Dear Food,

I haven’t had the best relationship with you. I can’t exactly pinpoint when our love-hate relationship started but bottomline is, I don’t know when I should or shouldn’t eat you.

I want to thank you first and foremost, for giving me the energy to do my tasks as a medical student, my role as a sister, a friend, and a leader .You became my bestfriend aside from writing. When my parents fought, I ate. When I get low scores, I eat. When traumatic stuff happens, I eat.

I want to really apologize to you because I used you as a drug. You numb me from reality and gratify my need for life’s simple pleasures faster than a lightning bolt.

I know that it’s not healthy to use you in order to shove off these turbulent feelings. You were not meant to be a coping mechanism with life’s unpredictable twists and turns. That one cup of rice, one more serving of chicken, just one last bite. You are worth more than what I used you for.

I created an illusion that things will be okay as long as I have good food. But here me out please, I have to make peace with you and use you for your real purpose, which is to nourish my body. I have to take care of this body because this is the vessel by which all the ideas and creativity that come from the ultimate source will fluorish.

I have to consume you moderately in order for this body to function optimally.

It has been my belief that all of us have been put in this earth to fulfill our life’s purpose. Therefore, we owe it to the universe to be kind and loving to our body. That would involve feeding it with what it needs, not too much nor too little.

Again, this is not about looking good so that others would approve of me, or that guys will like me. This is about making the best out of the body that has been entrusted to me. So let’s start this journey.

Should I study or should I rest?

This pandemic has put a lot of medical students on a limbo. Suddenly we have all these free time to study, which is amazing but on the other side we are in this endless cycle of worrying.

I am in grief because of so many healthworkers dying. I am worried of any of my family members getting sick. I am thinking about my friends who are all alone for almost two months. I get panic attacks. I am sick to my bones because of worry.

I don’t know if you are feeling this too, but typical me would be spewing these thoughts, and sometimes I do believe them. So far, I can’t stay as productive and efficient as I used to. But, I try. I try so damn hard to break out of this toxic tendency to overthink.

On a typical pandemic day I would read medicine books for two to four hours. I have also set a practice that would give me a boost and make studying a religious and spiritual practice:

1. Read a non medicine-relate book for thirty minutes while drinking coffee.
2. Write on my journal about yesterday’s events.
3. Take a bath. (because it’s summer)
4. Watch my favorite life coach on Youtube for some pep talk. (Marie Forleo).
5. Write creatively for thirty minutes.
6. Study or make reports for two hours.
7. Study another subject for one hour.
8. Eat lunch.
9. Study for 2 hours which turns into an afternoon
10. Laze around the entire day: Watch kdrama, talk to family, play with my brother, phonecall with my partner, or watch TV.

Based on your judgement, is it productive? By the way I probably do this four out five days in a week. So yeah, maybe I am productive. But I also had three breakdowns already. My point is, don’t beat yourself up if you can’t be productive. Just take care of yourself. It’s okay to be scared, to be productive, to be lazy, as long as you are safe, okay?

How about you? Tell me how you are holding up. Let’s support each other.

Read this before you apply for medschool!

So you want to be a doctor? I mean, are you sure? It pays well, but if it’s your best plan to get rich, let me be honest with you, shift gears now. I’m not going to sugar coat anything here. It is not just a job. It is a calling.

It will require sacrifices, huge ones for that matter. And as you might have seen in the news in the coronavirus pandemic, it is a profession that can even take your life. I do not want to scare you, I am just telling the truth. Not everyone is wired to be a doctor, but if you think you are read on.

As medical students, we live and breathe medicine. Learning is not even a joke. This is not like math wherein if you have the formula, you can derive the solution. This is about learning tons of information that you will most likely forget but still you must read because every decision you have to make must be based on pure facts. But here are just some that you will learn:

1. You will learn how to power read.

At first, you will be overwhelmed with how much you have to read. After a year, you’ll get better at it and then it will not be an issue anymore. Reading very technical material will be a part of your life. Tip: if you hate reading, don’t go to medschool because it will be a nightmare. But if you keep in mind that those difficult to digest material will someday save someone’s life, it will feel like an honor, to be given the opportunity, calling and resources to learn this overwhelming but noble discipline. It doesn’t get easier, but every day, you get more equipped for that task.

