by the second. So much so that I could barely walk from the block leading to our house. And when I got home and Mom found out I had not taken myself to the hospital (I did go to the hospital, stupid me!) for first aid, I finally understood the gravity of the situation. I almost passed out from the pain and begged to be taken to the ER not five minutes after having arrived home.

So that’s the story of my freak accident and my stupidity. Some of the most delicious food on the planet are cooked or served on bamboo skewers – kebabs, barbecues, grilled chicken, grilled plantains with butter and sugar, fried sweet potatoes, juicy hot dogs! I even used to play with these seemingly harmless things in my childhood! And then I step into one and hurt myself so bad, I can’t imagine eating spicy barbecue ever again.

So this serves as a word of caution to everyone. If you get pierced by a bamboo stick anywhere, especially one that’s filthy and all, go to the ER immediately for antibiotics and anti-tetanus shots, if you haven’t had any. Don’t be stupid or presumptuous. The pain is almost unbearable and for my women folks, even worse than your worst day of dysmenorrhea (I hope that paints a clear enough picture).

I hope and pray my foot gets better. I look forward to wearing my favorite platforms and sneakers and high heels again.

🙂

 

The Year That Was December 22, 2010

Years from now, if I had to look back on a particular year in my life I will definitely find 2010 to be one of the most remarkable. Not because I’ve spent this year traveling (which I really intend to do very soon) or that I’ve finally come home to my soul mate (a.k.a fallen in love, for good :p) or that I’ve finally found my one place under the sun.

Let’s just say that for this year alone, I’ve learned everything I should have and could have ever learned in the past 27 years or so.  Not everything of course; I know the lessons will never stop coming, but for this year, I know that I have gained more than I have lost. And I believe with my whole heart that I will gain back everything that I may have lost in the past.

First, let me tell you about my control issues. I’m a planner, the most fastidious you may have ever seen. I’m fond of lists too, and in my mind I used to have my future all planned out. Grocery lists, things-to-do lists, things-to-shop-for lists,  marriage plans, vacation lists, list, list, list, list. I plan not merely for the sake of organizing, but more on being able to retain my control. No planner is ever without a list and I’m the planner queen of all planner queens.

I demand control in almost anything and if I don’t get it, well you HAD TO give it to me. Many people who love me know this. And this is why they spend half their time loving me and half their time hating me. Me and my affinity for control and everything that comes with it.

But then I realize that control is selfishness. I was a fool to realize that I control anything or anyone. Yes, I can plan, I can list, I can look forward to a future that isn’t here yet, but I cannot control anything. If it comes, it comes. If not, then why should I lose sleep over it? Why should we sleep over things that are not meant to be? I’ve been juvenile and I’ve been selfish and this year I decided to grow up or at least try to.

I don’t know whether I have gotten rid of all my control issues, but what I’m sure of is that I’ve stopped asking questions. And I’ve stopped demanding the answers right here and right now. I’ve stopped wondering why there are so many questions, or why some things are and some things aren’t.

I’ve finally learned what faith is all about.

I look back on my life and now see all the blessings I’d been given and up until now I get teary-eyed thinking about how ungrateful I had been. No, not teary-eyed, I bawl my eyes out. Seriously. The very reason for my unhappiness had been my ungratefulness. And pride. And for this year, I’ve finally decided to throw them into the shredder and let go.

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Immediately after celebrating the New Year festivities in January of this year, I went on a hiking trip with my brother and his male friend, after having visited about seven or eight churches within the city. My brother then had a special petition for the heavens, but I joined them for a completely different reason. I wanted to pray for a meaningful year, I wanted to offer my thank-yous, and I wanted inner peace. The hiking trip had been the last of our sojourn, and to get to a hilly chapel of the Virgin of Guadalupe, we had to traverse a long stream about eighteen times or nine times back and forth. So it was a short hike for a few minutes and then a battle with the currents for longer minutes. We were wet thigh-high, and we had to carry wooden sticks to keep our balance. The small chapel was located on a hilly area, and at the distance you can make out the mountains and some horses and the thick forest. It was a quiet place for meditation and prayer and I remember lighting a few candles as I whispered my gratitude and contrition, my pain and my hopes.

At that time, I wanted to do something to mark out the new year, I wanted to greet another year by doing something concrete about my spirituality. And now that the year is about to draw to a close, I could not have picked a better way to embrace 2010, and for the coming year, I expect to mark out its beginning by doing the same thing. Visit churches, pray, hike, traverse rivers, light candles, and pray.

Because really, we are not here to control anything, or to ask questions, or to demand the answers. We only do the best that we can, nothing more. We can only offer thanks to a Master and a Creator who has designed this universe, this world so beautifully and skillfully that even the brightest minds find themselves perplexed and asking even more questions.

And yes, we are here to love. To love and love and love. To love everyone without exception, to love without ceasing, to love without pride, and to love without shame.

After all, we get what we give. And if only everyone gave out love, all the world would have love.

🙂

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!

 

Oktoberfest, Honeymoon Babies, and Gratitude! October 20, 2010

Filed under: confessions,Events — Aimee @ 2:45 am
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So, October is really my month! September was all about hibernation and domesticity- baking, reading, DVD marathons, and other slow-paced stuffs- but for this month, the chaos is back! Girlfriends have been ringing me left and right, am back to my old shopaholic self (yeah, but smarter this time. :p), and there’s a birthday  party by the last weekend that need a little bit of planning. *wink*

It’s a good thing I have a weekend of respite for this month, which I will be devoting entirely to my spirituality and faith, and this will be on the weekend before my birthday weekend. I could not ask for more; this has got to be one of the best birthdays ever. Well, except that my heart is still lonely in some places. But we’ll get to that later. For now, life has been looking up, and my heart could definitely burst out in gratitude. It’s definitely far from a perfect story – the protagonist can be klutzy and emotional sometimes and the happy ending is not anywhere visible on the horizon, yet- but the story is moving forward, and that’s all that matters. For now.

successandhappiness.net

P.S.

