To meet is the beginning of parting

[逢うは別れの始め] To meet is the beginning of parting. The first time I read this, it felt like the perfect title of a story. It clues me in — prepares me for a bittersweet reality — and somehow I feel the words are beautiful as it does so. I know we will part, and I’m not scared that it will happen.

The most memorable times of my youth were college days. Four years aren’t long, but things that happen in our youth always seems to dig deeper than they should. It hurt, it hurt, it hurt so much more than ex-friends and ex-boyfriends, don’t you know? Didn’t you know? It didn’t make any sense. Why why why? I’ve spent some years willing to forget, fooling myself and trying not to regret, and only now can I say that I could look back at it with some detachment. The good was good, the bad was bad, and the good moments are better remembered fondly than never.

I’ve always been angry and resentful but time has been kind. Six years and finally I’m no longer scared to think about the past. Some moments have been fun, and real, and genuine — these are worth keeping. The old friends I wrote about in my older entries are different from who they were when friendships fell apart, and still different from who they are today. The versions of themselves in stories written by a girl who’s not that much older than a teen were transient moments worth capturing. Why why why? We’ve all changed, and the hurt doesn’t last forever.

Continue readingTo meet is the beginning of parting

A brief look at 2014 and a late welcome to 2015

(After Victor published his blog post, I forced myself to finish writing this, too. Thanks Victor!! :P)

This post is a bit late, but I feel that 2014 deserves a dedicated post to help me recount where I am in life now; what my previous goals were for the last year, and what I have achieved.

2014 is a bit of a murky year. I moved jobs thrice, and I have failed and succeeded in different things. I moved out, but not only from my parents’ house, but also to a different (but familiar) country.

Continue readingA brief look at 2014 and a late welcome to 2015

Broken hearts heal with distance

I begin this post with a poem:

The Changed Woman
Louise Bogan

The light flower leaves its little core
Begun upon the waiting bough.
Again she bears what she once bore
And what she knew she re-learns now.

The cracked glass fuses at a touch,
The wound heals over, and is set
In the whole flesh, and is not much
Quite to remember or forget.

Rocket and tree, and dome and bubble
Again behind her freshened eyes
Are treacherous. She need not trouble.
Her lids will know them when she dies.

And while she lives, the unwise, heady
Dream, ever denied and driven,
Will one day find her bosom ready,—
That never thought to be forgiven.

Lately, I’ve been feeling grumpy and antsy with an insatiable lust for travel. In fact, I’m not even remotely picky at this point. I don’t have to travel abroad; I could go (and stay) in Cebu (because Ruby is there) or Boracay (because it’s a beach full of strangers) and be (temporarily) content. I just have this sinking feeling of discontent these days that won’t go away. That no matter how good life is right now, I can’t bring myself to forget the past and the feelings, the torment that come with it.

In fact, I had a very ugly argument with Charlie over lunch, ruining my promised treat (as thanks for helping me with a video for work). I was complaining about a bunch of things. That I still can’t find that certain niche when it comes to a specific type of wavelength in friends that used to have but since a year ago I’ve lost. I don’t always refer to the group of people who’ve hurt me by the name of the org, but I can’t lie and stay those feelings haven’t stuck and tainted most of the memories. Unfortunately this includes most of everyone who were part of my batch, Charlie included. One of the things I told him I was trying to come to terms with was the fact that I can never, ever be free of them because the person I’m with is very much friends with the people I absolutely loath. And when oftentimes I can feign indifference, my resentment over this fact never quite disappeared.  Continue readingBroken hearts heal with distance

New Hair (and The Best and Worst of 2011)

This is going to be one of the (possibly many) pre-2012 posts (and the first) that I will be making before the year ends. This is also an attempt to use internet memes on my personal life, but I may get it wrong (which is why I’m just posting it here and not on 9Gag!)

You have been dutifully warned.

One of the best things about working at an Office that’s right in the middle of malls in Ortigas is that everything is a 10-minute walk away from you (except if it’s the Shang-ri La mall which is so much farther to walk than it seems). This means I can afford to get a haircut during lunch break. Which is what I did yesterday. Mostly because it’s a holiday today (so I won’t be in Ortigas to get the said haircut) and I think it’s best to start the year with a nice look (ohhh yeah, that’s definitely me complimenting myself. What is vanity).

(While we are at the subject of haircuts, I’d like to mention how much I love getting my hair cut at Toni & Guy in Manila. I can compare it with trying to get my hair cut in other salons and the hairdressers almost never get it right. I’d have to pay them Php250 to get it wrong, but Php650 for Toni & Guy to get it right — so, you’d understand where I want to put my money, right?)

Anyway, it’s the 30th and the year is about to end (thank goodness). It’s exhausted me in all ways imaginable. So many things happened and they are particular enough that I doubt I’ll ever forget them or how I felt when they happened. Although, on the way home from our Tagaytay Date-trip I told Charlie, “It’s a good year, yeah?” That’s not a lie. The year can actually be divided into phases: (1) pre-graduation, (2) pre-employment, and (3) employment with the first part filled with all the sad drama. Part 2 is more like a phase of inner conflict then Part 3 is an eventual adjustment and acceptance period (to the best of my ability).

