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In another life

Living in your 20s is all about the fun, adventure and independence.

Big city, career ladder to climbed, endless on-the-go iced coffees, meeting new faces that sometimes you even don’t remember their names.

Sometimes, after a very long day. I lay down in my bed, think and be alone with my thoughts..like right now. I just realized how damn lucky I am.

Thinking one day, if the universe allows. I’ll be able to see the version of myself-old and gray.

Looking into myself and remembering all the adventures and how many versions of me that I was able to lived.

One thing for sure, once that day happened. I will be able to tell myself that I lived the life I chose.

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Friends

Let me ask you, how many friends you gained and lost during this lifetime?

This is my story. My cousins and I grew up together, we did everything together. Childhood was awesome and will always be my favorite memory. We shared dreams as if the world will just simply hand it to us. We were so naive until we became adults.

We went into our separate ways, had different set of friends, became busy finishing school and chasing our own life. One got married early, one just simply disappeared to avoid the gossips in our neighborhood because she got into a relationship with a married man, one is going through a divorce, one is blessed with harmonious family and there is me became busy chasing after my goals.

Indeed, each of our life is colorful. You know what the funny thing is, the love we have for each other is still there. We knew what happened to each other but the lost ones, we accepted them without judgements. We do life together. We are each other’s home that no matter what life throws at we know exactly in our hearts that there will always be people who will accept, love and help you to get back into your feet.

I guess that is love. When you love someone, no if’s, no but’s, no past mistakes will tarnish what you have for them. This is so cliche and cheesy but I found my treasures in life. Friends and cousins in one. I am more brave and confident to go through life because of these people.

I lost and gained friendships through this lifetime but one constant will always be my cousins.

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Hi, I’m Hana.

And I’m trying to live my authentic life by knowing who truly am I and finding my purpose.

When we were born our beliefs, morals, traditions, perception of what is wrong and right were greatly influenced by people surrounding us and environment we grew up in. As a baby who can’t think for themselves we are already consumed by the teachings that passed down to us from generations to generations. And if you’re like me who labeled themselves as different among the family. Breaking chains, trying to take a different path will not be so easy.

As an adult, we can now decide and think for our own good because we have now our freewill. There are moments that I am still questioning, if the choices I made before and the beliefs I believed into is because that is what I truly believed and wanted to or is it just because it is heavily influenced by the beliefs that were passed down on me?

So with that question replaying in my head, I set myself into the journey of unlearning the things, beliefs and values I learned before and keep what make sense to me. This is one of the most liberating moment for me. I am still trying to figure it out and learning of what I truly wanted. All I know is life is too short not to live our authentic self.

I want to live my life full of ‘I am so glad I did that!’ rather than ‘what ifs’. I want to take all my chances, live every season of life, fully embracing myself in every stages of life. There is so much more to life and it took me a lot of time before I truly understand the meaning of it. May we all find our purpose.

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Falling in love

Falling in love can be also about places. One thing for sure is that I don’t know where I’m gonna be in the next 5 years. So, I learned how to live my life in the moment.

Over the course of years, I have this love-hate relationship with this country but I’m so grateful for the opportunity to know and experience Japan.

A lot of people thinks Japan is all about cherry blossoms, matcha and sushi. However, it’s more than that…

It can be so deep it makes you feel like your drowning. Life is so raw that sometimes you even forget how to laugh and smile. And at the end of the day, silence can be your only friend.

But at the same time, you appreciate silence when the world is tiring. You love how raw life can be cause you learned how to stand up at your own feet. And lastly, you understand happiness is a proactive choice and you will define it on your own.

It’s like falling in love with a person. Sometimes, we hate their flaws but we accept it because we love them. For the last 5 years, I didn’t realized how attached I become with this country. Now, I know that I will be always torn between two lands. Japan is home. Philippines is home.

Hakone, Japan
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The hardest part of living in Japan

It’s almost 4 years now since I moved to Japan and this year is nothing but amazing. I was able to got home in Philippines last month for two weeks, my friends visited me here in Japan and it is their first time to travel abroad. It’s just March of 2019 and I can already say that this is gonna the best year ever. 2018 was really dramatic for me, depression, anxieties because of all the calamities happened in here that I had to face alone. But thank God I can say all the tears I cried was all worth it cause I am at my happiest right now.

