Daily Prompt: Good Tidings

DAILY PROMPT: “Present-day you” meets “10-years-ago you” for coffee. Share with your younger self the most challenging thing, the most rewarding thing, and the most fun thing they have to look forward to.

It’s cold this Saturday but I’m warm and toasty at home.  The sun is shining outside but then I know that’s a pretty deceiving scene considering I need a sweater indoors.  I’ve always been a “hot climate” person.  After all, that’s what I had been raised in back home.

I had to take care of a few things for work this morning but found myself drifting here before handling any of the more serious things in life like my online class, maybe my art journal (finally on the multi-page layout I’ve been dying to start working on) and homework.  (Not mine..)

DSCF8166Ten years ago, I was a new mother, marveling at this wonderful boy I was given in May.. I had already gone back to work, my mother was here helping me take care of my bundle of joy, and everything was DIFFERENT now that I had that other life depending upon me.  Not just as a food source (I breastfed him until he was 2), but because I had another reason for existence.  I had someone else to take care of, and that was all that mattered.

That would be quite an experience seeing me then even as it is an experience thinking back now after all that has happened.  Were the guys at The Daily Post thinking of me, I wonder, when they thought up of this prompt?  Of course not!  But another one of those prompts from the universe that is just so apt.  (Or as we would say in the vernacular, “swak na swak!” LOL)

I would sit across from the me 10 years ago who would be ordering a Skinny Decaf Cafe Au Lait.  Present day me would be holding a cup of the latest sweet drink concoction, still skinny, but no longer Decaf.  In an espresso store, I’d ask for a double shot.  The me 10 years ago would have very short hair, thinner than I was now (the effects of having had to diet to keep my gestational diabetes during pregnancy at bay).  I’d look tired but I’d be glowing… happy in a naive sort of way — but not harassed or haggard like most new mothers were.  She would have a bigger smile than me, but my smile would come from deeper within than hers would.  So shall we…

THE MOST CHALLENGING THING in your life will come nine years going forward — although you will think the worst would have come a year earlier.  Lesson learned: Don’t ever think the worst has come to pass just because you thought your whole world fell apart at one juncture in your life.  That might just not be the big explosion you thought it was — something worse might come along.

There will be some very painful lessons learned, but you will survive them a better person.  That little boy you now cradle in your arms will be your anchor, and his love and devotion will hold you up.  Hang on to that.. that is all you need and that is what will pull you through.

Do not ever doubt your strength.  Your first challenge made you think you were not as strong as you thought you were.  The second will prove to you that you are far more resilient and stronger than you ever thought possible.  You will be surprised by your capacity for hate and forgiveness at the same time — and you will see you were wrong to think you weren’t as big a person as you actually are.  Embrace who you are and never doubt yourself!

Trust your instincts and try not to give everyone so much benefit of the doubt.  That will be your undoing.  If your suspicions are aroused by some act or thing or other, act on it immediately.  Do not sweep it under the rug.  Sadly, those people who you thought were better than you are a notch below in reality.  You give people too much credit.  You should give YOURSELF more.  Hang on to that and you might have an easier time weathering the storm than I did.  But the good news is, you WILL make it through.

THE MOST REWARDING THING that will ever come your way just entered your life.  That little guy will love you like no other.  His devotion to you will be the envy of even his father.  All the love you give and pour into that little person will come back to you in immeasurable amounts and unending waves.  He is worth all the sacrifice you will ever find yourself making and I know you will never hesitate to put him first above everything and everyone else, even your own happiness.

At the end of it all, when the chaos quiets down, you will find that he is your best reward and the best thing that ever happened to you.  And no matter that there will be times when you doubt that you are being a good mother, you will know later on that you gave it your 200%.  You are a good mother and will always be one — and the best part of it is he knows it.

Ten years from now, you will realize that his entry into your world changed your life in more ways than you ever thought, not always for the better — but those changes were beyond your control.  Not everyone and everything looks at his arrival the same way, and do not get angry with yourself for not having seen things unfold sooner.  Everything happened for a reason, and the universe has a funny way of unveiling the truth.  When that happens, hang on to the one truth that will forever hold you up — that young life that you gave birth to is the best thing that has happened to you.  And that will make up for whatever else comes to try and steal the thunder from that gift.

THE MOST FUN THING you have to look forward to will be going to places you never thought you will ever go to.. Paris twice (with a side trip to Chartres on your own!), Brussels and Brugge, Orlando almost every other year with your little guy.. and don’t worry about missing ‘home’ because you will go home almost every year in the next 10 years.

