This time I am saying NO

When I was little

I asked my mother

What will I be

She said pretty but discreet

 

When I told my mom

I had a boyfriend

She was just relieved

rape was not the story

 

When he held my shoulder

and turned me around

I was just thankful

That he did not hit me

 

When I was little

I asked my mother

What will I be

She said pretty like fairies

But be careful on taxies

If I am ever on one

Call someone,

so they know about my whereabouts

Or pretend to cough like I am sick

So he won’t lay a finger on me

 

When I was in junior high

My mom educated me to dress ugly

Pretty girls get into troubles

She said,

I know that from experience,

Listen to your mother

 

When I walked through the basketball team

In high school

I felt like I had to shrink

Because the way they looked at me

Unanimously

Worried about what they may do to me

 

When I walked alone on the dark lonely streets

I am always afraid,

Of the shadow behind me

Wondering if that shadow belongs to me

Or another man

 

When I am safely home from a party

I need to text my friends

to inform them about my safety

It never occurred to me

That my male friends don’t have to do the same

 

When I am alone with a strange man in the elevator

I worry from the top floor to the lobby

If he would take advantage of me

 

When a boy in elementary school

Wrote a letter to me

Which says “I hope you get raped soon”

I did not say a thing.

 

When my best friend in high school

Pulled his girlfriend’s hair

And forced her to go down on him

I did not say a thing

 

When he caught my arm on the street

And asked if we can be friends

I said no

He asked why

so I said okay

because I’d rather block him silently

Then making a scene

That time

I did not say a thing

 

When a guy at brass monkey groped me

I did not say a thing

When he threw things at me

Just because he was angry at something

I did not say a thing

When I am wearing a mini dress

And he thinks he has the right to touch me

As if I was asking for it

I did not say a thing

 

When this is the third time in this month

That three women were dismembered by different men

For saying no

 

This time

I am not staying silent anymore

 

This time

I am saying no

 

For the three women that died from brutal hands

I say no

To this society that favors man

I say no

To this world that men feel safe walking

alone and women don’t

I say no

 

Women,

We have the right to say no

without being punished.

No more violence

No more rape

No more death and cruel murder case.

 

Men,

when you witness a woman saying no

respect her

 

that is the only thing you need to do

respect a woman

when she says no

 

 

 

 

 

 

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In this Ocean

In this Ocean

I am a carved wooden boat

with the ever-changing wind I float

I guess we are all lost in some degree

Eyes blinded and cannot see

 

In this Ocean

I am a carved wooden boat

I turn my head around

Struggle to float against the force

my body stiffen

eyes wide open

 

with all the strength

the unassailable flow of nature I defy

Just to gaze again

at the breathtaking scenery

which I once sang and danced to

 

In this Ocean

I am a carved wooden boat

always almost immersed by water

but would never let myself be smothered

because of the moon upon me

that I have made a promise to

 

I will always be empty

The carpenter who made me

have not seen me in the ocean

The sailor who once paddled me

Left after the fourth sunset we watched

 

And I will always be searching

for a shore that I can call home

but will always end up with the cold embrace of the waves

 

I let the storm fill me with the rain

convincing myself that rain

can do what glue does

Rain will piece me back like a puzzle

Rain will appease the tempest in me

 

When the stars come out and the rain stop

I realize that the rain drops

were the reason why

there was a tempest in me at the first place

 

but I still miss how the rain showered me

and how comforting it was to not be empty

I blame the clouds for taking my heart away

It would be the twentieth sunset

that I realize

rain belongs to somewhere else

a garden or a river, perhaps

 

I will always be saying goodbye

to the carpenter who made me

to the sailor who once

taught me everything about the ocean

to the waves that pushed me forward

to the sunrise and sunset

to the cruises that sometimes pass by

and with every goodbye I say

there is a crack somewhere on my body.

