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).

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Three Little Words

Honestly, I shouldn’t be allowing myself to write anything non-work related today. But I suspect that the reason why I haven’t been able to get any actual work-related writing done is because I needed to get these thoughts out of my head first. So here goes…

First off, sorry but no, this entry isn’t going to be about THAT particularly popular set of three words. And it’s not because I’m in love or not in love. This just isn’t going to be that kind of blog entry (at least not for today).

Everyone knows the power of words. It can either bring your spirits way up or bring you crashing down, depending on three factors: namely, what was said, who was saying it and even how it was delivered. All this happening to you in a span of a few seconds. You find yourself at the mercy of who your talking to. An unwilling recipient sometimes. And there really is no escape.

Do you know what power you yield when you speak to someone? Words can literally feel like it’s cutting you open like a knife, or be light as feather caressing your face. Either way, they affect you afterwards. Sometimes, I admit I just say whatever pops into my head, no prior editing involved. It works for me, this system of no regrets. Because the lessons I’ve learned from it have been important, and most of the time, painful.

So now, I appreciate when people take the time to say something kind and genuine. You don’t want people being kind to you just because they pity you. It doesn’t feel the same. You’d feel better off if they had not said anything at all, if that was the case.

So what three little words am I talking about? It could be about anything and anyone. Some examples come to mind:

“How are you?”
This seems average enough, but it’s not. When people ask you this, if they’re really your friends, they really do expect to really find out what’s up with you. The fact that they even bothered to ask is a nice thing in itself. With millions and millions of people in the planet, why even bother to ask you?

“I miss you”
Self-explanatory, I know. But most of us go around thinking and feeling this exact sentiment, yet never get around to verbalizing it. We just let people be part of our life without getting around to telling them how they can affect us. Either because we’re too shy, too proud, or even because we're sometimes just too busy. But that still doesn’t discount the fact that we still feel it anyway.

“You home safe?”
I guess it translates differently to a person whether this is said through phone or text message. It really does make all the difference that they even bothered to ask. I walk around in a crowd daily and literally feel invisible sometimes. It’s nice to have people around in your lilfe who validate your existence by looking for you (hopefully not because you owe them money or something like that haha).

There, it's out of my head.
Now back to the rat race....

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Right on the Money

My horoscope for the day:

"You're still worried about work -- but you really don't need to be, especially if it's that issue you know you really should have let go of several days (and maybe even weeks) ago. When you're feeling obsessed, however, there's really no talking to you, and no way to distract you. Remember, though, that getting too involved in anything never works out favorably. Go to a movie, call a friend or take up a new hobby. Just keep your mind busy."

When all else fails, thank god for cosmic advice and my Magic 8 Ball....

LBU, I love you

LBU, I love you

I can hear the wind howling from outside. And though rainy weather normally gets me down, I have surprisingly been either too distracted with work or with friends to really be affected enough by the dreary weather.

Today, in a sea of black umbrellas, I find myself being the only one in white. And no, I didn’t say that for cinematic purposes. I just realized it this morning on my way to the office. Normally, I too would be carrying my beloved automatic LBU, but I left my Little Black Umbrella at work yesterday and had to grab one of the many new ones at home. For some reason, my mom has managed to amass a significant number of umbrellas as corporate giveaways or gifts. But this is not the point.

The point is, noone uses white umbrellas anymore. Why? I personally don’t like it when they get old and rusty. The dirt is too telling. It is hard to maintain. But then again when I look at everybody else’s black umbrella, it makes me think about why they would want something as lovely as an umbrella to be in such a drab color. The weather is gloomy enough. But it seems, as with most Pinoys, the safest choice is always the best way to go.

Because a black umbrella will never ever look too dirty or neglected. It won’t fade or look broken even when it is (unless of course the metallic spider-like thing inside breaks apart). People like that, when things still look normal, even when they’re not. Even when everything is breaking down.