In the grand scheme of things, you will have a good life in the next ten years.  Even at its worst, the fact that you know where to run and what to do will make it look like just another one of those bumps in life, though in reality the earth swallowed you up and you almost drowned.

Never let go of who you are.  Do not let the conventions of life force you to change who and what you are inside.  Do not let others mold you to be a person that isn’t true to your real self.  Do not wait for ten years to pass before you find yourself again — hang on to it because it is what will pull you through when others try to take your and your son’s happiness away.  You’d be surprised at how tough a fighter you can be — but then you should already know you are a formidable opponent in any field — more so where your son’s happiness and future are concerned.

I’d be lying if I said you won’t have any regrets 10 years from now — because there will be many.  But once all is said and done, you will still say you would have done it the same way if given the chance for a do-over.  That little boy is all that matters.  You wouldn’t be where I am today if others were not as heartless and selfish — I wouldn’t be smiling from across the table reassuring you you will be fine — if you weren’t able to overcome all that heartache and disappointment that came your way.  Just remember when they do that even those who hurt you will bring something better into your life later on.  Their selfishness will make you appreciate things in life a little differently, and will steer you in a different direction that isn’t all that bad after all.

Welcome the new things that come into your life.  Hang on to the fearless person you have always been — even as those around you try to put YOU in shackles.  You are one strong woman and you will see that work to your advantage at the worst of times.  You will make it — because you are stronger than everyone thinks you are — stronger than even you think YOU are.

Daily Prompt: Life Line

Daily prompt: You’re on a long flight, and a palm reader sitting next to you insists she read your palm. You hesitate, but agree. What does she tell you?

“Things will get better.  You must learn to forgive yourself to let the pain and regret go. ”

I’ve had my share of palm readers, tarot readers and psychics. I have to admit, I am a believer — although not an “absolute” believer. I take all that I hear with a grain of salt. I believe that some people have a “gift”, but I take their caveat that  “the future is uncertain” rather seriously.

While I do listen, I do not hold every word I hear as the absolute truth. We ARE in control of our choices — so we can steer our future to go one way or another. Although some may believe we have a destiny to fulfill, the truth of the matter is, the direction we take towards or away from that destiny remains to be our choice.

Even in a make-believe situation I am learning to be optimistic again.  So yes, things will get better.. things ARE getting better.


Daily Prompt: The Road I didn’t choose to travel

Manhattan Slkyline at 6:39pm Saturday, July 6DAILY PROMPT: Pinpoint a moment in your past where you had to make a big decision. Write about that other alternate life that could have unfolded.

It’s uncanny how I can probably pick five things to write about given the topic above, but not all of them are apt for publication.  Some things are just too personal.

But the big “what if” I can think of which I can easily write about, I would say, would have to be my decision to leave Manila in 2000 to start a family here in New York.  It meant leaving my family, friends and career behind to take my chances here in the so-called land of milk and honey.  It was a big step for me because I had never thought about living here in the US ever — and I was not exactly in a bad place where I was career-wise back then. It was a life choice that had to be made, and that could not be postponed.

I remember weeks before my scheduled departure, the Regional President of the company I worked for had called me in and asked me to postpone my departure for a few months so I could assist in some projects, but my papers were in. How can I justify postponing getting married if the intention was to leave in the end?  He did not tell me that they were already given a deadline by the head office and were making a last pitch to keep the company in the Philippines.

In the end, staying wouldn’t have made a difference, and my decision to leave turned out to be a wise one. My company was bought by the company I left to join them. There would have been a lot of bad blood and retribution.

I hadn’t stopped to think about what my life would’ve been had I not left Manila in 2000 until this blog prompt made me stop to think about it.

So where would I be if I had stayed in Manila insread of making the jump to New York?  After 13 years here in New York, that will need a lot of  “predicting” and “surmising”.  Life would have been very different from what I know now.  I would be a totally different person in many respects and still the same one I was 13 years ago before I left.

The biggest difference would be I wouldn’t have my son — perhaps I’d have a child or two, too, but it wouldn’t be my Angelo.   I wouldn’t be as close as I am to my child or children as I would have help raising them with a nanny.  Here, I know every inch of his body and every nuance of his personality.  Ours is a very close relationship that I think is unique to where we are situated.  Here, I get to hug him and hold him and serve him every meal he has at home.   We hold hands when we’re outside the house and he cherishes me as much as I cherish him.  Now that I’ve been a mother for 9 years, I know that that role has defined me and my life choices at this point in time.