2. You’ll have your own learning style.

That’s it. If you’re like me, I’m one of those people who can absorb information at five in the morning so even if I slept late, I wake up extra early to catch my brain’s most receptive hour. And besides you can do self care early in the morning, that’s why I LOVE IT. I feel so productive even before classes. To be honest, there are days when I feel like I can’t do this shit anymore, that I can go back to my travel days, but at the end of the day I get proud of every single improvement. You will learn how to be the most efficient you.

3. You’ll know what kind of person you are.

You’ll be surprised with how much you can change. I used to be an extroverted and loud person. But I noticed that I like staying in my own universe. I discovered that I am not a life of a party person. I go straight home after class or do my errands during free time. I hate small talk and I get overwhelmed by spending too much time with a lot of people. I love my classmates and friends dearly, but it turns out that recharging my social batteries is good for my soul. Your personality will reveal itself to you and it’s fucking awesome. You will change, and it’s okay. Change is necessary for growth.

4. You may know what you want in a partner.

Gone were the days when you have the time to date and get to know potential partners. The bulk of work in medschool will make you think about what type of person will fit your life, or if you want to have one. Getting in, I was okay with being single, because I want to focus on the work and not be side tracked by love and feelings. But I guess the universe played its tricks, I now have a partner who fits my opinionated personality and understands that medicine comes first. You will need a partner who will understand and be okay with cancelled plans and a hectic schedule. You will need someone who supports you and believes in you so much more than yourself. But if you are happy as a single, badass, independent woman, you go girl.

5. You will find your tribe.

Don’t worry about not having friends because you will find weirdos who are kind of like you and will be there for you. Trust me. In medschool having authentic friends are essential. You will need them and they will need you. You can’t survive medical school by just thinking about yourself. Saving lives is a team effort. You will need to learn how to work with people, and you will have angels that will back you up especially when the workload is too overwhelming.

6. You will learn to schedule your joy.

Fun time is a must. Since you will climb this rocky mountain, rest and unwinding is necessary. Do not fall into the trap of constant hustle. You must pause! Without breaks, your brain will tire and you might burn out. I make studying a priority, but I also schedule birthdays, girls night out, date nights and self care day. Do not be a slave of medicine. It is a part of you but it’s not all of you.

7. You will learn that every moment is precious, that life itself, is a miracle.

Learning every possible thing that could go wrong in the human body is not good for our anxiety. However, if you try to reframe this thought, you might realize that, life is something to be grateful for. There are diseases that can kill you in a blink of an eye, but there you are, still kicking life’s ass. Every second is a blessing. Every moment counts.

8. You will be an expert in failing and getting back up.

I am not a genius. I don’t learn material quickly. I am just a hardworker. I have failed exams countless times, but I still manage to get back up. You will learn that failure just points you to the right direction. In medical school, there is less grieving time for failures. You need to have a fast move on rate. You will learn how to keep going despite low scores and failures. You will learn how to focus on getting back up, rather than dwelling on what you can’t change. That is where the real magic happens.

9. You will learn humility and acceptance.

In medical school, there is always someone who’s better than you. You can’t know everything and it is scary to assume that you already know everything. You will learn to accept that you are still in training. The amount of skills and knowledge that I do not know humbles me and it makes me realize that no matter how much I read, I can’t know everything, and it is okay. I accept that I am human and I do have limitations but I can still try to be a better student than yesterday. And maybe, that is enough.

10. You will be extra brave.

Medicine is just a part of life. There will be birthdays, celebrations, and other milestones. But there will be heartaches outside school. It might be a break up with a significant other, a health issue, a sickness in the family, or worse, the death of someone you loved so dear. Medschool is hard by itself, but life, might just play its worst trick on you. Therefore, you must learn how to proceed, despite anything, amidst the chaos and shards of your shattered heart. You will be brave. You might think you couldn’t keep on doing this exhausting medical training, but you will. Whatever heartache you experience while studying hopefully, makes you a more compassionate and competent doctor.

I still have so many years of training ahead, but so far, I am proud.

Staying Healthy in Medschool

Since I went back to the student life, staying fit has been and still is a struggle. I was able to maintain my weight in first year, however second year has been really challenging in terms of being healthy, physically, mentally and emotionally. I lost my Dad in a blink of an eye and I lost my grandmother five months after. It was basically a year of focusing on sanity and on not dying.