I know I’m starting to veer off in a figurative direction here, but it still holds true. Everyone has their own LBU which keeps them safe (from the elements, muggers and possible staring from other people). My white umbrella keeps me safe too. But it also draws attention. And as much as people like to be safe, they always seem to have this unfailing curiousity for what is different.

Now my theory on that is the same one that I apply when I'm out trying new food for the first time. It doesn’t necessarily have to always be mind-blowingly good for me to try it, it just has to be different from what I’ve tried before. So when I see someone wearing something outrageous, it won’t really register to me as something I should label as fantastic or what-not, it’s just different. Same applies with people. How tragic if everyone was the same. You see, we don’t always have to agree. You are you and I am me. Also, there’s no wrong answer when giving out opinions (unless of course, your just copying from someone else’s).

Uh-oh, I can hear the wind howling again....

Tonight, I finally got to try Nissin Ramen’s new instant noodle flavor, Thai Chicken. Being a fan of Thai food (or more specifically, anything sweet that’s not made of pili nuts or langka haha), I had high expectations. It was just as sour as I expected, but the quality of the noodles were so distractingly "boring" (for lack of a kinder word) that I don’t think I’m eating it ever again. Which makes me crave for SOMS Thai kitchen in Makati again. Ugh. Except for their crappy outdoor plastic stools, I just love eating there.

Next week, I look forward to checking out this place called Heavenly Chocolate (with equally adventurous friends) and I'm morbidly curious about their Penne pasta with bacon and chocolate sauce. Bad timing because of my self-imposed chocolate ban this week. But good timing because it gives me something to look forward to (food is always a welcome motivation.)

Yesterday, a friend talked about being enlightened after finally figuring out that there really was cosmic balance in his life. I wish I could figure out mine. Is it being happy, healthy and in love with love? Is it being employed enough to afford myself the pleasure of getting to eat what I like? Or is it as simple as being positive enough to not wallow in the usually-tempting depths of my self-imposed despair? I choose to be happy lately. Because I can.

Thank God.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

So what does a sandwich mean to you?

Unusual heading, I know. But this question has been floating in my head since this weekend. Since someone offered to make me sandwiches for lunch. Now I know it’s no big deal. But it can be, if I make it out to be. Because in this day and age, everybody’s always so busy. It’s so much easier to just get a value meal at the nearest fast food than to make a sandwich from scratch. But that is just so darn boring, not to mention utterly, unromantic (I think romance can exist in actions, not just between two people!).

If you think about it, much goes into preparing a nice, well thought out sandwich. First, you’d have to head out to a nice supermarket (I love the ones who are open ‘til odd hours because I get a kick out of seeing who likes to shop when they could be out partying or something like that), you should already have a list of things you need to buy (I learned from my last grocery trip that buying sandwich spread instead of getting mayo and a bottle of relish is so-not-a-good-idea. It doesn’t make your spicy tuna sandwich taste the same. Bleecch.), and having to start getting ready earlier than usual to prepare these things in time to wherever your going.

Now, knowing all these, and still offering to make a sandwich? Pretty cool. If that person only knew how grateful I was to receive that particular sandwich, they’d be pretty uncomfortable with all my gushing right now. Because it’s so much more than just a sandwich, it’s an act of true friendship. Which is what everyone needs to feel, every now and then. Even if it’s just in the form of your favorite peanut butter and jelly on whole wheat.

That feeling of Want

It’s another challenging day. What once were just a series of weeks of writing and non-writing has turned into this big crazy scary yet rewarding new set of responsibilities that has me constantly pushing my comfort zone wider. And has given me a better sense of self-worth. But there have been days, when I still feel like a fluke.

Part of my new job is to conceptualize articles and figure out which photos and text to put in. Today, work involved looking at hundreds of photos of couples for a relationship article. Shots upon shots of couples hugging, smiling and posed in a variety of uncompromising situations (or should I say positions?). I know I should not let it get to me. But it kind of still did. I can only view so much intimacy without wanting some for myself. As much as I consider myself more self-reliant and independent than any average woman out there, I can’t help but give in to loneliness sometimes. Even just for a moment or two. And then it sinks in. That dreaded feeling of Want.