I wouldn’t be as I am into crafts and personal art because life in Manila woldn’t have made the same space for such personal pursuits.  Maybe I would be blogging, too, but more for monetization and not with such a personal slant as this.  I’d probably be writing professionally under my own byline which had been my dream after I wrote all those press releases for the companies I worked for.

I would still be in Corporate Communications or public relations perhaps but in a different slant — instead of being a client being serviced, perhaps a company servicing the client again like I did when I started out in the field.

All these what ifs that lead to nowhere in reality.  The point is I chose to go where I went, and I am here now.  We often find ourselves dwelling on what ifs but I have not had the chance to look at this big question until now because I really have had no reason to.

I treat my life choices as defining moments that shaped me into the person I am now.   I have learned to go with the flow and to make the most of what I’ve been given and what I have.  Age has a way of mellowing us down and stopping us from making otherwise impulsive moves we might have been prone to take if we were younger.  When life treats me well, I give thanks.  When I am defeated, I just bow my head down and close my eyes.

Life has been good.  God has been good to me.  I have been blessed in many respects.  I have always been one to look on the good and count my blessings rather than dwell on my failures.  Although I have not always succeeded more so with my biggest failings, I keep trying.  I have not given up and will not give up.

I have gone too far to do that.  So I keep plodding on… on the road that I chose to travel.

Daily Prompt: Silver Linings

Daily PromptWrite about something you consider “ugly” — war, violence, failure, hatred — but try to find beauty, or a sense of hope, in your thoughts.

Epic failure.  We’ve all heard that phrase at one time or another, usually in reference to a sarcastic remark or a taunting retort to something that didn’t quite work out as we had hope it would.

Between the examples above (although I am aware that I need not confine my post to the exact words in the prompt): “war”, “violence”, “failure’, “hatred” — “FAILURE” speaks to me in capital letters, loud and clear.

But I want to focus more on the lessons learned and the so-called silver lining behind all that had happened.

I can say that whatever failure I had come across, I am grateful that I can say now that I know myself better, and I look at the world with more pragmatic eyes.  (or jaded?)  I have mellowed many grades down, learning how to fade into the background instead of being in the spotlight where I used to be.  No, it’s not the background, I’ve become part of the audience.  I watch and listen.  And I just watch and listen.

In the same way that we usually underestimate ourselves, there are many respects where we often overestimate our capabilities.  Sometimes it takes a personal failure for us to get a better grasp of who and what we really are.  It is what we do with what we learn and what we find after the dust has settled that gives us that silver lining.

Speaking for myself, I like the mellowing down.  It’s given me a more practical view of life.  I am not wont to go for the fairy tale endings anymore.  HAPPY is no longer spelled in capital letters.  I’ve learned to appreciate the regular happy things — the smaller signs that someone up there is watching out for me — and I savor that and say thank you.  I’ve learned to appreciate who and what I am, realizing that the years have changed me, and what I used to be is just that – WHAT I USED TO BE.

I’ve learned to rely more on myself in the absence of friends who used to be around every waking moment.  The silence has helped me listen to my own thoughts instead of regurgitating someone else’s.  The silence has made me appreciate the presence of those who, while they may be silent themselves, are forever present in my life.

Failure can either break you or make you stronger, and while I have to admit I have been broken in some respects, I’d like to think it has made me a better person, if only because I have “come down to earth” so to speak, looking at the world with more pragmatic eyes.   Blog Graphic for Daily Prompt Post: Silver Linings

Daily Prompt: Fight or Flight? Neither.

I am a little delayed writing what I wanted to respond to as far as the Daily Prompts are concerned, so you will possibly see two coming in a span of 24 hours.  I have been busy and while I was itching to write here, I just didn’t have the energy or the time.  So here goes..

Daily Prompt (from The Daily Post):   When faced with confrontation, do you head for the hills or walk straight in? Was there ever a time you wished you’d had the opposite reaction?

I have never been one to back off from confrontation — until some life lessons I learned in recent months which saw me change my game plan drastically.  I don’t think it was because I had suddenly changed my way of thinking about the workings of life in general — I just lost the energy and the spirit to be “confrontational”.  There are things that happen to us in the course of our lives which alter the way we react to things.

