Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do, so throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore, dream, discover. –Mark Twain
Note: This has been resting in my drafts for the longest time. I don’t feel the same way anymore, but I want to throw this out in the open. The names are changed.
May 16, 2015. I haven’t eaten anything today, except a softdrink and a pasta when I was walking around the mall, waiting for my new eyeglasses.
I feel so hollow. Empty. I was a blank, a void, a nothing. The world had robbed me of all the emotions I had associated with happiness. I only know of pain. Yet I’m so numb. I’m so numb.
Yesterday, May 15 2015, I confessed to him. That was the first confession I ever did in my whole life. And that was the first time I cried in someone’s presence. The first time I bared myself naked to someone. The first time I let someone in the darkest part of my being.
It was a long story. I don’t know how to go into details. It hurts. All I know is that it hurts it’s making me numb. It hurts so much it’s making me numb.
He did not reject me. He said he liked me back. But it was too late.
I was too late.
There is someone else already.
I don’t exactly know how to feel about it because throughout that bloody confession, he made it seem like he wants me to hold on.
I was trying to run away after confessing. I was shaking then. His back faced my back. And I made him promise not to look at me. I told him I had to leave. That he can make me leave. That he doesn’t have to say or do anything. That I’d be fine. That I’m shaking. I’m really shaking. But he refused to let me go. He pulled me back, saying I had to stay. That he had a lot to say. That I have a lot to know. That there is so much I don’t know. He asked me when did it start. When did I start having feelings for him. He apologized for asking. I said it was when he invited me for coffee. He was talking but I interrupted. I said I know it’s stupid because he liked Georgia then. I said it was a difficult evening for me then because he chose to tell me he liked Georgia on a supposedly romantic day for me. He said he remembers it. That he remembers that evening vividly.
“But you were suppose to call her instead. You even had to justify why you had called me. And you know what? That made me feel like shit.”
“But I called you. You’re the first person I called. You’re the one I called.”
What’s the point, I asked him. I said it’s pointless to talk about it now. He asked me if I noticed something new about him. I mentioned Julie. He did not deny it. He asked me if I was in the Redtape, and he began telling me how it all started between them. I didn’t know why he was telling me about it. He said he liked me. He persistently asked me if I believe him. I said I don’t know. I asked him what’s the point. I told him it’s pointless. That it doesn’t matter because he’s with Julie now. Then I asked him, “Was I too late? I was late, huh?”, my voice shaking. But then he went on with the story about Julie. I was palpitating. He started referring to her namelessly. I couldn’t breathe. Tears dripped down my cheeks as he went deeper. All I could hear and see in my head then is the glaring fact that it was too late. That I wasn’t aggressive enough. That I wasn’t touchy enough. That I wasn’t showy enough. He said we didn’t see each other for too long for some time, when Julie got into the picture. He said she was touchy. And he became touchy with her too. He said they’ve done things already, things that would change how people perceive him. I asked him to stop. I told him he doesn’t have to say it if it’s hurtful. I pleaded him to let me go. I tried to run. He pulled me again. I don’t know if his back remained unturned, but I began sobbing with my back facing him. He went into more details and I felt numb. I was getting numb. He asked me again if I believe him. I said I don’t know. I couldn’t feel anything anymore. Then he said it again.
“I like you”.
He said that I was so weird and he liked it. That my unpredictability was what he found so attractive about me. I asked him to stop. He was giving me false hopes. I cried. I started crying. He asked me not to. I apologized. I apologized and apologized. I cried, cried, cried, and cried. And then I stopped. He went on. He said he saw this confession coming when I texted him that afternoon. He said he felt it when I asked him to close his eyes. A long silence ensued. I asked him if he was scared then. He said yes, because he was unprepared. That I was unfair, because I prepared for it. He cyclically elaborated about us. About what he doesn’t want to happen to us. I couldn’t feel anything anymore. I switched to douchebag mode. I was normal again. I was talking to him casually like nothing mattered anymore. I was laughing. I was scoffing at his points. We started talking about philosophy, about freewill, and the usual things. It was a long conversation.
But I felt okay. Because I felt nothing.
He kept reiterating that the thing between him and Julie was trivial and superficial. That he liked me too. That he thought it’s a waste what could have been between us. I asked him to stop because it’s pointless.
He kept giving me false hopes throughout the conversation. He made it seem like he wants me to hold on.
And I don’t know. I don’t know.
