1. I’m going to tell you now I’m a bit harder to love than most. It’s because I grew up with ghosts at my home and fallen debris. I turned myself into an armor of steel so I would be protected from slashes and whips and people like you who might break me.
2. Sometimes I would need you to cut through my barriers and reach me. Sometimes I would need you to knock on my door when it’s closed. Sometimes I would need you to love me a little bit louder.
3. Dear Stranger, I’m going to tell you now that if you are here to stay, I would ask too much.
4. I have a mixed up relationship with my depression, dearest. It comes and it goes and sometimes it takes over and I can’t control it. I would need you to hold my hair and keep my head up when I vomit my life all over the sink.
5. I won’t ask you to tell me that things are going to be okay, because I have enough wisdom to know that they won’t always be. I won’t ask you to hold my hand and tell me to turn over to self love, because I don’t have any.
6. Self love is a blanket I cover myself in when I go to sleep at night, occasionally with punctured holes and flaws whenever my thoughts have taken over or when someone throws hurtful words at me. Self love is a luxury I couldn’t afford, not when I spent this long drowning in too much loathing.
7. Dear Stranger, I am not alright. I’ll be okay on some days and I would laugh at your jokes and hug you tight and kiss your lips. I’ll believe in a parallel world where my life isn’t taken over by a lonely sky. I’ll fumble my way through crossroads and horizons, just so I could meet you halfway. I won’t leave you alone and I’ll try harder to get to you, it’ll only take time for me to get there day by day. I would ask for you to be extra patient with me and careful, as I don’t know what I’m doing.
8. I kept all the butterflies in my stomach in a jar hidden somewhere in my closet. I would need them at nights when I’m tangled up in your sheets and need to feel something.
9. This would be a burden, but I ask you to keep me away from my family.
10. Dear Stranger, for all of this, I am sorry. I just need you to love me.
This was written by Cariza Opana. Her first blog was entitled Paper Antlers (which I have no idea how I got there.) I remembered I was 16 years old and finding a way to escape boredom, I forgot the other details, but all I know is that I was visiting Cara’s blog everyday hoping for updates and new articles to read. Her works inspired me to create a blog and continue my writing.
I was a campus journalist during high school. I’ve attended workshops, joined contests, received certificates and medals, and even won first place in Copyreading and Headline writing in Golden Pen Awards during my fourth year in high school. But now that I’m not in high school, I’ll be honest, I never was into journalistic writing. I liked it, but I never love it the way I do with creative writing.
After I passed the entrance exam of West Visayas State University, I listed my name on Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. It’s because I did not know what I want to be or I had no plans where I should be, I was just driven by the fact that I was a budding journalist in high school.
My friend Jeremiah listed his name in Bachelor of Science in Development Communication. I said, “What’s that? Are you sure you like that?” and he told me tales about this course and I was like, “Okay. It’s good, somehow.” Days before I could take the exam in Journalism, I transferred my name in DevCom. I was so sure that time, no backing up plans. I made up my mind, “I guess I don’t belong in Journalism. I guess my fate and my passion is really to go out and help people.”
I’m really fortunate to found Cara’s blog. It helped me ignite my love for words, those that are free and with no technical standards. She writes from her heart and you could feel her sincerity. Because of her creative ways in writing, I was motivated to follow what I really love, take risks and proved to me the line from the movie We Need To Talk About Kevin,
“Just because you’re used to it, doesn’t mean you like it.”
This 2017, Paper Antlers‘ domain name was changed to https://caraopana.com/.
Visit it. Devour the words to your soul 🙂