The Dying Summers: Not A BCBA Love Story
Why do summers have to end? I mean. Life would be quite an exhilarating rollercoaster ride if summer was endless.
With carefree sunny days, idleness, and a festive feel, summer offers endless possibilities for fun and adventure.
And the entire world feels so alive, blissful, and colorful in summer.
Summers symbolize happiness, freedom, beauty, self-development, and idleness. In film, poetry, and books, positive times of love, adventure, and friendship are usually set in summer.
And summers also represent something we don’t want to end: youth and the prime of life.
June 2022: The last days of my summers
Blogging is like my childhood’s pleasant, breezy, lazy, and easy-going summers.
Every time I write my thoughts on my blog, my life dazzles with bright, sunny colors.
Everything around me seems to flourish.
I could smell fresh coconuts, taste the sweetness of ice cream, and hear the summer sounds of ocean waves.
And, when I write on my blog, it feels like a tangible weight has been lifted off my shoulders, just like the first day of summer after a long school year.
But, sadly, summers always come to an end. And, when you grow up, you won’t have the time and energy to savor the flavors of summer.
I’m done with blogging. Although it has been a life-changing and magical ride, I have to put an end to this journey.
My decision is final, and not even a prestigious award from BCBA (Best Cebu Blog Awards) can reignite my passion for blogging.
The thing is, I don’t see any point in blogging anymore.
What has it done for me recently, anyway?
A few friends? Recognitions? Opportunities?
I don’t have a good reason to blog.
Don’t get me wrong. I wouldn’t be where I am right now if I didn’t start blogging years ago. I’m a professional writer, and today, I have a decent source of income because blogging unlocked my creativity and skills in writing.
But, sometimes, I feel like blogging and vlogging are a young man’s game.
And I’m a full-grown adult.
Not just a millennial who complains about adulting, bills, and heart-breaking relationships.
I’m a sleep-deprived man with colossal responsibilities and emotional scars that tell a story of a never-ending parade of tragedies.
And, then, there are the inner demons.
They have names, and I call them Fear, Doubt, and Anxiety.
These demons take up precious real estate in my head.
I hear the trio’s whispers, chants, screams, and taunts whenever I’m alone at night.
I tried fighting this trio of demons.
Yet, they remain within me, killing my slowly with their words.
The worst part is, no one knows I’m having this silent battle in my head.
On the outside, I look like an average adult. But, inside, it’s a battlefield, and I’m terribly losing the war.
Some think that I’m just being moody, sensitive, and uncharismatic. My friends thought I was just sulking and displeased because I didn’t interact with them in our group chats.
And I can feel them talking about me and my recent inactivity from the group.
The reality is, I wasn’t sulking. I was having a serious burnout and breakdown.
And I’ve never known dealing with a mental health issue would be this hard.
The thing is, our festive Filipino culture always takes mental health issues lightly.
We grew up believing that anxiety and depression are non-existent. And we thought that mental health issues were something to be ashamed of.
When dealing with these issues, Filipinos will say wash down all your sorrows with alcohol.
Grab a bucket of beer, be a man, and stop thinking of things that don’t exist.
The world doesn’t have endless summers, and now, I’m entering a new season with thunderstorms and heavy downpours.
So, goodbye blogging. You were the constant source of happiness in a youthful era in my life.
Bloggers inspire readers and people.
Through their words and pictures, bloggers inspire others to find their bliss and enjoy the charms of summers.
But how can I inspire people when I’m an emotional mess?
How can I be an inspiration to others when on some days, I see no reason to be alive?
And I’m starting to hear voices in my head.
They are getting louder by the day.
Perhaps, these voices were triggered and unleashed by a series of unfortunate events.
After surviving the almighty Odette, my wife left me in January. A couple of weeks later, I lost my “mama” to her lifelong battle with diabetes.
I’ve always been mentally and emotionally strong, but these blows and headshots are taking a toll on me.
Maybe, I just need to write and blog to escape my crashing reality.
But where do I start? Where do I find inspiration for my next blog?
My entire body is in disarray.
Every inch of my body and soul is in pain. My lower back is a mess, my shoulders are weary, and my knees are creaky.
The gift of youth is fading, and my summers are slowly dying.
Wistful and nostalgic, I read my blog and recalled the most fascinating and exciting moments of my life.
My blog’s tone was so different back then.
There was no drama, emotional conflicts, or mental health issues.
Like a quintessential travel blog, it was full of life, colors, and tips.
When I read my blog, it feels like I’m transported into a world with everlasting summers.
I was also a dashing adventure seeker with boundless energy back then.
In my younger days, every weekend was a blast.
I climbed steep mountains, hiked rolling hills, chased majestic waterfalls, swam with sardines and sharks, and discovered a plethora of hidden gems.
Even though youth isn’t on my side, I still have the energy, strength, and athleticism to conquer outdoor challenges.
But I don’t have the zest and enthusiasm to do it. And, besides, my injuries need to heal for a big adventure.
