Kindled Spirit

The initial idea of buying a Kindle got my eyes rolling to ceiling and back. My sister, who can’t shut up about hers, has been bugging me for months to get one. And for months, I refused.

Why? Because of all the familiar reasons: I love the physicality of books — the smell, the flipping of pages, the weight, the cover art, even the act of going inside a bookstore and choosing what to buy.

However, it came to a point where the very reasons I love reading are the very reasons that kept me from reading.

Being a working mom, the only real me time that I have is in the evenings, while I’m putting my baby to sleep. Before the baby, I have successfully limited my mindless phone scrolling before going to bed, my social media screen time, and feeling sorry for myself because all my friends have these fantastic lives.

But when you have a baby latched on to you in the middle of the dark, with nothing but your nightlight and your phone, it’s inevitable to fall back into old, bad habits. It did not get out of hand but it got me bored. It got me so bored that it got me irritable when my baby is having a hard time sleeping. So, ignoring my sister’s “I told you so” triumphant smile, I succumed and got myself one. 

It’s a pre-loved Paperwhite 4 10th Gen in black, but still works perfectly. Not a dent or a scratch.

It turned out to be one of my best purchases of 2021!

And it actually got me out of my reading hiatus hibernation. In just a span of 5 months, I was able go read 12 books in total! My Goodreads is active once more and I found myself enjoying writing book reviews.

As much as I love the whole experience of reading an actual book, my Kindle gave me the thing that I need the most right now that no other book can: convenience

Most importantly, it got me back to one of my favorite hobbies: reading.

It’ll take a while before I start reading an actual book again. Aside from the light limitation, I can’t bring myself to think about crumpled and/or torn pages courtesy of the litol one’s very curious hands. So for now, I’m thankful that I have my Kindle with me.

22 Minutes to 2022

Letting go and taking full control of myself — this is my mantra for 2022.

I’m letting go of all the junk — junk in my mind, junk in my body, and junk in my soul. For anything that festers in the mind will manifest in the body and will eventually destroy the soul.

I need to guard my thoughts. I need to accept that  some will hurt you but it doesn’t mean that you need to hurt them back. Sometimes, the best thing to do is to just walk away. For sometimes, fighting for something, asking questions, and seeking answers will do more harm than good. 

I need to refocus on my well-being. I’ve come this far and I don’t want it to be all for nothing. I remember when I was so disciplined because I was motivated, and I was motivated because I was disciplined. I’ve slipped but it doesn’t mean that I can’t get back on track.

I need to protect my soul. For once the soul is crushed, it’ll be hard to find yourself again. It happened to me once; I don’t want it to happen again. I need to remind myself that my happiness should not be the cause of someone’s grief. And that my triumphs should not be considered by anyone as their loss. I can’t be sorry all the time.

This may sound bleak but it’s actually hopeful. This may sound selfish but it’s actually self-preservation.

At Both Ends

Hey! Let me know if I can call you.”

I checked patiently for a reply.

There was none.

Maybe he’s asleep.. or maybe…

The familiar call notification on Messenger played.

It was him.

On video.

“Hey! What’s up?”

“I heard about what happened. How are you now?”

“Yeah… we’re getting old…”

I can’t remember the last time we talked. It could have been months. It could have been a year. I’m not sure, but what I’m sure of is it’s been a while given that I can’t exactly remember.

You told me about the ‘incident’ as if it was an every day matter. Like it’s a given, given where we are now. It could have been an awkward conversation but we quickly fell into our old pattern. You with your snide, witty remarks, me with my self-depreciation humor and the tendency to wrinkle my nose while laughing.

We talked about the present and yet it felt like we were back in that small creek beside our classroom. The one we usually go to after class, right before we go our separate ways for dinner and bed time. We talked about our current struggles. And even though we’re no longer as updated as before, it felt like we were just talking about them on the roof deck of your condo, in our drunken state, while the chilly air of the wee hours touch our faces.

Things are very different now, I know, but it never felt like it during those 24 minutes of digital conversation.

That’s what I love most about our friendship. No frills, no dramas, no reading between the lines. No passive aggressiveness, no guilt trips, no secret resentments.

Most especially, we have our pause. That even though we don’t talk as much as we’d like to, we just pick up from where we left off last time. As if nothing changed even though it’s very apparent from the the aged, weathered versions of ourselves we see on our screens.

I would like to talk more but our rant fest about how shitty life is at the moment both made us at a loss for words.

“Hey, I have to go. It’s midnight here and I really need to rest.”

“Yes, I have to prep for lunch, too. The little one’s calling.”

We both said our goodbyes and I love yous, smiling at each other, miles and time zones apart. I don’t know when we’ll talk again. It might take weeks, months, or even a year. But I’m not quite bothered.

We both know that the phone rings at both ends.

It doesn’t really matter who makes the first call. The other side will always pick up.