My answer  would be a little “off” because while I would normally walk straigh in, I don’t.  And yet, I don’t head for the hills.  My answer to the prompt, unfortunately, is not clear cut.  It would’ve been 18 months ago. 

Not anymore.

I’ve learned that there are times when just standing still in the midst of chaos will minimize your injuries.  Running in any direction — whether towards or away from the melee — is not a guarantee of safety.  And there are times when you just find yourself glued to the ground you’re standing on — unable to move even if you wanted to.

I choose to be still.  To just stand where I am.  To get hit in the chaos if  I get hit, or to just avoid the rush of the crowd in any direction. 

For the most part, it works for me.  Now.

Perhaps it’s age that has made me more accepting that confrontation can be a costly means of dealing with a situation.  Perhaps it’s the losses that have made me realize that the victories are not always worth the energy it took to achieve the win.

Someone had once told me tha even I didn’t do anything, things will fall into place.  In an ironic and yet very real way, they have.  After the chaos, I stood where I was, not moving or wanting to go into any direction.  And everything became still.  I found myself alone — the rowdy crowd gone — the noise settling into silence.

Fall into place, things did.  I watched the world go on with me standing where I was.  In watching, I learned to be quiet so I could listen.  And I learned a lot from what I saw and what I heard.  In many ways, being still helped me to move forward.  Even when at times, I felt a painful nudge on my shoulder from someone walking past without a care.  Or when I got run over by a bulldozer who didn’t bother to swerve.

Was there a time I wished I had done the opposite?  Perhaps.

I wish I had stopped sooner.  I wish that instead of plunging head on and confronting a situation I was forced into — I instead pulled back, or I instead just stood still.  But that is all wishful thinking now.  I went forward and it cost me all the energy and spirit I had.  So now, I stand still.

If I had done that – stopped sooner before so much damage had been done —I’d still be as gungho about confrontations as I used to be.  I wouldn’t have the wisdom of the life lessons I learned in the last year or so, and I wouldn’t be standing still, watching the world go by.  I wouldn’t be listening as intently as I do now — because I’d still be preoccupied with having myself be heard instead of hearing what the world was telling me.

Yes, things did fall into place.  I found my place under the sun.  And this is where I stand.

My Journey back from black

Today’s daily prompt from The Daily Post:   Tell us about a journey — whether a physical trip you took, or an emotional one.

This post is vague and cryptic in many places but I know that those who are undergoing a kind of healing, whether physical, emotional or going through a process of grieving will be able to relate.  This was rather difficult to write but I am glad I wrote it as part of my own journey.

Back from BlackThere are many journeys I can write about but they don’t speak to me as the topic for this post.    It just seems apt that I pick  one I am on right now.  One that I have been on for the last year.

“The last year” ..  I realize now it’s been THAT long.. the journey “TO” took all of a half year before that.  It was long, painful and heart-breaking.  To move on meant starting the journey back instead of letting my heart wither away in shame and pain. 

Being human, we make mistakes.   And when we come to that monumental mistake where others get hurt, and when others hurt us for the wrong choice we made, not even our remorse and our own pain helps ease the burden of trying to pick up the pieces again when we find ourselves all alone, despite the promise that we would never be.

I had always thought I was a very strong person.  That no matter what came my way, I would find the strength within to pick up the pieces and move on.  I didn’t know that my own folly would be my undoing.  I didn’t realize that my heart was not unbreakable and that in truth, it shattered like anyone else’s.  And that I was not immune to the heartbreak that saw my soul broken into a million pieces and it would probably take a lifetime to put it back together again — if that were even possible. 

My journey took me to a searing blackness.  A darkness that could’ve swallowed me if I had let it.

But I could not let myself just disappear into nothingness.  I had a reason to keep going and because of that, I focused what strength I had left to put one foot in front of the other, a step at a time.  The world goes on, I kept telling myself.  My sins notwithstanding, even with my head bowed down in shame, I found the will to move forward from day to day to day. 

A year has passed.  I am where I was last year that I am not.  My view of the world and the future has changed.  I no longer look too far ahead.  It’s day to day.  I am still trying to find the wisdom to find forgiveness — so that I may be able to forgive myself.  Throughout the journey and even as I trudge on now, I have become my most scathing critic, my worst enemy.  I blame myself for the pain and all that had been lost.

I am no longer the same person.  I’d like to think I’m wiser now, but wiser does not equate to “better”.  

