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May Natasha Halog
coffee in one hand, confidence on the other one
Interested in fashion designing, portrait drawing and ofcourse writing. Torn between being socially active and not. A passionated student from the Philippines 🇵🇭
I stared at the rain gushing down through the windows of my room as I sat on the edge of the bed. The white curtains were swaying along with the cold wind coming from the open-air. I closed my eyes and slowly put my hands outside the window reaching the tiny drops of the fall. It suddenly felt nostalgic. As the raindrop touches my bare hands, the image of a little girl, running through the green meadows befall my mind. I suddenly felt a stinging sensation in my head and my breathing gradually ragged. I opened my eyes and my vision became blurry. A dark terrifying image that I can't seem to fathom appeared on my sight drawing nearer. I wanted to run but my feet were glued, unable to move from where I was sitting. As the image came closer, it became clearer and vivid. Doppelganger. It's my doppelganger. We look exactly the same. She was holding a knife and whispering words that are inaudible to my ears. My doppelganger came nearer and as she stood in front of me with her blank, horrid eyes that contrasts the devilish smile plastered on her face, I finally understood the words she was trying to say. Words that will forever be engraved in the chambers of my soul. She held my face and whispered those words into my ears and before I could even speak, she abruptly stabbed my chest with the knife she was holding. And carved on that knife were the words she whispered to me. “Will you love me now?” Since the quarantine were imposed in our country, my life was sort of paused. It was both overwhelming and terrifying. Four months had pass since it started and it has been the most challenging months I had in my sixteen years of existence. It is during this time that I came to realize the most essential thing I needed in this lifetime. And that is self-love. I grew up in a place where how you look is important. The color of your body, the texture of your skin, the features of you face and the way how you look is being judged. People will always have a say on what you wear and whom you associate yourself with. And sometimes, often times rather, it sucks. It sucks to pretend that you are something you're not. It sucks to follow the same path that many people took for they are afraid to journey a new one. It sucks to do things without meaning. You know that kind of feeling when you do something without having the joy or fulfillment. It's like as if you're only doing it to survive and thrive. That pretty much sucks, right? However, during the quarantine period, my perspective and mindset about the mundane things that ‘sucks' was totally changed. It is this time that my eyes were opened to the reality of life. I learned how to appreciate the smallest thing in front of me and I learned how to give utter importance to each and every living thing on Earth. And most importantly, I was able to teach myself the most beautiful art I have ever seen and felt which is self-love. Before the pandemic started, I have always been criticizing myself for the way I look. I doesn't feel good because I thought to myself “I doesn't look good”. I didn't allot a room where I could grow and evolve into something beautiful. I let the social norms and standards measure the capabilities I have within me. In short, I let myself crumble upon what the society tells. However, I am so grateful that the quarantine happened because I was able to realize my potentials and appreciate the beauty I have. I learned that beauty isn't something that you see on the outside image of a person. It is about the principles and purity of the heart that really counts as beautiful. Self-love isn't an easy journey. It has its own curls and curves and you have to go through all of them to really attain it. Eating healthy, stretch/exercise, watching movies, spending time with the family, pampering yourself with different products, praying and many other more. Sometimes, I feel lazy and procrastinate but whenever I encounter this kind of phase, I always remind myself why I started it. To be better, to feel better, to do better and to harness the best version of myself. And I can say that I am halfway through perfecting the art of self-love. Someday I wanted to dream the dream I written in the first paragraphs of this essay. I would want to see my doppelganger again. If one day she'll visit me in my dreams and ask the same words she asked me before, I'll answer her within the same scenario without getting frightened, without wanting to run. I'll answer her with all positivity and love and I would tell her “Yes, I will love you now, tomorrow and until forever comes to end. I will love your imperfections, past and the whole you no matter what happens.” And once I told her those words, I want her to stab me again with a knife. But this time, I want that the word carved in the knife is “finally”. Because finally, I have found myself full of love wherein pain can never turn my heart ruthless and cold.
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