Now the only thing worse than wanting something is wanting something that money can’t buy. Now money definitely can’t buy genuine intimacy. See it’s not just about being close to somebody, but being close to somebody whom you can feel also wants to be close to YOU. I can’t even remember the last time I got to hold someone’s fine warm hands (I have a thing for hands, you know). I know many instances where I feel like wanting to hold someone’s hand, but can’t. I can’t bring myself to bridge that gap and just grab what I want. I would never ask for it either (not just because I’m chicken sh*t, but also because I’m not sure it’s wise to step into that place full of landmines of uncertainty), whatever that means.

To be totally honest, inspite of the added stress, I am quite happy with my life right now. I love The Present. But it would definitely be an added bonus to have someone to share this happiness with too.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


I’m never letting you know….

That there are things I thought I’d never ever compromise… just to be with you. Just when people start thinking me too intelligent for things like I this, I go and disappoint them just like that…. for a chance at some time with you. Even though it seems illogical and impossible, I can’t bring myself to say no. Even though every single cell in my body is telling me that this isn’t looking good, I still choose to stay. Why? What for? Even if we play by the rule of probablilities, the chances are moot. Because you are you and I am me, we will never be. Because I’m square like that and you are like a haze. You drift in and out of my life and I still try to catch a hold of you every single time. I feel boxed in by my limitations, but you tried to set me free, or rather, you’d tried and let me feel how it feels to be free. But freedom isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Because you can also mess yourself up too much if you keep doing what you do. And what’s worse then getting royally screwed by someone else is when you’re doing it to yourself. So maybe I’d better leave you alone. Even my horoscopes have been warning me. You are none of my business. And I don’t want to get too dirty. I’m self-destructive enough as it is. And you say you don’t want my help. You have enough angels guarding you. Or maybe it’s just me you don’t want help from. I’m never letting you know… that I liked you enough to stay.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Not yet please....

And to think I thought 88 was my lucky number.
My grandma turned 88 last December and it just never dawned on me how old she had gotten 'til my aunt pointed out to me that we should take my grandma out more often because the time will come sooner or later when we won't be able to go malling anymore with her. Call me naive, but I thought I'd be taking hmy grandma out on on movie dates forever. Our little dates that have become few and far in between (much to my regret and everbusy schedule).
My aunt had arrived from the states last week of November for a long vacation and she's been focused on making sure my grandma eats more and talks more. My grandma, who loves to go window shopping, gets to go out more frequently now. But last weekend she started feeling ill. Until then, I never noticed how bony and shrunken she had become. My grandma, who takes forever to get ready to go out because she loves to put on makeup and look real pretty and fashionable all the time (She always tells me I dress too conservatively for my age!). The same grandma who outlasts me when it comes to walking around the mall because my feet give up after an hour or two. This is the same grandma who has always beaten me in Scrabble even with her eyes closed.

It all started Sunday when we had my nephew's baptism in the afternoon and so we had to bring her back to my uncle's house. She was so weak that for the first time, I had to carry her from the car to her room. It felt weird considering one of my earliest memories of childhood was when my mom left me with her during the day and I played with our dachsund Dingdong while she did her gardening. Now, I was the one carrying her like she was the child. And she was so scared too. So fragile. I told her to put her arms around my neck, but she refused and was kicking her legs in the air all the way into the house because she thought we were going to drop her. My grandma is half-blind with glaucoma and I can guess just how scary things may look to her when her visibility is bad and she's feeling sick.
But today, I just found out she's been admitted to the ICU with a blood clot in her brain the size of something scary. How scary? That, I am not sure yet. But the doctor says that when it comes to blood clots, even a hairline size one would be cause for worry, what more if it was bigger?
To be honest, I have never ever experienced coming close to losing anyone in my immediate family, so this is all new to me. Hopefully, she will get better in the days to come because I hope for nothing more than that. I am not scared of the inevitable, but it is a sad, sad thing nonetheless. I hope it isn't her time yet. I hate surprises. And Death, though I am not afraid of it, is a foreign concept to me until now.
I think this is also the same reason why I never attend wakes. Not to disrespect the dead, but because I just dont know how I should conduct myself in those places. I'd be feeling as out of place as ever. So I'd rather pray for them from afar.

