2024 Notes Part 1: I Am Found

Chatarina Sentana
4 min readFeb 17, 2024

Okay. But who would’ve guessed that I would finally get back to where I used to be?

It’s been such a long time. I used to write my journal religiously but stopped at some point for no reason. Yet today, when I was about to write a story about my rendezvous with someone who means a lot to me, I randomly bumped into a post of a person who’s writing his diary on Medium. So, at the risk of being cliché, shall we go?

2023 was a turmoil. Dad got cancer; Mom had a heart attack. Not to mention how I got scammed and lost almost half of my monthly salary. As a kid who desired to get her runaway moment after graduation (and only come home for Christmas), I became acutely aware that my parents needed me. They need us. And regardless of all of the bickering we all had in the past, holding grudges wouldn’t solve anything. It is immensely unpleasant to say this, but illnesses are like the key to opening a new page for me.

At a deeper level, I sometimes got worried about all the scenarios that ran across my mind. All the what-if questions came to me at once. What if the cancer gets back after the chemo? What if Mom gets another heart attack? I worried about not being able for them because we all never know how God’s timing is for our lives. It all haunts me; even up to this day.

Though I ended 2023 with a smile on my face, I begged and prayed so damn hard that my 2024 would be slightly better. I didn’t even write any New Year resolutions as I was thwarted last year. All of the happenings culminated in one thing: my separation from God.

A quick story. I grew up in a devoted Catholic family. During summer breaks, we would go to Carmel and have our ascetic life there. My brothers and I were in a community where the youth always gathered every weekend to pray or do worship; even sharing our religious life one to another. People around me always say that they tend to remember God only in their happy times, but I do the opposite. I look for Him the most during my darkest time.

It wasn’t hard at all (though it’s surely tiring) when Dad fell sick and was hospitalized for nearly two weeks, but my world turned upside down when Mom got into the ICU. I was there. I felt alone. My heart sank every time the nurses called in or when I had to sign and give my agreement on every medical treatment Mom would get. I trembled. As a third born, I have never had to deal with this what-so-called adult thing. Thus, getting asked to sign several papers, listening to the doctor’s explanation, and explaining how Mom was to the people were all quite frightening.

I sought God. But He was nowhere to be seen. It’s vivid in my mind how people who were supposed to give me comfort became those who disappointed me the most. These religious people, who preach about God all the time, were people who talked shit to my face instead of giving me support?

This resulted in me leaving the church for a long time and stopping me to pray. Strived so hard in this community just to see them criticizing me at my lowest point in life. At least that’s what I thought. Yet, little did I know that someone was about to change that perspective.

“You are way too used in seeing the world as black and white while in fact, it is grey.”

That little phrase switched my mind completely. Of course, anyone can say it and there is nothing remarkable I can retrieve from that statement. But those words were given to me at the right time, and that was what made it matter.

Even when I see my own self, I always see myself as a black-and-white creature. I constantly self-sabotage myself a lot as I do not believe that I deserve good things after doing something stupid or bad. The anxiety of being a bad individual was so real that I unintentionally transformed myself into what they call a people pleaser.

There is no yin without yang. There isn’t a high if there isn’t a low. There won’t be growth without risk. It is truly important to integrate all of the triumphs and defeats we have in life as they all can make us better day by day. Even when we look at the sky in the afternoon, it is the gleam of the sun in the faded orange skies that makes it beautiful. We are all grey creatures. None of us are fully black, and none of us are fully white.

I was reminded that even though these people are religious, they are still humankind after all. You have to give yourself a place to hate someone you love, and a place to love someone you hate. Simply put, I look back at myself. I seek my yin and yang while trying to mingle them. [chtrn]



Chatarina Sentana

One-of -a-kind things are usually very valuable and highly sought after.