It’s already February. But it has become a habit to write a note of goodbye to the year that was in this little space of mine. I know that a lot of people have posted welcome entries, but one of the things that 2017 taught me is that I can go by my own pace. There are races to run, but maybe blogging or writing aren’t things meant to be rushed.
I went through journals, instagram posts, prayers, highs and lows, just to fully digest how 2017 was for me. I did not try instagram’s best nine though, I know that it will just show my most liked art journal entries but not really the significant events that happened. So if I were to truly choose nine posts, this would be it.
I. “Your art will continue to bring praises to the Lord. Always use it for His glory!” ❤
Art is a two-way street. We write, paint, or perform to express ourselves but not for our own glory, but for His; to the Creator himself. Just like what Ms. Carla said yesterday, “Kahit isa lang magbasa. Okay lang kahit si Jesus lang ang magbasa.” I’ve learned over the years that the praises people say is just an added bonus. But that doesn’t mean we appreciate it any less. Art is a two-way street. Sometimes you inspire people create, sometimes the people inspire you to keep on creating. We keep each other afloat in a sea of doubts. Art is a two-way street. May this way leads us closer and closer to him.
II. For the waves. “Ready. Stronger leg. Push up. Stand. And then, balance!” Five simple words that were supposed to get me through this lesson. But 15 minutes after and all I can think of was the lyrics to the songs we sing, the words of poetry etched in our hearts, and the metaphors that symbolizes the waves. What they contain were all true. Sinking Deep, In Over My Head, Oceans. You never realize its depth until you experience it in your life. Drowning, breathing, the waves hitting you over and over again just like the pain or the memories that were too much for you to contain. Because they say saltwater can be a cure, you brace yourself for each impact. Only to realize that you’re not ready for it yet. For now, I find my comfort on the shore. But I shall learn to swim, then face the waves once again. Ready. Stronger leg (and heart). Push up. Stand. And then balance.
III. For the companions. There were no grand gestures. There were a loooot of time to sleep and short instagram breaks. But deep friendship seeped in through the laughter despite the ache, the vulnerability of conversations when you share both your hopes and fears. These were the simple things that matter in the end. I took this photo before we left and thought that the truest of true friends can be a lighthouse and map to you. Someone who will make sure that you do not get lost in wandering through the sea, someone who sheds light in your darkest nights, someone who helps you in finding the right direction and way through life.
IV. For the place. We stayed for three days, but it felt like we were there for a week. Time works differently here. There’s no rush. No wonder why people have chosen to live here. We have found ourselves a healing place. A home away from home. And this is a promise as well for the genuine connections we call friends: I will always be your stego.
V. There’s a rush contained in the words “move on”. It’s like, scoot over. Quickly. Quickly you must do it. I like what my friend told me, and there were a lot of times that I keep on repeating these words: BE BETTER. BE BETTER. It’s another story. It’s like: feel the pain. Befriend it. Know it. And then take a step. No matter how small it is.
VI. Dear February, we are always three days short (oh, except on leap years). There were still days when I feel listless or without the desire to get up from bed (umm…just like today because mah fave month is ending). But thank you for letting me bank a lot of good days. I hate to turn the calendar over, but we must keep moving. Three days short but He has given me more than I expect for. Two places that I can call home. And safe places that I could turn too. May we stay filled up for the remaining days.
VII. Runner. Conquered 16K last week, but I don’t know if I fit into that category. Maybe not just yet. My friend was wondering, and I asked the same question to myself, why am I running? Why am I joining these races? I’m nowhere near being a sporty girl. I disliked P.E. until college. It takes more than 100% willpower to workout and exercise. Physical activities aren’t my cup of tea. There goes reason number one: running makes me conquer myself. I am learning not to mind the pace of other people and be more focused on improving my own. One step at a time.
VIII. Self-love. There are times when you have to choose yourself, not out of selfishness but out of wanting to become a better person. Self-love can be self-care — giving yourself enough space to grow and breathe, or just be.
IX. The caption was supposed to be about walking on water…but my lungs are thankful that it can breathe a little better now. As the song goes…not swallowed in the sea.
I spilled so much of my thoughts in my captions during the first half of 2017. It was my way of coping with the pain I’ve felt during that time. There were a lot of messy times, but redemption came through. In this process, I have learned to love myself — not the selfish kind, but in a healthy way. His constant presence allowed me to heal.
Every time I look back at the start of the 2017, it feels like it happened a long time ago. The months seem to have stretched so far from one another. There were countless transitions, changes, and shared moments with people who are close to me. This year meant so much more than what I can put into words.
Behind the artworks were struggles with pain, doubt, anger, bitterness, and envy. The people who held me when I can’t barely put my own pieces back together know the true battles I’ve put up with (and for that I am eternally grateful for them). A lot of baggage were shed and I have learned to finally let go. Forgiveness, clarity, peace, and joy came. I jumped from one season to the next. No, it wasn’t easy. Yes, I was scared. But sometimes freedom comes when you give yourself the permission to leave.
Right now I’m glad that this year taught me how to be alone without being lonely. This was the year I came in broken, but I’m coming out whole. Scarred, but whole.