It should be me, that should be me

I’ve done everything I can to convince myself that this isn’t the universe where we end up together. Tried to rest content with the idea that in another universe, we were together.

But like the other failed times, I’m here again. Crying. Crying at every realization that I wanted, badly wanted that to be this universe. 

Why can’t it be? Why can’t it be in this world?

It’s a trap

Having no specific goal or not knowing what you really want can be too much of an obstacle, really. A lot of people have asked me about what I wanted to do, and it was natural that I answered in accordance to what they say I’m good at. Because I didn’t really have an answer. I’d only blabber and confuse people with my self-contradictions.

My being a jack of all trades has been a curse more than a blessing to me for the longest time. I have a lot of insecurities, and I always envied people who do well and great in what they’re passionate about. I was capable of doing a lot of things–-–but I don’t really excel in anything. I don’t even know what I really want.

I love making graphics and illustrations, but I also find an unusual sort of elation in writing research. I like talking. I like having debates in my head. I like teaching other people things I’m relatively knowledgeable in. I like to talk and read about philosophy. I like dissecting people, analyzing their weak points and figuring what destroys them. I like going to unfamiliar places, meeting new people, hearing new voices, and remembering new faces. I want to do a lot of things and I try to do all of them. I want to make the most of what I can do and what people say I cannot do. I want to get the most out of whatever life has to offer. Life was too short.

I guess you can say being enthusiastic about life was how I turned my insecurities around. I do a lot of things and fortunately I don’t have to be necessarily good at them. Unless I care about what other people say. Which I still kinda do—it’s hard to change that. So I try to be ‘good’ anyway.

I wrote this after imagining Sir [Espanto] asking me ‘bout what I really want to do with my life. And I anticipated that if I respond with uncertainty, I’ll get those cliched lessons about how difficult it’s going to be if I don’t know where I’m going. And I have to decide.

I know that. I’m perfectly aware of that. But people have different paces. I’ve been indecisive for goodness knows how long, and I can’t make a decision without putting every single thing into consideration. I’m obsessed with planning. I’m obsessed with calculating everything before making a decisive move. Is that a bad thing?

I really don’t know anymore. It’s like whenever I write I explore every kind of sadness flowing inside me. It’s as if I try to utilize every hint of anxiety and uneasiness within me to be able to write, because it’s what I like doing. To write is to throw your feelings out in the open; and that, for me, is freedom. I’m finding freedom in writing. And freedom in these terms was only attainable through writing.

And now, while it has always been a means to escape, writing it seems has made me more stuck than ever inside my head. It ends that what I was trying to escape from becomes the very thing I need to escape.

What am I even saying

The tightwad inside

[Drafted post] [The names are changed]

I checked my email today before I sleep, and found two forwarded emails from Cecil and Carla. The other one’s from Anne. Found the ‘weloveufaye’ address on both the former, and it all makes sense now. I found the same address in the email Sir Espanto sent me. And I already have a good idea who did all of that.

Anne. Of course it’s Anne.

I haven’t posted about it, but Sir Espanto sent me an email last Monday. It contained the following message:

Congratulations, Ms. Fajardo:

I hope you didn’t mind me walking you to stage last Friday. Teachers, you know, are parents to their students too – in the exercise of vicarial responsibility. But I am sure your parents and siblings would have been proud if they were there. For that alone, it was truly a privilege on my part.
I should have sent this message earlier, in time for Sunday’s university graduation. The delay was deliberate as I wanted to make it solemn and sincere.

I think I understand now why you contemplated on cutting short your stay in UP. Believe me, I know how it feels to be alone. It seems staying and finishing the degree was a good choice after all. It was really brave of you. Any parent to a child like you would be truly proud.

I think you know your strengths so I am not going to list it down here. I do want to tell you though that you have more promise than you actually know. You have more potential than you would like to believe.

Most graduates in our discipline would opt to go, you know where, afterwards. That is the usual path for typical graduates of our field. You are not that type, of course, for you are more. I cannot force you to love my science but I think you will also do great with it. Then again, you can also choose to be typical. But where is the fun in that, right?