Despite all of these I still try my best to survive medschool and be healthy, although it’s more like gravity keeps on pulling you down whenever you just reached a momentum. However, I keep in mind that health is actually subjective. There are standards set by the World Health Organization about the ideal body weight, body mass index etcetera. In an ideal world we would have all the money, food, and time to focus on our health but when shit happens, do what you have to do to keep you sane.

If you are like me, who has a tumultous relationship with food, and a genetic predisposition to getting fat, losing weight is a source of stress. Staying fit has been a struggle for me and it has affected my mental health for years. I have tried running, going to the gym, and dancing, but still, I gain weight.

Not everyone can afford a trainer, a nutritionist, or a metabolic disease doctor, especially here in my country. I feel like there is something wrong with my abrupt weight gain, but since there’s a lockdown because of COVID19, I can’t follow up with my Obstetrician Gynecologist. I have also just went through a series of treatments on my right ear, a minor surgery on my right hand, a dermatological issue and my allergies are getting worse. It is financially draining to tackle these issues on top of med school, the overwhelm just keeps on piling up.

The good news is, I am still sane. There still are times when my mental health just takes a toll, and it seems like all the hardwork toward wellness goes to waste, but we are still kicking. What I remind myself is, it’s okay to be a mess, to gain weight during the most stressful to date, year of my life. And also, I try my best to be grateful despite anything that I am going through, and luckily I also have a supportive partner who reminds me of the good stuff out there, and how not to lose hope.

I stay kind to myself and tackle things one by one. I just make sure that I am surrounded by people who support me all the time. Meditation helps evey single day. It just creates this white space to start off the day with less worries and more calm approach to everything. I have a gratitude journal as well. I pray for three minutes and then plan my day. I also do a three to five minute exercise before making a cup of coffee and watching videos on youtube.

Afterwards, I will study and then prepare for class. My solid morning routine keeps me grounded and healthy.

Since the food choices are limited for a dormer, I do my best to have a fruit or vegetable, protein, and carbs in my meals. I avoid junk food, and soft drinks. But when I am so stressed these really are my comfort food and, for now, I have to give in, because I will get crazy.

I also talk to my family and my boyfriend regularly, just to make sure that I am emotionally healthy despite the lack of sleep and daily mental exhaustion.

So am I healthy? Naaah. I AM NOT HEALTHY AT ALL. However, I do my best to be healthy everyday. When my energy is off I know that the balance is not there, so I make it a point to check if I am still doing okay physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. I check myself on a consistent basis because at the end of the day, being a doctor wouldn’t matter if you are sick. That’s it.

Even if I keep on failing, I still think I am taking good care of myself. I don’t let the scale pull me on the dark tunnel of depression, or even my test scores. I can do better but I will love myself first, and love my dreams second.

How about you? Make sure that you are prioritizing your well being. Take good care of yourself so that you can effectively take care of others and be the amazing human that you are. It will get better.


woman looking at sea while sitting on beach
Photo by Pixabay on

I honestly thought that I couldn’t get through this year. I had to pull my shit together and survive.

I used to want to thrive. But this year knocked me off up to a point when I just couldn’t take anything anymore. I can’t. I just can’t. So what did I learn in the past year?

1. There are traitors.

You can be a genuinely good person to someone. You can be really kind to them, but still they will betray you. Kindness doesn’t guarantee kindness. If people see any sort of weakness in you, some of them will use that to stab you while you aren’t looking. Sometimes I ask, why did this happen to us? How can someone that you’ve trusted and treated as family betray you? With everything that has happened, I decided that I will be a good person inspite of everything. Even if people did things that made me lose my faith in humanity, I will still be the person that my dad raised me to be. I will be kind. I will establish boundaries. I will still trust, but only to people who deserve it.

2. Blood doesn’t equate to family.

Family surpasses blood relations. I choose my family. I choose who makes me feel safe. I choose who I will listen to. I am estranged from my mom. I come from a family who values power and prestige. Honestly, I don’t even know why they are like that. They made a scene on my dad’s funeral and I just can’t bear being in the same room as them. Again, even if it’s difficult to cut toxic family ties, I have to and I am taking a stand. Your family should make you feel safe, loved, and protected. If they are not, then they aren’t your family. Choose your family. Whoever values you deserves you.

3. Love sets you free.

Despite everything that I have gone through, I still choose love. For those people who hurt me, I do not wish for ill things to happen to them. I just don’t want them anywhere near me. But for those who stood by me in the hardest year of my life, I love them fiercely. We became more close as a family. My siblings, step mom, and I have a tightly knit bond, that just can’t be destroyed that easily. I also saw who my real friends and family are, and now I value them so much. I also met the love of my life. It’s a win win. You lose some, but you win big time.

