My Brave Heart


I am taking it all in. I am trying to make everything count just in case I never manage to go back. Every wave, every smile, every simple conversation, every quick joke thrown here and there, all are enjoyed, all are cherished. I don’t know when I will get the opportunity to do these again. With them. Here. Maybe soon. Maybe later. Maybe never.

The decision did not come easy. It was a series of long tossing and turning in bed, of writing in my journal, of seeking counsel, of meditating, of praying. When I made the decision, I did not feel happy. I felt scared and very sad. How can I do this? How can I just walk away from something so beautiful? How can I ever think of leaving?

I have no answers. Even now, when it is almost here, I am still battling with the self. I am so scared. Only a stupid person will do this, I say. But I guess being scared is good. Being scared means another opportunity to know the capacity of the self, to befriend the self, to take the self by the hand, to walk through it with the self until everything becomes alright.

I know I have been in this situation many times. Leaving. Sometimes I think there is something wrong with the self. Most of the time I think there is. Why can’t I just stay, be still, grow roots, settle? It will make my life easier once and for all.

But I know I will be doing a disservice to the self.

I cannot discount the voice within. The one that is saying just close your eyes and jump.

And all the time I am led. I always believe. I always follow that tiny voice in my head saying, “Get up. Come. Let’s start a new adventure.”

I am one emotional mess right now. There has been a permanent block in my throat the past few days. Everything makes my eyes well. I love this place, God, I love everything in this place. The birds in the morning, the many faces of the lake, the perfect weather, and the unbelievable kindness of people. What else am I looking for?

I don’t know.

Everywhere I look is begging me to stay. Heck, even the animal towels I always find shaped on my bed. I know I would also want to stay. The tears won’t be there if it is not very painful. I am breaking my own heart.

But I am one crazy person.

Because just when the roots are beginning to dig deep and anchor themselves to the earth, I surprised it by uprooting it and subjecting it to blinding brightness again.

I am trying to be brave to leave everything and walk away.

For what? I don’t know.

To where? To wherever life leads me.

I am so scared.

But I am ready.

Good Morning!


Today it was at 6:18 AM.

My morning started at 6:18 AM. No triggers, no annoying alarm clock, no noise pollution from outside, it was all natural. And I still dreaded it. The first thought that came to my mind when I realized I am awake was NO! But at the same time I was also secretly congratulating the self for being such an obedient student.

Waking up early is not easy, I realized, especially when I am still totally at a loss on what to do. I got used to scrambling out of bed and hitting the shower just to make it in time for my self-declared office hours. No extra time to think if I will have coffee, tea or hot chocolate. No time to wonder if I will turn on the TV to watch the news or get my Kindle and read a few pages. My schedule in the morning was very straightforward. Get out of bed, take a shower then go!

Now, with this extra time, I am twiddling my thumb.

I decided to laze around the bed for an extra 45 minutes (I can afford it!). And no, I am not cheating, I am awake! I was trying to make sense of this new schedule that I am putting myself into. I can actually just go back to my original schedule until inspiration strikes and gives me a definite plan with my morning. But I know that’s stupid. And honestly, even if I don’t want to admit it, I am kind of enjoying the quietness and slowness of my morning (though it has only been two days). It is stressful to think of what to do but at the same time exciting that after I get all this figured out, I will have more time to do something productive.

I was trying to avoid technology the first few minutes I got out of the bed except for checking my phones which is actually more out of a necessity than a mindless habit. It’s work. I have to be updated on what happened to the workplace while I was sleeping (and of course to also check if *he* left messages while I was sleeping *swoons*).

I saw the lappy. I said no. I want to be mindful of my morning and not spoil it with the worldwide web. As I was waiting for the water to boil for my tea, I opened the window and sat down on my bed. Gad, it is difficult. What to do? The mind cannot relax. I know meditation is the only answer and I have been trying but the mind is still all over the place.

I gave up. I opened the lappy and started typing on a blank page. Thank gad my internet here is as slow as a turtle most of the time that it is better to quit trying to be connected than be frustrated or else I will just be mindlessly surfing giving myself an unhealthy dose of information overload.

As of the moment, this is the only sensible thing I can think of for my morning, write.

And it is actually not a bad idea.

I may not be looking forward to early mornings for the next couple of days or weeks or months but I know somehow I will be producing something tangible and worthwhile (for the self) than just beating myself on why I did get out of that lovely, warm bed.

Because Champions Wake Up Early!


Finally! After several days of failed attempt of rising early, I was able to beat my alarm clock which is supposed to rouse me at 6:30 AM. Yes, 6:30 AM! I have been such a spoiled brat lately and have been waking up at 8 AM or 9 AM because my workplace is literally just outside my door.

But after stumbling through an article of Laura Vanderkam on What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast (you can also read a gist of that here), I told myself let’s give this a try. I bought her ebook and then some in Kindle and started making plans on how I can beat the morning and do more.

My usual schedule is rise at 8 (or 9, whichever feels more appropriate… I know you’re jealous), check my phones for messages with eyes still half open, try to get myself out of the bed, grab the towels, and then take a shower. I am good after a shower. I dress up, grab my stuff and is off the door. If I feel like it, I eat breakfast in any of the restaurants here or I ask for an office service (think room service… did I say I am spoiled?). Then I try to catch up on the schedule of the day, check my emails, and then work… sometimes until 10 PM. See! I deserve those late mornings.

But yeah, I am crazy and I always challenge myself. This time I wanted to beat the self and develop a new habit. I was unsuccessful the past few days. I was cursing the alarm when it goes off at 6:30 AM. I passionately ignored it and found myself waking up even later! 9:05 AM? 9:10 AM? Not good!

But I  never gave up. I still kept it at 6:30 AM since I decided the change. And today I was victorious. Hooray! *throws confetti*

So what do I plan to do with my early mornings? Well, that’s where I get stuck. Having so used to the earlier schedule, I am at a loss on what to do with the extra time. When I woke up today, I was still arguing with the self if I will snooze or just give it a try for gad’s sake. I let the superego win (only this time… I was telling it) and decided to steep some tea, something I cannot do on a regular basis in my mornings as I was always rushing to get out of the room because I am starving!

Now, the stomach is still not on alert mode.

And then I decided to blog. I find such pure, sheer joy when I write. It makes my heart sing. That’s the correct description. I am not good at it (yet) but I hope I will be. And did I say I want to challenge myself all the time? This November, I plan to do a blog post per day. Now, that’s a challenge. I know NaBloWriMo starts on October and NaNoWriMo on November (Heck… I actually just checked. I thought they both start on the same day… darn…) but who cares, I set my rules. Gulp.

Looking at how busy my first 2 or 3 weeks of November will be, I am so brave to pose this challenge to the self. But yeah, let’s bring it on.

So mornings, starting now (or as much as I can push*scold*guilt-trip*motivate myself) that’s the plan, steep some tea or any possible warm drink I have in store (it is so freaking cold here… another reason to stay in bed longer), meditate, write, smile and then do the daily grind.

Care to join me?

Bunga Sedap Malam


I was wondering where the scent was coming from when I sat on the chair. And then I saw this. It is like our sampaguita except that it has a more powerful and lingering smell. I asked for its name. Bunga Sedap Malam. In Indonesia, Bunga means flower. Sedap means good. Malam means night. You get the picture? They told me this is a night flower. A flower for the ghost.

So what is it doing on my table?!

My guess is as good as yours. Because it is lovely ghosts or no ghosts.