Saturday, December 20, 2008

I just want to be okay today

Sometimes I am convinced I have a latent self-destructive streak in me. I ditch friends, I don't keep appointments, I throw away chances at a do over; all because I feel like it, because I woke up on the wrong side of the bed and didn't feel like it was my day.
Case in point: today was the first birthday party of one of my godchildren, L's little boy, a fact L reminded me of several times through phone calls and text messages. I said I was going, and I did intend to go, I bought a gift and everything, but I woke up this morning with a massive headache, ate my breakfast, downed a couple of painkillers, and slept the day away without even bothering to type out a sorry-I-can't-make-it note to L. So understandably, she's mad, but then again, I have never given her any reason to be mad at me before, so I guess now is a fine time to start as any, to see if our friendship can survive.

I don't know what is it in me that does this, that compels me to do this, this urge to test how far I can go before something breaks. Sometimes I'm convinced this is a delayed rebellion thing happening, I don't know really. I want to apologize but a part of me thinks she deserves this for that slight  which I have a feeling she didn't even know she did, but she did. I want to be a better person. I do.

Monday, December 8, 2008

this is how it works...

You love, you lose, you cry, you pick yourself up and try one more time. And this time maybe, you'll be a little braver, a little tougher, a little more grounded yet idealistic still...

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

the music of our friendship

Someone to Say Hi To
K's Choice
 Look at you how well you've done so far
look at where you're standing who you are
and all our moments good and bad forever in my head
wish we could go back just once and laugh at things we said

t's been wonderful and crazy knowing you
and I hope that I can always see the teenage girl in you
and I know that you'll be fine
but I'll be there every time
you need someone to say hi to late at night
Sometimes when I think of us I'm sad
I miss not knowing anything of what could lie ahead
when mostly now I'm grateful that you're where you want to be
not quite here and not quite there but somewhere in between


This is how I feel now. It might be corny to say so, but after listening to this song, I realized that this is where we are now. I'll always be your friend and it makes me sad knowing how much we have drifted away from each other, but I understand now. I miss you, I do, I miss talking to you and generally us just being us, but mostly as the song says, I am happy that you're where you want to be.


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Loneliness is a state of mind

How is it that you can be surrounded by family and friends yet still feel so achingly alone?

Friday, November 28, 2008

what is essential is hidden

The aspect of things that are most important for us are hidden because of their simplicity and familiarity (one is unable to notice something because it is always before one's eyes) - Ludwig Wittgenstein

And I have to wonder, if this was indeed the case, had I in the narrowness of my vision, allowed so much to pass me by? What chances had I ignored or not noticed because of this?

Sunday, November 9, 2008

everything's gonna be alright

There are days when I wish I could write my younger self a letter and tell her not to worry, that although life is going to be one heck of a ride, we were going to be fine. I wish I could infuse her with some of the confidence I have found, I wish I had enjoyed the ride more instead of worrying about what other people might say or think. I am haunted by the thought of the opportunities I must have lost because I was too scared to try. Does confidence come with age, with the experiences we have along the way or has it always been there, and we only need time to find it? As secure as I am with myself now, I wish I was this way when I was younger, especially when I look back on the things I missed hiding from life.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

all this wasted longing...

You Who Never Arrived

You who never arrived
in my arms, Beloved, who were lost
from the start, I don’t even know what songs
would please you. I have given up trying
to recognize you in the surging wave of the next
moment. All the immense
images in me - the far-off, deeply-felt landscape,
cities, towers, and bridges, and unsuspected
turns in the path,
and those powerful lands that were once
pulsing with the life of the gods --
all rise within me to mean
you, who forever elude me.
You, Beloved, who are all
the gardens I have ever gazed at,
longing. An open window
in a country house -- , and you almost
stepped out, pensive, to meet me.
Streets that I chanced upon, --
you had just walked down them and vanished.
And sometimes, in a shop, the mirrors
were still dizzy with your presence and, startled,
gave back my too-sudden image. Who knows?
perhaps the same bird echoed through both of us
yesterday, separate, in the evening…
                                       -Rainer Maria Rilke

I wonder if you will still arrive, if you are out there; I hope you are...

Thursday, October 9, 2008

how we didn't die, we just never had a chance to bloom

Whatever it was that I wanted us to be, what I wanted me to be for him, whatever it was that I deluded myself into thinking we were meant to be, never was. I knew that when I met him two years ago, but I kept on fooling myself by clinging to the tiniest bit of hope, despite appearances, despite actions that negated that hope.

Love, romantic love has always been difficult for me. W says we have, the two of us what she calls, the Sisyphus complex, falling for people we can't have, unattainable due to circumstances beyond our control. Maybe that's the reason why I clung so much to that hope, because despite everything, I really believed that I had a chance this time around. I guess I was wrong.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

chocolate makes me happy...