I have retreated into my shell and I find myself bowing my head in resignation.  I no longer ask questions.  I have lost that right.  I have stopped trying to bridge what lines may have been broken —  I have realized no effort on my part would make that happen, and I have no more energy left to keep trying.  Where I would usually raise a ruckus, I just tune out and tell myself I should let it go.  I should just take the blows.

I haven’t quite given up on on my journey back — back to myself.  Hoping that one day I will find forgiveness, and I will no longer be so angry at myself for the wrong choices I had made.  I find the fuel to keep my engine running in a conscious effort to keep myself immersed in happy thoughts where I can find them, while shoving memories that bring me from happy to miserable in a snap deeper into the closets of my mind.  I have tried to focus my energy on undertakings that take me closer to doing things that have meaning to me, hoping to put together what I can from the shards of the me that I lost then.

Even if I am broken, the world goes on.  I marvel at how time has flown by.  One year and then some… I have laughed, lived and breathed — I somehow made it to now.  Yet in those moment of silence when I am alone with my own thoughts —  my anger surfaces again, and I feel a rock where my heart used to be. I curse, I blame, I give in to anger.  And I snap out of it and I am back to the reality of my world.  No matter what state I may be in, I tell myself, the world goes on.

I’m beginning to see the light.  It’s no longer as dark as it used to be.  There is a glimmer in the distance which gives me hope that I will find myself in a better place someday.  Perhaps even better enough to finally forgive myself, and better even if not whole again.  I know many of the things I had lost, I will never get back again.  I am no longer as trusting and as quick to laugh.  When I do laugh, I don’t laugh with as much energy and not long after, I sink into a half-smile as if realizing I shouldn’t be fooling myself into thinking all is well.

Where I used to see myself celebrating in a crowd, now I see a desolate island, with only the sound of the waves breaking the unbearable silence.

So I go on with the journey…  I don’t know where the road leads to or where the end of the journey is.  But with all that’s happened, I think what’s more important is that I’m still on this journey somehow.  And I still find myself smiling from time to time, even if only a wan smile.   I may have had the door shut in my face, but not all those doors stayed shut forever.  One opened again and let me in, even if only to keep myself warm through the night.  There is tomorrow’s sunrise to look forward to — as I go through the journey another day, as I continue my journey back from black.

Daily Prompt: Goals

When you started your blog, did you set any goals?  Have you achieved them? Have they changed at all?

I started this blog in August 2004 although I already had an online journal in my private domain, sans the blog interface.  I did the page layouts via longhand html and tried to write on focused topics revolving around my life and interests here in New York.

As I’ve repeated time and time again, I blog for the selfish reason of wanting to keep an online diary of my life.  This blog is and has always been for my own benefit.  I am happy to see others find something amusing, educational, or helpful in what I share in my little corner of the blogsphere here, but I speak in my own voice, and I speak about my own thoughts and feelings.

In August 2004, my son was months old and part of my fascination with motherhood was my desire (bordering on obsession) to document everything about him and me.  In many ways, his coming into my life inspired me to be more diligent about writing, because there was suddenly so much to write about.

I write very spontaneously and let the words come freely.  I censor myself only to maintain a semblance of privacy, but as those w ho have read me regularly say, there’s a brutal honesty in the posts.  From time to time I find myself going back to something I had written about and I feel as though I’m pulling a book out of a shelf and reliving the feeing as I read the words I had once read.

I had tried to write to bring in more readers  or to write for remuneration, but in the end I gave it up to return to the spontaneity that I am used to.  I am part of affiliate networks, but I hardly, if ever, utilize the membership to try and bring in some revenue.  Good if I do, okay if I don’t.  I have long ago realized that to continue doing what I’m doing — writing for and about me — going commercial was  not an option.

After almost a decade, I’ve stopped writing “other” blogs, focusing only on this site and my craft blog, Gotham Chick, which is actually slipping into limbo for inactivity.  (I keep promising to revive it and post more regularly there.)  The only reason I’m keeping that separate is I want to have a blog dedicated to my crafts and provide a springboard for advertising for my Etsy store with the same name.

Almost ten years now to the day that I started blogging, I am proud to say I’ve stayed true to form, growing as a blogger but always keeping my personal goal of being able to document my life and to write about the things that matter to me.  My blog continues to be the embodiment of who I am — here, you become a part of my life.  You see where I’ve been, what I do, and what silly or profound thoughts are running through my head.  You see the things I see in the photographs I post.  If you are a regular reader, then in many ways, you know me very well by now.

