Friday, April 21, 2017

Ten



The double-digits age is finally here for my only child—my son—and as it settles, I am forced to welcome it like a permanent guest in my home, wreaking turbulence in my predictable day-to-day.  There is a distinct politeness to this permanent house guest that no parent ever misses. It makes sure you are slowly acquainted to it even before its official arrival. As a mother, I have seen its shadow peeking every so often in the past six months. At first I was in denial of it but the more I recognized it, the stronger I fought knowing full well this is a futile battle. 

He’s starting to look a little different. One moment I was straining my neck to look down at him when we speak, and the next I notice his head right by my chin. I still can’t adequately describe what I felt—a mixture of panic, confusion, and sadness—the first time I saw my boy reaching for his glass from the cupboard’s upper shelf without asking for any help. My arms that have always lifted him so willingly have now been replaced by his hardworking toes, balancing and holding his weight while his arms stretch to reach some coveted trophy.  

He’s starting to sound a little different. I can already hear the tone of defiance, though I’ve made sure he understands the difference between defiance and disrespect. He is wise enough to know I can tolerate one and not the other. 

The jokes are changing, his vocabulary beautifully expanding especially when he expresses his frustrations with me and my rules. If he only knew how I vacillate between hurt and awe when he shows me his capacity to use his words in expressing his anger towards me. 

His needs and preferences are evolving. His excitement was immeasurable when we finally agreed that he can do away with his booster seat in the car. And he couldn’t be any more proud when he proved to us he is now more comfortable riding MY bike than sticking to his smaller one. 

Mention of friends’ names are also becoming more frequent, affections more sincere, and the desire to spend time with them whether face-to-face or online playing games is stronger.

His self-conscious version has definitely arrived. Hair styling products in my cabinet are no longer just mine, and he has found his own voice when it comes to deciding on haircuts. He now also seems to care more about his outfits and how certain shirts hug his body, when before he couldn't care less if I put on him a shirt two sizes too small. 

Ten. It has been ten years since I gave birth to this wonderful spirit, this most beautiful child in my world who never ceases to overwhelm me with love and joy. Ten years of watching him grow and making me proud every step of the way have spoiled me into believing I will always be number one in his life; that, in spite of my exhaustion and complaints, I will always be needed and be the sole source of his comfort. 

But change is here and has been here though I refused to give it full attention. I've reasoned that I can keep deceiving myself for as long as certain habits remain—his need to still be tucked in at night; his need to twirl my hair so he can relax and fall asleep; his desire to be held tight and carried even though his feet dangle and reach inches beyond my knees; or his willingness to let me sniff him and still call him 'baby', though never in public. 

I'm fully aware that soon even these habits will end. Soon, he may become unrecognizable and I may find myself arguing with someone who will almost feel like a stranger to me, as I utter to him these words most parents with teens and pre-teens have said over and overWhat have you done to my child? Where is he, and could you bring him back?
  
As my son opens his arms to welcome 10, I simultaneously feel his grip loosening on mine. I expect at some point he would no longer be able to hold on tightly to both my grip, as well as the double digits. He will choose and it is my grip that would have to let go. It will tear me inside but I know it’s the most loving choice any parent can make. 

My home and my heart are ready for this permanent guest, the double digits. We are both strong-willed, we will clash and both of us will insist we only want what is best for my son. It will take my son farther from me, mentally, emotionally and physically. But I’ve been here far longer than this guest. What I need my son to realize is that no matter where the double-digits take him, Mommy and Daddy will always be home to him. He will become strong enough, tall enough to reach for the stars on his own, but he will always know that his parents' unconditional love and faith in him are what gave him wings. 

Friday, April 14, 2017

What Is Your Afterlife?




As Easter approaches and I'm reminded of the hope carried by Christ's resurrection, I couldn't help but be equally occupied by thoughts on death. I've had loved ones die, friends and acquaintances living with terminal illness, and all this with my own changing and aging body reminding me constantly of my own mortality. 

What happens to us when we die? Certainly the answer depends on your own belief system. Beyond that, I've also realized that much of our answer is shaped by our age and life experiences. The young, highly-Catholic version of me believed we either go to heaven or hell, and of course the comfort of the idea of purgatory in case we are not quite worthy of heaven and yet absolutely not deserving of hell either. 