I turned 32 today, and for once I will not whine about how direction-less I feel my life is but instead be thankful for everything that I have. I am grateful that I belong to the family I belong to, that I have a wonderful relationship with my parents ( only my mom now since daddy's gone) and my sisters. That I have an interesting enough job, two in fact that challenge my mind in different ways, I whine and complain about both a lot of times, but I am luckier than most, one job allows me to travel and learn while the other allows me to flex my writing muscles so I can not complain really. I have great friends who tolerate my moods and my lectures and my rantings. And I have my books that keep me occupied along with the fact that my favorite show of all time, The X-Files, is currently running on television five days a week. Life is good really.

Monday, September 22, 2008

on friendships and moving on

A., my lovely sprite of a friend once told me that life is all about moving on, moving from one thing to another with books to inspire us and friends to keep us sane. I've moved on from a number of events in my life and left behind people in one way or another. Like I said before, I am good at holding grudges, at squirreling information away, so I can use something against you if you leave or move on. This is what I spread over all the good memories I have of you.

About a week ago, my erstwhile best friend, L., sent me an SMS and told me she was at UP and passed by our old college hangout ( more hers really) and that it reminded her of me, which is why she sent me the SMS. The message made me smile. Because I have those places tied with my memories of her as well. After all, we have more than fifteen years of history, half my life, that's how long we've been friends. We've been there for each other all those years, navigating through the excitement and confusion that was university life, through infatuations and broken hearts, anxieties over our future and our life choices. Even when life dictated we take separate paths, we made time, we made a point of seeing each other, touching base if only to know how each other was until inevitably, I guess we began to out grow each other. We were best friends for most of those fifteen years, which is probably why despite all my drama, all her shortcomings (imagined or otherwise), despite the combination of hurt and pique that has tinged my perception of our friendship these past few years, I am still reluctant to move on.

I have scribbled so many letters to L. so many times, but I can never bring myself to send it to her. The closest I came was when things started to fall apart and I sent her an email but she must have misread what I wrote and things somehow managed to resolve themselves so we never spoke of it anymore. Maybe this is why I still am reluctant to move on, that plus the fact that I don't make friends that easily.

I know I come across as selfish and self-centered and basically a brat. And some days, I am that exactly, and a drama queen to boot. But given the history of our friendship, I think I'm more than entitled to be in this case. I suppose I should grow up and start acting like an adult, given that I turn 32 in a few short days. I should talk to her, tell her how I feel, maybe then I can move on.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

wishful thinking and writerly pursuits

I wish I could write, really write. The kind of writing that touches people, that makes a connection. Not this, this whiny, self-indulgent exercise . W says that the fact that I blog means I'm a writer, but I don't agree. I suppose it all comes down to perception and labels. Because heck, I suppose anyone can be a writer or claim to be, I should know, given where I work. But that's saying too much already.

My question is what is it that makes a writer? Is it the way that one skillfully strings words together to form a coherent thought or is it the way one is able to connect, to tell a tale, to impart knowledge and feeling? Is writing less than the stringing of words and more than being able to convey something? My thoughts on this is that it comes down to labels. Because in some capacity or another, we are all writers, whether we are blogging, or creating letters or even reports, for school, for work, as dry as can be, we are conveying something.

My friends (perhaps because they are my friends) have told me at one time or another I have some capacity for this, this writing thing, this nebulous chased after label. I remain unconvinced.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

the truth is out there

"There is no such thing as uncharacteristic; there is only previously unwitnessed".

I got this from one of the excellent X-Files fan fictions I have been drowning myself in during the run up to and after the second XF movie was shown. It gave me pause and I had a whole entry written in my head that I was going to post but its all lost now. Anyway, because it made me stop and think, I am posting it here.

that which keeps us tethered

I've been entertaining crazy thoughts this week, perhaps brought on by the fact that I have taken to skipping work and brooding in bed all day. Anyway, I came to a conclusion from these talks with myself that I have been having ( and yes, I am certain that I am not crazy, I just work things out better in my head if I vocalize them). I came to the conclusion that if push comes to shove, that if I were to take sides or forced to choose, my choice will always always be on the side of where my sisters and my mom are, right or wrong, them. Them, the ones that keep me sane, that keep me tethered, my family. They say you can't choose your family, but I wouldn't trade mine for anything, neuroses and all.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