Living and working in Japan for a quite while now, everything got so much better because I got used to the life I have right now. I built routines, met new people, more settled and got more matured at handling my life. There will always be mistakes and stupidity it’s part of life.

Being away from all your love ones is the hardest part, missing out important occasions like birthdays, weddings, Christmas, New Years and not to mention holidays that you always celebrate alone. Friends you want to see and hang out with were thousand miles away from you. Sure, I met new people and made some new friends but you know, you’re ‘go-to people’ ‘homecourt friends’ will always be different. They get you, the real you, you get each others humor that nobody else will understand but them.

I wrote this to give highlight to my friends who kept in touch for the last four years and made an effort to stay in my life even though I am already thousand miles away from them. It means a lot. I consider myself lucky and blessed enough to have people in my life that is so supportive that I can turn into when life is kinda overwhelming. They keep me grounded and reminds me of who I was before I came here. Life in Japan can be tiring sometimes and it is important to not lose yourself while living in this fast-paced life.

‘Keep swimming’

xoxo

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24. soon.

Every time it is year-ending I can’t help but to feel sentimental cause it means I am one year older again and it makes me reflect what the whole year has brought me. I am going to be 24 soon, mid twenties is coming and I don’t know what to feel. I admit I felt the pressure at first when everyone around me is either getting engaged or having babies. My facebook timeline is full of people found ‘the one’, someone to share their lives with and friends asking me to be their babies Godmother.

I was afraid to be alone. I was terrified to live this life alone and no one to share it with. I was hopeless romantic always searching for the one great love. Until I realized, it is way more scarier to get married with the wrong person just because you don’t want to be alone. I decided to change my perspective. I am living independently for almost 2 years now. I can completely do this life alone. I underestimate what I can do just because I relay my happiness with looking for someone until I realized nobody can make me happy except me.

23. 24 soon and finally I can say I am now emotionally independent. I am taking my time to know myself and I am not pressured anymore that I am alone because so what? I love my life. I am embracing this life alone the good and the bad and actually enjoying it. I am not bothered anymore if no one is out there for me because for me I am already enough for myself. This isn’t easy journey a lot of trial and error but you know what it’s all about mindset and perspective. Love yourself hard and when that love is full that’s the time to share it with someone else. As of now, I am contented with where I am and happy. I never felt this peace in my entire life. If someone is gonna be out there for me in the future, I will think of it just a bonus from above.

Braver 2019! Let’s go!

xoxo

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An Open Letter to Myself

Dear Self,

Lately I know you feel so disconnected with everything that’s going on with your life. Everything is just going down the hill  and you’re getting tired of keeping up with this strong facade. Then it hits you, drowning with your thoughts again..

You have to stop expecting people to give love and happiness to you. You owe it all to yourself because the only person who can give you all of those is no one but you. Nobody is responsible to make you happy. Only you, remember that. Love yourself so much that no one will ever dare to hurt you again. Self-love is never a selfish act. It’s about time to give all the love you are giving to people who are not worthy back to yourself. This is way long overdue. It’s about time to see your own worth.

I know nobody will understand your decisions when all you are trying to do is save yourself. You already gave so much. They will look for you once you stop doing things you usually do for them but don’t get swayed by half-baked efforts. You are worthy of all the love, effort and attention. Remember that. You are brave and strong. I know you will make it, like you always do.

Sincerely,

Self

xoxo

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Conquering Mt. Fuji

Summer time in Japan means climbing season for Mt. Fuji. I was caught in the middle of my life so stressed, depressed and unmotivated to do anything, so I decided to book a tour to climb Mt. Fuji last minute, it was a spontaneous trip with my friends who also just want to get away with the routine of life.

I took overnight bus from Osaka to Tokyo where the meeting place is. I was part of a tour with other tourist from all different parts of the world. Our tour guide explain to us the guidelines while climbing the mountain and they said we are very lucky cause the weather at the mountain is perfect cause the typhoon just passed by the other day.

11:30AM. Our tour bus took us directly to station 5 where the climb will start and we have to climb until station 10, sounds easy? No. Station 6 is okay but station 7 until 8 is very rocky and stiff, I suggest rent trekking pole it will save your ass from sliding, falling and it will give your more stability while climbing or walking.

