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To my boyfriend's ex,
Sunday. 12.21.14 3:19 pm
I remember when I first met him, there was a constant sadness that overtook him. He could be right next to me talking, or even be silent, and I could feel the sadness emanating from inside of him. I've never met anyone with that deep sadness. As I dug deeper to find out who he is, I found the reason he was hurting. All this time, it was you. Now, I still don't know the whole story, especially because I don't know you or your side, but I do know this: whatever happened left him broken, confused and lost. You were his everything at one point when he felt he had nothing else going for him. And the moment it was torn away in a sudden and swift way, it left him shaken up. As his heart mourned the loss of you as he met me, I couldn't help but feel insecure about myself. Am I inadequate compared to his ex? I would ask myself constantly. As time when on, Chris and I's love bloomed. Chris became less cynical, less bitter, and started to have hope in life again. He became my best friend, my rock, and my supporter. Just as I became that for him. His smiles became genuine, his cold eyes became soft. His hugs became warmer, and I started to feel that I started to fit perfectly in his arms. It took time, but he finally got over everything that happened. As time went on, he forgave you. now I know deep down in his heart you will always have a special place. He will always have this constant love for you, and I can't stop that from happening. However, I know that I am at the forefront in his life and heart right now. Many people know how to tear others down easily, but it takes a strong and loving person to stick around long enough to pick someone up out of their struggles. I was that for him. I want you to know that he's happy now. And I also want to say thank you. You're the reason he pursued an education. And now, he's starting UC Berkeley in January. Thank you for pushing him when you guys were together to be better. At the time, he went to school for you, but now he has found the courage and strength to finish for himself. He is able to love again, and I don't feel insecure or inadequate up against you anymore. I realized now that time truly does heal wounds. I also know that he wishes you the best, and that you helped him grow into who he is now. I also, do wish you the best as well. Now, I don't know 100% that Chris and I will end up together, but I do know that if we ever do, our marriage would be filled with constant love, bickering, laughs, and forgiveness for the rest of our lives. I needed to write this to remind myself how life takes turns and changes constantly. Looking back, I realize that what Chris and I went through will only be a living testimony of the struggle of true love. we'll keep pushing and thriving for each other. I hope you do as well with your family.

Sincerely,
his new love.

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Struggles of an Asian American
Sunday. 10.19.14 4:00 pm
So if you guys didn't know, I am Filipino. Both my parents are first generation Asian Americans. Meaning, they grew up in the Philippines, and moved here in their thirties. Now, my parents are very traditional. This entails a lot of rules and regulations that Americans do not share with those that they have in the Philippines.

But that is where the struggle begins. I grew up in America my whole life, where we are constantly told that we should follow our dreams, live a life we want to live, be, do and continue anything and everything that makes us happy. I've grown up with this mentality that being free is what makes me happy. But the filipino tradition is different, especially on a woman. We are supposed to stay home, clean every little piece of furniture and keep everything in place. We have to have dinner ready on the table for our husbands or else they won't love us anymore. We can't stay out passed two am, and we can't sleep over at friend's houses because "god knows what you are actually doing there" (quote from my mother, actually).

With these rules and regulations my parents have set upon me, I feel suffocated. I am twenty three years old, and although that is young, I am considered an adult in American culture. I am not an adult in my parent's eyes. My parents don't accept my decisions, and I don't think they respect my actions. I am professional and yes I work my ass off being a nurse. I love my job. But I also have friends, am in my twenties, and drink occasionally. I sleep over at my friend's houses sometimes so I don't have to drive (and also because....I'm getting my license next week. Yes, I don't know how to drive yet, but that's another story lol). I like to have fun and go clubbing. I want to go on trips with friends and not be seen as if I am this demon child.

Now, I can get why my parents don't trust me, because I have made my share of mistakes. I am constantly learning from them though. Still, my parents don't trust me. They also tell me there is gossip about me. Quite frankly, I knew there would be ever since I came back from college. As you all know, I have been involved in a church that is predominantly filipino my whole life. I have changed significantly and I think many people can tell. But I am still an amazing person despite what these people say. I wish my parents would see that I am still a good person. Maybe not the standards of a Filipino woman, but to the standards that I have for myself.

So am I this horrible person who everyone thinks I am due to the standards of an Asian culture? Or am I Daneva, who is still continually trying to find herself with the freedom she has been exposed to, making mistakes but becoming a better person as time goes on because of it? I would like to believe the latter, but it's a constant struggle to stand up for myself when the voices around me constantly tells me that I am doing everything wrong.

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