You know you can do better

She crumpled the paper without a care. “I don’t like it,” she said. Just like she crumpled the first paper, she crumpled the next.

You are right if you guessed that those crumpled papers ended up in the trash.

My friend crumpled her drawings every time she didn’t like them, in our high school art class. Her drawings were waaay better than mine. Even the art teacher reminded me of the fact when he said, “How do you feel sitting next to the most talented student in the class?”

She crumpled her drawings and threw them out because she knew that they didn’t compare to the best pieces of art she’d created in the past. Which I get because when it comes to talents and skills, you experience doubt or frustration from time to time when you know you can do better.

Like my high school friend, I also had the artistic talent growing up. I painted portraits and sunsets, and I drew intricate mandalas. But unlike her, I didn’t continue putting the time or practice into my painting and drawing skills.

What skills and talents have you stopped practicing?

Just the other week, I dedicated some time to painting something really simple. I painted bright pink flowers and leaves. It felt nice to paint in solitude and to get the watercolor paints out from the plastic storage bin. I thought, I should do this more often.

What skills and talents are you an expert on? How do you further develop your skills and talents?

Your amiga,


Do you remember what you wished for—

when you saw the shooting star or after you blew out your birthday cake candles? 

Do you remember what you wished for after you tore the dandelion from the ground or when you tossed a coin into the fountain?

I’m asking you this because I saw a candle that said A Thousand Wishes at Bath & Body Works.

Even though I didn’t buy the candle because it wasn’t my taste, it made me wonder about the meaning behind A Thousand Wishes. (What was the person thinking of when they came up with this brilliant name for the candle?)

What comes to your mind when you think of A Thousand Wishes?

Here’s what I’m wondering: When you light up this candle, will it transport you to a fountain where you’ll have a thousand coins to throw to make a thousand wishes? Or are there a thousand dandelions or shooting stars inside this candle?

Do you remember all those times that you made wishes on all those different occasions? Those times when you wished for something more. Wished for something different. Or, perhaps, wished for something better. 

Do you remember what you wished for—when you saw the shooting star or after you blew out your birthday cake candles? Do you remember what you wished for after you tore the dandelion from the ground or when you tossed a coin into the fountain?

Did your wish come true? Was it everything you hoped for?

Your amiga,


p.s. — Here’s a picture of the candle.

If we were having coffee, what would you tell me? I would tell you that

When Grief made itself comfortable in a chair during dinner, I would’ve told you: Hope does not exist.

(Someone once told me that hope doesn’t exist. Because, according to them, it can’t be measured.) 

Do you believe in hope? The thing is, Hope has so many definitions. Someone else shared this quote with me: Hope has two beautiful daughters: their names are anger and courage. Anger that things are the way they are. Courage to make them the way they ought to be (this quote is by Saint Augustine).

All that time before the pandemic started, I thought I’d been as courageous as I’d ever been. You already know this: I moved to another state—470 miles away from the people I love the most (and who most love me). I did what my heart wanted me to do. 

It’s the type of thing I do when I run away from the things I don’t want to face. I don’t regret it. As a matter of fact, I’m sad my adventure ended so soon. Do you always do what your heart tells you to do?

You see, no matter how courageous I thought I was—doing things I’d never done before—I learned that the most courageous thing you can do is love someone with all their quirks.

A few months ago, I was angry—angry at the way things were. And sometimes I still am, but I’ll keep those details to myself. (It’s true that anger fuels you.) Have you heard of the stages of grief? Anger is one of them.

I prayed to God to help me with the grief, and I read a few chapters from the book The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle (to keep me from thinking about the past—the days before the pandemic).

I cried my heart out (that always helps). I filled two journals in the span of (what was it?) the last 4 months because writing always helps, too. And look, I’m here. I feel a lot better than I did in April. 

All this while, when Grief made itself comfortable in a chair when I ate dinner, Hope was very there, too. Hope is always there during Spring when the grass turns green and the trees start filling up with leaves again.

(I thank God for the return of Hope and, also, for that family of mine who loves me even when I’m grumpy.)

How has this historic pandemic changed your life? Be honest—I don’t mind if you tell me that you’ve been experiencing quite the opposite. 

The reason I’m telling you this is because no how-to-cope-with-grief article would’ve helped me with the grief. I had to accept the loss and pain before I could move on.

I did read an article about grief, though, and I learned about another stage of grief: finding meaning. I’m currently in this stage. Although sometimes, I do still feel a bit of the other ones.

To find meaning, I had to believe in Hope again.

I could’ve written a how-to-cope-with-grief article without telling you my story, without telling you that the last few months have hurt like hell. (Look—here are my words to prove it.) Instead, I just want to have coffee and talk to you about the season of grief without the IG filter.

Your amiga,


p.s. – Here’s another quote on hope I found: Hope is the virtue of a heart that doesn’t dwell on the past, and not only survives the present, but is also able to see a tomorrow (this quote is by Pope Francis). It’s one of my faves.