The Path…

poem by dehl. inspired by the hesitation to follow a dream.

We all have the desire to achieve. In order to fufill that, we ought to do something. Sitting and waiting will definitely not help. Act now or never. Have the courage to make the first move and take that all-important first step…

Go…

Do not rush. Rather, take one step at a time. Achieving a goal, a mission or a dream requires patience, because the path leading to it will undoubtedly present itself with obstacles. Pessimistic? Maybe, but you and I have lived long enough to realize that there has never been a straight and easy way to getting what we want.

Living life itself is not straightforward. Everyday, we contend with personal and worldly hurdles to be able to enjoy a smooth-sailing existence. Just like in the pursuit of that which we want to achieve, be aware that there are hindrances along the way.

Though difficult, keep walking…

Acknowledge that the journey is not perfect, thus become less fearful to proceed.

Rest…

It takes a lot of effort to work towards what we aim to accomplish. It can result to physical and mental exhaustion. So, we have to renew the depleted strength to be able to carry on. Keep hoping that the result we are aiming for will be less elusive as we trudge along.

Don’t give up. The path we decided to step onto will eventually lead to the end which we so desire.

Reflect…

Each stride we make comes with valuable lessons. Do learn from them. Remember them. They will come in handy when we decide to start treading a new path to a new destination.

Now, set a goal, dream. Choose a path. Read the above all over again.

Waves Are Like…

(inspired by a quiet early morning stroll along the beach)

Waves come and go, like the people we encounter now and then.

They either come, stay and become significant parts of our lives. Or they come but go, thus leaving us with fleeting and/or lasting memories.

Waves are temperamental and at times, unsettling. They are like life’s troubles and struggles.

They may come suddenly and savagely. And whether we are ready or not, we’ve got to find a way to deal with them. Surf through them.

They may come slowly and mildly, giving us enough time to organize our thoughts and maybe even get creative on how to confront them.

Keep in mind though, that just as the waves come and go, so too our troubles and struggles. As long as there is water in the sea blown by the wind, the waves will undoubtedly find their way back to you and me. It is apt to say that as long as we exist and breathe, there will be challenges to meet and greet:)

Waves can be seen as ordinary or otherwise.

Take a walk along the beach at sunrise. Put away your mobile phone. Be free to feel the fresh and cool morning breeze. Listen to the sound of the gentle splashing of the waves as they reach the shore.

Beautiful. Peaceful. Soothing.

Quite out of the ordinary.

Unfortunately, just as waves have the ability to bounce back and forth, life hasn’t and cannot. We all know it ends with one final gasp of air. The last breath.

This is a harsh reminder that we’ve only got one chance to live. One.

No matter how mundane it is, we have to make everyday of our existence worthwhile.

Now, take a break from the hectic hustle and bustle of your life and go to the beach…

(all photos are my shots😊)

SACRIFICE

disguise your torment

for someone else’s joy…

rein in your tears

for someone else’s smile…

 

 

you feign bravery

to allay another’s fear…

you laugh out loud

to shield a muffled cry…

 

 

abandon your beliefs

for someone’s wish to flourish…

cease to exist

for the other to thrive…

 

 

you despair to scream

out loud!

silence is a must

your voice fading in a cloud…

 

 

fold your wings

for someone  to fly, high…

step aside,  out of the way

let the other walk out proud…

 

 

you’d stop breathing

for a new life to begin…

when you love

you sacrifice…

A Photography Journey: I Got Blocked!

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I have recently joined an online photography community but got blocked without warning after posting just a few photos of my own. It was such a disappointment. It always takes me awhile to join a group that I like, that is why I found it harsh that I was dropped instantaneously. Just like that. What have I done wrong? I had to find out.

Oh, of course! I defied its guidelines! Fair enough.

In my excitement, I got carried away and skipped reading through the  posting rules and regulations

Rules are rules. I get it. But, maybe a reminder first before blocking?  Other administrators do that. They give a gentle reminder to those who have failed to comply and the member/photographer simply edited his post. It’s different for repeat offenders, of course. By all means, block ‘em!

It has been weeks since, but as of this writing, I am still blocked by the said online community. So, even if I want to, there’s no way for that mistake to be rectified. Shame…

I must admit though that being blocked taught me these lessons:  what  ‘street photography” is all about and to absolutely read and obey the community guidelines.

Have you ever been blocked? Just like that? Thoughts?

Here’s more of  my photography journey: Finding My Place

 

 

Depression : A Story of a Mother’s Immutable Fear

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Mental health. A condition we’ve become more aware of and try to better understand. Many are making an effort to be heard despite the stigma that accompanies their admission. 

I am here to share inspiring stories in the hope to keep the flame going for mental health awareness.

This is a mother’s story.

“Kate Spade. Anthony Bourdain. Causes of death: Suicide by hanging. Three days apart. Unbelievable but true.

Depression does not discriminate. It can affect anyone, whether you are rich and famous or just an ordinary person, like my child.

These recent events on mental health have brought me back to a phone call that I will never forget. It was from my daughter who tearfully revealed that she was on medication for depression.

Since then, I have been living my life in constant fear of the worst.”

Suicide?

”Yes. I couldn’t even bring myself to say the word. And because my daughter was living away from home, that fear was compounded by my guilt of not being able to physically protect her. If it were up to me, I would have encouraged her to come home. But of course, that was not feasible. I cannot tell her to abandon everything, come live with me and then what? Make drastic changes to her career path and her future plans? I simply can’t do that. Besides, I knew such decisions were not up to me.

