Chasing Dopamine

It’s been a week since I landed back home, in Toronto, and I still feel like something is missing… like something is off with my energy.

I’m talking like I don’t know what it is but I know damn well that my head ain’t on straight. I know that my internal clock has adjusted to something far from my grasp (not unattainable, but difficult to attain).

I knew I didn’t want to leave just yet. I bawled the entire shuttle bus ride to LAX. My heart would have been content if I had missed my flight (and I was close to since I mixed up my flight times – silly, high me). But I couldn’t do it for a multitude of reasons…

My plan was poorly executed in a way but my circumstance was simply out of my hands.

Once I landed, I was furious. Happy to have landed safe, yes, but furious in a sense that I KNEW I did not want to be back home. I wasn’t ready because I felt that my journey was not yet complete. Let me rephrase that – my journey in LA was not yet complete. There was so much land I wanted to cover, so much energy I wanted to feel, so much air I wanted to breathe…

But I should have known that I would get caught up in its atmosphere and stray away from the reason why I needed my solitude. It was so easy for me to get lost, so easy for me to get lost in someone other than myself.

Of course, I got distracted in LA but I feel like I needed that to remind me of where I’m supposed to be and where I’m supposed to be going. It was humbling in a sense. For that, I do not regret this decision.

However, I have this dire need to leave again – to go back to LA. Or maybe even go elsewhere. Just, away from home.

As I said in my Instagram post, I’m running towards something greater than myself. I feel like my purpose is beyond my home…

I feel like my home is wherever my heart lies.

And that is why I decided to name my whole experience, “Chasing Dopamine” – happiness also lies everywhere, especially outside of my home. I just have to get up and chase it.


If You’re Reading This

I’m already on my plane and I’ll be on my way.

I’ve said my goodbyes although I know I’m coming back. But, this one-way ticket is my only salvation right now.

These past few months have been excruciatingly tough for me, mentally. I forgot who the fuck I was – who the fuck I am. It was a constant battle of me reminding myself of my worth versus questioning why I was not worth the risk. I questioned why I wasn’t worth it, period.

I was at my all time low, floating at the bottom of whatever feeling this was, with no power to push myself to swim. I was exhausted… I grew so exhausted of my surroundings and of myself that I forgot what it was like to be happy.

But I was trying so hard to swim. I wrote a book and am now pushing it forward, I write for a music blog, I’ve worked endless hours, shit I even started taking Muay Thai classes to channel my anger and frustrations. I have also kept myself occupied with so many others things that I am doing for (and by) myself but I am only capable of holding this act together for so much longer. I felt so empty after having accomplished so much in so little time but I also felt dead towards every accomplishment.

I am burnt out.
I have been burnt out.

At the peak of this, I had messaged my friends in America and straight up said, “I’m coming to you. I’m going through another depressive episode.” That’s when I told myself, Fuck it. I am leaving.

I couldn’t take it anymore. I just wanted out. I knew there were more ways out than to completely be gone. That’s when I decided that I was going to leave for a little while. I couldn’t breathe. It was so hard for me to breathe the air here. I needed a break and I needed to breathe.

I planned everything accordingly and to the T… Which is why I haven’t been active on my blog. I was mentally and emotionally preparing myself for this trip. I was preparing for the head space that I have been longing for.

I was preparing to chase back the dopamine.

Though these past few months have been difficult, May has proven to me that the love I lost came back to me through other means. It was a slow climb – I’m still climbing – but I know I’ll get back up again.

I need this right now. I need this for my mental health. I need this for my heart. I need this for my soul.

I’ll be gone for a little bit, but I’ll always be with my loved ones. These waves never die.

I know who I am. It’s not like I never did. My self-awareness has grown during the time that I was down. This trip is only going to further solidify who I am as a person. As a woman.

If you fail to see who I am by the time I come back, shit, if you fail to see who I am RIGHT NOW… That is the truest tragedy. Not my depression. Not my anxiety.

But your inability to see the light.

I’ll be back soon,

I promise.







An Open Reflection: Views

If you’re reading this, I still hope that you are doing well… I hope that you no longer find refuge at the bottom of every bottle… I hope that you are taking care of yourself… I hope that you have found the love within yourself that you have been longing for.

It’s the one year anniversary of the release of Views.

Nothing note-worthy to most, but to me this album brought a lot back into my life.

I was in this toxic cycle with this guy for two years. I say toxic because it did a lot of damage to me emotionally and mentally yet I kept going back; I don’t know the repercussions he had to go through but I can imagine they were somewhat similar. (I eventually found out about the things he had to go through, but I’ll get to that later.)

I will start by saying this: we were both young and had no intentions, period.