biding time til things get better

I hate this half-lived life that I've been living. Most days, I can cope with it, I can fool myself into thinking, hey its not so bad what I have. And then there are these dark days, when I feel decidedly self destructive, bent on trampling over what I have built, on blowing away this precariously balanced house of cards with a huff. These are the days when I hate everything about my life, when I question the choices I have made. And yet, and yet I still wonder, if I had chosen another path would I be happier? Would it be more than this half-lived life that I have built and gotten comfortable in and have now grown to resent? I wonder if there are other people out there like me, pretending to bide their time till things get better yet not doing anything about it? People like me who pretend and fool themselves into thinking that their half-lived lives are better than nothing at all, that settling for what you have, what you can have, is better than chasing after the next shiny thing in the horizon. Is it? Is this really better than the not knowing the reason for this gnawing discontent, this rumbling anger threatening to overwhelm my sanity? I don't know who said it, but I agree with whoever they are when they said that we all live lives of quiet desperation. Because god knows, I do.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

on taking chances

Life is like that I suppose. You gamble, you let go of your anchor, to take risks and sometimes it pays off, but most times it blows up in your face big time. And so you go back to your corner to lick your wounds and regroup, vowing never to take chances again. But you know that one day, you're going to find yourself standing on that particular ledge again, staring ahead, and deciding to jump at whatever chances that fate throws at you. It's a cycle, funny but vicious, and you always, always get thrown.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

define normal, I do not understand

Most days I feel like I have been left behind, that the whole world is moving, everyone moving in a frenzy, in a hurry to catch one more brass ring. Everyone but me. I feel like everyone around me has kept at their pace, pushing on, but somehow I'm stuck, inevitably stuck. Their worlds keep moving while mine has come to a screeching standstill.

I used to be like everyone else, eyes on the goal, never faltering and in that frenzy, I somehow stumbled without knowing it, lost focus, and I let the rings drop. Now it seems I no longer know the dance, that I have forgotten the steps somehow. And so I got left behind. Everyone is moving around me, moving on with their lives, and why shouldn't they after all? Meanwhile, in me-land, I feel stuck, frozen, like all the pieces of my dreams have gone tumbling down and I can't seem to get them back in order anymore. Neither do I feel motivated to do so. Because I have come to the realization that catching a particular brass ring will never be enough, that there will always be another one on the horizon, just beyond my reach. Yes, I so want to be like everyone else with their normal adult existence, with their lives planned and plotted out. But is that all that life is ever going to be? And the scariest part of it all is here I am, two months short of having been in existence for thirty two years now and I still don't know what I want. Why can't I be like everyone else?

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

we are such terrible creatures, selfish and insecure

I have no illusions about my character, I know that I can be selfish, and petty, and mean, and secretive. I have too little patience and are too prone to bursts of temper. And you know, I don't know if I can change, some days, I even don't know if I want to.

Maybe that's why I don't have too many friends or why I never try to keep in touch really, except for the perfunctory hi or hello once in a while. I'm going to tell you one more thing about me. You know why I never open up to my friends, why I manage to convince every one that everything is peachy keen in planet Me? Because I view information as ammunition. This is why I am a good listener. Because I like to feel needed, and I store up that information so I can use it later. Because what I need is to hold something against you, because then if you go away, I wouldn't be crushed. This is also why I don't open up too much to others, why I don't readily share this blog with people who know me in real life, because I am afraid that I will be judged, that as I said in an earlier post, they'll find out who I really am, and they won't like what they see because god knows some day even I don't like me.

*the title of the post comes a drawing of Kurt Halsey's

Sunday, August 3, 2008

I'm going to hide under the covers now

Some days, I feel like I don't have the energy to get out of bed, because for what purpose? I feel direction-less, without purpose, listing. I hate, hate, hate days like that but more so I hate my life. I hate that this is all the life I am going to get and I feel like I've screwed it up. This is it, this is the rest of my life. I can't wish for a do over, nobody gets that, nobody gets their slate wiped clean to start anew. Too much baggage, too many things lost, too much guilt. This is it. No use thinking back and saying I wish I had done that instead, I wonder what my life could have been. There's no use thinking about that anymore. Keep moving forward, ha. I want to but I am inexplicably tethered to the past, to my mistakes. I never can decide. I can be impulsive sure, but a look back always grounds me, ties me down, cripples my movement. I just might be one of those people who need outside force to keep moving. I lost that a long time ago. In my frenzied fumble towards the prize, I dropped my brass rings and somehow never got back into the groove. Never. I don't even know if I want to. Or if I could. But that's par for the course in my universe. So I continue to bury my life in make believe, allowing real life to deaden me. I remember vowing never to be like this. Just tells me I know nothing.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

its official...

I am a big sap. What else would you call someone tearing up over reading this:

Sonnet XVII
Pablo Neruda

I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz,
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.
I love you as the plant that never blooms
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
so I love you because I know no other way

than this: where I does not exist, nor you,
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.

