All day, I’ve been thinking of what to write about right now in this exact moment. SO many ideas came to mind; I even have a list of ideas. But the thing with me is, I tend to follow my intuition and my intuition told me that none of those ideas were right to publish today.
In fact, as I’m sitting here with my cat stretched out next to me, I’m still thinking, “What do I write about? Maybe I should just pick something from my list and throw something together.”
And then, I had an “Ah ha!” moment.
I decided to write my truth.
The truth is, I don’t know what to write about. That seems to be a reoccurring theme in my life so far.
With my birthday approaching, I’ve actually been going through a quarter-life crisis.
I’ve thought about my life and where I am, today. I’ve lived through so many different things at such a young age, but in hindsight, I’m still a baby to this world with so much to learn.
One of the greatest lessons I’ve learned thus far-
“Be true to yourself.”
Growing up, I lived with 6 other women who through time would come and go. But there were always 6 other women in the home. My parents were taking care of these women who became family to me. These women had Develop Mental Disabilities, so although they were grown adults, they thought and acted like children and teenagers. Some were mean, some were nice. Some could talk, some couldn’t. Every woman was different, but they all had one thing in common: They were always themselves. They had no concept of caring what others thought.
I can appreciatively say all this now… as an adult; but, as a kid? Man, it was tough. I had no idea how to relate to other kids because I didn’t think my home was normal. This made me painfully shy. I was constantly trying to blend in and make friends by being like the people I wanted to be friends with. Elementary school was brutal for this reason. Good for my grades because I’d spend lunch and nutrition in the classroom, but bad for my social skills. Whenever I’d make a new friend, I’d immediately try to be like them. I, thankfully, got through this phase in middle school and began being myself, but then there were days that absolutely sucked because although I had friends, it still didn’t feel like I was enough.
Then, high school came, and I didn’t know anybody at the school since I was transitioning from a Performing Arts Magnet Program to a Law and Government Magnet Program. So, I thought to myself, “I’m gonna join a team! Since I like to dance, I’m going to join cheerleading! That’ll get me out of my shell!” But then, I hear about Dance Guard a.k.a Color Guard and drop cheerleading all together to learn how to spin a flag I had never thought to spin and to dance with the marching band I’d never thought twice about marching with, but there I was auditioning for color guard thinking I’d come out of my shell while doing something new!
WRONG. I didn’t open my mouth til the very last day of band camp and I had just spent the whole summer with this group. Then, of course, I make great friends and my freshman year of high school was a success-socially and academically. As soon as I thought I was good, I started getting into more extra curriculars, even got my first boyfriend! However, with my dad getting sick and my fresh sense of worth, it all went to my head and there I was again: questioning, “Who am I? And how am I supposed to act to show that I’ve got it all together… even if I’m falling apart?”
If I could paint a picture of my growth in self-esteem, this would be it:
Every time I’d get closer to accepting myself and my story, I’d fall into the trap of thinking about what others would think.
Being Filipino, I grew up as a Catholic. I always loved God and wanted to make him proud. But due to circumstances and my self-esteem issues, Catholicism wasn’t for me. It only fed into my insecurities because every time I sinned, I’d have to confess to feel better because I’ve always been hard on myself, even as a kid. So, rather than feeling loved by God, I felt ashamed and afraid to go to Him in prayer as time went on. It’s not like that for everyone, but it was like that for me. (I hold nothing against Catholicism, let’s just make that clear.)
As time went on, I slowly started shifting away from God all together and it came to the point where I blamed God for my Dad getting sick and for causing my family so much pain. I would cry into my pillow some nights out of frustration asking God, “Why MY dad? Why?” And then from there it went to, “Why’d you have to make me grow up in a group home? I can’t relate to anyone my age and I’m always trying to be like everyone else! I just wanna be me, but I don’t know who that is!” And then it fell to silence.
I had lost myself so much that I didn’t know God and I DEFINITELY did not know myself.
Figuratively, this is where I had lost strength to push the boulder up the hill, and instead of me pushing the boulder up, I was, now, sprinting, full speed ahead, down the hill trying not to get crushed by the boulder.
I was 18 when I decided to stop blaming God for all my pain but still questioned whether He was there for me. At 19, I joined a Network Marketing Company which opened me up to what life had to offer. Although I am not part of this company anymore, I have nothing but good to say about it because it truly impacted my life for the better. They would have these non-denominational services on Sundays at every convention and although hesitant to go, I went, and it was there that I became open to the thought that God was there for me. Even though I had God in my heart again, I was now dealing with a new level of self-esteem: Too much of it.
Being 19, surving my suicide attempt, graduating high school late with a 4.0, joining this amazingly blessed company and finding that I don’t have bad people skills, led me to arrogance. Not arrogance in the sense where I thought I was higher than anyone, but the type of arrogance where I was self-righteous and thought I was invincible.
Dealt with that big head of mine for 2 years. It wasn’t until I was 21 and stripped of this arrogance while my dad landed back in the hospital. It was in that time where my dad and I spent the most time together since he got sick and I realized how much of a humble, caring man he was. I was reminded to humble myself and reevaluate my values. I was back to questioning, “Who am I?”
At 22, year: 2018, I was constantly fighting to figure out who I was, probably crying everyday to my boyfriend at the time asking him who I was. He could never tell me and although he tried, it was never enough. It wasn’t until I was 23, year: 2019, that I decided to stop asking someone else and started asking myself. When that happened, I found God again. Or well, maybe God found me? Still not completely sure. God and I are still working that out. Getting to know each other, ya know?
But anyway, if it weren’t for the beautiful, kind, forgiving and patient love of God, I wouldn’t be alive, I wouldn’t have an amazing relationship with my parents, I wouldn’t have landed a great job with the most generous and caring bosses, I wouldn’t have the wonderful friends I have and I still would have no clue of who I am.
If you were to ask me who I am now, I’d say I’m: optimistic, passionate and spiritual.
I will always seek out the opportunity of fulfillment, happiness and love. Genuine love. A love not based from ego but from humility. And the opportunity to let God use me to encourage others to find fulfillment, happiness and love.
I will always be passionate about everything I do because I can’t stand a second being passive when there’s so much to experience.
And I will always be spiritual because even when I thought God wasn’t there, he was right there all along giving me exactly what I needed to become the person I am today and to have the motivation to become more.
This blog post may not be perfect, but it’s real. It’s true to who I am and I’m proud of that.
And that’s all that matters.