Our orgmates were looking for him then. It was about 6:15pm. I asked him to leave, and swore I’d be fine. I told him he can’t do anything about how I feel, and he’s now relegated to my dark past. I was playfully mocking him. But then he asked me if he could hug me. I laughed and scoffed. I said whatever. I told him he still couldn’t look at me or see me. That he has to go where I would not see him. But he stood up and stood in front of me. I hid my face behind my palms. I told him he’s being unfair. But he remained in front of me. I moved my hands away from my face and looked away. The wind blew, the sun beaming on my swelling eyes. I told him he has nothing to worry about, that I’m not as weak as he thinks. He sat beside me. He insisted he doesn’t want to leave me that way. I said he can’t do anything about it. That he’s just guilty. I just got rejected. I need a time alone to let it sink it. He countered, repeating it’s not rejection, but conceded if I insist to put it that way. It was the nth time we had a long silence. He hugged me tight from the side. I remained unmoved, tensed and unfeeling. Then he left.
I looked at his back as he walked away. I looked at the sky, and as soon as he was out of sight, I broke down into tears.
This is extremely summarized. I can’t go into details. It was too long, too vague, and too hurtful.
But the point is, we can’t be together. And I’m choosing to move on.
But he left me with false hopes.
He left me with fucking false hopes.
Prompt: Hope, it dangles on a string, like slow spinning redemption
Shameful, it is
To know that
the moment I found my resolve
the moment I ventured out of my zone
the moment I broke down my walls—
You’re no longer on the other side
And why, I wonder—I remained on the same spot
left with the mere choice of hoping
That one day
you’d go back to the same spot where you’ve waited
That I was what you’ve always wanted
That I am whom you’ve always needed
Shameful, it is
Pitiful, this is
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—
He was taken.
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.
not wanting me.
the beginning of me
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.
I’ve finally come to terms with myself that being happy is not what I needed.
Looking back at the years that passed, I have struggled in vain in an endless search for what was so-called eternal happiness, or tranquilty, or any concept near that. Whenever something doesn’t go my way, I always tell myself that it was because God isn’t the center of my universe. But I cannot force myself into thinking that. My religion tells me that all these things around me provide ephemeral peacefulness, and they would remain short-lived as long as I don’t offer myself wholly to the Lord. It was a pointless attempt. I know in myself that it wasn’t what I believed in. It was me thinking it’s just like jumping into the bandwagon. Things don’t work out the same way for me. Because I have doubts. Because I hate depending on others, be it the Lord. I wanted to do something. And that excludes dwelling on the belief people impose on me.
It took me so long to realize that what I needed is not to be happy. Everyone seemed had it all wrong, because happiness shouldn’t be what we should be struggling for.
I want to be strong. I want to be stronger.
So I could constantly remind myself that it’s not always rainbows and butterflies. That problems will surface and resurface whenever and wherever. That living is not exclusive to being happy. That this world is a world of pain, and it’s okay to hurt. That emptiness crosses everyone’s lives every now and then, and it’s okay to feel it. That I can use that emptiness to appreciate what we have and reflect on ourselves.
I want to become strong to realize that all of these things around me are temporary and I don’t get to choose what stays and what goes. That at some point in my life, I’m going to be alone, and it doesn’t necessarily mean I’d be lonely. I want to become stronger to realize that I don’t need anyone’s approval, and if I want to achieve greatness, I have to stop asking for permission. I want to become stronger so I could face the fact that fear would constantly live among all of us, and it’s not okay to dwell on it. That I don’t need people to love me to learn to love myself. That I don’t need a lot of friends to realize my self-worth. That I have always been unique on my own, and comparison would only lead to arrogance or envy. I want to be stronger so I could face this dreadful existence with head held up high. So I could continue to fight on and move forward.
I want to. I need to be stronger.
So I won’t be afraid to reach out to happiness, despite knowing that it may cost me much. Despite knowing that disaster may follow. I have to be stronger so I could learn to toss my pride aside and see things from a wider perspective. I need to be stronger so I could learn how to love without holding myself back. Without always hiding a part of myself. Without apprehending what would come out of this and that. Without fearing to be vulnerable.
Courage. Strength. Fortitude. It’s not about happiness. It’s about being strong enough—mature, understanding, brave—to realize that happiness goes hand in hand with pain. That it may require tons of sacrifice.
I’ll be strong. I’ll be better.
So technically I did not sleep. It was pointless. I got up and made myself coffee. I washed my face, brushed my teeth, checked my stuff, and changed clothes right away, I already took a bath last night anyway. All prepared, I left.