Overall it was still a pretty good year (since I’m ending it feeling all happy and shizz), and here’s the best and worst of it — Continue readingNew Hair (and The Best and Worst of 2011)

It was never about deserving

For almost a year now I’ve struggled with the idea of being deserving of some things. Deserving goodness, deserving happiness, deserving love. Being blamed and getting called names by people whom I used to think of as, at the very least, “old friends” was the worst and most painful (and freshest) memory I have of college. During and after everything, I often thought of being so undeserving of anything because they must have been right about something if they, as people who I’ve spent years with, would treat me that way. Maybe they were right about my being wrong about all of the things that happened. Maybe I really did not deserve to explain my version of the truth. Maybe I didn’t deserve to have my own point of view of things. Maybe I didn’t deserve explanations. Everything was my fault and I felt like I did not deserve anything at all.

At that time too, we were talking about the story of the Prodigal Son in sir Bobby Guevarra’s theology class. In our discussions, the saddest words I’ve ever heard were: we will never be enough for the World. The world will keep on taking, taking, taking from us and even after giving our whole selves to it, it will still never be enough. 

I’ve always tried my best to be useful to other people. I almost never said “no” to anything, always wanting to please them no matter what it was they asked from me. Never you mind that I was going to be butchered in the process. I thought that in that way I’ll get approval, I’ll be worthy of being considered a friend, a confidante, whathaveyou.

I was wrong. Although I still find it hard to say “no” to most people, although I still have this impulse to please everybody else, I’ve learned that it was never about being deserving of, or, about deserving anything.

Although from Theology class, Bobby Guevarra said that it was only God who could give us the limitless kind of love that not one person is worthy of. But it doesn’t mean that we can’t experience it from other people, also mere mortals like any other person is.

Last week, Isa wrote an article about undeserved love. She said:

Undeserved love means I don’t have to work for the love that I dream of. It is entirely possible in the here and in the now, in later, in tomorrow and in always.

Nothing in this world will inspire me as much as this kind of love. Because it took me in and wanted me, even though it had no reason to. It desired me, believed in me, and stuck around. I will become all the better because of it. And, at the end of it all, I might even grow into actually deserving it. Who knows?

I’ve experienced this in my closest friends, who at one point really lost the reason to love me — and yet they still did. Ruby always said she was scared the four of us would never be friends again after that, but for some reason things just worked out and they’re still the very best people I trust unreservedly among everyone else in this world.

Charlie is also one of those people who inspires me to at least try to become better than who I am right now because of how he loves me even with all my issues (self-inflicted or not). He always deals with others far more generously than I do, deserving they are of his friendship or not. That is basically one of our biggest differences, mainly because I’m a very unforgiving person.

But if I’m really out to learn something in this world, I should start by forgiving because love is, as these wiser people have proved, never about “deserving”.

Isa ended her entry with:

“Love is unfair and I thank God for that. Because the truth is that the only love we were made for in this lifetime is the kind of love we don’t deserve.”

And as I’ve wrote Charlie: isn’t that beautiful, and also true? Although we can never be truly “deserving” of anybody’s love, this doesn’t stop anybody from trying to work so hard and do everything to make themselves feel they deserve love. Any and every kind of love. But the amazing thing is: true love is being able to give and receive love that you don’t deserve. Because there is so much more to love than just “deserving” it. Love has nothing to do with deserving. More than anything, it is the potential for more possibilities, for more beautiful things to come because of loving and being loved. And all these people writing about this kind of love and most especially those who live it — they make me feel hopeful and I think also push me to grow little by little.

A type two

I’ve taken the Enneagram quiz before, and I was a Type 2. That haven’t changed. I was reading up on it in another site and amazingly, it summed up my best and worst points: Generous, Demonstrative, People-Pleasing, and Possessive.

When I said it summed up both my best and worst points, I can say for a fact that I’ve been an unhealthy kind of Two for the longest time, and, I think, even until now:

Beneath the surface, all three types fear that they are without value in themselves, and so they must be or do something extraordinary in order to win love and acceptance from others. In the average to unhealthy Levels, Twos present a false image of being completely generous and unselfish and of not wanting any kind of pay-off for themselves, when in fact, they can have enormous expectations and unacknowledged emotional needs.

This is exactly how I start getting needy at the end of the day. I feel extremely unworthy when I’m not being useful to anybody. So I end up doing things in the extreme just so I can feel that I’m worth something again, or that someone needs me for something again, because I’ve never seen the point of just doing things for myself. It’s always been easier to be doing things for other people and pleasing them. In another light, I’d make selfish decisions to make myself feel better, if it’s either avoiding feeling unwanted or relishing the feeling of being needed.