Friday, January 23, 2009


Gosh, it sucks to go straight to emo mode.
Especially, when I can't help it. Disappointment seeps in and I can't seem to shake it off.
I've lived with it all my life. But somehow, I just cant seem to get used to that sad sinking feeling of being caught unaware yet again.

That's why I think I'm so overly-OC about things. I like knowing that there won't be any twists at the end. Surprises are excruciating torture for me. If theres a tragic ending to something, I'm better off anticipating it than being blissfully unaware. This has made me into the control freak that I am today. Which is, on one hand, a good trait for a leader, but on the other hand, also makes me out to be one of the biggest cowards out there.

Disappontment comes in many forms. When you don't get what you want and when you get something you don't want. Mine is usually the former, and I think not getting anything is infinitely worse than settling for something else.

I am sad, but not pissed. Why? because if there's anything or anyone to get mad at, it should be me. Because I try so hard to stay away from these kinds of situations, but I still end up in them anyway. Because I hope for a different ending each time. And so far, nothing has changed.

I still end up alone.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Friday Funk

Someone's been influencing me to start a blog about food, movies or books so I can make money off of it. My friends have had the recent misfortune of having to hear me rant day in and day out about how I am going to be dirt broke this year. Maybe I will. Maybe I won't.
Literature, film and food are a big part in my life anyway.

This weekend promises to be tiring, which weirdly enough, is just the way I like it. I don't mean tiring as in work-tired, which my eyes twitch and makes me sleepy enough to miss my stop going home (which has happened several times). It's going to be tiring because this weekend is the last training days before the leagues start next week. One sport on Saturday and another one on Sunday. I have no idea what got into me for signing up for a season that's obviously going to be filled with body aches and other mishaps. I keep thinking the idle mind is the Devil's playground. And when I'm feeling idle, all logic seems to get thrown out the window.

At least my muscles aren't aching anymore from last weekend's boot camp. I hate to admit it, but I really am a glutton for punishment. But there's pleasure in that kind of pain. Physical pain has always been easier for me to deal with, no matter the number of stitches, bruises and broken bones, they will eventually heal in time (except for the ones which are arthritic and will haunt me until my twilight years, my orthopedic doctor says). Emotional scars are ones I'd like to avoid, if that was all possible. Because I know of some people who never let them heal. They walk around all normal on the outside, but badly battered within. They carry these hurts as lifelong burdens that permanently shape them into damaged individuals. I promised myself I would never succumb to that. No matter how damaged or confused I feel, I always have a choice to be better again. And no matter how awful I feel, there will always be a film, a book, or music out there that has the power to make me feel better. Hence, my uncontrollable urge to keep purchasing these things. Notice I don't mention people in that equation. Because unlike everything else (maybe except pets and plants), people have the power to leave.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Tell me who your friends are

I don't get excited thinking of you anymore.
Nor do I wonder what it is exactly your doing at this very minute.
It does not concern me if you are asleep, at work, or in bed and in love.
That is not what gives me pleasure right now.

Lately, what I've been doing is reading some really interesting blog entries from my friends and all I can say is that it's been great finding out that all these wonderful, honest, poetic, sometimes psychotic and insanely beautiful thoughts are inside people I actually know.

