The Morning After

St Mary's church, dubai As the priest walks down the aisle blessing the parishioners with holy water on that fine Easter Sunday morning mass, heads were bowed down in reverence and joy of the feeling that they’ve reached the day – He has risen! I sat in church for a good hour and a half waiting for some divine intervention to cure me of whatever it is that was bugging me (let’s minus the children crying and the few special people who could never switch off their phones in church). Prayer after prayer with eyes closed hoping the lyrics of the hymn could seep into my head and take me away in some Tumblr picturesque scene, I gave up. After several eye closing, forced silence and perhaps some eye rolling through mass, I was on my knees after receiving Holy Communion. The host melting on my tongue made me think where the wafer came from, the texture was different this time. I’ve always been an externally jumpy kid with a very a serious train of thought; when a school snob would tell me to get lost, she had another thing coming. I was way ahead of her. Lost in my head, lost in my thoughts and that day, I also lost my heart. insert cheesy soundtrack It all happened so easily, you know, like a thief in the night stealing your mobile phone. I don’t know where that example came from. Easter for the non-Catholic readers is the day Jesus resurrected from the dead. It’s a big thing in the Catholic world, almost bigger than Christmas. There is a forty day fast prior to this whole thing; letting go of all forms of sex, alcohol, good (naughty) food, smoking, cussing and all the obvious bad stuff. Okay fine, noted. Then there’s a tricky bit here where you’re successfully surviving your fast however fourteen days in, I noticed there is this internal warfare of the mind and spirit.

“I want to but I can’t. But I actually can but I shouldn’t. But who would know? You would know and God too!”

So you kick yourself around some more for a week and notice the weakened determination / resilience towards your environment. Finding yourself cussing about like a sailor and popping a few candies and some crime scenes repeated in the mind due to typical office politics. Surrounded by ultra holy friends and the ones that openly admit they’re dunce about the fasting process so why bother? You kind of melt back into yourself ashamed you gave in and confused what to do next because well, you messed up. This fasting business is a sham! You get hurt and it makes you all soft inside. It’s not in this destructive way where it scrapes you inside out but rather it makes you fall apart. Stripped bare for all vulnerabilities and insecurities to see you for who you really are. A colleague living close to my place asked if I’d like to come to mass with her last year, afraid she’d try to convert me but I went with it anyway. She did, I never told her this. We came and sat separately that day and as the priest began to pray, I heard a familiar surname offered for the mass. It was for her mom, she passed away. That day, my colleague became a friend. I go with her every year since. Two years ago I prayed I could get a car so I don’t have to worry about going to church every week (the church is in the middle of a desert with no lights and no proper roads). My shiny wish was granted – now every week I always wanted to offer a lift to the people who walked back and forth from the long unlit road just to attend mass. I always end up watching them walk by, a few weeks ago I changed my mind and mustered the courage to ask. Rolling my windows down to offer a ride and asking the two ladies whereabouts I could drop them to, I find out they lived in the apartment below mine. I was told the words “I Love You” is hard to come out of my lips; it apparently takes a lot out of me. It does, it really does. An old friend and I had this thing; we’d talk every week continents apart without fail, we’d talk for hours about our day and our lives. He’d always call first. He’d always check up. He’d say, “I miss you”. He’d say, “Have a great day”. I’d say my infamous, “Thanks, goodnight from Dubai”. One day he woke up with an epiphany and realized what he had to do in life. I pause and silently type back “I love you and you’ll be fine”. Response – “I love you too, Party. I mean, Patty. But I love party too.” My friend is an idiot and he cracks me up every single time. If you’ve reached this part of my blog then you’ve realized the importance of time in this whole fasting process. Easter asks us of forty days, I took about seven hundred thirty to get to where I am. In the sermon, the priest brought us back to the tomb of Jesus where they found the large stone rolled away and his body missing. The tomb symbolized our caves of denial, insecurities and personal burdens; we hide in them and sometimes we become them. The rolling of the stone is the unblocking of all that is hidden and bringing it to light. The sun in its initial effect burns and blinds us temporarily because we played in the dark too long. We get aired out to dry, its awkward but you get used to it. Time is a funny thing. They say it takes time to forgive those who hurt you and as I listed out all the people and incidents in my head whilst the painted glass windows blinded me with its beautiful colors, I find my heart in my mouth after all this while. Forgive me for I have sinned, it’s been awhile but I promise I’ll keep trying. For now, belated Happy Easter, friends.


Acclaimed Hipster

This is the time of the year when the time of the month reaches to that time of the day (…took so long) that it became night –  all I want to do is sit down and look at the screen and type one very long line of nothing but this.

