Talking to Yourself Through Writing
by: Yobhelle T. Escaño
How long has it been since I’ve last sat down and ACTUALLY talked to myself? I often do, usually unconsciously. “You forgot to do the dishes again, now mom’s mad.”, or “Do your requirements!” But this time, I truly, am talking to myself again. I usually express this through writing. I talk to myself through writing words on a screen, and I truly adore writing.
Writing can be seen as an expression of ideas, but to me, the process of writing, the choosing—handpicking of words to express what I want to convey, is just fascinating. It’s not really just speaking in your head, to me. It feels like a full on conversation, but not really. Words cannot express just how writing gives me a sort of calmness. Though, I do not feel like my writing is anything special, and I’d argue it’s rather mediocre, I still choose to do it, since I truly do love the process of writing. Whether it be spontaneous, or planned, just the act of writing to me is wondrous and beautiful.
I wrote when I was a younger. It was those small stories I conjured up when I was still a child. They were fun experiences, I recall often, but I never actually read what I wrote before. I imagine they are incredibly and utterly horrible. “Cringe”, as the cool kids call it now. Now, writing is just something I do for work. I associate it with late nights,the projects, and the scores.
It has become a pain to write. It’s less me calming down, talking to myself and processing my thoughts into words. It’s become as if all the words are not of my own. I’ve lost my autonomy on writing, and it has lost its flair. As humans, we tend to loose interest quite easily. Usually we burn out slowly. Once, one thing you loved has become nothing to you, and suddenly everything seems pointless. Nothing is worth doing. We consume and consume, until nothing is left. It’s happened to me, and maybe it has even happened to you. Then, as I sit in my living room, stuck in quarantine, at 4 in the morning trying to grind up the next article for my online class, I stumbled upon an old file in my hard drive called “Yin’s Chapters”.
Yin Lee is an old character I created. The name is a portmanteau of the first letter of my name with a (former) favorite video game character of mine. The file contained stories of this character’s encounters with several characters who once influenced my life so much that I write about them. As I reread these stories, written when I was a geeky 15-year-old fangirl, I realize how much soul I’ve lost in writing and in anything I do really. I realize how much I’ve grown older, and given up on things I once held importance to. It’s funny to think about actually, because you know they’re “cringey af” (again, as the cool kids call it nowadays), but you have this feeling of yearning for those times.
Back then, Yin WAS me in my head, and writing these stories made me feel like I was having those adventures myself. So, even though I have several other more important things to do, I’ve suddenly decided to write this, trying to know what it feels like to talk to myself again. To actually, really, think about what I want to say next in this conversation in the form of an article, it makes me want to know what it feels like to love writing for myself again. And you know, what? It feels awesome.
How is This Pandemic Treating You?
I don’t understand why does our country not prioritizing mental health as it should be? This is a difficult time for everyone. I do hope we can be of help to others, by checking up on them, listening with each other and letting our hearts share with one another.
A few nights ago, I decided to check in with a couple of my friends to see if they were doing alright amidst the pandemic. I really am interested to know how they are coping, if they are alright, or if they are still able to balance themselves. I miss them a lot and I really hope to see them very soon. I got their replies and reflected on it. I have checked up on friends’ mental health and it’s not looking too good.
With the stress of online requirements, as well as the continuous rise of numbers of those infected, and the unclear future of what will happen tomorrow; adding to it are personal problems as well, it seems too difficult to keep our sanity intact. There are friends who cannot function properly at home due to having online classes despite this crisis we are experiencing. It’s becoming difficult to focus on such tasks and I have to agree with what they said that we are merely just complying with the given tasks, and we’re not really learning from it anymore. Instead of just being with your family, you are to sit at your desk and finish the tasks to meet its deadlines.
We paid for quality education, to obtain skills and knowledge that we can use for a brighter tomorrow. But because of the inevitable, it has then become a burden. We aren’t receiving what is best for us and for our future. There are also who cannot seem to find peace in their homes, because of personal problems. I have also put a burden on myself with everything that is happening. My mental health is suffering. It has become too difficult to stay focused and continue doing whatever that is that I have to accomplish.