The last four lines just, ah, just kills me. Were that someone would read that to me; read to me and mean it, really, really mean it. Well, one can dream right?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

here comes the rain again (or welcome to the tropics)

Have I ever mentioned that I love the rain? I find something rather soothing about it that catches my whimsy. Watching the rain fall and listening to its steady cadence seems calming somehow. And walking in the haze of a soft drizzle ( without an umbrella most of the time) evokes something oddly romantic to me. I also love the fury of a storm, all flash and thunder, the roiling winds, and the tap tap tapping of water pelting down from the heavens. It is in these times that I feel as though all the dark and fierce emotions inside my head are mirrored by the elements outside, as though everything I feel but cannot express are out there, hashed out by nature's display. I love it especially on days when I find myself in a weird mood, then the fury outside calms the tempest inside. But as much as I love nature's tempestuous show, I also love the calm after the furor passes, of looking out of windows washed clean by the torrents, of the sun breaking through the clouds, as though the world has been wiped clean, literally and figuratively, and starting again, on a clean slate, is somehow possible.

( I got caught in heavy rains this morning, and aside from getting totally and utterly drenched, I also had to wade through the flooded streets of the Metro. Still, I love the rain, hence this post)

Monday, June 30, 2008

I look in the mirror and who do I see?

I see me, plain ( well not so plain), not quite old, sometimes boring me. I am aware of who I am, how I look and how the world sees me ( or doesn't). I've said before that I am the kind of person who never wants to attract attention, but I'm not really that shy a person actually. Mostly, it's a reflex, a reminder of how I have perceived myself and how I thought and felt people saw me. You know how they say not to be too worried about how people see you because they're more worried about how you see them? Easy to say, harder to achieve. See, I've been overweight since I was thirteen. The summer before I was to enter high school, I grew taller and gained weight. Thus, when the school year began, I was no longer the gawky, thin 12 year old my friends knew, but someone with more flesh on her bones. Apparently, more than they were used to, as one  friend promptly christened me with a new learned word for her, that of a certain prehistoric woolly animal. A name which stuck through out high school, that every one thought was endearing (because I appeared to tolerate them calling me that name) but cut every time I heard it referring to me ( she's still my friend by the way, I've learned to forge an uneasy peace with what she had done and have long chalked it up to youthful exuberance, she was after all, prone to giving people nicknames, whether they wanted it or not, bully for me that she was popular and that the name she gave me stuck). It gave good practice for me as well, and I learned early on to ignore the snide comments and take the well-meaning phrasings from my relatives in stride. I grew a thicker skin, padded by insecurities and hidden behind the worlds I found in books. But thicker skin or no, words still hurt no matter what they say about stick and stones doing more damage. Invisible though it may be, words hurt and scar and maim. And for someone on the cusp of adolescence, it was really bad for my self image and confidence. Although I can not trace every insecurity I have about myself from that day in my freshman year in high school, I knew that that was when I started perfecting the art of drawing attention away from myself. For most of my life, my weight figuratively weighed me down. I went through high school and college carrying that burden so to speak, it colored my relationships with people and way I saw myself.

But as much as I could not trust how I saw myself, I knew that I had other attributes, that I was smart and that smart was way better than pretty. Although of course, most days, that gave me cold comfort. Being able to get into the choice university among my peers was also a very good boost for my confidence. I did manage to lose some weight in college but that never changed the way I saw myself. Then I entered law school and substituted the sleep I lost juggling work and school work with food and gained back all the weight with some more added. But by then I had started to make peace with my body, I was learning to be comfortable in my own skin, and loving myself. The confidence I gained complemented the thick skin I had retreated into over the years for me not to care too much about what people thought or how I thought they saw me.

I will be the first to admit that there are still days when I hate the way I look but then again everyone has those days. I now know what works for me and recognize myself for who I am, a reasonably attractive, smart, and confident woman. And although there are still days when my decisions are still colored by the hurt, overwhelmed, fat young girl that I was all those years, most days, I think, I'm just me.

Sunday, June 29, 2008


I was cleaning out my room, which in and of itself is an event given my personality, and I found an old journal. Well it wasn't even a journal actually, more of a date book where I scribbled little observations about my life as well as my schedule. I also found the notebook I used to scribble on in high school, when I was in the throes of my infatuation for H ( which by the way lasted long enough to affect my college love life, such as it was) . I reread every cringe worthy "poem" that I wrote about him and proceeded to tear the notebook apart. Closure in a warped sense I guess, and ten years too late I would say, given that I still can't bring myself to carry a conversation with the man without being a little giddy, I suppose it's always going to be that way. I wish there was some way I could exorcise A as well, but short of forgetting every little detail of my first European trip, I will just have to wait. How is it that the 15 year old me and the 30 year old me pulled the same stunt? Becoming enamoured of someone unattainable and then spending an inordinate amount of time trying to forget them. Is it because I have never learned my lesson from my experience with H that I repeated it with A? Of course, adult me topped adolescent me by becoming enamoured with someone who, although apparently interested and thus not entirely unattainable, happened to live on the opposite side of the world. What did I think I was going to get out of it?