They say the human life cycle is connected to the four seasons.
Spring represents youth, summers epitomize the prime of life, autumn is old age, and winter embodies our deathbeds.
My summers are slowly dying, and I’m entering a new phase of my life.
As I embrace the new season, I learn there’s beauty in rain and fall.
May 1, 2022
The positive voice in my head:
Just start blogging. Don’t think about your tone and readers. Those vibrant summers are gone.
But I don’t look, smell, or walk like a typical Filipino blogger.
I like to walk on muddy trails, get pierced by thorny plants, and climb perilous cliffs.
I don’t have that influencer vibe.
I’m a minimalist, simple, no-frills blogger who writes for fun.
The positive voice in my head:
People don’t visit your website to see your flashy outfits, heart-stopping exploits, and itineraries.
They read your blog for inspiration, to gain new philosophical insights, and to learn valuable life lessons.
The world doesn’t need another fashionable and trendy blogger. We have tons of them.
The world is thirsty for encouragement and words of wisdom.
What should I write? Nothing is uplifting in my world.
And nothing inspires me.
Inspire. That’s it.
That’s what bloggers do.
The positive voice in my head:
Write for your own sake. Distract yourself. Make your journal or a diary, write down all your emotions, express those, and get them out.
Read a book, or listen and make music. You’ll figure it out.
I’ll start writing about the Odette aftermath. Afterward, I’ll write at least one fictional story.
The positive voice in my head:
Why don’t you read the old comments on your blog? Why don’t you read the private messages on your Instagram and Facebook?
I’m sure you’ll discover a slew of inspiration there.
Better yet, read books written by Matt Haig.
Read the Midnight Library and his memoir Reasons To Stay Alive.
Like your blogs, his books will transport you to different places and times.
And, like your blog, these books are a treasure house of wisdom and knowledge.
They will uplift your soul, touch you to the core, and provide encouragement.
October 2022 – The BCBA 2022 nomination
I’m genuinely surprised.
For the third time in a row, I’m nominated by the prestigious BCBA (Best Cebu Blogs Awards). This time, I’m a finalist for the travel blog category.
It’s my fourth time being nominated by the only award-giving body for blogs in Cebu. And every time BCBA nominates me, I get shocked.
I do believe I’m a creative writer and a dynamic storyteller.
But I don’t fit the mold of a typical blogger.
I’m an introvert and a misfit who doesn’t care about aesthetics.
Furthermore, my recent blogs have been rather deep, emotional, and full of longing.
Still, I’m proud of being nominated and mentioned in the same breath as some of Cebu’s finest and most prized bloggers and influencers.
I guess I did something right this year.
About BCBA 2022
Led by founder Mark M. Monta, this award-giving body recognizes the existence of movers, social media influencers, bloggers, vloggers, and blogs in Cebu’s blogosphere.
BCBA recognizes the top blogs, vlogs, and TikTok videos by Cebu-based influencers and Cebuanos who are as talented as their foreign counterparts.
Now in its 15th year, this annual event will be held on December 3, 2022, at Holiday Inn Cebu City. For the first time since 2019, this awarding ceremony will be held face-to-face.
And, this epic event wouldn’t be possible without the following sponsors and partners.
Geemiz: Accounting Blog
October 20, 2022: Embracing the dying summers
Words have the power to heal troubled souls.
In my younger years, I blogged and wrote about my escapades to inspire people and help them step out of their comfort zone.
Today, my blogs have evolved into something more philosophical.
The tone is different and isn’t practically suitable for everyone’s taste.
Nevertheless, it’s bringing hope to a world deprived of love.
Every month, I receive messages from different people thanking me for helping them escape the clutches of depression.
And that’s therapeutic for me and a sign that my blogging journey should go on, despite the dying summers.
The truth is, I don’t earn a ton of money from blogging.
But the “thank you” notes and smiles from my readers are timeless and priceless treasures I’ll cherish for years.
I’m going to keep blogging.
And, for the first time, I believe I deserve to be nominated by BCBA.
Bloggers inspire people, and I have been doing that for over half a decade.
October 15 – The rainy hike to the top of the Philippines
I’m not worried about my dying summers.
In the past few weeks, I’ve learned to embrace the rainy days and autumn season.
Rainy days may not be as fun and bright as summers.
But rain makes things grow. It nurtures nature and creates a place of solemnity and solace.
Rainy days give solitude to my life.
And the rains in my life have nurtured my soul with wisdom and knowledge I can share with my readers.
Rains have also inspired my creativity. And, that’s why I’m blogging and writing this letter to you.
I would be really sad if you stop blogging. You are one of the few Cebu OG bloggers that remains to write and not a repository of PR articles.
Actually I’m loving the deep thought proving narratives on your recent articles.
I won’t ask of constant articles but I will be glad to read your stories every now and then
Thank you for your kind words, Gee. 🙂 I’m not stopping anytime soon. We’ll just have to evolve. 🙂