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

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Childish hope, childish fear

Tired.
Tired and restless.

I don’t really have much to do because it’s holy week, but I’m tired. I’m mentally tired, and I feel weak physically.

I’ve been moving around the house upon getting up, cooking and doing whatever there is that’s needed to do. I’m alone. Everybody were out somewhere, and i’ll have to spend the night by myself. Not that I’m not used it. I mean, that’s basically an everyday thing to me.

Anyway, I couldn’t function with messy surroundings so I started with cleaning. Then I organized my closet, washed my old shoes and sneakers, prepared stuff that needs to be fixed so I could bring them tomorrow to the mall. I didn’t have to do any of these if I brought my guitar back with me. But well, can’t be helped. My sister couldn’t pick me up, and I don’t want to commute with two heavy baggages.  I did these things anyway so I could feel productive. I don’t like doing nothing. It’s only recently but I always have this urge to seize the day. My hands need something to do. My body needs to keep moving. I need to be busy.

And in the back of my head I know what this implicates.

A coping mechanism.

I don’t know, perhaps some sort of way to move on. God. I hate talking about it. It makes me feel weak. I feel ridiculous, pathetic, and superficial. There’s nothing profound about it. It’s just me, you know, romanticizing every little thing. When none of it were actually real.

It’s stupid to think how half of my teenage years revolved around that silly thing. I wasted my life thinking I could only be happy if it were to work out. Even if it’s just once. Thank God I grew up.

Anyway, I got lost. The purpose of this post is to address this developing feelings towards someone. But then while writing I forgot about it. This post is pointless. I know. I keep jumping from one topic to another. But that doesn’t matter to me right now. I just wanted to write. Thoughts don’t necessarily have to be coherent to make sense – besides, disorganization makes thoughts more authentic.

I’ve been having these thoughts while studying. Probably because of the music playing in the background. Also, I was thinking about you. You, and this seed of feelings that started growing in me for goodness knows when. I was determined, really determined not to leave any clue about these feelings. Partly because I know they don’t mean anything to anyone, and partly because I know where this leads.

I know where this road is going. It’s all too familiar. This is not me being cynical or pessimistic. This is me being logical and rational.

It’s exhausting. This recurring encounter is making me sick to death. You know what I hate about this? It affects every goddamn aspect of my life. I couldn’t control it. I used to be jolly, enthusiastic, and carefree whenever I go to school. My happiness used to be linear, but during the last two weeks it started fluctuating.

Because of you. You.

You fucking happened.

Or more accurately, these feelings happened.

I wanted to conceal it to myself because it’ll eventually be the same thing – letting it out and not letting it out would lead to the same end.

These feelings are going to destroy me.

I’m not even scared of that anymore.

What I’m afraid of is the aftermath. It’ll destroy the friendship along, distort the memories, and warp out important people in my life.

No, it’s not the same as that with the past. In fact, this is… shallow. But it’s beginning to fuck me up. I’m not even going to tolerate the fact that it’s small, because everything starts at the molecular level. I haven’t even recovered from the past. Not that I haven’t moved on, but you know, I feel like I’ve become unable to love the way I used to. That’s the only change that seemed strange to me. Maybe that’s a good thing. Maybe that’s a bad thing.

Isn’t it awful how it is rather easier for many people to advise others to do things that they wouldn’t otherwise do themselves? I often speak of vulnerability like it’s the core essence of love. I could talk about holding back as an extremely detrimental thing and be passionate in defending it. I tell people to be always honest about how they feel because they don’t know how much that could change another person’s world. I could easily talk about love like it’s the most wonderful and beautiful thing in the world to others. But if it had to involve me, I could quickly slip onto its dark side. I have always been ambivalent about it. Not because I had a fair share of the good and bad side of it (I mean jeez I think 9/10 of it is bad), but because I’ve been holding back that small hope that maybe one day, things will change for me. It’ll be okay. It’s going to work. And I’m going to be happy.

Childish hope, really. Only children are suppose to keep hopes like that.

Final

Mixed signals. False hopes. Either it’s me reading too much into your actions, or you’re intentionally leading me on. Or maybe it’s the third possibility – again, you didn’t know you were doing what you do to me. You were always naive, dense, oblivious and clueless.

What a load of crap.

Another post for you. We’re back at it again, aren’t we?

It’s not a lie, really, when I tell people that I’m not, or at least, no longer emotionally invested in you. In fact , I could thank you for not wanting me. You made me want myself.

But you’re dragging me into this state of confusion. Again. Am I trapped in the labyrinth again?

I’m not going to lie.

Sometimes I still think about how things could have been if I decided to change earlier. But then what you did to me was what urged this change, so it could lead to the same terminal anyhow. But then you could still change your mind and go back, couldn’t you? Even if this change came a little too late, maybe you’re not too late to change things on your side?

You can go back, can’t you? Maybe if you choose me now, you could still do something. Maybe we could make it work. Maybe I’d no longer have to look for someone else to share everything we didn’t with. Maybe we’d be better together. Maybe this is the right thing. Maybe we were right together. Maybe finally, you’d realize I was what you needed. Not her.

Not her.

Maybe. Maybe. Maybe.

This is disgusting. These embarrassing and selfish feelings are beginning to surface again, and this is really, really, really, disappointing me. Pathetic, isn’t it, how I could conceive of things that way when I’ve been claiming to the heavens that I couldn’t be happier where I am now? You’re making me selfish and greedy, you know. And I don’t know if having these kind of feelings are enough to render me unmoved and apparently, still consumed by my thinly veiled desire to still possess you.

