Wednesday, December 05, 2012

game over

There are days when no manner how well you try to plan things, everything just gets thrown out the window anyway.

Take last weekend for instance, there was no way I could have imagined that things would turn out the way they did. Some for the better, and some I’d prefer to have just skipped over entirely.

The highlight of my weekend was supposed to be my first ever race. A 4 mile run that I tried to prepare for two weeks ago. I tried to prep my muscles and tracked my speed at the treadmill while mentally psyching myself up for a new challenge. But come race day, everything got shot to hell. I barely had two hours’ sleep (don’t ask). I wore running shoes that I bought the day before. I wasn’t even mentally prepared because of certain things that transpired over the night that still got my mind reeling. In other words, I thought I was f**ked. Add to that the dreary weather and I thought I’d be sick as a dog halfway through the run. But I ended up doing pretty okay. Not too shabby at 7.7minutes per kilometer. Although I slept like a log right after brunch though.

So now I just gave my mind something new to chew on. I asked for it and now I wish I hadn’t. Things, like those little always-awkward moments between us, are just better left alone. I’ve been told time and again to just take things for what they are and save my brain cells for better things than just analyzing and overanalyzing what has always been so painfully obvious. But nobody wants to be the first to admit when they’ve been played. And you play very well, I admit.

At least I’m not so curious about you anymore.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Leaning Right

I always thought I was sensitive enough, more than any average person out there. I actually thought I was too sensitive for my own good. But I just realize it wasn't enough. And it took an injury to give me time to think things over and have a newfound appreciation for the things around me.

I hate being sidelined and I have always been used to always being on the go. If it weren't for this, I would probably not have set aside time to think things through. Although I don't think anyone would wish to be on crutches for two weeks or so, it has been a valuable learning experience so far.

1. I am now really grateful for handicap-friendly things like handle bars, ramps and priority parking spaces. Considering that even going up a flight of stairs tires me out lately, these things have made my life a little less uncomfortable. Add to this the random acts of kindness I get from total strangers (although I still have to work on feeling less guilty when asking for help or being dependent on someone to open the door for me and other stuff like that).

2. Time seems to go by fast when your so slow. I wouldn't call myself mobile right now. i hobble, hop or try to slowly side to the general direction of where I want to go, but it is not a fun trip. In fact, if my butt didn't get so numb sitting in one spot the whole day, I would probably prefer to just not go anywhere. I never thought it would be so taxing just to go to the loo. Don't even ask about how laborious it is to get dressed and vice-versa. My grandma, who is 75 pounds, just had hip surgery and uses a walker, would probably make me eat her dust if we raced each other to the kitchen. Knowing that i won't be able to take off my cast til next next week is already killing me. I can only imagine how it would feel to have to use a machine to get around for the rest of your entire life. I know I'm still lucky. My cousin broke his leg in a really major way a few years back and had to use crutches for about two years. Now I truly, truly feel for what he went through.

3. It's kind of funny how in my grandma's house, it's no big deal to see somebody using crutches. In fact, they've got two sets in the house. Because at some point, somebody in the household has had to use it. At least now I won't feel like the resident idiot who was clumsy enough to sprain themselves. Right now, being around family, for me is the best medicine. Because they are unconditional, genuine and natural. This realization pounds into my head that no matter what happens, you can always count on family. You can't always count on your friends to worry about you, they have their own lives to worry about. Only family will stick around even when you turn into this crabby, boring, useless sack of self-pity.

4. Resting has done me good. But it has also made me aware of who actually cares enough to ask about me. I don't really mind not hearing from those who I am not really in touch with, but for those who knew, and still didn't ask, I am kind of disappointed. Yes I know people are busy, distracted or usually problematic, but to someone who knows now nice a text or a quick call would have been, it meant a world of difference. Because sick/injured/sad people sometimes just need to know they are still being thought of.

I want to become a brand new version of me when I get well enough to walk properly again. I will not take my right leg for granted anymore. I will spend extra time taking care of those who really love me and I won't care anymore if all I can write are about these kind of things.

Saturday, August 01, 2009


It was really challenging to keep positive today...

It wasn't so much the non-stop rain, but everything else just seems to be going downhill and I don't exactly want to explain why. One of the side effects of the human condition is the inability to control certain emotions. Or the ability to hold it all in and feel so bad afterwards because I can't just let it go like everybody else. Tempting as it sounds, I have yet to actually try leaping before I look because I'm always expecting the worse case scenario to happen.

I guess I don't mind so much anymore. I know well enough when to push it or just leave things be. I know when to stay and fight for something or just move on to a different road. I know well enough not to want things not meant for me. I know I'm not greedy like that.

But sometimes, I wonder. Is it too much to ask just to get a hug?

