Take Your Time: It’s your Story

We want answers in a pile of questions
We feel lost yet there are so many directions
So many paths we could take
So many rules we have to break
Cause we are taught about the structure
The way things are built but not how they fracture 
How we are born with a chosen identity 
Defined by our gender and ethnicity 
Told that we must study to be on top
But now all we want to do is stop
Stop for a moment, pause, press rewind 
So we can breathe and have a chance to find 
Answers of the What ifs, Maybes and what do I do? 
Maybe there is something, anything, a clue 
Cause we have dreams and we have hopes 
But no one can teaches us how to cope
When life stills, when our dreams shatters 
What to do when you don’t even what matters
They told us in school that this is how life is 
But it’s not, there must have been something they missed 
They said that life is set and we will do fine 
Will have a degree and someone you can call mine 
Have a ring on your finger and a baby in hand 
Have life figured out but those people don’t understand 
Thinking we will die happy in our graves
But what if that’s not what God paved
Cause you failed high school, it was so tough 
You studied so hard but it’s wasn’t enough 
Got called dumb, you’re so stupid unlike the rest 
They all shout: you should have tried your best 
Fallen in love too many times, started to lose count 
Your heart been broken and mended over again, emotions start to mount 
You thought you had it- it lasted 4 years 
You chose to end it you’re covered in tears 
Believed so long that you’ll find your soulmate 
But then your heart whispers: what is it’s too late? 
Landed your first job at 21 at the grocery store 
Was so happy cause it will open more doors 
Been there for 2 years and you barely have no money 
So much for that degree, what are you doing with your life honey?
Your friends are married some have kids 
Then here are you not even knowing what you did 
What did you achieve from being so dumb
Where did Love take you apart from being numb 
What did life give you cause you are just stuck 
Asking you questions like do you give a fuck
Of course you do that’s why you continue on
Cause one mistake doesn’t mean you’re wrong 
One failure doesn’t mean you can’t succeed 
Wanting to be loved has nothing to do with greed 
Working a small job is hard for now but in 2 more years you will find 
That waiting patiently is a quality of a heart that is still kind 
Kind enough to let people in and strong enough to let it be broken 
Because though hardship and failure you will soon be outspoken 
On things you didn’t even know then and experiences you’ll cherish today 
And you’ll understand that maybe this was God’s way 
Of telling you to go at your own pace 
Take the downfalls and just embrace 
The little things coming together right before your eyes 
Of the tiny successes that life has disguised 
Cause you are breathing, look you’re alive 
And sooner or later, you will walk out there and thrive 
Sometimes life has a funny way of planning out 
Your story is being written and only you know what’s it about 
Take a step, be thankful and just live cause it’s not a crime 
Your life is yours so just take your time. 

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Rat in the Trap

*Warning do not read this if you are fond of animals or easily grossed out.*

One of my early memories is stepping on a fly trap. It was a horrible experience and something that I wouldn’t want to experience again. My Lola doesn’t like insects and flies have always been one of her pet peeves. She would place several fly traps all over the house. It had caught a few cockroaches and small spiders but no flies. But when I was really young I saw a rat under the table. I didn’t go near it and continued playing. A couple of days after this encounter, my Lola started screaming demanding something be taken away. I ran into the room and knew it was a mistake. There, on one of the fly papers was a dead rat who obviously got stuck whilst running around the house. I felt really bad and I still do. I don’t know if it was the same rat I saw but it made me feel uneasy that I played a part in its death. I want to apologise to that rat and his family and hope that he rests in peace.

They Ate MY Chicken

We used to visit some of our relatives in the province for special occasions or occasional drop-ins. One of my Lolas (the sister of my mom’s dad) loved cooking and she always accommodated us when we come over. She cooks amazing food and tells us stories (which I cannot mostly remember now). But this story is something I will remember forever. During one of our visits, she took me aside and told me that she had something for me. She told me to feed it every day and look after it so it will stay big and strong. She then handed me a cage with a chicken inside it. Now, as an adult, I would be weirded out if I was handed a chicken but as a child, it was like a brand-new pet was given to me for FREE! I promised her I will look after it and we took it in the SUV all the way home. I was so excited to have a pet chicken and all the way home I was already narrowing down names to call it.

When we got back home, they told me to let the chicken free in the backyard and to stretch its legs. I innocently followed their instructions and went inside to call my friends that I have a pet chicken. I think I had a nap for a bit because the time frame between me letting the chicken loose and me going back to check on it seemed like such a long time. But when I went back to find it, it wasn’t there. I asked everyone and each had a different reply: ‘It might have flown away’ (chickens can’t fly), ‘the dogs probably ate it’ (the dogs barely moved today) or ‘What chicken?’ (I might be a little groggy from my nap but I’m not stupid’). I was so furious and annoyed that a whole chicken disappeared and no one would tell me where it went. But from the title, we can all gather what happened: They took my chicken, de-feathered, gutted and sliced it then made some fried chicken. I refused to eat dinner that night and swore immaturely that I will never eat chicken ever again!

(Of course, I didn’t commit to this promise and enjoy fried chicken as much as the next carnivorous 21-year-old person lol.)