A few days after classes was suspended, I was so sure that I’d be fine, because I don’t really go out often and I enjoy being in my room more often with every materials that I truly enjoy. But I realized that I am not doing so well after all, I find myself suffering more silently in this supposed, comfort of my home. It was suffocating; it’s frustrating, and exhausting. Not everyone has means of coping up in this vulnerable time. Everyone seems to be wallowing in the dark, succumbing to the darkness and sadness forming up in their heads --anxiety and depression are slowly draining them. It’s all clear that nothing else is helping to prevent such. It’s not just going to stop like that. It’s a saddening truth that our mental health is suffering, but it seems that we can’t do anything about it, but to only to keep on going.
Everyone has a role to play in this crisis. I encourage everyone to check up on their loved ones; no, check up on anyone else too. It’s not creepy to leave a message, or perhaps a note hoping that they’re doing alright. Let’s not take anyone else for granted. In these trying times, we can’t afford to lose any more people, whether it is because of the virus or mental health illness.
The Horror of the Unforeseen Ghost
from the future creeps into the shadows and remnants of the past torment the present.
Uncertainty is a horror that haunts my whole being. Queries of my future shake me up inside. Whenever a sudden questioning of what-to-do-after-college crosses my mind, my body freezes as voices in my head become louder. It’s quite deafening how my parents and relatives drop this subject matter in a conversation leaving me caught off guard, especially with gazes filled with disappointment knowing that I took a BA Communication course. Though I have plans and ambitions in life, the fear of being a failure and ordinary swipes it all away.
Flashback to when I thought dreams were as easy as getting an A at school or getting a degree at college and that’s it, you’ll have your dream job. Sure, it works for the lucky ones but those who never get the taste of it are doomed for life. A fast forward of remorse and bad decisions from the past strikes my memory once I began to realize how frightening the outside world could be. And to dwell on my thoughts as I think of destiny, patterns, and fortuity became a habit. Is there really a mystery behind the curtains of our fate? Or does mystery solely lie for the sake of present time itself? It occurred to me if everything I am doing in this exact moment will make sense of my future or if there really is such thing as wasting time, for we all undergo in the process of growth and enlightenment. Am I doing things the right way? Is there a right way? Am I doing enough? Or am I holding back so much that I fail to show my full potential?
I guess I will never be satisfied until I unleash the beast in me. But that’s the scary part, you give your best and there will always be a bit of flaw — an imperfection. I also start to wonder if is it really the future to which I am afraid of, or the inability to meet two of the most common societal standards of success — to be rich and known. Perhaps if I had a glimpse of what is coming ahead, all of my problems will be resolved. Or maybe not, maybe there is no other future rather than the real time. One of my coping mechanisms to escape from the negative possibilities of the future holds and the awfulness of reality brings is to create fantasies in my mind. For a short period of time, it does help but I try not to get addicted and consumed by it as it could turn me into an insensitive individual who feels completely detached from her actual surroundings. Despite of the anxiety and panic that the unknown has caused me, I always remind myself to never settle for less no matter what the situation is so I will not end up with regrets like I did before and if things did not work at the first attempt, I try to take advantage of the second chances. At times, these mantras exhaust me because I feel like I’m going nowhere but the burden of unfinished tasks will never leave me at peace.
My fear for a dreadful future has taught me to become more conscious with the decisions and actions I make to the point that I overthink everything, and as the after-college-life approaches, a sense of relief is certainly not existent at the moment. In any path we take, there are many choices but not much opportunities for everyone. There is either an opportunity or a great danger of what awaits us and to things we could not foresee. The vagueness of it may somehow frighten those dubious-type and thrill the ones looking for adventure. However, when we are left with no option, we contemplate and choose between what will we do to achieve our dreams or what will we do to survive. As for me, If I am not to be the person I very much aspire then I don’t know what else should I be.
Simple Ways On How Students Can Cope With Stress
Students nowadays experience sleepless nights due to various external factors – playing mobile/video games, doing online activities, discovering new hobbies, etc. But if doing school stuff stresses you out and makes you on the verge of giving up already, please DON’T.