Whatever, whichever course you chart henceforth, I hope it leads you to the stars.
Congratulations,

[Manuel Espanto]

***

I was wondering why I didn’t bother post about that when I remembered that I don’t–––if not never–––write about happy things. Anyway, so that happened. I was really delighted by it. I know I don’t sound like it because I lack the appropriate punctuations but the happiness already passed and all I’m feeling right now is a sad kind of happiness.

Like the kind I didn’t deserve

Or the kind withheld from me for a long time and was given a chance to touch tonight.

I read all the emails and I’m crying. But mostly due to Anne’s email.

I’m crying because I don’t know what to say. I don’t know the right words to say. And I loathe myself because I can’t appreciate her enough.

I don’t know. I don’t understand what genuinely selfless people like her sees in genuinely rotten people like me

It’s mind-boggling. It’s leaving me at awe

It leaves me at awe that I was actually capable of being loved, of having someone look up to me with constant admiration and amazement in her words

I least deserved to be loved like that

I least deserved to be loved by people like her

It rains every night but tonight was a downpour
I’m sobbing and my chest is burning

I didn’t think I really have friends at all
I didn’t think it really mattered
I didn’t think I could impact a life
I didn’t think there is that much value in every thing I say

It’s funny how people unrelated to you can appreciate you better than your family. Haha, funny world

But thank you, God

Thank you

Dissonance

My depression hasn’t been around for a while now, but when it comes it sure does a lot of damaging to my brain.

How odd. How odd it is to feel everything and nothing at the same time. I don’t understand how sadness can come out of nothing, nor how people can feel exactly opposite things simultaneously. The only thing I know is that this kept happening to me. And I’m always left feeling unable to distinguish what’s real from what isn’t.

I’m always conflicted about how I should deal with things when shit suddenly decides to blow up. Voices, there are too many voices inside my head. The emotional and the logical one. The quiet and the talkative. The friendly and the snob. Happy and lonely. Each of them siding on two opposing entities; bluntly put, between who I am, and who I wanted people to think I was.

I’m always torn between protecting the peaceful life I have, and speaking up to rectify the bullshit being paraded right across my face––-I see things, I understand, and I keep quiet about them–-–as much as I want this to be the case, the urge to do the latter becomes stronger whenever I realize people see the same stupidity but choose to keep quiet. I cannot not do anything.

I can’t. It’s stifling. I can’t just shut up even if it is the better option.

And that’s some serious problem.

I am unable to enjoy the “peaceful” life because I keep getting into trouble. I keep getting hated, being made fun of for saying what everyone couldn’t. I keep thinking about the damage I made and how people will try to get back at me. I think about, just every thing.

I am in dire need of a peaceful life but this deadly urge to correct the bullshit every time just makes it a glaring impossibility.

There will always be this vexing disharmony between what I want and what I do.

A feeling long forgotten, trapped in a memory

Note: The names are changed. (Still undone)

Last night, when Sarah and I were reflecting about our lives, a realization hit me.

It was 2am. We were talking about a lot of things. We were pondering on every stupid thing we did and were about to do, when we started discussing the consequences of confessions.

Yep, confessions.

She had planned to confess to Peter the following week. Her feelings have become toxic to her. She overthinks and overanalyzes everything nonstop, and it’s becoming destructive. She never tires of creating conclusions based on far-fetched assumptions and incomplete information, despite realizing it’s to her own detriment. She needed answers. And she bothers Beth and I a lot. Way, way, lot.

But the thing is, what we have were merely conjectures like her own. We don’t know Peter the way she does. And Peter alone has the answers she’s looking for. Does he feel the same? He probably has a clue, right? Why is he awkward? Why did he ignore me that day? He thinks I’m being stupid, right? Maybe he doesn’t even care? But why won’t he talk to me? God, you go add to the sequence. It’s the same stupid questions you’ve probably thought of or came across yourself. I’m guessing it’s driving her insane because her feelings felt too foreign, and it’s overwhelming her.