4. Gratitude will help you survive.

I still am in awe of how the Universe took care of things. We survived as a family, and we are very much blessed. We are financially secure, and we have the opportunity to reach for the stars. We are lucky. I guess if you keep on planting seeds of love, it comes back in ways that you couldn’t even imagine. I still write at my gratitude journal, and honestly, there’s a lot to be thankful for. Again, thank you universe.

5. Courage will get you through.

This year, I had to be at my bravest. I had to roll up my sleeves and take a stand for my family. I thank the Universe for giving me the courage to be very firm in my principles. If you know that you are right, you should never ever concede, especially to people who do not have your best interests at heart. I now understand why I have to be feisty and bossy as a kid. I had to build my strength because there will be people who will test my courage. A lot of older people tried to tone me down because it’s weird for a girl to be really brave and tell bullies that enough is enough. But thank God, I was like that.

6. Family is your shield.

Having a non-traditional family is still frowned upon in my country. Some of my aunts and uncles do not understand why I love my stepmom so much. As a physically abused kid, I needed a mother who made me feel safe, and sadly my biological mom isn’t that person. And surprise, she’s not even the least bit apologetic about it. All those mental and physical abuse stole my childhood. So when my stepmom has shown up, I felt the genuine love of a mom, that I never felt from my real mother. She became our pillar of strength when Papa died. Should I choose my mom, even if I don’t feel safe with her? Should I choose to love my blood relatives, even if they have done and said so many hurtful things. I choose my stepmother. She never left us. She has always chosen us. Family is supposed to be your shield.

7. Being neutral in the midst of adversity means that you are on the side of the oppressor.

There are so many neutral people. They make me want to barf. I know that kindness is imporant but if you see someone getting hurt, are you supposed to do nothing? No. Just no.

8. Having a creative outlet heals you.

Writing has been my best friend for the past seven months. What could I have done without this safe place to pour my heart out? Somehow, being able to articulate my feelings takes the weight off my exhausted chest. When I read what I wrote it makes me understand myself a little bit more. It makes me more self-aware and humble. It makes me reevaluate my decisions, responses, and perspectives.

It unloads the heavy baggage. It frees me bit by bit. I will never understand the reason behind everything that happened this year, but I have writing. I can express my pain and healing in this space.

9. Let your dream pull you.

Med school became my distraction. It has allowed me to focus on something else. I was forced to think about exams instead of my dad. My dream is still here. Even if everyday I am still in pain because the person that I am dedicating this dream to is gone, I still try to take one step at a time. Maybe if I don’t have an MD degree to look forward to, I would have been a complete pile of mess. Thank you MD dream, you saved me.

10. Strength is a muscle.

Just when I thought I was strong enough, I was tested even more. Grief is a whole new level of experience. It’s been seven months but I still feel the pain. I needed to learn how to be mentally and emotionally strong this year. Strength is a muscle you build through time. I wish I can say I am happier, but I am not. However, I can truly and honestly tell you that I am stronger. In losing a lot of people, my dad, my grandmother, and my toxic family members, I discovered how resilient a human being can be. I am amazed by how a hurting person can choose kindness and courage every single day.
Pain and loss transforms you. It makes you better, if you choose to.

She writes amidst the chaos

October 2, 2019

Dear Blog,

I would often tell myself that I am not good enough, period. You know that I have a low self-esteem. I could tell you all the back story but sometimes being hypercritical to yourself gives you so much unecessary pain. I still ask myself if I deserve to be where I am now. Medschool has been really hard for me. I do have strengths, but somehow the negativity still creeps in sometimes. I am a fan of rising, but being human makes me prone to burnout.

I still find it hard to look for the courage to face the future now that my Dad’s gone. My messy relatives aren’t helping. My mom wants to get my Dad’s money yada yada. I mean, how dare her after everything they’ve put my Dad through.

I have a lot on my plate right now, an overwhelming academic life, a toxic mom, and health issues. How I wish the circumstances were different, but this is it. This is the chaos.

These confusions are here but I remind myself of the brave and smart girl that my dad has raised. I have loving sisters, a baby brother, and a step mom. I have my two bestfriends who are my rock. I have medschool friends who make this journey bearable. I still have a lot to thank for.