But as I aged and preferred to see a God that is more forgiving and definitely not simplistic, I've settled in a belief that the afterlife shouldn't be that scary as long as you know you've lived a life of meaning, of mostly kindness and certainly Love. I now choose to believe that perfection has never been the objective, but rather growth and spiritual evolution. As Paul Kalanithi eloquently put it, "You can't ever reach perfection, but you can believe in an asymptote toward which you are ceaselessly striving". (When Breath Becomes Air)

Recently, I heard something utterly beautiful and comforting from the Netflix hit show Grace and Frankie. I know you're probably thinking it's a strange source of wisdom, let alone beliefs on the afterlife, but I'm sure you'd appreciate it too—

"The afterlife is how you're remembered by the living."

It erases the idea of a non-forgiving, simplistic deity, while at the same time puts emphasis on how we ultimately live our lives and touch the lives of others. It's not focused on perfection or the idea that flaws or mistakes permanently stain and define us, or lead us to eternal damnation. Instead, it makes us view our lives wholistically and puts in perspective the value we've added to this earth and others' lives. 

Are we loving enough to be remembered that way?

Are we generous to others that we shall be remembered as nurturing, selfless and kind? 

Are we forgiving so that others think of us as one with an open and humble heart? 

Have we been patient, gentle and wise with our tone and words so that people we leave behind remember us with joy and as a source of comfort? 

Do you make enough space in your heart for others such that they make space for you as well in their hearts and will remember you when you die?

The answer either brings you peace or disquiet. But each moment you have left is currency you can use wisely. Each moment is a reminder that this life we have is not meant to be lived selfishly; that our life is defined by the connections we forge and the positive difference we make in those we meet in our journey. We are irrefutably connected and so the salvation we offer others is as much our own. 

As the Christian world celebrates the resurrection of Christ, may we also reflect on how each moment offers us hope to resurrect ourselves into a life worth remembering and celebrating. 










Friday, April 7, 2017

The Stay-At-Home Mom Look



My son announced to me that his friend Josh (not his real name) was going to stop by in less than an hour. I didn't panic over how the house looked since I knew that, (a) our house is tidy enough, and more importantly (b) 10-year-old boys don't really care as long as you have video games and toys to play with. What concerned me most was how I looked. I haven't had the chance to shower that day, my short hair was pulled back by a headband that made all the ends stand up towards the back, and I was wearing an old tattered shirt and yoga pants (not the fashionable, expensive type, I assure you). 

"Dude, I look like garbage! I think I should at least change," I said to my son, while moving my finger up and down to point at how I was dressed. 

With undeniable sincerity he responded, "I'm sure Josh would understand, he knows you're a stay-at-home mom". 

What the hell is that supposed to mean? Is he saying that stay-at-home moms look like garbage?!

If you try to Google 'mom clothes', 'stay at home mom house clothes' or any variation of that, you'll see images that are still not half as bad as how I normally appear on a daily basis. I guess it's because no sane person would actually photograph themselves as how they REALLY look like and then post it on Google. Duh!

Anyway, I've always wondered about other moms and if I'm the only one who secretly looks like garbage. Actually, I take that back. I don't secretly look like garbage because I've overtly looked like garbage. I have stepped out in said garbage attire for the quick morning drop-off, appointments at the allergist after school and quick trip to the grocery. Granted I opted for a hat to cover my awful hair and made sure holes on my shirt were covered by a sad looking hoodie, although I'm sure the dark under eye circles are permanent accessories that stay unconcealed 80% of the time. 

On days when I wait for my son at the bus stop, I spot some of the other moms waiting and they all look 'nice'. It doesn't help that these are younger moms with well-toned bodies. Heck, they look like they've just stepped out of a LuLaRoe catalog, although I can't really claim to have seen one. I'm too cheap to pay for those, truth be told. And so I'm left secretly wondering if I'm in dire need of a daily schedule make-over and include 'dress up nicely or at least be public space worthy' as a top-of-the-list daily task, right up there with 'brush teeth and face'.

If you're a stay-at-home mom, how do you look like at home? What's your go-to outfit? 

Thursday, March 30, 2017

What Losing Myself Means



I remember in the 1990s I would often catch episodes of the Oprah Show and was always struck by how many women revealed that they feel as if they've lost themselves. Most of these women were mothers, and I listened as they painfully admitted that they no longer knew who they were, or what happened to their old vibrant selves. 

I was single at the time, with no 'potential sperm donor' in sight, and never fully understood the extent of what those mothers were talking about. I just remember telling myself that I can easily avoid this 'lost Self phenomenon' now that I know better, as if watching Oprah gave me immunity to this apparent epidemic. 