I walked my way to the shed. No jeepneys were passing by. I crossed the street and headed to the toll gate. I asked the guard if there were Ikot jeepneys passing by. He said very few go on trips during Sundays. I thanked him and decided to walk. It was early anyway, and the sun’s heat wasn’t much of a bother. My long-sleeved top was, though. While walking, an Ikot jeepney was coming my way. I thought about riding, but then I’ve already started walking so I might as well just go on. I continued to walk, and it was getting hotter. Few minutes later, I’m dripping in sweat. I’m already feeling sticky and irritated. I regretted walking. I continued though because I don’t have a choice. I admired the beauty of my university as I strolled my way to the third shed. I took back what I said, and told myself walking was worth it. I wanted to take photos, but my iTouch was almost dead. When I arrived at my destination, I found out they closed the road. Oh gods. I feel like punching myself. It was another long walk to Palma Hall. A lot of people were jogging and biking, so somehow I enjoyed walking. I was two meters away from the intersection when a Katipunan jeepney passed by. It was half empty. I hurried and waved, but it did not stop. I thought it’d stop by Vinzons hall, so I ran to the next shed. However as I ran, it drove straight ahead.
I waited at Vinzons. I was already exhausted. My armpits are sweaty. I felt sticky all over. Mosquitoes are pestering my legs, and I’m starting to get really annoyed. I stood there for about fifteen minutes, going back and forth anticipating jeepneys. Jeepneys passed, but none of them were headed to Katipunan. I decided to walk further ahead, out of the campus. But I changed my mind when my legs started hurting. That time I completely regretted not riding the Ikot jeepney that passed by earlier. I would have had arrived home earlier as I have planned, and I wouldn’t have to go through all these. But as I looked at the Acad Oval, I realized what I witnessed while walking was a lot different. The university was way, way beautiful than the sight of the oval.
I gave up and went further ahead. I headed out of the campus. God, I have been walking for almost an hour already. I think that was a total of two kilometers. Sounds exaggerated? Well UP’s pretty big. Okay, maybe one and a half. Imagine walking from Krus na Ligas to Vinzons Hall, and heck, to Tandang Sora with a heavy baggage. I waited at the right side of the road when I realized the girl beside me in the shed earlier had also decided to go out of the campus. I saw her behind me, and she crossed the road. I was wondering where she’s going, and I saw her heading for a Katipunan jeepney. Oh my god, what the hell am I doing at this side. I followed her but the jeepney was full then. I waited for another one.
Fast forward. God, I’m finally at the terminal.
As soon as I got down, I was filled with awe. The terminal looked so clear and clean and peaceful. I think the walls were newly painted. I smiled at the sight and went for the footbridge. As I walked, I saw the old blind beggar I’ve been seeing since Day 1 in UP. I felt sad. He was still there, begging on his knees. I remembered my promise to myself in sophomore year, second semester. I promised to do better in my studies, so someday when I grow up, I’d change things, and there won’t be people like him in this unfair, justice-less country. Yeah, what an ambitious dream. I reached for my purse and dropped two five peso coins. It has been long since I last gave him coins. I guess I deluded myself I’d do better for him so I won’t feel guilty passing by him in the morning. Well, I didn’t see him anymore when I moved back to a dorm.
Sadly, I failed him. Or I’m going to fail him. I don’t even like my major now. And I’m so eager to move out of this fucked up country. Ten pesos was not enough to compensate for that failure.
Sigh, I should have gave him a hundred peso bill.
Riding an Antipolo jeepney was surprisingly easy, probably because it was early. It was already around 7:30 I think. Thankfully, the trip was peaceful.
I walked my way home and I felt glad, knowing I get to see our dogs again. I sorted my stuff out and played with our dogs before taking a bath. Everyone was asleep except for my elder sister, who was playing Clash of Clans. Lol. I wrote the first part of this story before sleeping. After shutting down my laptop, I went out to get Sparkly and I let him stay on my bed. He was so hyper I didn’t get a proper sleep.
I don’t exactly know why I was excited to blog about this. Perhaps because it’s one of those days in UP, where I get upset over everything. The difference about now, I guess, was that I looked into it in a more optimistic way, and thus somehow enjoyed it. Enjoyed it not in a sense that I had fun, but in that it made me feel alive.
Yeah. It rendered me alive.
My day started at 5:10am. I haven’t slept. I couldn’t sleep. I was in my dorm then. I only had my iPod with me and unfortunately, I did not bring my cable with me and it couldn’t survive any longer.
I woke up in a Saturday afternoon, my eyes bloodshot. I haven’t had breakfast, and there’s nothing prepared on the table. Well, it was the usual routine. Everyone home slept at about six or seven in the morning. We always wake up in the afternoon feeling wasted. What’s worse, the first thing we all face are our own gadgets. They’re so immersed in playing Clash of Clans, while I’m preoccupied with my daily dose of tumblr and senseless tweeting.