Why do we choose who we choose anyway? Why do we love who we love? I mean I could have picked anyone else right? Why make life and love more difficult than it already is? Maybe I should have chosen J, gave a relationship with him a try, ignore the misgivings in my head, including the silliest one, that I just couldn't see myself kissing him. I used to wonder, but there just some aspects in my life that I can never bring myself to merely settle for what is there, being a bona fide fence-sitter aside. Why is falling in love so easy for some people and so apparently difficult for me? Or maybe because I have too much romantic notions floating around my head from all the books that I used to escape into in my teens that despite the cynicism I tend to project, the truth is that I have idealized the concept of love so much. So here I am, ten years after hesitating to dip my feet into the water, still unattached, still prone to being smitten with guys I can't have. Obtuse, thy name is M.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

of falling in love and unbroken hearts

I don't think I've ever fallen in love, not really. Or does one fall in love even when that love is not returned? My love life can be defined partly in the following words : it never got the chance to bloom. Because you know picky, and convinced that she was not attractive enough, and prickly, and stand-offish, plus equal parts naive and oblivious equals zero forays into the intricacies of relationships .

Why do we choose who we choose anyway? And am I really missing something by letting life pass me by?

Friday, June 20, 2008

coming to terms with grief

I suppose people grieve in different ways, some cry their hearts out and move on, some drown their sorrows in mindless distractions, some choose denial. I have dealt with mine in my own way.

Four months ago, we lost our father to cancer before we even had the chance to fight back against the disease. My sisters and I deal with our loss in our own way, supporting each other and dealing with our grief separately. Mostly, we have tried to move on with our lives and find a semblance of normalcy, and most days, I do just fine. But the tears are always close to the surface, bubbling up at the most odd times, mostly when memory strikes so that I could be sitting at my desk and reading something and would find myself tearing up. As complicated as my relationship was with my father, I have become acutely aware of the rightness of that line I read in a poem somewhere, that  no matter what your relationship was with your parents, you will miss them sorely when they're gone.

I miss my father the most on days when I feel overwhelmed with life, because he always managed to ground me, to make me stop and think, and to gain a better perspective of where my life was going. I miss the fact that I could come home absolutely mad about something from work and he would listen to me rant. I miss the fact that he listened even when I did not. I miss him because he used to let me argue with him till I was blue in the face about whatever topic it was that caught my fancy.

Now that he's gone, I am learning to appreciate all that he has done for me and my sisters. The fact that while he nurtured us and made us believe in ourselves unequivocally, he never allowed us to have an overgrown sense of self-worth, to have airs and feel as though we were better than every one else. Thus, no matter what my insecurities were, about my self, about the way I look, I always, always, knew I had the smarts, that I was good at what I did, and that I could be whatever I wanted to be,  and that he would be proud of me no matter what I do or don't do, no matter how I decide to live my life.

It is not that my relationship with him was ever easy. I was the first born, bequeathed with all the hopes and aspirations and expectations of  first time parents. I suppose I must have disappointed him and mommy with some of the decisions that I have made with my life. But the thing with my father was that he let me decide. I regret that the last years of his life, the ones he spent with me, were tinged with resentment on my part, a fact which still gnaws at my conscience four months after his death. It was not that I neglected him, it was that there were days when I resented the fact that I had to be his sole provider when I was just starting my life.

But despite everything, I miss him and there are still days when the tears are much too near the surface. I guess there will always be days like those because moving on doesn't mean letting go and forgetting, but instead merely a dulling of the pain.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Think about it

I love this paragraph and what it says and I figured I should share:

open your eyes and see
that always we are taught ongoingness:
the same and turning leaf;
earth's rhythmic tilt and tow;
the soul candling into shadow,
before it flickers back to life - J. Neil C. Garcia

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

another one

The creeping sadness, blurs the edges of the dream
like a mist descending, quietly invading
the oblivion of sleep

The muted melancholy tugs at my waking
worming its way carefully, inexorably,
into the numb routine of every day life

The quiet sorrows bubble from within
rising to the surface, sharp, piercing,
evoking bittersweet memories of broken dreams and dashed hopes

And the tears slide down silently,
like rivulets of raindrops
a mute testament to the emptiness inside.
mf, final version, June 08

I am not depressed. Let me just get that out of the way. If anything, perhaps one can say that I am a tad melodramatic which is why I like to write these sad, pathetic poetry if you can call it that. Mostly, when inspiration hits, I get about a few lines, which turn to unwieldy ones such as this because I stretch the words out. For this one, I wrote the first lines without much effort but the following paragraphs took soooo long. I must have oh four or five versions of this before I settled on this one.

