Sunday, 22 April 2012

Ask and you shall receive

I don't like it when it pours. Spring in the UK has been lambasted by all sorts of April showers (snow up north, rain and hail down south). It doesn't help productivity levels at all and there's a need to concentrate just to concentrate.

The weather's been a tad too grim/uncooperative and this week was just particularly crap. My patience bordered on zero. Travel's been such a nightmare (lightning stuck rail networks, visa issues, traffic, etc) and I was late most of the time. My room, supposedly my spot of serious zen, felt like home to a doughnut glazed with laziness: laundry bin needed about three round trips to the machine, pantry screamed for a restock, wardrobe had to be emptied to a second charity pile, lamp bulb needed to be replaced. I ordered in/ate out despite swearing to cook at least five days out of seven. I gave up on my 'lunch break personal to-do/errands list' as it seemed to pour whenever I decided to pop out the office. I've also put off replying to emails, talking to mates (when I promised I would) and writing for reflection. Nothing went according to plan.

Friday was the last straw. I went out for long overdue dinner and drinks with friends and although it was a really pleasant evening I couldn't shake off the nagging wetness of my soaked toes and my screaming ruined bootsies as it poured so badly on my way to the bar.

I came home feeling defeated, miserable and a bit ungrateful. I mean it wasn't that bad but I couldn't help but feel robotic, how I was not in the mood to do/say/think about anything other than work. Things felt weird and I didn't like what I was becoming (a little apathetic, a tad too miserable, a lot bitchy). I just really felt like shutting down. I prayed for things to change that night - for the sun to shine again or, if not, for a little bit of strength to waiver through the rain.

And on two consecutive days I woke up to this....

I remembered this song by Enation (fronted by Jonathan Jackson of GH & Camp Nowhere fame). Some of you may recognise if you watch One Tree Hill, because Bethany Joy Galeotti Lenz's version is actually the more popular one. It's not a Christian song, but I couldn't help but feel so grateful to be moved by faith and by the power of prayer.

See the more I sing this song, the more I feel your love fall down on me
And in the darkness I am found - found with your love surrounding me
Feel this, can you feel this? My heartbeat out of my chest
Feel this, can you feel this? Salvation under my breath.

Redemption has sprung. Thank You.

EDIT: Funny. As I finish typing this, rain starts pouring out my window again. But I am unnerved. Because I will always feel saved. =)

EDIT, EDIT: Rain has stopped. =)

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

People who inspire: Nana Tela

Nana Tela & my month-old sister
Some people are fortunate enough to get to know their grandparents. I was ultimately blessed to be able to grow up knowing my great-grandmother.

She slept with me in my room until I hit adolescence (perhaps her presence was such an impact as I started having sleep trouble when I moved to a room upstairs). She was a healer: she'd sort out my sore muscles after street dance training, massage my brother's belly when he's had too much to eat, take care of my cousin J when he was feverish, sing to my sister when she was a baby so she can be calm whilst being bathed. My sibs, Jay and I were all lucky.

She would her smoke cigars and cigarettes in the laundry area at the back of the house, staring off to space. When I'd catch her there I couldn't help but stare for a while. I'd wonder what she was thinking or what she could see when she looks out into the empty lots and the empty streets. She would talk about living through the Spanish, the Japanese and the American era. Was she reliving memories from that period?

She was an old lady but she was feisty. I knew so much about her from her stories, yet I never knew how she looked like when she was younger. Nor how she met my great-grandpa. Nor how she felt when she found out my grandmother was moving to England. I never bothered asking as I always thought there'd be enough time to explore her life, just like when you always put off visiting tourist spots when you live in a city. You think there'd be enough time as they're permanent fixtures anyway. We had a running joke that when she hit 100 we'd give her a yellow-polka-dot bikini, like the song. I always thought she'd hit the mark and go further.

She passed away about two-three years ago when I was here and like any death in the family, I felt crippled for a while. This was the woman who gave me a sense of being. She knew every nook, corner and curve of my body. She knew who I was even before I did. She loved me unconditionally and she told me so every single day without fail, even when her health deteriorated, even when I moved rooms. I only wish I told her the same.

She would have been 100 today. I miss her a lot.

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Happy Easter, indeed.

After a sunny end to March, this week was spritzed with April showers. Along with dark clouds, a bizarre funk seemed to have crept by. I'll spare you the unnecessary drama because end of the day what matters most is all the learning through the people you keep. Nonetheless, this Easter truly felt like a rebirth of all sorts...

 This week, I said goodbye. Ironically most farewells do not fare as well as one would hope but I still believe that in the greater scheme of things, we are always where we need to be. You just need time to understand and accept that. At the same time you have to move - forward, always forward.

 This week, I said hello to an old new friend. Funny how I find myself again and again in snippets of our conversations despite being too similar at times. We have our differences too,  though (and a misunderstanding that may have costed our friendship). I've learned heaps from this person and I'm blessed, just like everyone else who's found someone they can have close and honest friendships with.

 This week, I spent more time with my girl friends. We've grown so much from the little girls who dealt with petty, catty, superficial things. Maturity may have come along, but it doesn't mean we do not have space for error. I suppose with girl friends it's okay to let bonds break every now and then. Because it always gets better when we pick up the pieces together. It's like devouring a hundred cupcakes sans guilt.

 This week, I had my first snap of rejection and it wasn't pleasant. But some friends helped see me through it and I feel a) grateful to have these kids who are logical yet sympathetic and b) humbled. As with any sort of failure, you dust yourself off and pray you do better next time around.

 This week, it hit me. There's someone. And so far it's been pretty great. Happy.

 This week I remembered that He has plans and that I also have a sense of accountability.

 This week, I needed the family. I've tried ringing them for the past few days but they've been so busy so I just resigned to texting them Holy Week and Easter greetings. My mom eventually sent me a text saying they've all gone to Region 2 for the holidays. And that they've missed me and wanted to see me. They also played a prank! Mom said we've adopted a four-month old beaut and they made me believe it was a human baby, turns out we have a new dog called Ted! Nutters, but I love them all. Is there a better way to end the Holy Week and to start afresh than spending time with your fam bam, friends and loved ones?
My parents goofing around with sticky notes (that is not my mother's cleavage btw) // New pup Ted & Old boy Rob //
My sister & my niece and our 'group hug' // My niece hitting me up on FB chat shortly after

I hope we've all taken some time to reflect this week. If you've not, go try and be amazed when you realise how blessed you are, in more ways than one.

Happy Easter, kids.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Mixed Tape Series: Lenny Kravitz - Heaven Help

HIM: Your BBM update creeps me out, you've listened to that song 10 times.. OMG. Does that mean....? 
HER: Indeed. I'm ready for something spectacular.

HIM: Are you serious? No. Haha! You don't do serious. Look me in the eye and tell me you are. 
HER: No, seriously. I am serious. *stares* I. AM. 100%. SERIOUS.
HIM: Oh. I can't believe this is coming from you. But you're the girl nobody can hold down! Shit, I have a word for that: 'right age'
HER: Dude. Two words yun e.
HIM: Oh darn.
HER: Yeah. Well you're probably right. I'm done with little nothings because wahey, I'm mature now! Bring on the trumpets. *runs around*
HIM: Wow, that's mature. Then again maybe it's not actually right age you know.
HER: Hmmm?
HIM: Maybe you just found the right guy.
He asks why.

The reasons sweep my veins like a wildfire, setting my temperature to an all time high. They float around in my head like fish caught in a trap, wanting to jump out back to the surf. I am almost ready to explode. But I don't talk. Because sometimes the explanations can be unnerving and are too trivial to matter.

There's a difference between feeling and knowing.