Beth and I advised her to confess already because that’s the only step she has to move forward. Her world has stopped. She couldn’t study, she couldn’t do anything because he fills up her mind. (Oh, how familiar. Overly at that) She would argue that it’s too early, that she’s not even sure about how she feels yet, and Peter might think she’s ridiculous. Trust me. There’s no talking her out of this. It’s gotten exhausting, actually. Calming and consoling her can get pretty tiring. We always had to rationalize things for her, as if everything always has to make sense. Every tiny detail about that night when she developed feelings for him, I got completely covered. We’ve basically dissected every word uttered and every movement made then. I can seriously write a novel about that one night, basically a shit ton of overanalysis of gestures and semantics, and details distorted due to heavy overthinking. I don’t even know why I carry this burden. Humans call this friendship.

Anyway, while on our beds, we were contemplating about the implications of whatever response he’d give her. The other day, she told me that Peter might accept her feelings thinking that she’d be a “waste”. She’s got a point—of course, under the assumption that Peter never got a confession before. After a couple more exchanges, I concluded that whether he returns her feelings or not, she’s damned either way. She’s still going to dissect whichever response he gives her. Although she could be right about the ‘waste’ part.

Because it’s how it is for most people, right?

When you find out someone out there sees you the same way you see someone you like, it makes us happy. It is elating and fulfilling. You’d think you were doing something right. You were doing something beautiful. It makes us even more happy when that person gathers up the courage to confess, because not everyone has the guts to do that.

But sometimes, how we respond to those feelings can render us selfish. We liked it. We liked the thought of someone being invested in us. We liked the thought of being important, of being the center of someone’s universe. Some of them even put us on a pedestal. And sometimes, though indirectly, or unintentionally, we end up giving them false hopes. We make them wait. We take advantage of their vulnerability.

They are left hanging, suspended on the unknown—just so we don’t lose them. We knew it was selfish. We knew. But we don’t want to lose them.

Or more accurately, we don’t want to lose the beauty, the importance, or the wonderful things they attribute to us. We don’t want to lose that feeling of being special. It’s understandable.

We circled around that topic when my confession to George crossed my mind. To be honest, I have moved on and forward — suffice it to say that since that day, I have become better. But I’m not happy for him. In fact, sometimes I want him to regret not choosing me. All that for my ego, though. It’s not because I still have emotional investments.

And then I realized that whenever I think of him, or talk about him, all I remember was everything he was after the bad things occurred. That night, it dawned me that after the confession, I barely remembered the reasons why I liked him. I barely remembered the good things about him, or the memorable things he did and we did together.

Like how, randomly, he would text me just to tell me that the moon that night is stunningly beautiful. He knew how much I loved the moon. He knew how much invested I was in the stars.

Or when he was dismissed in class and instead of going straight to the tambayan, he would sit with me on the bridge strangely carrying a washtub. He would pester me, and I’d be just happy talking to him.

Or when he’d withdraw and ask me to tag along, and then we’ll walk around the oval debating on the philosophy of confessing. Little things. We talked about life a lot. We talked about a lot of things. We talked about everything, and it felt like a lifetime would not be enough to talk about the things we could. You do not meet a lot of people who you could naturally and intellectually share your sentiments about the world with. Just like what Celine said in Before Sunset, when we’re young we think we’d connect with many people—later in life we’d realize it only happens a few times.

And we could ruin it, you know. Misconnect. 

I guess he was someone I really connected with. And misconnected.

 

I forgot.

I forgot how and what I actually felt for him after the confession.

Now, my feelings are raining on me.

Now, it dawned on me that I actually, immensely, profoundly, really liked him. For everything he was. For everything he had been.

But everything he did and everything he was after the confession blindsided me into thinking that he was simply a puzzle I preoccupied myself with because I was bored. That I did not like him—I was bored, I was just bored. And that I mistakenly—or subconsciously—chose to de-bore myself with a mere douche, a conceited jerk who’s completely naive of his own egotism and narcissism.

He was a douche.
But he was a douche along other things.

He was the person I liked, the person I admired, the person who made me happy. He was the person who once made every waking moment meaningful.

And the same was with everyone I decided to remove in my life. They were toxic along other things.

That night, I slept with tears wetting my pillow.
I slept wondering what it is that I have forgotten, what it is that memory has resurrected.

It was a feeling long forgotten, trapped in a memory buried deep in my insides, imprisoned, meant to be locked up for goodness knows how long.

Whatever it is, however, the fact remains that George is just a memory now, a small memory now relegated to the past. And it shall stay there.