 

Someone somewhere

Once told me a story about how there is a lighthouse

in the end of this ocean

I do not believe it

I have been floating alone

for too long

and the idea of a lighthouse

sounds only like a story

 

I have counted the sunset too many times

That I stop waiting for it

I start to enjoy the darkness

that follows the sunset

I rejoice in how lost I am

I wonder if I am also like the lighthouse

Just a story someone carelessly mentions

I ask yet again the moon

for some sort of wisdom

 

the ocean water has never been warmer or brighter

I don’t remember ever reaching out for this softness

It seems like the ocean water has been holding me up

from the very beginning

I just never really looked at them this way

 

Then I remember the story someone once told me

About how there is a lighthouse

In the end of this ocean

It became my only dream

 

I imagine

This sublime white tower

this building that looks as jaded as I will have become

emitting light into the impalpable

 

somehow

It would let me close my eyes

And drown

I would hear the sound of nothingness

in the bottom of this ocean

 

When I open my eyes

I will feel the touch of the lighthouse

As loving and gentle

like the first time I sailed

I would find myself

a part of the tower now

Emitting lights into the depths of the darkness

Note to Self: Things I’ve Learned from Depression

Embrace every moment

You are not depression

You are more than your illness

 

resentment

is a cage you need to escape

resentment against others

is always resentment against oneself

 

Fear is not to be afraid of

Look fear right into the eyes

they are not the enemy

do everything with grace and integrity

love your own company

 

Your emotions are valid

Don’t deny them

Observe them

Understand and accept

 

Don’t be afraid to fail

Mistakes and failures constitute success

Learn with acceptance

never devalue yourself

 

when someone achieves what you are aiming for

be happy for them

They probably work just as hard as you do

if not more so

 

try to go outside at least once a day

don’t dwell in an episode

it’s okay not to be okay

and love as many people as you can

along the way

 

Give

Give everything you have

and ask for nothing in return

It’ll make you a happier person

 

Be who you needed

when you were younger

you have fought

to be the person you are today

don’t underestimate

the strength you possess within

and don’t degrade others

just so you can feel better

 

stand tall and firm

for what you believe in

but reserve the right to be wrong

at all times

constantly and regularly

examine your opinions

Make sure they don’t evolve into prejudices

 

Always be curious

Ask questions

Fight for your rights

don’t compromise yourself

you are all you’ve got

 

Happiness and realization

come in the most unexpected forms sometimes

Never reject anything at first sight

 

don’t be afraid to change

We are all different people throughout our lives

and that’s good

We have to move on

Allow others to change too

 

you can’t find peace by avoiding life

Focus on one day at a time

Let other people’s biases stay as their biases

It is what you do at the moment that defines you

And that changes all the time too

 

there’s always room and time

for acts of kindness

there will always be uncertainties

We are all lost in some degree

and that’s okay

we are all the same

Everyone’s struggling with something

We all get desperate sometimes

So be kind

 

you don’t need to have sex to be sexy

your sexuality is yours

Own it

you don’t need to be hungry to feel pretty

please exercise and eat

Take care of your body

you’re gonna need it

 

If you see peace

you can find energy

If there’s not much you can do

grow a plant, or anything

then at least

you’re doing something good for earth

 

Don’t go wherever the crowds go

You matter the most

do what feels right to you

never judge

You always know less than what you think you do

 

You are enough

you are many things

yet there’s one thing you never do

you never give up

 

It’s all luck

Don’t take credit for your success

nor blame others for your failure

always put yourself out there

Try new things

Remember that you can always go home

 

The kingdom of heaven is within

Remember your religion

You are not other people’s voices in your head

you saved yourself

You,

you did it

 

The Game

*Something i wrote when I was seventeen.

 

I am a vegan

Who feels sorry

For the suffering animals’ souls

 

I am a virgin

And yes I’m seventeen years old

But I feel

Like I’m one of those

Suffering animals’ souls

 

So I put up the walls firm and tall

This way, I can heal

From the wounds which cut me deeply

That I bleed

Every single night in my dreams

Where I see myself left

With only bones

Buried in the bottom of the dungeon

To which

I am confined

 

Yes, I’m seventeen years old

A vegan and a virgin

I can easily

Spit out these identities

But still feel baffled

Still, feel frazzled

 

why?

