The past two weeks have been so lonely.
They had been interesting, but lonely. The familiar places seem drained of color without some familiar faces. This used to be home and I still feel like this is a homecoming of sorts but without the people, it's like coming home and finding the house dusty and empty.
I think of you as I feel my body ache and creak from too much sitting. I reach down to pick up the pen I dropped and I feel my shoulder slightly slide out from its socket. Pain shoots down from my shoulder to my back. It's been a year and a half since I injured that shoulder and it never fully healed. I remember the automatic concerned look on your face when you see me hold on to it when it gets sore. You feel - because you are, literally - so far away. You're home for the weekend and I'm in a cold classroom two and a half hours away. We're the kind of people who belong in both of these cities. We're the kind of people who knows every mile of the way to and from. The distance has become part of who we are.
We've spent years here together as we adopted this city as our own. Our shared hometown is what brought us together and our experience in this bright, overstimulating city is what kept us together. I left as soon as I can to work close to home while you chose to stay. For the past months, it has been me who waits for you to come home. Sometimes you don't and that's okay because if there's one thing I learned from you, it's that you gotta do what you gotta do and the best thing is to just let you do it. But because you weren't home often, you missed a lot of things I would have loved to share with you. And in those times, in my heart of hearts, I wished you home. I look out of the door and into the busy street and I wished hard for you to come home and walk through that door. You rarely did. I never asked why because I understood. I gotta let you do what you gotta do.
These past weeks, we find ourselves on the reverse sides of the equation and cities. I am away and you are home. You are the only person who knows what I am doing here in this big, bad, city and I know you understand that I gotta do what I gotta do and you'd just have to let me do it. You did not show signs that you would be sad not to see me, just encouragement and support written all over your face. But maybe it wouldn't be too long of a stretch to imagine that maybe you wish me home too; that maybe you'd come along something that you would have wished to share with me and it'll make you wish that I was home. When this happens to you, you'd finally know what it feels for a moment to be half as precious because you don't have someone to share it with.
These past weeks, we did not share the geographical space of any of our cities. I arrive as you leave and I leave as you arrive. We are currently preoccupied with the things we have to do for ourselves. But one thing is for certain. We both wish to be home as soon as we can. We like to be home for as often and as long as we can. I don't know about you but you're now part of the place I call home. Home means spending time with you and our friends. You can't make homes out of human beings - I know. But home is where the heart is and it would seem that I left some part of mine with you.
The past two weeks have been so lonely.
Well this has been a hell of a week, with the Brexit and all. It feels like departures are all the rage this week.
In the midst of the June 22 Earthquake Drill, a minor, if welcome, tremor shook my life. I received news (from the unlikeliest source) that I got accepted into graduate school. Grad school has always been a "maybe yes, maybe no" thing for me and applying to it was something I did for myself; partly out of spite, partly out of boredom. The moment I saw my name on that website, I felt the proverbial sands shift under my feet. It's like starting UP all over again. Excitement, anxiety, and a whole heck of nervous jitters washed over me like some emotional version of the Ice Bucket Challenge. As I read that acceptance email, I felt like an astral projection, watching over my own body go through a raging torrent and wildly trying to catch up with it. I guess that sums up this week pretty well: Me, watching the world and myself change while desperately trying to catch up and cope with it.
It's not that I want to hold on to the way things were. I just keep stumbling and falling over myself, trying to process the speed of how things change. Going back to the title of this post, it's like the sands shifted and opened up like quicksand and I'm being sucked in at breakneck speed. I am flailing and floundering but I accept that I will continue sinking. It boggles my mind that I somehow feel that I am not the same girl who was sitting on the beach just last week. I am no longer the girl who waxed emotional to her friends over the speakerphone last last Friday night. There's a part in me that is both impressed and alarmed at how my psyche ruthlessly transitioned to a completely foreign state of mind in a matter of days.
Getting into grad school was a trigger for an internal restructure within me that I was barely conscious of. You know when you meet up with a friend and you become aware that something's changed in that friend since the last time you met? Wasn't it a bit disconcerting? Well, that's what I felt last night except that the friend was my own goddamn self. I've always struggled to care less about everything. I just ALWAYS give a shit. But that night, I slipped into indifference like it was a second skin. It bothers me that I did it so effortlessly with ice-queen poise. When did I stop caring, especially for something I've cared for too much before? Could it be that I am now too preoccupied to give a fuck? Is it a win or a loss? Have I finally stopped caring and consequently, saved my sanity in the process? Or have I stopped caring because things are going to shit and I just sorta saw a way out and bailed like the scared little girl that I am?