Its been fun to know what matters to them (at that particular moment) and what gets their goat. Who finds beauty in the ordinary or how much a smile made someone's day. :)
I know I could probably find all that out if I talked to them personally, but I doubt I could ever really dig that deep. I don't think I'd get that far, what with all the clutter in our heads.

I have friends who are easy to figure out. Those who wear their hearts on their sleeve. Those who will tell you exactly what they're thinking and feeling and just like me, can't hide their emotions even if they wanted to. These are the "What you see is what you get" type of folks. They can be branded as blunt, in-your-face, and insensitive. But I like these kinds of people. You gotta respect them in a way. You can't fault someone with being too honest. Truth is truth, no matter if it's served cold. It's better than getting a headache deciphering gray areas or unclear signals. That's half-baked, weak and you know it. I think Pinoys prefer to sugarcoat alot. Blame it on our sweet tooth psyche.

I also have ultra-sensitive friends. Now this trait is definitely not limited to any one gender, no matter what my guy friends say. These are the folks whom others carefully tiptoe around because they're afraid they might say or do something that could offend or rub them the wrong way. I too can be sensitive when I let my ghosts get to me. I believe everyone has an emotional trigger and when you unknowingly hit it, no amount of logic on your part can undo the damage. It takes great patience and understanding to be friends with someone like that, but then again, isn't that what friendship is all about anyway? Sometimes overly sensitive people can get grating at times because they can't ever be simple. But everyone has redeeming value, if you took the time to look hard enough. Everyone deals with their own damage in different ways.

"We wear the mask that grins and lies. With torn and bleeding hearts we smile..." -Paul Dunbar

I have friends who like wearing masks. Sometimes they wear them so much I can't see the real them anymore. I can't differentiate the actor from the role. But I can also understand them that way. It's safe. It's comfortable. It's how it's always been for them. But every once in a while, they take it off, and that's the time when we get to really bond. I wish they felt comfortable enough to do that more often though. But I don't know what to do to make things better for them. Sadly, I have no idea. These friends, who seem like the jolliest people on earth when everybody's around, are actually some of the saddest people I know. They hide the darkest truths when they're alone, even from themselves. I guess Life just seems much more bearable that way. It reminds me of my favorite line from a song in Phantom of the Opera, "Masquerade, paper faces on parade. Hide your face so the world will never find you..."

I have friends who I would want to get to know more, but they just won't allow it. It's like for them, there are different levels of friendship and you have to be really good like Super Mario or something to be allowed into their head. And I'm not even any sort of gamer to begin with (in fact, I suck. That's why I just stick to playing Tetris and Sudoku) The limitation isn't there because we're not close or not compatible as friends, but because they prefer things to just be that way. Sometimes, I see little glimmers of promise, like an added gesture, an unexpected expression, and they dont know it, but that makes me very happy. Any sign of friendship, in any form, will always be appreciated in my book.

And lastly, I have friends that others would kill for. No, I don't consider them perfect. In fact, they are just as flawed or even more. They can get impatient, moody, unpredictable and stubborn just like me. But unlike others, they know what friendship really entails. It's easy to be friends with people, but it's harder to keep it. Maintaining friendships entail time, effort, and emotion. We nly have 24 hours in a day and that time could very well be spent making money or love or both, but these precious individuals know that money and love isn't everything. These are the folks who won't make you wait a million years before answering your messages (regardless the urgency) and they'll go out of their way for you because they know the role they play in your life. Others take it for granted that they always have family to lean on. They don't understand that for others, friends are the closest thing to a family. These are people you can bet will no doubt still be part of your life years and years from now. Because they want to be. For those who won't stay, the best you can do is be a good friend to them and just share the nice memories while you can. Just because they aren't as good to you doesn't mean you can't be a good friend to them. That's just not the way Friendship works. Same goes for Love.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Hello Narcissus, is that you?