My parents asked me

They never fathom

 

Every day, I try

I think

It’s because every day I try

To be “something”

Be polite, be positive

Be generous, be happy, be a lady

Talk louder, be a boss, but not too bossy

Be indispensable, be in control

Make us proud

But remember

Be yourself

 

I am tired

Of this game that we call life

Playing by the rules

Written for someone else

With a knife on my throat

I toss the dice

And try to survive

 

But this game is not fair

Not from the very beginning

 

They say even though

Life itself is an empty existence

Aspire to fill it

With a sense of belonging

 

But hey

I did not consent

To playing this game

Yet here I am

Trying to makes sense

Of all that I have not signed up for

 

I am tired of this game

And if the game writers

Have mercy at all

They

Would just leave me alone

 

I can’t recognize myself anymore

Like the suffering

animals’ souls

 

I remember

When I was twelve

Standing next to a bookshelf in my room

With Anna Karenina in my hands

Telling dad that I hope to study literature

and philosophy in the future

 

He told me blatantly

That I couldn’t possibly

make a career out of it

 

he wanted me

to be more like him

a lawyer

or perhaps

a law professor

 

I remember in middle school

I wished I could be

More like my brother

Because apparently

He was a born winner

And was adored by every creature

 

I was not made for this game

And that wasn’t acceptable

For a kid in middle school

She just wanted to be normal

No one liked that girl

Who sat in her seat

Reading all day long

Lacked of human interaction

 

You see

I think the rules of this game

Is written for and written by

People like my brother

 

Over the years

I slaughtered myself

Changing the soul

Bit by bit

Compromising

To society norms

 

I don’t recognize myself anymore

Like the suffering

animals’ souls

 

and if the people in this game

have mercy at all

they

would spare me a round

and leave me alone

Every day Is a Silent Hallelujah

Every day

is a silent hallelujah

For it is suffer that we mostly face

Daggers made of honey

is what we embrace each day

 

We don’t mature with years

but with damages

it is unfortunate yet accurate

to say

we are all damaged goods

but that’s okay

it is all just part of the process

 

For each day

we try so hard to fix what’s not quite right

in our lives

in ourselves

In whichever way we may believe in

In search

of a window of opportunities

That leads us back to happiness

To forget about the scars

marked on our flesh as time goes by

 

after all the wars we have each day

with ourselves and with dear life

marching our way through existence

 

To whomever is reading this

It’s a miracle how you,

are still alive

For how far you’ve come

For the silent battles you have each day

 

Wounded and jaded

But yet still here

Alive and breathing

Resting, maybe

But I know when the next battle comes

You, will rise up

 

glaring at this world

like the very first time

but it is wisdom

that you will gain this time

 

so every day

is a silent hallelujah

you,

are the only person

who knows how hard it is

to be you

the good and bad

 

the days you smile so proudly with victories

the mornings you cry in the shower

the incalculable sadness that comes after sunset

 

when everyone has gone home

and you are left alone

it is in pain and loneliness

that you find your strength

realizing what you are made of

only when you have lost everything

can you start building

 

all the unanswerable questions in life

to which I don’t know the solutions

yet I know what a miracle it is

that you are still here

breathing and alive

utterly lost and heartbroken

but you have walked a lonely path

through all the doors that kept shutting down

all the way to today

 

you fight for yourself

for your own existence

no matter how quiet the battle is

or how slowly time flows by

every day is a silent hallelujah

for you are still here

breathing and alive

 

 

 

Everything Is Good

Everything is good

I’m having my period

and my abdomen feels like something died inside it

but that’s okay

 

I have a roof above me

I have food in the fridge

so I’m grateful

 

everything is okay today

I have nothing to complain

 

existential anxiety

has been crawling inside me

for the past few weeks

 

family

school

boyfriend

school

state of mind

money

school

boyfriend

state of mind

money

depression

depression

depression

freaking depression

 

sleeping was a problem

it still is

I would wake up in panic attacks

gasping

shaking

reaching my hands out

searching for something to hold onto

and ended up with air and tears

 

but all that seem okay today

at least at this moment

when I’m writing this down

it seems okay now

everything seems okay now

 