Friday, July 31, 2009

Meet my friend named Pain

I’m not letting this stupid sprain get the best of me.

It’s the middle of the Friday work day and by this time I am usually secretly rejoicing in my head that the weekend is finally here. But this week has been different. I am not mobile. And every day feels exactly the same.

My foot has swelled up to what I can only describe to be what is the nearest possible version of an elephant’s foot. Add to that, I feel the onset of a cold coming on and I also suspect I am slowly turning into an emotional train wreck. Maybe everything just seems magnified because I can’t walk a few feet without being reminded again and again of my limitations. Maybe it's because I refuse to wear crutches because I'm scared of looking ever-so-muggable in the dark, or maybe it’s because my term at this job is coming to an end and I haven’t really laid out any concrete plans for the future yet. But maybe it’s just because I’m starting to feel lonely again. Oh no, not again. It's all too familiar now... I’m always surrounded by so many people, yet I know they can’t really see me.

I can’t remember feeling this bad since I was last injured. Maybe because drugs have a way of numbing out the pain. But I’m not doing that again. And I want to remember this feeling every time I step on the field to play. It’s the only way I’ll learn.

Part of me is relieved to have an excuse not to train for a while. I need to find other things to define me. I thought I was already happy where I was. But of course, just when I felt settled in, Life pulls the rug from right under me, yet again. I should know better by now.

Part of me feels like hibernating from the world for a bit. But I think no one is going to miss me anyway. So why bother? I can live just like how I’ve always lived and no one would know the difference. Not one bit. So now, all I have is this sprain as a constant reminder that I am alive and have the ability to feel that utter nagging tug of pain each time I take a step.

After this, when all is well and healed, the sad thing is I will have nothing more substantial to whine about. So what happens next? Guess I still have a few more weeks to find out....

Thursday, July 23, 2009


Yesterday, this 25 year old girl hung herself with a nylon cord in her room. Single, fairly successful and hopelessly in love, her family discovered her body only after a day and a half when the boyfriend dropped by to visit after not hearing from her after an earlier fight. She was a friend of a friend. But her death resonates through the people she knows. It’s always sad when someone’s story comes to an end. I know a lot of people who walk around with constant thoughts of self-destruction and despair, but most of them usually never get around towards doing anything concrete about it. We wallow, but we don’t obsess about Death. Because ultimately, we want to defy it and really just live. So when we find reasons to feel a little bit better, we choose to stay.

I don’t really want to know anymore about what the lover’s quarrel was all about or whether it could’ve been avoided if people around her had taken more notice (why, do suicidal people walk around with a little black thundercloud above their heads?). There’s really no turning back once death has arrived. And the most we can do is to cope and realize that we don’t ever have to feel like we have to end our stay ever-so-abruptly.

There was also this goalkeeper from the varsity team of this big university who had also taken her life a few years back. The news at that time really surprised me because for one, I was a goalkeeper myself and would have thought that playing for a big-time school was like a dream come true, and secondly, because well, isn’t sports supposed to steer you away from things like depression? Apparently not.

This is my very first blog entry about death and I do hope it’s my last. I haven’t wallowed in my usual choice pits of despair in a while and I think I’m starting to get used to always looking at the bright side of things. Spinning them positively. There will always be a choice on how you choose to view things. I can look at these suicides and confirm what a horrible, cruel world we live in or I can tell myself I will try harder to make the world a better place for my family and friends to live in. Because at the end of it all, you can’t really be truly happy if the people around you are suffering, losing hope or sad.

I always get a little bit scared when I have to take a psych evaluation and there’s a box there that you check if you’ve ever contemplated on ending your own life. Of course any idiot who wants to be considered employable knows to never admit any big-ass form of self-doubt like that, but there’s always that part of me that wants to be honest about how I (once) viewed this crazy world. How I used to obsess about wondering if today or tomorrow was going to be my last. It gave me a skewed sense of power to know that I could choose when I could just quit. It was like one big f**k you to those who didn’t care enough to ask why my life just didn’t feel like it was worth continuing. That dark, dark, gloomy place…

But thankfully, the world has been much kinder since then. I’ve started to appreciate the rain as much as the sun and I’m not so bothered by awkward moments anymore. In fact I’ve learned to embrace all of these things as a oddly perfect mix of what life is really all about. I now understand that just like with each new crush can also come a potentially hurtful jerk. That not all the people I meet with choose to stay and be worth keeping anyway. That I will continually make mistakes, forget a lot of things and sometimes write nothing but crap. That my choices will never be perfect (especially in math) and that even in the hardest of days, I endure.

Sometimes barely, but I’m still here.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

And then there was you

Just when I thought life would just keep giving me lemons, I end up one day with an orange in one hand.