It was about 4pm when I decided to go to my dorm. I have been delaying it for more than two weeks already. I felt the need to get the plan over with because 1) I gotta pay the reservation rent; 2) I’m getting some stuff; 3) I intend to clean up; 4) I had to list down the necessities before I actually move back; and 5) I’m dropping by the mall to buy a hard drive. Besides I’ve been staying in front of my laptop for the past two and a half months, I barely went out and thought I need to move my ass. And for god’s sake I might need to get some sunlight.
I was already prepared to leave at about 5pm when my eldest sister arrived. She asked where I was headed, offering me a ride because we’re going the same route anyways. She asked me to wait a few minutes. I okayed. Then a little while after, my youngest sister arrived. Long story but to make it short, she wants to be dropped off the sports center for a date. My sister couldn’t accompany her since we’re leaving early, but for some reason my eldest sister started stalling and I ended up waiting for an hour and a half. I was getting impatient and was all ready to get out and commute, but she pleaded to wait a few more minutes. I was already upset. When we’re about to leave, she suddenly went down to call my youngest sister. She said she’d give her a ride (along with her friends). I closed my eyes out of frustration. You’ve been delaying me for more than an hour already. I get that you want to accompany Mich too but you offered me the ride first. You should have prioritized me, you know?
I was quiet the whole ride from Sumulong to Marcos Highway, with noise merely coming from my younger sister’s crappy music, and her friends giggling. We stopped over the gas station. The eldest asked the guy to fill in the tank slowly. Mich asked why, and she explained saying so it wouldn’t be all air or something. Whatever. After a while she asked Mich for some coins. Well Mich sort of ignored her so she ended up asking me instead. Well, do I have a choice?
Goddammit. So I actually ended up spending a dime even after getting offered a ride. And what more, I’ve been delayed for almost two hours already. It was already fucking 6:30. I should have just commuted holy shit. You just had me wasted a whole lot of time. I should have just left when you were stalling back home. God, you’re horrible. You just ruined my day.
I was getting sick with impatience when suddenly, she did a right turn. OH MY GOD. So she’s planning to drop them off to Marikina prior to me. OH MY GOD HOLY FUCK YOU’RE FUCKING DELAYING ME AGAIN. I closed my eyes and gasped out my frustration. And then she went “You can just go down and ride somewhere near the terminal. I’ll drop you off. Don’t give me that shit.” “If I only knew you were going to take this long I should have just left earlier and commuted!” I countered. I didn’t shout because there were my sister’s friends. She stopped and I hurriedly opened the door and slammed it. I stormed my way ahead without looking back.
Wow lucky me, I’m spending twice the amount I would’ve if I just commuted earlier. And what more, it’s fucking late. How the fuck am I going to finish everything in two hours. What the fuck. What the fuck.
I arrived at my dorm at 7:30. I was exhausted. And take note, I haven’t eaten anything yet. I am fucking starving. My throat felt dry. And I was dripping in sweat.
The landlady did not recognize me right away because of my hair. I paid the rent right after and asked if she’s already cooked something. She said there’s sinigang. Holy shit my favorite. I ate like a mad man as soon as she gave me my plate. After eating, I cleaned my room. Swept the floor, blew off the dust, mopped the floor, and swept it again. I was tired. I went out to buy food and it was raining. I got back with my legs dirtied. Sheesh. I ate my burger as I scroll down tumblr and tweeted nonsense. Life felt different without my laptop. But I was thankful, at least I get to spend a day without exhausting my baby. Lol. I felt sleepy at 10pm, it was unusual. I lay down and scrolled tumblr for the last time. I closed my eyes. My soul was awake so it was useless. My mind doesn’t stop thinking. I kept rolling and changing positions but I can’t sleep. I felt tired. I got up twice to pee. I kept drinking water. I put on my earphones to listen to my FT Island playlist, and for some reason, I started crying. I wrote on tumblr about it. I cried a little more and closed my eyes. I began planning what I wanted to do about my life. I want to be stronger. I want to do things for myself. I want to stop seeking approval from others. I want to live my life as best as I could. I want to stop feeling the need of acceptance.
I just have to be me, I thought. I’m awesome anyway. There’s nothing wrong about being awesome.
Yes, way to boost my confidence. It’s my only way—the only effective way for a Leo with a tight grip on her pride.
A few minutes later, I forfeited. I switched the lights on and organized the drawers. It was quarter to 3. As soon as I finished, I ate the last two pieces of the bread I bought awhile back. I lay on my bed with my eyes closed. Somehow the lights made me sleepy. I put my earphones back and listened to the same playlist. I checked twitter and tumblr every now and then, and I was glad seeing the gif spam I did on fyeahftisland were actually getting notes. It wasn’t long when I realized it’s already 5. I closed my eyes and waited for my alarm to ring. It was set at 5:10. I got up as soon as it rang.
Part Two later.
(I have just arrived home and I’m really sleepy now)