I’m at this moment

like a suspense in time

I see yesterday

I hear tomorrow

but I don’t have to touch either

everything has stopped

the worries frozen

so everything seems okay now

 

no crisis to deal with

no one to socialize with

no obligations to oblige to

no one for me to worry about

no one to fake a smile to

no deadline to be alive and striving for

 

that’s it

this moment is it

when everything stops

boyfriend away

family and friends nowhere near me

just me

and me alone

frozen in time

 

so everything is good now

today

this moment

it all seems okay

 

quiet

everything is quiet

my mind and surroundings

all tranquil and resting

even my phone

just sits there

not ringing at all

I’m not waiting for any messages

or notifications from social media

 

everything is quiet and everyone far away

so it all seems good now

I get to just be with me

 

and I’m writing this down

not because I have another episode

of sadness to unleash

or anger and anguish

that never escaped me

 

I’m writing this down

this is new

about how everything seems okay now

when time is frozen

I am in the middle of yesterday’s tears

and tomorrow’s worries

and I’m writing this down

about how everything seems okay now

 

no baggages to carry

nowhere to hurry to

no one to hold my hands

nothing is happening

and that makes everything okay

 

I have 2 hours more of this

these sacred 2 hours more

for me to cherish

before time starts spinning

and everything speeds up

and today

sealed and bottled up

like a sweet sweet dream

untraceable

unreachable

and slowly forgotten

 

until next time

until god knows when next time

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Voices In My Head

Baby

You are so much more than your illness

So much more than what the voices tell you

 

You are dumb

Useless

A burden

A mistake

A joke

A hypocrite

You will never be fixed

No one can fix you

You are hopeless

Alone

Forever sad

Dead already

A zombie

 

No

No, you’re not

You’re not all that

 

You’re not

A waste of time

You’re not a lost thing

You’re not the dust that fell down

When everyone else is rising

 

You’re not bones buried in dirt

When everyone is walking on you

Their marches so heavy

You feel like you’re suffocating

Dissolving

Disappearing

 

You’re numb yes maybe

But you’re still solid in the air

Unnoticeable even by yourself

People may not see you

You may not see you

But still

You are solid in the air

I know that

 

Because you are a house that never falls down

You are the house that even invisible

I can still feel your presence

How you blocked the thunder

How you let the sunshine in

I may not see you

But I can feel your presence

 

Baby

You are still fighting

Even when you don’t know it

I may not know how you got here

How you’ve made it this far

How you are still alive

After so many years of voices in your head

Telling you otherwise

 

But see how you are still standing

Bleeding yes maybe

Jaded and confused

But You

are the waves that never stop kissing the shore

 

The shore being the darkness

And your kisses the stars

You shine up high

Twinkling

You never stop

 

You

Never stop

You’re surrounded by black

But baby please take a look

You are not the black

 

You never stop kissing the shore

The shore being the darkness

And your kisses forgiveness

The shore is part of the waves

The shore is part of the darkness

The shore is part of the stars

 

The sky

Stars and darkness combined

Are part of you

You are the universe

You

Are the universe

And darkness

is just a temporary aspect from a tiny little angle

It comes after sunset

It follows the sun

It follows the sun

The sun is part of you

You have the sun

You are the sun

 

The voices in your head

Is not the only voice you can hear

The only instructions you can follow

You don’t have to go

You don’t have to fade away

No one can make you leave

Not even the voices in your head

 

Baby

This is a reminder

If you ever get lost

In the voices that shout in your head

The voices in your head

Only you can hear

 

Baby

You are not those voices

You are not your illness

Baby please don’t go

 

You are not your sadness

you are a map

You are a compass

Not the voices

The voices in your head

are not your only navigation

 

You are a map

You are a compass

Baby

Please don’t go with the voices

Please baby please