This is a very schismatic existential moment. For weeks, I wanted a cure for my loneliness and hopelessness. Now that the medicine is before me, I have no doubt that I want it but this was not the way I wanted to go. You can choose closure but you can't always get it the way you want it. Emotions, feeling, and caring keep me feeling alive. It keeps me human. Losing these emotional lines that have been so saving and defining to these years is scaring me. Maybe I was wrong to think I could have it all. That's not far off as it has been a year of wrong assumptions. I just want myself back. I just want to be kind and loving again. But it seems like I can't anymore. In these changing times, I feel that it is time again to harden up and tough it out. I can't seem to find that balance between kindness and honesty; or emotionally available and unflappable. It just doesn't work that way for me. I keep steeling myself against people leaving and relationships changing but the only thing I accomplish is making sure they do. But what was I supposed to do? Hang on until they're clearly not there anymore and ask them to come back for me? I keep telling myself that people always leave until they decide to stay. Even in the arms of these people; even while looking into their eyes and laughing with them; I am so painfully aware that they will someday leave. And somehow, I manage to respond to this awareness with the emotional maturity of a passive-aggressive temper tantrum: I'm leaving you before you leave me. It feels right in a self-righteous, self-saving kind of way but the people I care about always call my bluff and I am left with nothing but my achievements and my intact pride.
Lin-Manuel Miranda posted this poem on his Facebook page:
The world changes.
The earth spins.
We grieve our losses.
We eke out wins.
And so the world does. It goes on. It does not stop. I once wrote that Life does not and will not stop for anyone. It does not always go in a pace that I am comfortable with. We win some, we lose some and sometimes it's just all too much. This has been a breakdown that has been so long coming but so gracefully executed. The sun has set on the longest summer day. The smell of summer lingers, the fire trees have yet to flame out, but the rain has come. The past year has been nothing short of amazing and the emotional connections and feelings were nothing short of honest, real and eye-opening. But things have begun changing around here. Life goes on for them, even without me. Life goes on for me, even without them. I know no one can stay in those green plexi courts forever, even if this feels like quickly ripping the band-aid off a very raw wound - it's most painful after the fact but at least that shit's over and done with. To end this long and very rambling emotional breakdown, I again borrow words from my man of the moment, Lin-Manuel Miranda:
Sigue andando el camino por toda su vida
Y si pierdes mis huellas que dios te bendiga
Keep walking along the path of life
If you lose your way, God will keep you
Last week, some friends and I were discussing Halloween plans. I had planned to go home to Bulacan to tend to the graves of my maternal grandparents and they made plans to scare the living shit out of our other friends by forcing them to watch horror movies. I heave a sigh of relief knowing that had I been free on Halloween night, I'd probably pretend to man up and join my friends in watching horror movies despite the fact that I'm a big scaredy-cat. While I was congratulating myself for the super advanced planning, a friend, as a jest, brought up the idea of exchanging gifts on Halloween just to give it a unique twist. I love how my friends are always so sharp when it comes to crazy things to do. This idea inspired me to write this entry because who said love letters are only for Valentines' Day anyway? Isn't love also something that brings us sleepless nights, anxiety and a general sense of impending doom? Doesn't love sometimes feel like a scene in the horror movies where the hero wanders in a creepy dark forest, trying to ignore the things that go bump in the night and waiting for the dawn to come? Love sometimes starts out like a horror movie and sometimes, it ends that way too. Point is, love is scary. So maybe falling in love is something you can treat yourself with on the spookiest night of the year.