Little by little, I’ll rise. I will keep on doing meaningful work and learn medicine to the best of my abilities. I may be in the middle of the storm but this, shall pass.

One day Kate, you will just look back to this nightmare and just be proud of how far you’ve come.

Your Personal Legend

When I say that you should read this book, I mean it from every fiber of my being. This is the second time that I’ve read it but it’s still timeless. Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist has a lot of lessons that will help you follow your dreams and get back on track wherever you are in life.

1. Following your personal legend.

“When I grow up, I want to be a *insert a profession because teacher says you must say something because it’s kindergarten graduation.” But really, when you grow up it is hard to know what your personal legend is. You must try exploring hobbies, doing so many stuff, and if you are lucky, you get to know what you really want. I want you to listen to your heart. What is that thing that makes it skip a beat while you’re doing it? What is that thing that makes you forget that time exists? What is the dream that keeps you up at night and energized to wake up the next day? Keep on doing those and visualize yourself living that dream. That is your Personal Legend.

2. Listening to the Soul of the World

I could keep on describing or writing what Soul of the World means but I can never articulate it. I just know that doing what any situation asks of me keeps me close to my purpose. It feels right. It’s not supposed to take away your peace of mind. What is good for all is what the Universe wants and listening is the key. Look at the present. What does it ask of you?

3. Listening to Your Heart

This is easily said than done. Sometimes the noise of our ego and the world makes it hard to know what our heart is really saying. We all have ambitions and we need money to survive. More often than not, instead of making decisions out of love, we are acting in fear. When we are at a crossroad, that is the best time to be quiet and really listen to what your heart wants to say.

4. People will seldom believe in you.

In this fast paced world, you have to believe in yourself first. You have the talent and skills but are you confident in what you have to offer? If you are, then no amount of doubt from others will stop you from pursuing your Personal Legend. I mean this from personal experience. I have been discouraged by people whom I thought would support and believe in me, but I never listened to what they have to say. Why? Because I know myself better than anybody else, and the lion doesn’t care about the opinions of a sheep.

5. Staying in the Present

When we get overwhelmed, we think we can’t move forward and have our dreams realized. Or when tragedy strikes, we feel like there is no light at the end of the tunnel. In the past few months, I thought, I couldn’t move anymore. Papa’s death felt like the end everything I worked hard for, and so I thought. Paying attention to the present and not future tripping gave me the momentum to go on. Sometimes all I could achieve was taking a bath, and that’s okay. As long as I just pay attention to the present, I move forward. I stopped thinking about the future. I do what I can to the best of my ability wherever I am. I hope you do too.

6. Action

Your dreams won’t go into fruition unless you move. No amount of complaining and planning will get you from Point A to Point B. It sucks. But it’s reality. No matter how uncomfortable putting yourself out there is, you just have to. Why? You don’t have a choice. Nobody gets successful by being a couch potato.

7. True love sets you free.

It’s not love if you feel pinned on a wall or shackled by chains. True love makes your heart warm and fuzzy. It gives you freedom. It makes you feel like you can take on the world and pursue your Personal Legend. If it impedes your growth, it’s not love.

8. Gold

We need it to survive but make it your God and you lose yourself. I have seen people change and do terrible things because of money. Some would be really amazing. They use money to help others follow their Personal Legends. Sadly, there are a lot who make getting and getting their Personal Legend. Money is a necessity but don’t be a slave to it.

9. Comparison

You do you. When you’revrunning a race, looking at the other guy will make you lose. In this digital era, we often fall in the trap of comparison. We feel like we are failing because we haven’t experienced other’s achievements. Your friends are getting married and having kids and you feel stuck. But, it’s sad. Because your own Personal Legend unfolds in its own time. Stay on your game. Love your journey.

10. Fear

Too many people are afraid to make the first move. We are scared of failing, of falling short of our expectations, and of being disappointed. But we always have to choose love. Fear is normal. I’ve read somewhere that you must “Feel the fear and do it anyway.” Stop listening to that voice. It’s what’s keeping you from your Personal Legend. Use it as a guide but don’t listen to it all the time.

Those are just a few of the points that I found very profound in the book. We are one. We are here to be in harmony with the universe. My role at the moment is to express and use every skill given to me for the greater good. I found it in Science and Medicine. I hope and pray that you find yours and you live in line with your purpose. Go kick some ass on your journey.