The following are ways on how my fellow students can deal with stress that we encounter each and every day. So the first step is to have our “me-time” since we all deserve to have such. Examples of it are having enough rest or sleep, engaging in recreational and worthwhile activities, having regular exercises, and maintaining a balanced diet.
If you have social media accounts, you’ve probably seen a couple of things to do that are trending during this quarantine. If you tend to do one of those, chances are, your productivity will be enhanced. There were many activities I’ve done like reading a book, baking churros, playing the ukulele, dancing zumba, and making dalgona coffee.
Learn to face your problems in a positive way rather than taking these as something that pressures you. Why not consider problems as a challenge? These are challenges that will make you stronger and more determined in life since this will test how much perseverance you’ve got. If you don’t want to be challenged, then you’re not living life because life itself is full of ups and downs. Next, take one step at a time. There are those who are good at multitasking however, it will tire you sometimes. Thus, it is advisable for you to list down all the things that you’re going to do with a schedule or time limit in order for you to meet the deadline. Time-management is a must. You have to do tasks slowly but surely. Chunking things down will help you look at the tasks more manageable and doable within a particular period of time.
Lastly, set achievable objectives and alter your goals into a more feasible one. Do not push yourself too hard because it’s already enough if you feel happy at the end of achieving something. What matters most is that you will feel satisfied and contented after everything you have done. Success comes only to those who have worked hard. At the end of the day, coping with stress is somehow challenging but rewarding at the same time. Keep in mind the phrases “a little sacrifice will lead you to paradise” or, look at all your tasks and say “try me” so that it will motivate you to finish it as soon as possible. Just imagine yourself that eventually, you’ll be successful amidst all challenges you have faced in life.
How a Chord Saved My Life
We all have these moments that we can’t understand what we feel. On the outside, you are just smiling starting with your normal day but as you dig down deep inside, you feel something. This “something” isn’t normal. I just don’t know what to do with my life back then. I feel anxious, stressed and on the verge of crying for no reason to the point I become delusional to think such things out of paranoia.
Every second, the time will stop ticking and I might self-destruct. I coped with many things like art especially with music. Every time I walk, I’ll just put on my headphones and anticipate things that will happen on my day. At first I thought those won’t help. Materials through coping are just temporary. However, listening to music became part of my routine to the point that it helped me discover those "somethings" that I experienced that brought burden to me. With the simple strum of a chord, a piano note, the eerie sound of the synths, yeah, you realize that your heart wants to speak. With this, you feel sad, broken, happy or sappy! I tend to discover the roots of my problems as well as its solutions. I felt relief for the first time!
It was overwhelming that I started learning music. I learned to play the basics of the guitar. Then. I moved into learning its different aspects up to its complexities with music theory. I didn’t notice that it is starting to become my passion until I realized I want to make music of my own in order to inspire others. It gave my life purpose. The feeling of discovering my purpose brought me closer to my friends, family, partners and especially to myself. I learned to love myself. The things you do for coping are not temporary. They will bring something towards yourself as a person. In the end, they will manifest, make you grow, help to become a better person and make your life worth living!
#Quaranthings: Coping During Quarantine I'm certain that most of us go through stress this quarantine season. For the past few days, I've been facing episodes of panic attacks and mood swings, so I figured maybe it's about time to find ways on how to cope with stress while at home. Here are random sketches of mine that I did while coping. I never realized how much I can draw random things until this quarantine came. Every time I experience a panic attack, I try my best to draw. I hope everyone's okay! I know this must be a difficult time for all of us, and I can't emphasize enough how much I want this COVID-19 outbreak to end. At the end of the day, let us be reminded that this will end, and we can all hug each other again. Stay safe and hydrated!
The art of staying calm.
Every time my cellphone dings, I feel a sudden jolt in my heart that vibrates throughout my body like a shock. This feeling started when I went to college, an abrupt anxiety kicks in my mind whenever I receive a notification, my mind suddenly becomes flooded with thoughts of school requirements and quizzes sent by my group mates that are left undone. It haunts me like a little girl who’s afraid of a folklore ghost, then came running to her mom as a refuge to hide, except for me bed became my safety net. Sleeping turns into hibernation, pillow turns to mountains, and blanket turns to clouds until I’m on cloud nine.