I'm not complaining. There are worst things in life. Last week was all about the rain and how I could never get to the office without getting officially drenched. And to save myself the trouble (and expense) of having to buy a new outfit from top to bottom just so I wouldn't look like a refugee, I would always bring extra clothes to work.

I've long given up on the fact that any makeup I put on at home will make it through the roughly hour and quarter hour commute. And since I consider beautification to be a private (and somewhat embarassing) ritual which I rarely even do, I am not inclined to share my technique (or lack thereof) with the other girly-girls in the women's powder room.

My new blue automatic umbrella is my best friend. Without Tilda (yes, she now has a name) I feel less confident, less ready and therefore less powerful. Not that would ever plan to use tilda as a weapon, but just the idea that I can whack some crazy jerk on the street if he ever planned to do something funny gives me strength. But thank god there has been no instances for that (although I suspect it is largely my cluelessness about the real evils in the world that has kept me feeling safe even when I am walking down some dark lonely streets at a weird hour). So there, me and Tilda have become inseparable. She keeps me safe and I, in turn, keep her dry.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Life is a Buffet

I’m no genius but I think I just might have discovered a way to people figure out.

I’ve realized that the way I approach life is pretty much how I would carry myself when I’m at a buffet. I could be wrong about this, but it kind of feels right.

First off, I just love a good buffet. The variety of choices, the sensory overload and just the thought of all that food gets me excited in ways that most people would find weird. You would think I would indulge and stuff myself silly (I would if I could, actually), but surprisingly, that’s just not the case.

At first I thought it was because I didn’t have a good “battle” plan. I thought maybe I should eat the light stuff first before going for the main dishes (which will backfire if you start with the salads, because all that fiber will make you feel full faster), or maybe that I should try all the desserts first (this tactic won’t make you full, but the sugar crash-and-burn effect later is so not worth it). I keep looking at all these foods and end up stumped because everything becomes overwhelming. I never zero in on anything (except maybe steamed dimsum. You can’t go wrong with dimsum.). But I am excited by all the possibilities.

So what ends up happening? I get a little bit of everything. I try my darnedest to taste test everything unfamiliar. I rationalize that even if I didn’t eat the buffet’s worth in quantity, I did get to taste a week’s menu of this and that. Both my mind and my tummy end up feeling equally full. I got my mental satisfaction, which to me, makes the trip more worth it than anything. It’s a new experience of sorts. To now have the authority to have an opinion on that-which-was-not-tasted-ever-before.

Applied to life, I think I am the same way. I enjoy doing different things, changing it up every so often. But doing and learning are different. I can keep doing things, but not really learn from them (like how to stop mourning over failed friendships that are supposedly not worth it). or I can go through the whole alien process of discovery and add a new talent, skill, knowledge or trivia under my belt. I hate to say it, but it’s always important to learn something new. Even if that something new proves to be worthless info to you.

I used to think I was a creature of habit. That I can wake up, go to work, go home, curl up in my cozy bed with a good read and be thankful for another uneventful day. But I was wrong. It is nice to have someone to reach out to out of the blue to meet up after work. It is fun to get a little bit lost and try a new route going home every once in a while. It is fun to have other options of things to do. Even if you never end up doing them...

If I would be asked if I liked meeting new people, I think I would hesitate before eventually answering yes. Because yes sounds like the right answer. But is it my real answer? I’m not really sure. Because when you meet someone new, that person could be a potential friend or a potential hurt waiting to happen. But I’ve also learned that it always pays to see it through. To not deny cultivating relationships out of fear.

Some people approach a buffet and will make a beeline for their favorite dish and be perfectly happy just eating that. I admire these folks. They know that it doesn’t take much decision-making for them to be happy and they stick to that. They keep their life simple. They won’t feel like they could’ve tried more, eaten more or less than what they had. Simple can be boring, but it can be safe too. And feeling safe is hard to achieve, I think.

Some people will try to eat as much as they can, take in everything, regardless what their tummy says. They are admirable in a sense that they are making the most out of the experience. They are living it up in that short span of time that it takes to enjoy a full meal. But I could never do that. I’d feel like crap afterwards and all it takes is a quick trip back to that memory lane I like to call "Episodes in the Boulevard of Traumatic Overeating"and that’s enough to stop me from making another round. These people, I can imagine, go through life just doing everything and anything, even if it changes them, hardens them or even worse, destroys their inner core. These are those who have definitely been there and done that, But I don’t feel the need to go to that extreme. I will push my limits, but I refuse to stand at its edge.

So there, maybe Life isn't exactly like a buffet. But sometimes it is. You just watch and learn from it (if you can find the time to stop eating).