In the spirit of getting to know myself better (plus the fact that Virgos are known as incorrigible obsessive-compulsive people, hence the manic urge of making lists for everything and anything), I have decided to list down the the top six things I have discovered about myself within the past year. Hopefully, I can look back at this entry a few months from now and say to myself, "Hmmm, Oh now I see..." See what? I'm still not sure. But what I do know is that I'll figure it out by then. So here goes my five things I've learned about me lately...

1. I am not afraid of the dark, which I could also take to mean that I am not the least bit bothered by the possible presence of ghosts and other otherworldly creatures. I think I've always liked solitude, and when you couple it with darkness, it just seems to make everything all the more peaceful. I can understand how others would get scared because darkness can render one helpless, but for me, darkness can also give the freedom to do what you want. So if you look at it at a certain way, darkness can also be a kind of escape.

2. I am deathly afraid of anything sharp, pointed and metallic. Blame it on an earlier incident this year when a insanely sharp kitchen knife did a nosedive on my foot. The crux of that story is not that I left a long blood trail all around the house as I hopped from the point of the incident to my room, but the blatant indifference from the people in the household. As if it was so stupid of me to not expect something as potentially dangerous as a knife could be found near the wash basin's edge. So now, every time I see something like that, I cringe and make sure it is not even remotely near me or precariously positioned as to catapult in my direction. I know I'm not stupid, but apparently, it's not enough anymore that you expect other people you live with to ensure your safety for you. But that's going past the point. Sharp pointed objects coupled with accident-prone 'ole me equals future pain and possible injury. The pain I can take. But an injury will keep me from doing the things I love most.

3. I will try anything once. Whether it risk almost getting my hand blown off by crazy fireworks or getting food poisoning with one of my aunt's crazy concoctions, I will most probably do it if the thought is intriguing enough and not just borne out of boredom or coercion. Although I have yet to jump off a cliff, openly profess some romantic thought to the object of my distraction or run around naked, I look forward to all the things I haven't tried, places I still want to see, food I can't wait to discover (it could be in some cool remote place like a mountain in Timbuktu, but it could also be possibly found in one of the random street stalls along Quiapo. Who cares where the location is! Good food doesn't discriminate where to present itself. But sanitation is a whole different issue..)

4. I've been feeling the urge to start doing some serious writing for myself soon. I've been putting off these broken chapters swimming in my head for a long time now. But I figured, if I can't even bring myself to regularly blog, then what more the chance to sit down and write these stories? It doesn't even matter to me if it'll suck or not, I just know that I NEED to do this. I know I can do it. The question is, when will I?

5. I really enjoy running. I'd run all day long if I had the stamina for it. During games, I want to run without stopping if that was possible. I like knowing what speed feels like. A friend of mine said she got into long-distance running because it helped her get over her heartaches, but I run because it keeps me from standing too still. I don't need to get over anything now. I am okay and I run for the pure enjoyment of it. In fact, I'm looking forward to another tourney season of endless running very, very soon.

6. I've accepted that noone is perfect and more often than not, I get to encounter naturally, mean people, difficult people, judgmental people. In other words, the broken people. Those who had it harder than everyone else, the folks who have experienced more traumatic things than they would care to admit and those who had to went through enough hurt and pain that you probably wouldn't want to wish on anybody, not even your enemies.

The thing is, now I can't help but empathize with them. It took me a real long time to accept. But now, when I see someone that's so easy to dislike and disagreeable, the first thing I wonder about is how I wish s/he wasn't sad enough to act that way. Because I know there's a sadness behind all that. Because I know exactly how it feels. To be so quickly branded as someone whom you're really not. If only they took the time to really get to know you. But it's also a sad fact that people are quick to misunderstand. Thus, the safe haven for headless chickens. If you don't do anything too noticeable or say something too opinionated, then chances are, you are rendered "safe" from social scrutiny.

I know I'll never be perfect. In fact, I choose not to be. Not because I can't, but because I happen to like me and I know that I can still work on the things I need to change. Not to please others, but because that's who I ultimately want to be.