An interesting trivia: Honeymoon babies are real. My parents married on the 30th of January and exactly nine months later, on the 30th of October, 28 years ago, this honeymoon baby greeted the world in small piercing screams. Yeah, just saying. 😀

 

27 Things I Did and Learned On my 27th Year October 12, 2010

Filed under: confessions,Events — Aimee @ 5:00 am
Tags: , , ,

In a few weeks I will be turning 28.

The past year had been stormy, heartbreaking, gratifying, and liberating all at the same time. I had my share of heartbreaks, learned a few things, accomplished some, and made a few worthwhile discoveries along the way.

Before I turn a year older, I would like to share a few things which had made me a year wiser – these are nothing more than the ramblings of a girl who lives inside her head most of the time – and some things which afforded me a few laughs here and there. So here goes.

I spent my 27th year…

1. attending my high school 10th year reunion.

2. learning how to swim.

3. dressing up for three weddings – my brother’s included.

4. learning that decent guys are a rare breed.

5. hoarding books.

6. visiting the melancholic mountains again, after two years.

7. trying to forgive myself. 🙂

8. hitting the jogging oval during summer afternoons.

9. attempting to get drunk. Beer and margaritas, anyone?

10. allowing myself some spiritual growth.

11. baking! Muffins, cupcakes, sweet rolls, and chocolate desserts.

12. helping organize my best friend’s wedding.

13. meeting up with friends for coffee/hot chocolate/tea and very deep conversations.

14. learning that mothers are not perfect, but you can love them with your whole heart anyway.

15. wishing I could spend a week in Europe.

16. failing to attend at least one of two very important weddings of two of my girlfriends, held on the same date, with the same color motif, but oceans and miles apart. 😦

17. making new friendships and deepening old ones. Though I have to say that some friendships have gone sour, too.

18. going out on a date, flirting with a player, and discovering that pointless dating, flirting, and playing are just that – pointless. (!)

19. hoarding summery, frilly tops. It’s perpetually summer in the country when there are no rains.

20. obsessing over my skin. When you’re nearing thirty you better have some strict skin care regimen to keep those pores from expanding and those dark eye circles from magically appearing during odd snapshot moments. (Wait, did I just say thirty? How did I get so old all of a sudden? :-()

20. witnessing drunk girls striptease-ing at some lousy bar for some lousy prize money. The things that alcohol makes you do, tsk.

21. going gaga over Glee!

22. trying to keep my weight down. I’d like to think I’m doing good. Bye bye McDonalds!

23. curbing my shopaholic tendencies.

24. wanting to be a pastry chef.

25. allowing myself a good cry when I need to.

26. Facebooking and blogging. Haha.

27. discovering, through Paulo Coelho, that true freedom is not a place, a hobby, or a person. “The true experience of freedom is having the most important thing in the world without owning it.”

Happy birthday to me. 🙂

 

A Cup of Coffee A Day Chases the Blues Away October 11, 2010

Filed under: confessions — Aimee @ 1:27 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

So here is the equation:

 

beware of that fin!

 

Cold weather/rainy days + Wedding proposals by Facebook friends published all over the site + Work that’s getting more boring everyday + Chronic indecision as to which career to settle for + No one to hold hands with = DEPRESSION.

This is pathetic.

So first off, the rainy weather. Last Friday, some parts of the city had been submerged in ankle-deep rainy water and if the thrashing rains had not stopped on time, our neighborhood may have been subjected to another flooding, the third time in less than two years. Depressing and frustrating all in one breath.

So second part of the equation: wedding proposals all over Facebook. So I’ve written about how thrilled I was about my best friend getting the engagement rock on her birthday. But then, everyone else started getting the virus, and now, if people are not getting engaged or getting married (my brother got hitched mid of this year, and a baby boy, my first nephew, is set to come out in January or February), they are having babies. And then it took me a whole minute to realize that I will be turning 28 in less than a month. No boyfriend now, so definitely no engagement on the horizon, and certainly no wedding and babies due anytime soon. Not that I’m actually looking forward to getting married, not at all. I can’t imagine being a wife to anyone right now, and I’ve promised myself to fulfill something first before agreeing to any form of romantic relationship with anyone. It’s just that, well, weddings are so lovely and babies are so cute. Now, I’m even more depressed. :p

Third part of the equation, boring work. I love writing yes, but this homebased stuff is getting stale. I need to get out asap, and I’m setting my deadline on the first month of the following year. Fingers crossed and twisted this time.

Fourth part, never mind. I actually know which career I want to settle in, it’s just that the career I really want is somewhere in the greater metropolis. So, it’s going to be strong heart for me this time and lots of Kleenex for when I leave home again.

Fifth part of the equation: no one to hold hands with. Well, see lengthy explanation on the second part of the equation. That explains everything and then some.

Depression.

But then I had coffee, and now I’m smiling again.

And now that I’m feeling better, I’ve realized that the soft pitter-patter of rain is really nothing to get wired up about. And that choosing to stay single after a very painful break up is one of the bravest and wisest things I’ve done for myself. I don’t feel incomplete in any way, so why rush the next love story? (If truth be told I still want the same love story, but that’s another story on another day. :-))

For the longest time I never gave myself much credit about being strong and independent, but I continue to surprise myself everyday. Thank you Lord, for giving me a small but resilient heart!

(But yeah, it’d be nice to hold hands with someone once in a while… more coffee please!)

:-p

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