Dear Fifteen Year Old Katey,

Ten years has passed and let me just tell you how perplexed I am of you. Let me give you the assurance that you will become a doctor. In fact, you’re already about to enroll on your second year of medschool. There are amazing humans who will finance your medical studies and your family will be very supportive of you.

Right now, I know you are so worried if you will pass UP. You are very anxious, excited, and afraid. You will graduate from your dream school. Your hard work will pay off.

Your parents weren’t able to patch things up but guess what? You gained a family with your stepmom, stepsister, and your little brother. Life will have its fair share of surprises. There’s just so much joy.

You keep on telling yourself that you are a fat and ugly person. You may be a bit on the plus side but a couple of guys really have a big crush on you. They will confess a decade after. So stop telling yourself how horrible you are because you are so beautiful, you just have to learn how to see that.

You also had your share of heartbreak stories, you dated a couple of guys. So stop thinking that you are fat and ugly because believe it or not, you’re quite a catch.

Your siblings will become very close to you. In fact, you will be facing the worst, together. Your Dad will die ten years after. This will be your life’s greatest tragedy. But you will get through it, together.

Ten years from now, you will be really proud of how strong and brave you are. You have travelled abroad alone, worked in different industries, and just transformed into a wonderful person. You are and will be immensely loved.

Your bestfriends now, are your lifetime friends. They will hold your hand in good times and bad. Treasure them and love them.

You will live in eight different places in a span of five years. You will be quite the traveller dear. So brace yourself for the ultimate adventure.

Your mental health will be better. Imagine if you proceeded on ending it all, you wouldn’t have seen the rising. Yes, the sun will rise. Sometimes it hides beneath the darkest clouds but it continues to shine its light on you.

Being related by blood doesn’t equate with family. You will be cutting ties with a few blood relatives which will be beneficial for your sanity. Papa’s death will determine who your real family is. Those people will choose to understand instead of judge. They are not for you and you are not for them, and it’s okay. Your sanity is your top priority.

Remember when you dreamed of living as far away from your hometown as possible? Eat your words honey because you will find that your destiny is to stay in the province. Your purpose will be here.

You will also be a dog mom. Yes, dogs will be your kids. They will make you the happiest. You’ll have Chooey and Skittles. They’re both sweethearts.

You will write more, about your journey, and about the things that helped you become who you are. So when that writing coach of yours told you that you can’t write, guess who’s doing what now.

You will also discover your vocal prowess. Seriously, you can sing, like really sing. You will have sung in hotels and in a luxury dinner cruise. You are quite the talent.

The next ten years will be filled with wonderful memories with Papa. Sometimes you hate him, but ninety percent of the time will be happy. On his last Valentine’s day on Earth, he will take you out on a date. And that’s just one of the millions of things he will do for you that you will never forget.

You will still love people, despite. You will be a witness or a victim in several unfortunate circumstances. But guess what? You thrived still.

I want you to keep on holding on because life still has a lot to offer. I am now giving you an assurance that you’ll be okay. You’ll do great things. You will be a vessel for the ultimate purpose of the universe to manifest.

Good job, Katey.


Your 25 year-old self.

Dealing With Grief

It has been two months. I honestly thought I couldn’t make it this far. I still even find myself doing a lot of wishful thinking.

I still ask the question, “What if this is all just a nightmare?” Well, I guess it’s taking too long for me to wake up then. What helped me are the following things:

1. Meditation

Stillness keeps me in perspective. Grief is an arduous process. Meditation helps in starting the day with clear thoughts. It’s a practice of careful, non-judgement of thoughts. It is like building a house. At first, it was very shaky, and unstable, but the practice builds momentum for you to face the day.

2. Gratitude List

This would probably seem like a ridiculous idea to you. But amazingly, writing the littlest of things that you are grateful for takes you out of that deep hole of pain. It helps you learn that amidst the loss, there still is your life. I tried my best to consistently write at my gratitude journal. Sometimes I can’t write anything because of the universe-sized pain, but it is true, no matter how bad life gets, acknowledging what’s still working is healthy for the mind and soul.

3. Prayer

Before I discuss anything, let me clarify that I am not religious. But, I keep a spiritual practice that makes me feel connected to a higher Being. The act of praying itself, just puts everything out there. When you verbalize, the pain, anger, and fear that comes along with grief, you do feel better. Talking to God or the Universe, makes you process the confusing and turbulent emotions better. And who knows? Maybe somewhere out there, someone listens.