Now that I have a child, I stare at my face in the mirror and wonder about the person staring back. Do I still know her? How much has she changed, apart from the added wrinkles, strands of gray hair and weight gain? I can still see parts of the old me somewhere deep down, but it has become faint and something else seems to have surfaced. I suppose the best way I can put it is to say that it's just been dominated by that part that needed to take over the reins. There is now this new awareness that feels more adept at this important role and identity called Motherhood.

It's true that you lose your Self to motherhood, in so many different ways, over and over...

When you become a mother, your body ceases to be solely yours. Going through assisted reproduction, this realization hit me early on. With all the hormones and medication I needed to pump my body with, there was a clarity that it's no longer just about me—not my schedule, not what I feel like doing, not how I want to look like. And as the pregnancy progresses, the womb comes to outweigh all else as it's treated like a sacred vessel, helplessly dependent on you and yet holds power over you. Its needs cry out louder than any physical pain or discomfort you may suffer from such that taking pain medication you've relied on through the years is now thought twice about, or worse, banned for at least nine months. 

When you become a mother, your time is no longer yours. Forget about scheduling your days. Give up the illusion that you can block off time for your favorite shows. Don't even think for a second you will have total control of your basic bodily functions such as sleep or needing to use the bathroom. "At my own pace", "When I'm available", or "When I need to", are phrases that need to be stricken out of your consciousness for approximately four years, per child, at least. My son is almost ten and yet I still feel this way at times, especially when he is sick. Every parent knows that a child’s illness does not respect any level of maturity. A sick child regresses and only knows one thing: I need Mama.

When you become a mother, your thoughts will never again be solely about you—not your hopes, dreams, prayers. You will be hijacked and held hostage by fears you've never known before. You will wonder what happened to the calm version of you and ask why your brain can’t seem to stop worrying and imagining every possible scenario that pushes you to the depths of paranoia. Conversely, motherhood also forces you to learn to grasp at Faith with strength you never thought you had in you.

When you become a mother, your desires, even when they cry out, pale in comparison to the sense of urgency that leaps out of you when it comes to giving in to what is best for your child. Living near the fun part of town is no longer as enticing as living within the best school district. Your need for white linen tablecloth at a quiet restaurant that serves to-die-for duck confit and escargot is quieted by the need for crayons at the table and kid-friendly servers who will always know when to serve drinks in lidded cups.

To say that motherhood demands immeasurable sacrifice is an understatement. Accept that you will miss out on a lot of experiences. Things will drastically change, and at some point, you will ask what happened to the 'You' you've always recognized. Having a child enter your life will mean the exit of all that is familiar and taken for granted. It is a death within you that creates grief you can't put a limit on. It may ebb and flow, but if you embrace it and make friends with it, it will not drown you.

But just as much as you find a part of you slipping away or even dying, the experience of motherhood also demands that you birth a purer version of your Self. Don't expect the old version of you to remain or be resurrected in its exact form. That’s impossible. Deep love never leaves any soul unchanged.

Yes, there are days when I still reminisce about my old Self. But you know what? I still end up always smiling and feeling content. My life now is a never-ending stream of stress. Most days I feel sore and tired to the core. But I smile because I know that there is no experience on earth that could have brought out the most altruistic, most evolved version of myself other than motherhood. This is how it happened for me and though I'm certain there's a different path for every person, I'm eternally grateful that mine came in a cute package, with sweet kisses and warm hugs that make the grieving process for the old Me so bearable.


I stare at the mirror, smile and always end up whispering, "Thank you. This person that stares back is who she needs to be."




*This post was originally published on March 31, 2016 on Catharsis, and has been edited and updated. It remains to resonate with so much truth and is definitely one of my favorite pieces. 

Friday, March 17, 2017

When the Pain Haunts You





"You hurt me". Those were the last words I spoke to him as I walked away. It was to a man I had never met before in real life but in my dream, he wooed me until I found out he wasn't sincere and that he was seeing someone else. 

I wasn't planning on being so honest. In my dream as I would have done in real life, I was set on choosing pride over transparency. I'm not sure what propelled me to blurt it out but those words of admission poured out as magma would from a volatile core. 

"You hurt me". As soon as the words escaped me, I woke up, as if thrust to reality by the power of those words. The heaviness I've felt since waking up from that dream has held me hostage for hours now as I wonder why and how such simple words can carry so much weight to them and release waves of complexities.

