Photo by M. from Unsplash
I’M ECSTATIC TO BE BACK!
Before I start sharing my life story update about the last three months, I would like to say how happy and excited I am to be back with blogging. I’ve sent out one or two tweets staggered in the last three months, but I’ve never sat down and told you the recent events in my life. I felt compelled to explain why I had to step back from the blogging world. I hope this article is good enough for an explanation.
If you’ve been with me for a while now, you would know it’s been so long since I posted a new article on my blog. After being gone for three months, I was scared everyone has already forgotten me, including a few of my readers. I thought I was old news, but some of my good blogger-friends proved me wrong. Some would say it’s so unlikely of me not to be active in social media, especially on Twitter. Some also expressed how they missed reading my content. These sentiments honestly fill my heart with so much joy and gratitude.
I find these remarks rather flattering; it validates my hard work and dedication in what I do as a content creator. It makes me feel seen and heard, so thank you to everyone who responded to my tweet and expressed their excitement to have me back.
You know who you guys are. You’re a few of the reasons I’m thrilled to come back to blogging in 2022. A huge thank you to the bloggers who made me feel extra special last night. You lift every blogger in the blogging community, and I’m all for it.
As some of you may know, I’ve already tried taking a ‘well-deserved’ hiatus from blogging in August of 2021. But three months ago wasn’t the ‘ideal, relaxing’ break I was expecting. What happened in December of 2021 was the beginning of nightmares coming to life.
HOW DID 2022 CHANGE MY LIFE DRAMATICALLY?
1. MY CITY WAS HIT BY A SUPER TYPHOON
On December 16, 2021, around 7:30 pm, Super Typhoon Rai, locally known as ‘Odette’ hit the Island of Cebu. This typhoon hit numerous provinces in the regions of Luzon and Visayas all around the Philippine Area of Responsibility, but I’ll just talk about my experience here in Cebu City. It was something I never experienced before in my lifetime. My parents and aunts agreed that Typhoon Odette was the strongest, most terrifying storm they’ve witnessed to ever visit Cebu after 30 years. It was devastating; unlike any other. Until now, when the weatherman announces an upcoming tropical depression in the country, I get nervous about what’s coming.
I remember that horrific night all over again. Imagine being inside your house at night while rain pours down heavily, non-stop, flooding the streets. The wind was so strong and loud, it sounded like a woman moaning in pain. They also sound like the sky whistling angrily. You could hear the steel roofs slowly being detached from the houses. You could hear huge branches cracking and slamming onto walls. You could also hear glass windows shatter but you don’t see anything because the outside is pitch black.
It was extremely difficult for me to resume my usual blogging schedule because everything was happening too fast. There was no power. No electricity. No signal. No internet connection. No water supply. Everyone suffered consequences, and we all had to endure these dreadful situations. Even government operations were delayed and stopped because the employees had to return to their families after most have lost their houses.
2. MY CLOSEST GRANDMOTHER GOT A HEART ATTACK
My 80-year-old grandmother was hospitalized for a month due to severe pneumonia. Guess what caused it? Typhoon Odette. We had to endure several nights without turning on an electric fan or an air conditioner because there was no power, and my grandmother was no exception. She had so much sweat all over her body; she looked like she’d just taken a bath. Little did we know, this would be the start for another nightmare. My cousins and I slept at the hospital on a shift basis. Most of my older cousins have work, so they couldn’t stay with my grandmother for a very long time. Luckily, the semester hadn’t started yet so sleeping at the hospital thrice a week every week was not too stressful, to say the least.
Every single day was just plain torture. To see my grandmother fighting for her life with every breath she took was painful. After careful deliberation among the family, we decided to take her home as she requested. Staying inside a small, dull, plain white room for a month with a tube inserted in your esophagus does not alleviate your state of mind at all; not to mention the couple dozen medicines being taken every single day. It was a scary decision to make, considering that my grandmother is still not in good shape. But we pushed through with discharging her because it was the best decision for her emotional and mental well-being. And we were right.
In God’s amazing grace, my grandmother is now at home resting on a second-hand hospital bed we bought from my mother’s old neighbor’s father (who coincidentally had the same illness as my grandmother five years ago). She is now breathing with an oxygen tank, without the assistance of a mechanical ventilator.
3. I WROTE MY POETRY COLLECTION
While all of the aforementioned were going on, I used the very little extra time I had (in between being a nurse to my grandmother and having online classes daily) to work on my poetry collection. I decided to submit my poetry manuscript to a rather known publisher in my country, Anvil Publishing. Given my current circumstance, I knew it would be difficult to write 100+ excellent poems when the deadline was already so soon. But my desire to shoot my shot in this dream was greater than my fears combined.
Two years ago, I wrote my very first YA fiction novel but it was never edited. There went my chance of being traditionally published. I didn’t want opportunities to pass by just like that, so I told myself never to make that mistake again. I’m in my twenties, and I believe this is the best time, although very difficult, to chase my dreams like there’s no tomorrow.
So there I was, scribbling random lines and verses on the Notes app on my phone while the whole city experienced brownouts and power outages. It was a stressful environment to be in, let alone maintain the focus to write a single poem. There was no electricity so it was so hot and uncomfortable to sit down for hours and be involved in the writing process. Even if the windows were open, no wind passed through.
When it was my turn to stay with my grandmother in the hospital, I tried my best to write too. Even with no sleep, I had to go in and out of the room to buy new medicine and supplies prescribed by the doctor. The minute I return, I continue writing again. There was no fixed routine or writing process at all; it was just simply making the time for it despite my hectic duties. As I am writing this, I’m proud to say I have already submitted my manuscript to Anvil Publishing, Inc. I pray and hope for the best.
Now, the first quarter of 2022 is coming to a close, but the rest of the year is just beginning. I’m proud to say I’ve grown so much these past few months. Although there’s still a lot more I’m yet to experience, I can now draw strength from the adversities I overcome today.