I just wanted to write.  And here I am still doing that.  The recent move to wordpress has helped me to want to be better at writing and blogging in general — but my goal remains the same: to write for and about myself.  I have enjoyed the freedom of being able to express myself — and I can say that I have achieved the goal, and nothing has changed.  I am proud to say that my blog has kept its focus through the years, and I don’t see myself veering away from that towards another .  When that happens, I will probably close the doors of my tiny place and bid the blogsphere farewell to start a new journey under a new banner.

Daily Prompt: The Interview – Olivia Pope

So here goes a quick stab at the daily prompt over at The Daily Post.

I’d sit here and write away but it’s almost 1am.  The only reason I’m still up is I’m waiting for my hair to dry a bit.  I got a notice that we’re getting a boiler upgrade tomorrow which may lead to hot water and heat interruptions.  I’m not risking it and I’d really rather not take a shower at work.

I was thinking of doing Jack Bauer at first.  Too complicated.  Too long a story to tell.  And just as I was going through the existing list of entries already written, one name popped up: Olivia Pope.  I’m talking about the lead character in my current favorite of favorites of all TV shows  — SCANDAL, which is another Shonda Rhimes creation.

This is one show I don’t mind watching over and over again, even in one sitting.  When there’s no other show that catches my fancy, I just hit restart as the episode ends.  When the show is on haitus, I run the previous season over and over again.

I like Olivia Pope because she’s a very smart and strong heroine.  A lawyer who doesn’t practice law but instead runs a crisis management office under the banner of Olivia Pope and Associates.  She is a complicated woman who is in love with the incumbent President who has a first lady who is fighting tooth and nail to keep her man because of her own personal ambitions.

So I imagine us sitting at the park where she usually sits with Cyrus, the sitting Chief of Staff.  She’d be holding her coffee, and maybe so would I.

Then her phone would ring and she’d tell me, “I’m sorry, it’s the White House…I have to go.”

Interview postponed for another day. (To be continued…)

Pushing myself to the limit – in response to today’s prompt from the DAILY POST: Unconventional Love

I’ve taken to getting my inspiration from the prompts and ideas from The Daily Post here on wordpress.  Well today’s (or yesterday’s) prompt was UNCONVENTIONAL LOVE.  The challenge they posed was: ” Over the weekend, we explored different ways to love. Today, tell us about the most unconventional love in your life.”

Hmmm.. I had thought about trying to write about it, but it was one of those topics that caught me in a bind and I didn’t quite know how to define what should be an easy answer to the question.

I guess it all boils down to one’s definition of what is “conventional”, and then find the exact opposite of that definition to come up with UNconventional.  But is there anything conventional about the powerful emotion that is love?

What is the unconventional love in my life?  To me this would be loving something or someone and feeling a deep hatred or loathing for that same object of your affection.  Writing that is puzzling to me because I know what it means that I don’t.  It befuddles me to go back to the words I had written.  That is what’s unconventional about it.  It doesn’t make sense because it is not what we expect as normal.

They say you cannot love something and yet not want to have it or not want to be with that person.  You cannot love someone and hate that person, too.  There lies the reluctance in me to even dig deep for it because perhaps the reality of it is that it is no longer love.. perhaps it’s morphed into hate.  Perhaps it’s unconventional because it is not what I think it is, or it is something else beyond what it should be.

My heart no longer feels warm and fuzzy like it used to now that I am trying to figure it out.  It’s just a long and empty humming in my ear.  I smile at certain things that remind me of what used to be, but the reality of where I am now and how I feel stirs up so much anger in my heart.  So much so that I cannot see myself going back to that state of not having to fight off the anger and the hatred.  The shimmer and shining moments have all been eclipsed by a heavy darkness.

Most days I just focus on other things and count my blessings.  I think of how some have taken my side, who have chosen me despite my failures and my imperfections and my mistakes.  I think about having been chosen not out of love but out of a sense of a need to keep things normal and of keeping the peace — but does it matter why?  For all my failings, I was given a safe haven where others had thought it better to shut me out of their world. 

There, the anger surfaces again.  Is it unconventional love or just anger? 

I wish I could write about something that would speak of a giddy lightness of the heart… of smiles and giggles and happy thoughts.  But that is all part of the past.

Unconventional love it is.  Or was.  I believe the proper tense is the latter : was.