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.

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!

 

Proud of her Faith, Proud to be a Christian

Filed under: Saccharine thoughts — Aimee @ 12:12 pm
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On that note, Merry Christmas everyone!

May we always remember the child who was born in a manger in Bethlehem, who grew up to preach us about love, peace and forgiveness, and gave the world salvation.

 

May your Holidays be filled with love, laughter, and peace of heart. 🙂

 

Coffee Shop Dreams September 15, 2010

Filed under: confessions,Food,Saccharine thoughts — Aimee @ 11:24 am
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One of my favorite places in the whole wide world is a coffee shop. Put me anywhere in this country and I will instantly feel at home in any of these three places: a bookstore, a church, and a coffee shop. The bookstore part is obvious. Books are one of the earliest collections I’ve ever owned. The church part is obvious too. It’s the one place I go to when everything else is crazy and chaotic, and the peace that I get from staring at the altar and humming my prayers is not one which I can easily get anywhere.

But a coffee shop is something else. It’s pretty obvious that I love coffee, but sometimes I take tea and just desserts at coffee shops too. They have become like sanctuaries to me, where I can read my favorite novel, flip on the latest issue of Wedding magazine without thinking, or people watch as if it were the most natural thing in the world. Coffee shops allow me to live inside my head, if only for a time.

So if I had a few millions, I’d probably open my own coffee shop. Since I’m for the homey, cozy feel as opposed to the sleek, dark ambiance some city coffee shops are known for, my future baby will probably look something like this:

Brick walls, wooden floors, wall lighting, comfy divans, lamps. Bookshelves should line some of the walls, very much like my favorite coffee shop in Malaybalay — Bukidnon Brew Cafe. Since I love paintings, I would also love my future coffee shop to have a few creations from my artist friends (if they’d be so kind to donate :p), and hopefully, to have some of my worthless doodles included in too, that is if the interior designer thinks it a smart idea.

And now that I’m crazy about gourmet cooking and adding fresh and dried herbs in and on almost everything, I also want my future cafe to have a balcony window for fresh herbs, so my fellow coffee-bookworms can sip their lattes and smell in the scent of fresh basil, thyme, and rosemary.

Pastries are my second love – well, more on making them than eating them. I have a special love reserved for baked sweets, cupcakes specifically, so if I had my way again I’d open a patisserie or a simple pastry shop (if I never get to learn baking French sweets). But before that, a full course on baking and pastries from some decent culinary school. I finally got my certificate on baking and pastries from the local government last year, but a diploma from some elite school won’t hurt. :p

Coffee should not be a solitary pleasure after all. A platter of pastries and a cup of coffee is one of the best marriages there is.

 

Of Wedding Hopes and Dreams August 20, 2010

Filed under: Events,Love,Saccharine thoughts — Aimee @ 7:44 am
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photo credits to Armand Ansaldo and Marty Bryan of Ansaldo Photography

This is a bird’s eye view on the breathtaking ornate altar of the Sts. Peter and Paul Church in Ormoc City the morning of June 25, 2010 when my brother got hitched to his long-time girlfriend, Carla. The long church aisle was dotted with yellow and red flowers – red roses, yellow mums and daisies, green ferns. There were also lighted candles hanging from gold-painted iron flower stands. The choir was lovely, and even lovelier was the fact that they were able to perform an amazing rendition of Chantal Kreviazuk’s Feels Like Home for the bridal march.

Someday I would love to have my own beautiful wedding, but I want more than just a picture-perfect one. More than anything, I hope to have a happy celebration, where there is laughter from beginning to end, and a few tears that signify happiness, nothing else.

Here are more wedding pictures. Enjoy! 🙂

that's me! 🙂

i love you, guys!

 

How to be Alone by Tanya Davis August 12, 2010

Filed under: Saccharine thoughts,Women — Aimee @ 3:04 am
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If you are at first lonely, be patient.

If you’ve not been alone much, or if when you were, you weren’t okay with it, then just wait. You’ll find its fine to be alone once you’re embracing it.

We can start with the acceptable places, the bathroom, the coffee shop, the library, where you can stall and read the paper, where you can get your caffeine fix and sit and stay there. Where you can browse the stacks and smell the books, you’re not supposed to talk much anyway,  so its safe there.

