'What a waste of a life'

"Nakakapanghinayang lang. Isa lang ang buhay natin. Tapos kapag nabuhay ka parang apologetic ka pa, na nahihiya ka sa sarili mo, hindi mo mailabas ang pagkatao mo. Parang what a waste of life." 

It's a pity. We have only one life to live. And you live it apologetic, ashamed of yourself, not able to show your true self. It's like, what a waste of a life.

This was said by actor Ian Veneracion about his daughter who came out to him at 16.

I was having breakfast at work when I caught Ian and his daughter on TV. I was about to listen to an audio book or something, but then Ian came on, and because I have always admired the guy, I watched their interview instead. 

I didn't hear most of what they said, but the above statement stayed with me. I'm straight (and consider myself an LGBT ally), but I'm also very familiar with the feeling of shame in being your true self. 

But what parts of me am I ashamed of? Perhaps now is a good time to reflect on that, since I am on Stop, Look, and Listen mode. 

Off the top of my head, I can think of some qualities I've tried to control or even hide ever since I was a child: I lack social graces, I'm too needy, I'm awkward, I'm bad with numbers, I'm fat, I have bad skin, I sometimes struggle to find the right words, I overthink things, I have self-esteem issues, I'm not always the bigger person ... 

But listing this down makes my shame feel so petty (especially when put in context with LGBT issues). 

Then again, maybe all this shame is exactly that: petty.

Petty, in the face of this one life we are given to live.


I thought it took only courage to show yourself to the world. I still think it does, and yet I don't think I ever felt brave showing up. I'm realizing now that I've always shown up as my best self when propelled by happiness. 

Happy over petty. Happy over petty. 

Choose to be happy.