Happy All Hallow's Eve! I hope you have plans for tonight other than showing up to our weekly games. I mention this to spare you the cajoling you would be getting from everybody to join them in watching horror movies. They know you don't like horror movies and if you fall into their trap, they'd be watching every flinch you make, every eyelash you bat and every time you gnash your teeth and you'll never hear the end of it. I'm saying this because I won't be with you tonight. Had I been, I'd be among them, pleading you to watch with us. You know that I hate horror movies. I believe it's unnecessary to add such fear and tension to your life but you know what? I'd sit through a slasher flick with you. I'd sit beside you, shoulders touching ever so slightly as if saying that we're in this together. Trust me, you would feel the anxiety coursing through my body and with that, I hope you'll feel braver. I remember that one time we discussed horror movies and you laughed at my admission that I can't be a strong, independent girl all the damn time. Have you been looking forward to catch me in a vulnerable moment? Well, I'm as vulnerable as it can get when I'm scared shitless. I'm sorry you won't get to see that just yet. But you know what's really scary? Falling in love way too fast and way too hard. HAHAHAHA I know, nice segue, right? But truth be told, I worry that I might be falling for you far too fast, if such a thing is possible. Let's face it, any girl worth her salt will take a good look at you and your accomplishments and would probably fall for you faster than your drop shot. I worry about falling too hard for a guy I barely know, although at this point, I've already shared some of this year's best memories with you. I'm scared of the stupid things I'd say, the stupid things I'd do and the stupid things that I am. The week immediately after our long weekend escape, I was feeling a weird cocktail of emotions but what emerged on top was anxiety. I was scared to fall for a virtual stranger, someone I could not predict or read. Actually, I was scared to fall again, period. As much as I was feeling all the butterflies, I keep looking over my shoulder half-expecting the pin to drop: that you're in love with someone else and I can't have you. Have you ever met someone who has never been afraid of getting their hearts broken? Of course not. So I know this is but natural. However, my hopes have reached dizzying heights at this point. I know I asked for this. I had wanted to be broken by your dimpled smile. I had wanted my heart crushed by your slender, strong hands. But I cannot overcome the dread of being hung out to dry. I dread the day you'll smile sadly at me and try to let me down gently. I mean, for sure I'll survive it. The sky will surely not fall down on that day. But as early as now, I find myself freaking out at the thought. I balk at the imagined sound of my heart shattering once again. There's a tiny seed of doubt that I'd flip out and just lose my chill. What if I just can't take the disappointment anymore? I scare myself with that thought sometimes. Maybe my horror movie is watching you break my heart and seeing myself unable to take it sitting down. Even the thought, I cannot. But I know there is little I can do but live in the now and hold the past close. I still feel your eyes on my face. I still feel your fingers on my back. They are but ghosts of pleasurable sensations but they're all I have for now. I have replayed in my mind the time you smiled and waved goodbye to me so many times, it must've been burned at the back of my skull already. I remember the passenger seat of your car way too many times a day. I live my weeks counting down the hours until I see you again. I'm driving myself crazy trying to push your smiling eyes out of my mind. I couldn't concentrate on anything, dreaming of your smile like a simpering fool. There's just no maturity in these feelings for you. You've managed to turn responsible, adult Redge to bubbly, jumpy, hormonal teenage Redge. You are so many Taylor Swift songs coming true, all at the same time. It was enchanting to meet you. This is a state of grace, this is the worthwhile fight. Sparks fly whenever you smile. You might have me believing that I don't always have to be alone. This slope is treacherous and I like it. All my days I'll know your face and all I know since yesterday is everything has changed. You brought back the color and the candor in my life. You've given me something to hope for. You turned me human again. So darling, can we just stay this way a little while longer? Can't we just stay in this cheesy bubblegum phase of crushness? Allow me to love you a little longer. Let me know you better. I talk a lot but there's just so much more to discover about me. Maybe you'll like me even more. Stay within my heart's reach. Hold me and then slowly let me go. You are my earnest wish and my sincerest prayer. I want you, I really do. Haven't really wanted anyone like this for the ~longest time. But no pressure. Take your time. Let me grow on you for a little bit. Just know that whenever you're ready, I'll be here waiting, wanting, oh so willing and completely yours for the taking. Have a wonderful Halloween, love. See you next week. :)
"It is never romantic to fuck the girl who makes love to her own sadness every single night.”
I am a lot of things but "rebel" has never been one of them. However, this weekend would be closest I had ever gone to the edge. I spent the night with seven most wonderful friends in a condo in Tagaytay without actual parental consent. I am 23 and has been a model daughter up to this point. I would describe it as my "Rapunzel out her tower for the first time" moment, rapidly alternating between basking in my newfound freedom and bemoaning my delinquency as a daughter. Despite the guilt, it was a great night not because I felt like a legit adult for the first time, but because of the things I've learned, wrapped in a warm blanket while watching dawn trickle over the hills of Tagaytay City.
This weekend, I learned the value of a well-thought out surrender. All our lives, we've been taught to fight on, fight for what we think is right, to never give up the fight. It has always been the first and most romantic option. I had been described as a fighter before and as someone who is ultra-competitive, I take this as high compliment. This has always been encouraged by my stubborn control freak streak. But this weekend, I've learned to surrender a lot of things that I know and did not know I was clutching contentiously.
Surrender to the circumstance
-First of all, I had to give up any measure of control over anything in this trip. It was spontaneous; planned less than 20 hours before we left. There wasn't a lot of time to obsess over how to get there, how to get home, what to bring, etc. There was no time to see things in my head and pick apart imaginary conversations. It took us 4 hours to reach Tagaytay and an hour to find something to eat. There was no way I could get home before the day ends so as much as I was so much close to tears, thinking about how I would find myself locked out of our house with my clothes strewn all over the street, I felt that there was no choice but to resign myself and enjoy the moment. It paid off handsomely and I had a great time, getting to know these people and having fun with them.