BINGO is a Gambler’s Game

When I was younger, one of my Lola (called Lola Puring) loved playing Bingo and she would often gather everyone in the house to come play with her, including me and Vanessa. It all started innocently with a recycled bottle for the numbers and one card each. It was all harmless fun until…she brought money into the game. I have never seen gambling before and by no means, is she a gambling woman and it was all just a game after all. But at the age of 6 or 7, I didn’t have any money (apart from money in my Elmo piggy bank). I don’t know how much I lost but from the light weight of my piggy bank, I gathered it was quite a lot lol. I didn’t really understand the concept of money then (I still don’t) but it was fun. I loved playing it especially with my Lola who lives several hours from Manila. I wish I could play with her some more now but I don’t know if she even remembers. I think she has dementia. She keeps repeating stories over and over when we talk with her but I would play BINGO with her over and over again if I had a chance. I’d gamble my time for one more game.

He Kissed Her (1)

He said ‘I like you’ but his boy brain kissed her. This boy said he fancied me to the extent he gave me presents because that’s how you win a girl’s heart that you like, right? After telling me that he likes me and looked me in the eyes: he still kissed her. We were both standing outside of maths class, innocently flirting whilst the teacher gets ready for the lesson. He was telling me I look cute today and I was probably blushing. I wasn’t looking for a boyfriend at the time (but a high school crush I could have being a young girl, aged 13). Anyways there were also these two girls who were playing a game of “Kiss Me”. They were getting guys from the corridor to kiss their cheek (a stupid game I know but this was before everyone discovered Facebook). One of the girls stopped in the middle of my high school crush and I and asked him to kiss her cheek. He looked at me and I shrugged (hoping he’ll get the hint and NOT kiss her) but of course, he did. He kissed her and had a huge grin on his face. Meanwhile, I wasn’t impressed and a little pissed so I gave him the worst thing an immature/jealous high school girl could think of giving: the Silent Treatment. He spent a week trying the figure out why I wasn’t talking to him anymore and looking back he deserved every single second of silence that I gave him.

No Jewellery, First.

Diamonds are supposed to be a girl’s best friend but for me, it is more like a dark omen. All three of my ex-boyfriends gave me jewellery as their first gifts. It was all sweet at first and of course, I enjoy the little sparkle that jewellery can add to your outfit and those boys have a great taste in jewellery. It is only when the jewellery starts to break, rust or gets lost that signifies a symbol from God or something of high universal power that this relationship is about to come to an end. For instance, when my first boyfriend broke up with me, I chose to give back the gold bracelet he gave me as a” token of his love” (more on this in another post). He wasn’t offended I gave it back and many people were questioning why I didn’t just sell it on eBay but it was my decision so I handed it back to him. We were on and off flirting with each other and one day he was high or drunk and he mentioned how he wished I still had the bracelet. I said I didn’t want it and asked if he still had it. And surprise surprise (not), he didn’t know where it was…an expensive bracelet that was supposed to be a token of his love is forever lost- a bit like any feeling I may still have for him lol.

Then, my second boyfriend gave me a lovely necklace that was made of stretchy string, had beads threaded through it and had a moulded glass centrepiece in the shape of a heart (how romantic). I wore it every day and had it on my bedside table as I sleep at night. It lasted for 9 months and then the heart one day just broke in half (which was so ironic come to think of it). A couple of days later he broke up with me and I just knew it was some sort of sign. My third ex is a little different as I was the one who ended it with him but the necklace and earring combo (again very beautiful, expensive and often worn) had started to rust and there was a knot in the chain. Another sign that it wasn’t meant to be.

So, the lesson of the story is this: to my future boyfriend, wherever you are, whenever you will pop up in my life, please read this as a cautionary warning that jewellery leads to a break-up so don’t give me any jewellery as your first gift. (although know I do not have anything against jewellery being a second gift or a third gift etc…).

She had “that” Vibe

Ever had anyone who suddenly comes into your school and jumps into your friendship group like it was an okay thing to do? Well, I have (twice). I am a friendly person and is open to being kind to you and being friends with you. But after a while, she had a vibe about her. I am normally good at sensing people’s aura but I think there was a delay or something. She came to high school in the third year and she jumped into the friendship circle I was in. I was okay with her for a little bit and stayed friends with her until the end. But it was the little things she said to me and did that questioned how much of a friend she really is:

  • My first boyfriend broke up with me and she confessed later that she found him very cute and fancied him when she first started but saw he was with me and decided to stay away.
  • I told her that I fancy this guy in confidence and she went out to ask him out for me but ended up “accidentally” asking him out for herself.
  • We were supposed to be in a group for our final drama performance and she was telling me how she is extremely reluctant to work with this guy in our group. The day came when the drama teacher asked us to form our groups and I looked like a right idiot sitting there by myself when she moved to another group. She didn’t tell me anything about moving but she casually apologised a week later (like that makes it okay) *
  • I joked about her looking like one of the traffic lights when she wore a red dress to prom and she was sat next to two other people wearing orange and green (one of which was actually me). She didn’t like that and snubbed our table to hang out with other people for the rest of the event.
  • She moved to the Sixth Form college I went to and again (she did it twice!) hanged out with my friendship group I was in and acted like I was being distant. (I ended up leaving that friendship group after they all showed their true colours).
  • I invited her to my 18th birthday party, she sang me a song and at the end of the evening, she didn’t thank me and I haven’t heard from her since.

I know that when I had started having bad vibes about her that I should have walked away much sooner and not welcomed her as my friend. But seriously, if I had just walked away I would have been the one seen as bitchy and I didn’t want that. Also, I know that being an angsty teenager I tend to have bad days and so I thought maybe I was just reflecting my problems on her (my sister also admitted she got that vibe about her when I told her about this post) but I just had a gut feeling that I am right. This experience taught me to be cautious of people who claim to be my “friend” because sometimes their intentions are not real.

*I will post a follow-up story to explain more about this drama project and my ex-friend.