1. I am figuring that talking to myself — out loud or in paper, potato, po-tah-to — is definitely the best way to de-stress, to organize the clutter residing in my head into neat, orderly piles mommy would be proud of.

2. Conversely, because I fancy myself to be independent and proud of it, despite the charm of spontaneity, I’ve grown to understand what fear means. Fear is utter helplessness, not too different from imagining yourself drifting aimlessly amidst the currents lying face-first on a dilapitated bamboo raft.

3. This is exactly how I feel when I am unable to write. Writing is my anchor.

4. The Garment Workers Union of South Africa wrote prose and poetry during the turbulent 30’s to “give their lives imaginative coherence”. Which, if you think of it, completely makes sense. Reality then is transformed into bite-sized anecdotes, compiled into episodes, to be taken in small doses.

5. If writing is a catharsis, running is restoring tabula rasa — for at least an hour, that is.

6. Thinking has gotten too dangerous. Concentrating on steady breaths distributed evenly on a typical uphill dash forces superficial concerns out of your head. Breaking the rhythm has serious consequences — you start feeling pain. To each his own distraction.

7. I, however, am not complaining. The good life is a full life after all. It just takes some getting used to.

8. English short stories translated to Cebuano and vice versa, work, Meditteranean food and reading fiction on buses during rush hour — this is my life now.

9. I must really learn a thing or two about pacing. And how to write in paragraphs again.

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