Surrender to not being enough
-The hardest part of loving you was finding out how to love you correctly. The hardest part of falling out of love with you is accepting that I never had what it takes to love you the way you want to. It was me against a world of you in which I would never be welcome. I accept that I will never understand you more than you want me to. We will always be friends who are more different than similar. It feels like I'm giving up on you and I'm afraid to admit I have failed as a friend to you. It feels wrong to stop seeking you out when I know you're so lost. I want to be here, I want to find you but I can't lead you out of the woods. I give up on the impossible dream of being enough for you. In this surrender, may I find my peace.
Surrender to your inner vixen
-I have always been so careful when it comes to committing attention to a person I like. I've always wanted to be the mysterious smart girl who seems cold and distant but melts to this bubbly ray of sunshine if you love her enough. I've never had the courage to go further than a smile and hello. But perhaps as an offshoot of the seemingly reckless move to just stay the night, I felt a little more cocky than usual. I felt like I should make the most out of this recklessness and throw around some love. I was not afraid to be a little flirty with the words, be a little cheeky with the smiles and looks. Might be the alcohol but I felt feelings again. I fell out of and in love in a single night. It felt weird at first but I surrendered to the feeling that I want to love again. I want to be smitten all over again. I want butterflies, I want you, Senpai. I even flirted with someone younger than me. It's crazy but I really haven't got my flirting skills dusted in a long time. I don't know what happens next and I don't really care that much. I'll regret this maybe but as I always like to say, "Love seems to mock us at such times, and yet how can we not choose it again and again?"
As per title...
Hi. Gusto ko lang sabihin na ang cute mo. Haha. Alam mo yan. Unang beses palang kitang nakita, nako, nagskip yung puso ko na unti-unti nang nagiging bato nung time na yun. At yang dimple mo, SHET, maliban sa sucker talaga ako sa mga guys na may dimples, dude, ugh, nakakabuo ng araw yung pagngiti mo tas lumalabas yung dimple mo. HAHA. Pero hindi na ko magdu-dwell dun dahil tapos na yun. Oo, alam ko may long time girlfriend ka. At siguro maganda sya. Although napaniginipan kong nameet ko na sya tas panget pala sya. Pero sure akong panaginip lang yun. Ayun. Hindi naman ako mangaahas. Masama yun eh. Pero hindi rin naman kita kakagatin! Nakakaasar na hindi umuubra charms ko sayo. Nice naman ako eh. Diba? I'm a nice girl. *with matching fluttering eyelashes* May common topics naman tayong pwedeng pag-usapan eh. Ayoko nalang ding lapitan ka, kasi feel kong tablado na ko agad sayo kasi ang suplado mo. Hindi ko naman ikamamatay pag hindi mo ko pansinin. That's true. Pero sayang ang natitirang oras natin. Huhu. Iiwan mo na kami for alam mo naman kung saan ka pupunta. Wow sounds familiar ng sentiment. Wala lang. Yun lang. Talk to me when you're ready. Katabi mo lang naman ako. :P
I wanted to see you coming and scream your name at the top of my lungs. I wanted to sit beside you and steal glances at you. I wanted to talk to you about everything I've been doing. You don't even have to say a word. I'll just talk and talk. I'd tell you about work and my teammates and our training and what we're doing. I'd ask you bout your work and you would probably say not so much but I wouldn't mind because it's you. I wanted to tell you how much I missed you, how happy I am that you're here and somehow still in my life. I wanted us to be like what we were two long months ago. I wanted to be able to laugh again with you and feel comfortable about my place in your life. I had wanted to hold on to everything. But you've already let go a long time ago.
But I don't want you anymore. I want you too much, I want you terribly so that I don't want you anymore. I don't want to want someone like this. I will push you away, I will stow myself away because I don't want you anymore. I don't want to remember all the nice things anymore. Because I long for them, love. I long for them terribly. So terrible that I feel weak and light-headed like my senses have been clouded. I was doing so well without you. This new world I'm in is wonderful. I don't want you in it anymore because you remind me how remarkably imperfect my world is without your love. It breaks me inside to see you and be reminded of how much I'm missing. I don't want you in my life anymore. It takes so much honesty to admit that to myself but I don't want you anymore. I want to be free of you, of our past, because it's the only way to move forward. I don't want you anymore. If I can't have you, there's no use in wanting you. Especially in this way. I don't want you anymore. No more.