My Anger

Then it dawned on me. I actually did not know what to do! Yet, it was happening! And to someone like me who least expected it. I was caught off-guard and felt like I was thrown into a battle which I was not ready for. I was at a loss. I got angry! What was I supposed to do?

I felt helpless. I found myself wanting and needing for depression to be a physical entity, so I could see and determine how to fight and keep it away from us.

While I groped for answers, I suddenly realized that I was seeing it all wrong! This was not about me at all.

Acceptance

It was about my daughter, my child…

I relegated my own concerns, my anger, and especially my fear, to the background. It became a bit easier from then on. It paved the way for me to focus on the real issue and accept a painful reality; my daughter has depression. And she’s got to cope with it for the rest of her life. But, while I’m here, I’ll make sure she won’t have to face it alone. Ever. We are going to deal with it, together.

My Daughter

A friend has said to me. “You know, your daughter is admirable and smart. When she recognized that she was having problems, she did something about it. She decided to fight.”

I never saw it that way until then.

Indeed, when my daughter was struggling and having thoughts of ”it was better for everyone if I’m gone”, she knew she had to seek professional help. And I am incredibly grateful that she did. A life has been saved. My daughter’s.

I could imagine how difficult it must have been for her to make that phone call and open up to me. When she did, it has changed our lives forever. It has also brought forth a promise of unconditional love through whatever would happen as we live through this.

I still have that fear. All day. Everyday.

It is true. You can not fully understand until it happens to you.”

To follow: A Daughter’s Story

Please read: The Onlookers’ Story

and   The Gamer’s Story

My Blog is Two Years Old!

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I barely even noticed its first anniversary. Yet, it’s still up and running on its second year. That notification above is quite right,too. It is an achievement especially for someone like me who was unable to blog that much in a span of two years.

Good blogging? I am not sure about that. Apart from the stats confirming some long periods of inactivity, I must admit that I have quite ignored my site. Why? The concocted answers are in The Kind of Writer I Am, I would like to think that I penned it to know more about myself and not because I was making alibis. Whichever, it helped me to realize how my writing habits affected my blogging activity.

‘Opinions Matter’ has become a blog about anything. Because there is no limit to what I can write about. A lot of ideas could stem from the daily routine at home and at work, from a chinwag with a neighbour or from a meeting with a friend over a cup of coffee. I was able to incorporated my travel experiences, (Summer in and Around LLandudno), and yes, there are more to come!

The movies and TV programmes we watch and anything we read are also lucrative sources of blogging information. Not to mention those meaningful encounters with strangers (One Day, Two Stories).  It is fascinating when these circumstances inspire topics that become alive in anyone’s blog.  They can motivate, uplift and help raise awareness (Depression and Anxiety).

At one point, melancholy has not spared my blog and it was poignant in a poem,  In My Arms.

The point is, and I say it again, the world we live in has so much to offer to the blogging world.

Two years ago, I knew very little about blogging. I started it to feed my passion for writing. Today, it still does.

Two years ago, I created Opinions Matter because I know I have something to share about life itself. I have never been and still is not driven by stats but every notification of likes, comments and follows I get brings forth a genuine gratefulness from my heart.

Well, you’re welcome WordPress and thank you for letting me fly with you. Though it’s a turbulent ride for me, I intend to fasten my seatbelt and enjoy the journey!

Depression and Anxiety: The Gamer’s Story

When depression or anxiety affects a work colleague, a friend, a friend’s family member or someone dear to your heart, it becomes surreal. Somehow, one begins to truly understand the kind of battle these individuals have to fight everyday.

May I share some stories of people I personally know who experienced these feelings or condition. I realized that each story is individualized and as such, each person coped differently. I write these to help raise awareness. That’s all.

photo of person typing on computer keyboard

Photo by Soumil Kumar on Pexels.com

The Gamer’s Story:

“Did you know that I may have had depression?  A few years ago, I left home due to a family misunderstanding. It was then that I started to be overwhelmed with feelings of being useless and that I was a ‘good-for-nothing’ human being. There were times when I found it difficult to get out of bed and do just about anything. Everyone thought I was just being lazy. I was hesitant to talk about what I was going through. I assumed that it would be dismissed as “just one of those days.”

It became worse when I was often left on my own in the house.

It hit me.  I was all alone. Loneliness got real.

Thoughts on ending my life? They did cross my mind. But I could not bring myself to hurt my loved ones. Not that way. I could not let them suffer picking up the pieces and live with unresolved guilt forever.

I had to force myself instead to try to live a normal life amongst those around me. Life became a routinary blur of work to house and vice versa. During this time, I immersed myself into online gaming.  Looking back, it has, in a way, diverted my mind off miserable thoughts. It still does. Suddenly, I was not alone anymore. I was talking to people. Online. But, I was communicating. More importantly, there was something to look forward to the next day…and the next.

Today, am I better? Maybe. My online gaming turned into a live streaming channel and has built a considerable number of followers. Some gamers became my friends. I was able to travel and meet them in person. To this day, we have kept in touch constantly.

I am back home. I still have those days when I get glued to my bed, but I would like to believe that I am now better equipped to deal with that. I have opened up to my family in the hope that they will have a better understanding when I fall into the dark again.”

The other stories soon to follow. The Onlookers’ Stories