4. Best Friends

Keeping your friends close keeps your sanity. Luckily, I have two friends who are really just one call away. Amidst this most challenging event in my life, the two of them gave me the foundation and certainty that they are here for me. Knowing that you are cared for in the most trying times, makes you feel safe. They listened, no matter how busy they are, and helped in the best way that they can. People like them are one of the best gifts that I ever had in this lifetime.

5. Books

I have been reading Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth this past month. This is probably the best decision I’ve made while I was grieving. I needed to find my purpose again. I needed to realign with who I really am especially since the most important person in my life was suddenly gone. It’s my second time reading this book and it offered a whole new level of understanding. I would recommend setting time in your day to read this book and listen to the podcast for every chapter. I felt the healing, which was really unexpected.

6. Studying

As a medical student, I have to read a lot of stuff. Now that I got the time to do that since it’s summer break, this practice built momentum. Feeling productive takes you out of spending the entire day crying. I shed a lot of tears already and I know that Papa wouldn’t want me to keep on doing that. He would want me to stay strong and keep on going. He wanted me to become a medical doctor, and that is what I’ll do. Living his dream for me keeps me connected to him.

7. Talking to His Players

Papa is a basketball coach, hence, a lot of players are really attached to him. He served as a mentor to many kids, but now that he’s gone, I found myself being friends and mentors to them. I may not offer as much wisdom as my Dad, but maybe somehow, by talking to me, they feel more connected to Papa. Along the process, I also feel more connected to him as well. I got to learn a lot of things about my Dad, and by doing this, I remember the happy and funny stories. I get to be more proud of the man that he is.

8. Having a Special Person

Yes, friends, I do have a special person. I am not yet ready for a relationship and this human understands that. So far, he is very constant presence in my life. Also, he just knows the right things to say and do because he also experienced a terrible loss recently. I guess when you are grieving, you cling to any person that you could hold on to. I never thought that we would be this close because we are total opposites. But the understanding and kindness he has amazes me. I need more of those, especially now.

9. Family

It’s funny how the world works. Papa died during summer break. If it had been a school day, I might have not handled things well. Being with my family helped. We understand the pain but together, we are moving forward. I thank God for such a loving family. Knowing that you are not alone helps. Being surrounded by so much love helps.

10. Writing

I tried my best to go back to writing at my diary. Writing has always been my best friend when it comes to processing emotions. When I feel down, I go back to what I wrote in the past months. I see that I am and have moved forward in the best way that I could. I get to be proud of how far I’ve come despite all the pain. There are days when I am happy. There are days when waking up is the hardest thing to do. Writing makes me acknowledge what I feel. Reading the entries proves that I am a strong and brave girl after all.

There is no right or wrong way to grieve. Never judge yourself for feeling too much or too little, for being angry or happy. It is a process that you have to patiently go through. Stop thinking about the future. Screw that. Live your life in the present. Open your mind and heart to the lessons. You are doing okay. I am proud of you brave human.

I miss you Papa.

Yesterday was difficult. Among my siblings I was the one who cried less. I’m the type of person who would prefer crying on my own, not letting anyone see me break down.

Yesterday was difficult. My little brother talked to me and said, “Wala na yung naglolove sa akin.”

Everything is ten times harder. We still are in adjustment phase. It’s been three weeks since the nightmare that was May 17. I am afraid of forgetting him. I’m still finding it hard to wake up in the morning and do normal tasks. I still see him in every corner of this house.

Before I took a bath today I saw the diarrhea medicines he bought me two months ago. Then I remembered that he’s gone. I saw him when I got outside of the house. I felt that something was missing when I saw his red motorcycle parked, but the driver isn’t there. I see him, always.

I feel sad 99% of the time. How could such a strong, young, and athletic man die too soon. I also found myself scrolling through facebook and stalking my former classmate’s perfect life. All parents are there, she’s planning her wedding, studied in my dream school. Her life is very much different than mine.

I can’t help but compare how unfair everything is. Moving on is impossible but moving forward is a choice that I have to make every day.

He won’t see me graduate and become a doctor. He won’t walk me down the aisle. He won’t get to teach his future grandkids basketball. He won’t be able to run for politics. Everything has been put to a stop, without even an inch of hope.

I just try to get through the day. I don’t have an idea if getting back up is possible anytime soon. I just need to get through this painful day.05ACD361-7841-4862-9AB6-0B229B396A92.jpeg