Yet I managed to fall first and fast, and somewhere along the line he did too. But here is the catch (ironic of me to use this word), we never talked. We never once spent the time to get to know each other – it was only trivial. We traveled distances yet never took that same effort to start a conversation. It was a constant back and forth of days of lust and only hitting the surface levels. I misunderstood our connection for something more and so I craved it because it felt good to me at the time. I thought that because we vibed so well and knew each other without words, it was something deeper. And once upon a time ago, I thought he was my soulmate because he just got it. He simply understood my passions and saw them, too. He played the right music to get into my mind… He knew what to do to get into my soul.

This went on for two years. Yeah, two fucking years. Though I met people in between, I was always looking for him in the men I sought. It was pieces of him, whether it was his knowledge of music, his passion for the music, his humour, his gentleness… I would always search for his name in others’.

I laugh as I write this now because I have learned so much from my experiences with him but what broke me almost entirely is what unfolded last year.

I remember a lot of things, most things – I remember the things that hit me in the heart… Sometimes they haunt me, sometimes they remind me of how much I have grown, sometimes they remind me of what was lost. Nonetheless, a remembrance of a learning experience.

I still remember the day that he finally asked me out so that we can get to know each other better. This conversation was a whole entire 6 hours of him implying I was his dream girl, how I can be his tour manager and how we could fuck up the world together, (me reflecting on this now) him feeding me nonsense… But I remember how happy I was because this was what I was waiting for, for two fucking years. We were to go before he left for vacation before the end of the year.

What crushed me was the fact that it never fucking happened. I even gave him the benefit of the doubt and waited until he came back in the new year. Days turned into weeks until I got fed up. So fed up that I deleted him off of everything. Mind you, during the two years of back and forth and all of the others in between, he was the only one I had kept on my social media – everyone else was deleted, blocked, or simply forgotten.

I wasn’t hurt until one night (months later) I went to a party with my cousins and he was there. I’m smiling as I type this because I remember the night so vividly. His attempts at trying to catch my attention were petty but I noticed them, just paid them no mind.

Then I went back to that same party the next week, this time with just one of my cousins. And yup, he was there. And yup, he came back with full force, this time grabbing my full attention by drunkenly serenading me to Bryson Tiller’s Don’t.

God, that night was a drunken hot mess.

We ended up talking in the back of the venue – him going on to explain EVERYTHING. How sorry he was for putting me through the whole ordeal, how it crushed him when he noticed that I unfollowed/blocked/deleted him off everything… How my action put him in this state… How he should have told me he wasn’t ready… How he suffers from anxiety (at this point I told him I was diagnosed with depression)… How he felt lost… How I didn’t deserve any of this…

Then I let him kiss me. If you got this far, you’re probably screeching HOW COULD YOU?! I didn’t let him just kiss me, though. It was one of those it’s-been-forever-and-I-really-wanted-this type joints. Those I-crave-you type joints. Them I-love-you type joints. Maybe it was love, maybe it was lust. But it was definitely the liquid courage that powered all of this.

And I left with his number in my phone again. (My mistake, right?) (You say, Right.)

And my mistake that definitely was because when I reached home (aka my cousin’s place for the night) after this scene, a lot more happened.

We ended up talking until the sun rose…

We ended up talking about Views because it had dropped that week, and well, he dedicated the album to me. Told me he thinks of me whenever Redemption plays. Said he wants to get to know me to Fire & Desire. Said I was his muse… Said he has so much love for me… Said it’s been me all along…

And of course I gave him another chance (this is where the audience sighs in disappointment). I wanted to see what would happen – what finally could happen.

Fast forward to present day, I can say that you can take a wild guess at where we stand now.

We don’t.

We talked everything out, some more things occurred… And, well, at least we are okay with each other. No bad blood, no animosity between us.

The biggest lesson here is to obviously not wait for no man – EVER. I knew I didn’t deserve to be used for convenience yet I still stayed. Why? I guess it’s because I wanted that partnership no matter how faint it was. I guess it’s because it was all I really knew so I settled for that. I guess it’s because I didn’t act on knowing the true value of who I was as a woman. And it took me two years of this shit for me to accept it and move on, knowing that it was not meant to be. That we were not meant to be.

I knew I didn’t deserve it at all. I knew he didn’t deserve what I had to bring to the table. I knew I deserved to be treated better. I knew that there was more for me out there. But I settled for the thrill, the temporary high, the almost enough.

Almost is never enough.

And the day that I finally let go of our possibilities was the day that I felt freed.



Poetry, The Rooted Series



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Poetry, The Rooted Series

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Poetry, The Rooted Series

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The Rooted Series

Rooted: Dedication

This book is for the Filipino mothers whose voices have yet to be heard, that want to be heard, and those that are silenced. I hope that this book inspires us to keep having conversations among one another and among others as we are important too.

This book is for the mothers who feel that their voices have not been accounted for.

This book is for all of the women in my family. The ones that have pushed us out into the world and pushed us to be. You have taught us the secrets to happiness, love, and family. And for that, I will always be grateful.

Lastly, this book is for my mother, the strongest and most whole-hearted woman that I know. To you I am always rooted.