I don’t know. I could only think of it as an unfinished business, because there were no words.

It was a silent story. A story without an audience but ourselves.

I vaguely grasped what was happening, and maybe you did too.

But there were no words.

I didn’t know what I was to you, but maybe you knew what you were to me.

And it ended, right there. I hung suspended on the unknown.

Was it too late, was it too soon?

But it’s okay. Because I am okay now.

Right.

Think about it again.

You can still go back. You can choose me now. You could still do something. You can still try to make us work. We could still share everything I wished we did before now. We can still be better together, as better forms of our old selves.

But maybe I won’t go back. Maybe I won’t choose you anymore.

Because finally, I realized,

you’re not what I needed.

Expanding horizons

A lot of things have changed since the moment I found my resolve.

I’m pretty much contented this way. This is relatively more fulfilling than anything I’ve had before. I reluctantly stepped out of my comfort zone and learned—just as it was for everyone—that the real fun was here.

It took me a while to adapt to this kind of setup, where I keep a pleasant face, an enthusiastic vibe, and a friendly disposition. It was a whole lot difficult in the beginning but it paid off. It cost a 180 degree change though—I had to change my thoughts and views about many things. Yet I acknowledge that indeed, everything begins in the mind.

Gradually, I progressed. I began to cope up with a new everyday, with the new me, and with a new set of friends and acquaintances. It didn’t take long before I realize I was driving a new course.

All of these things hardly crossed my mind. I never thought I—the me right now—could happen. I never thought that great things actually existed outside my zone. In retrospect, I remember myself completely convinced that venturing out was pointless. Because whenever I do, all I see and hear is bullshit in various forms—at least the worse form of crap I’ve been dealing with in my own tiny world. I was forced to endure all types of judgmental crap from different people. But then I reached a dead end. I was forced to go back and take a leap of faith.

And here I am. I’m not saying that  I have gone far, but I could tell that I am relatively farther than where I used to be. I never knew I could do it. I never knew I could do these things. I never knew I could be someone else besides the pessimistic, coward, selfish me.

And somehow that makes me happy.

‘Happy’ to a certain degree is too simple of an adjective to use, but it’s pretty much how it feels. It’s an umbrella term for the many things I feel. Right, it makes me happy—but a hint of sadness remains. I am technically nineteen, although practically still eighteen, and it felt like life only actually started for me at this age. I feel like I totally missed out on a lot of things and opportunities because I trapped myself inside my walls. I’ve lost countless chances.

And I don’t want to miss any of them anymore.

I wanted to tell him these things, these thoughts, and these realizations. I want him to know what I figured out. I want him to be there with me, watching as I fulfill the change I never thought I’d be. I want him to be proud of me. I want him to smile and laugh at me while yelling “I knew you could do it!”. I want him to see how happy I am about these changes.

I want to tell him everything.

I was determined to step up and get rid of anything that would hinder me from advancing forward. I promised myself I wouldn’t shy away anymore, that I wouldn’t hold back, and that whatever life has in store for me, I’d be strong enough to take it on.

I would be strong enough to—

Bam.

He was taken.

Bam. 

It was a small concussion. I was okay. It was okay. Okay.

Okay. Okay. Okay. Okay.

I was seriously fine. I was indifferent about it. I could freely talk about it with other people without flinching or feeling any sort of sting.

And then I thought, maybe I’ve finally moved on.

That day, without giving it much thought, I went home in high spirits.

It was always fun to hang around with close friends before going home. It was always fun.

Fun. Fun. Fun. Fun.

Until I had some time alone.

I didn’t want to be alone. I don’t want to be alone. I was spared with a lot of time to think and I regretted going home early. But then I had things to do.

But I can’t do it. I won’t do it. 

I didn’t have the strength to do anyth—

I got up and decided to work. On anything. Pubmats, probsets, readings, papers, whatever. I had to do something. I don’t want to think, I don’t want to mull over anything because if I did, I’m going to have to recollect what I just found out.

He was taken.

It resonated and echoed endlessly in my entirety.

I was seeing faces. I was hearing voices.
Memories in time-lapse played in my head.

And before I realized it, tears began streaming down my face.

I didn’t need words. I didn’t need explanations. I didn’t need to think about it.

All I knew is that it hurt.

History has finally repeated itself.

That night I just cried. My mind crumbling, my consciousness collapsing. My insides felt like being literally shattered into tiny fragments. Curled up at the corner of my bed, I sobbed until it felt alright to stop. I sobbed to forget. I sobbed to ease my burning chest. I sobbed til I was okay. Til I’m ready to work again. Til I’m ready to face the world again with head held high.

Til I’m prepared to let go, once and for all.

That was the last. That would be the last time I’d shed tears for him. We are friends again and that’s more than enough for me to continue changing.

Even though it all mattered on my side alone, I would cherish everything we had. Or more accurately, everything I had with him. I was happy I met him. I was happy I liked him. I was happy I loved him.

And I’m going to be okay now. I’m going to be alright being how we used to be.

you.

not wanting me.

was

the beginning of me

wanting myself.

thank you.

Things and people change, but time won’t stop for anyone. As we wallow in misery, or as we strive to proceed forward, it continues along, moving through the gaps between our fingers.

I won’t waste my time dwelling on wishful thinkings. I’ll get up because it’s the only choice I have. I’m venturing out in the open and I’m breaking free from the chains of fate.

I’m going to be the change that I wanted.

Because I am stronger. I am better.