Thursday, November 11, 2010

this cold, damp weather inspires dark thoughts...

The days slowly bled into months, months growing into years, years that should have at least softened the emotions, but instead worked to sharpen the feelings of dissatisfaction and sadness. The bitter pang of regret remained. A sharp underlying prickle which never quite left her. She had hoped it would go away at some point, and in some sense it did. Days filled with purposeful toil and mindless concerns blunted the edges somehow, quieting the voice inside her head. But sometimes, on cold, dreary days, when even the soul shivered as the body huddled, wrapped tightly in blankets, when her defenses succumbed to the torpor of the season, that sharp prickle would emerge, as though to say, remember me? I am every dream you ever gave up, I am every opportunity you did not seize, I am every potential you wasted, I am the life you should have been living. Was it worth it? Throwing your dreams and every one’s expectations away to live a life half-lived; marked by the flickering shadows of a computer screen; of endlessly stringing and sharpening words for others chasing the same dream or a semblance thereof, that you harbored all those years? Was it worth it? Worth breaking your promise to your mother and father, worth breaking both their hearts, worth desperately trying to make everyone understand that the dream had died far too soon and far too quickly for you to even begin contemplating to attempt to continue? And she thinks, it has to be, it has to be, otherwise the life she’s been living, the fragile house of cards she’s built, could topple down. Then the things she’s told herself, to convince herself everything was fine, would be exposed as a lie. This is the way she’s lived her life. And on cold, dark days, when she is confronted by her regrets, she prays for the sun to chase away the clouds, to shine on the dark corners of her mind and force these sharp honest thoughts back to where she thinks they belong, stuffed into forgotten corners and drowned once more in purposeful toil and mindless concerns.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

writing as therapy

there's something I've noticed with myself in all the years that I have tried to maintain a journal. I have never been the type of person to write in my journals everyday, or chronicle every single event of my life. Instead, I have noticed that I process most of what I feel and through by writing. This blog has served the same purpose. I started maintaining this blog in 2008, while going through a major loss in my life. Looking at my older entries, I have noticed that as the months went on, my entries became less frequent, because I did not have much to process anymore. The only thing that is the same is that I am still very, very reticent about sharing this blog with anyone who knows me personally. So I guess some things never change. I have always been very reluctant to share my writing and thoughts with others, preferring to keep things to myself.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

if I knew then what I know now...

I saw this topic at twitter a few weeks ago, asking people what they would tell themselves if they were given the chance to talk to their teenage self. There were plenty tweets, some light, some serious. I did post my own tweet, but I felt that it was too short, that I had a lot to tell my younger self, of the things I have learned and not learned over the course of 18 years (the original tweet assumed that the age of the recipient would be around 15). Then I broached the topic to W and we got to talking about it. It was funny and poignant what we wanted to tell our young selves. A few days later, I attended a seminar (which as with most seminars, was boring in places so you tend to try and find a distraction so that you don't fall asleep) and decided to kill time by writing 15-year-old M a letter. This was the result.

Dear 15-year-old me,

If I could tell you one thing, that would be to never give up on your dreams. Oh, make that two things: never give up on your dreams, and whatever you aim for, follow through with it always. ALWAYS. We tend to procrastinate too much, you are aware of that I'm sure, and 18 years on, we still haven't changed on that aspect much.

And since I'm giving you advice, here's another one. Try not to be too insecure. Sure we're fat (and we still are, but so what? I know that right now, that's just another thing you don't like about yourself, but trust me, only until you learn to be comfortable in your own skin will you be confident. Ignore the sundry relatives who thrive on making snide comments about our weight and focus instead on nanay's lovely compliments). Always remember, you are pretty, and you have a good head on your shoulders, and our brains are nothing to sneeze at if I do say so myself. Remember that in the real world, smart trumps pretty and skinny most of the time (unless you are competing for the attention of vapid men of course, but that's another story).

Also, smile more often. Trust me on this. Scowling is not good, not only because of the frown lines (and yes, mommy was right about those) but because we actually have a beautiful smile.

In matters of the heart and infatuations, try not to be too enamored of H, you remember that time after the last summer vacation when you saw him and you thought he looked iffy? hold on to that thought, because if you don't, you will realize too late that as W says, he really is not THAT good-looking and he has the voice of a strangled cockroach. And you would have wasted too many years mooning over him (yes, I said years).

Try not to unconsciously ape our aunts and give daddy more slack, be nicer to him and take care of him better. We are going to lose quite a few people we love far too soon. It will break our heart, and I think our heart will remain a little broken always. So be nice, and hug them more often.

You are going to get into the school of your dreams, but it will not be without some hitches. You'll weather through them though, you are far stronger than you believe you are. When you get to your second year at the Uni, opt to stay at the dorm no matter how much you dislike the idea of having roommates. You'll enjoy college and being young better that way. Join organizations, stop being such a hermit.

Stop being such a prude, go out and enjoy life, you'll be a better person for it.

Be happy, always. Always remember that although our life will not turn out the way we want it to, or how we planned it, we are still fortunate and we do have a good life.