Here's another example of the skewed sense of humor that my muse has:

prayers whispered fervently
in corridors of hope
dreams, what might be
trying to change reality

that's it, I couldn't turn it into a halfway decent ( for me at least) poem so I left it at that and just turned the first line into the title of my blog instead.

Monday, June 16, 2008



changes, changing, changed,
everything's different
somehow I'm lost, I do not know how
lost, broken away.
life lines, I find that
I am not alone
or am I?
adrift in a sea of my own making
my own choice
am I happy?
all that I am sure of is that
I am alone.
6/24/2000 maf


awash in a sea of change
forlorn, alone, confused
should I sink or swim?
should I give in to the currents
tugging me down, pulling at me
or should I fight to keep
my head above the water?
I feel so overwhelmed, so lost.
Is there no escaping this?
7/18/2000 maf

This is something I wrote about 10 years ago, when I was going through a major upheaval in my academic life. And instead of talking things over with a friend, I decided to pour my heart out into this. Its funny but 10 years later, there are still days when I feel this way. I suppose we all do at one time or another. I wish I could say that in the period between then and now, I have learned to share my feelings with others. I haven't, not really. Which is why I love doing this, blogging. Its sort of a cross between a journal and a confessional, because I know that someone somewhere will stumble upon this and that I have at least somehow managed to share what I feel, what's going on inside my head without losing my anonymity and crumbling the facade that I have worked so hard to build up.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

more dispatches from the skewed side of reality

"What if my twenties were the best years of my life and I've nothing to show for it?" I can't remember if it was a friend or a character in a tv show I once heard this from. But what if? My twenties were spent juggling a full time job and law school, and what do I have to show for it? If you look at my life right, nothing, nada, zilch. Sure I did get the law degree eventually, but ran out of enough steam to push me through taking the bar exams. I sometimes feel like I've wasted my twenties, because it passed by more or less uneventfully, that I cannot recall one significant event in my life that was my own doing. Sure, a lot of things happened in my twenties that shaped me into who I am right now. In one of our more circumspect conversations, my friend W told me that our twenties were supposed to be the time for discovery, of learning who we are and what we want to be, that we shouldn't try too hard to see the significance in every time, that life passes in moments ( okay so that was me), that we have to live our lives one day at a time ( I know, there's an abundance of cliches today).

And you know, cliches aside, I think there is something to that. I was thinking about it earlier as I was preparing dinner and I realized that although a lot of people seem to be so put together in their twenties, the majority of us are still stumbling along, getting by, learning about ourselves. That it was okay to be lost once in a while. That that is the only way after all, for us to learn, to find our way, and so what if it takes us years and years to do so? So what if my twenties were insignificant compared to some of my friends who have their lives figured out, so what? It is the journey that is important and to use another cliche, life is the journey, and no matter how smooth or bumpy the road is, this is the only one I've got.

Friday, June 13, 2008

dispatches from this side of reality

there is a line that I read somewhere that says " why am I afraid to show you who I am? Because I am afraid you will see the real me and run away" or words to that effect. It just struck me that that is who I am like,  I hide my self from everyone else because I am afraid of being hurt, of not being wanted for who I really am. And the funny thing, the funny thing is that I have more or less convinced myself that the me I show the world is the real me.

I'll tell you another thing about myself, I love compartmentalizing my life, my friendships. So much so that I am certain that one group of friends would probably not really jive well with another group. And I so, so carefully ascertain that they never converge. This is probably why while my sisters have always always been comfortable bringing friends over to our home, I have rarely done so. Because to do so would make two aspects of my life converge. Thus, the me at home will never be reconciled with the me at school or at work. I think that's a sad testament to who I am. Or maybe its a testament to how screwed up my brain really is.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

words escape me

Do you ever feel like there are oceans of words inside, welling up, ready to surface if only you could find a way to express it? Sometimes I feel as though I have so much to say but somehow I can never find the words to say them. Or that sometimes, they flit through your mind at the most inopportune time such as while you are sitting in a bus on your way to work, and you come up with these eloquent sentences that you know will escape your grasp when you sit down an hour later to commit them to paper?

This is one of those days. I don't know. I sometimes think that there must be something wrong with me.