There is also the gym, if you’re shy, you can hang out with yourself and mirrors, you can put headphones in.

Then there’s public transportation, because we all gotta go places.

And there’s prayer and meditation, no one will think less if you’re hanging with your breath seeking peace and salvation.

Start simple. Things you may have previously avoided based on your avoid being alone principles.

The lunch counter, where you will be surrounded by “chow downers”, employees who only have an hour and their spouses work across town, and they, like you, will be alone.

Resist the urge to hang out with your cell phone.

When you are comfortable with “eat lunch and run”, take yourself out for dinner; a restaurant with linen and silver ware. You’re no less an intriguing a person when you are eating solo desert and cleaning the whip cream from the dish with your finger. In fact, some people at full tables will wish they were where you were.

Go to the movies. Where it’s dark and soothing, alone in your seat amidst a fleeting community.

And then take yourself out dancing, to a club where no one knows you, stand on the outside of the floor until the lights convince you more and more and the music shows you. Dance like no one’s watching because they’re probably not. And if they are, assume it is with best human intentions. The way bodies move genuinely to beats, is after-all, gorgeous and affecting. Dance until you’re sweating. And beads of perspiration remind you of life’s best things. Down your back, like a book of blessings.

Go to the woods alone, and the trees and squirrels will watch for you. Go to an unfamiliar city, roam the streets, they are always statues to talk to, and benches made for sitting gives strangers a shared existence if only for a minute, and these moments can be so uplifting and the conversation you get in by sitting alone on benches  might have never happened had you not been there by yourself.

Society is afraid of alone though. Like lonely hearts are wasting away in basements. Like people must have problems if after awhile nobody is dating them.

But lonely is a freedom that breathes easy and weightless, and lonely is healing if you make it.

You can stand swaffed by groups and mobs or hands with your partner, look both further and farther in the endless quest for company.

But no one is in your head. And by the time you translate your thoughts an essence of them maybe lost or perhaps it is just kept. Perhaps in the interest of loving oneself, perhaps all those sappy slogans from pre-school over to high school groaning, we’re tokens for holding the lonely at bay.

Cause if you’re happy in your head, then solitude is blessed, and alone is okay.

It’s okay if no one believes like you, all experiences are unique, no one has the same synapses, can’t think like you, for this be relieved, keeps things interesting, life’s magic brings much, and it doesn’t mean you aren’t connected, and the community is not present, just take the perspective you get from being one person in one head and feel the effects of it.

Take silence and respect it.

If you have an art that needs practice, stop neglecting it, if your family doesn’t get you or a religious sect is not meant for you, don’t obsess about it.

You could be in an instant surrounded if you need it.

If your heart is bleeding, make the best of it.

There is heat in freezing, be a testament.

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Mom March 12, 2010

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This is my mom back in her salad days, no older than 26, I think. She’d been slim, tan, and gorgeous during her youth, with  long black tresses that reach down to her narrow waist, and which she chose to crop into short, flirty waves right after graduating from college.  She lived in her own rented apartment during her early twenties, managed a gasoline station, and had a small-time entrepreneurial venture which allowed her regular air travels from Cebu to Cagayan de Oro, and back.

Today, at 60. 🙂

In stories which I love to hear over and over again, she was into biking, tennis, night swimming, and road trips during her young days. She used to enjoy midnight swims at the beach with her cousins and girlfriends, and had a string of suitors at her feet. Well she may have been exaggerating a bit here, who knows, but she still has the red tin can that used to contain the colorful candies one of her suitors gave her, and she’d been engaged to be married once and broke that same engagement a few years before meeting my father. My Mama lived a colorful, independent life, and although she’s had her share of heartaches, and lost my father to diabetes complications nine years ago, she remains to be one of those people whose strength I admire the most.

Which explains why we almost never get along on so many things. We’re both headstrong, independent-minded, and stubborn. We are cut from the same cloth after all. She’s had a full life before she married my father, and that’s what I want for myself, too. So that one day I can talk to my children and tell them stories of my dreams and exploits, of my heartaches and frustrations, of my one true love, and of the day when I finally got my happy ending, roses and tiaras and all.

 

Food for Thought March 9, 2010

Filed under: Saccharine thoughts — Aimee @ 3:38 am
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miming 🙂

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Nobody really cares if you’re miserable, so you might as well be happy. “

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