Finally, always remember, life IS a journey; so you should just relax, hang on, and enjoy the ride.



Wednesday, April 7, 2010

hello sunshine...

I have such wonderful memories of sitting beside the mango tree and carefully peeling each green mango to yield its sweet-sour yellow-green flesh, slicing it and dipping each slice in a dip made of fermented anchovies and vinegar. To me, outside of the inevitable heat cooking you instantly as you step out into the sun, nothing evokes summer more than the sight of fruit-laden mango trees begging to be picked. Until I was 21, we lived in a house nestled among various fruit trees. I remember two mango trees, one on the side of the house and another at the back, plus various other trees including a weird guyabano tree that did not bear any fruits the whole time we lived in that house and which the help thought was haunted. Its trunk was directly outside my bedroom window at the first floor, while the bough could be seen from my sisters’ bedroom window upstairs. The low-hanging mango tree at the side of the house was fair game, and we would often pick its fruits and wallow an afternoon away feasting on our bounty.
It is summer once again, and every day as I come in to work I am greeted  by the sight of the office’s three mango trees bursting with fruits. The sight makes me smile, and reminds me of a time when all I had to decide was what to do for the day and whether that would include climbing that friendly mango tree to the inevitable scolding from our grandparents. They’re all gone now, my grandparents, that house, that tree. But I still have the brilliant memories of those lazy summer days, of sneaking out from the afternoon naps my grandfather required us to take to climb trees we were expressly forbidden from climbing, of childhood really.   

Monday, March 22, 2010

i thought i saw your face today

Is it possible to miss someone who isn't really gone from you? At odd times, I find myself talking to you and missing the old you, the one whom I could spend hours upon hours talking to, I miss sitting with you quietly and talking of heartbreaks and new loves. As selfish as it sounds, I miss the you who patently needed me, the you who was insecure and slightly immature, just like me. It is not that I am not happy for you, I am truly, except for that small, childish, immature part of me who misses the you that belonged with me, was just like me. As much as I like the grown-up you, I loved the old you, and maybe just maybe, this is one of the reasons why I am not too enthused with you anymore. That perhaps you have grown away from me, and I have allowed myself to grow away from you. So that I find myself missing us, the wide-eyed innocent dreamers that we were, weaving plans and schemes for when we reached this age with an enthusiasm and belief that we had the world laid out at our feet, that all we had to do was work at it and everything will fall into place. I still wish for those things, stronger now than you because you have found a quiet joy in the life you are living, and in what you have achieved. And rightly so. And so I find myself searching for the old you when we are together, as unfair as that may sound. I still catch glimpses of the old you in the same way I catch glimpses of the old me sometimes.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

of friendships and growing apart

today I met with L and her hubby. I also met her little boy, who is my godchild, for the first time. Funnily enough, I wasn't really that excited about it; so much that I was actively contemplating not disturbing my routine sunday nap and was actually typing my message asking for a raincheck when her sms telling me they were already at our meeting place arrived. It was good to see her again, that I would admit, but also, it wasn't something that I really looked forward to anymore. I find that as I grow older, I have began to move away from my friends. My world has began to revolve around work and more work. I wonder if this is what my parents did, was it an active moving away from friends or had they merely lost touch? Maybe as we grow older, our priorities shift, because I find myself no longer adjusting my time to be able to see her. Whereas the old me would have shifted my schedule around to provide me with optimal time with her, the me now would contemplate canceling on her without any reason really, at the drop of a hat. Will I become like my spinster aunt, with no friends and no partner, just her pets, grumpily grumbling her way through old age? I hope not, I want to be able to form relationships, nourish them, the way a mature, well-adjusted person does. I want so much, and I hope for so much, but sometimes I feel as though I have fortified myself against the world, that I tend to lose myself in a world of my own making, content to sit inside the house, in front of the computer, working or reading, or bingeing on books and staying in bed reading the day away. I feel like I am frittering my time away, that this solitude I cultivate and nourish, has allowed me to lose touch with relationships and its demands.

Friday, January 8, 2010

A Kindness


Where did we stop? In dead summer, that is
male, yellow. You stripped into that glare
of live gold.
It was like living in gold to try to touch you.
It was as if you were day.

None of this is true, but will you
let me have it, imaginary?

The laugh, the confidence, the symmetrical clean
body capable of itself, so being body
as to be naked even to the hands. Will you give me that?

Because, even if it is not true, I need
something now to look back to, in order to say,
I have been sudden in the sun’s perfection,
I have had blood rise like light,
my hands have answered,
my memory is a bush of grown flame.

It is a kindness you can do me, to have been there
at the center of summer, yourself the attack of summer,
and to have made all that light out of being young.

I need to have loved you. I need to have told you so.

William Dickey


and there it was, the proof I was looking for. We never were, and we will never be, but I did fall in love with you and I am over you. I spoke with someone we both know today; it was rather unexpected but welcome nonetheless. I was told you are now back in that place I believe is home to you, with your new (ish) son. And unsurprisingly, it did not hurt, not at all, unlike that invitation two years ago. I'm happy for you really.