6:00PM. When we reached station 8 where we will stay overnight, have dinner and rest before we reached the summit. That’s the only time I somehow properly wash my face, used bathroom and clean myself a bit cause I still can’t take a shower. They offer post cards which is exclusive only at the mountain where you can send to your loved ones or yourself.

1:45AM. The most difficult part for me climbing at dawn with 4-5km/hr wind and 5 degrees weather. The way to the summit is very stiff and dark it took us 2 hours before we entirely reached the summit.

4:15AM. The most rewarding part waiting for the sunrise! As the sky clears and you can see all the clouds beneath looking so soft and fluffy that I actually want to dive in feels so unreal. Then, me watching the sunrise at the summit of Mt. Fuji I just can’t think of anything. It might sound so cliche but as I watch it, everyday is literally and figuratively a brand new day!

That moment in my life will definitely be one of the books and I will always look back at when I’m so tired with my life. Imagine everyday the sun rises for all of us and me as a night person personally watching it, I never knew how amazing it can be! It feels like magic and surreal. I felt completely happy, high, positive and energized after I witnessed it. There are no words and adjective to describe how great it was.

xoxo

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How to Love Strong Independent Woman

For years she build herself up, spends day and night to really know herself, took countless of downfall before she finally accepted and love herself-all the good and bad. She value her solitude more than anything that’s why it’s tough to crack her wall. You’re so lucky to love by a woman who value herself.

1.She doesn’t need you. She wants you.

Bad day at work? She knows how to make herself happy-a jar of ice cream and netflix but she still want you to be there by her side to comfort her or watch rom-com movie with her while she’s sobbing, wipe her tears, hold her hands and hug her until she feels better.

2. Don’t be intimidated with her

We all know men’s ego are so big when they see women who are doing great and being successful more than them they feel so interfere. A boy will see her as a competitor and get intimated by having her shit together. A man who truly loves her will be supportive and a great cheerleader.

3. She is living up with her expectations

Strong independent woman expectations are so high because she always set the bar so high for herself.  So please don’t get tired when you think she’s being so demanding she just wanted you to be the best version of yourself that’s why she is always pushing you to do great things.

4. She hates being weak

Everyone around her admire her for having strong personality. You can never see her cry because she hate herself more than anything when she’s being weak. She will try her best to shrug off the negative feeling she has and show up like nothing is bothering her. Talk to her. Make her feel safe. Tell her it’s okay to cry and not be okay all the time. Be her safe haven that she can lean on when she can’t handle her world.

5. She tend to be workaholic

She understand that career is not everything but she is always chasing after success. Ask her to spontaneous adventures and dates like hiking on weekdays, long drive where you can alternate driving cause she knows how to handle car, take pictures of sunset. She won’t turn you down because she is addicted to life experiences. Remind her the world is vast and don’t be confined in her little world.

xoxo

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P A U S E.

pause noun: a temporary stop, a break in verse 

I admit I always try to do things big or small on my own without asking the help of anyone cause I don’t like the feeling of being a burden to someone or put them in a bad place cause of me. That’s why no matter how hard the situation is, I will try my best to solve everything in my power. AS IN EVERYTHING…only to find myself at the end of the day so exhausted and drained.

Each day I live like that without realizing how hard I was to myself, until I went back home in Gifu for 3 days off. Being the ultimate ‘probinsyana girl’ big city like Osaka is kinda overwhelming. It’s so fast-paced and feels like 24 hours is not enough to get things done. I tried my best to keep up with this lifestyle. The funny thing is, I never thought I was being toxic to myself.

During those 3 days break from my city life, I had lots of realizations and how important it is to practice pause from life and just breath for a while. That’s the only time I slow down and took my time. I rode my bike, stare at horizon, took picture of sunset, walk at park, cook food for my brothers, drink beer with my father, genuine conversations with mom. It made me think and understand how blessed I am.

Yes, career is important but don’t forget to pause. The biggest reward we can give to ourselves is time. Assess yourself, meditate where are you now in your life? Are you happy? What makes you happy? What’s stopping you to do the big things? Why are you afraid of the unknown? or you can just let go everything, smile and utter a small prayer that everything will work out just fine.

Always be grateful about the little things in life cause when you look back at it, you will realize they were the big things. It can make your heart full and soul at peace. We are only humans, not capable of everything and ultimately not perfect. Don’t hesitate to ask for help and treat yourself better.

xoxo

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