My room became a fortress and it protected me from outside forces, but when the big bad wolf blew it, it fell so easily like it was built from a cotton, like my emotion so tender and so delicate. I realized that sleeping and locking myself into my room doesn’t prevent the reality to slap me in the face, when in fact doing that make things even worse. Whenever I lock myself, my mind automatically turns into a dark state wherein I can feel the void and emptiness of my life and when that sink in to my thoughts it will spread like a wild fire until it burns down my last barrier of protection.
My routine became my habit, because it’s handy I sleep then the next morning I forget. But it does not solve the problem, it’s a temporary band-aid that covers the surface but not the pain. When we have fresh wound, we tend to put band-aid right away without really cleaning it up because it’s less painful and much faster. As we forget about the wound, it becomes infected then it starts to rot affecting other parts of our body. That’s what happen to me when I wallowed in my room and dream-off my problem, my whole-body rots alongside with my emotions eating me slowly.
I tried different approaches as to how I would conquer this toxic solution I came up with. I admit it was not easy, sometimes when one experiment fails, I go back to sleeping until I come running back to that cycle again. Until one day I decided to wake up earlier than my usual time of getting up, I started my day with a music, it definitely soothes my thoughts then later I fixed my bed. I opened the curtains and let the sunlight to penetrate my room, then I prepared my breakfast and lastly took a shower. For the first time in forever I felt fine, no worries nor pain just fine. But reality isn’t magic, it took time to heal myself and for sure took time to be used to with that routine.
It took months of practicing and pep talks to continue what I developed, though it is worth the wait. Being calm and collected doesn’t come in one snap, it takes battles like constant fight with your fear of worry. Healthy environment coincides with healthy mind, we have to built a routine that will makes us feel good and friends that will be there for us. I hope whoever reading this will someday be okay, I know it’s not easy but you’ll get there I promise I m a living testament. Good luck!
Have you ever thought of the future? Of what might actually happen in the future? Will there be more skyscrapers so high it could almost touch the sky? Will we ever see cars flying just above our heads? Have you ever thought of what might happen in your future? Well, it did for me and I considered time as my enemy.
I remember that day so vividly, I just turned 19 nothing special but as I stare outside my window with my blanket hugging me and the Baguio weather inviting me to sleep I thought to myself “what now, Phoebs? What are your plans? What’s your next move?” and with that I instantly felt time was running and I was running out of it. I felt as if the whole world was watching, waiting for my next move towards to what they call as my “future.” Not knowing of what to say or do and with every second, minute, hour passing by I was left with nothing but complete fear. Young as I may seem, with my future still so ahead of me, time was giving me complete anxiety.
Time made me see that it won’t be long until I’ll be graduating college and would be saying my goodbye’s to my closest friends. It won’t be long until I’ll be leaving home to start another adventure as an adult. It won’t be long until I’ll see my parents growing old together. With that said I thought time was unfair, I wasn’t prepared for this. No one told me it would be this fast. Last time I checked I was only a 3-year-old girl running around under the warm touch of the sun and now I’m a 19-year-old college girl having internal debates with herself. But even though I hated time so much it made me realize things, time has given me lessons.
One lesson that I’ll always instill to myself is that to be grateful with the time God has given you. Be grateful with the time you were able to spend with your family, friends, acquaintances and maybe lovers because with time you were given to experience lasting memories to cherish forever. Time would be able to let you go back and maybe remember the first time you fell from your bicycle, the time when you were crying to your friends because of a broken heart and the time you felt nothing but complete happiness. Time maybe unfair but it had it’s reasons and with this I have nothing more to say but enjoy.
Hi everyone! I just want to share my first collaboration with my father. I converted two of my digital arts, Oneness and We Got Each Other's Back, into a vase and a bookend. I designed it and he made it into a reality. The Oneness Metal Vase is perfect for dried flowers and or artificial flowers. The We Got Each Other's Back Bookend is made from solid metal in which the cubes can be arranged to the user's liking. Both metal sculptures work as an accent piece that can liven up one's space. In case you guys are interested, you can reach me through Facebook/Instagram: @artdkf.ph
Imagine you are holding a photograph. There, there you are. A 5-year-old you is being carried by her momma and papa while holding your rag dolls. That innocent, charming little girl is looking at you and said, "Where are you now?"