Friday, June 6, 2008

hiding in plain sight


a quiet descends
over the stillness
of a life half-lived
seemingly, vicariously,
through printed words

the stories she's read
of love, of woe, of hope
of sorrows
weave around her
providing her escape

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Fence sitting or knowing when to jump ( part 2 of taking chances)

Fence sitters of course should not expect happy endings because happy endings are reserved for people who know how to take risks, to open themselves up to others. For most of my life, I have been wary of taking chances, I was happier to go with what I knew even if it meant that I was painting myself into a narrow and monotonous existence. I wasted my twenties in that way, the years when I should have been trying everything new, I spent sitting on a fence being safe.

I never did like too much change, I'm the kind of person who does not like rippling the surface or worse, making waves. The more unnoticed I was, the better. Typically, I would just close myself off to the things that I could not deal with or to the unfamiliar. Much too often I have found myself shrinking from taking a step towards something new. Thus, I am usually left in the dust, watching as my friends go places because they have embraced the quest to seek the life they want instead of settling for what they can have. It is not that I lack the courage to try new things, it's just that if it were a choice between going after something novel and taking the tried and tested way, inevitably, I choose to go with what is familiar.

I once read a book where the one of the characters said that " everyday, the opportunity to change your life exists". As much as I agree with that statement, the trouble is that most days, the mere idea of having to change the big things in my life, of weaning myself from long entrenched habits and ideas, seems to entail entirely too much work. And although I realize that part of the adventure that is life is not knowing what is waiting for you when you take that turn in that unfamiliar bend in the road, I still insist on sticking to the well-trodden path, sometimes even staying put, thus I miss out on what might be waiting for me around the corner. Sometimes, even when the opportunity has presented itself to me, I still choose to ignore it, refusing to join in the fray, because ultimately, time and again, I would choose to sit in my perch on the fence, feeling safe watching life pass me by. Sure, I have often felt the stirring of envy but never enough to warrant my taking action.

Life has taught me a few lessons however. I've learned that guarding against the hurt is not only boring, it also leaves little room for growth, that allowing yourself to be vulnerable is part of the learning experience. I've learned that perhaps, the key is not to change the big things in your life all at once but instead to take things slowly, step by step, like putting up my writing online instead of letting it languish in my PC, or maybe trying something new and scary once in a while like standing in front of an audience and singing for a friend's wedding without worrying whether that you sound silly or are making a huge fool out of yourself, or even learning and trying out "the moves" (as my friends call it) on some guy you like and just enjoying the heck out of yourself without analyzing your motivations.

Above all, I've learned that the key to living and having the life you want is to let go of your fears, step outside that comfort zone, climb down from your perch in the fence, and face life head on.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

because the rain inspires dark thoughts sometimes

Hard rain doesn't last
or so they say
why then do i feel
as though I've been
standing in this downpour forever?
as though my hopes
have all been soaked, tattered,
ruthlessly washed away
by the torrents

hard rain doesn't last
why then do I feel
as though the cold
has seeped to my bones
and i am left here,
shivering, bereft of warmth
stumbling blindly,
reaching for comfort,
coming up empty...

hard rain doesn't last
it may be true
but it lingers long enough
to chill your soul
and change your perspective

copyright 2005 by maf

I wrote this about 3 years ago, when I was feeling down and a little depressed as I am wont to do at certain times of the year. This is an example of what A was talking about when he asked me if I still wrote, because I used to write sappy poems when we were in high school. I like to think I've grown more discerning since then and that my writing has somehow grown.

why I write what I write here

I've a friend ask me why I blog, and my short answer would be because I need an outlet. See, a long time ago, one of my old friends, A, asked me if I still wrote because I used to when we were in high school. I said not really, not stuff that I would want to show to other people anyway. This blog allows me to share my thoughts and maintain relative anonymity. This means that as the subtitle of this blog states, this will contain my ramblings. I have another blog over on LJ where I write about the mundane everyday events of my life.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

taking chances or why I am convinced I'll never win at life 1

Have you ever wondered if the life you are living is the life you really want or if its simply the life you can have, the one you settled for because you were either too afraid to go for the life you really wanted and perhaps have grown too comfortable with to try something new?

I have been asking myself these questions for several years now, since I turned 27, convinced that it was brought on then by the impending big three-oh, stirring myself into a mini-crisis of self doubt and self-recriminations. I am now 31 and I still do not know any better. I have pondered on the above questions on and off in the past four years, specially whenever I would come home from another trip abroad. Those trips always trigger a mini-crisis in my head, causing me to become antsy and feel needlessly unfulfilled.

Not that I don't know the reason for my discomfort, I am aware that the fault lies with me, because it is typical of my character to become too entrenched in my habits and routines, embracing the life I am living and never mustering the courage to take a stab at the life that I want.