Average to unhealthy Twos seek validation of their worth by obeying their superego’s demands to sacrifice themselves for others. They believe they must always put others first and be loving and unselfish if they want to get love. The problem is that “putting others first” makes Twos secretly angry and resentful, feelings they work hard to repress or deny.

This is too much like me, I’m getting scared. :/ I don’t always feel angry and resentful, but the past months have put me in situations where I felt exactly like this, just because I couldn’t understand why those things happened between me and people I’ve always put first. I’d always think about the favors I’ve done for them and helped them with and then couldn’t understand where all the rejection was coming from. I’ve resented a lot of people so much because of this, aside from hating most of them too. By secretly wanting something in return, to feel “loved” back, I realize my intentions weren’t that pure either.

I remember back when I was putting up my thesis exhibit, I felt very depressed over the fact that I couldn’t ask for help from the very people who asked me for help with their thesis. At one point I was getting really frustrated over something silly, which was spray painting on my board, when I just suddenly felt like crying. What kept the tears from spilling was the fact that my blockmates were there and I was too ashamed to admit why I wanted to cry, because it was a really selfish reason. I mean, I know for a fact that you don’t help other people expecting something in return. But being honest to myself, I was just hoping someone would offer to help. I would have been happy with that.

Despite those selfish expectations though, I have always been honestly sincere with my intentions to help other people, no matter how messy and twisted all the situations became and no matter how much more depressed they made me. I get too involved with the lives of other people because I keep on wanting to fix things for them, or I feel like listening to them will help them. I’ve always put people first before academic requirements, even though it means having to sleep late the next few days to meet a deadline.

On the lighter side of things, I enjoy feeding people. :P I bake and then give it to friends instead of selling them. I’m always giving food if I’m with a friend who missed breakfast or lunch. Small things like that. I like taking care of my friends or trying to make them feel loved, even though I get demanding sometimes. I’ll do anything when I feel indebted to somebody, and it’s so easy to make me want to do things for my friends. The smallest nice things that other people do for me — it becomes a big thing for me. They might not even mean to seem to be that nice, but if it’s something that made me happy, I’d basically want to do anything for them in return. I worry for my friends excessively and sometimes I stress over problems that aren’t my own anymore, or that I’m powerless to solve. I have friends that would sometimes remind me not to stress over other friends’ problems because they’re old enough to deal with it on their own. Except, I really can’t resist people who seem like they need helping. It’s like a drug, even when it becomes emotionally exhausting and psychologically destructive.

Actually, I have no idea where this self-analysis will go. I really don’t know what to do with the left-over resentment, anger, and hatred and how to keep myself from being triggered by the smallest things. Does this mean I should work harder at getting over this? That I’m not working hard enough? Or that distractions will get me through this way too slowly? Because I’ve gotten over people before, but that involved flying to a different country (and staying there). Sometimes I still feel like I’m stretching myself from happy to sad in a single second. My friend was telling me I should just accept things will never get fixed and I have to let things go. I think given a few more months, I will eventually get there. I know what it feels like to be free of old anger and resentment. I really can’t wait to get there again. It’s been an exhausting two years already. Even I don’t want anything like this anymore. Maybe once I’m over everyone, I’d be numb enough the next time this happens, ha!

So anyway, for now, I’m giving myself a K-drama overdose. It’s the better drug.

Reminiscing Singapore

I just received from the mail a card my friend from Singapore sent over a month ago. Yes, Philippine post sucks but I’m just glad it didn’t get lost.

I can’t believe it’s been a year since I arrived in Singapore, met new friends, and had one of the best experiences with so many wonderful people. It always seems like I just came back months ago. The girl who left the Philippines for Singapore then wasn’t the same as the girl who returned, and that girl certainly isn’t the same girl now. I feel so different that the words my friend wrote in the card made me remember how a lot of things changed for me since then:

The crazy times at Kbox, hearing you talk about your dreams and aspirations, and how your batteries just instantly recharge when you’re around people! It’s really encouraged me seeing how you’d go the extra mile for your friends and how you really treasure them…And your zest for life too!

I miss Singapore. I miss my friends there. I miss IFG. I remember making a lot of jokes or just kidding around. I remember smiling so wide. I remember laughing a lot. I remember looking forward to see everybody. I remember being excited whenever we go out. I remember having so much fun that I just didn’t want the night to end.

I also miss being that person my friend described. I’m not quite the same person anymore. Some priorities have changed. I feel so drained. Going the extra mile…even when I tried to do that, I still got left behind. My enthusiasm in life then, well, I wish I had that back. I’m so lost and confused about so many things in my life right now, over so many people, over almost everything, and every time somebody reminds me that I used to be a much better person I try to believe I haven’t completely lost everything yet. There used to be someone more cheerful, more hopeful, more trusting, more optimistic in me and I want to believe that everything’s still there. That it’s just taking me time to find myself again.

I wish I could hug all the friends I’ve made in Singapore. I swear, I’ll visit you guys again.