See how long it took me to describe “this”.

Late at night is the time I think the most; the first parts of the day, I’m simply awake and wondering.

If people could pay me for something, let it be known that I’m great for thinking or maybe wondering or both.

Highly inspired by Youtube playlists, Facebook messages, non porno Snapchats, Elitedaily articles and random tweets.

Social addict? Perhaps. The social media has psyched me to believe I’m irritant to people, most people.

So into “this” that I describe myself like the “about me” section of those whatchumacallits? Infused and overflowing of proverbial cryptic lines supported by indie song lyrics.

The crop top and high waist shorts are my go-to “OOTD”; comments say I have an unbelievable flat tummy. Cigaro? I’m too cool.

Starbucks is too basic for me; I only do underground back door events sent through Facebook invites and hearsay from some guy I know.

Wine trumps beer. End of story, bro or sis or BFF.

I like to be in the background, like the falling leaves and city lights captured at night posted on my instagram.

Expect the “Goodmorning beautiful people!” status accompanied by a Hefe filter.

#sad #deep #depth #thinking when using Inkwell and Willow

#oldies #vintage #goodtimes with Valencia

#morning #selfie on an Earlybird shot

I love my life and I love my friends, my family loves me too. I can’t live without them.

They are me and I am them.

Connected and bound together by such overwhelming feelings –

I can’t resist but post a tribute to them all.

I’m lost and I’m discovering myself.

*insert quotes from Syliva Plath, Girls TV series and John Green*

It’s almost 1am…

That moment when the laptop screen is your only light besides a scented candle lit in the room.

#life #love #yolo

Shake, Rattle and Roll

It’s that time of the year again – the sweaters come out of our closets, those breezy coffee breaks and the wistful mood is in the air. I try my best to be a prayerful person, by “best” I mean I try to make it a point to talk to the big man up there on a regular basis. Drivers must think I’m quite a crackhead from their cars as they watch me talk normally to myself. My life is an oxymoron.

As a born and raised Catholic; I was taught the value of connection from an early age, to find it and build it. No lie, week after week and month after month, I’ve attended mass diligently but today I noticed how stale my attempts have become. I would enter church, make the sign of the cross, say the prayers, listen to the sermon, take the eucharist, pray and then make the sign of the cross again. Done, done and done! It’s quite an easy process to do and it makes you feel good to be at His house and feel His presence.

Today, I laughed at myself. So somewhere between the above ritual mentioned, there’s a part where you wish peace unto others around you with hands clasped. I’ve been doing this every mass I’ve attended this year, heck! I’ve been doing this all my life! Whilst the choir sang their tune and the priest wishes us peace, we turned to the people around us wishing them peace as well. As did I, said one to the front, one to the left and the right but when I turned to my back, there was a lady in her classy beige coat who took more than my wish and stretched her hand out and said “peace be with you too”. It’s been awhile since someone has shook my hand and it occurred to me that I’ve lost my sense of grip. It was a matter of seconds but the touch of her soft warm hands and her sincere eyes caught me off guard. Yes, off guard. I have been doing this all wrong for awhile it seems.

Shame on me.

In my emptiness and yearning for His message to come to me as I prayed in church, my focus was on Him and only Him. That man on the cross, that guy up there and that spirit. It’s blasphemous to even speak of the Holy Trinity this way but as I rewind that moment at church over and over in my head, it’s quite an epic fail to think of your holiness to be so perfect and yet so flawed in its ways.

As we constantly seek his attention in our day, in our prayers and in our ways, everything else around us blurs away. I guess we have churches and places of prayer to go not just for ourselves but for everyone to be one with Him and experience his love from each other. Perhaps his invisibility (a physical sense) in such places brings about a transparency upon us; we’re on our knees and our eyes closed with prayer but maybe our prayers can be strengthened by the people around us in prayer too. To see them seek God, helps us seek God. To see their love, helps us see His love.

Our hearts go all out to Him night after night before we sleep, praying silently about our burdens and thoughts. Sometimes we tend to forget to open our eyes and get up on our knees to stand again; we blanket our prayers only for Him to hear and lose that human connection. It’s that you and me against the world feeling.

Tonight, practice to pray with your eyes and hearts open. Practice to accept and share the love and prayers to those around you. It’s like a double layer effect; I share with you and you share with me then up it goes up to Him louder, clearer and hopefully more whole. I think prayer doesn’t require you to beg and cry but rather teaches us to find, to build and to grow with faith. With this we’ll learn to stand and walk in faith.

Peace be with you.