I suppose the weight of admitting to someone that they've hurt us lies in the fact that doing so is also an admission of the power they have over us. Vulnerability assumes that we opened ourselves to someone else, brought our defenses down, and allowed another person to wield some degree of influence over us. 

It's not easy to admit we're in pain, and owning that someone cut us deep is a truly humbling experience. I can't even remember the last time I explicitly admitted to someone that they've hurt me. Mostly, I choose some passive-aggressive route until I'm over it and just move on. This isn't exactly the healthiest approach and I am, by no means, recommending it. Clearly, not saying it out right is a way of taking the easy way out, because the truth is, inasmuch as the admission of our pain is a difficult task, the real work and challenge is what comes after the admission...

Once you say you're hurt, then what? To me, there is only one thing more powerful than saying you are hurt, and that is, "I forgive you". To say you are hurt is passive. To say you are ready to forgive is a manifestation of your own agency. One is a voice of empowerment; the other is a surrendering of your power to another. Both, however, take real courage and strength.

The man in my dream hurt my pride. He misled me and broke my heart. I surprised myself by having the courage to expose my pain. But I wasn't strong enough to finish the dream with forgiveness. Perhaps the dream is a call to think back and realize that I may have moved on from a past pain but have not completely forgiven. Perhaps the dream ended where it did and left me with a heaviness as a plea to my heart to find a way to truly unload and release...the past, the pain, the transgression. Perhaps the real ending was in my act of waking up. And yes, the dream has woken me now. 





Thursday, March 9, 2017

Life is (Still) a Cliché





***If you haven’t read the original Life is a Cliché, (or Part One), click here.***

Life is too short. You only live once so you have to take the bull by the horns. Don’t be afraid of challenges, of the road less traveled. Jus live and learn. For crying out loud, please don’t be a worry wart. True, you need to look before you leap. It’s not like you’ll only be horsing around and dig yourself into a hole. But the truth is, you have to break a few eggs to make an omelette. Even Rome wasn’t built in a day. The trick is to learn how to make lemonade out of lemons. Keep moving forward and let bygones be bygones.

It’s true you’ll walk through countless rough roads, so keep your eyes wide open, and chin up! Don’t ever rest on your laurels. Sometimes you’ll get the short end of the stick but save the drama for your mama. Just keep on trucking and believe that slow and steady wins the race.

Get your feet wet. Go out on a limb and get hitched. Fight like cats and dogs. Work hard, play and love hard. Your heart will break and love is never easy as pie. But love is kind, and love is patient. You’ll soon see that when you put your heart into it, true happiness is just a hop, skip and a jump away. If things do go awry and you’re at the end of your rope, just take a breath and remind yourself that karma’s a bitch. Somehow, you'll get your revenge. Besides, time heals all wounds and before you know it, you'll be back in the saddle again!

You might think this is nonsense. Or things you’ve all heard before. But an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure and I don’t want to see you closing the barn door after the horse has gone. Mine are timeless words of wisdom and I know someday, you’ll thank me for this! And I know I've said this before, but I'll say it again...

Please don't shoot me, I'm just the messenger!





Friday, February 24, 2017

Parenting Behind the Scenes


We just got done with dinner and I was, as usual, busy moving around the kitchen trying to clean everything up. First, the dishes into the dishwasher. Then some clearing of the stove top and the kitchen island. In between, some items needed to be put back in the fridge. When I had most of the surfaces cleared, I grabbed a spray bottle from under the sink and started spraying my surfaces to make sure they're cleaned and sanitized. My nine-year-old Noah was still hovering until I said, "You better go upstairs and prepare for bed. I can't really fully clean everything if you're around". He then quietly walked away. 

As I was cleaning something in the sink, I noticed his head still peeking as he was standing by the staircase. 

"Hey, what are you doing? I thought I told you to go upstairs. It's bedtime for you soon and you still have to read!"

With that, he ran back towards me with a smile on his face and told me, "Is this what you do when we finish down here? I wanted to see the behind-the-scenes.

I smiled and nodded, threw in a quick 'uh-huh', and I thought he was done. I was surprised when he suddenly wrapped his arms around my torso and tenderly said to me, "Thank you for all that you do, Mama."

Tell me how to keep my heart from melting...

Tell me how to keep from looking up to the heavens and think it's miraculous...