Life is filled with several U-turns and unexpected twists of events and during these times in which silver spoons are nowhere to be found: Our families ensure we still get and experience the best as we survive this pandemic. Here's my song, I wrote back 2 years ago entitled: "Won't Let You Cry" and take time to honor and appreciate our parents as they are the biggest front liners in our lives throughout the years.
If you're still single now, there are probably a a lot of questions running in your head. But being on your own for a long time helps you discover more about yourself. It's more than just freedom or independence. It's facing the world with so much courage. It's trying to make the most of your life without having to depend on someone. It's being happy on your own and loving yourself with all that you are.
We've been chasing love only to realize that it's not gonna work out that way. The right time will come that you will be blessed with the one you deserve. The one who also prayed to be with you. The one who will make you believe in love again. Let life surprise you. Hang in there.
The most thrilling and delightful moment of any school day is opening up your baon during breaks. There is always so much excitement in unveiling your homemade meal and snacks housed inside matching heat-insulating containers. Because preparing packed meals is an age-old tradition of showing parental love, loved ones pour effort into curating a nutritious meal accompanied by a selection of side dishes, desserts, and beverages daily; it reminds us that we are being taken care of, even from far away.
Baon plays a significant role in a Filipino childhood. Almost every Filipino child comes to school with baon made especially for them by their parents or household helpers. Even Filipinos in the labor force continue to bring baon for varying reasons: to save money, recycle leftovers, cater to personal taste, or attend to special needs. Nonetheless, eating your baon is a heart-warming experience that allows Filipinos to bring a piece of home along with them wherever they go.
Even other cultures practice making packed lunch. In Japan, mothers create bento--Japanese meals in partitioned boxes. Because of the popularity of bento, trends have emerged, such as the Kyaraben, or character-themed bento. Naturally, Japanese parents and students began competing for who had the cutest and tastiest bento, and this is similar to what I have witnessed in my own childhood. I remember seeing my classmates sharing their snacks and lunches. They would compare and boast about their parents' or yayas’ cooking. In my case, I never had the chance to join in the competition or indulge in homemade cooking. Up until this day, I have never brought any baon to school.
For a long time, I envied others. As trivial or petty as it may seem, not having baon became a problem for my grade school self. During that time, I had to sit in a separate cafeteria away from my friends because the kids who bought food were assigned to sit elsewhere. You could consider me spoiled, but I wanted to experience something most kids did. I had food at home, so what made it so hard to bring some with me to school?
Now that I am on my final year in high school I have come to realize the benefits of purchasing my own food. Since I spent on food everyday, I learned to budget my allowance at a young age. Over the years, I learned to practice self-control whenever I wanted to eat more greasy fries and drink sweetened beverages. I have tasted the strangest viands at the school cafeterias, and I have repeatedly satiated myself over my latest delicious discoveries. Despite the struggles, I am thankful that I have never had baon because of what I have learned. Not to mention, I never had to experience eating cold food.
Literally to begin with, I am writing with little shaky hands because this is the last time I went for a vacation like most of us must have and can’t plan any for now. The coronavirus outbreak has compelled us to stay at home for our safety and others in the vicinity.
I remember how I penned down my year 2020 to be the most remarkable year of my life in the hope of doing everything I desired for a long time and overcoming few obstacles. Whilst planning things ahead, I forgot to truly value all of things in the present.
I remember being chipper and grateful for my last summer vacation but now I feel I should’ve valued each and every moment. Considering the current gnarly situation, I want each one us to motivate ourselves to look for a positive side and to make the most of our time no matter the situation.
Make a promise to yourself that you won’t give up in these circumstances and reckon that there are a lot of good things for us in the store. We’ll have the most amazing season of our life post pandemic. Let’s accept for the change and become the change. Propagate love and only love.