The life that I want. A loaded phrase, certainly, the bigger problem however is that I cannot seem to determine what it is that I want out of life. I have countless journal entries containing the same theme to no avail. All I know is that I live a very narrow life.

Life expands or shrinks in proportion to one's courage Anais Nin once wrote, and she's probably right. Because watching from the sidelines, never taking a chance on anything, translates to a narrow and boring existence. No wonder I love taking refuge in the books and stories that I read. It's funny because I only figured it out when my horizons expanded. I am quite certain I would never have these rumblings of discontent if I never met the people I have met in the past two years.

However, regardless of that, I've learned a couple of things in my 30-odd years of existence. For one, I've learned that being adept at fence-sitting means that I should just wave goodbye to my grand notions of happy endings. Because I have learned that unless you take a chance on something, there are no rewards, no chances at a happy ending. And I am not referring here to happy endings in fairy tales, where you find your prince charming and other such nonsense; I am talking of personal fulfillment, of finding your own bliss.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


I've realized at the great age of 30-something that I am either not a very adept people person or I'm just not really very schooled in the way people establish friendships. I say this because when I look at my life, my very solitary life, I've realized that I can count on one hand the number of close friends that I have. When I say close friends, I mean people who know me, really know me. I also realized that when we are young, we easily attach labels to relationships, you get your best friends or bffs as they call them these days, friends, etc. But actually, when you think about it, it is the relationship that defines the friendship and not the labels we attach to them. It is how you grow together, how you nurture each other that defines your relationship with another person. I have a nominal best friend, we met in college when we were both wide-eyed naifs lost in the jungle that was UP. We had a common bond then, wishing to be part of something bigger than we were, to leave our mark in the world, her as a doctor and me as a lawyer. We have kept in touch over the years, doing things that best friends are wont to do. In the past few years however, our paths have diverged, allowing me to look at our friendship from the perspective of hindsight. I suppose that it is a sad testament to our relationship when I state that I've realized that in all the years of our friendship I don't think she ever understood me.

I do have other friends, friendships that I hesitate even now to paint and limit to labels. They are the people who I know, know me as much as I know them. And while it is unfair of me perhaps to expect L to get me and my idiosyncrasies the same way they do, I wish she had at least tried.

A few days back, I was chatting with my friend W ( yes, she's one of the few close friends I was talking about) and our conversation made me understand that the reason our friendship has thrived all these years, aside from the fact that we grew up together and have known each other since we were 8, was that we fed each other's insanities. In a way, we keep each other sane, grounded in some way. And despite not seeing each other or talking to each other for months, when we do, it's as if we just saw each other the day before and are picking up from where we left off in our conversation. I don't know, given the labels we give our friendships, isn't that supposed to be the kind of relationship that I should have with my nominal best friend? Or am I being unfair? I know that I have my own shortcomings, but during the active lifetime of my being L's best friend, you couldn't find a more devoted friend than me, which is why the events of the past year or so still stings so much that I can't let go of the hurt and allow our relationship to ease back into what we had before. Despite the fact that I feel the diminishing of that friendship acutely, I have resigned myself to feeling this way, still harboring some affection for her but largely resentful of how she has somehow discarded me and moved on.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Ruminations on Fate

I intend to eventually populate this blog with my old posts from my older journal as well as post new ones. This is one of the older ones.

" but in our attempt to cope with

early situations, we chose or

were hypnotized into a passive position

to avoid punishment or

the loss of love

we chose to deny our response ability"

I got that from a poem in a book I read about 6 years ago the title of which I can no longer remember. Question is, do we really? Pretend to be helpless that is. I mean how many times have we said that things happen because they are meant to? That little four letter word, our rationalization, our reason, our explanation for why things are what they are, "FATE'. Things happen because they are meant to happen therefore, we can't do anything about it. But I've always believed that life is what we make it to be. And whether or not fate falls into play is merely another option we take. Because if things happen whether we want to or not sort of nixes the whole man having a choice theory doesn't it?

Funny thing, fate, people use it for all sorts of things, as an explanation, as a reason, as a way of rationalizing things. I think its funny the way we do that. I have often wondered how much of the events that occur in our lives is fate or something that we merely stumbled into because we have no control over things and how much of the things we bring upon ourselves are actually our own conscious, deliberate albeit uninformed choices?

Because we tend to blunder into various situations in our lives and when things go wrong, we succumb to the tendency to blame fate for whatever situation it is that we put ourselves into.

We choose to forget who we are

and then we forget that we've


We let the circumstances overwhelm us, drowning who we are, what we want. And then we blame fate, because it left us with no choice, when we chose to do that thing in the first place.


here i go, trying my hand at creating one of these. i intend to maintain this, i hope my intentions see me through.