Tell me how not to think that I must have done something right some time, somewhere, somehow, to deserve this beautiful gesture...

Because I don't know how and I simply want to allow myself to feel the pride, the humility, the tenderness and the undeniable power of those words washing over me.

As parents, we often do our work in the shadows, sometimes literally. Especially for a stay-at-home-parent like myself, most of my work is invisible and it's very easy to miss the difference we make. We fix beds, wash, fold and iron clothes, mop floors, dust surfaces, make meals, drive our kids around to appointments and activities, monitor school work, clean bathrooms, stock the fridge and pantry. If our families don't take the time to pause, the work we choose to do day in and day out can simply be mistaken for 'normal' or 'just how things are'. It takes a keen sensitivity and definitely a grateful heart to see the perfection behind the production that goes on, the amount of love put in to ensure the daily performances flow smoothly. Not everyone cares to acknowledge that it takes passion and dedication to keep things from falling apart and to truly make daily life seamless for our families. We may not need trophies to inspire us to keep doing what we do; no demands made for accolades for the behind-the-scenes quiet sacrifices. But time and again, a simple thank you and I see you could be the perfect motivation to keep the show running. 




Friday, February 17, 2017

This Is How Valentine's Day Should Look Like



I was surprised to see my mother-in-law up so early. In the six weeks she's been with us, she has never left her room earlier than 7:30 a.m. I was in the kitchen making breakfast and was totally unprepared to see such a worried look on her face. As soon as she saw me look her way, she said with a pained expression, "I've been up for hours now. I've been having chest pains". I tried to assess how urgent it was and of course she tried to rationalize and downplay everything by assuring me that she's done all the recommended steps to see if it's a heart attack and that she's certain it isn't. Just the same, I told her 'You better go to the ER and get checked'. She was resistant at first but I pointed out that it's best to be seen by a doctor since she'll be flying to Seattle the next day. Knowing her history of mistaking a heartburn for a heart attack, I decided to give her an antacid before waking my husband up to drive her to the hospital. 

This was how our Valentine's Day started just three days ago. It was a worrying morning and certainly not how anyone prefers to start their days, especially Valentine's Day. But you have to see the humor in this and remember that it was, after all, 'heart's day'. At least that's how I've decided to see it. Besides, it still ended up being a blessed day in the grand scheme of things. After four hours or so, an EKG and a few blood tests later, my mother in law was released and sent home with anti-GERD medication. The following day, my husband AJ and I took her to the airport and wished her a safe trip to Seattle to visit another one of her children.

Truly if anything, Valentine's Day is a reminder for me to manage my expectations. Indeed, it would be amazing to wake up to a bouquet of flowers, a box of chocolates, a greeting card with the most heartfelt poem ever written, or a piece of jewelry waiting for me on my (dusty) bedside table. But that's not how things turned out. And really it's okay with me, and here's why...

On the drive from the airport, I joked around with AJ telling him that the most unromantic person we know actually beat him on Valentine's Day because I saw on Facebook that said person actually gave his wife a bouquet of roses and a card! As soon as I said that, unexpectedly, AJ reached out his right hand to hold mine and apologetically and tenderly said, 'I'm sorry, Honey'. 

I'm sure he doesn't know this but that moment meant everything to me. It's not that I wanted him to feel bad or that I needed an explanation or an apology for him not living up to what society dictates Valentine's Day should look like. It meant so much because at that moment he made me feel assured that my happiness still truly matters to him. After all is said and done, isn't that what's most important and the real substance we desire behind any romantic gesture? Isn't that the oxygen any committed partnership needs in order to thrive? Doesn't love hinge on thatthe continued effort to bring richness to the beloved's life? 

Both of us will have expectations and we will undoubtedly fail each other, repeatedly. But as long as we both desire to keep trying, and see the other person's happiness and values as essential to our own, then roses or no roses it becomes easier to see the lush rather than a barren landscape. 

Valentine's Day shows up differently to each of us. Some require elaborate declarations of devotion, some make do with simpler tokens. Others still only need a quiet assurance that the hand you've grown accustomed to holding remains yours, dependable, never callous with your heart. To me, that's how I need it to look like. 




Thursday, February 9, 2017

Being a Drama Queen Helped Me Survive My Break-Up



Being partnered is great, especially if it’s a long term relationship. It offers a sense of security (no matter how false), and consequently, affords us a degree of complacency. The feeling that somehow you can now breathe and relax because you already have someone who doesn’t care so much about whether or not you remembered to conceal your eye bags today, or munched on ten too many club crackers before bedtime, is very reassuring and frees your mind to focus on other more important worries…like the inevitable zombie apocalypse. 

However, there are times when I wake up from a dream where I’m still single
and completely angst-ridden and suddenly feel lost and a bit sad, not because of the dream, but because I realize I miss some of that drama, that sense of pining. Somehow I realize being single wasn’t bad at all. I’m brought back to those soul-enriching days where growth was just inevitable given the amount of emotional muck I was trying to swim out of. 

Nothing else (pre-parenthood) makes me think of emotional and spiritual growth than the time when my heart got broken to smithereens after a boyfriend/fiancé broke up with me. It was pain I’ve never felt before which of course was to be expected given how deep and intense the relationship was. There were days when I honestly felt my heart had literally split into pieces, making my chest throb so heavily that I thought I’d stop breathing and drop dead. 

So how does someone like me who feels intensely and falls passionately survive a soul-shattering break-up?

I have one word for you: Cinemafy. I made the experience as Hollywood-like as I could. You know how in movies the heartbroken person first reaches rock-bottom before finding redemption? Aren’t there always scenes where she first falls into a coma-like state while feeding herself with nothing but junk food, feels crappy and looks unkempt, and then moves into self-discovery by walking all over town? (Yes, it’s always walking or running with great background music). That’s pretty much how I did it. 

I lived off of Pizza and Pepsi since I had no energy to cook. Cheetos also supplied me with all the sustenance and orange fingers I needed so I don't end up emailing or texting the ex.

I took long walks by my lonesome after work and dared myself to do this even at night. In retrospect, that might not have been the smartest decision since I could've gotten mugged. But at the time, it was as if all that mattered was for me to test my limits and push beyond my comfort zones. I was angry and broken and wanted to see if changing myself would also mean ridding my soul of the love I felt for my ex. 

I spent hours in bed looking at the ceiling while in a semi-catatonic state, rewinding events and conversations in my head to try to make sense of it all.

I watched Bridget Jones’ Diary over and over until I practically memorized the lines and spoke with a British accent. Heck, I WAS Bridget Jones! Remember that first scene where she was wearing her pajamas as she lip-synched to All By Myself? Yes, that was me. 

I also drank vodka but since I’m a wuss, I only drank it mixed.

I listened to Ella Fitzgerald until I felt completely wasted, not with alcohol, drugs or nicotine, but with grief and over-analysis. 

I wrote in my journal. A LOT. 

I cried and prayed and begged for everything I could beg for— for my fiance to come back, for my heart to heal, for amnesia, and even death. And then I slept.

I forced myself to go out with friends to have some distraction. It didn’t take long for me to realize that going out wasn’t always a great idea because I only ended up even more depressed and psychotic as I felt like attacking every couple I saw around me. The agony was worse if I saw interracial couples. (The ex is British). It could've easily turned into a scene of a deranged Michael Douglas from Falling Down. I knew I had to be very careful because out there was an emotional landmine. 

Finally, I figured I needed to leave the country for a short vacation and time abroad to further distract and convince myself that there’s so much out there to look forward to and discover about myself. (Don’t you think this was very Sabrina-ish?...the remake with Julia Ormond, not the Audrey Hepburn original?). Unfortunately, I ended up torturing my best friend, with whom I flew for approximately 20 hours, by talking about my ex and our intense love affair non-stop. I can imagine that she was probably thinking that it would’ve been far more pleasurable to jump off of the plane than hear one more bit of my reminiscing.

Indeed it was a cinema-worthy post-break-up journey and I don't regret any moment of it. I felt the depth of my pain while feeling like a movie star. I paid attention to my self-discovery and healing, while imagining that it was a magical and glamorous experience. You might as well have fun while you try to pick up and put together your heart's jagged shards. 

Create soundtracks, come up with cheesy lines and choose your inspiration characters. Most importantly, plan for a happy ending. Sometimes the main characters get back together, but sometimes they don't. But in any movie, the best and most memorable endings are those where the characters dared to go deeper into self-discovery, becoming more self-assured, enlightened and evolved. If you achieve that kind of ending, then you can really be proud of owning your title as Drama Queen. It would be so worth it!




This piece is an updated version of a previously published post on Catharsis entitled ‘The Art of Surviving a Break-Up’ (March 6, 2014).